Quick-dinner-ideas-2

Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

When you have a family of five and everyone prefers different food, cooking dinner can be tricky. Very occasionally I give in to my kids’ demands and make three different dishes. Most of the time we negotiate and take turns to choose what we’re having that night, and for some reason, my turn doesn’t come nearly as often as everyone else’s. But we also have a few staple meals that everyone will eat and vegetable fried rice is one of them (spaghetti bolognese is the other one). It’s super-fast and easy to make, and the kids love it.

RELATED: Stir Fried Rice With Spiced Calamari

Ingredients (family-sized serve)

2 cups of rice, already cooked

1 ½ cups of mixed frozen veggies (carrots, corn, peas, beans and cauliflower)

2 eggs

50 ml milk

1 clove garlic

Soy sauce

Vegetable oil

Method

  1. First, prepare the omelet. Beat the two eggs with the milk and a dash of soy sauce. Heat a table spoon of oil in a small pan on medium heat, then poor in the egg mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until you can flip the omelet. Then fry the other side. Take out and cut into strips.
  2. Crush the garlic. Heat the wok to medium heat. Add two table spoons of oil, then fry the garlic for approximately 30 seconds. Add the veggies and stir for 5 minutes, until fully defrosted and hot. Add the rice and 2 table spoons of soy sauce. Stir until the rice has turned the same colour throughout, then stir mix in the strips of egg.
  3. You can garnish the rice with coriander, but my kids would have none of it, so more often than not I leave it just as it is. Sometimes, when we have leftover barbecue chicken, I’d shred it and throw it in. Lately, though, everyone seems to prefer the vegetarian version.
  4. It’s all done, enjoy!
October 29, 2014

Broccoli and Garlic Shrimp Pasta For Two

Give your significant other something to look forward to with with delicious pasta recipe that just makes enough for two. Although this recipe is best served warm, you can also pack it away and enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day.

Serve with a delicious red wine pinot noir, grenache or even a deep sangiovese if you really want to bring out the taste of the seafood.

RELATED: The Health Benefits of Wine

Ingredients

8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta

1-1.5 pounds uncooked large shrimp (peeled)

5 tsp canola oil

1 bunch broccoli

4 garlic cloves

6 tbsp butter

6 tbsp white wine or chicken broth

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Cook pasta according to the individual directions – you can also enjoy this with fettuccini if you don’t enjoy or have angel hair.
  2. In a large wok, fry the shrimp in 3 teaspoons of oil each for 1-2 minutes, or until they are cooked. Remove the wok from the heat, and keep the shrimp warm.
  3. Stir the broccoli for 3 minutes in the oil, then add garlic.
  4. Now add the remaining butter, wine, cheese, salt and pepper then stir well until they have all combined. Drain the pasta, then serve immediately.

Image and Recipe via Taste of Home, Kraft

October 14, 2014

Top Tips For The Perfect Pizza

We asked some of the best pizza experts in town to give us their top tips in creating the most amazing pizza possible.

RELATED: Twisted Pizza Breadsticks Recipe

What is the best temperature to cook pizza?

Every oven varies slightly. If you are making your own pizza dough, cook it on the highest heat for 13-15 minutes. A pre-cooked base, like the Woolworths Gold Traditional Pizza Bases, should be cooked at 200 degrees Celsius in a fan-forced oven for 10-12 minutes.

Extra tip: When making chicken pizzas, always use pre-cooked chicken and cook the pizza for the same time as you would any other pizza.

How do I know when my pizza is ready?

The underside of the base of your pizza should be golden brown and all the cheese should be completely melted.

What cheese should I use?

Use mozzarella cheese for a traditional chewy, stringy texture, or try buffalo mozzarella for a creamy authentic Italian finish. Create your own unique flavour using a mixture of these cheeses along with your own favourites.

What’s the best way to cut pizza?

It’s always best to use a pizza cutter. Cut the pizza into quarters first and then cut those quarters in half.

Perfect topping combinations

Four cheeses is a classic that never fails. For something a little more fancy, try Portobello Mushroom and Tallegio cheese.

Woolworths chefs and product development specialists have developed the perfect flavour combinations for the premium Gold range including Calabrese Salami and Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese, Chicken and Pancetta, and Margherita drizzled with basil oil.

October 6, 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

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

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

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

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

Soft Prawn Tacos Recipe

Ex-Olympic swimmer and mother-of-two, Susie O’Neill shares her favourite summer recipes as part of the Together Counts initiative, an online resource encouraging Australian families to lead healthier, active lifestyles.

These prawn tacos are light and fresh and perfect for a warm day, plus they’re ready in under 30 minutes, making them one of the best after-work quick dinner ideas.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins

Makes 10 tacos

Ingredients

1 x soft taco kit (kit includes 10 soft tacos and taco spice mix)
500g peeled green prawns, leaving tails attached
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 green cabbage, shredded
4 radish, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh coriander leaves
1 avocado
2 limes, halved

Method

1. Toss prawns in spice mix to coat. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook prawns for 2 minutes or until pink. Combine cabbage, radishes, coriander to create a salad. Mash avocado with juice of half a lime.

2. Warm soft tacos according to pack directions.

3. Build your own soft tacos, spread with avocado, top with cabbage salad and spicy prawns, and enjoy with a squeeze of lime.

What are your favourite quick summer recipes?

December 18, 2013

Grilled Beef, Zucchini and Rocket Salad Recipe

We love a beef salad in summer – it’s a true 30 minute meal which makes it one of our go-to midweek quick dinner ideas. Simply BBQ a sirloin steak, and toss with sweet potato, zucchini, peppery rocket, shaved parmesan and pine nuts.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

600g sirloin steak, fat trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
350g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3mm slices
4 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthways into 5mm slices
1 red onion, quartered
2 tablespoon lemon juice, plus grated zest of a lemon
150g rocket leaves
30g parmesan cheese, shaved
20g toasted pine nuts

Method

1. Preheat the barbecue to hot. Brush the beef on both sides with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and cook for 4 minutes, turning once, or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest and cover loosely with foil.

2. Place the sweet potato, zucchini and onion into a large bowl and toss with 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Place on the grill and cook for 1½ minutes on each side, or until tender and lightly charred.

3. Slice the beef thinly and place into a large mixing bowl with the grilled vegetables, lemon juice, zest and remaining oil.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

4. Place the rocket onto a large serving platter, top with the tossed beef and grilled vegetables, parmesan cheese and pine nuts, and serve.

Tips for cooking the perfect steak on the BBQ

* Brush each steak lightly with oil.

* Preheat the BBQ to hot. The steak should sizzle as it makes contact with the barbecue.

* Cook one side of the steak until the first sign of moisture appears, then turn and cook the other side. Turn the steak once only for rare and medium.

* Remove the steak and cover loosely. Rest in a warm place for a few minutes before serving

 

December 16, 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

Chargrilled Squid and Halloumi Salad Recipe

We’re always looking for delicious quick dinner ideas, especially at the start of the week. Squid is a fantastic ingredient for easy dinners – it cooks in no time, goes with a variety of flavours (so pair it with whatever you have in the pantry), plus it’s sustainable, so one of the best seafood choices you can make!

Preparation time: 15 mins. Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
600g squid tubes, scored, cut into 5cm pieces (see tip)
250g halloumi cheese, drained, thickly sliced
400g can lentils, drained, rinsed
70g baby rocket leaves
Beerenberg Mango, Lime and Chilli Dressing
Crusty bread, to serve

Method
1. Place garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a ceramic dish. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Reserve 2 tablespoons of garlic mixture. Add squid to remaining mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a barbecue plate or chargrill over medium heat. Brush haloumi lightly with 1 tablespoon of reserved garlic mixture. Chargrill for 1 minute each side or until golden. Remove to a plate.

3. Chargrill squid, in batches, for 30 seconds each side or until cooked through.

4. Combine lentils, rocket and halloumi in a bowl. Top with squid. Pour over remaining reserved garlic mixture, drizzle with a few tablespoons of Chilli,lime and mango dressing. Serve with bread.

**  To score squid, cut tubes in half lengthways. Using a knife, cut the inside surface of each piece in a criss-cross pattern.

What are your go-to quick dinner ideas? Share them in the comments!

December 8, 2013

Rocket, Prosciutto and Peach Salad Recipe

This sexy salad is one of my staple Friday night quick dinner ideas when all you want is a glass of wine and something tasty and fuss-free. Juicy peaches pair beautifully with salty ribbons of prosciutto, peppery rocket and shaved parmesan. Try serving this salad as part of a summer BBQ, too.

Serves 4

Ingredients

120g baby rocket
70g parmesan, shaved
100g finely sliced prosciutto
4 white peaches, halved with stones removed
cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Arrange rocket, parmesan shavings, prosciutto curls and peach halves onto plates.

2. Top with cracked black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

What’s your favourite summer salad recipe?

December 6, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Crab Curry Recipe

Curries don’t have to take hours to cook, in fact this Sri Lankan crab curry recipe is one of our favourite quick dinner ideas, taking less than 30 minutes to make, and that includes making the aromatic curry paste from scratch.

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

Jaffna is renowned for its abundant seafood and a visit to the region isn’t complete without tasting their famous crab curry. We cooked the curry over an open fire in Bamini’s garden and the flavours were incredible! Be prepared to get a bit messy when eating this dish, but I can assure you it is worth it.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

4 blue swimmer crabs (about 400 g each) (or 2 live mud crabs, about 800 g each)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cm (¾ inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1–2 thin green chillies, halved lengthways (optional)
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons dried chilli pieces
1 teaspoon unroasted chilli powder
375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) coconut milk
3 sprigs curry leaves, leaves picked
juice of ½ lime

Method

1. If using live mud crabs, place them in the freezer for 1–2 hours until they are completely immobilised before you begin chopping them.

2. Remove the triangular flap under the crab and discard it, then lift off and remove the head, keeping the head to cook with the rest of the crab for presentation. Remove the gills and any yellow ‘mustard’. Wash the crabs. Cut in half, then pull off the big claws. Using the back of a large knife, tap the claws to crack them; this allows the flavours to seep in while cooking. Wash the crab pieces and set aside.

3. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, ginger and salt into a paste. Heat the oil in a large wok or heavy-based saucepan and cook the onion over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the chillies and the garlic and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried chilli pieces and chilli powder; cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, curry leaves and crab pieces; simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and almost completely reduced, making sure to turn the crab regularly. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and season to taste with salt.

srilanka

What’s your favourite curry?

December 1, 2013

Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Brown Rice Salad Recipe

One of our favourite quick dinner ideas in summer, this rice salad recipe is elevated with flavours of juicy pineapple and toasted coconut. Ready in just a few minutes, the salad goes really well with chicken, fish or burgers on the BBQ – or on its own as a leftover lunch.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

½ cup shredded coconut
2 packets of microwave brown rice
½ pineapple
1 red capsicum
Baby spinach
Handful fresh mint
Handful fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Cracked black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Spread the coconut over a baking tray and roast in the oven for a few minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until light brown. Remove from the oven.

2. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice to packet instructions.

3. Cut the peel from the pineapple, core and cut the fruit into small pieces.

4. Cut the red capsicum in a small dice, discarding the seeds and core.

5. Roughly chop the fresh herbs.

6. In a salad bowl, mix all ingredients together, toss well and serve.

What ingredients do you like to add to a rice salad? Tell us in the comments!

Recipe by Dr Joanna McMillan for Australian Pineapples.

November 26, 2013

Michelle Bridges’ Ginger Salmon Stir-Fry with Chinese Broccoli

We’re always looking for quick dinner ideas and this Michelle Bridges recipe for ginger salmon stir-fry with Chinese broccoli from her new book Get Real! is not only delicious but low in fat and calories. Winner!

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99. 

As with my other stir-fries, you  can replace the fish with any kind of protein you like. I would recommend tofu or chicken as alternatives for this dish.

Serves: 2

396 calories per serve

Prep time 15 mins  Cooking time 10 mins

Ingredients

210 g salmon fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cm piece ginger, grated
2 tablespoons reduced-salt soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into 5 cm lengths
1 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced
6 medium shallots, cut into 5 cm lengths
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves

Method

1. Combine the salmon, garlic, ginger and half the soy sauce in a bowl.

2. Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the gai lan, capsicum and 1 tablespoon water, then stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Heat half the remaining oil and stir-fry the shallots for 1−2 minutes or until bright green. Transfer to the bowl with the other vegetables.

4. Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the salmon for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Return the vegetables to the wok, with the remaining soy sauce, and toss to combine.

6. Divide the stir-fry between bowls and scatter with coriander leaves to serve.

Mish Tip : Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is a leafy Asian green and, like regular broccoli, it is extremely nutritious. If you can’t find it, simply replace with any other leafy Asian green.

michellebridges

November 20, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Asian Fish with Nectarine Salsa Recipe

We all know we should eat more fish, but sometimes we need a little inspiration when it comes to how to get the recommended two serves of fish a week. Trust us, this Asian fish recipe will become one of your favourite quick dinners ideas. On the table in 10 minutes and bursting with vibrant summer flavours, mix it up from week to week by using different white fish fillets and different stonefruit (it works just as well with peaches).

Serves: 4

Ingredients 

4 thick firm white fish fillets – snapper, barramundi 3 white nectarines, stones removed and chopped
4 yellow nectarines, stones removed and chopped
1 large red chilli, seeded and sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup coriander sprigs
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoons brown sugar

Method

1. Cook the fish fillets on a lightly oiled barbecue hot plate until tender.

2. Combine the nectarines, chilli, spring onion, coriander.

3. Whisk together the sesame oil, fish sauce and brown sugar, drizzle over the salad, toss to coat. Serve the fish topped with the salad.

November 14, 2013

Easy Dinner Recipes: Greek-Style Lamb Chops

These Greek-style lamb chops are one of the best easy dinner recipes for weekends – whether it be a lazy night in with a glass of wine or served as part of a mezze-style summer BBQ. We like it with a crisp, cos lettuce salad and plenty of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Best of all, forget the cutlery (and the washing up) – there’s nothing better than enjoying lamb chops with your hands!

Besides being tasty, the nutritional content of this dish makes this a healthy meal too. Lamb is a great source of protein and is a rich source of vitamins A, B3, B6 and B12 as well as zinc and iron. Also, about half the fat content of lamb is unsaturated fat – the good kind that Mediterranean diets are renowned for. Retinol vitamin A (from meat) strengthens your immune system and maintains healthy bones and teeth, while the B vitamins work your metabolism, helping to more efficiently release energy for the foods we eat.

If you can, always buy grass-fed meat for the improved Omega-3 (and taste). Garlic is great for fighting off a host of infections, while spring onions, besides being virtually fat free, are vitamin-packed, can aid digestion and offer anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits.

Ingredients

2-3 lamb chops per person
1 heaped teaspoon minced garlic
Sea salt
1 lemon
2-3 spring onions, sliced

Method

1. You’ll need to get your frying pan really hot for this, but while it’s warming up, add the garlic to the pan and smear it around the base, creating a rough layer (there’s no need to be too precise).

2. Once the pan is hot, add your lamb chops – they should start to sizzle immediately otherwise the pan is not hot enough.

3. As the lamb chops cook, throw in half of the sliced spring onions, reserving most of the green for the garnish. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon.

4. After about 3 minutes (depending on size of the chop) or when the chops look cooked halfway up, flip them over and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Once cooked, place the chops on a plate and pour over all the garlic and spring onions. Sprinkle with another pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with the remaining spring onions, and serve.

Kate H Jones is a lifestyle and pop culture writer at Clavicle Capitalism.

November 8, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Patties

Whether you’re looking to spice up your dinner roster or introduce more vegetarian recipes into your weekly meal planning, these great tasting, protein-packed Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Patties are ready in only 30 minutes from start to finish which makes them one of our favourite quick dinner ideas.

For the perfect blend of flavours and crunch, simply cook the onions until soft with garlic, turmeric and cumin before adding to a blender with chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, coriander and eggs. Once combined, shape into patties and pan-fry. You can also add extra veggies, like corn or peas.

Then it’s up to you how you want to serve them: stuff them in toasted pita pockets with tzatziki and salad, top with a mango and avocado salsa for a refreshing twist, or try them in the best veggie burgers you’ve ever had. Any leftover patties make the perfect sandwich or wrap for next-day lunch.

Serves: 4 

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ bunch coriander
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil

Method

1. Place a fry pan onto medium heat, add olive oil and diced onions. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.

2. Add garlic, turmeric and cumin and cook for a further 2-3 minutes while stirring. Place into a food processor, leave to cool.

3. Add chickpeas, lentils, sunflower seeds, coriander, eggs and seasoning into the food processor. Blend until smooth.

4. Transfer mix into a bowl, add flour, combine and form into 8 patties.

5. Place frypan onto medium heat, add vegetable oil and panfry patties on both sides until golden.

What are your go-to quick dinner ideas?

November 6, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas: Apricot, Kaffir Lime and Chicken Skewers

We’re always looking for quick dinner ideas, and these tasty chicken skewers are a real 30-minute recipe. The apricots and kaffir lime leaves give these skewers the real taste of summer, while keeping the chicken moist and aromatic. They’re also perfect for summer entertaining and make great BBQ and picnic food.

Serves: 8

Ingredients

16 kaffir lime leaves
750g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm cubes
8 apricots, halved with stones removed
3 spring onions
2 limes, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

Method

1. Soak 8 bamboo skewers in cold water for 15 minutes.

2. Thread kaffir lime leaves, chicken, spring onions, apricots and lime wedges onto skewers.

3. Cook skewers on a lightly oiled barbecue grill until tender, brush  with sweet chilli sauce in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

November 1, 2013

Easy Dinner Recipes: Clafoutis Provencal

This French baked vegetable and egg dish is one of our favourite French Women Don’t Get Fat easy dinner recipes by Mireille Guiliano. It’s a great way to use up those leftover vegetables lurking in your fridge, and is delicious hot, warm or room temperature.

To make this easy dinner even quicker, sauté your vegetables the night before and refrigerate them, then just whip up the egg ricotta batter, fold the veggies in and dinner is ready in 30 minutes!

We had cherry trees in our garden, and from the time I was eight, I got to climb the ladder (and some branches) and pick cherries. My little girlfriends and I would sometimes overeat the fresh cherries, but there was still enough to bring back to my mom, who used them to make a clafoutis, baking the fresh fruit in a custardy batter in a round baking dish. The curious name for this dessert comes from the verb clafir, ‘to fill up’, because you fill up the batter and mould with fruit, most commonly cherries. Clafoutis usually refers to a dessert preparation, but in Provence it can be a savoury yet still rich dish with cheese, eggs and bread – Mireille Guiliano.

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 20-25minutes 
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm dice
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and cut into 1cm dice
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 slice bread, crusts removed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
225g ricotta
3 eggs
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
50g black olives, pitted and halved
110g grated parmesan
butter, softened, for baking dish
fresh basil, for garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180ْ C.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan and sauté eggplant and capsicum until softened, about 6 minutes. Season to taste and set aside to cool.

3. In a food processor, combine bread, garlic, ricotta and eggs and blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and using a spatula, fold in 1 tablespoon basil, the olives, parmesan, eggplant and capsicum.

4. Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered 21cm square baking dish and bake until lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with basil.

What are your favourite easy dinner recipes?

October 30, 2013
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