Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dinner Category

The Winner of the Dinner Category will win a Bus Scroll of their choice courtesy of Mia and Ollie. See the Prize post for details-

Tomato, potato and mushroom bake. (Reenee)

large potatoes

one tomato diced into small pieces
about 10 mushrooms sliced/diced
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese for sauce and 1 cup for the top.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour

to make sauce melt butter in a pan and then add flour.
cook for a short time and then add some of the milk.
then add rest of milk and whisk/stir till hot then add in a cup of cheese.
mix till sauce thickens slightly.

cut up potatoes, tomato and mushroom and put in a baking dish.
pour sauce over the top and then top with remaining grated cheese.

cook in a 180 degree oven for up to an hour or till potatoes are tender.


Plum Jam Lamb (Jacki)

2 teaspoons of Garlic paste
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
400g of finely diced lamb
¼ cup of plum jam

Coat a pan with cooking spray, heat and fry the lamb and garlic until the lamb is tender.
Add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
Add the Jam and stir-fry until melted.
Serve with rice.

Serves 4.
Variations – also tastes good with added vegetables, such as finely diced carrots and broccoli.


Nat's Rainbow Nachos (Nat)

230gr Mission plain Tortilla strips (or any plain corn chips you like)
1 can baked beans (any variety)
Approx 200 gr grated cheese
1 avocado, mashed
1 carrot grated
8 snow peas, finely sliced
1 tomato, diced,
1/2 fresh beetroot, grated (or chopped tinned beetroot)
finely diced cucumber


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a large ovenproof tray with baking paper.
In a bowl, mash baked beans.
Make individual piles of corn chips on your tray (according to number of servings)
Top with baked bean mash and sprinkle with cheese.
Place in oven for 5 to 10 mins until cheese is melted and all is heated through (my kids like crunchy brown bits around the edges)
Slide onto serving plates. Top with a spoonful of avocado, then other salad ingredients.
Enjoy !

This quantity makes enough for 2 adults and 2 hungry kids, adjust quantities to suit your own family.
Chop and change the salad ingredients to suit your own tastes too.


Tomato and lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Kristina)
Serves 6-8

250g of lean pork & veal mince
250g Lean Lamb Mince
1 can of lentils
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of whole tomatoes
half a small capsicum, red & green, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 - 2 tsp of crushed garlic
1 large carrot, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
10 mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp of capers
1 anchovy, smoothed into sauce
half an lemon, juice
salt & peper to taste
fresh herbs: basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, 1 hand full of each, roughly chopped
or dried herbs: 1 tsp of each
oil for cooking
100 g Fresh Ricotta

1.         Heat pan with oil, add onion and garlic until soft
2.         Add mince, brown
3.         Add carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, capsicums
4.         Add tins of tomatoes, lentils and tomato paste stir until bubbling, then simmer
5.         Add lemon juice, capers, anchovy, herbs, salt & pepper
6.         Put water in a saucepan with enough water to cook pasta
7.         When water is boiling, add salt, then pasta
8.         Keep stirring pasta for 2 minutes. This helps it from sticking together
9.         Stir sauce every now then to stop from sticking on the bottom
10.       Once pasta is cooked, use tongs to pick the spaghetti up from the saucepan and put in the sauce pan.
11.       Stir altogether
12.       Serve
13.       Top each with fresh ricotta and any fresh herbs remaining


Creamy Pesto & Pasta Marinara (Anita) 

1/2kg meat - diced chicken, seafood marinara mix (usually $10kg from Woolies) or anything that your family likes.
Nice pasta - I like egg pasta :D
1 tub cream
1tsp pesto
1tsp garlic
Pinch salt & pepper
I also like to add sundried tomato, spinich, pine nuts, and proscuito to mine and hubbys meals.

Brown meat whilst cooking pasta.
Add cream, garlic & pesto.
Add cooked pasta, serve to kids topped with parmesan cheese.
Then add parents faves and enjoy the silence of everyone with their mouths full. :D


Pork Wonton and Noodle Soup- (Anita)

Finely chop 1 shallot and place into a bowl. Add 250g pork mince, 1/4 tspn chinese mixed spice, 1 tspn soy sauce & 1/2 tspn seseme oil. Mix to combine. Place wonton wrappers on a flat surface and put a tspn of the pork mince into the centre. Brush the edges with water and bring together pinching to form a pouch.
In large saucepan bring 2 large stock cubes, 1/4 cup soy sauce and 8 cups of water to the boil. Add 450 g pack of hokkien noodles. When loosened transfer noodles to serving bowls. Add wantons, 4 green prawns, 2 cups of brocolli florrets, and 1 ribbon sliced carrot to the stock. Simmer for 5 mins until prawns change colour. Add 1 finely chopped red chilli (skip this if the kids dont like it) and 1 finely chopped shallot. Stir to combine then spoon into the serving bowls over the top of the waiting noodles.
Serves 4

Easy Kid Friendly Sang Chow Boy (Nicole)


500g lean beef mince
1 iceberg lettuce
1/2 red capsicum diced
1/2 onion diced
1 carrot diced
1 tbs peanut oil
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tin chopped water chestnuts

NOTE: All of these measurements are approximations. Use as little or as much of each sauce as suited to your personal taste.

Heat the oil in a frypan on a medium to high heat. 
Add the onion and mince.
Once browned, throw in the diced vegetables, water chestnuts and sauces and stir through regularly.

I use beef mince, as we are more accustomed to this taste, but the traditional version of this recipe uses more complicated asian flavours with pork or chicken mince.

While the mince mixture is cooking, separate the lettuce leaves, preserving their cup like shape. This is easiest done by removing the core first. Wash carefully and place on a paper towel or tea towel to dry.

Once the meat is cooked through and the veges are softened (usually after about 15 – 20 minutes), place mixture into a medium sized serving bowl.

Place the lettuce leaves in another bowl or divide between family members.

This recipe will feed 2 adults and 2 children. We sit around the table and pass the lettuce cups and meat mixture around. Fill the lettuce cups with mince and roll into a parcel to eat.



Creamy Chicken Pie (Bernadette)

preheat oven to 180

500g chicken mince
4 rashers bacon
1/2 carrot diced
4 shallots- diced
1/2 cup peas and corn
handful of coriander- diced
1 egg- lightly beaten 
2 cloves garlic
handful of grated cheese

combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
Heat a fry pan and cook until mince is browned.

Make the sauce

2 table spoons of butter
3/4 cup plain flour
1 cup of milk

melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan add 3/4 cup of plain flour and stir gradually add a cup of milk stirring continuously so that there are no lumps and until sauce thickens. Then add to mince mixture.

Pie shell

2 sheets of puff pastry

place 1 sheet on the base of the pie dish, fill with the mince mixture and place the other sheet over the top.
Remember to pierce the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Brush with a little beaten egg and milk.

cook for approx 30-40 mins or until golden.


Chicken Spinach Surprise (Leesa)
The surprise is that it always has chicken and spinach and ‘whatever else’ we have in the fridge ~ you never know what will be in it this week !

(For four)

- spaghetti / pasta or rice for four (this works equally well with any of these)
- 6 x chicken thighs roughly chopped
- 1 x can condensed chicken soup (or 2 x chicken soup for one-type sachets)
- 200g of spinach (we use leftover baby spinach from salads OR the frozen spinach cubes work really well too)
- 1 small pkt dried parmesan cheese (you can use fresh, but dried works perfectly)
- salt for pasta/rice
- PLUS you can add any or all of the following:
- mushrooms chopped
- peas
- any green veges like brocolli, peas etc. (frozen are fine)

- make pasta or rice as usual
- cook chopped chicken in a little oil until just browned
- add condensed soup and half-3/4 cup of water (or if using dried soups, just make up both with half to 3/4 cup of water)
- stir in with chicken
- turn heat down at this point
- stir in spinach and other veges
- stir in half of the cheese (my family likes extra, so you can add more to taste)

Cook for about 5 minutes on low.

Remove and strain pasta/rice when cooked.

Place pasta/rice in a large bowl and pour chicken and spinach over the top

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

(Pepper optional)

We put the bowl in the middle of the table and everyone helps themselves.

It is a GREAT family meal, and you can vary it to your taste with more or less veges, or a different mix.

Highly recommended by 5 kids and hubby (and me too!)

Thanks much !


Mexican Chicken Bake (Catherine)
Serves 4 
2 cups cooked rice
300g tin red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
Garden Gourmet Coriander (squeeze size dependent on taste)
1 Tb oil
1 BBQ chicken
jar salsa or taco sauce
2 cups grated cheese (approx)
sour cream & corn chips to serve (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 180c. Grease baking dish. Cook rice and drain
2. Combine beans, rice and coriander in prepared dish. Lightly press mixture into dish so it is flat.
3. Remove chicken meat from carcass and mix with salsa.
4. Layer chicken over the rice, sprinkle with cheese to lightly cover chicken.
5. Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until cheese is golden – remove foil for last 5 minutes of cooking.
6. Serve with sour cream and corn chips and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.

Note: This is a great one to prepare in the morning and put in the oven when you get home. I normally buy the biggest size BBQchicken and find I can reserve enough chicken meat to do another meal and there is still ample meat for this meal.

Butter Chicken (Meat) or Paneer Butter Masala (vegetarian) (Sheree)

500g chicken (pre cooked brown) or if vegetarian
2 1/2 cups paneer (cottagte cheese) cubes browned

To be ground to a paste
2 mid size onions, chopped
25 mm. (1") piece of ginger or 3 tsp ginger paste
6 to 7 cloves garlic or 3 tbs garlic paste
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts

Other ingredients

1 tsp chilli powder
1 tin leggos tomato puree
1 tsp cumin seeds powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 cup green peas
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste
sugar to taste


1. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the ground paste and cook till it is light brown in colour.
2. Add the chilli powder and tomato purée and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add the cumin seed powder, garam masala and ½ cup of water and cook for some time till the oil separates from the masala. 
5. Add the peas, honey, milk, cream, chicken/paneer and salt and allow it to come to a boil.
6. Serve hot with rice and naan bread

All ingredients can be found at your local grocery store or why not be adventurous and head to your local indian grocery store.


Roast Veg and Meat Lasagne (Geraldine)

500g lean beef mince
1 med sweet potato
1 med size piece pumpkin
1 carrott
100g frozen sliced beans
100g frozen peas
100g finely chopped frozen spinach (or use fresh spinach and whiz it in the food processor)
1 zucchini
1 – 1/2 tins tomato soup
1 – 1/2 tins diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
2 – 3 packets lasagne sheets
1 2 cloves garlic

150g grated cheddar cheese
2 – 3 tablespoons corn flour
300ml or so of milk


Slice the sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot and zucchini. Spread out in a baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Bake in the oven for approx 20 – 30 mins until soft and nice and roasty looking. Meanwhile, brown the garlic and mince meat in a large pot or wok, and add 1 can each of the tomato soup and tinned tomatoes. Add the tomato paste if desired. Defrost the spinach in the microwave and add to the pot, along with the frozen peas and beans. When the roast veggies are ready, throw them in the pot also, and add more tomatoes and soup if necessary to make the meat sauce fairly runny.


Put the corn flour and milk into a large microwaveable jug and mix until the corn flour is all mixed in. Add the cheese and stir some more. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 mins then stir. Continue to microwave for 1 min at a time, stopping to stir in between. If the mixture gets too thick, add some more milk and stir until a smooth consistency.


Place a layer of the meat sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish, followed by a layer of cheese sauce. Place a layer of the lasagne sheets on the top and repeat the meat sauce and cheese sauce. Keep going until you reach the top of run out of sauce, finish the top with the cheese sauce. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 mins or until the lasagne sheets are soft and a knife goes through them easily. If you want to brown the top a little more, place under the grill for 5 – 10 mins at the end.

This is my families favourite – Miss 4 and Master 2 devour it every time. It’s a great way to get veggies into fussy kids and the spinach is a good source of calcium and iron – but you can hardly taste it. I always make a big batch and freeze it. If you have left over meat sauce, freeze in portions and use as a pasta sauce – YUM! You can use whatever veggies you like, but these are the ones we use. Enjoy!



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