As I said in my post about new years resolutions I am really focussing on streamlining life as much as possible. I massively struggle with organisation and frequently sacrifice looking after myself so I can squeeze as much work into each day as possible. One of my main focuses in 2017 is to be more mindful of the food we eat. I’m guilty of skipping meals, snacking on rubbish and relying too much on oven food. Today I have a guest post from the very clever and creative Hayley of Devon Mama. Hayley often shares delicious recipes on her blog as well as posts about navigating life as a new mum.

Today I have a guest post from the very clever and creative Hayley of Devon Mama. Hayley often shares delicious recipes on her blog as well as posts about navigating life as a new mum. Some of my favourite pieces she’s written are; 5 Cliche Quotes to Sum up Parenting, The 6 Stages of Making New Mum Friends and this mouthwatering meatball recipe!


If your household is anything like mine, food is a huge priority that’s allocated a tiny amount of time. We don’t have time to faff around with complicated recipes compiled from numerous books or sit for hours browsing BBC Good Food in order to find a delicious meal to cook on a random Wednesday night.

Growing up, my mum always had a set of meals on fixed rotation throughout the week; lasagna, shepherds pie, sausage and mash… Occasionally, she’d throw in a variation on the theme and we’d all get ridiculously excited. For years, I moaned about it; I thought she was unoriginal and just a teeny bit, well, lazy (I’m so sorry mum, I didn’t mean it!). Then I became a parent and I realised she wasn’t at all. She just didn’t have the time to do more or think of anything new.

It’s so easy to get stuck in a meal rut like my mum. Especially when things like housework, real work, washing up baby sick and generally preventing the house from burning down or the baby falling down the stairs eat up most of your time. Meals have to be quick, fuss-free and inexpensive. We’re doing baby-led weaning so the baby eats similar food to us meaning it has to be healthy. And above all, it has to taste yum. That’s just a given. So here are a couple of my favourite foods for fast, healthy eating to give you a little inspiration.

Mince & Tomato Base

Meals like shepherds pie, chili con carne and spag bol all use a similar mince and tomato base so when you’re cooking one make up a batch of mince, a tin of tomatoes, a little garlic, some beef stock and chopped onions, cook off and then cool and freeze a couple portions in foil trays. Then you just add to them as required; some frozen veg mixed into the base and a mash topping for shepherds pie, kidney beans, chili powder and some baked beans (trust me!) for chili con carne and leave as is for the spag bol.

Slow Cooker Stew

If you haven’t got into slow cooking yet, then I recommend giving it a try. Slow cookers are relatively inexpensive and huge time-savers for busy parents. My favourite is to chuck some stewing beef (coat it in a little flour, salt and pepper first), a pint of hot beef stock, some potatoes, carrots, celery and a teaspoon of crushed garlic into the slow cooker along with a splash of Worcester sauce, a good shake of paprika and a bay leaf or two and set it going for the day. You can do the prep work (we’re literally talking minutes) first thing in the morning before the house wakes up or even the night before providing you don’t put the boiling stock in until morning. Best of all it fills the house with an incredible smell AND it’s ready by the time dinner comes around so in the evening rush of getting home/baths/homework etc it’s just a case of serving it up and enjoying!


Whenever I mention stir-fry, my husband pulls a face but actually it’s fast and another great base for many meals. Fry off some chicken breast strips, sliced peppers and an onion in a splash of oil. Once cooked, you can add soy sauce and garlic to it and serve on noodles for a proper stir fry, stir through a sachet of fajita spices (you can make your own but I love a bit of Old El Paso) and serve with wraps or chuck in a jar of curry or sweet and sour sauce and serve with rice.  Finally, you can add in some chorizo, peas, a shake of paprika and some cooked rice to make a paella-style dish!

About Devon Mama

Devon Mama is run by Hayley; a 30-year-old mama, wife and recovering sleep addict. Living with her husband, baby and the world’s bounciest dog in rural Devon, Hayley can be found attempting to cook, Googling everything and embracing the strange new world that is parenting. Add in a house with ‘a lot of potential’ and a return to her ‘real’ job as a Company Director and it’s organised chaos at the best of times.

You can follow her adventures here: