Main Courses

Pesto Crusted Salmon

Pesto crusted salmonI’m a little bit excited about this recipe. Salmon is easily my fish of choice – I just can’t get enough of it. It definitely is a wonder food which is why we should be promoting sustainable aquaculture to ensure that we still have access to this amazing fish! Add pesto into the same sentence as salmon and you’ve got me grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Bonus too – this has sod all ingredients (I know my recipes can get a tad lengthy – so enjoy this!). This definitely falls in the ‘easy mid week’ dinner category – despite looking like it’s something you’d cook for a flash dinner party (that’s my kind of dinner!). (more…)

Speedy Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghetti and meatballs recipeI put a call out on my Facebook page a while back to see what recipes you lovely blog readers would like to see: Speedy savoury dinners seemed to be a bit of a popular theme! Well, you said, I’m delivering.

This speedy meatball recipe totally fries my burger as I can get this dinner on the table within 25 minutes, while multi-tasking with those those tedious domestic activities like supervising homework and getting lunches ready for the following day.    This recipe is also really versatile: Haven’t got pesto? Add a sauce (sweet chilli sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, hell, tomato sauce if you like). Don’t like/haven’t got cheese? Leave it out.  If you want to speed things up, use a pre-made pasta sauce (I make pasta sauce in bulk from scratch and keep it in the cupboard in sterilised jars…  Since Operation Sugar Reduction I find pre-made pasta sauces like Dolmio far too sweet).

Lastly, here’s a tip: Make double the meatball recipe (get the kids to help you with the rolling) and keep them to cook the next night. Stuff them into wholemeal pita breads, or roll them up in tortillas. Add salad and your favourite sauces/dressing (mayonnaise, pesto, hummus, sweet chilli sauce, you get the idea). This is another speedy, popular, tasty and healthy mid week dinner.

(more…)

Red Lentil and Chorizo Gumbo

Red Lentil and Chorizo GumboThis Red Lentil and Chorizo Gumbo (because ‘gumbo’ is a much sexier word than stew) is the perfect mid week meal requiring approximately seven minutes preparation – and a slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker in your life, cooking this in a heavy based pot on your stove top would work just fine, I reckon it would need about an hour to cook the lentils to perfection.   (more…)

Moussaka

moussaka recipeA classic Greek Moussaka is made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling and topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce (I’ve called it a cheese sauce here, I’m not that flash), which is then baked until golden. YUM. I first had this dish in Italy and I’ll never forget that first mouthful: Heaven on a plate! (The memory is possibly firmly entrenched by the romance of the quintessential Italian restaurant complete with red and white tablecloths and the hot Dutch guy I was hanging out with at the time…)

So, here’s my version of Moussaka, which probably isn’t terribly authentic, but it is the kind of dish where everyone asks if there’s any leftover for seconds!

Note: The price of lamb mince would have required a home remortgage, so I used beef mince instead. Tasted great.   Secondly, as I’m doing #sugarfreeseptember I made a few tweaks as I’m taking it seriously and having zero gluten. Accordingly I substituted the cheese sauce with cauliflower puree and it was DELICIOUS.  I actually preferred it to how I usually make it (i.e. with a traditional cheese sauce made with flour). Our friends at the dinner party scoffed it blatantly oblivious that it contained a ‘cauliflower puree sauce’.  If you are looking for a gluten free option (or want to up your vegetable intake) I’d definitely recommend using cauliflower puree instead of cheese sauce. The recipe is here. Just make sure you drain out about 1 cup of milk before you puree the mix, otherwise the puree will be too runny. Add extra Parmesan if you like it cheesy…

Note – in the photo I had doubled the recipe as I was feeding a large group!

 

(more…)

Cauliflower Pizza base

Cauliflower pizza recipeI love cauliflower. I reckon it’s the king of vegetables. Ever since I discovered cauliflower rice and cauliflower puree I’ve got my creative on. Some bright spark suggested on my blog’s Facebook page that I have a crack at making Cauliflower pizza base. Alright, game on! If you haven’t heard of this slightly odd sounding combo, you use grated cauliflower to make the pizza base, as opposed to using flour which is typically used. Add your favourite toppings and you are good-to-go.

My verdict? Big ups to the original person who came up with this idea – I love it! Not only is cauliflower pizza base super tasty and fun and easy to make: It’s a definite game ;changer for people who are gluten intolerant, or cutting down on carbs. It’s also great for those wanting to lose weight, or simply if you want to up your vege intake!;Those who don’t eat dairy can simply omit the cheese… It’s fair to say the recipe is quite adaptable.

I spent a long time scouring the internet for suitable recipes. There’s a tonne out there. In the end I used this recipe by Tasty Kitchen as the base for my inspiration. I think the secret is to add herbs, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds and a good amount of seasoning to the base for flavour. Lots of recipes just call for cauliflower and beaten egg, but that didn’t sound particularly appetising to me! (more…)

Mini Meatloaf Recipe (hide the veges)

SAMSUNG CSCGetting anything green into my son is a battle.  He puts on a fuss if we introduce anything new to his eating repertoire and, if really pushed to give new things a go will gag at the dinner table. Heavens forbid we try to feed him veges. It does my head in but we solider on. I needed to share that, thanks: I feel better now.

So, with my Bachelor  of Mummihood, majoring in trickery, I’ve become a master at hiding vegetables in his food.  This recipe below for meatloaf with a tomato saucey topping is a family favourite that always gets groans of delight from the little fella, as well as the big fella.  It doesn’t have a tonne of vegetables in it, but enough to ease me off my hobby horse and polish my halo that the kid has had something that’s nutritionally sound!  This is also a good weeknight meal that you can have on the table in half an hour.  I make these in large muffin tins: You don’t have to. Whack it in a loaf baking tin if you prefer (like a gingerbread loaf) and bake it for 30-35 minutes. Easy. (more…)

Captain Country Chicken

captain country chicken recipeHere’s a super yummy recipe that has long since been a favourite of mine. Why? Because: It’s inexpensive to make; It’s fuss free enough to have mid week;  Everyone gobbles it up without fuss (there’s a picky eater in my house whom I love dearly, but who makes me tear my hair out);  It can feed the masses (I cooked it once for a family gathering of 20 people, no worries), or if you don’t feed the masses, it’s even more delicious the next day as leftovers for lunch, or better still, dinner (I love a leftover friendly meal that means I can have a night off cooking). Convinced that you should have it for dinner one night this week yet? (more…)