Beef kohlrabi pot pies

A rich tomato beef sauce topped with nutty kohlrabi

I love pies for dinner! There is something very satisfyingly hearty about eating a warming pie, a whole meal in one. Although it often reminds of roaring fires and blustery breezes, it is also just as satisfying in the warmer months on a chillier day.

I picked up some kohlrabi at the market the other week and wasn’t quite sure how to use it, never having cooked with it before. In the end, I have used it the way I would have used potato and I think it works beautifully! Continue reading “Beef kohlrabi pot pies”

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Pork, fennel & leek braise

A slow cooked pork and fennel braise in a pomegranate sauce

For a number of years now, my husband and I have been obsessing over a recipe in Nigel Slater’s Eat for a chicken, leek and fennel braise. We make it all the time, and it is so tasty with some couscous on the side. This recipe is inspired by Nigel Slater’s recipe, but cooked in the slow cooker in a large batch for added convenience – both time saving and it makes an extra meal for the freezer stores.

As my baby is starting to be able to eat what our family eats, I have been starting to create recipes that will be adaptable for his meals as well. This saves doubling up on the cooking, and ensures that the transition to family dinners will be simple! Once his portion was put aside, I added pomegranate molasses for added depth of flavour and yumminess.

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Pork, fennel and leek braise

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1.5kg pork loin roast
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced
  • 1 fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 1 ½ cups low salt liquid chicken stock
  • 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup giant couscous to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the slow cooker up to ‘sear’ function or use a fry pan for this first step. Heat the olive oil and sear the pork on all sides until golden.
  2. Add the leek and fennel, and toss to soften for several minutes. Add the flour.
  3. Add the chicken stock and 1 ½ cups boiling water, then turn the heat down and cook on ‘slow cook’ function for 3 hours.
  4. Once cooked, remove the meat and vegetables to a saucepan and cover to keep warm. At this point, remove a portion for pureeing for baby if applicable. Turn the heat on the sauce up to ‘sear’ function again and reduce, adding the pomegranate molasses and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the liquid by approximately half, so that it will form a thick coating on the meat and vegetables.
  5. Add the meat and vegetables back to the liquid, and serve on a bed of giant couscous cooked according to packet instructions with chicken stock. Top with fronds of fennel for garnish.

 

Fruit mince chicken bake

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When I was growing up, my mother would have a dish in her frequent weeknight meals rotation that we called “Chicken with chutney and cheese on top”. Catchy title, yes? 😉 I’m not sure where she got the recipe from, but it formed a staple in my childhood. I have taken this as inspiration for today’s recipe, bearing in mind that Christmas is around the corner, and therefore fruit mince is in our cupboards and in our baking. Why not add it to a savoury dish?

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So here we are – a retro inspired baked chicken dish topped with oniony fruit mince and melted cheese, and served with roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts. This is such an easy meal to make, it is a literal ‘top the chicken and whack in the oven’ deal. Once again, I have made this recipe adaptable so that it is baby friendly! I have also made this recipe freezer-friendly, so that you can have one night off cooking the week after making this recipe 🙂

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Fruit mince chicken bake

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 6-8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 75g mixed peel
  • 100g sultanas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius. Spray a heavy bottomed roasting tray with oil.
  2. Make the fruity topping by placing the apricots, mixed peel, sultanas, garlic, onion, and spices into a food processor and process until it becomes roughly chopped.
  3. Place the chicken thighs on the roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the topping to cover the thighs evenly. Pour over the orange juice and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Add the potatoes and Brussels sprouts to the tray and bake in the oven for approximately 45 mins or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden and crunchy on the outside.

Christmas Waldorf salad

A Christmassy take on a Waldorf salad with turkey and cranberries

I love Christmas and all of the food that naturally comes with it. However, so many Christmas classic dishes are winter themed. This does not stop me from cooking them, and my family still eats a hot roast turkey and a plum pudding on Christmas day, but it’s often not appropriate on a hot summer’s day.

I thought that I would create a Christmassy take on a classic Waldorf salad. It typically contains fruits – so what a perfect way to add dried cranberries, the classic Christmas fruit. I also included some sliced turkey, which is a great way to use up leftovers, or, to make this any time of year, just use some deli sliced meat. Toss in some cold cooked pasta to bulk it up into a main meal, and it is perfect for an Australian summer in the lead up to Christmas. You could take this to a BBQ, or simply eat it on a hot night. You will still get your Christmas vibes, but not swelter under the weight of a hefty roast dinner!

A Christmassy take on a Waldorf salad with turkey and cranberries

Christmas Waldorf salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 1 fennel, shaved thinly
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced diagonally into 1 cm chunks
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 80g sliced turkey breast, shredded
  • 6 tbs cranberries
  • 150g cold cooked macaroni pasta

For the dressing:

  • 3 tsp mustard
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 60g crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the ingredients and place in the salad bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing in a separate bowl and whisk together.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

 

Sesame chicken noodle salad

A tasty cold chicken noodle salad drizzled with sesame seeds and tahini

This is a meal for those who like sesame! I’ve combined a few key flavours – sesame, soy, garlic, ginger to make a yummy chicken dish. This is a lovely summery lunch or dinner recipe. It is easy to prepare, and the only cooking you need to do is grill the chicken. The chicken could be cooked on the BBQ outside, or taken on a picnic and added to the pre-prepared salad al fresco!

A tasty cold chicken noodle salad drizzled with sesame seeds and tahini

The toasted sesame seeds add crunch, and the vermicelli noodles along with the raw grated carrot and zucchini add a lightness and freshness to the dish. I have allowed for individual serving of tahini according to one’s personal tastes – feel free to be liberal!

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Sesame chicken noodle salad

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, julienned
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g chicken thighs, no skin, bone removed

For the salad:

  • 200g vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Sesame seeds, toasted

To serve:

  • Tahini
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • Extra sesame seeds, toasted

Directions

  1. Mix the sesame oil, peanut oil, soy sauce, spring onion, ginger, garlic and salt and pepper with the chicken thighs. Leave to marinade – the longer, the better.
  2. Heat a pan on high and add the chicken. Cook for 10 mins each side until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Cook vermicelli noodles according to packet instructions. Once cooked, rinse under cold water and toss with the sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice.
  4. Add noodles, zucchini and carrot to a large salad bowl and toss with the sesame seeds. Slice the chicken and place on top.
  5. Serve with tahini and extra sesame seeds on the side to add as per individual preference.

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Brunch for dinner. That’s what this dish is to me. And brunch is my absolute favourite meal! Grilled asparagus, poached eggs, smoked trout. Refreshing on a balmy night, but still very filling!

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice saladAsparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

Asparagus, smoked trout and wild rice salad

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g smoked trout, sliced thinly
  • 100g rocket

Directions

  1. Cook the rice (I often use a microwavable pouch to make things even easier) and once cooked, place in the salad bowl.
  2. Soft boil the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and place cold under running water until cool. Leave aside to cool.
  3. Place a griddle pan on high, heat 1 tbs of olive oil and cook the asparagus until soft and charred slightly. Add to the salad bowl.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk the extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice together. Season to taste.
  5. Flake the smoked trout into the salad bowl and toss in the rocket. Peel the eggs and place on top, and drizzle the dressing over the whole lot.

Chicken and olive sausage rolls

A lighter filo wrapped sausage roll with punchy flavours of chicken, olive, capsicum and feta

Today I am sharing another quick and easy make-ahead lunch idea. You can read about my other recipes here: curry pumpkin muffins, haloumi, olive and sundried tomato loaf, spring chicken salad and pork pasties.

I love sausage rolls, but often find that they leave me with an unpleasant feeling of having over-indulged in pastry all afternoon! I made these rolls with filo, which is a little lighter and simple to work with.

A lighter filo wrapped sausage roll with punchy flavours of chicken, olive, capsicum and feta

I decided to change things up by using chicken mince (or I might have had leftover from making a chicken dish for my baby 😉 !). I am a big fan of adding flavour punches to my cooking at the moment, so this recipe has added olives, roasted red capsicum and feta. All the prep required is a simple mix together of the filling ingredients and then roll them up! You can enjoy them fresh out of the oven, or freeze the leftovers for a busy day when lunch prep is not an option, but neither is a boring cheese sandwich.

chicken_sausage_rolls_3A lighter filo wrapped sausage roll with punchy flavours of chicken, olive, capsicum and feta

Chicken and olive sausage rolls

  • Servings: makes 8 rolls
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Ingredients

  • 250g chicken mince
  • 8 green olives, sliced
  • 1 roasted red capsicum, cut into thin strips
  • 50g feta, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 sheets filo pastry

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a baking tray with spray oil.
  2. Mix together the chicken mince, olives, capsicum, feta, egg and salt and pepper.
  3. Lay out 2-3 sheets of filo pastry, spraying a thin layer of spray oil in between each.
  4. Spread one quarter of the filling along the bottom half of the pastry in a long sausage shape. Roll upwards to form a log and spray the top of the pastry. Cut in half and place on the baking tray. Continue three times more to create 8 sausage rolls.
  5. Bake for 30 mins or until golden and flaky, and the chicken is cooked through.