Category Archives: Dinner

Stir fried spicy noodles with pork and mushrooms

Pasta is a great and easy option for weeknight dinners but that doesn’t mean it is always the best option. It’s easy to make a bit too much and it’s also very tempting to put creamy sauces or heaps of cheese on. So if you’re looking for a weeknight meal that’s easy, cheap and healthy it’s great to have some hokkien noodles in the cupboard. They’re super easy when you want a quick dinner- you don’t even have to cook them and they’re pre-packaged so you can keep track of portions and nutrition info. This is one of my favourite stir fry dishes to make with the noodles. It’s pretty versatile and you can use pork or turkey mince- whatever you have on hand. When you’re cooking the meat with the mushrooms and sauce it will seem like there is a bit too much liquid but once you simmer for a couple minutes and add the hokkien noodles they will soak up the sauce. Hokkien noodles are available at most grocery stores and at Costco you can often get a big box for just a couple dollars.

IMG_6203

Adapted from this recipe
Serves 4

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
4 servings of hokkien noodles
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces lean ground pork
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
4 lime wedges

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.

Add pork to pan; sauté for 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add mushrooms and saute 2 more min or until brown. Add the green onions.

Stir in chopped onion, and salt; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in cornstarch. Gradually add stock; bring to a boil. Stir in soy sauce and sriracha; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the hokkien noodles and stir to combine. (Some hokkien noodles will need to be softened in boiling water- check the instructions on the package). Divide the noodles and and pork mixture among four shallow bowls. Serve with lime wedges.

photo (10)

3 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Recipe

Pea and haloumi fritters with tomato salsa

IMG_5510

This is a great meal for lunch or dinner. I made it for lunch one day when I was running low on cash to go grocery shopping and decided to just make something with whatever I could find in the fridge. Luckily I had some frozen peas, a bit of haloumi, some red onion, plus eggs and flour. I’ve done variations of these fritters since- one with zucchini, corn and haloumi which has actually turned Ciaran on to eating haloumi. I never thought I’d see that day. All you really need for these fritters is some eggs and flour to make the base and then your choice of veggies. The haloumi is also essential because other cheeses will melt too much and you’ll have a puddly mess of dairy and veg. If you’re using veggies that you have to chop yourself, basically anything other than peas and corn, make sure you cut the pieces very very small or your fritters will be very ugly and fiddily.

Recipe from Vegie Project

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cooking time: 10 min
  • Servings: makes 12
  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 red onion finely diced
30g haloumi cheese finely diced
2 eggs
1/2 cup self-raising flour
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to shallow fry

Tomato salsa:
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1/4 red onion finely diced
juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of chilli flakes

IMG_5509

To prepare the tomato salsa just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the frozen peas in a small saucepan with water and boil them for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

To make the fritters simply combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Drop tablespoons of the fritter mixture into the pan (about 2 tablespoons will make one fritter). Flatten the fritters slightly with a spatula. Cook the bottom side for about 3 minutes until a crust forms, then using a spatula flip the fritters over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Serve with the tomato salsa.

-A

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Recipe

Coconut crusted chicken tenders

IMG_5618

Just wanted to let you all know that we’re still here. Surprisingly, even though we’re no longer students we still find ourselves quite busy. But just in case you needed some weeknight meal inspiration this week, here are some delectable coconut crusted chicken tenders. Perfect for a simple dinner with a side salad and easy to take on the go for lunch the next day.

Enjoy!

-A

Coconut Chicken Tenders

Recipe from Can you stay for dinner?

(serves 4)

  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, sliced into long, 1″ thick strips
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Create an assembly line for easy coating of each tenderloin: Place all chicken strips on one plate. Next to that, place flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Lightly whisk eggs in another wide, shallow bowl. Combine panko, coconut, salt, and pepper in a fourth and final wide, shallow bowl. Now, take one chicken strip and toss it in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then, dredge the floured strip in the egg bath. Next, gently toss the chicken strip in the panko/coconut mixture, pressing to coat on each side. Place the coated strip on a plate or cookie sheet until you have finished coating all of the chicken.

Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat on your stove top. Add one tablespoon oil, swirling to coat. Add half of the chicken strips in a single layer, leaving space between each one. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a foil lined baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add the remaining one tablespoon oil to the pan and then the second half of the chicken strips and cook for 3 minutes per side. Remove that second batch and place on the baking sheet. Set it in the oven for 10 minutes, so that the chicken tenders can cook through.

IMG_5611

 

IMG_5614

IMG_5613

IMG_5615

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Lunch

Chicken tenderloins with baby beetroot and ricotta

IMG_5609

Beetroot was always a touchy subject in my house. My brothers and I have been shipped back and forth from Australia since we were each just a few months old so we’re no stranger to things like Vegemite, sausage rolls, pavlova…your typical Aussie classics. We pretty much all eat Vegemite, a feat we should all be proud of. And there was never any debate when sausage rolls or pavlova were in the house. But beets were different. I believe we were introduced to them in the best way possible, not mushed up as a side dish, but placed gently on a beautiful stacked burger. We used to have ‘make your own’ burger nights and it would be a little buffet of things to top your meat patty with. Everything from cheese to ketchup, lettuce, mustard, tomatoes, chutney, etc. And in the assembly line there was always one bright pink bowl of beetroot, poured ever so gently from a tin can and pre-sliced for general ease. Dad would always load up his burger with just about everything but he avoided those beets like the plague. I don’t remember my brothers being too wild about them either but I don’t think they ran away quite so quickly. I, on the other hand, was happy to slap them on watching my bun and my fingers turn a nice fluro rose colour. Now that I live in Australia I figured it was time to experiment with beetroot in other dishes. And that’s exactly how I came upon this easy little salad recipe. It’s quick, low-fat and simple. The anchovies are optional in my opinion, I personally love anchovies so I was happy to put them in at first but I felt like they added a strange flavour amongst the acidity of the beets and the richness of the ricotta. Also when I had the salad the day after I totally forgot they were in there and was pretty thrown off by one bite that was particularly fishy. I also left out the red wine vinegar because I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle for just one tablespoon and used really nice olive oil instead.

Chicken tenderloins with baby beetroot and ricotta
Recipe from Taste.com.au
Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken tenderloins (about 90g each)
  • 2 tsp olive oil, plus 1 tbs extra
  • 2 tbs shredded basil leaves
  • 8 canned baby beetroots, drained, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 80g baby rocket leaves
  • 2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs (60g) fresh low-fat ricotta
  1. Combine the chicken, olive oil and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick frypan over high heat and cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until it is golden and cooked through.
  2. Combine the beetroot, onion, rocket, anchovies, red wine vinegar and extra oil in a large bowl. Divide the mixture among plates and dot with teaspoons of ricotta. Serve topped with chicken.

Enjoy,

Allie

IMG_5603

 

IMG_5607

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Recipe

Seared tuna with greens and coconut rice

Jamie Oliver is a maniac in the kitchen. Probably out of the kitchen as well  based on his Instagram posts. I’ve often shied away from Jamie Oliver recipes simply due to the amount of ingredients he uses. Even in his new book 15 Minute Meals he’s got about two pages at the beginning of the book with a pretty extensive list of things you should have in your pantry. Things like kaffir lime leaves and plenty of herbs and spices I’m not very familiar with. Despite his flair for throwing in everything but the kitchen sink, he does come up with some good simple recipes every once in a while and I really think this is one of them. While it is a 15 minute meal in Jamie’s world, it was more of a 40 minute meal in our world, with two people cooking, but I think now that we’ve gotten the hang of it we could make it much more quickly. The jiggy greens (his words, not mine) and rice are brilliant ideas as well and we’ve made those side dishes since to accompany things like dumplings. All you have to do with the rice is take a 270ml can of coconut milk, pour that into a pot, then fill the empty can with boiling water, add that to the pot and then fill the can again with basmati rice and add that to the pot. Then bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, it’s been perfect every time and it’s really quite tasty. The tuna is a bit more temperamental because it doesn’t need to cook for long. If you find yourself thinking about whether it has been on for too long, it’s already done, it’s just a quick sear and you’re good to go. While this may be more of a weekend dinner due to all the steps, it is definitely worth a try. So go on, get stuck in!

Enjoy,

Allie

IMG_2424

Seared Tuna with Greens and Coconut Rice
Recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals
serves 4
Ingredients
400g fresh tuna fillet (ask for these at your local seafood shop)
2 tblsp sesame seeds
1 tsp green tea powder (simply take a tea bag of green tea, rip it open and use one teaspoon of that powder)
Salt and pepper
½ tsp vegetable oil
Greens:
Small bunch of mini asparagus
Small bunch of broccolini (tenderstem broccoli)
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tblsp oyster sauce
Rice:
270g tin of reduced fat coconut milk
Basmati rice to fill an empty 270g tin
Boiling water to fill an empty 270g tin
Pinch of salt
Method:
1. For the rice: Place the coconut milk, rice, boiling water and salt into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat.
2. For the greens: Finely slice the asparagus and broccolini (in a food processor or using a knife – just make the pieces very small). Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables and garlic and stir for 1 minute, until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the oyster sauce and stir to combine. Spoon the vegetables into a serving bowl.
3. For the tuna: Cut the tuna into logs about 4cm (1½ inch) in diameter. Mix the sesame seeds, green tea, salt and pepper on a board, then roll the tuna logs in the mixture until all sides of the tuna are coated. Heat the oil in the frying pan over high heat, then add the tuna and cook for 30 seconds on each side, until barely cooked on the outside and still raw on the inside. Remove from the heat and cut the tuna into 1cm (1/2 inch) slices.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Recipe

Caprese salad pasta

IMG_5488

Lots of people have a go to dish when they’re not feeling great. Chicken soup, congee with leftovers, scrambled eggs and toast, anything simple and comforting. You’re not supposed to eat anything dairy or acidic while you’re feeling ill. So this dish isn’t exactly ideal but it still seems to make me feel better. It’s one of my favourite dishes while I’m home too. It takes all of half an hour and five ingredients. A perfect weeknight meal or cozy feel-better dish when you’re sick.

Caprese salad pasta
Serves 5

500g pasta (bowtie or penne)
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
250g mozzarella, diced
3/4 cup basil, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to directions. While the pasta is cooking dice the tomatoes, the mozzarella and the basil. Just after the pasta is done cooking and you’ve drained it return it to the pot and add a drizzle of olive oil and then add the tomato and mozzarella. Mix them in and then let the pot sit with the lid on so the cheese melts and heats through. After about five minutes add the basil and stir through. Serve immediately.

Enjoy,

Allie

IMG_5484

 

IMG_5498

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Recipe

Superbowl snacks!

main_18gjk2c-18gjk40

So the Superbowl is here again. That one magical Sunday built for beer-loving, wing-loving, football-loving people around the world. Well, mostly just in America but I’ll be one of the die-hards trying to stream the game at 10am on Monday morning.

Unfortunately we don’t get to appreciate the whole package that is Superbowl Sunday down under. But I won’t complain that much about early morning beer.

To be honest, I do find it strange that I am actually looking forward to this, and NOT just for the buffalo chicken wings. I promise.

I am actually a bit excited to see the game. I bet you anything my brothers are sniggering as they read this.

I used to loathe football. I thought it was single-handedly the MOST boring thing to watch. At a NFL game, a college game, my brother’s game, on the couch in front of the TV. Except for maybe golf, golf is so boring.

I never understood the rules and it always just looked like a group of tall, wide men running into each other. And then stopping and standing in a line. And starting. And stopping again, maybe watching the grass grow a bit. The games seemed to take forever and I used to look in awe at my father and grandfather sitting there for an entire day watching game after game. How were they not bored to tears?

The worst part about football happened in November every year. Every year I was dragged (not brought, dragged) to the Harvard vs. Yale game. Quite a few men in my family attended Harvard University and apparently a Harvard man never misses the rivalry game. So whether it was in Connecticut and we simply drove to the game or in Boston where we stayed at my uncle’s for the weekend, we went every year. I would sit there, in the freezing cold, twiddling my thumbs until it was time to leave. I used to try and get out of it, believe me. I would fake being sick, Ferris Bueller-style, I think I even tried to hide one year. Those hours sitting hunched up in about seven layers of coats watching these men run back and forth were not a highlight of my childhood.

But then something changed. I started to realize that there was a bit more to the Superbowl than the amusing ads every few minutes. I actually started to pay attention to the rules and understand them. It’s actually not that complicated a game when it comes down to it. And now I kind of ENJOY it. What the heck happened? I still haven’t really been able to put my finger on it, but I think it’s a homesick thing. Watching the football does remind me of home, of making snacks for game days or drinking a beer with my dad. It’s comforting and I never thought I’d see the day.

I’ll still never go to a Harvard Yale game though. I’m sorry but that game is too damn cold.

hummusandveggies_18gjk2v-18gjk44

Edamame hummus

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/8 cup water plus more if needed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend soy beans, tahini, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add more water if necessary until the consistency is smooth. Place in a small bowl and serve with sliced vegetables such as capsicum or carrots.

untitled_1_18gjk3h-18gjk46

 

untitled_2_18gjk3n-18gjk46

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Makes 12

Ingredients
12 spring roll wrappers (I found these in the freezer section at Coles)
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (1 medium chicken breast)
1/2- 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (I found this at my local IGA)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup cole slaw (dry)
Small bowl of water
Nonstick cooking spray

Blue cheese dressing, for serving

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Lay spring roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.

Begin by placing one tablespoon of the cole slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.

To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the centre of the spring roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.

Repeat with remaining rolls.

Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls crisp and turn a light golden brown.

Note: To make the chicken, place 200g of uncooked chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover it. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat.

Recipe slightly adapted from Can you stay for dinner?

chickenrolls_18gjk2k-18gjk41

Oh and just in case anyone out there was wondering, with my rice and beans mention earlier, I just meant I wouldn’t be eating solely beans and rice, because while it would save me lots of pennies, I know we are creative enough to be able to make the rice and beans into delicious things like enchiladas or tacos or chilli! And I highly recommend you make Kahina’s chilli for Superbowl Day as well, I definitely will be!

Enjoy,

Allie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinner, Lunch, Recipe