While we are from different generations, Marcus and I share a lot of similarities in our journeys to success. We both grew up in a single-parent household on a council estate, and although neither of us ever went without food, times were difficult and money was tight. So it’s heartbreaking to think that 4.2 million children in the UK are now living in poverty. We live in the third largest economy in the world, so it’s time to call time on child food poverty, which is why we’ve set up the Full Time campaign, in support of the nationwide #EndChildFoodPoverty initiative. We want to give children and families the skills and confidence to cook good, proper food in their own kitchens, and encourage them to be creative and have fun together. We’ve created 52 pocket-friendly and seriously tasty recipes that are simple and easy to follow, with an emphasis on limited equipment and the inclusion of store-cupboard goods with a longer shelf life. Now it’s over to you. You won’t need a load of ingredients, equipment or skill. Just head to your local supermarket or corner shop, grab the ingredients and cook up some mega-tasty meals.
Making pizza at home is easy if you cheat, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved in creating their own toppings. Here we’ve gone for a mix of colourful vegetables and some ham, too. Easy-peasy!
Prep 10 min
Cook 20-30 min
For the base
4 tortilla wraps
1 x 200g tube tomato puree
Toppings (all optional)
1 small red pepper
1 small courgette
½ x 198g tin sweetcorn in water, drained
4 slices wafer-thin ham
4 large handfuls grated mozzarella
Take the shelf racks out of the oven, then whack it on at 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put a tortilla wrap straight on to a shelf rack, squeeze on some tomato puree and spread it around with the back of a spoon, leaving a border all around the edge.
Now add your toppings. Cut the red pepper in half, scoop out the seeds and pith, then slice the flesh into strips. Slice the courgette. Pop the pepper and courgette slices on top of the tomato puree, sprinkle over some sweetcorn, then tear the ham over the top. Finally, sprinkle over a large handful of grated mozzarella.
Repeat with the remaining wraps and toppings, then pop the rack topped with the four pizzas into the hot oven (you may need to bake them in batches), and cook for six to eight minutes, until the cheese is all melted and oozing and the base is crisp. Take them out of the oven, slice up and serve.
This total cheat of a pie is super-simple and tastes great.
Prep 5 min
Cook 1 hr
For the filling
500g frozen cooked sliced chicken, defrosted
1½ mugs mixed frozen vegetables
A couple of handfuls fresh mushrooms
1 x 400g tin cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper
For the mash
4 large potatoes
4 tbsp milk
1 chicken stock cube, optional
Pop the oven on at 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Start with the mash. Peel the potatoes, chop into chunks, then put in a large saucepan and cover with water from the tap. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer, so the water’s bubbling very gently, and leave to cook for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Tip the defrosted chicken into a shallow, ovenproof dish, then add the frozen vegetables. Roughly chop the mushrooms and add these, too. Next, pour over the tin of soup, stir everything together and add a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside while you finish off the potatoes.
Drain the potatoes, then crush them with a fork or masher. Stir in the milk, then season and spoon evenly on top of the chicken filling. If you like, crumble a chicken stock cube over the top, to give an extra boost of flavour.
Bake in the hot oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Leave the pie to stand for five minutes, then spoon on to plates and serve up.
A new take on eggs and toast that you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Frozen peppers come pre-sliced (and are cheap), so this couldn’t be easier, or tastier.
Prep 5 min
Cook 50 min
4 slices bread of your choice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 mug frozen sliced mixed peppers
½ tsp ground cumin (optional)
½ tsp paprika or smoked paprika (optional)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 medium eggs
Pop the oven on at 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Tear the bread into large, bite-sized pieces and put these on a roasting tray. Drizzle with a tablespoon of the vegetable oil and a bit of salt and pepper, toss to coat, then bake in the hot oven for 10-12 minutes, until the bread is crisp and golden brown. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, put the onion and garlic in a high-sided roasting tin or a small ovenproof dish, tip in the frozen peppers, season, then drizzle over the second tablespoon of vegetable oil and toss to coat and combine. Pop the tin in the hot oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, to soften the onion and pepper.
After this time, sprinkle over the cumin and paprika, if using, and pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes. Give everything a stir and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Take the tray out of the oven and give the sauce a good stir. Using a spoon, make four holes in the sauce and crack an egg into each one. Pop the tray back in the oven for a final five to 10 minutes, until the eggs have just set but the yolks are still runny. Take the tin out of the oven, sprinkle over more salt and pepper, if you like, scatter the crunchy bread over the top and dig in.
This one does what it says on the tin – yes, you really can make an omelette in a kettle. It couldn’t be simpler, and there’s no washing up. If you don’t fancy a cheesy omelette, give grated mushrooms or sweetcorn a go – they’ll be just as tasty.
Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
4 large eggs
5 slices wafer-thin ham
2 tbsp grated cheddar
Salt and pepper
2 x heatproof zip-lock sandwich bags
Sriracha, brown sauce or your favourite sauce, to serve (optional)
Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork. Roughly chop the ham, then add this and the cheese to the eggs. Season and give it a good stir.
Pour half the egg mixture into a heatproof zip-lock sandwich bag, carefully push all the excess air out of the bag and seal it. Repeat with the remaining egg mixture and the second bag.
Fill the kettle to three-quarters full, then carefully place both omelette bags inside, leaving a little of each bag hanging over the top of the kettle, and close the lid to secure the bags in place.
Switch the kettle on and, once it has boiled, leave to stand for eight minutes – don’t be tempted to open the lid. Turn the kettle back on again for a second boil and, once it’s boiled, carefully lift out the omelette bags using a pair of tongs or similar.
Unzip the bags, slide the omelettes out on to two plates, add your sauce and tuck in.