Simple Balanced Meals.
The #SimpleBalancedMeals #CookingatHome campaign is sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) – the English, Welsh and Scottish levy bodies that between them cover all food groups in a healthy balanced diet.
I have teamed up with BritMums, The Scotch Kitchen and Love Pork in a paid collaboration for their #SimpleBalancedMeals Campaign; to bring you my favourite easy, tasty balanced family meal recipe that is full of goodness and versatile enough to please everyone.
Our house can be full of chaos. Everyone’s tired, there's homework to do, housework piled up, and the last thing I want to be doing is slaving away in the kitchen. Therefore, I think it’s really important to choose meals that are quick and easy to make, leaving you time with your family, and to get everything else in order.
I don’t however like to sacrifice health for convenience, so frozen ready meals and other processed stuff isn’t on the menu. Instead I like to create simple balanced meals, that include meat, vegetables and carbohydrates, and are low in salt and sugars, to give my family the energy and nutrients they need each day.
My favourite simple balanced meal is stir fry, because it’s very quick to make, I’m able to sneak in and disguise lots of vegetables without too much notice from the fussy eaters, and I can easily adjust the spice level to suit both kids and Bear (Bear says anything that doesn’t blow his ears off “must have been put through the bland-er''). This recipe can also be adapted using the veg you have to hand, replacing the zing of pineapple with orange juice with a squeeze of lime added, the carrots with any root veg, the honey with corn syrup or sugar.
It's also very easy to alter the recipe by using wholegrain noodles, adapt the recipe to include your kids favourite vegetables, or if you fancy something else, swap my sauce for a sweet & sour number. Stir fry can be prepared with any meat, but I’ve chosen to use lean pork because it contains vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and zinc which can help the immune system to work normally and also:
● Pork is a naturally rich source of vitamin B12
● Vitamin B12 helps energy production in the body
● Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system work normally
● Vitamin B12 helps red blood cell formation
● Vitamin B12 helps the immune system work normally
● Vitamin B12 helps reduce tiredness and fatigue
● Not only can some cuts of pork be lean, but it’s naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides ten vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing. These are: thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and pantothenic acid.
Honey Garlic Pork Stir Fry
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
2 pineapple circles (fresh or tinned)
450g lean pork medallions
300g cooked noodles
6 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
Chilli flakes if you like added heat
Prepare veg & meat: Thinly slice pepper, dice onion, grate carrot, chop garlic, dice and mash pineapple and thinly slice pork. If you have fussy eaters I find the thinner you can slice ingredients (or grate where possible) the more easily it is hidden amongst the noodles and less likely to be picked up on.
Noodles: I like to use “straight to wok” noodles for extra ease but if you are using dried noodles, follow the packet instructions to cook.
Sauce: Add the soy sauce, honey, garlic, pineapple and juice to a small sauce pot, bring to the boil and then simmer to thicken.
Wok: Add a little oil in the wok and turn on to a medium heat to fry the pork. Once browned, add the Chinese 5 spice (if you like things a little more flavourful you can increase the amount to 2 tbsp, but I 1 tbsp is usually sufficient when for kids’ meals).
Add all the veg and continue to fry. When the veg starts to soften, add the noodles and sauce. Mix well and continue to cook until everything is piping hot. Plate up the children’s and then add any extra flavouring or salt & pepper for the adults (I sprinkle some chilli flakes and an extra splash of soy sauce for Bear). Serve and enjoy.
Do you have any easy, tasty balanced meals that are fool-proof and loved by the whole family? I’d love to hear your suggestions!