Recipe – Homemade Chilli

Today I didn’t have a traditional Sunday Roast, I really fancied a chilli. I cooked it from scratch and shared on Instagram and people asked for the recipe I had used so here goes!

Ingredients

Ingedients

Approx 300g minced beef

Five large mushrooms, diced (as an ostomate I have to cut these really small so they don’t affect my stoma but it’s also good for if you have picky kids – mine ‘dont like’ mushrooms but I put them in all sorts and they always eat it!)

Red pepper, diced

Large onion (I used two as they were small), diced

Two cloves of garlic, minced

Can of chopped tomatoes

Two tbsps tomato puree

1 tsp cumin

A cup of beef stock

Two tsp chilli powder (I used one hot and one mild, but do this to your taste depending on how spicy you like it)

You can also add a can of red kidney beans – I didn’t as my stoma doesn’t like them!

How To Make It

  1. Spray a large saucepan with spray oil and brown the mince
  2. After tipping off any excess fat, add the onion and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until softened
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, pepper, mushrooms, chilli powder, cumin and red kidney beans (if using). Reduce to a simmer, stir and cook for 15-20 minutes
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir and serve
  5. I served with tortilla chips and a sour cream and chive dip but you could also serve with white rice or over baked potatoes
Delicious!

This has made two decent sized portions and I’ve saved the rest to have with a jacket potato tomorrow. You could easily increase the amount of mince to 500g without having to change the sauce ingredients to make this a family sized meal, you could also bulk it out with more veggies.

What did you have for Sunday dinner today? A traditional roast or something a bit different? Let me know in the comments below,

What I Eat In A Week (1)

Good morning!  As a mum and ostomate I look for healthy meals for the family which are stoma friendly.  I am a keen cook and enjoy  sharing recipes as you will see under my RECIPE section.

I thought sharing my meal plans with you may help both ostomates and parents alike.  All the meals I plan and post will be kid tested and using a range of different methods, ingredients and inspiration for diversity.  I will also pop up tips for ostomates on making these meals stoma friendly and hopefully avoiding the dreaded blockage!  I may not post every week but aim to do at least one of these posts every month so you can see what we have been eating and enjoying.

Why I Meal Plan

I like to meal plan as I think it is most useful when it comes to shopping.  As I like to try out new recipes, knowing what I am cooking for the week means I can write a shopping list with all the ingredients I need.  Nothing gets forgotten and I also keep to a budget much easier as I am not picking up bits here and there.  I find I have less waste too which is always good.  I also freeze any extra portions, especially when I am cooking for just myself.  These can be really handy for when I am really busy or not feeling too great.  I still have a home cooked meal which only needs defrosting and heating up.

My Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday

Today I made Dublin Coddle for the first time.  I get a lot of cooking inspiration from Pinterest and then just fiddle with the recipes to suit me!

For this recipe you will need:

Packet of bacon lardons

8 sausages

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 onions, diced

4 tsps chopped parsley (use dried if you don’t have fresh)

Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp plain flour

Pepper

1 can Guiness

How To Make It
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp (about 5 minutes)
  2. Remove onto kitchen towel to absorb the moisture
  3. Leave the oil from the bacon in the pan and brown the sausages.  Remove onto a chopping board and cut into chunks
  4. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the flour into the meat juices
  5. Cook for about two minutes, whisking constantly and then remove from the heat
  6. Whisk in the Guinness
  7. Add in the potatoes, onions, sausage chunks, bacon, herbs and a dash of pepper
  8. Leave on a low heat on the hob with a lid on for around 1 hour
  9. Serve with bread and butter

Ostomates – onion can affect some people’s stomas.  I dice my onions really finely to help avoid issues

Note – I added a tbsp of gravy granules to help thicken it up and add some flavour.  Use if needed/wanted

Note – If you would rather not use alcohol, swap the Guinness for the equivalent amount of stock (vegetable or meat)

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Tuesday

This morning I got some amazing news – I passed my degree module this year and am working at a 2.1 level.  We decided that a special breakfast of French Toast was in order – here’s the recipe!

You will need

These can be adapted depending on how much you want to make

8 slices of bread

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250ml milk (use whichever type you normally would)

Sugar

What To Do
  1. Whisk the eggs
  2. Stir in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract
  3. Dip a slice of bread in the eggy mixture (coating both sides) and place in a hot frying pan (I use coconut spray oil but you can also use butter) on a medium heat
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Serve sprinkled with some sugar.  You can also use syrup or honey and I always add fruit too!

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For tea I made another of our favourites – macaroni cheese.  I use the Asda fresh cheese sauce and mix it with pasta and some cut up hotsog dausages (or the Mattesson’s sausage).  I will also often add some peas or some chopped broccoli.

Wednesday

Tonight was another one of the boys favourites.  I have previously shared these on my social media but will pop it here for anyone interested!

You will need

Baked potatoes

Tomato puree

Tomato ketchup

Mixed herbs

Grated cheese

Pepperoni slices

What To Do

  1. Place a wooden spoon handle either side of the potato
  2. Make slices up to 5mm apart along the potato, as far down as the spoons.  Do not cut all the way through the potato
  3. In a bowl mix 2 tbsps puree, 2 tbsps ketchup and a sprinkle of mixed herbs
  4. Spread this mixture over the potato.  Put a slice of pepperoni in each cut of the potato
  5. Sprinkle with cheese
  6. Pop in the oven for around 30-40 minutes (until potato is cooked through)

Ostomates – Be wary of potato skins, I can not eat them and have to remove!

Thursday

We started the day with a treat breakfast again today – I made pancakes!  As with the French Toast I served this with some fruit so the boys were getting a good part of their 5 a day first thing!  We also bought some toffee sauce which finished them off perfectly!  I mix 300ml milk with 100g plain flour and 2 eggs in a jug which makes it easy to pour into the frying pan.

I haven’t had a chilli in a long while and so thought I would give it a go tonight and make a homemade one.  I am not able to share this recipe as I forgot to note down which spices I used (doh!) but it was delicious and I will definitely make another.  Meanwhile, enjoy the pics!

Friday

We went out for lumnch woth my Mum today so I decided that for tea the boys could make their own pixzza.  This is one of their favourite things to do as pizza is one of their favourites too.  Pizza Friday also holds special memmories for me as it isa something my Mum would do with me and my berihter when we were luttle.  It is great for using up leftovers and you can make it exactly how you want it.

I bought two of the basic cheese and tomato pizzas from Aldi.  Both boys added pepperoni which they love!  Leo also added some pineapple and cut up cocktail sausages.  Riley also added some cut up saisages and extra cheese.  They both enjoyed getting to cut the sausage themselves, obviously under my supervision but with a great, kid friendly knife I got from Pampered Chef a few years ago!

Saturday

Today was a busy one so I used this Dolmio sauce I picked up a while ago to try.  I spread it over the chicken breasts and a selection of veggies and put it in the oven – really simple.  I also made some roast potatoes to go with it.

The sauce was delicious and we really enjoyed it!

Sunday

I cannot claim credit for this meal – Ste made it and we invited my Mum and Dad over to share it with us.

Ste marinated the chicken and lamb in homemade sauces before masking kebabs, adding mushrooms, peppers and onions.  He also made flat breads which were delicious.  As there was some left over we popped them in the freezer.

Ostomates – Mushrooms, onions – chew really well!

I hope you have enjoyed my first instalment about what I eat in a week.I would love to hear if you try any of the recipes, let me know in the comments below if you do!  Please do leave a comment and let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts, and anything you would like me to include in the future,

nat

 

My Holiday Wish List

Good morning and happy new week!  I hope this will be a fabulous one for you all!  I have lots planned so will be a busy bee again.  The boys are now with their Dad for the next two weeks of the holidays and I am missing them lots already.  Saying goodbye never gets any easier.

I am delighted to share a post with you today which has been sponsored by www.holidaygems.co.uk

Holiday Gems specialise in holidays closer to home, and offer a wide range of destinations which will entice anyone!  They are currently running a campaign about popular holiday attractions and landmarks – such as water parks like Siam Park in Tenerife and the preserved, walled, medieval Old Town of Alcudia.

Me and Ste have been unable to travel abroad since getting together due to our health issues meaning the cost of travel insurance is very high.  I love exploring new places though and have previously been to America, Greece, Spain, the Canary Islands, France and the Caribbean.  A holiday abroad is definitely on the cards as soon as we can afford to take one though.  Ste has never been out of the UK before and I cannot wait to take him on a plane.  I thought I would share five places on our travel wish list that I would love to visit over the next few years, and are available through Holiday Gems

SPAIN – COSTA DORADO

The boys have asked about going to Spain recently.  I think some of their friends have been and they want to see what it is like for themselves!  I have visited Spain a few times and love that you can get such good weather and the flight is relatively short and ideal for little ones.

“Costa Dorada offers such fantastic beaches that it is unsurprising that most people simply enjoy relaxing on the beach and soaking up the glorious sunshine. For those looking for a little bit more excitement Costa Dorada has excellent facilities for a number of water sports including scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and jet-skiing also popular are boat trips sailing along the miles of glorious coastline. The region offers excellent options for entertainment for those on family holidays with several aqua parks and theme parks including Portaventura, one of the most popular theme parks in Europe.

For those interested in history there are numerous castles, forts and other medieval remains in the region with an excellent history museum in the resort of Cambrils. Other resorts like Salou offer more modern entertainment with theme parks, restaurants, bars and a vibrant nightlife. In some of the more traditional Spanish villages visitors can experience a true taste of Spain relaxing in the laid back atmosphere of small restaurants enjoying the tapas, fresh seafood and wine and whiling the hours away.”

Me and Ste both have an interest in history so the chance to explore the castles and medieval ruins is very appealing.  We also love a good theme park and so all four of us would have a fantastic time at the Portaventura park as well!  Riley is such a daredevil and the bigger the roller-coaster the better for him!

MAJORCA – THE BALEARICS

Another relatively short flight time and popular destination for families.  Majorca offers great weather in the Summer and lots of fab beaches.

“Things To Do As A Family

Arta Caves

If your family are up for adventure, take a trip to the limestone cliffs of Cap Vermell, which is near Canyamel Beach on the east coast. Lights and music accompany this trip through a labyrinthine network of caverns, with a collection of stalagmites and stalactites resembling creepy silhouettes, funny vegetables and even ghosts.

Katmandu Park

This theme park, voted the best in Majorca and the second best in Spain, is found on the Calvia Beach area of Magaluf. Experience the unexpected with exciting rides, 4D encounters and splash park fun.

Palma Aquarium

A trip to the gorgeous city of Palma is a must – and a visit to the Aquarium should be top of the list on every Majorca family holiday. Wander through the tunnels around the 55 tanks which contain around 700 different species of marine creatures and marvel at the sharks, rays and colourful tropical fish.”

They also have their own version of Go Ape in Santa Ponsa, Jungleparc, which the boys would love.  Full of platforms reached by a range of zip wires, ropes and bridges it would be perfect for an adventure packed day out!  The aquarium sounds amazing too.  I love that there is so much to do for families here.  Although a day or two relaxing at the beach is fun, we do like being kept busy on our holidays

MARRAKESH – MOROCCO

Obviously a slightly longer flight and sa great place to head to for some winter sun.  This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit as I would love to experience the food, culture and visit the ‘souks’.

“Known as the ‘Red City’, Marrakech is famous for its colourful array of crafts, materials, spices and more, on sale in the Jemaa El Fna, and its neighbouring Grand Souk.  The Koutoubia Mosque is another prominent symbol of Marrakech for it stands proudly above the many other colourful and majestic buildings, being visible from almost anywhere in the city. Walking around the exterior of the Koutoubia and marvelling at its structure is something many tourists will include as part of their break. It is also a fantastic landmark used as a base or meeting point for further tours around the city.

Besides walking tours, shopping and sightseeing grand palaces and gardens, Marrakech also attracts visitors for its excellent array of food and dining options. There are street cafes, restaurants, food stalls and an excellent night life and atmosphere to complement. Music is key to Moroccan entertainment and many bars will stay open late in the tourist areas.”

There are definitely family friendly destinations in Morocco, Agadir probably offering more for children travelling with you.  However, this is somewhere I have always wanted to visit with the children when they are older, or as an adults only holiday.  I would be terrible at bartering but the souk markets have always held appeal for me.  Me and Ste both enjoy our cooking too and it would be great too explore the street cafes and stalls for a real taste of Morocco.

DUBROVNIK – CROATIA

When I was younger one of my favourite Derby County football players was Igor Stimac who came from Croatia and it has been somewhere I have wanted to visit ever since!  In recent years it has become a popular holiday destination from the UK, with a relatively short flight of around 2 hours and a host of beautiful spots to visit.

“From Gothic palaces to Roman cathedrals, Dubrovnik is steeped in history. Wander the city’s winding cobbled streets and you’ll come across many diverse architectural styles. One landmark you cannot miss on your visit is Dubrovnik’s Ancient Walls – the vast structure was built in medieval times to protect the city.”

As I have said previously, both me and Ste have a huge interest in history and Ste, in particular, loves anything to do with the Roman period.  Dubrovnik’s Roman cathedrals would definitely be a huge appeal for him!

EGYPT

As history buffs, Egypt has to be on the list.  The flight is around 6 hours and the weather slightly hotter so probably not ideal for families with very young children, but we would love it.

“The Ancient Egyptians were a true powerhouse in their prime, comparable to the influence of the Roman Empire. Because of this there is a dense population of mind blowing historical monuments in the country, which makes sightseeing a huge part of holidays in Egypt.

The most famous city in Egypt for history is the capital of Cairo. Located just outside of Cairo and visible from some of the closer Egypt hotels is the Giza Pyramid Complex. This is where the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is located, along with two other pyramids. Not far from the Giza Pyramid Complex is the Great Sphinx of Giza, the largest monolith statue in the world.

Inside Cairo itself is the Egyptian Museum, which specialises in Ancient Egyptian artifacts. Located in the Egyptian Museum is the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun. This 11kg gold death mask is one of the most famous symbols of Ancient Egypt. All of these experiences, coupled with the fact that Cairo itself is a world class city, makes the capital an ideal destination for Egypt holidays.

Away from Cairo, the city of Luxor, known as Thebes in ancient times, is a must see for history enthusiasts on holidays to Egypt. As well as containing the Luxor and Karnak Temples, Luxor is home to both the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, where Pharaohs and their wives were buried in tombs after pyramids fell out of common use.”

Leo did a huge school project on Egypt last year and loved speaking to my Grandad about when he and my Grandma visited Egypt around 30 years ago now!  The pyramids hold a strange fascination with many people and would be an absolutely amazing place to visit.  The beaches are absolutely spectacular too and fans of water sports would be well catered for.  Many of the hotels have private beaches that lead straight off the hotel complexes which is perfect for popping back for shade, food and drinks!

I hope you enjoyed my top 5 holiday wish list.  How does yours compare?  Let me know in the comments somewhere you would love to visit soon.  Thanks to Holiday Gems for sponsoring this post and do go and check out their website if you are looking for your next foreign holiday to book!

nat

Top Ten Favourite IBD & Ostomy Support Groups

As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this Saturday marks World IBD Day I thought I would do a post combining the two.  When diagnosed with a chronic illness like IBD, mental health problems often come hand in hand.  Being told you have an illness that will never go away, spending lots of time in hospital and having to leave your job because you are too poorly to continue working can all trigger depression.

I am a huge advocate of speaking out and talking to someone if you feel you are struggling and not feeling yourself.  Opening up is a huge, hard step, but the relief you feel afterwards will start to show you how much better you can and will start to feel with the right help.  Your GP can prescribe medication and talking therapy (eg. counselling or CBT) or can have you ‘check in’ on a monthly basis to see how things are going and keep an eye on you.

One of the most supportive places I found were the online support groups.  People with the same illness, going through similar things to you are the only ones who can truly understand.  There are some great ones about and I thought that today I would share my top ten IBD related ones with you which you may like to have a look at and join.

The IBD & Ostomy Support Show

This is the Facebook page attached to our weekly YouTube show where you can see us post about different things to do with IBD and ostomies, ask questions and see what will be discussed on future shows.

IBD Support Squad

A wonderful bunch of people who are like family to me now.  Some amazing, supportive and lovely people here who are always there when you need them.

PW Ostomy Support

A support group connected to the Purple Wings Charity.  Superb support for ostomates, their motto is recover, adapt and overcome.

Making Ostomies Cool

A fantastic group for ostomates where I will always go if I need advice about something stoma related.  There are knowledgeable people in this group from all over the world so it is never quiet!

Sick But Invisible

I have come across some amazing and inspiring people through his page, which covers all invisible illnesses.  Lots of lovely people here and the #youarevisible boxes are a great idea

Funbags & Shitbags

The name says it all!  A fun, sassy group who are always up for a laugh, are proud of their stomas and aren’t afraid to show them off!

Midlands IBD & Ostomy Support

If like me, you are based in the Midlands this is a great group to find out about local meets and connect with people near to you.

Positivitea & IBD

A lovely group I can always turn to for good advice.  A place to be positive despite your illness, but where you can get support if needed.

IBD Superheroes

The IBD Superheroes group is a great place to go for support and have your questions answered.  It also links to their Facebook page and the fantastic work they do raising money for the Cure Crohns and Colitis charity

The Toilet, Me and IBD

A friendly group where there is always someone to chat to when needed.

 

I hope this brief round up will be useful to some of you.  Meeting other people with IBD and stomas was such a huge help, it has literally, and without trying to be overly gushy, changed my life.  My inbox is always open to anyone wanting a chat so don’t hesitate to contact me too if you need someone to listen.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Recipe – Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)

Good morning everyone.  Just wanted to say a big thank you for everyone who was so understanding of me taking a time out while I had the boys for the Easter break.  We had a lot of fun and I am sure some of our adventures will find their way into posts.  Today I thought I would post a recipe as I haven’t in a while and this is one of the boys favourites – even though they don’t know there is a bunch of veggies in there they ‘don’t like’ apparently!

Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)

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You will need

One red pepper

One red onion (although a brown one is fine too)

Half an average sized pack of mushriooms

Two garlic cloves, crushed

500g lean beef mince

One carton of passata (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)

A beerf stock cube

Tomato puree

Oil

Tagliatelle (or your choice of pasta shapes to serve)

Grated cheese (optional)

How You Make It

  1. The key with the veggies is to chop them really small.  My boys do not like peppers, mushrooms or onions yet, when  they are served my spag bol cointaining all three, they wolf it down without a second thought!  In the past I have also cooked aubergine, carrots etc and blended them into the sauce to add even more goodness. This is also a great tip for ostomates.  The smaller the veg, the less risk of blockages and if you still can’t manage that, the pureed aubergine etc will give you a vitamin boost without the risk!
  2. I use spray oil so pop in a couple of squirts to my pan, then brown the mince
  3. Add the veggies and garlic cloves, cook for around 5 minutes till soft
  4. Tip in the passata and turn down to a simmer.  Add a small amount of boiling water to dissolve the stock cube and add to the pan.  Squirt in a decent amount of tomato puree (to taste) and a sprinkle of herbs (I often used mixed herbs or basil in this)
  5. Leave to simmer for around 15 minutes, stir occasionally
  6. Cook pasta separately to serve with the bolognaise.  We always like to add a sprinkle of cheese to the top and some garlic bread to eat with it

This is a really simple recipe but super tasty and the boys love it.  It will always go down a treat and I know they are getting a good amount of their 5 a day in it – and no moaning!  Please let me know if you try it and what you think!  Also, in the comments below, share your sneaky tips on how to get more fruit and veg in your children, I would love to hear more ideas.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy