Fabulous easy pasta

This is seriously the concoction of what I had in the fridge that day! It is so fast, fresh and fabulous that I go out of my way to ensure I have the ingredients to cook it on purpose now! My kids go back for seconds, and it freezes really well, so this simple dish is a winner in my house!

Ingredients

1 small onion, sliced

2 tsp garlic paste or 3 cloves of garlic crushed

4 sprigs box basil

A handful of parsley

350ml tomato puree or passata

6 pieces of grilled red and yellow capsicum (from the deli or jar or maybe from leftovers)

250g zucchini spaghetti – as in the fresh curly zucchini strips

Dash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Heat a saucepan, splashing a dash of olive oil in. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add the herbs, passata and capsicum. Salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for ten minutes. Steam the zucchini curls, then add to your sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Fabulous easy pasta

Simple pork wontons

These are so delicious!! I love how the crispy outside and the warm soft inside collide in your mouth when you eat them! My son loves these, and he makes them from scratch, so if we can, you can!

Ingredients

½ stick lemongrass, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 chilli, finely chopped

A handful of coriander, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely diced

1 kg pork mince

120 wonton wrappers – or just 20 – your choice!

1 egg

Method

Place the herbs and spices in a saucepan with a little oil and fry for a minute, then add the pork mince and cook until done. Set aside to cool. Put the egg in a cup and whisk with a fork for a minute. Set aside. Once the mixture is fairly cool place a heaped teaspoon in the middle of a wonton wrapper, then close over and seal with egg wash. Fry in small batches, in a small amount of hot oil, or a deep fryer if you have one. I don’t so I just fry in an inch of oil and turn over after two minutes or so, to do both sides. Drain the wontons well.

This does make 120, or for a smaller affair, you can always make the amount you need, and then use the leftover filling for other dishes. It freezes well and the flavours combine a bit more over time, so it is not a bad thing! I like to serve the leftover filling a week later in crispy iceberg lettuce cups, drizzled with a little sesame oil. I serve the wontons with a little garden salad to take the edge of the fry. However you eat these wontons, and whatever you do with all of the filling, enjoy!

Simple pork wontons

Spiced chickpeas

This is a fantastic accompaniment to any Eastern dishes you are creating in that kitchen of yours! Once cooled, they can be stored, so they also make for a beautiful savoury afternoon snack! This spice paste is too easy to make. Your kitchen will be cast with aromas from afar and your taste buds will go on adventure! Happy travels!

 Feb 2017 165

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp mixed spice

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp salt

Can of chickpeas, 440g

 

Method

Mix all ingredients together. Throw a can of drained and washed chickpeas in and swoosh around to coat. Don’t forget to shake your hips when you swoosh! Grab your favourite saucepan, whack it on medium heat and add throw the mix in, making sure to pour every last bit of spice paste in! Fry the chickpeas for ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Your kitchen will smell like a Middle Eastern market, and the family will come out of the woodwork to ask “what’s for dinner”! Please note I use this spice paste on sliced chicken breast too. And it is just as delicious! I hope you like this one!

Spiced chickpeas

Nectarine and Haloumi salad

So whenever stone fruit is in season I think it is more than appropriate to use it every day! This means we eat them sliced on yoghurt or ice-cream for desert, whole in our lunches, and even in our salads at dinner! It is as simple as putting a pan on low heat, throwing in a teaspoon of caster sugar, a dash of water, and then the fruits halved. They really get an intense flavour with the heat, and just moving them around the pan a little allows them to absorb the sugar, making a beautiful coating.

Sometimes I like to fry a little haloumi and add it too. Here I have used nectarines. They were gorgeous!I like to go to this little extra effort with salads when I have vegetarian friends over, or just because! Who needs an excuse to eat beautiful nectarines?!

Give it a go, embrace stone fruit season!!

 

Nectarine and Haloumi salad

BBQ Beef ribs

Ribs were on sale at the local butcher, so I couldn’t resist! Although ribs are a mix of fat and meat, the low and slow cooking method makes them really tender and they are a big family favourite!

Ingredients

4 beef ribs on the bone

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup BBQ sauce

Splash Worcestershire sauce

Splash of whiskey, I used Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

Pepper

 

Method

Combine the brown sugar, bbq sauce, whiskey and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan and stir on low until the sugar has dissolved. Crack pepper into the mixture. I do not add extra salt because the bought bbq sauce if salty enough, but add some if you like. Place the ribs in a baking dish lined with alfoil and pour the sauce over them, rubbing the beef, getting the sauce all over them. Put the dish in the fridge for a few hours. An hour and 15 minutes before you need them, grab the dish and put it in the oven on 160 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes. At the 50 minute mark, turn the heat up to 200 degrees and leave for 10 minutes. Take the ribs out of the oven and cover with alfoil or a large plate to keep the heat in and leave them sit for 10 minutes. Serve as you like. Warning – there is no real lady-like way to eat these little beauties, even if you start with cutlery the bone will get you!! Lol!

BBQ Beef ribs

Butterfly lamb

Feeling a little Mediterranean I thought I’d throw some herbs from the balcony in a dish, add some tang of lemon and get a lamb going! Turns out that was a good decision and I will be serving this to the family again. It was beautiful, and the next day I used the leftover meat on a homemade pizza with some feta, herbs and tomato. I hope you like it!

Ingredients

Leg of lamb, bone off and butterflied

Salt and pepper

1 lemon, chopped into pieces

Handful of basil

A few sprigs of thyme

A few lengths of oregano

Drizzle of olive oil

 

Method

Lay the basil, thyme, oregano and lemon in the bottom of a roasting dish. Sprinkle with salt. Lay the lamb on top of the herbs to allow for infusion. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil, and dress with salt and pepper, rubbing it in. Pour ¼ cup water into the dish and place in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 1 hour. This is particularly lovely because when you eat the lamb, you honestly taste the herbs – they really go through the meat, and the lamb is moist and tender – don’t set the table with steak knives, butter knives will do! Enjoy!

The lamb placed on the herbs ready for infusion!

The end product! Delicious and moist!

Butterfly lamb

Turmeric chicken

We often need an immunity booster mid-week, especially with swimming lessons and other things going on, so I lean to turmeric. Here is a very simple way I get it in our diets without fuss or making the kids have some on a spoon with honey!

Ingredients

Chicken cut into tenderloins

2 tsp turmeric powder

A handful of oregano

Splash olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Method

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the chopped sprigs of oregano. Put a splash of olive oil and the turmeric powder in a small bowl, stirring until combined. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken into the pan on top of the oregano frying, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then turn and cook further until done. Serve with any veges or salad you like. See the capsicums on the plate above? I cut them and rubbed them with macadamia nuts all around the pan after I took the chicken out, to get all the scrumptious little bits coating them! This really is a lovely dish for your organs. Being simple and delicious it is a mid-week go to, and gives us the turmeric hit we need to keep us going!

Turmeric chicken