Foodie

Thai Chicken Cakes with Peanut Satay Sauce (kid friendly dinner!)

thai chicken cakes with peanut satay sauceMonday morning struck, I’m totes out of cooking inspiration.  I grabbed two chicken breasts out of the freezer to defrost and vowed that, by the time 5.30pm rocked around, I’d have thought of something vaguely creative and appetising to feed the family.  To be brutally honest, whilst I adore cooking, I don’t enjoy mid week cooking. Time is at the essence, we are all hangry and usually I’m cooking two meals to appease two foodie adults and one gorgeous, but bloody fussy eating, nine year old.   I don’t have enough time during the week, frankly, to faff around preparing two meals. But I usually do. Aggh.

But this is a good news story: Inspiration did strike in the form of these Thai Chicken Cakes – and – talk about hit the jackpot!  Despite my reservations, my boy scoffed this dinner!   Bear in mind my expectations were low: I didn’t have any hopes of him eating them with salad (or the satay sauce – and he didn’t… But it was easy to sub these out for carrot sticks and sweetcorn. I can deal with that without blowing a valve.  Anyway, dinner was totally delicious, it was a 30 minute dinner and it was EASY.  So easy, in fact, we’ve had this dinner twice this week!   (more…)

Zucchini Parmesan Fries with Basil Pesto Mayo

Can I admit that these zucchini fries were mildly inspired by Carl’s Jnr’s Zucchini Fries? Should I fess up about that here? On the odd occasion we go to Carl’s, this is always what I get. But they are bad – and the mayo is highly processed (bit yuck) so I thought I’d have a crack at making these for myself, with the king of cheese:  Parmesan. Why add cheese? Well, that’s simple, cheese, in case I haven’t mentioned it is my favourite food – I can’t get enough of it.  Anyhow, back to the fries – so easy, delicious and we scoffed our way through these in front of the rugby, I was disappointed I hadn’t made a bigger batch. Then again, maybe it was just as well I hadn’t…   The addition of a basil pesto dip to accompany the fries is simply stellar.  

Note, if you don’t want to fry these, you can bake ’em. I’ve noted how to do that below the recipe. Enjoy!

zucchini parmesan fries with basil pesto mayo

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Kumara, Bacon & Corn Chowder recipe

kumara bacon and corn chowder recipe

We adore this tasty kumara bacon and corn chowder.  I made some a couple of weeks ago and, upon the family whip around of “I’m going grocery shopping, does anyone need anything?  Speak now or forever hold your peace” question, my husband pipes up and asks if I can get the ingredients to make “that chowder” again. Yes, it’s a winner and the perfect weekend winter soup as well as being hearty enough to suffice as an evening meal.  It’s also a flexible recipe that lends itself into both the dairy free and Paleo camps:  Biff out the butter and use coconut oil.  Done.   Lastly, I feel like I say this a lot, but it’s an easy recipe to make too: Bonus! (more…)

Paleo (& Gluten Free) Granola Recipe

paleo granola recipe

I love this paleo (and gluten free) granola recipe. I’ve been playing around with variations of this recipe since I learnt a bit more about the Paleo way of life and, more importantly, since I attended one of Ben Warren’s seminars (if you haven’t heard of this guy, google him or check him out on Facebook. Nutritionally, he speaks a bucket load of sense).  I’m not a paleo follower by any stretch of the imagination, however, I like the philosophy and I’m a big believer in eating clean. We’ve been slowly ditching processed food in our home – and we feel better for it.

Anyways, having played around with this recipe, I’m rapt to report that I reckon I’ve perfected the flavours. I enjoy recipes where you can ‘biff in what’s in your cupboards’ – and this is one of those. This is paleo friendly and, bonus, gluten-free devotees will also give it the thumbs up. (more…)

Tomato and Coconut Soup with Fish Dumplings

Tomato and Coconut soup with fish dumplingsI found this little ripper of a recipe in Cuisine magazine years ago.  I used to make this all the time when I was at uni and my (fellow foodie) buddy Ants would come over for dinner on a Sunday night. More often than not, I’d make this and we’d devour it. I also used to make this for the family I used to nanny for (I’d trek to work with my food processor tucked under one arm as they didn’t have one).  The kids used to polish this off.

I have also successfully made it substituting the fish with chicken (thighs or breasts, both work!). If you stay true to the recipe and use fish, be aware that the fish really takes hardly any time at all to cook. Note, you will need a food processor to make this. (more…)

Warm Chicken Salad with Ranch Style Dressing

warm chicken salad with ranch style dressingI made this winter appropriate salad for dinner on Saturday night and both my vege-dodging husband and super-fussy friend scoffed this.  In fact, my husband ate so much he complained “I’ve eaten too much” for the rest of the evening. However, this might have something to do with the chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding I made for the kids… That he tucked in to.

When I made this I marinaded the chicken breasts for a couple of hours. That said, I make versions of this salad on week nights and, not being a particularly organised creature, thinking ahead to put the chicken on to marinade is in the too-hard basket. So, as I do when I’m in ‘quick-cook mode’ simply pan fry the chicken sprinkled with some of your favourite seasoning (I love Masterfood’s Tuscan Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning, or Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning).  Actually on that note, this whole recipe, like many of mine that you’ll find on my blog, is very much of the ‘improvise or get creative’ type. No kumara? Use pumpkin. No green beans?  Use capsicum.  No cashew nuts? Use almonds. No bacon? Leave it out.  Lastly, the ingredients look like a lot – I get that. Take some shortcuts if you like, hell buy a pre-made Ranch Dressing to speed things up (Paul Newman’s is a goodie). 

If you do make the dressing though – save the recipe, you’ll want to use it over and over…

Note: Usually I use a special feature on my blog to layout my recipes, but this app I use is misbehaving itself and I’ve admitted defeat for now. So if you are reading the recipe below and moaning at the layout (and lack of a print button) – sorry! I’ll try redoing it next week,b ut for now, my patience has, errr, expired… Lou x

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Chorizo, chicken & bacon casserole

I’ve been trying to get a bit more organised with week night dinners lately and, at the same time, I’ve been getting creative with my slow cooker. The creativity for this dish started when I scored a six pack of chorizo sausages from Countdown on sale for $4 and figured I’d try my luck with them in the slow cooker. This was the result, purely trial and error – with, ha ha, no error. We’ll be having this warm and hearty dish again!

chorizo chicken and bacon slow cooker

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