Mighty Mackerel Pasta Salad & Thai Turkey Burgers

Well, it was my first day back in work on Thursday. I planned on being really prepared Wednesday night. I was going to make sure I had Reuben’s bag packed, my bag packed, clothes out ready. Well, none of that happened I was too tired Reuben was up twice Tuesday night and most of Wednesday night (hats off to you co-sleeping families – I cannot get a wink of sleep if Reuben is in our bed!) so I ended up catching up with The Good Fight and eating crumble and custard on the sofa! I then ended up catching a sickness bug Thursday night and only today have I felt able to even think about writing about food! So, sorry for the delay in this post.

Last week I tried out a few new recipes, I’m excited to share them with you all. I want to make sure that I am bringing you recipes that are quick and easy to make, but at the same time healthy, exciting and delicious for all of the family. Now that Reubs is nearly one, the majority of the time whatever I cook for him we will have or vice versa.

Last Wednesday was a great day, my Niece Kate has been really poorly the last few weeks,she suffers from ulcerative colitis so it’s been quite a tough and worrying time for the family. She came out of hospital last Monday night and it was so nice to see her cracking a smile and slowly getting back to her normal self. I promised that we would make chocolate brownies together when she came home, so we got stuck right into making the chocolatey delight.

She also helped me make a mackerel pasta salad with cold pasta I had left in the fridge, which is the first recipe I will share with you. This is perfect for the whole family’s lunch box and for little ones from 7 months upwards, just ensure that you chop up all of the ingredients really finely and that they are happy with lumps. I am a massive fan of using tinned mackerel or sardines in meals for Reuben. They are packed full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and all you have to do is scoop them out of the tin. You can’t get any simpler than that! You can play around with the ingredients here, but this had the seal of approval from Kate, my sister, Reubs and the Hubs. I have to rely on them as tasters when it comes to fish as try as I might I cannot abide it!


Zingy Mackerel Pasta salad – serves a family of 4

You will need:

200g whole wheat, spelt or brown rice pasta. Cooked and cooled.

110g tin mackerel (I used John West steamed).

 120g pot of full fat natural yogurt (I used Yeo Valley).

10 cherry tomatoes, chopped finely.

½ tin no salt, no sugar sweetcorn.

Juice of ½ lemon, and a few gratings of zest.

Handful of rocket snipped finely

Handful of spinach snipped finely discard of the thick stalks)

2 hardboiled eggs chopped finely (optional)

All you need to do is:

  1. Stir the yogurt through the pasta, break up the mackerel and sprinkle in.
  2. Tip in the rest of the ingredients, juice and zest of the lemon.
  3. Add the eggs if you used them.
  4. Set aside portions for your littles ones and then season the rest well with salt and pepper to your liking.

This will last in an airtight container for 3 days in the fridge.

I was having one of my regular food chats with my Sister Laura last week, looking for some inspiration putting some turkey mince I had to good use. She suggested  trying out some Thai style burgers, so that is exactly what I did! I was pretty chuffed with how they turned out! I made mini ones for Reubs and bigger ones for us. Reuben absolutely loves Thai Curry, I think the flavours must be really exciting for little ones so I thought these might work just as well! They freeze down well, so they are good to make in batches to have on hand when you can’t be bothered to cook. I’m always looking for ways to get the good stuff into foods I make, so with these beauties I mashed up some nutritious haricot beans to add extra protein, fibre and vitamins. You could use any other soft bean of your choice if you don’t have them in the cupboard. They are easily available in all supermarkets so have a look next time you’re doing your weekly shop. Adding pulses and lentils to your food is a great way of bulking up casseroles, soups, pasta sauces and packing in amazing nutrients for your little ones and the family. These are suitable from 7 months.

Plate is from Bamboo Bamboo – they offer awesome suction plates and bowls in a range of lovely colours, all made of natural bamboo.

Thai Turkey Burgers – makes 4 big burgers and 10 mini ones

You will need:

500g turkey thigh mince (best quality you can afford)

1 small onion, cut into half, then half again.

1 egg

2 garlic cloves

Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks

½ small green chilli de-seeded (optional)

1 tin of Haricot beans, drained and rinsed

Tbsp blitzed oats or breadcrumbs

Small bunch coriander

Lemongrass (optional)


All you need to do is:

  1. In a mini chopper blitz up the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, beans & chilli (if using) until they are well minced. You may need to scrape the sides a few times, mix around and re-blitz to get all of the ingredients nice and fine. If you don’t have a mini food processor/ chopper then finely chop the onion , chilli and coriander. Grate the garlic and ginger and mash the haricot beans.
  2. Put the mince in a large bowl, crack in the egg, tip in the breadcrumbs/oats and then add the blitzed ingredients. Combine well with a metal spoon.
  3. Make the 10 small burgers and place to one side. Season the remaining burger mix with salt and pepper and mould into 4 large burgers.
  4. Add a little coconut oil into a frying pan. If you are using the lemongrass stalk you can warm this up in the oil too to add some citrus flavour, just give it a good bash before popping it into the pan.Cook the burgers on a medium heat for a few minute each side until slightly browned and cooked through.
  5. Serve the mini burgers as finger food with veggies and fruit of your choice.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday weekend, I’m on countdown to Reuben’s Birthday on Friday and party on Saturday, I can’t wait!  I’ll share with you a few things that I whip up for it.

If you have any particular recipes that you would like me to try out then please just shout! If you don’t already, give me a follow on Instagram and Facebook @scrumptiousbambino. Have a great week.

Jules x

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2 thoughts on “Mighty Mackerel Pasta Salad & Thai Turkey Burgers

  1. Lovely recipes Julia. Reuben is a lucky boy. I’m no Gordon Ramsay but this has inspired me to try some different things with the children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lou, means a lot. That’s my aim! I’m certainly not an amazing cook either, but just wanted to let other mums and dads know what I was up to in the kitchen and hopefully get people trying a few new things!


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