Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Apple Chutney

Now I'm all fired up about preserving, I think I need to trial this recipe.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Collard Greens with Bacon

A new experiment from the Farmers' Market. I've read about collard greens for years without ever seeing them for sale, so of course I had to buy some to try. Googling for recipes brought up a number of common themes and some variations, so I zipped up to the shops for bacon, and ended up throwing this together as an accompaniment to fritatta.

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and leaves shredded
1 small onion
1/3-1/2 cup bacon, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika

Saute the onion and bacon together until the onion is cooked. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add greens, vinegar, sugar and paprika and stir together, cover and sweat over a low heat until greens wilt and are just beginning to change colour (you want to keep them green). Serve as a side dish, and lament that there wasn't twice as much!

This quantity fed E and me, but next time I will buy two bunches as I probably ended up with about half the quantity of leafage as in the average supermarket bunch of English spinach (as a comparison).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Menu Plan 1 Dec - 7 Dec

Saturday 1 Dec

Sunday 2 Dec

Monday 3 Dec
Roast Chicken
(sweet potato, potato, pumpkin, carrot, broccoli, green beans/steamed veges)

Tuesday 4 Dec
Risotto with Roast Vegetables, Spinach and Fetta
(pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, onion, fetta)

Wednesday 5 Dec (B horse riding)
Tuna Pasta Bistro
(cheese sauce with tuna, and your choice of broccoli, red capsicum, carrot, peas'n'corn, SDT, etc)
Apple Crumble with Flaxseeds

Thursday 6 Dec
Lamb Curry(?); greens with coconut
(onion, potatoes, peas, sour cream; greens in season, onion, green capsicum)

Friday 7 Dec
(Onion, potato, SDT, olives, red capsicum, anything else left over)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Mmm, yes please! Recipe from Elise's Simply Recipes blog.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The purchase of yummy Italian bread and lots of vegies at the Farmers' Market this morning required the making of minestrone this evening.

1 onion, diced
1 leek, sliced thickly
1 carrot, diced
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 (very) small red capsicum, diced
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tub tomato paste
1L water
1/8 green cabbage, finely shredded
1 bunch pak choi, finely shredded (or use spinach or silverbeet)
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 tin cannelini beans
1 tin kidney beans
black pepper and basil to season

Saute onion, leek, carrot, broccoli and capsicum until beginning to wilt. Add garlic for a minute until fragrant. Add tomato paste, and gradually mix in water. Season. Bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cabbage, pak choi, zucchini and beans, simmer for five minutes until heated through, and serve with grated cheese (preferably Parmesan, although I didn't have any tonight) and Italian bread.

We've been eating pretty crappily this week because I've been too tired to cook most nights, and I can just feel my body radiating gratitude at me for all those yummy vegetables right now *g* Maybe I'm a food snob, but I can't believe that some people eat the kind of processed crap we've been subsisting on this week all the time, and think that it constitutes real food...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Easy Meals

Things in cupboard/freezer:
Butter chicken sauce x 2 (need diced chicken x 2)
Rogan Josh (need diced lamb)
Laksa (need meat, tofu or nuts, and noodles)
Pita pizzas (need salami/ham in freezer)
Frozen chicken x 1
Fish fillets

Things to buy and freeze in meal sizes:
Greenhills beef order (split with mum and dad)
Ham hock (for pea and ham soup)
Noodles for stir-fry, laksa
Shredded ham, sliced salami

Things to buy for the cupboard:
Stir-fry in a can

Things to cook and freeze:
Mexican Beans
Spaghetti sauce, veg and meat (freeze as is and as lasagne)
Pumpkin Soup [made 1 batch 11/10]
Dhal [made 1 batch 11/10]

Kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils for easy meal bases

Cakes and biscuits

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Tonight I flung together a meal which turned out to be amazingly yummy. Part of it was due to the specific ingredients - we bought new potatoes from the farmers' market last time we were there, and served them as simply as possible - boiled in their skins with butter, pepper and salt. They were utterly magnificent. Anyone who goes to the local farmers' market, you must buy potatoes from Glenn na Meala Farm. They are so delicious that they have even convinced the EDoD that she likes potatoes, an astonishing feat! They also have the advantage of being super local - the farm is only ten minutes drive away from our house :-) I also used eggs from our own chooks, and olive oil from another very local producer, but the rest of the ingredients were generic supermarket/greengrocer products and sourced from God knows where... *sigh*

Vegetable Fritters

1 onion, finely diced or grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup grated cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2-3 tbsp wholemeal flour
oil for shallow frying

Grate the vegetables into a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave til the juices release. Rinse and tip into a clean teatowel, squeeze until dry. Add corn kernels, grated cheese, and garlic and mix together. Stir through wholemeal flour til the vegetables are coated (add more if necessary). Beat eggs and seasoning together, bind mixture with egg, and put in the fridge for half an hour, unless your family is starving to death, in which case just be careful in turning them as they won't stick together as well. Shallow fry and serve hot.

Chickpea Couscous Salad

7-8 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), shredded
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tsp butter or margarine
1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 stick celery, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, currants, peas, butter or margarine and couscous in a lidded container with the boiling water. Stir quickly, cover and leave until water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and microwave for 30 seconds or so if the couscous is still slightly soggy. Turn into a large serving bowl with celery and chickpeas. Beat olive oil and balsamic vinegar together then pour over couscous mixture and stir thoroughly. Season to taste.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Another yummy lentil recipe made up on the fly... Kind of an Indian risotto without any cheese.


1/2 cup brown lentils
1 cup Arborio rice
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
salt, to taste
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 medium carrot, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sour cream
4 hardboiled eggs
sweet chilli sauce

Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and spices and fry until fragrant. Add lentils and two-three cups of water and cook until lentils have softened. Add Arborio rice and vegetables (except peas) and continue to simmer gently, adding more boiling water as liquids are absorbed. When rice is almost tender, stir through peas and sour cream and continue to cook gently until rice is soft but still slightly nutty. Serve topped with quartered hard boiled eggs, and sweet chilli sauce.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chicken and Quinoa Soup

Beth and Katy both devoured this soup when I made it last week, so the recipe is a definite keeper. We had roast chicken for dinner tonight, so I decided I would make this soup again from the leftovers (and I'm actually motivated to make stock from the carcass tonight since I can think of an immediate use for it).

Chicken and Quinoa Soup
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water or chicken stock
1/2 small potato, grated and finely minced
2 Brussels sprouts, finely shredded
1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1-2 tbsp cornflour dissolved in water
oregano, black pepper and salt to taste

Boil the quinoa and the potato til the quinoa's "tails" are beginning to loosen, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook until quinoa is fully cooked. Pour in cornflour and water, and stir until soup thickens (add more cornflour and water if soup seems to thin after five minutes or so). Serve to pickiest eater and watch her scrape her bowl clean.

Next time, I will add finely chopped broccoli florets and increase the amount of potato, which appears to be undetectable.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Basic Biscuit Recipe

I want to do some biscuit baking with the munchkins, but I don't have a basic biscuit recipe which I like. Here is one I found to experiment with.

Food Down Under Basic Biscuit Recipe. Is awesome. We made it this afternoon and iced it and sprinkled it with 100s and 1000s (K's job), and I have tried very hard not to eat all of them immediately. They are kind of shortbready but not gritty - very nice!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Cup Cakes!

Katy and I decided to try out this recipe this morning. We made a quick trip to the shops for sprinkles and mini M&Ms to decorate them with, because I was feeling decadent! They look beautiful, having just come out of the oven, and we are waiting for them to cool down before we decorate them.

ETA: This is now my official white cake recipe - they are delicious! K lost interest in decorating them and I got a phone call while I was in the process of doing the rest, so some of them don't have sprinkles because the icing had hardened by the time I got to them. Oh well. Still yummy.

If there are any left for you this evening, Beloved, let alone B when she gets back tomorrow night, you will both be very lucky *g*

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sour Cream Apple Muffins

Another new recipe. Since I am always on the lookout for the perfect muffin recipe, I must write down every variation of every recipe I try :-) My version looks like this.

1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 cup white plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 heaped cup baker's apple
1/2 cup sultanas

Combine dry ingredients. Stir through baker's apple, breaking into smaller pieces. Measure margarine and sour cream into a jug; add enough milk to make liquid up to 1 1/2 cups. Add to eggs and beat thoroughly. Combine with dry ingredients. Cook at 180C until cooked through (I forgot to adjust the oven temperature after the last recipe - the recipe I used said 400F for 12-15 minutes).

Made 12 large and 17 mini muffins.

ETA: unfortunately these were not very nice. They were certainly deliciously moist, but there wasn't enough sugar to disguise the taste of the fats. Next time I will adjust total sugar to 1 cup.

Salmon Loaf

New recipe to try.

As usual, I extemporised like mad with this recipe and made all sorts of changes, so I'm hoping I can remember them all... First of all, I thought that 2 cups of breadcrumbs was excessively bland, so I substituted 1/4 cup of ground almonds and 1/2 cup of wheatgerm. Then I only used about a heaped 1/2 cup measure of breadcrumbs on top of that, instead of making it the full 2 cups of the recipe. I only used 1 tin of salmon, because that was all I had.

1 tin pink or red salmon
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup wheatgerm
1-2 tbsp minced onion or shallot
¼ cup evaporated skim milk (or juice drained from salmon whisked with milk powder to thicken)
2 eggs
2 tbls salmon juice
2 tbls lemon juice
2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
¼ tsp tarragon
3 small-medium potatoes, steamed and mashed
1 carrot, grated
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced

Whisk eggs together, add liquid ingredients and sour cream, then ground almonds, wheatgerm, and enough breadcrumbs to make a thick paste. Add vegetables and salmon, season. Pack firmly into a greased glass loaf pan or square pan, and cook in the microwave on medium (6) for 35-40 minutes, checking for doneness after 30 minutes (may take a little extra to get the centre cooked through).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Recipe to Try

Martha's Chinese Chicken Salad - from Elise's Simply Recipes blog.

Only thing I would do differently is boil the beanthread rather than fry them - fried noodles don't do much for me at all.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Satay Tofu and Rice

This recipe originated from a vegan nasi goreng recipe, but I don't think it bears much resemblance to classic nasi goreng so I've renamed it. I haven't made it for years and had lost the recipe, so I'm writing it down now so I don't forget it again!

Satay sauce:
1/2 onion, finely diced
4-6 tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter
2-3 tbsp kejap manis (or substitute soy sauce)
2-3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp grated ginger (I didn't have any so I used 1 tsp ground)
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 small tin lite coconut milk

Tofu and Rice:
375g firm tofu, diced
2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 1/2 onions, sliced
1/2 head broccoli
1 large carrot, sliced
1 red capsicum, cut into 1 inch lengths
2 celery sticks, sliced (optional)
1/4 won bok, shredded

Cook the brown rice until tender, then remove cover and continue to cook, stirring, until most of the moisture has evaporated and the rice grains separate easily. Allow to cool while making the peanut sauce.

Saute onion until transparent, add ginger and cook until fragrant. Add peanut butter and thin with enough water to make a thickish sauce. Add kejap manis and sweet chilli sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in coconut milk and reduce heat to low. Heat through but don't let it boil.

Remove sauce from heat, cool slightly, then marinate diced tofu in sauce for a minimum of half an hour, stirring occasionally. Prepare the rest of the ingredients while waiting.

Stir fry onion until beginning to soften, then add broccoli and carrot and stir fry for a minute or two. Add capsicum and celery and continue to stir fry for another minute. Add rice and stir through vegetables. Pour sauce and tofu into wok and stir to mix and heat through. Finally, add won bok and stir until beginning to soften. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Menu Plan June-July

Slight monetary crisis means we're having a largely vegetarian month coming up... Which will be a pain as it means I have to cater separately for Miss I-hate-vegetarian-food. A good opportunity to get her involved in more cooking, I think!

Saturday 23 June (B at farm)
  • Barley and Vegetable Stoo with Dumplings
Sunday 24 June
  • Lentil Lasagne
Monday 25 June
  • Brown rice with mushrooms, Sweetcorn Rissoles, veges
Tuesday 26 June (Beth at farm)
  • Tamale Pie
Wednesday 27 June
  • oven-baked fish fillets, mashed spud, spinach sauce, veges
Thursday 28 June
  • Atkilt Wat and Ethiopian Lentils (cook lots of rice)
  • B can cook herself sausages, microwaved veges
Friday 29 June
  • Butter Chicken
Saturday 30 June
  • Tofu Nasi Goreng
  • B can cook herself mini muffins in bread cases
Sunday 1 July
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise (kangaroo mince from freezer)
Monday 2 July
  • nachos (use leftover bolognaise for B)
Tuesday 3 July
  • enchiladas
Wednesday 4 July
  • risotto with ham or sausage
Thursday 5 July
  • Salmon Casserole/Pasta Bake
Friday 6 July
  • Lamb Korma
Saturday 7 July
  • Mexican Bean Potato Toppers
Sunday 8 July
  • Paneer with Spinach, Aloo Mutter
Monday 9 July
  • Roast Chicken
Tuesday 10 July
  • Tom Kha with leftover chicken
Wednesday 11 July
  • oven-baked fish fillets, mashed spud, spinach sauce, veges
Thursday 12 July
  • Bacon and Mushroom Quiche
Friday 13 July
  • Green Chicken Curry
Saturday 14 July
  • Felafel, Bourghul Salad, other salad veges
Sunday 15 July
  • Kofta Curry, spiced vegetables
Monday 16 July
  • Spinach Eggah
Tuesday 17 July
  • Ethiopian Chickpea Wat
Wednesday 18 July
  • risotto
Thursday 19 July
  • Salmon Casserole/Pasta Bake
Friday 20 July
  • Barley and Vegetable Stoo with Dumplings
Saturday 21 July
  • Tamale Pie
Sunday 22 July
  • Cheese Empanaditas (CAA pp. 30-1) and salads
Monday 23 July
  • Kangaroo Stroganoff
Tuesday 24 July
  • Tofu Stir Fry
Wednesday 25 July
  • Crockpot Chicken and Apricot Tagine
Thursday 26 July
  • Bacon and Spinach Macaroni Cheese
Friday 27 July
  • Ravioli with Carbonara Sauce
Saturday 28 July

Sunday 29 July

Monday 30 July
  • Shepherd's Pie (kangaroo mince)
Tuesday 31 July

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mushroom and Sausage Risotto

This is an oddball kind of a recipe which came about when I was trying to think how to make risotto acceptable to Ms B, aka Ms Feed-Me-MEAT! Sausages were the only thing I had in the freezer (boiling them first makes them easier to cut up).

1 onion
1 cup diced mushrooms*
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
boiling water
2 sausages, lightly boiled and sliced
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 cup grated cheese**
black pepper and salt to taste

For onion-phobic people like B, whizz up the onion in a blender with 1/2 cup of warm water. Otherwise, just dice it, and saute until translucent. Saute mushrooms until soft, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add Arborio rice, and about 1/2 cup boiling water (or onion water), adding more as rice absorbs the moisture. Add sausage, tomato and basil after the rice has cooked for a while. Keep adding water until rice has a nutty texture. Stir in cheese, adding more water if necessary, and then season and serve as soon as cheese is melted through. Give the Eldest Daughter twice as much as she originally asked for because she likes it That Much.

* I would have put in more but I ran out; I'd love to use dried mushrooms to increase the flavour as well.
** I usually use 1.3 cup Parmesan but didn't have any in the fridge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mango Chutney

It's the wrong time of year for mangoes, but next summer I will definitely have to come back to this recipe when big trays of bruised mangoes start turning up at the Markets for ridiculously low prices!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Menu Plan - in progress

Thursday 10 May
  • Tuna Pasta Sauce
Friday 11 May
  • Chicken Chowder
Saturday 12 May
  • Amanda's Partay - bring grub of some description
Sunday 13 May
  • Kangaroo Bolognaise
Monday 14 May
Tuesday 15 May
  • Vegan
Wednesday 16 May
  • Red meat
Thursday 17 May
Friday 18 May
  • Chicken
Saturday 19 May
Sunday 20 May

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Success!

The Bacon and Spinach Macaroni Cheese I linked to a couple of posts ago was a big hit last night. The EDOD finished her entire plateful, which means that this dish has now made it to high rotation in what passes for my menu planning these days (she ate it again for lunch today as well). Since I made a few changes to the recipe, I'll put my modified version here.

Bacon and Spinach Macaroni Cheese
  • 300g vegeroni pasta
  • 200g short-cut rindless bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ~1-2 cups grated low-fat cheddar cheese or tasty cheese
  • 30g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 5 portions of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • black pepper and basil to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Cook the pasta until just al dente. Fry the bacon, then leave to drain. Blend the cornflour with 1 cup of water, then stir over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Gradually add the rest of the milk and the water, then mix in the cheeses and simmer gently until melted. Season to taste, then stir spinach, bacon and pasta into the sauce. Quickly fold in beaten eggs, pour into casserole dish and cook at 200C until top is golden.

This made about five adult servings.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cake and Kangaroo

Not in the same dish, obviously!

This afternoon I engaged grumpy munchkins in cooking the Banana and Blueberry Loaf from my last post, and in the process turned them into happy and, an hour later, well-fed munchkins.
Cooking with my babies is fun!

Dinner was stroganoff, but I substituted kangaroo steak for beef, and the result was gorgeous!

Kangaroo Stroganoff

500g kangaroo steak, thinly sliced
600g mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 dessert spoon crushed garlic
~2-3 c water
1 chicken stock cube (optional)
3/4c extra lite sour cream
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp basil
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Suate onions til translucent. Remove from pan, and sear kangaroo strips over a very high heat for a minute or less, until sealed. Deglaze pan with 1-2 tbsp water. Add garlic, mushrooms, onions, and stock cube dissolved in a little boiling water. Fill pan with water to about 3/4 the height of the ingredients, cover and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer very gently for 45 minutes or until kangaroo is tender. Take out a couple of ladlefuls of broth and whisk into the sour cream, until smooth. Add cornflour to sour cream mixture and stir until smooth, then add to pan. Turn heat up and stir until thickened.

Serve over mashed potatoes, with steamed vegetables on the side. Drool.

This would probably make about 4 generous adult serves, or 5 if you add lots of extra veges.

Edited for clarity.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Yumminess to Try

Bacon and Spinach Macaroni Cheese - sounds like something which the EDOD will eat and which will be less boring for the rest of us than bog-standard mac'n'cheese.

Warm Potato Salad with sweet chilli sour cream
- like wedges with the dipping done for you!

Banana and Blueberry Loaf - perfect in the unlikely event that we ever have some bananas which are allowed to become overripe...

* * * * *

I do find it odd that so many recipes containing goat's-milk cheese make it into the budget category on this website, though. In the world which contains my not-particularly-ungenerous grocery budget, real goat's cheese equals "luxury which can only be eaten every couple of months". $7-$8 for 400g is hardly a "budget" ingredient!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ideas for Cooking Kangaroo Mince

Kangaroo Con Carne.

Shepherd's Pie with Kangaroo Mince.

From what I've read, it appears you can substitute roo mince for beef mince in any recipe where there will be extra moisture added (eg. a tomato-based sauce). Because of the low fat content, I would be wary about trying to make rissoles or burgers, although making smaller meatballs which are cooked in sauce would probably also work.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bacon and Mushroom Quiche

I just made this for dinner and it was so scrummy I have to write down the recipe pronto before I forget. The quantities given for the filling were too generous for the size of the pastry, so I cooked the overflow in a loaf tin lined with baking parchment.

1 sheet of short crust pastry
3 eggs
1 onion, diced
1/2 tub of silken tofu
1-2 tsp garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
100g bacon pieces
1 cup diced mushrooms
3/4 cup grated cheese
basil and black pepper

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a square quiche dish with the pastry, fill with beans, and blind bake until puffed and beginning to go golden. Fry bacon until browned and crisp, cool slightly, then combine with mushrooms and cheese. Put three eggs into a blender and make up to 250mL with milk. Add diced onion and blend until smooth. Add tofu, garlic and balsamic vinegar and blend until smooth. Combine with bacon, mushroom and cheese, and pour into pie dish. Cook for a bloody long time until browned on top and mostly firm in the middle. Turn oven off and leave quiche to firm up for fifteen minutes. Feed to your fussiest child and discover that she actually likes it!

Friday, March 09, 2007


New recipe to try. I have made a crockpot chicken and apricot tagine before to a different recipe, but this one looks quite similar and pretty simple.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I've been annoyed at not finding a basic cake recipe which I can use for topping pie fruit as a quick dessert, so tonight I made one up. I grabbed a 1/3 cup measurement (what came to hand) and made sure that everything was in increments of 1/3 so I would find it easier to remember. The recipe was as follows:

2/3 cups plain flour
1/3 cups wholemeal plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cups milk
1 egg
cinnamon (for an apple cake)

I poured it over a small tin of apple pie fruit, and cooked it at 180 til cooked through. It could probably have come out a little earlier as it was a bit dry. To make it into a plain cake, I'm going to try doubling the quantities, adding 2/3 c applesauce in lieu of any fat (whick I forgot about in the above recipe), and make it in a baking tray so I can cut it into squares.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tuna Pasta Sauce

Made a very yummy tuna pasta sauce last night which I think will be a request in the future. I think I will double the quantities and make tuna lasagne sometime as well.

1 onion, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1.5 cups mushrooms, finely diced
1-2 tsp garlic
1 425g tin tuna in springwater, drained
1 440g tin diced tomatoes, with juice
1.5 cups corn kernels
black pepper

Blend onion with water until frothy and liquid. Saute mushrooms and capsicum until soft, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tuna, tomatoes, onion water and corn, bring to a gentle boil, and simmer until liquid has evaporated and sauce is thick. Serve over pasta with freshly grated Parmesan.

Next time I might try blending the capsicum along with the onion, because of course Beth whinged about having that in her food as well, although at least she did actually eat a fair amount! There was enough left for E to be able to take one serving for lunch on Monday as well.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Not a success...

The pumpkin and spinach lasagne recipe I linked to below was not received with approbation by my family. Nobody finished their serving except me, and I didn't like it all that much! I ended up making it for dinner instead of for the freezer as originally intended, because I very cleverly missed a bag when I was putting the frozen foods away yesterday afternoon, and the bag of spinach portions sat on the floor with the non-perishables for about six hours before I finally put everything away. By that stage, of course, it was well and truly defrosted, so I slung it in the fridge and bumped up my lasagne production date to use it all up. Now to figure out what to do with the big bunch of silverbeet I actually bought for that purpose...

Next time, I won't bother with the ricotta sauce (I've never understood the appeal myself but I figured I'd stick with the recipe at least the first time), and make my usual cheese sauce. To appease Beth's tastes, I'll mix the spinach into that layer instead of leaving it separate. And I will try to be very careful about not overcooking the pumpkin - it was tasteless and watery, and even though I seasoned it quite generously with ginger and garlic powder, black pepper and a little salt, you couldn't taste any of it. I just wish I knew the recipe for the one they make at the Coffee Club in the Mall, because that stuff is quite seriously addictive!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cooking for the Freezer: More Frustrations

We finally managed to get out and do our monthly shop today, but discovered (after circulating through half the supermarket filling the trolley) that they didn't have the right kind of large foil trays! Bah. I visited so many places looking for the darn things last time that I forgot where I actually bought them. I think it was Home and Variety. We had two trolleys full of bags and a bunch of frozen stuff, so couldn't really go past and pick some up afterwards. Will have to go back to the mall yet again before I can finally make this darned lasagne. Curses...

Still, I got everything else on my list. More food for freezer cooking, and some more jars and tins for can't-be-arsed-cooking nights. One of those occurred tonight, but we got takeaway Chinese from King Fook instead. Yum!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cooking for the Freezer: Progress Report 3

I made a tuna casserole in the last of the large aluminum trays the other day, and will have to buy more of them before I can make the pumpkin and spinach lasagne which I finally have all the ingredients for. I was planning to do my monthly shop this week, but Katy being sick has meant that I haven't been able to. We did make it out to the markets this morning, where I bought lots of fruit and veges, and also some more lentils, stewing steak, mince and chicken breasts for freezer meals. I haven't decided what to do with them yet, but I think I will make beef and brown lentil stoo in the crockpot for a start. That, of course, means that now I have to empty it and clean it. Yesterday I put another batch of pumpkin and lentil soup on, and then forgot to turn it off until after I got home from my ABA meeting about 12 hours later, so it was horribly overcooked. Chook food *sigh* Disappointing, but at least it was just using up odds and sods from the bottom of the vege crisper. I would have been really pissed off with myself if I'd bought the veges especially for the recipe and then wasted them like that... We were also lucky enough to find a big stack of the really yummy rectangular tomato-glazed pizza bases marked down to $1 each at the markets, and bought six, which are now in the deep freeze. I also bought poppyseed bagels for Beth to try, although I somehow doubt that they are destined for the freezer!

Forgot to mention that on Monday night I also made a gorgeous crockpot dhal with yellow split peas, sweet potato, capsicum and onion, seasoned with curry paste and lots of garlic. It cooked down into a gorgeous orange slurry after six hours or so, and along with 2 cups of brown rice, made up one meal for E, K and myself, and three lunches for E. Will have to make again, but a bigger batch next time. I will also need to make another batch of samosas, since we ate some with our dhal (so that Beth would have something to eat) and I parceled the rest of them out for E's lunches, alongside the dhal. Must induce food-related envy in E's co-workers wherever he goes, of course *g*

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cooking for the Freezer: Progress Report 2

I didn't manage to make the vegetarian lasagne until today, but it is now cooked and ready to go into the fridge tonight to cool down. Poor Beth was disappointed again... although she was pleased with the fact that I cooked extra white sauce so that we could have spinach sauce for dinner! Bizarrely, that was the only thing she ate - a plateful of spinach sauce. She didn't even want her sausages. That girl is downright eccentric when it comes to her food choices. I made lentil burgers for dinner the other night, and had five left over which are now in the deep freeze. I have also made a vat of pumpkin soup, and have a dinner-size serving in the freezer for later. Katy and I have been eating the rest of it for dinner last night and lunch today. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cooking for the Freezer: Progress Report 1

After a late night dash to the supermarket, I am now set to make up a vegetarian lasagne tomorrow with the lentil sauce which is in the fridge, and to experiment with the new recipe for pumpkin and spinach lasagne as well. Today I finally made up the meat sauce into lasagne, thus raising the hopes of Beth who was very disappointed to get a baked potato for dinner instead! I also cooked banana bread, using the two mushy bananas in the fridge, and applesauce muffins since I had a jar of applesauce to use up. Most of the muffins will go in the freezer for my beloved's lunches, but I doubt the cake will last that long since between us, Katy, Eric and I have eaten half already *g*

Last week I put up about 18 lamb samosas, of which a few have since been eaten. I need to buy the biggest size of ziplock bags and decant the frozen samosas from the 9L container, so I can use it to freeze other things in. Other recipes I have in mind include freezing the base for lentil shepherd's pie if I have any sauce left after making the lasagne, cooking lentil burgers with the leftover lentils (need to buy mushrooms), and seeing whether I can freeze pre-stuffed enchiladas (without the sauce) without it going soggy. Once I've finished up all the already-cooked stuff in the fridge, I might try tuna or salmon casseroles, and meatballs.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More recipes to try

Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagne

Beef Provencal

Beef, Kumara and Rocket Stack

Fish Cakes

QRTT: Salmon, Baby Spinach and Couscous salad

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 3

Serves: 4


1 1/3 cups (300ml) vegetable stock or water
1 cup (200g) couscous
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon rind
210g can pink or red salmon, drained
8 cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
2-3 green onions (shallots), finely-chopped
Freshly-ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted


1. Boil stock in a medium sized stock pot. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover and leave to swell for 2 minutes. Stir again with a fork to separate the grains.

2. Spoon into a shallow bowl. Fluff with a fork to separate. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 5 minutes. Add juice, oil and rind.

3. Flake salmon and place in a salad bowl with halved tomatoes, parsley, onions (green and white stems) and pepper. Spoon couscous mixture into bowl. Mix all ingredients well.

4. Serve on spinach leaves, topped with pine nuts.


You will need 1 lemon for the rind and juice for this recipe.

Recipe courtesy of Catherine Saxelby, from Nutrition for the Healthy Heart. Found here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lamb Samosas

I have been seized with the urge to do some cooking for the freezer, in the hope that we find out that I'm pregnant soon and I can get on with the morning sickness and general whinging without having to cook too! These were drier than the vegetarian samosas, but still quite yummy. Next time, I might add some very finely grated potato to help combat the dryness.

600g lamb mince
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
1/4 tsp chilli (could add more if not cooking for Beth)
1/2 tsp ginger
1 cup frozen peas (omit if cooking for Beth because she is a fussy bugger)
5 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 190C. In a large frying pan, saute the onion in a little oil until translucent. Add spices and fry until fragrant. Add lamb and cook until brown, breaking up clumps as much as you can (I use a potato masher). Fry gently until no pink remains, adding a little more oil if it seems dry. Add the peas and warm through as you prepare the pastry. Cut sheets into quarters, fill and fold, pressing down on two sides to make a triangle. Brush with beaten egg and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Makes 18-20.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Scrumptious Samosas

Inspired by making mushroom pastries all day for the St Valentines feast on the weekend. Simple and incredibly moreish!

1 large onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp curry paste
1-2 tsp crushed garlic
1 large potato, finely diced
1.5 teaspoons each of red lentils, brown lentils, blue lentils, and yellow split peas
2 sheets shortcrust pastry, thawed but still cold
1 egg, beaten [omit for a vegan recipe, and glaze with soymilk]

Saute onion until tender, add seasonings and cook until fragrant. Stir in potatoes and lentils, add water, and bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and lentils are cooked, adding water as necessary. Cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated off. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 190C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Cut the pastry sheets into four squares. Arrange a generous dollop of lentil filling on one half, leaving about one centimetre free at the edge. Fold pastry over to make a triangle and pinch the sides firmly to seal. Glaze with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve with mango chutney, and a side serving of chickpea and vegetable curry over brown rice.