Friday, August 31, 2012

Dinner Plan for week starting 1 September

OK, so I got a bit carried away yesterday doing a menu when I didn’t know what veges I’d have to work with. So I’ve deleted that and am starting again.

Here’s what’s left in the freezer/fridge


- steak

- kangaroo mince

- kangaroo fillet


- 1 leek

- 1 bunch parsley

- 1 bunch coriander

- 1/2 bunch celery

- 1/2 bunch spring onions

- ginger

And here’s what we got today

31 August

Vege selection

- carrots

- silverbeet

- baby spinach

- zucchini

- capsicum

- broccoli

- potato

- bok choy

- mushrooms

- sweet potato

- corn

- coriander



The leftover leek and celery and some of the new carrots will be used to make stock.

I’ll probably use the silverbeet and spinach in smoothies.

The rest of the veg will be used in the following dishes

Sat - Kangaroo chilli (zucchini, capsicum)

Sun – steak (broccoli, potato)

Mon – kangaroo stir-fry (bok choy, mushrooms)

Tue – roast veg salad with chickpeas (sweet potato, carrot)

Wed – salmon frittata (broccoli, corn)

Thu – hot lentil curry (coriander, canned tomatoes)

Fri- salmon and pea pilaf (frozen peas, spring onions)


Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mandarin Smoothie

We have an abundance of mandarins at the moment
mandarin tree
Unfortunately they’re a bit on the sour side this year. My favourite way to use them up at the moment is to disguise them in smoothies.  Here’s one example (adapted from Vegie Head’s Breakfast Smoothie)
Mandarin Breakfast Smoothie
(makes about 750ml)
2 cups leafy greens (eg kale or baby spinach)
1 cup peeled mandarins
half a cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
2 dates, pitted
1 banana
2 cups water
juice of half a lemon

Place all ingredients in high-powered blender and blend until smooth
 mandarin smoothie 2
mandarin smoothie 3

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parsnip Mash

When I was as a kid, I think Mum used to cook parsnip and carrots and mash them together for dinner sometimes. I never really ate parsnips much after leaving home, until Rob and I went to the Noosa Food & Wine Festival in May 2011. One of the dishes we ate had parsnip puree

May 15 0004

From left to right: braised pork belly ravioli, parsnip puree, caramelised black kingfish

Rob and I both loved the parsnip puree, and not long afterwards I found a recipe for 'buttery parsnip mash' (I think it was out of one of the foodie magazines, but I copied the recipe by hand so not sure which one), and ever since then I make that whenever we get parsnips.

Buttery Parsnip Mash

Cook 750g parsnips, trimmed, peeled, coarsely chopped, in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to pan. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Gradually add 50g chilled butter, chopped, and mash until smooth. Stir in two tablespoons thickened cream [I usually leave this out]. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a roast or your favourite family stew.

I would say this makes four good-sized servings. I usually half the recipe and that's enough for the two of us. Last night we had it with roast chicken.

parsnip mash


Monday, August 20, 2012

Winter One Pot

winter one pot

Mum and Dad sent me this recipe about 10 years ago, so I’m not sure where it came from originally, but it’s just as the name says – a tasty winter meal that you can make in one pot. Gotta love that!

Winter One Pot

serves 4-6

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 stick celery, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp finely chopped coriander stalks

3 rashers rindless bacon, chopped

4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into quarters

1/2 cup whole kernel corn

500g peeled seeded pumpkin, cut into 3cm dice

2 large potatoes, cut into 3cm dice

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup dried pasta [not ribbon shape; I used gluten-free spirals]

coriander leaves for garnish

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat oil over moderate heat and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, coriander stalks and bacon.

Fry gently until onion is soft and everything is lightly brown.

Turn up heat and add chicken. Mix well and cook until they have all coloured.

Add corn, pumpkin, potatoes and stock and bring to the boil.

Add the pasta, season well with salt and pepper, mix well and bring to the boil. Boil gently for about 15 minutes until everything is cooked.

Serve in bowls, with a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fruit & Veg Friday

Here’s the mixed box of fruit and veg we received today.

17 August

Fruit: bananas, apples, pears, oranges, mandarins, lemons and a grapefruit

Veg: parsnips, carrots, zucchini, celery, leek, bok choy, silverbeet, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, alfalfa, sweet potato, potatoes and corn

I’ve also got some pumpkin, corn, beetroot  and silverbeet stalks leftover from this week.

I’ll probably use the alfalfa and silverbeet in smoothies, and the rest of the veg as follows

pumpkin, corn –> winter one pot

silverbeet stalks, broccoli –> baked swiss chard stems with olive oil and parmesan, warm broccoli salad

sweet potato, cauliflower, parsnip –> roast chicken, sweet potato and cauliflower, parsnip puree

beetroot –> lentil salad with beets and feta 

bok choy –> coriander and chilli kangaroo

zucchini, carrots, celery –> chilli con carne

potatoes –> Old English Fish Pie


Back next week with pics and recipes!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocolate Muesli

We’ve been enjoying this simple snack for supper the last few nights.

choc muesli 1

Mix together equal amounts of ‘trail mix’ type foods. In the mix above there is a dessert spoon each of cacao nibs, goji berries, sunflower seeds and almonds. I’ve been adding pumpkin seeds too, but we’ve run out.

choc muesli 2

Pour over a small amount of whatever kind of milk you like. Allow to sit for a minute or two, to allow the chocolate flavour to infuse, then enjoy.

To borrow a jingle, ‘Tastes like chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!’

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Favourite Frittata

favourite frittata 1

This has been our go-to egg recipe of late. I’ve been able to easily adapt it to the ingredients we have at hand. For example, the recipe calls for salmon, but ham works well too. It also calls for asparagus, which is great, but I’ve successfully used zucchini on one occasion and broccoli this time. I also used leek in place of the onion this time.

favourite frittata 2

The original recipe (below) is from Australian Good Food, May 2010.

Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Frittata

Serves 4 | Prep 15 mins | Cook 1hr | gluten free

2 tsp olive oil

1 onion, thickly sliced

3 small potatoes, peeled

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

200g smoked salmon slices, halved [I use Smoked Salmon for Cooking; it’s cheaper but still tastes good]

60g goat’s milk fetta, crumbled

6 eggs

¼ cup (60ml) skim milk

3 cups salad greens, to serve


1 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Heat oil in a small frying pan on medium-low. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, for 15 mins, or until caramelised.

2  Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 mins, until par-cooked. Drain. To blanch asparagus, cook in a separate pan of boiling water for 1 min, until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.

3 Slice potato and arrange over base of a [sprayed] 6 cup-capacity baking dish. Top with layers of caramelised onion, smoked salmon, blanched asparagus and fetta.

4 Lightly whisk eggs and milk until just combined. Season with pepper. Carefully pour egg mixture into baking dish, taking care not to disturb layers. Bake for 45 mins, until frittata is golden and just set. Spoon onto serving plates and serve with salad greens. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

South African Bean Curry

To use up last week’s leftover tomatoes, I tried out a new recipe: South African Bean Curry. The recipe is from an Australian Women’s Weekly magazine and it has been sitting in my ‘recipes to make’ folder for a while. I really enjoyed it - for a vegetarian recipe, it had a surprisingly bacon-y flavour.

south african bean curry

South African Bean Curry

Serves 4*

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

15 fresh curry leaves

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1-2 fresh long green chillies, seeded, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

1½ teaspoons salt

4 medium (600g) fresh tomatoes, chopped finely

1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock

400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup (150g) frozen broad beans, thawed and peeled

yogurt and fresh mint leaves for serving (optional)


1 Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat; add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, green chillies, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until the seeds begin to pop. Add sugar, salt, tomatoes and the stock. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

2 Add kidney beans and broad beans; simmer, partially covered, for about 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through and tender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3 Serve with yogurt and mint, if desired.

* In my opinion these would be 4 fairly small servings. I nixed the yoghurt and mint and had it with rice instead.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Purple Protein Smoothie

This is my favourite smoothie at the moment.

red cabbage smoothie 1

The recipe calls for red cabbage, spinach, blueberries, cherries, coconut or almond milk, ice, bananas, chia seeds and protein powder, but it’s easy to make substitutions depending on what you have at hand (kale instead of spinach, mixed berries instead of blueberries and cherries, soy or rice milk instead of coconut or almond milk etc).

red cabbage smoothie 2


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lower Back Treatment

This is what the treatment for my lower back consists of at the moment


Needles to the trigger points of my erector spinae area two to three times a week.

The needles are very thin and flexible, but my back is so tight Rob had trouble getting these ones in today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fruit & Veg Friday

We had our fruit and veg delivery today (a ‘mystery box’). The driver kindly brought the box inside and put it on the table for me so I didn’t have to lift it off the doorstep.

Here’s what we got

10 August 100

Fruit: apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, pears, kiwifruit, mandarins, a grapefruit and a lime

Vegetables: potatoes, pumpkin, corn, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, cauliflower, red and green capsicum, silver beet, bok choy and a leek

Can you see the little guy that came along for a ride? Check out the cauliflower at the front of the picture

Here’s a close-up

10 August snail

I also ordered some extra bananas and kale (not pictured) to go in our smoothies with the frozen berries I get from the supermarket.

Anyway, I decided to wait and see what vegetables we got this week to help me make up my mind what to make for dinners for the next seven days. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

tomatoes leftover from last week –> South African bean curry

sweet potato, parsnips, cauliflower –> Roast chicken and veges

silverbeet –> Quinoa with feta, swiss chard and black olives

carrots, bok choy –> Kangaroo cashew stir-fry

pumpkin, green capsicum –> Chilli black beans

potatoes, pumpkin, corn –> Winter one pot (chicken)

red capsicum, zucchini –> Spicy lentil soup


I’ll pop back next week with recipes/photos if they turn out well.

Lentil Salad with Beets & Feta

lentil salad

Since I’m not comfortable with a lot of movement at the moment, food has been fairly simple at our house recently. Last night for dinner I made a lentil salad with beets and goat feta. (Recipe here, but I chucked some old beetroot in the oven and roasted it for the salad instead of using tinned baby beetroot.) It was yummy and I had the leftovers for dinner tonight.

Would love to hear what your favourite simple meal is.