Saturday, October 31, 2015

tasty fun with a Lentil HotPot

One night for dinner last week we had a Lentil Hot Pot, this is one of my recipes from many years ago, easy to make, very nutritious and quite tasty.  We had this with steamed rice and a side salad..... 

You can vary the spices you add to it, I used the McCormicks Middle Eastern spice blend, (Harissa) but you could add cumin, coriander and or ginger if you wish.

If you are interested, the following is how I made the above Lentil Hot Pot:

brown two small chopped onions with 2 cloves garlic (or two teaspoons) in olive oil or spray the pot well with a 'cooking / oil spray'. at this point you can add two small teaspoons of Middle Eastern spice (Harissa) and some Turmeric or you could add a teaspoon each of cumin, ginger and coriander.  Brown this mix stirring constantly.

Do not over cook.

add two to three cups of stock, it can be vegetable or chicken. If no actual 'stock' available, then use water with stock cubes.

at this point you can transfer this mix to a 'slow cooker' or leave it in the stove top add 2 cups each of red lentils, diced pumpkin and diced potato.

add one can of diced tomato's. Stir well.

if using stove top pot, stir gently and often. The lentils may stick to the bottom of the pot if you don't. You may need to add more water at this stage too.

It will take approx 35 mins of cooking time.

If you have transferred it to a slow cooker, allow about three hours of cooking time, but at least you can go away and leave it. No need to keep stirring!

served with chopped fresh coriander, steamed rice and a garden salad. Delicious!

Hope you and your family enjoy the above recipe.

Tasty Fun with the Lentil HotPot

Monday, July 7, 2014

slow cooked osso buco

Ossobuco is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese.

There are two types of ossobuco: a modern version that has tomatoes and the original version which does not. The older version, ossobuco in bianco, is flavoured with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. The modern and more popular recipe includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Gremolata is optional.

Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for "bone with a hole" (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank. In the local Western Lombard Milanese dialect, this dish's name is oss bus.

Risotto alla milanese
is the traditional accompaniment to ossobuco in bianco, making for a one-dish meal. Ossobuco (especially the tomato-based version) is also eaten with polenta or mashed potatoes. Outside Milan, it is sometimes served with pasta.

The Fabre 'version' is baked in the oven, served with couscous or rice, green vegetables and a salad as seen below!

I purchased two large pieces of osso buco from our local butcher  - and the following is how I prepared and cooked it.

place the meat onto a sheet of foil, add chopped or sliced onion and some spicy Italian herb mix to each piece

add a knob of butter

wrap each piece and place into a dish or baking tray

cook in a slow oven for two hours, open foil carefully as it will be hot

I served it with greens, salad and couscous

so easy to prepare, all up 5 mins, then wrap and leave in the oven.

A great winter meal that could also have other seasonings or vegetables added. Use your imagination!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rag Pasta!

though it's name is really.....

Italian sausage ragu with rag pasta

I came across this delicious looking rag pasta dish that I need to save for future use and where better to save but right here so we can all share!!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovies in oil, drained, chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 600g Italian pork and fennel sausages
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 375g packet fresh lasagne sheets
  • Shaved parmesan and fresh basil leaves, to serve

  1. Step 1
    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add anchovies, if using, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Squeeze sausages from casings. Discard casings. Add sausage mixture to pan. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until browned. Add wine. Bring to the boil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced by half.

  2. Step 2
    Add tomato to pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  3. Step 3
    Meanwhile, tear lasagne sheets into long strips. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water, for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan.

  4. Step 4
    Add sauce to pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve topped with parmesan and basil.

I found it on TASTE.COM.AU and you can see it right here


Friday, May 2, 2014

Chicken and sweetcorn soup

This super midday meal will warm the soul for winter! Serve with bread rolls, noodles or a hearty smile for a filling dinner.

  • 1 litre salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 420g can creamed corn
  • 125g can corn kernels, drained, rinsed
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  1. Step 1
    Place stock, garlic, creamed corn, corn kernels, half the onion and 1 cup cold water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Step 2
    Gradually stir in egg white, then oil. Divide between bowls. Top with remaining onion. Serve.

The above recipe came from and you can see it HERE.

IGA had vegetable and chicken stock on special today,  so will make the above tasty soup over the weekend!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

spinach or silver beet cooked in the Tagine!

Nothing more tastier or healthier than a plate of spinach!!

here is a quick & easy way to prepare and cook this dish in the Tagine..... if you don't have one, then cook in any pot on the stove in the same way.

Here I am using Silver Beet.....

so grab one or two bunches of this fresh vegetable that is high in iron, wash it well.

Add some oil to the tagine or cooking pot, add a chopped onion and gently cook ... add some crushed garlic. As little or as much as you like, 2 garlic cloves or 10 .. up to you!

You can also add a small amount of chilli or ginger at this point, will depend on your taste buds.

Then add the washed and chopped silver beet or spinach.

Don't worry if it looks to be 'too much' as it will wilt down with the cooking process as seen below.

Gently heat and place the lid on top.  You will notice I have not added liquid to this yet, mainly because if the spinach or silver beet has been washed there will be enough moisture in the leaves to create the steam to cook with the lid on...

After about 10 mins of very low heat, take the lid off and add about a cup (or more) of vegetable stock and stir well.

Let it simmer for another 10 mins and check if you think it needs more liquid.  We tend to add another cup of stock at this point as we like it with plenty of juice as we always serve it with steamed rice.

But this is a quick and easy dish to cook and is extra tasty too!

Can be used as a side dish or served with steamed rice .......



Monday, April 14, 2014

Tasty Mashed Potatoes ~ again!


Adapted from The Happy Herbivore Abroad, by Lindsay Nixon

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, chopped into 1" cubes

Two handfuls of shredded cabbage OR about 3 large leaves of washed kale, chopped

1 large onion, diced

generous dash Creole seasoning (to taste)

salt and black pepper (to taste)

unsweetened soy milk (enough to mash potatoes)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or more, to taste)


Place potatoes in a large pot of water. Add a dash of salt, and bring to boil. Stir in cabbage or kale. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer.

Cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage or kale is soft, and potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat, and drain.

Meanwhile, saute onions in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add just enough water to prevent sticking. Add a few dashes of Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. When onion is fragrant and begins to brown, remove from heat and set aside.

With a potato masher or electric mixer, smash the potatoes with enough soy milk to achieve the right mashed/smashed potato consistency. Mix in sauteed onions and Dijon mustard.

Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

the above recipe originally off this site!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

smashing good taties!

If you are looking for something quick, easy and tasty using potatoes, then here it is!

I have made these a few times, but each time I change some of the ingredients. The following is fairly basic, but you can add or change the topping to suit you and your family.
boil the required number of small potatoes till 'just tender'.

You can use any potato, but better to use the smaller ones like the Chat Potatoes.
  Boil until 'just tender'.

place a small amount of olive oil on a baking tray

Take a large baking tray and to make it easier on yourself, cover with foil. Then cover with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  (in the USA that is a serving spoon full)

can create your own mix here, this is garlic and olive oil

While waiting for the potatoes to cool down, I make up the mix that is to go on top of them.  Here is a mix of olive oil and garlic.  Fresh garlic is obviously better, but had the paste on hand so used that this time. I also add a bit of salt & pepper to the mix.

if you want to add onions, chop 1/2 an onion finely

I don't always use onions, but this time I did. But you don't need much, maybe just half an onion to about 10 small potatoes.  I think next time I would gently fry them in a little olive oil prior to putting them on the top of the potato.

once the potatoes have reached their 'just tender' stage,
then place on oiled tray.

Take the potatoes out of the pot and place them on the oiled baking tray. Make sure there is not too much oil on the tray, it is not needed.

using a potato masher, press down lightly on each potato, enough to 'break them'

If you don't have a potato masher to press down on them, then use a large fork. Press gently, just enough to 'break' the potato.

at this point add the olive oil & garlic mix to each one, add the finely chopped onion.

Now add a little of the olive oil and garlic mix, then the onion and lastly some grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.

then add Parmesan cheese, I usually shave the Parmesan, but only had the packet this time!

You can also add herbs or perhaps some pre cooked and finely chopped bacon pieces or try these other variations ....

can be cooked a little longer than what I have here.
Leave off the onion and add some thyme, cook a little longer (45 mins)

leave off the onion and garlic, just add cheese and rosemary

Put the baking tray (with the potatoes) in a pre heated oven of approx 160c - 180c deg for about 30 - 45 mins.  These are very tasty and can be served as a side dish with salads, at a BBQ, or with the Sunday Roast ... in fact these tasty little smashers can be served at anytime with anything!

Hope you enjoy them!