Thursday, December 28, 2006

Menu Plan - January

Mon 1st Laksa with Tofu Nuggets

Tue 2nd Tuna Pasta Bake

Wed 3rd Vegetarian Couscous

Thu 4th Chicken Parcels

Fri 5th Fritatta

Sat 6th Lentil Burgers

Sun 7th Roast Chicken

Mon 8th Spaghetti/Lasagne

Tue 9th Fish Parcels

Wed 10th Enchiladas

Thu 11th Chicken Chowder

Fri 12th Risotto

Sat 13th Eric's Party - Potluck

Sun 14th Nachos

Mon 15th Laksa with Tofu Nuggets

Tue 16th Salmon Pot Pie

Wed 17th Enchiladas

Thu 18th Chicken Parcels

Fri 19th Frittata

Sat 20th My birthday - NOT COOKING!!!!!

Sun 21st Roast Chicken

Mon 22nd Spaghetti

Tue 23rd Chicken Pot Pie

Wed 24th Enchiladas

Thu 25th Fish Chowder

Fri 26th Risotto

Sat 27th Lentil Burgers

Sun 28th Butter Chicken

Mon 29th Nachos

Tue 30th Fish? baked with toppings?

Wed 31st Egg and Bacon Quiche

Friday, December 15, 2006

Menu Plan - rest of December

16th Salmon Pot Pie

17th Roast Chicken

18th Enchiladas

19th Frittata

20th Tuna Pasta Bake

21st Chicken Parcels

22nd Vegetable Curry

23rd Lentil Burgers

24th Home-made Pizza

25th meal with Margaret/Dennis

26th Creamy Pumpkin Soup

27th Nachos

28th Risotto

29th Chicken Doner Kebabs (Recipes for Health and Beauty p. 11) and salads

30th Spaghetti and Meatballs

31st Egg and Bacon Quiche

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Beth did not eat this. Foolish child.

2 sm-medium chicken breasts
chicken stock cube
2-3 cups water
1 red capsicum
7-8 spring onions
7-8 button mushrooms
1-2 cloves garlic
7-8 sun-dried tomatoes (oil free)
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup parsley, shredded
1/2 cup snow peas, snapped into 2-3 pieces
100mL lite sour cream
1 tsp cornflour
black pepper

1. Gently poach the chicken in enough water to cover until cooked through (add stock cube to boiling water). Remove chicken from stock and cool. Reserve stock. When cool enough to handle, slice into bite sizes pieces.
2. Slice red capsicum into large flat pieces and place on a baking tray which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Grill under a high heat until black and bubbling. Remove from heat, cover with a clean teatowel, and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove skins and slice.
3. Saute spring onions and mushrooms for five minutes, then deglaze pan with a little chicken stock. Add carrots, broccoli florets, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted capsicum, pour in about a centimetre of stock, cover and simmer very gently for 6 minutes. Add chicken, snowpeas, parsley and seasonings and simmer for another minute or so. While chicken is heating through, whisk together sour cream, 2 tbsp stock and cornflour. Add to pan and heat until warmed through and slightly thickened.
4. Serve immediately over wholemeal pasta, with parmesan cheese.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chicken Parcels - another customisable meal

2 large chicken breasts, halved (about 100g each)
mushrooms, sliced
bacon rashers (1 per parcel)

Place the mushroom and tomato on squares of alfoil and top with the chicken and bacon rashers (if using). Seal the foil parcels and cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C for twenty minutes or until cooked through. Serve with salad or vegetables.

I made this for dinner last night and it got five stars from all of us. I was serving it with pretty substantial salads so I left the vegetables simple, but this could be served with any quick-cooking vegetables you like. Vary the cooking method for different vegetables, by putting some on top to steam and others underneath to absorb juices. Suggestions:

buk choy (on top)
sun-dried tomato
yellow squash or zucchini slices
roasted capsicum
sweet potato (par-boiled or roasted)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yummy Vegetable Soup; Fruity Couscous Salad

My success rate with vegetable soups is usually pretty hit-and-miss, so I figured I'd write this one down since the seasonings really came together nicely.

1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tbsp cornflour
4 cups water (measurement is very approximate!)
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large potato, diced
1 cup diced mushrooms
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen peas
~1 cup short noodles, uncooked
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
black pepper to taste

Saute onion until translucent, add garlic and fry for one minute. Dissolve cornflour in 1 cup of water, add to the pan. Stir over medium high flame until it begins to thicken, gradually add the rest of the water. Bring to a gentle boil, then add carrot, sweet potato and potato and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Add capsicum, mushrooms, short noodles and seasonings and cook for five minutes, then add zucchini and green peas and cook for a couple of minutes or until zucchini is just tender. Serve immediately.

The rest of dinner was my favourite zucchini loaf, and an experimental fruity couscous salad of my own devising. I tried one from the deli counter at Coles on the weekend and it was all wrong (not to mention containing the bulbous purple fruit of Satan, which Mr Bat will not permit to pass the threshold of this house), so I was inspired to attempt my own. Here's the recipe, as far as I remember.

1/2 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 cup couscous
1/4 cup currants and diced dried apricots
1 cup water
1 generous scoop of margarine or butter
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 red capsicum, diced
ground black pepper
juice of half an orange
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil

Saute onion until transparent, add garlic and fry for one minute. Pour in water and bring to boil. Add couscous, dried fruit and butter, stir to combine, then cover and take off the heat. Leave for 5 minutes. Return pan to heat and fluff couscous with a fork to separate all the grains. Cool in the fridge. When cool, stir through chickpeas, capsicum and black pepper. Whisk together orange juice, vinegar and olive oil, pour over salad, and stir to combine. Rest in fridge for a couple of hours before serving to allow flavours to blend.

For a first attempt it wasn't half bad, but it still needs tweaking. I think probably some more greenery should be involved, and also toasted slivered almonds.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dhal with Greens

I am feeling ethically conflicted about eating meat/dairy again, so am making more of an effort to eat veg*n. This was our fabulous meal last night, which I am recording for posterity because otherwise I will never remember what I did...

1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup red lentils
1 onion, diced
1 dessertspoon mild curry paste
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 tub (~70g) tomato paste
1/2 cup passata
1/2 red capsicum, diced

Saute onion til golden then add curry paste and saute til fragrant. Add yellow split peas and at least one cup water, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Add red lentils, sweet potato and more water and simmer until the red lentils have begun to disintegrate, adding water as necessary. Roughly mash down some of the sweet potato, add diced capsicum, and continue to simmer gently until dhal is thick. Serve with:

Greens with Coconut
1/2 large leek
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1 bunch choy sum
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
~20 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
~1 tsp ea cumin and coriander
1 tbsp coconut milk

Slice leek into rings and saute until wilted. Add zucchini and saute until beginning to soften, then add spices and fry for a minute, or until fragrant. Chop choy sum roughly across leaf, cut some of the thinner stems into inch long pieces. Wash thoroughly to remove grit and add to pan. Stir fry/steam gently in the water clinging to leaves until beginning to wilt, add coconut milk and heat through, then serve immediately over brown rice.

Both Mr B and I enjoyed it, and Katy devoured her entire serving plus some of her Dada's. She particularly liked the choy sum, and the sweet potato.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stealth Health Spaghetti Sauce

About the only way to get vegetables into Ms 9 is by stealth. A food processor is invaluable here. I can add just about any vegetable to a spaghetti sauce so long as it isn't green...

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can butter beans, drained
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
2 potatoes, cooked and diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
4 chicken thigh fillets, diced

Saute onion and carrot until onion is cooked. Add garlic and saute for a further minute. Put crushed tomatoes, butter beans, potatoes, onion, carrot and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Add water if it seems too thick, and process until very smooth.

Brown chicken in the same pan. Pour over sauce and add diced tomatoes and corn kernels. Reduce until the sauce is nice and thick and the chicken is cooked through.