Seafood Marinara with Angel Hair Pasta (serves 6)


This was the perfect quick and easy dinner for MC and the fam last night. Everyone enjoyed it and it only took a short while to prepare. The marinara can be substituted with prawns or other seafood as well.

Ingredients:

  • 500gr angel hair pasta
  • 750gr seafood marinara mix
  • 250gr snow peas- washed and with the ends cut off
  • 4 Tsp minced garlic (or equivalent fresh, chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley from my herb garden)
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Prepare pasta according to instructions on back of packet. When al dente, rinse under cold running water until room temperature and leave to sit in a colander (this stops the cooking).

2. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan (on high). When hot, add garlic and onion and stir fry until onion turns clear and slightly golden. Add chilli flakes (I added about 5 tsp but it depends on your preference and the intensity of the chilli you have), and toss.

3. Add seafood to the pan, stir and cover for about 5 minutes.

4. Add snow peas and toss until they change colour (darker green).

5.Add the lemon juice and wedges to the pan.

6. Season with salt, pepper and more chilli if desired.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and toss through chopped fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

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Butternut Pumpkin & Zucchini Quiche (serves 8)

My brother is a fussy eater at the best of times. When he was younger he only ate things that were bland and unhealthy. Things with barely any flavour and certainly no spice. Things like pies, chips, and pizza. He would occasionally eat carrots, peas and corn, but no lettuce, no tomato and no onion.

He is now almost 18 years old and I am glad to say his eating habits have changed. He recently had a bit of a protein (for working out) and healthy food craze and has opened his mind to the wonders of vegetables and spicy food. He even eats my mum’s Sri Lankan curries now and then and can make a coconut (pol) roti on his own!

I decided to make a semi-healthy, high vegetable quiche for dinner to be accompanied with a side of salad. This recipe made one large quiche and about 6 smaller muffin-tray ones. I made sure to add plenty of cheese so my bro would be happy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 butternut pumpkin
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 cup low-fat tasty cheese
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Push a sheet of puff pastry into a greased quiche dish. Cut out circles using a cutter and press into greased muffin tins. Bake at 200C for about 10-15minutes or until lightly browned.

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2.Thinly slice onion and cook together with garlic and olive oil in a small pan. Once golden and opaque, sprinkle onion mixture over the puff pastry.

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3. Use a peeler to shave the butternut pumpkin into thick ribbons. Then add to the puff pastry.

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4. Use a grater to grate zucchini and spread evenly over the pastry.

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5. Grate cheese and sprinkle on top of quiche.

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6. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour over the quiche and bake in a 160C oven for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the egg has set.

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Enjoy with a side of salad.

Garlic Roast Lamb

Here’s my recipe for delicious and easy garlic roast lamb.

Ingredients:

  • 2.4kg leg of lamb (I used frozen)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Mixed herbs (I used Masterfoods)
  • Olive oil

Method:

1. Set oven to 200C.

2. Put the lamb in a deep roasting dish. Cut lines into the lamb and insert mixed herbs and slivers of garlic into the cuts.

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3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pat the seasoning into the meat.

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4. Cover with foil and put in the oven to cook for 1 hour.

5. After 1 hour, drizzle some olive oil over the lamb, remove the foil and cook for another hour.

6. Switch the oven off and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the lamb. Cover with foil again and leave to rest in the oven for 30 minutes. 

8. Carve the lamb and serve it with roast vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots and peas or corn.

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Zaatar Chips & Beetroot & Feta Dip

If you’re looking for a quick but DELICIOUS appetiser to serve to your guests, then look no further because I have the perfect one!

I made this delicious zaatar bread and beetroot feta dip for my birthday lunch and everyone seemed to really enjoy it!

It’s pretty easy to make, here’s how:

ZAATAR BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 5 Lebanese breads
  • Olive oil
  • Zaatar seasoning *(you can get it online- try Sam’s kitchen- or from Middle Eastern grocers)
  • Salt

Method:

1.Preheat oven to 180C

2. Mix about 1/4 cup of zaatar seasoning with about 1/4 cup of olive oil

3. Spread over Lebanese bread using a brush.

4. Sprinkle with salt.

5. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes.

Note: remember to keep an eye on it as it will burn easily!

6. Break up the zaatar using your hands (scissors won’t work!), into corn chip sized pieces.

7. Serve with beetroot & feta dip (see below).

BEETROOT & FETA DIP

Ingredients:

  • 1 small tin sliced beetroot
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 100g feta cheese (I used Danish)
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts (unsalted)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

1. Add beetroot and chickpeas to a food processor and mix until combined.

2. Add cashews and feta cheese and blend again until just combined (you want it to be somewhat chunky).

3. Add some olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste), then process for a little longer.

4. Serve with zaatar bread, carrot or celery sticks and other crackers.

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Corn & Zucchini Fritters (serves 4)

These delicious fritters are easy to make and perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Topped with fresh or smoked salmon and a dollop or sour cream, they were tasty and something I hadn’t tried making before. Even my younger brother who tends to be a bit of a fussy eater enjoyed them.

I adapted this recipe from the Taste website.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup of corn kernels
  • 2/3 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 40g butter
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt

Method:

1. Sift flours into a bowl.

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2. Combine eggs and milk in a jug and whisk lightly. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour until it forms a smooth batter

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3. Add corn, zucchini and cheese.

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4. Stir to combine then add a little salt, cover and set aside for about 20 minutes.

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5. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a large, non-stick pan over high. Pour a few tablespoons of batter into the pan for each fritter.

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6. Cook on each side until golden and cooked through. Then remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all batter is used, adding a teaspoon of butter for each new batch.

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7. Place a fritter on a plate and top with 1 tablespoon of sour cream, some sliced salmon and extra cheese.

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Meatballs (makes about 18)

These meatballs are perfect as an appetiser, with spaghetti or pasta, served with couscous, shaped into koftas, or even just on their own with a salad.

They are fast and simple to make and taste delicious. Try them out for yourself!

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Ingredients:

  • 500g mince meat
  • 1 Tbsp Montreal steak spice (or substitute with any seasoning of your preference e.g. cajun)
  • 1 Tsp mixed herbs
  • 3 Tsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method:

1. Defrost mince meat and put into a mixing bowl.

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2. Add Montreal steak spice, herbs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and garlic to the bowl.

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3. Mix together by kneading with your hands until the spices are evenly incorporated into the meat.

4. Shape tablespoon-sized amounts of the meat into round balls.

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5. Heat the oil in a pan on high and add meatballs. Cook for about 10-15minutes until golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

6. Remove meatballs from pan and drain on paper towels.

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Pineapple Salsa

I made this side for our family’s Christmas dinner and it went down a treat. Perfect for the hot Australian summer!

I found the recipe through pinterest at mylittlecelebration.com

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Ingredients:

  • 1 green chilli, finely diced
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 2.5 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced,
  • 1/2 capsicum, diced (I added this myself)
  • 1/3 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • The juice from cutting the pineapple
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method:

So easy- all you do is mix all the ingredients together, chill and serve!

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