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Spending the school holidays feeling like you’re being eaten out of house and home, and running out of fresh ideas? You’re not alone. These filling midweek meals will mix things up, without keeping you tied to the cooker for hours…

Onion thyme tart

serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive oil

3 large purple onions, thickly sliced

5 shallots, thickly sliced

2 tbsp brown sugar

6 filo pastry sheets

1/4 cup butter, melted

1) Set a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the olive oil, then add the onion rings, thyme and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper. 2) Fry the onion for around four minutes, until they become golden and soft on the bottom, then carefully turn them over to cook the other side, trying to keep the ring intact as much as possible. 3) Once the onions are soft on both sides, remove them from the heat. 4) Preheat your oven to 160°C. 5) Layer the pastry sheets in a large, 25cm pie tin, brushing each layer with melted butter before adding the next. Keep layering until you have reached six layers of buttered pastry, then add the onions carefully to the pan and sprinkle with feta. 6) Bake the tart at 160°C for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. 7) Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve with a side salad.

Turkey Ham and Cheese French Toast with Sweet Chilli Sauce

Serves 4

8 slices fresh brioche

3 eggs

3 tbsp full fat milk

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup shredded cheddar

4 slices turkey ham

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce

Chives, to garnish

1)  Whisk the eggs and milk together in a wide, shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. 2) Add the olive oil to a large nonstick frying pan and set over a medium heat. 3) Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, turn to coat and then place into the hot pan – you will likely need to do this in batches. 4) Fry each slice on one side for around three minutes, until browned, then flip the slices over and cook until golden all over. 5) Once all the slices are toasted, add cheese, ham and a tablespoon of the sweet chilli sauce to half. Use the remaining slices to top the sandwiches, and then return to the hot pan and cook until the bread feels firm and the cheese is melted. 6) Serve hot, garnished with fresh chives and extra sweet chilli for dipping.

One Pan Chicken and Veg

Serves 4

500g chicken breast

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 cloves of garlic, minced

150g multicoloured cherry tomatoes

50g feta

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 pack fresh oregano

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1) Preheat your oven to 180°C. 2) Place the chicken breasts in a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. 3) Place in the hot oven and cook for around ten minutes, then remove the tray from the oven. 4) Add the tomatoes, feta, broccoli and a handful of fresh oregano leaves, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, then cook for a further ten minutes until the chicken pieces are fully cooked. 5) Remove the chicken from the oven, garnish with toasted pine nuts, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Mediterranean Fish En Papillote

Serves 4

600g fresh cod fillet

2 large potatoes, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 medium white onions, thinly sliced

1 cup black olives, pitted

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 tbsp olive oil

You will also need four square pieces of nonstick baking paper

1) Preheat your oven to 160°C. 2) Place the thinly sliced potatoes and garlic on the one-half of each baking paper square, laying them out to roughly the size of the fish fillets. 3) Place a piece of fish on top of each potato pile, along with the onions, cherry tomatoes and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 4) Fold the other half of the paper over the fish, tucking the sides into the bottom half of the paper to create a parcel.  Repeat the process with the other fish fillets. 5) Place the parcels on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes until fish is firm and flaky. 6) Serve the fish in the paper parcels, with vegetables or salad on the side.

Tagliatelle with Coriander and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Serves 4

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

400g tagliatelle

1) Add the coriander leaves, garlic and pumpkin seeds to a food processor, and pulse until roughly chopped. 2) Add the olive oil and Parmesan, the process again until smooth. 3) Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions. 4) Drain the pasta, then toss with the pesto until evenly coated. Divide between four bowls, then serve, garnished with Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh coriander leaves.

Steak and Sweet Potato Fries with wild Mushroom and Black Pepper Sauce

Serves 4

4 x 100g quality sirloin steak

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges

2 tsp paprika

4 tbsp olive oil

150g shimeji mushrooms

1 tbsp butter

200ml coconut milk

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. 2) Place the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl and toss with salt, pepper, paprika and half of the olive oil, until evenly coated. 3) Lay the fries out evenly on a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper, then transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and soft. 4) Meanwhile, add the mushrooms and butter to a saucepan, set over a medium heat and fry until they start to soften. 5) Reduce the heat slightly, add the coconut milk and black pepper and cook for around four minutes, until heated through. 6) Place a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Brush the remaining olive oil onto the steaks and place in the hot pan. Cook for three to four minutes, depending on your preferred level of cooking, then turn and cook further until done to your liking. 7) Set the steaks aside and cover with foil to rest. When ready, serve with the fries and sauce.