Nadia Emek

Written by Nadia Emek

Nadia Emek is a classroom assistant at a secondary school in Edinburgh. She is married with 2 teenage children and a cat called Oliver. She loves to go swimming, walking, and enjoys photography. Yet she finds nothing better than spending time in her kitchen, cooking for her family and friends, and chatting round an old worn, but much loved, kitchen table. Ooh, if only that table could talk...

Comfort food after study

Most of you will be heading off to school this week and have probably spent the past 2 weeks studying – probably!  I have noticed that my daughter is a shade whiter than when she entered her ‘burrow’ at the beginning of the break spending day after day in her jammies, curtains drawn surrounded by book, piles of paper and empty coffee cups.  You never enter unless you knock first, and then wait for a response, however most of the time you could be standing there for sometime as she chooses to study with headphones on and is unable to hear a thing!  Often if the cat has gone missing for sometime the first place I will look is her room, only to find him curled up in the corner of her bed having given up trying to ‘escape’ as the door seldom opens.

I have found whole sets of crockery and cutlery lining the back of her desk as it is so far from her room to the kitchen. So instead of returning the items for washing will use every cup, glass, plate, knife and fork in the whole house rather than return them to the kitchen.

During this time I find it more important to not only provide a good balanced diet to ensure that she is getting her  5 a day etc, but to also keep a steady supply  of treats, such as one of her favourites -  Nutella spread.  This can be applied to all sorts of items easily from toast to crumpets – and, of course,  straight from the jar with a spoon!

Also I have to make sure that food is served in ‘sensible sized’ portions i.e. can be picked up with one hand only.  I have exhausted my fillers for sandwiches and so have turned to being creative with pastry. So, here is a recipe for one of her favourite meals and it is simple and easy, and healthy.

Good luck with the studying!  Not long now when you can all be released back into the wild!

Tuna Parcel

2 tins of tuna – drained

Tin of sweet corn

1 large onion chopped finely

Red pepper chopped finely

Tablespoon oil for frying

Grated cheese –such as cheddar or Edam

Salt and pepper

I packet of puff pastry

Flour for dusting


Large baking sheet

  1. Preheat the oven 220°C /450°F/Gas mark 7
  2. Gently fry onion and pepper in the oil until soft, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a bowl mix the tuna, cheese, sweet corn, cooled onions and peppers. Season with salt and  pepper.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle and ensure that you lightly flour the rolling pin too.
  5. Once you have rolled out the flour to about twice the size of the tin, gently place the pastry onto the baking sheet half on and half off, don’t worry as we will fold this into a parcel.
  6. Place the tuna mixture on the pastry which is on the tin.
  7. Beat the egg, brush the edge of the pastry with the egg and fold the other half over to make a parcel.
  8. Gently press the edges together to seal the parcel and make a few cuts in the top with a knife.
  9. Brush the top of the parcel with remaining egg wash.
  10. Pop in the very hot oven and cook for about 40-45mins, or until the pastry is risen and golden brown.
  11. Serve hot or cold with a salad.
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