Easy Dinner Ideas

Easy Pierogi Recipe

Pierogi is a traditional Polish dumpling dish. The dumplings can savory – stuffed with meat, or cheese and potato – or sweet. Here, I’m focusing on the cheese and potato pierogi, often called ‘ruskie’, or Russian, pierogi. They’re a cheap and relatively easy meal to make, and the product can be frozen for reheating in the future. Serve boiled or pan-fried.

Makes 40 dumplings

Ingredients

Filling

1 lb potatoes (red potatoes work best)

8 oz Farmer’s Cottage Cheese

4 onions

4 oz butter

Dough

2 ½ All-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup warm water

Salt to season

Serve with dill and sour cream

Method

  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters, place in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender. Drain the water and place potatoes in a large bowl. Mash until smooth.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook until golden, stirring when necessary.
  3. For the dough, pour flour into large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt. Combine egg and warm water with flour, adding more water if needed. The dough should not be sticky. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into three parts, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
  4. While the dough is resting, add cottage cheese to mashed potatoes and stir in a quarter of the onion-butter mixture. Mix well using clean hands. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dust work surface with flour and roll out dough until paper thin. Using a 3.5 inch pastry cutter, cut as many dough circles as possible (it should be around 8). Place a tablespoon of potato mixture in the center of the circle. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush around the edge of the circle and fold over to enclose filling. Make sure there are no air pockets.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook pierogi in batches of 4, for 3 minutes, or until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain  excess water.
  7. Reheat the rest of the onions in the skillet, add pierogi and lightly fry until golden and crisp on the outside. Serve with dill and sour cream, if desired.
July 28, 2014

Leftover Cooked Chook: 5-Minute Sensational Stir-Fry

If you are looking to turn last nights cooked chook or roast into something scrumptious, this very versatile recipe is for you. You can use up whatever type of left over meat or poultry you have, add whatever veggies you like and it’s a fast, healthy meal. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1-2 cups left over cooked chicken, chopped or broken into small pieces

6 cups of frozen or fresh stir fry veggies

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chicken stock powder

1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Heat non stick pan on high until it’s hot and add your veggies. Toss veggies for a couple of minutes as they cook and then turn down heat to medium.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, chicken stock and water. Stir though and place the lid on. Continue to toss veggies until they are about 2/3 cooked. The time will depend on whether you are using frozen or fresh.
  3. Add chicken and stir through veggie mix. Add soy sauce and replace lid. Cook for about 2 minutes and serve.

By Kim Chartres

July 19, 2014

Best-Ever Pesto Pasta Recipe

When it comes to easy dinner recipes,pesto pasta is one of the easiest Italian classics (and one of the most delicious!). The sauce consists of just five basic ingredients – here’s how to make the best-ever pesto pasta.

Serves: 2

Ingredients

Large handful of fresh Basil

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1-2 cloves Garlic (peeled)

Parmesan Cheese, to taste

2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Method

1. Cook your chosen pasta in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, make the pesto. After gathering the fresh basil, strip the leaves from the stem and throw them into a food processor with the olive oil, the garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and a pinch of salt. Grind it down into an oily green paste. If it seems too dry, splash in a little more olive oil. Taste – does it need more salt? A little more Parmesan?

2. Drain the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Stir the pesto through the pasta, adding a little cooking water if the sauce is too thick. Keep tossing to coat all the pasta.

3. Pesto is great to have on hand not just for pasta, but as a dipping sauce for raw vegetables, marinade for fish or meat, or a spread in sandwiches.

March 22, 2014

Easy Lamb Roulade Recipe

Are you looking for delicious and easy dinner recipes to reinvigorate your weekly meal plan? This easy lamb roulade has only 5 ingredients and makes the perfect mid-week meal.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

120g fresh goat cheese

2 250g lamb loins

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

120g baby spinach

1 Tablespoon chopped or minced garlic

Method

1. Heat 2 Tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat.

2. Add the garlic and sauté for 10 seconds then add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is lightly wilted.

3. Set aside to cool.

4. Butterfly the lamb loins until they lay flat.

5. Season the loin with salt and pepper.

6. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and spread evenly over the lamb loin.

7. Split the goat cheese lengthwise into four equal portions. (If you have it on hand, cream cheese could be used, but goat cheese is a healthier alternative to with almost twice as much protein and half the fat and cholesterol of regular cream cheese.)

8. Place 2 pieces of the goat cheese end to end on each prepared lamb loin.
Tightly roll the loins and truss with butcher’s string. (String works best, but other options such as toothpicks will work in a pinch.)

9. Preheat oven to 170°G.

10. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sear each loin for 3-4 minutes on all sides. (Do not skip this step. Searing the meat caramelises the sugars and browns the proteins in lamb, resulting in more appealing colour and flavour.)

11. Roast lamb loins in the oven for 10 -12 minutes until an internal temperature of 120°F is reached. (Be mindful that you do not overcook. Lamb should be served slightly pink on the inside.)

12. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. (Loins will continue to cook and the internal temperature will rise slightly as they rest.)

13. Remove string and slice into medallions.

14. Divide between 2 plates and serve.

Tip: Like most easy dinner recipes, the right choice of wine to compliment can elevate the meal to an even greater gourmet experience. A nice red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot pairs nicely with lamb loins.

March 17, 2014

Grilled Tandoori Prawn Salad with Mango Dressing Recipe

Similar to the tandoori oven cooking method, these Indian-spiced prawn skewers are roasted on high heat on the grill and added to a salad packed with bold sweet and sour flavours. A fresh mango dressing adds a splash of fruitiness and colour. Plus it’s ready in 30 minutes, making it one of our favourite quick dinner ideas.

Serves: 6
Prep Time:  25 minutes. Cook Time:  5 minutes

Ingredients
Mango Dressing
1 large ripe mango, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Red Chilli

Tandoori Prawn Salad
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Chilli Powder
500g large prawn, peeled and deveined
1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
100g mixed baby greens
1 cup halved small heirloom or specialty tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Method
1. For the mango dressing, process mango in blender or food processor until pureed (about 1 cup puree). Add lime juice, oil, garam masala, salt and red pepper; process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. For the tandoori prawn salad, mix 1/4 cup of the mint, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, honey, garam masala, ginger, salt and chilli in small bowl. Thread prawns onto skewers. Brush with mint mixture. Thread mango onto skewers. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

3. Grill prawn skewers over high heat 4 to 5 minutes or just until prawns turn pink, turning once and brushing occasionally with mint mixture. Grill mango skewers 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly charred.

4. Arrange greens, tomatoes and onion on 6 serving plates. Top with grilled prawns , mango and remaining 3 tablespoons mint. Drizzle with 1/2 of the Mango Dressing. 

Tip: Store remaining mango dressing in refrigerator. Serve over salad greens, grilled or broiled prawns or chicken, or toss with couscous or quinoa.

What’s your go-to quick dinner recipe using prawns?

 

March 5, 2014

Turkish Chicken With Apricots and Pistachio Recipe

Karen Martini’s Turkish-inspired chicken with apricots, ginger, saffron and pistachio nuts is one of our favourite easy dinner ideas that’s packed with incredible flavour.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients 
1.4-1.6kg free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt flakes
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
100g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
5 cloves garlic, bruised with the back of a knife
2 green chillies, split
2tsp ground cumin
1tsp chilli flakes
2tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp ground coriander seeds
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
1tsp ground turmeric
2 pinches of saffron threads
5 sprigs of thyme
200mls white wine
400g Goulburn Valley Apricot Halves, drained
50g dried apricots
1 lemon, juiced and zest finely grated
2tbsp honey
2 chicken stock cubes
400g Ardmona Rich & Thick Classic
2 handfuls of shelled pistachio nuts, plus extra to serve
Couscous to serve
Handful of mint leaves to serve
Plain yoghurt to serve

Method
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, season and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and all the spices to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Add the tomato paste, saffron threads, and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the wine and the drained and dried apricots and bring up to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and zest, honey, and stock cubes, stir and add back the browned chicken pieces. Tip the tomatoes over the chicken and add enough water to just cover.

3. Cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, and the sauce is slightly reduced, check the seasoning and then stir through the pistachio nuts. Garnish liberally with mint and pistachio nuts and serve with cous cous and plain yoghurt.

What’s your favourite easy chicken dinner recipe?

February 20, 2014

Smoky Baked Beans, Prawns and Chorizo Recipe

Celebrity chef Karen Martini’s Spanish-inspired baked beans with prawns and chorizo is the perfect easy dinner idea that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the delicious flavours.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients
2 x 400g SPC 100% Aussie made baked beans
400g Ardmona Rich & Thick Classic
120ml extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
2 red chillies, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 fresh bay leaf
3 tsp sweet smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
2 tsp ground coriander
Salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
250g hot chorizo sausage, sliced
10 green prawns, deveined, tail on
¾ small (approx. 150g) jar of jalapeños
3 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large bunch of coriander, leaves picked (reserve some for garnishing)
3 limes, 1 juiced, 2 to serve

Method
1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, chilli and half the garlic and stir through. Add the bay leaf, paprika and ground coriander, season and cook for around 4 minutes. Add the baked beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Crush some of the beans with your spoon, mix through and set aside.

2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the sliced chorizo and fry until crisp. Season and toss the prawns through some oil to coat, add to the pan with the remaining garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the jalapeños, stir through and take off the heat. Transfer the prawn mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the spring onion, parsley, coriander, remaining olive oil and lime juice.

3. Spread the smoky beans on a platter and top with the prawns and chorizo, pour the juices from the bowl over and finish the plate with a little extra paprika, coriander leaves and lime pieces.

What’s your favourite way of eating baked beans?

February 18, 2014

Chilli and Prawn Spaghetti Recipe

Pasta is one of our favourite quick dinner ideas, and this delicious chilli and prawn spaghetti is ready in under 20 minutes.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

375g Vetta Smart Pasta Cholesterol Lowering Spaghetti #1
2 tbsp olive oil
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 long red chilli (seeds removed), finely chopped
¼ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
16 prawn cutlets, deveined and tails intact

Method

1. Cook pasta according to packet directions in a large pan of salted, boiling water.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large fry pan. Quickly cook prawns until pink. Remove from pan and add onion, garlic and chilli; cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

3. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid.

4. Return the cooked prawns to the pan; add cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Stir to combine.

5. Add the parsley and serve immediately.

 What is your favourite quick pasta recipe?

February 17, 2014

Moroccan Lamb Chops Recipe

Juicy lamb chops are one of our go-to quick dinner ideas, taking no time to cook, and these Moroccan lamb chops with crunchy pistachios and pine nuts, will become a favourite for your midweek dinners too.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Moroccan Seasoning
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
Salt
800g lamb loin chops
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon pistachios
Tomato, pistachio and chickpea salad, to serve

Method
1. Mix the Moroccan Seasoning with the honey, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and salt then brush on to the loin chops. Grill in a pan on each side until fragrant and golden.

2. Toast the pistachios, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and pine nuts in a dry frying pan for 3 minutes, making sure you keep them stirred, and then either crush with a pestle and mortar, or serve sprinkled over the chops.

3. Serve with a tomato, pistachio and chickpea salad. Fresh lime juice

What are your favourite dinner ideas with lamb?

February 11, 2014

Summer Detox Recipes

Now that we’ve shown you how to do the ultimate summer detox, we’ve got some healthy recipes to help you stay on track, including detox smoothies, snacks, delicious low-fat lunches and easy dinner ideas.

Breakfast smoothies

Smooth Berry Mix
½ scoops rice protein formula with spirulina
½ cup raspberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds (soaked for 10 minutes in 1 cup of water)
Honey or agave syrup to taste (optional)

Blend all ingredients together and serve.

Tropical Taster
1-2 scoops rice protein formula with spirulina
½ cup of fresh pineapple cut into chunks
1 cup of coconut water
10 mint leaves

Blend all ingredients together and serve.

Lunch

Brown Rice Salad
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ cup cooked chickpeas
½ cup corn kernels
½ cup green peas
3 fresh asparagus spears chopped
½ carrot chopped
½ cup zucchini chopped
1 small shallot chopped

Dressing
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coriander chopped
Small clove crushed garlic (optional)
Sprinkle of dried chill flakes

Method
1. Steam the vegetables.

2. Mix with rice, chickpeas and corn in a bowl.

3. Mix together ingredients for dressing and combine with the rice mixture.

4. Serve, with side salad if desired.

Dinner

Grilled Fish and Vegetable Kebabs
1 small fresh fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel)
½ zucchini sliced
½ capsicum cubed
½ onion quartered
6 cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
1 tablespoon hummus

Method
1. Mix garlic, oil, lemon juice and parsley in a bowl.

2. Thread vegetables onto wooden kebab sticks that have been soaked in water.

3. Brush fish and vegetable kebabs with oil mixture and cook on non-stick grill/pan. Turn and baste with more oil mixture. Cook until golden brown.

4. Serve with green salad and dollop of hummus.

Snacks

* Brown rice crackers with tzatziki (Greek yoghurt dip)

* Fresh fruit salad

* Handful of walnuts and a piece of fruit

* 200g natural yoghurt with 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds

What are your favourite detox recipes?

Recipes by Belinda Reynolds, Nutritionist, Dietician and educator for BioCeuticals.

Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about supplementing your diet. Make sure to always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner.

February 5, 2014

Chicken Salad with Beans and Peas Recipe

Michelle Bridges shares an easy chicken breast recipe from her new cookbook Superfoods that doubles as one of your new go-to midweek dinner ideas. It’s healthy, full of incredible flavours and leftovers make a great next-day lunch.

Just the one superfood in this recipe, but so many other good things alongside it. The mixture of peas and beans gives heaps of fibre and iron, while the chicken gives a meaty texture without overloading the calorie count. Add the delicious dressing and you’ve got one hell of a tasty salad.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Calories per serve: 380

Ingredients
250 g skinless chicken breast, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray
100 g green beans, trimmed
100 g snow peas, trimmed
½ cup (60 g) frozen peas
¼ cup (70 g) no-fat Greek-style yoghurt
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
½ garlic clove
400 g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Method
1. Season the chicken with black pepper. Lightly spray a char-grill pan with olive oil and heat on medium–high. Cook the chicken for 4–5 minutes each side or until lightly charred and cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes, adding the snow peas and frozen peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and cool in iced water. Drain.

3. Process the yoghurt, mint and garlic together until smooth.

4. Thickly slice the chicken. Arrange the beans, peas and chicken on a serving plate. Drizzle with the dressing.

What’s your favourite chicken breast recipe?

superfoods

February 5, 2014

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese Recipe

Michelle Bridges shares on our favourite comfort food dinner ideas: classic cauliflower cheese with a healthy, low-calorie twist.

Cauliflower and cheese – what a flavourful combination. With the addition of broccoli, you get a double whammy of cruciferous goodness as well. The cheese provides protein and calcium, but use a low-calorie version to avoid too much fat.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 45 minutes. Calories per serve 388

Ingredients
700 g cauliflower, trimmed and broken into large florets
1 large head broccoli (300 g), trimmed and broken into large florets
2 1⁄2 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups (500 ml) low-cal milk
1 cup (120 g) grated low-cal cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
mixed salad leaves, to serve

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

2. Steam the cauliflower over a large saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and steam for another 4 minutes or until just tender. Place in a 5-cup (1.25 L) capacity ovenproof dish.

3. Meanwhile, combine the cornflour and 1⁄4 cup milk in a jug. Place the remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Whisk in the cornflour mixture and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir in half the cheese until smooth. Season with black pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the cauliflower and broccoli. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cayenne. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

4. Serve with the salad leaves alongside.

What’s your favourite comfort food dish?

superfoods

February 4, 2014

Lamb and Asian Greens Stir Fry Recipe

Stir-fries are one of our go-to quick dinner ideas, and we love this Michelle Bridges recipe from her new cookbook Superfoods, ready in under 30 minutes!

I’m a huge fan of stir-fries. They are quick to prepare, adaptable so you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, and the cooking method means they are not drowning in oil. Here I’ve used gai lan, but you can substitute ordinary broccoli as well; just cut it up quite small so it cooks through quickly.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Calories per serve: 421

Ingredients
75 g dried pad thai rice noodles
1 teaspoon peanut oil
250 g boneless lamb loin, trimmed and thickly sliced 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into chunks, leaves and stalks separated
100 g snow peas, halved on the diagonal 5 spring onions, cut into 5 cm length
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 egg
sliced fresh red chilli, to serve

Method
1. Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok on high. Stir-fry the lamb, in two batches, for 2–3 minutes or until browned. Set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium–high. Stir-fry the gai lan stalks and snow peas for 2 minutes. Add the spring onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the noodles and sauces and stir-fry until the noodles are well coated. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack an egg into the middle. Cook, stirring the egg, for 1 minute, then return the lamb to the wok with the gai lan leaves and stir-fry until hot and the leaves have just wilted.

Tip: When stir-frying Asian greens such as gai lan, choy sum or bok choy, separate the leaves from the stalks and only add the leaves at the end as they take no time to wilt.

Variation: For a vegetarian version, replace the lamb with 200 g firm tofu, cut into cubes (407 calories per serve).

What’s your favourite stir fry recipe?

superfoods

February 3, 2014

Italian Beef Rissoles Recipe

Looking for new beef mince recipes? Italian beef rissoles are one of our go-to easy dinner ideas, and the leftovers make delicious Italian paninis (both for you and the kids’ school lunch boxes!).

Serves: 4 (plus leftovers), makes 12 rissoles
Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients
800g lean beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
500g jar tomato pasta sauce
50g parmesan cheese, grated
Steamed green beans, baby carrots and broccolini, to serve

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Combine the beef mince with oregano and garlic. Form into 12 beef rissoles, then chill for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat a chargrill to high. Brush the eggplant slices with 2 tbsp of the oil and cook, turning regularly for 2-3 minutes or until well coloured. Line the base of a large roasting dish with the grilled eggplant slices.

3. Brush the beef rissoles with the remaining oil and chargrill for a minute on each side or until well coloured (beef rissoles don’t need to be cooked through). Place the beef rissoles in the roasting dish on top of the grilled eggplant slices, cover with tomato pasta sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the beef rissoles are cooked through and the cheese and sauce are bubbling. Serve with steamed green beans, baby carrots and brocollini.

pananis

Turn leftovers into lunch: Italian rissole paninis

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Halve the leftover beef rissoles and place in crusty Italian Panini rolls with spinach leaves, tomato and cucumber slices.

What are your favourite beef mince recipes?

January 30, 2014

Rosemary Lamb With Balsamic Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Get two meals out of one of our favourite dinner ideas: succulent rosemary lamb becomes lamb pita pockets for the kids’ school lunch boxes the next day.

Serves: 4 (plus leftovers)

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
1kg whole lamb rumps (about 4-5), trimmed of fat
2 red capsicum, cut into wedges
1kg pumpkin, cut into wedges
2 red onions, cut into wedges
2 1⁄2 tbsp olive oil
250g haloumi cheese, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
1⁄2 cup basil leaves
Green salad, to serve

Method
1. Take the lamb out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Toss the capsicum, pumpkin and red onion with 2 tbsp of the oil and spread on a lined baking tray, cooking for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Add the haloumi pieces to the tray and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Bake the vegetables and haloumi for a further 15 minutes or until the haloumi is golden brown.

3. Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Rub the lamb with the remaining oil and cook for 2 minutes on both sides or until browned (lamb does not need to be cooked).

4. Rub the browned lamb with rosemary and place in a roasting dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

5. Slice the lamb and serve with roasted vegetables, haloumi and basil leaves. Serve with a green salad.

lambpita

Turn leftovers into lunch: Homemade lamb pita pockets

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 5 minutes

Split 2 wholemeal pita pockets and spread with hummus, sliced lamb, sliced tomato and shredded iceberg lettuce.

What’s your favourite leftover recipe?

January 29, 2014

Zucchini, Chilli and Herbed Ricotta Pasta Recipe

This high protein, low carb pasta recipe is one of our favourite dinner ideas for when the fridge is empty but you still want a delicious dinner.

Cooking time: 20 min

Serves 4

Ingredients

375g Vetta Smart Pasta High Protein Low Carb Penne
2 tbsp olive oil
400g (approx. 3 large) zucchini, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red chilli (seeds removed), finely chopped
Pepper and salt to taste
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
200g fresh ricotta
4 tbsp fresh herbs chopped (parsley, chives, mint)

Method
1. Cook pasta according to packet directions in a large pan of salted, boiling water.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large fry pan on medium heat. Add zucchini, garlic, chilli and lemon zest and stir fry until golden for about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.

4. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid and return pasta to the pan.

5. Stir through the zucchini mix with cooked pasta, adding the reserved liquid if needed.

6. Combine the ricotta, lemon and herbs and set aside.

7. To serve, place pasta on each plate with the ricotta mix divided equally on top.

What are your favourite empty fridge dinner ideas?

January 28, 2014

Baked Beans Jaffle Recipe

What’s more Australian than a jaffle? You just can’t beat a baked beans jaffle – it’s one of our favourite Australia Day weekend dinner ideas! Funny man Dave Hughes shares his  fool-proof baked beans jaffle recipe.

I’m busy and I know you are too. You probably don’t even think you’ve got time to read this recipe, but you do, cos it’s quick. Part of my business is I’ve got three kids who start demanding fun at the crack of dawn. Here’s the way to keep them happy (and healthy) first thing in the morning. It’s my patented SPC baked bean jaffle.

The brilliance of this recipe is that idiots like me can nail it. It’s actually impossible to get it wrong if you follow my simple instructions.

Step 1:  Open the can by pulling the ring pin with the pointer finger of your right hand.

Step 2:  Use bread with a 7.6 mm thickness.

Step 3: Cover every square mm of bread with the only major brand of Aussie grown and canned baked bean on the market.

Step 4: Put other slice of bread on top.

Step 5: Carefully place the masterpiece in progress in jaffle maker.

Step 6: Close jaffle maker and turn on.

Step 7: Wait.

Step 8: While waiting, think about how tasty and easy to prepare the only major brand of Aussie grown baked bean on the market is, then whisper ‘good on you SPC’.

Step 9: When the little light turns green whip open that metal joy maker.

Step 10: Whip it out, bang it on a plate. And enjoy five minutes of peace while the kids savour your genius.

What’s your favourite jaffle recipe?

January 27, 2014

BBQ Lamb Cutlets Recipe

Looking for Australia Day recipes? You have to have a BBQ, and you have to have lamb! These BBQ lamb cutlets with rosemary, honey and balsamic glaze take only minutes to prepare and cook, so you can enjoy the long weekend! It also makes a great quick dinner idea for summer. From the 4 Ingredients Herb It Up cookbook.

Ingredients
12 lamb cutlets
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons Gourmet Garden Garlic
1 tablespoons Gourmet Garden Rosemary
2 tablespoons honey

Method
1. Heat BBQ and cook lamb cutlets for 2 minutes each side until just starting to brown.

2. For the glaze, stir together the vinegar, garlic rosemary and honey and season with salt and pepper.

3. Brush over cutlets on both sides and BBQ for another 2-3 minutes or until they’re cooked to your liking.

4. Serve cutlets with a crisp green salad juice.

What are you cooking for Australia Day?

January 24, 2014

Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Chef Adam Humphrey of Sydney’s Restaurant Arras and Arras Too shares an easy dinner idea using leftovers from the beautiful OzHarvest Cookbook. Australia’s most celebrated chefs including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Maggie Beer and George Calombaris share their favourite ‘food rescue’ recipes.

This is a dish my mother used to cook for my brothers and me when we were young and she needed to feed us cheaply and with minimum fuss, using left over bread and other pantry items. 

From the OzHarvest Cookbook, RRP $60

Serves 4

Ingredients
10 slices stale bread, crusts removed (use the crust for crumb)
50g butter
50g mustard, preferably English mustard
350ml full cream milk
50ml cream
2 eggs
Pinch cayenne pepper
100g leftover hard cheese, grated (plus extra for topping)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

Variation: In between the layers of bread, place in any left over ham or mushroom or vegetables or herbs that you have.

Method

1. Grease and ovenproof dish enough to hold approximately a litre.

2. Butter each slice of bread both sides with the butter and the mustard, and then cut in half triangularly. Lay one layer of the bread across the bottom of the dish.

3. Heat the milk and cream in a pan with the bay leaf ensuring it doesn’t boil. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs until well broken down and pale in colour. Immediately add the hot milk mix and whisk until well combined, add in the grated cheese and whisk until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

4. At this stage, add in any extra items (ham, vegetables etc) in between the layers of bread. Ensure that the top layer is finished with the bread. Pour over the cheesy custard mix gradually – If you have time, “feed” the pudding over a period of a few hours with the custard.

5. Top with the extra grated cheese, mixed with the crumbs.

6. In a 180°C oven, bake the pudding for approximately 40 mins until the custard is set and the top is golden brown.

7. Once cooked, let rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with left over salad. This pudding is even great the next day too.

What’s your favourite leftover recipe?

January 20, 2014

Chicken, Roast Vegetable and Macadamia Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for new dinner ideas using leftover roast chicken, you’ll love this easy chicken salad recipe from the OzHarvest Cookbook. Australia’s most celebrated chefs including Matt Moran, Neil Perry, Maggie Beer and George Calombaris share their favourite ‘food rescue’ recipes.

Celebrity chef Stefano Manfredi’s recipe makes a fantastic summer dinner and leftovers are delicious for lunch.

From the OzHarvest Cookbook, RRP $60

Serves 3-4 as a quick lunch or light dinner

Ingredients
100g macadamia nuts
1-2 cups leftover roast chicken meat
2 cups leftover roast vegetables
1 bunch rocket leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Leftover chicken skin, crisped in some hot oil (optional)
Crusty bread, to serve

Method
1. Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry pan over medium heat, moving them constantly with a wooden spoon until lightly coloured. Set aside to cool and then roughly chop.

2. Shred or slice the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Cut the roast vegetables into smaller pieces if need be and add to the bowl. Add the rocket and cooled nuts. Dress with the oil and vinegar and season with salt. Toss lightly and finish with a few grinds of cracked pepper. Add the crunchy chicken skin, if you’re using it. Serve with crusty bread.

What’s your favourite recipe using leftovers?

January 16, 2014

Authentic Malaysian Curry Laksa Recipe

When that laksa craving hits, nothing else will do! Masterchef contestant and Malaysia Kitchen Ambassador Billy Law shares his authentic Malaysian laksa recipe, one of our favourite easy dinner ideas. Make a batch of the laksa paste and it will last in the fridge for about 10 days, perfect for your next laksa craving.

Laksa lemak or curry laksa is a coconut-based curry noodle soup well loved by many Malaysians. This dish is a perfect winter warmer but also great during summer when your tastebuds are dying for some fresh, spicy flavours – slurp up the steaming hot noodles with the coconut curry broth and know you haven’t fully enjoyed this dish if there aren’t any beads of perspiration on your forehead, although you can take the spice factor down a notch to suit your taste. And keep some napkins handy to avoid splashes on your shirt!

Preparation Time: 30 mins. Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6

Ingredients

2 L water
500 g raw prawns, peeled and deveined, reserve the prawn heads
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied
125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
400 ml coconut cream
200 g fried tofu puffs, halved
2 stalks curry leaves
450 g fresh hokkien egg noodles
200 g dried rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained
200 g bean sprouts
salt to taste

Laksa paste
5 cm piece galangal, peeled and chopped
5 cm piece turmeric, peeled and chopped (or 1 tablespoon ground powder)
250 g French shallots, peeled
10 garlic cloves, chopped
20 dried red chillies, seeded then soaked in hot water for 30 minutes to soften (less if you don’t like it too hot)
6 large fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
10 candlenuts
50 g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained
2 Tbs belacan (dried shrimp paste), toasted
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped

Method

1. Pour water into a large stockpot and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, add the chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes. Reserve the stock, remove the chicken, set aside to cool, then shred the chicken into small pieces.

2. Meanwhile, put all the laksa paste ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.

3. Heat oil in a wok on medium heat, fry prawn heads for a minute, then add laksa paste and fry for a further 15 minutes. When it’s done, the paste should be dark brown and a layer of red oil will separate from the spices.

4. Tip everything in the wok into the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Pour in coconut cream, season with salt, add curry leaves and fried tofu puffs, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until you are ready to serve.

5. Half fill another large pot with water and bring to the boil. For each serve, grab a small handful each of hokkien noodles and rice vermicelli, and a few prawns. Put them into a wire mesh strainer or a sieve and dunk the noodles and prawns into the hot water for 1 minute. Drain and shake off any excess water, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top the bowl of noodles with bean sprouts and chicken then ladle the hot laksa broth along with a few tofu puffs over the top.

What’s your favourite Malaysian dish?

January 15, 2014

Vegetable Patties Recipe

Whether you’re looking for delicious meat-free Monday recipes or new easy dinner ideas, give these authentic Sri Lankan patties a try. They’re delicious hot or cold, served as part of a curry night or a picnic, and a great recipe to get kids cooking.

Recipe and image from Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.99

Sri Lankan patties are unlike the ones I’m used to; these are deep-fried pastry parcels filled with curried vegetables, similar to a samosa. Vigneshwaran wrapped up a few patties for me to eat on the drive back to Jaffna, but we only made it down the road before they were all gone.

Makes 32 

Ingredients

Filling
1 tablespoon coconut oil
200 g cabbage, thinly sliced
4 dried long red chillies, chopped
6 small pink Asian shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon roasted chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 sprig curry leaves, leaves picked and roughly chopped
6 cm piece rampe (pandanus) leaf, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
1 kg potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Dough
600 g (4 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra
250 ml (1 cup) full-cream milk

Method

1. To make the filling, heat the coconut oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the cabbage, dried chillies, shallots, fennel seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, curry leaves and rampe; cook for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are golden brown. Add the salty water and remove from the heat. Stir in the mashed potato until well combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. To make the dough, sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Using your hands, mix in the coconut oil, then gradually add the milk, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to work the dough until it is soft and pliable; you may need to add a little water (up to 4 tablespoons). Shape the dough into a large ball and rub with a little extra coconut oil.

3. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thick. Cut out 10 cm  circles with a pastry cutter or glass. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the filling into the centre of each circle and fold in half. Use your fingers to press the edges together, brushing the edge of the dough with a little water if necessary. Re-roll the offcuts and use as well. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Fill a wok one-third full of oil and heat to approximately 180°C (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will brown in 15 seconds). Deep-fry the patties in batches for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden, turning them over halfway through cooking time. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve hot or cold.

srilanka

What’s your favourite meat-free Monday recipe? Share them in the comments!

 

January 6, 2014

Butternut Pumpkin Quiche Recipe

With just a few staple ingredients, Susie O’Neill shares her one of her favourite easy dinner ideas that’s also delicious for lunch the next day. It’s a true 5 ingredient dinner! Serve with a crisp green salad.

Preparation time: 10mins. Cooking time: 50mins
Serves 6

Ingredients

6 sheets filo pastry
1 x 505g can butternut pumpkin soup
5 eggs
2 cups frozen pea, carrot and corn mix, defrosted and drained
50g reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 24cm deep quiche tin with olive oil.

2. Press the sheets of filo into the prepared quiche tin.

3. In a bowl whisk together butternut pumpkin soup and eggs, stir in vegetable mix and pour into filo base. Sprinkle over feta.

4. Trim pastry with kitchen scissors to just above the tin rim. Bake 50 minutes until firm. Serve with a green salad.

Share your favourite 5 ingredient dinners in the comments!

December 30, 2013

Roast Pork with Pineapple Chilli Salsa Recipe

Few things are better than a roast pork with crispy crackling. Pair the succulent pork with a vibrant pineapple salsa and you’ve got one of the festive season’s best easy dinner ideas to share with friends and family.

Serves: 4
Ingredients

1.5 kg rolled pork roast
½ tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Salsa
½ pineapple, diced into small pieces
1 red chili, sliced finely (seeds optional)
Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
½ avocado, diced into small pieces
Juice of a lime
Pinch of sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Rub salt and olive oil into skin and place in roasting tray. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn down to 180 degrees Celsius and roast for a further 30 minutes or until skin is crisp and cracking.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and leave in the fridge for an hour for the flavours to develop.

3. Remove the pork from the oven, discard the fat layer and slice the meat.

4. Serve the meat topped with the pineapple salsa and serve with boiled kipfler potatoes and a big green salad drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

Recipe by Dr Joanna McMillan for Australian Pineapples.

December 23, 2013

Spiced Beef Rib-Eye Cutlets Recipe

These spiced beef cutlets are one of summer’s tastiest easy dinner ideas. Served with roasted baby carrots and yoghurt dressing, this also makes a great dish to serve at picnics or as part of a summer mezze party.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 x 400g rib-eye cutlets, fat trimmed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1½ tablespoons olive oil

Roasted carrots

2 bunches baby carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
400g tin chick peas, rinsed and drained
100g baby spinach leaves

Dressing

200ml Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method

1. Preheat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds. Shake the pan and take off the heat when the seeds release their aroma

2. Place the seeds into a mortar and pestle or spice grinder with the chilli flakes and grind to a coarse powder. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and rub the spice mixture over the beef. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes

3. Preheat a chargrill to moderately hot and the barbecue to 180ºC. Cook the beef on the chargrill for 5 minutes on each side or until nicely charred. Transfer to an oven tray and place on the barbecue for 5-7 minutes for medium rare to medium. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

4. Cut the beef off the bone and slice into thick pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables onto a large platter and top with the meat slices. Serve with the dressing.

To roast the carrots

1. When the beef goes on the grill, toss the carrots with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes or until tender and golden

2. Toss the thyme leaves and chick peas through the carrots for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Remove from the oven, stir in the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt a little

To make the dressing

1. Mix the yoghurt, coriander and lemon juice together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tips

* To allow the beef to cook evenly, make sure it is at room temperature before cooking

* The baby carrots could be replaced with pieces of sweet potato

* Rib-eye cutlets could be replaced with a standing beef rib roast

What’s your favourite summer beef recipe?

December 17, 2013
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