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 – 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)


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


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



Super Smoothies?

I’ve been trying to up my fruit and vegetable intake recently. Anyone with Crohns/an ileostomy will know this can be tricky as many are off limits for different reasons – too much fibre, skins have to be removed, blockage causers – the list goes on.

One way I have started to get more of the good stuff in me lately is by drinking smoothies and fruit/veg juices. I wondered if any of you were able to share any great recipes with me (or where you get your pre-made ones from). I’ve been getting Asda’s own ones but I’m getting a little bored of the flavours now. Some of them are so expensive though, so I thought I would give some recipes a try.

I was sent this one by the lovely people at Palm PR and it caught my eye as it looked super yummy and is purple – the Crohns & Colitis Awareness ribbon colour! I thought I would share this to get you started and see what wonderful ideas you have to help increase my 5-a-day target. Please let me know your smoothie recipes in the comments below, as well as what you think of this one!

Purple Immunity Smoothie

Immunity Smoothie.jpg

1 Sambazon Original Superfruit Packs

1 c Orange Juice

½ Banana, frozen

¼ c Pineapple Chunks, frozen

½ tsp Ginger, ground

Top with Fresh Berries

Put everything in the blender (make sure to break up your Superfruit Packs), blend until really thick – adding more liquid if necessary – then pour into a bowl, top with your favorite fresh berries and enjoy!

I’m excited to try this – the fruit combo sounds delicious and I know ginger is widely recommended for lots of things. I’ve also recently spotted lots of different frozen fruit packs in Aldi so know I will be able to pick up those from there. I will let you know how I get on in the coming weeks with this. Thanks in advance for any hints, tips and recipes you share

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy