We're all looking for ways to save on time and faff in the kitchen – never more so than when you become a parent. The Frazzled Cook, a free weekly newsletter, is here to help.
It was started by food writer, editor and local new mum Heather Taylor. "While on maternity leave, when my son was around three months old, I realised I was missing the creativity that cooking and writing about food gave me," she says. "Added to that, I had less time and energy to cook than ever, and was seriously sleep-deprived – which meant I had to change the way I approached getting dinner on the table. It led to new recipes and creativity, and I decided to start sharing them in a weekly newsletter – and so The Frazzled Cook was born".
Her recipes are created with real life in mind – that means no hard-to-find or expensive ingredients, no drawn-out methods, plenty of suggestions for swaps and substitutions to make the most of what you've got in the fridge, and tips to use up the leftovers. "It's been great that the newsletter has been so warmly received by fellow local parents," says Heather.
"It affirms what I already knew – that Forest Gate really is a fantastically supportive community of lovely people."
Check out a recipe from The Frazzled Cook below, and subscribe to Heather's Substack for free here to get weekly culinary inspiration delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday.
Easy peasy no-cook tomato and courgette spaghetti
With just a handful of ingredients, this dish comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta – the juicy tomatoes and lemony courgettes create a sauce when tossed through cooked pasta.
Ingredients (serves 2)
• 1 courgette
• 1 lemon
• 250g spaghetti (I used wholemeal)
• 600g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• A big bunch of fresh basil
• Parmesan, to serve
1. Using a speed peeler, slice the courgettes into ribbons. Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice and zest and a sprinkling of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Put the pasta on to boil. Thoroughly squeeze the moisture from the courgettes and return to the bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, finely grate in the garlic, and tear in the basil. Season with salt and pepper then drizzle over a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.
3. Toss the cooked pasta in the tomato and courgette mix then serve with parmesan on top, if you like.
For more recipes by The Frazzled Cook follow @heatherytaylor