New Year! New Resolutions!

It started with good intentions: cut down the calories, cut down the booze, exercise more. Well that didn’t work!

For some, this month it’s all about Vegan, cutting out everything! Well that’s not going to work either. Extreme diets come and go but for most of us, before long, we return to the same old habits.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against change, but I think small, easy changes nudge us towards better long-term habit-forming benefits.

For me, to help health, environment and budget, my 2019 aim is to cook more at home. I don’t mean complicated, restaurant recipes that need several shopping trips just to source the ingredients. No, I mean cooking familiar, good value meals for sharing together.

There are plenty of benefits. Home cooked food is invariably cheaper. There’s less waste, fewer plastic packets packed into the bin and, as you can choose the ingredients you eat, there are less harmful additives and hidden calories.

And an added bonus… buzzing round the kitchen, you even exercise more!


250g plain flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

150 ml warm water

Mix everything in a large bowl to make a dough.

Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes.

Roll into a ball, cover with cling film and leave to rest for a15-20 minutes.

Divide into 8 balls. Roll each one out thinly.

Lay each flat bread on a heated frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes until you can see a few dark spots forming on the underside. Flip over and cook for another minute or so.

Keep each bread warm in a clean tea towel till all cooked.


2 ripe avocados

A bunch fresh coriander, chopped

½ red onion, finely chopped

3 cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 lime

Sea salt

Splash of Tabasco Sauce

Open the avocado and scoop out the flesh.

Mix it with all the chopped ingredients in a bowl and flavour with the juice and zest of the lime.

Season with sea salt and add a few drops of Tabasco to taste.


1 tin chick pes, rinsed and drained

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)

Pinch sea salt

The juice of half a lemon.

Put everything in a blender and blast to form a paste. To spice it up, drizzle over a teaspoon of harissa and a tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds.

Recipes appear in ‘Easy Peasy Real Cooking for Kids ‘ Mary Contini Pru Irvine. Birlinn