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Junk food made healthy!

If you’re not happy with the quality of hamburgers, chicken nuggets, fish fingers and pizza from your local supermarket why not make your own – you can even sneak in some EXTRA vegetables!

Why not make your own healthy burgers using good quality minced beef and no nasties.

Makes 10 burgers
Suitable for freezing
Time to prepare 10 minutes
Time to cook 25 minutes

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
100g chopped red pepper
1tbsp of vegetable oil
450g lean minced beef or lamb
1tbsp of chopped parsley (optional)
1 beef stock cube, finely crumbled
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 a lightly beaten egg
60g of fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little flour
Vegetable oil for frying (or for brushing a griddle pan)

Fry the onion and red pepper in the vegetable oil for about 5 minutes or until softened. In a mixing bowl, combine the sautéed onion together with all the other ingredients. With floured hands, form into 10 burgers. Fry the burgers in a little hot oil in a large shallow frying pan on a high heat to brown and seal, then lower the heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. Alternatively, brush a griddle pan with a little oil and, when hot, place 4 burgers on the griddle and cook for about 4 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining burgers.recipe from after school meal planner, by annabel karmel, published by ebury press

Very yummy and a great favourite with my children. By making these yourself you know that your child is getting good quality chicken.

Makes 4 portions
Time to prepare 10 minutes
Time to cook 20 minutes

2 chicken breasts (approx 250g)
20g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
20g Cheddar cheese, grated
4tbsp of dried breadcrumbs
1/2tsp of paprika
A generous pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2tbsp of flour
6tbsp of sunflower oil

Cut each chicken breast into 1cm strips. Mix together the Parmesan, Cheddar, dried breadcrumbs, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Place the egg in a shallow dish, the flour in another and the cheesy bread-crumb mixture in a third. Dip each chicken finger first into the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture. Pour the sunflower oil into a frying pan and fry over a medium heat in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan.

Sauté for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and then drain them on absorbent kitchen paper. recipe from after school meal planner, by annabel karmel, published by ebury press

Split toasted English muffins make the perfect base for individual pizzas. You can use whatever toppings your child likes for these mini pizzas and it’s a great way to get children to eat more vegetables. You can also make a simple cheese and tomato topping by arranging sliced cherry tomatoes on top of the tomato sauce and maybe some fresh basil, covering with grated Cheddar and cooking under the grill until lightly golden.

Makes 1 portion
Time to prepare 10 minutes
Time to cook 15 minutes

1 English breakfast muffin cut in half
1tbsp tomato purée
1tsp red pesto
1tbsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 small courgette, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g grated Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese or a combination

Toast the muffin until golden and leave to cool. Pre-heat the grill to high. Mix the tomato purée and red pesto and spread over the muffins. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, mushrooms and courgette until softened and golden. Add seasoning and then divide the vegetables between the two muffin halves and top with the Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (or a mixture of the two). Place under the grill and cook for 4 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
recipe from favourite family meals, by annabel karmel, published by ebury press

These tasty goujons of fish are fun to eat served in a rolled up comic lined with greaseproof paper with some healthy oven-baked chips.

Makes 3 portions
Time to prepare 15 minutes
Time to cook 10 minutes

6 Jacob’s Cream Crackers
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2tsp salt and black pepper
1 lightly beaten egg
2tbsp flour
150g plaice fillets, skinned and cut into goujons (you could also use fillets of sole or even strips of cod)
4tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce

150ml mayonnaise
Lemon juice to taste
1tbsp chopped parsley
11/2tbsp capers, chopped
2tsp chopped gherkins
1tbsp chopped chives

Put the six cream crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Mix together the crushed crackers, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Put the lightly beaten egg in a shallow bowl, the flour into another and the crushed crackers in a third. Dip the fish in the flour, then in the beaten egg and finally roll it in the cracker crumbs. Heat up the vegetable oil in a frying pan and sauté over a medium to high heat for about a minute each side. For an alternative option, you could bake these in an oven that has been pre-heated to 2000C for 5 minutes. Drizzle the goujons with a little oil first. To make the tartare dipping sauce, simply mix together the mayonnaise and lemon juice with the herbs and pickles and serve with the plaice goujons.

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