Easy-dinner-ideas-2

Easy Foil-Baked Salmon Recipe

Craving something different, but not willing to spend hours researching and creating your next dinner masterpiece? Try this easy foil-baked salmon recipe. It takes under 30 minutes to prepare (including cooking time), it’s absolutely delicious and here’s the best part – there’s hardly any cleanup to do afterwards.

RELATED: Michelle Bridge’s Ginger Salmon Stir-Fry With Chinese Broccoli

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 salmon fillets, I prefer skinless

2 cloves of garlic

½ bunch of coriander

2 shallots

Soy sauce

Lemon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.
  2. Place each of the salmon fillets on a separate sheet of aluminum foil, big enough to wrap.
  3. Crush and mince the garlic. Chop the coriander and the shallots finely. Divide the garlic, coriander and shallots into four and place one part on each of the four salmon fillets.
  4. Pour a table spoon of soy sauce and squeeze some lemon onto each of the fillets.
  5. Fold the sides of the foil sheet over the salmon, so that the whole fillet is covered. Place the parcels on a baking tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes. You may need to adjust the baking time depending on your oven and the thickness of the salmon fillet.
  6. Once cooked, unwrap the salmon and serve with rice and steamed veggies or your choice of salad.

Variations

The reason I love this recipe is because it’s easy and because I can create different variations without any extra work. My son loves coriander, but he won’t eat garlic and shallots and I only season his parcel with coriander, soy sauce and lemon. My girls won’t have anything green on their fish, so I skip the shallots and the coriander for them. My husband and I go for the full taste. Everyone gets their custom-made meal.

It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Image by Steven Zolneczko via Flickr.com

November 5, 2014

Miso Glazed Fish With Sesame Brown Rice Recipe

Miso paste (or fermented soybean paste) is a staple of the Japanese diet, made up of soybeans, salt and fungus though sometimes barley, rice or buckwheat may be added to alter the flavour.  Miso is a great source of manganese, zinc and copper, essential mineral antioxidants and has been linked to reducing the risk of some types of stroke.

RELATED: Check out these other foods rich in antioxidants

We’re all looking for quick and healthy dinner ideas because we’re working longer days and we don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals, so try this dish that takes less than thirty minutes to prepare and is full of miso flavour and goodness.

Ingredients:

3 tsp miso paste

3 tsp soy sauce

2 tbsp orange juice

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp honey

4 white fish fillets

2 Lebanese cucumbers

1 ripe avocado

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sesame oil

2 cups steamed brown rice

2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Method

  1. Mix together miso paste, soy sauce, orange juice, garlic and honey in a large bowl then add fish and coat with mixture.
  2. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a large baking tray with non-stick paper.
  4. Take the fish from the marinade and place on the baking tray.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber into ribbons and place in a bowl.
  7. Peel and de-seed avocado then cut into small cubes.
  8. Combine cucumber, avocado, rice vinegar and sesame oil then toss to combine.
  9. Divide the rice among four plates then top with avocado mixture.
  10. Place fish on top then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Image via taste.com.au

September 21, 2014

Warm Chicken And Soba Noodle Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for a meal you can prepare under 30 minutes and is healthy as well as flavoursome then take a look at this Asian inspired chicken and soba noodle salad.  It’s low in fat, high in fibre, it tastes delicious and is super easy.

Ingredients

200g chicken breast fillets

180g soba noodles

200g snow peas, trimmed and halved diagonally

200g packet Japanese teriyaki tofu, cut into 2cm cubes

3 green shallots, thinly sliced

2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Dressing

1 ½ tbsp Japanese rice wine

1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

Method

  1. Place chicken in a saucepan and cover with water.  Cover, then bring to the boil over a high heat. 
  2. Reduce the heat to low then simmer until cooked through.  Remove from heat and shred chicken once cool enough.
  3. Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water according to instructions on the packet then add the snow peas for the last three minutes.
  4. Drain the noodles and snow peas then transfer to a bowl.
  5. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork.
  6. Add the chicken, tofu, shallots and dressing to the noodle mixture then toss to combine.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Image via taste.com.au

September 15, 2014

Baked Risotto Rice Balls Recipe

This is a perfect way to get your children eating rice when they find it difficult to use a spoon. Fussy feeders will enjoy feeding themselves and the flavour possibilities are endless. This recipe is for a simple mushroom risotto which you can make into small balls. You can use any leftover risotto you like.

Serves 4 or more

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, finely diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups reduced salt stock or water

2 cups diced mushroom

3 frozen spinach cubes or 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup grated parmesan

2 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs (or gluten-free alternative, such as corn crumbs)

Method

  1. Heat a pan over a medium-low heat. Add half the oil and pan-fry garlic and onion. Add rice and lightly pan-fry, then add 1/2 cup stock/water and stir until absorbed. Keep adding stock a bit at a time until rice is cooked.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat a separate pan, add remaining oil and fry mushrooms until lightly brown. Add spinach and cook until mushrooms are tender and water from the spinach has evaporated.
  3. When rice is cooked, add in spinach, mushrooms and parmesan. Stir through.
  4. Place risotto in a shallow dish and let it cool in the fridge.
  5. To make the risotto balls, lightly whisk eggs with a fork and place crumbs in another bowl.
  6. Scoop out a golf ball-size handful of rice mixture, dip into the eggs and then dip into the breadcrumbs. Mould in your hands.
  7. Place into a lined tray and repeat. Spray with oil spray.
  8. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced. Cook risotto balls for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe via The Healthy Mummy

August 23, 2014

Easy Chicken And Leek Pot Pies

Sometimes we all need some good comfort food and these chicken and leek pot pies are just that.  Perfect for a cold day, they’re ready in less than 40 minutes and are full of flavour.  Don’t mess around with tricky pies – these are super easy, so give them a go!

RELATED: Looking for another easy dinner recipe?  Try this Greek-style lamb chop recipe that’s super easy too!

Ingredients

Olive oil

600g chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and diced

4 rashers shortcut bacon, diced

1 medium leek, trimmed, halved and sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves

¼ cup dry white wine

1 ½ sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tsp cornflour

½ cup chicken stock

¾ cup thickened cooking cream

200g broccoli, finely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat then cook chicken for five minutes or until brown.
  3. Add bacon, leek, garlic and rosemary and cook for a further five minutes or until leek is soft.
  4. Add wine then bring to the boil.
  5. Meanwhile, using a cutter, cut 6 x 8cm rounds from the pastry and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  6. Brush pastry rounds with egg and bake for ten minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden.
  7. Place cornflour in a jug then add two tablespoons of stock and stir until smooth.
  8. Stir in remaining stock then add to the frying pan with the cream.
  9. Bring to the boil, add broccoli, season with salt and pepper then reduce heat to a simmer.
  10. Simmer for five minutes until chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened.
  11. Spoon chicken mixture into 6 x ramekins then top with pastry rounds and serve.

Image via taste.com.au

August 21, 2014

Spaghetti Bolognese With Hidden Veggies

Good old spag bog has been gracing family dinner tables for decades. The great thing about it, is you can feed a big crowd on a budget, the kids will eat it, you can freeze the bolognese mixture for a quick meal and even pop in a few veggies for extra flavour and added fibre.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 pack spaghetti

1/2 kilo mince meat (try mince turkey for something different)

1 finely diced brown onion

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 jar tomato based pasta sauce

1 tin tomatoes or use freshly diced

1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 finely diced red capsicum (optional)

1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon mixed spaghetti bolognese herbs or a combination of Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage or Thyme

1 tablespoon water

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese (Parmesan or something simple is preferable)

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add oil and spaghetti. Cook on high until al dente and strain. While this is cooking you can make the bolognese sauce.
  2. Heat a large non stick pan and brown onion, garlic and mince meat. Add water to keep from sticking. After the mince is browned, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Remove from heat and serve on top of spaghetti with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Tip

If you want to increase the fibre, replace the baked beans with a drained can of 3 bean mix. It will also add texture and is even appreciated by those who aren’t keen on beans.

By Kim Chartres

July 20, 2014

5 Mediterranean Foods To Try

Whether you’re planning your next dinner party, or looking for something new and exotic to try out, Mediterranean cuisine combines taste and flavour for a truly unforgettable dining experience. Using many delicious seasonal vegetables, olive oil and meat products, there is a reason why many people turn to a Mediterranean diet to maintain their weight and enjoy healthy, wholesome food.

1. Yemista (stuffed tomatoes with rice)

Made all year round, yemista is a staple amongst Greek families around the world. Usually made with tomatoes and stuffed with white rice, herbs and minced meat, the recipe is full of flavour and can be moderated to your particular taste. Feel free to use the same filling with peppers, and other large vegetables such as zucchini. Then simply pop into the oven and bake until golden brown.

2. Mediterranean salad

This healthy salad is packed with cucumber, capsicum, olives, red onion, feta cheese and tomatoes which makes for a nutritious but tasty meal if you’re on-the-go. As per tradition, no lettuce is used in these salads, but that doesn’t mean it’s not healthy! Seasoned with plenty of olive oil, red vinegar and oregano for a distinct and delicious taste.

3. Neapolitan pizza

This classic margherita pizza is a staple in Italy due to it’s simple ingredients and yummy taste. There are many variations out there stemming from this traditional recipe, but it’s better to keep it simple and so you can really enjoy the meal in it’s entirety. Less is more, with most pizzas only consisting of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves and a pinch of freshly ground pepper, (and of course a freshly home-baked pizza base).

4. Dolmades (Stuffed vine leaves)

An extremely popular summer dish across the Mediterranean, dolmades are simply vines leaves stuffed with rice and meat. This dish is quite similar to yemista, but is traditionally eaten cold as a perfect summer snack during the warmer months in Europe. Cabbage leaves are often used instead since they can hold more filling and are great for beginners because they’re more durable and easier to wrap and cook at home.

5. Avgolemono (egg-lemon soup)

Another popular dish amongst Mediterranean countries is egg-lemon soup. This dish is known for its distinct taste and healing properties especially if someone is suffering from a cold, throat infection or tonsillitis. Other than, it’s health benefits include generous servings of olive oil, protein from the chicken pieces and the way the egg makes the dish smooth and tasty for even the pickiest of eaters.

Image via Kalofagas

By Felicia Sapountzis

July 4, 2014

Cucumber Salad With Orange-Coriander Dressing

Want a simple and quick dinner recipe that ticks all the healthy boxes and gives you a boost of energy all in one. The Cucumber Salad with Orange-Coriander Dressing is delicious and nutritious!

Ingredients

1 large cucumber

1/4 avocado

1 tablespoons sesame seeds

Dressing

1/2 bunch of coriander chopped

1/2 cup of Meko 100% Pure Coconut Water

1 orange peeled

2 tablespoon tahini

1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp maple syrup

salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Slice the cucumber length-wise using a peeler and place in a bowl. Top with sesame seeds.
  2. Using a hand blender mix the dressing ingredients until smooth.
  3. Serve together and enjoy.
May 29, 2014

Grilled Paneer Cheese with Mango Tomato Chutney Recipe

Paneer is a fresh, firm and mild-tasting Indian cheese perfect for grilling.  Serve with mango and tomato chutney and a drizzle of curry vinaigrette.

Serves 8

Ingredients

Grilled Paneer

175ml plain yoghurt

1 Tbsp  lemon juice

2 tsp McCormick Garam Masala

1 tsp McCormick Sea Salt

½ tsp McCormick Garlic Granules

½ tsp McCormick Ginger Ground

400g paneer

Mango Tomato Chutney

½ tsp McCormick Cumin Seed

4 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 ripe mango, cut into 1cm chunks

½ onion, chopped

2 tsp McCormick Coriander Leaf

2 tsp honey

½ tsp McCormick Cinnamon Ground

¼ tsp McCormick Sea Salt

Curry Vinaigrette

50ml olive oil

2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp  Dijon mustard

½ tsp Keen’s Curry Powder

¼ tsp McCormick Garlic Powder

Method

1. For the paneer combine yoghurt, lemon juice, Garam Masala, Salt, Garlic Granules and Ginger in a small bowl until well blended.  Place paneer in a large re-sealable plastic bag, add the yoghurt marinade and turn to coat well, place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, for the Mango Tomato Chutney, toast the Cumin Seeds in a large pan over a medium heat for 1 minute, or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, mango, onion, Coriander, honey, Cinnamon and Salt.  Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly until the tomatoes soften and the sauce is slightly thickened.

3. For the Curry vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.

4.  After the paneer has marinated, spray a griddle pan with oil and pre-heat to medium.  Remove paneer from the marinade, discarding any remaining marinade.  Grill paneer for 5-6 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning frequently.  Cut into 1cm thick slices, then serve layered with the Mango Tomato Chutney and drizzled with the Curry Vinaigrette.

March 19, 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

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

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

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

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

Easy Chicken Pilau Recipe

Got leftover chicken and veg? Turn it into one of Susie O’Neill’s favourite summer recipes, which she’s sharing as part of the Together Counts initiative, an online resource encouraging Australian families to lead healthier, active lifestyles. This easy chicken rice dish will become one of your go-to after-work quick dinner ideas and a great way to use up chicken breasts.

This recipe is great if you’re after a quick, simple meal that is loaded with fresh vegetables. You can even team it up with some low-fat natural yoghurt and toasted almond slivers.

Preparation time: 15mins. Cooking time: 25mins
Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 – 2 tablespoons mild Indian Curry Paste
1 skinless chicken breast fillet, cut into 1cm dice
1 1⁄2 cups basmati rice
1 cup water
1x 500g can creamy chicken soup
800g mixed diced vegetables such as capsicum, carrot, zucchini, celery etc. 1 cup peas

Method

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add curry paste and chicken breast. Cook for 2 minutes until beginning to brown.

2. Add rice and toss to coat. Add water, bring to the boil, stir then cover and cook over a very low heat for 6 minutes.

3. Stir in creamy chicken soup and vegetables and cook a further 8 minutes. 4. Remove from the heat, stir in peas, recover and stand for 5 minutes.

Share your favourite chicken breast recipes in the comments!

December 27, 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

Neil Perry’s Soft Tacos with Smoky Shredded Pork Recipe

Once you slow-roast the pork, celebrity chef Neil Perry’s soft tacos couldn’t be easier to make, and are one of our family’s favourite quick dinner ideas.

Recipe and image from Simply Good Food by Neil Perry, Published by Murdoch Books, RRP: $49.99.

Too easy – this sauce is great with any fresh tacos. You can also just fry the tomatoes and when they start to melt, add a spoonful of chipotle chilli powder, cook for a minute longer, remove from the heat and squeeze in fresh lime. Cabbage salad, guacamole, sour cream, tortillas and a margarita…heaven. 

Ingredients
800 g boneless pork shoulder
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 brown onion, quartered
sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
255 g raisins
16 corn tortillas
guacamole, to serve
sour cream, to serve

Roasted tomato chipotle sauce
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
9 roma (plum) tomatoes
3 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt

Method
1. Place the pork in a medium saucepan with the garlic and onion. Add a good pinch of salt, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 2 hours on medium–low heat or until the pork is tender. Allow to cool before shredding the meat with your hands.

2. Preheat the oven grill. For the roasted tomato chipotle sauce, heat a heavy-based saucepan over high heat and add the unpeeled garlic. Roast for 15 minutes, turning halfway through, until the outsides are blackened. Remove from the heat, squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins and roughly chop.

3. Place the whole tomatoes under the grill and cook until the skins are dark and blistered on all sides. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly before peeling.

4. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a food processor and blend. Add the chillies one at a time and process to combine. Taste the sauce as you go and, depending on the heat level you prefer, add more.

5. Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan and cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Season to taste.

6. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the shredded pork and cook until it is crispy and golden. Add the raisins and roasted tomato chipotle sauce and cook for 5–6 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

7. To serve, microwave the tortillas for 10–20 seconds, or according to the packet instructions, to soften and warm through. Place a large spoonful of the pork in each tortilla and top with the salsa, guacamole and a generous dollop of sour cream.

Note: Marinate and grill fish or chicken to add more elements to your feast. The tortillas can also be steamed or warmed in a frying pan.

What are your favourite midweek recipes?

December 11, 2013
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