When you have a baby and are stuck in a timewarp of sleepless nights, feeding and changing nappies, cooking meals really are the last thing on your mind.
So the nicest present I think you can give a new mum is a home-cooked nutritious meal that they can just reheat and scoff.
My friend Sharron gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last month, the delicious Greta, so I cooked up a tasty stew to put in her fridge.
It’s a great recipe as it doesn’t need hours to cook – the whole thing can be prepped and ready in under an hour. It does however benefit from an overnight stay in the fridge – the robust paprika flavour really intensifies, but not so spicy it’d put off little people.
It’s a protein-lovers’ dream with chunks of pork, little chorizo sausages and chickpeas – great energy food.
I’d be tempted to double up the recipe and portion it off into the freezer as a fast jacket potato topping on a cold Saturday lunchtime.
Pork, chickpea and chorizo stew (Aggie MacKenzie, Aggie’s Family Cookbook)
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20-25 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 red/yellow pepper, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
400g pork tenderloin cut into bite-size pieces (chicken also works well)
8 mini chorizo sausages
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
400g chopped tomtoes
150ml hot chicken/veg stock
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the onion starts to turn golden and the pepper softens. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the pork and chorizo and brown quickly. Stir in the paprika, then add the tomatoes and stock. Season well, cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked.
3. Tip the chickpeas into the pan and cook for a further 2-3 mins to heat through. Spoon into bowls and serve with crusty bread.
I’m going to try and make a vegetarian version of this using more veggies and some quorn pieces.