Top Tips

Easy Peasy Pasta

I had a call from a Dairy Cookbook regular last week, who enquired where to buy the bruschetta topping used in the pizza recipe on page 60 of Clever Cooking for One or Two.

This is available from Waitrose (Bruschetta topping in olive oil) and Tesco (Tomato and basil bruschetta topping).

We then got chatting about sauces in jars, specifically sauces for pasta. I must admit, I have never found one that I am totally satisfied with (except pesto) and I much prefer to make my own.

My favourite for a really speedy meal is to stir some low fat cream cheese into cooked pasta and to heat it gently with one or two tablespoons of pesto sauce.  I then season well with black pepper and add some steamed or stir-fried vegetables (great for using up leftover veg). Not only is this quick but it’s healthy too.

We would love to hear your easy pasta sauce suggestions. Which ready-made sauces do you enjoy and what tips do you have for simple home-made sauces?

While you are thinking about your pasta suggestions try our easy One-Pan Pasta recipe.

Lazy Lunchboxes

No more overpriced, tasteless sandwiches – make your own healthy lunchbox.

After hearing a particularly disgusting story on the radio (a sandwich-making operative was given community service for putting lettuce up his nose then back into the food tray- euuugh) and then paying £2.80 for a thoroughly awful sandwich, I made a vow to start making my own.

What a revelation! They are so much healthier, tastier, fresher and much less hassle than I thought. In a morning, whilst I am taking mouthfuls of cereal I pop a few different bits and bobs into some bread then put it in my work bag with some fruit and, of course, a cheeky treat! This week I have enjoyed a Dovedale cheese & onion chutney roll, a ham & salad pitta and a Brie & cranberry wrap. If you keep a few different types of bread – seeded rolls, ciabatta, wraps, pitta – in the freezer you have much more choice and they don’t go mouldy in the bread bin before you have chance to eat them. I just pop some bread in the microwave for 10 or 20 seconds and then add the filling. They are thoroughly defrosted by lunchtime. My top tip for a treat – fun-size chocolate bars. They give you a chocolate fix without adding too many calories to your diet. Mini Twix are my favourite – yum!

Try  this this Quick Prawn Wraps lunchbox recipe.

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