Thursday, August 2, 2012

Veggie Hash

This is a quick and easy option for breakfast, lunch or dinner really. I have recently discovered I have a pretty big intolerance to wheat and most dairy products as well, so needless to say I was struggling to find a great breakfast that didn't include soy milk or just plain old eggs. So this dish was created, and I love it!!

As usual I troll my fridge to see what I actually have on hand, and grab what I feel like that day. I had some lovely organic broccolini, mushrooms and red peppers and of course I had to add red onion which I put in almost everything! It's as easy to put together as a stir fry, takes no time at all and is absolutely delicious....I found a winner!

Veggie Hash

1/4 onion, finely diced

1/2 red pepper (capsicum), diced

1/2 bunch of broccolini (about 170g), finely diced

1 large portobello mushroom, diced

oil spray

pinch of garlic powder

pich of onion powder

salt and pepper

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat, spray with oil and add the red onions and red peppers, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add your finely diced broccolini and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the garlic and onion powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Take off heat and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and turn heat down to medium heat. Using a large wooden spoon stir the water until it begins to turn by it's self and slowly crack your egg into the spiralling water, cook for 3-4 minutes for soft poached egg and 5-6 minutes for a firmly poached.

Place egg on top of your veggies and sprinkle with a pich of black cracked pepper and salt.

This serves 1-2 people


By all means play around with the ingredients, if you can't find portobello mushrooms, use which ever ones you can find or like. You hate broccolini, use asparagus instead or zucchini. Add sweet potato or potato, herbs.....the possibilities are endless. You don't like poached eggs, cook them any way you like. Have fun with it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lemon, Thyme Chicken Sandwiches

This delightful sandwich filling came from my sister, she made them for a get together years ago and everyone couldn't stop talking about how delicious they were. Needless to say I have kept them in my repertoire and they deliver everytime.

I love to make these for picnics, or for when I have quite a few people coming over. It's easy to put together and absolutely no cooking required....gotta love that, I mean a store bought chicken...doesn't get an easier than that.

Lemon, Thyme Chicken Sandwiches

1/2 BBQ chicken, diced with skin on (about 2 cups)

3 tblsp mayonnaise

1 tblsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tblsp lemon zest

cracked black pepper

8 slices of freshly baked bread (I use white and brown)


Dice the BBQ chicken, leaving the skin on and put into a large bowl ( I like to keep the dice somewhat small). Add the mayonnaise, thyme, lemon zest and black pepper, mix well.

Butter the bread slices and put an scoop of chicken mixture on on slice then top with the other buttered piece of bread. Cut as desired ( I like to cut the crusts off and the cut into small squares).

Of course double or triple the recipe depending on how many people your feeding.

Spinach, Mushroom, Pumpkin & Feta Frittata

I've said it before and I'll say it again, frittata's are a favourite in my house and made weekly. I love how simple they are, how delicious and versitle. Your only limited by your imagination with the combination of flavours you can incorporate.

This lovely creation came about this week as I was looking for something to make for lunch. I had a nice big butternut pumpkin and loads of lovely crimini mushrooms. As I rummaged around the vegie draws in my fridge I got my inspiration and this was created!

The flavours are so lovely. The sweetness from the pumpkin the earthiness of the spinach and mushrooms and the delightfully salty tang of the feta makes for a magic combo. Eaten hot or cold it's a winner. I love to serve this with a light salad, baby spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes and a big squeeze of lemon juice is a perfect side dish.

It's also a great appetizer for when you have company or for a cocktail party....just cut into small bite size pieces and there you have it! They're a small taste packed with big flavour, and they look pretty too.

Spinach, Mushroom, Pumpkin & Feta Frittata

oil spray

1/2 cup finely diced red onion (1/2 medium or 1/4 small red onion)

200g crimini (swiss brown) mushrooms, sliced

200g small diced (2cm cubes) butternut pumpkin (squash), steamed

100g baby spinach

60g light feta, crumbled

2 whole eggs & 10 egg whites

1/2 cup skim milk

salt and pepper

Steam pumpkin for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and spry with olive oil, add diced red onions and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are slightly browned and softened. Add the spinach and toss with the onion and mushrooms until just wilted. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Evenly scatter the steamed pumpkin on top.

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg whites and milk until just combined and add to the pan with the onion, mushrooms, spinach and pumpkin. Turn down to medium low heat and let the bottom of the frittata to set. After 2 minutes take a spatular and run it sround the edges tilting the pan to let the uncooked egg mixture fill the cooked space. Keep repeating until the frittat is set about 2/3 of the way through. Sprinkle the crumbled feta on top.

Place under low broiler (grill) until the top is set and golden brown. Set aside for 10 mins. Cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sour Cream Pancakes with Maple Cream & Berries

I don't know about you but pancakes would have to be one of my most favourite breakfast treats, or even for dessert with icecream or this amazing maple cream.

I am a fan of big fluffy pancakes, not the flat heavy kind...and this is a recipe I have been using for years now. It's from my "Barefoot Contessa Family Style" cookbook, I have tried to play around with batter to see what I could do to improve it but, it's perfect the way it is....well done Ina, your my hero! They are light and fluffy, with a lovely hint of vanilla and lemon, and with the mixed berries and maple cream, it's pure heaven.

This is the perfect weekend indulgence and great for a brunch get together. I hope you love it as much as my family and I do.

Sour Cream Pancakes with Maple Cream & Berries

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup plus 1 tblsp milk

2 large eggs, room temp

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon zest

Unsalted butter

2 cups mixed berries (whatever you like or what's in season)

Maple Cream

250g cream cheese

1/2 cup maple syrup

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Wisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Add to the flour mixture, mixing only to combine.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat until melted. Using a 1/4 cup measure pour batter into pan, cook 2-3 mins or until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nice and brown. Flip the pancakes and cook the other side for 1 minute or until browned. Wipe out the pan with paper towel, add more butter and continue cooking panckes until all the batter is used.

Serve with mixed berries and the maple cream.

To make the Maple Cream

In a meduim bowl beat the cream cheese with electric beaters for 1 minute. Slowly add the maple syrup and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour over pancakes.

I like to either pour the maple cream into a small jug or a plastic squeeze bottle for serving, and by all means double the recipe if your serving a crowd or if you like more maple cream than pancake! It will keep nicely in the fridge for a week. I also needed to use an extra 1-2 tblsp of milk as the pancake batter thickened slightly while resting.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thai Chicken Burger

Ok! So this is quite possibly the best burger I've ever had. It's such a nice switch up from your regular beef burger or even BBQ'd chicken burger. The thai flavours are so light and fresh, I can't get enough.

For my birthday party this year I took the burger recipe and turned it into chicken meat ball lettace wraps, they were a big hit and so delicious. I have to say I actually eat this burger mostly wrapped up in lettace instead of the bun. I love recipes that can be more than one dish.

Thai Chicken Burger

400g lean chicken mince

1 shallot, trimmed, chopped ( I use a shallot not spring onions)

3 tblsp chopped fesh coriander

1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (I also use 1-2 jalapenos)

1 large garlic cloved, crushed

1 tblsp grated fresh ginger

1 tblsp finely chopped fresh lemon grass

olive oil cooking spray

4 wholemeal buns, hollowed out and toasted

4 iceberg or cos lettace leaves, shredded

1 small tomato, sliced

1 small cucumber sliced

60g bean sprouts

to serves coriander sprigs

Combine chicken mince, shallot, coriander, chilli, garlic, ginger and lemongrass in a bowl (don't over mix or your burgers will be tough). Use clean wet hands and shape into 2 patties.

Lightly spray a non stick frying pan with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat.

Add patties and cook 3-5 mins each side or until cooked through.

Toast hollowed out buns, divide the lettace between the bases and top with cucumber, add the burger then the tomato. Add bean spouts to top bun half with the extra coriander sprigs.

(I put a little mayo on the 2 buns halves and sweet chilli sauce to the top half with the bean shoots and coriander)


You can use this burger recipe to make thai chicken meat balls. I roll them into small balls and fry them off in a pan til cooked through. I then wash and rinse either iceburg or baby cos lettace leaves and turn the chicken ball into wraps.

Pop a chicken ball in a lettace leaf, top with cucumber slices, cilantro, bean sprouts and sweet chilli sauce, great for a party or a fun dinner for the kiddies!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spinach and Tomato rice pilaf

Summer is here which means BBQ's and easy eating. So if your looking for that amazing side dish...this is it! I love this because it's one of those dishes you can make ahead, either the night before or early on in the day. It's best eaten at room temp or cold. Of course there's nothing stopping you from eating hot out of the pot too.

This is such an aromatic dish, packed with flavour and so colourful. This is a kid friendly dish too, I used to and still do serve this to my kids, my son Jack loved it, so I would freeze it in individual portions and had instant dinner for him when I was in a pinch. I like to serve this with anything off the BBQ, sausages, steak, chicken or fish. I know you'll love it, and trust me you'll be giving the recipe to all your friends after they tasted it!

Spinach and Tomato rice pilaf

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely diced

1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1 1/2 tblsp ground cumin

2 medium tomatoes, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

200g roughly chopped baby spinach leaves

3 cups of chicken stock

salt and pepper

Heat large saucepan to medium heat, add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add red onion, pinch of salt and pepper, tumeric and cumin, cook on medium-low heat for 5-8 mins or until onion is soft.

Place rice in a fine metal strainer and rinse well, make sure to drain the water well. Add to the onion and spices, stir well. Put heat up to medium-high and toast the rice for 2-3 mins. Add the tomato, carrot and spinach, stir to combine. Add your chicken stock, cover saucepan with a tight fitting lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then using a fork fluff the rice and transfer to a large ceramic bowl and allow to cool.

Easy Chicken Curry

I love, love, love this curry. I make this alot and it will be one of those go to recipes that I will make for a pot luck party, or for company. Even if you think you don't like curry, trust me you'll like this one and so will your kids.

This is a dish my Mum started making when I was still in high school, I'm pretty sure she found the recipe in a magazine and it quickly became a family favourite. It's such a lovely mild flavour and the sweetness from the mango chutney is what makes this such a hit with everyone. Plus the fact that it's a one pot dish is fantastic, gotta love that!

Easy Chicken Curry

serves 4

2 chicken breasts

1 med brown onion, diced

1 tsp olive oil

2 coves of garlic, crushed

2 tblsp of a mild curry paste

1/3 cup of sweet mango chutney

1 large tin (28oz/796ml) of diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water

Yogurt cucumber sauce

2 cups of plain yogurt

1/2 and english cucumber, grated

cracked black pepper

Heat oil on med low in large deep fry pan or large pot and add onion, cook for 5 mins or until softened and transparent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 mins, then add curry paste and chutney and cook for 1-2 mins.

Add tin of tomatoes and water, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 mins until sauce has reduced slightly and thickened a little.Add diced chicken and cook for a further 5-10 mins or until chicken is cooked through.

To make yogurt cucumber sauce

Put the yogurt in a mixing bowl. Grate your cucumber then using either your hands or tea towel squeeze out any excess liquid, then add to the yogurt. Add pepper to taste.

Serve curry over basmati rice and with a big spoonful of yougurt cucmber sauce.