Recipe – Cheesy Brussel Sprout Bake – Seasonal (Jan)

So, I have a confession. Mum – you are going to love this! My name is Natalie and I recently became a brussel sprout convert. I have hated these little green fart cabbages (my affectionate nickname) for my whole life. It has always been a rule that I have at least two on my plate every Christmas. A rule made by my mum who LOVES them! Lately, I have tried them on a pizza in Pizza Express and from that came this recipe which I made for my tea on Monday. With all the cheese it isn’t exactly diet worthy, but it certainly gave me fruit and veg intake a boost!

Eating In Season

I have decided that this year I would like to post a recipe every month using something that is in season in the UK. Vegetables and fruits that are in season are generally tastier and cheaper. This makes it the perfect time to try something you wouldn’t normally, as it will be at it’s best!

In Season In January

  • Apples
  • Beetroot
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Spring Greens
  • Spring Onions
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Turnip

This list is full of some of my winter staples and perfect for your stews and casseroles which are so comforting at his time of year. What is your favourite from the list? What have you never tried? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe – Cheesy Brussel Sprout Bake


What You Will Need

  • 2 shallots
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Small pack of bacon lardons
  • Grated cheese (I used Parmesan)
  • Tub of Philadelphia style cheese spread
  • Knob of butter

How To Make It

  • Pop the bacon lardons in a pan and cook until crispy
  • Prep your sprouts by cutting off the bottom and removing the outside leaves
  • Dice the shallots. As an ostomate, onions can be tricky so I use my handy chopper to make sure they get really small. Mine is years old but I have recently seen them being sold in Asda for just £6. They are also really handy if you have arthritis, as they are a lot less stressful than chopping with a knife on your hands


  • Once the bacon is cooked pop it onto some kitchen roll on the side. Add the butter, shallots and sprouts to the pan and cook for around 8 to 10 minutes
  • Pop the sprout mixture into a baking dish and add the bacon and around half of the packet of soft cheese. This is the one I used (note – the light version!). I didn’t use any extra herbs because of this being flavoured, but I think if you used a plain one, adding some cayenne pepper would be lovely!

  • Sprinkle some cheese on top and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden (gas mark 5, preheat the oven before starting)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I think my mum is going to fall over when she reads this, but it really was yummy! I look forward to next month and a new, in season, recipe. Please let me know if you give this a try and like my idea.

Recipe – Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

#Blogtober Day 2

Good morning and happy Tuesday.  Today I am sharing a recipe with you for a sausage casserole.  One of the best things about the arrival of Autumn is the re-ermerging slow cooker!  I love mine and it is really easy and convenient to use.

Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole

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What You Will Need

Pack of 8 Sausages (I used Lincolnshire)

Onion, diced

Leek, sliced

2 large carrots, sliced

One red or orange pepper

Worcestershire Sauce

Large handful of mushrooms, peeled and sliced (OSTOMATE TIP – chop your mushrooms really small to get the taste but not risk a blockage)

I used a Sausage Casserole packet mix for this recipe and 300ml water – easy and cheap, most supermarkets do these packet sauces on offer.

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If I didn’t use this I would also use

A tin of chopped tomatoes

250ml water

Stock cube (I use beef, but you could use a vegetable one)

Gravy granules to thicken sauce if needed

A teaspoon of mixed herbs

How To Make It

I always like to brown the sausages first to give them some colour and add flavour.

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I then threw everything in the slow cooker and popped it on high for 4 hours to cook.

About half an hour before it finished I got Ste to make me some dumplings and pop them in.  This is personal choice and you can leave these out!  I served the casserole with some fresh, crusty bread and butter and it was the perfect Autumnal tea!

I haven’t shared a recipe for a while but hope to do some more in the coming weeks.  This one is a firm favourite for me though, and the ultimate comfort food.  Enjoy!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Meal Planning & Saving Money

As it’s January and this year I really want to try and save money and pay off my debts, I’ve got back on the meal planning train. I used to always shop like this but the last few months have been a bit up and down as the boys aren’t here to cook for all the time and I have been back and forwards to Ste’s quite a bit. Hopefully everything will settle down a bit this year as we are in a good routine and I am getting back to something I love to do – cook!

Using a meal plan is a great way to try new foods and recipes, as well as save money. I thought I would go through the way I plan my meals and then shop, as if you are looking to do either of these things this year you might find a bit of motivation.

First, I get some inspiration for meals to try. I like looking online, Pinterest is amazing! I also check recipes from my friends (Stephie at Colitis To Ostomy does a great Meatless Monday post every week and Louise at Crohns Fighting has some fab Thai recipes on her blog). I love picking up the freebie supermarket magazines too as they often have some great recipes in. I then sit and ‘ostomy proof’ them, as well as perhaps changing up some of the ingredients or the method. I like to take a recipe and make it my own! You can also plan breakfast and lunches but I don’t always go this far. I make sure I have bread, toast and sandwich fillers, crackers, eggs, cereal, soup etc so I can all sorts of things for these meals depending on what I feel like.

From that I can then make a shopping list of what I need. Often my cupboards have a good supply of herbs, spices, stock etc so I make sure I’ve got all those types of things in already so I don’t repurchase unnecessarily. Then add in all the other necessities like toilet roll and washing up liquid.

A great tip from here for people like me who can’t always manage a supermarket shop, is to shop online. So easy to set up and most supermarkets cover most areas now so you can choose your favourite. Have your list by your side and only buy what you need. Not browsing the aisles cuts down alot on buying too many ‘goodies’ that you see on the shelves and just like the look of.

If I want to go out and shop I will make my first stop Aldi. Definitely the best and cheapest I’ve found and I really like it in there. It’s five minutes in the car from me, so local too. There are some things that you just won’t find there and some things (for example their crisps) which I just don’t like, so then I head to Asda.

I was very pleased with myself for heading around Asda and only buying what I needed from there yesterday. I had my list with the two things I couldn’t get in Aldi (tarragon and coconut milk) and I wanted crisps, cereal, Actimel and the dog’s food. I also checked out the whoops section, and managed to get some meat which had been reduced.

When I got home I added these bargains to my meal planning list so I now have a full list of meals. I don’t plan to have certain things certain nights (unless the boys are here or someone is round for tea) so just mark them off when I’ve made them. I always make a family sized meal and freeze the leftovers. This is great for when I’m not feeling too good and don’t want to be cooking. There’s plenty of meals in the freezer to defrost and heat up when I’m hungry.

Just for the nosey ones among you who want to see the list, here it is!

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My Meal List (January)

I hope to be able to share some of the recipes with you over the coming weeks too. I have no great photography skills and my food doesn’t always look great in the photos, but it’s always tasty and not too difficult to recreate.

So to round up my top five best money saving and meal planning tips are

1) Create a meal plan, then a shopping list from this so you only buy the food you need

2) Try Aldi! I am super impressed with their prices, the fresh fruit and veg and the meat is amazing

3) Shopping online isn’t the time saver it can be made out to be but it does save you money by helping you stick to your list and if you are disabled, it’s an invaluable service

4) Check out recipes from the internet. As I said above, Pinterest is brilliant and you can check out my recipes by clicking here. If there’s something in there you don’t like, swap it for something you do! Play around with different foods and techniques and make a recipe your own.

5) Freeze leftovers. Don’t throw away perfectly good food. Pop it in a freezer tub and it will be perfect for those days you are in a rush or not up to cooking

Do you have any other fab tips? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Lucy At Home