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What's For Dinner Mum? What's For Dinner Mum?


Serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, finely diced or grated
  • 225g/8oz carrots, coarsely grated
  • 397g/14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 75g.3oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons mild or korma curry paste (you can use any flavour, these are just suggestions)
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter (or I have used Tahini paste which was successful)
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 wholemeal or ciabatta bread rolls, halved
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • a few crisp green salad leaves
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Fry the onion in the butter for 5 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the garlic, zucchini and carrots and fry for 5 minutes over a high heat until soft.  Leave to cool.

Blend the chickpeas in a food processor until smooth. Scrape them into a bowl and mix in the cooked vegetables and the remaining ingredients.

Shape the mixture into 4 x 10cm flat discs, either by hand or by pressing the mixture into a metal pastry cutter. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until required.  (You can make the discs small if you prefer).

Brush the outside of each burger with a little oil and barbecue over medium-hot coals for 6-7 minutes on each side.  If preferred you can cook them in a frying pan inside.

Lightly toast the bread rolls, cut-side down , on the barbecue for a couple of minutes. Mix the mayonnaise with the coriander and spread a little over the bottom half of each bun. Cover with the salad leaves, sit a burger on top and finish with a few slices of tomato and the rest of the mayonnaise.

This recipe is from Ainsley Harriott’s Barbecue Bible.



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Serves 4

  • 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60mls) light olive oil
  • 12 French-trimmed lamb cutlets
  • Handful coriander leaves
  • Handful mint leaves
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (250mls) coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 2/3 cup (100g) coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
For the satay sauce, heat 1/2 cup (125mls) coconut cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes or until cream has split and most of the water has evaporated. Reduce heat to medium, add curry paste and fry, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and paste loses its rawness. Add peanuts, sugar, tamarind paste and remaining 1/2 cup (125mls) coconut cream, and cook for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined but still saucy. Set aside.
Whisk the turmeric, sugar, 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt together in a shallow dish. Add lamb cutlets and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.
Preheat a chargrill pan to medium-high and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Grill the lamb cutlets for 3 minutes on each side or until crusty on the outside, but still pink in the centre.
Transfer to a platter and scatter with herbs and onion. Serve with satay sauce, a green salad and steamed rice.
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The Saucy Spice Co.

Tonight is Butter Chicken and rather than ordering a take away I am using a Butter Chicken spice mix from The Saucy Spice Company.

I buy these from my local butcher however, you can buy these online www.saucyspice.com.au there is a variety of dishes available and a recipe is included in every mix.

There is nothing artificial and a number of the mixes are gluten free.  The meal will taste better than a take-away, so easy to prepare and best of all you can adjust the recipe to suit your family.

Serves 4-6

  • 1kg Chicken thigh fillets cubed (I am using 1/2 the chicken and adding 1 tin of Chickpeas and 200g mushrooms
  • 100g butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 400g can Pureed Tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300ml Plain Yoghurt or Fresh Cream (I have also used Coconut Cream) If using yoghurt use thick set Greek Style, it doesn’t curdle
Heat butter in wok, when frothy add onion and sauté until just starting to brown. Add contents of Spice Sachet, stir until fragrant, about 30 secs.
Pour in chicken stock and can of tomato puree, add tomato paste, salt and chicken pieces (and chickpeas and mushrooms if using). Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Add Fenugreek Leaf and Yoghurt, Cream or Coconut Milk, simmer covered for a further 15 minutes until chicken is tender but not overcooked.
Serve with plain rice and a crisp green salad or steamed beans.


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I love this dish it is easy to prepare and very tasty.  The fresh mint and fresh coriander work well together.  It’s great if you can marinate the chicken for a few hours, however if you don’t have time it still works really well when it’s cooked straight away.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 8-10 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts (cut each breast into 3 pieces)

Mix all ingredients in a food processor if you have one, if not chop the mint and coriander and mix together.  Add the chicken and leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible.

Cook in a hot frying pan or on the BBQ.  Taste great hot or cold – so make extra and it can be your lunch the next day.

Serve with boiled new potatoes and salad.

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Prep time: 25 mins, cook 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves 4-6

This gratin is a meal in itself and is great served with a crisp green salad and crusty bread. You can cook in advance if you like, then add the breadcrumb topping and warm it through just before serving.

  • 1 bunch silverbeet (about 850 gm), trimmed, half the stalks reserved.
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 80gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2kg waxy potatoes, such as kipflers
  • 800ml pouring cream
  • 80gm coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tsp thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

TO SERVE: Crisp green salad and crusty bread

Preheat oven to 180C. Coarsely chop silverbeet leaves and thinly slice the reserved stalks, and set aside separately.

Heat oil and 20gm butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming, add leek, silverbeet stalks and two thirds of the garlic and stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes). Add silverbeet leaves, stir occasionally until tender and wilted (2-3 minutes), season to taste, then transfer to a colander to drain excess liquid.

Meanwhile, thinly slice potato on a mandolin, combine in a bowl with cream to prevent discolouring, season to taste and set aside.

Spread silverbeet mixture in the base of a buttered 2-litre baking dish, then arrange potato in overlapping layers on top, seasoning well as you go. Pour over enough cream to just cover, dot with 20gm butter, place on a baking tray and bake until bubbling and golden around the edges (45-50 minutes).

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter combine in a bowl with breadcrumbs, thyme and rind, season to taste. Scatter over gratin, bake until crumbs are golden and potato is tender when pierced with a skewer (8-10 minutes. Serve hot with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.

This recipe is from Gourmet Traveller – The French Issue July 2011

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Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 x 400g(14oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g (14oz) tins kidney beans, rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

TO SERVE: Totillas, Corn salsa, Natural yoghurt

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes until the vegetables are slightly soft. Add the garlic, chilli and spices and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the kidney beans and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, or until thick. Stir in the lime juice and the coriander.

CORN SALSA  – Serves 4

  • 11/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g(101/2oz or 11/2cups) corn kernels, cut from the cob if you can’t get fresh use frozen
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 long green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes. Tip the corn into a large bowl and stir through the celery, spring onion, coriander, lime juice, chilli and remaining oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve: Spoon some bean mixture down the middle of each tortilla and then wrap up firmly. Serve with corn salsa and a spoonful of yoghurt.

This recipe is from Every Day by Bill Granger

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I am not a big fan of tofu however, these are delicious, try them you will be surprised.

Serves 4 Preparation: 30 minutes Cooking: 30 minutes

  • 450g/1lb firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried basil or thyme
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon smooth peanut butter (I have used tahini too which works well)
  • 100g/4oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75g/3oz cashew nuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the tofu between 2 layers of kitchen paper and press out any excess water. Transfer to a bowl and mash well with a fork.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the basil or thyme and carrot and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Mix the contents of the frying pan into the tofu along with the soy sauce, peanut butter (or tahini), breadcrumbs, cashew nuts and parsley. Season. Shape the mixture into individual burgers (approximately 8).

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the burgers on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the burgers from the oven and serve hot with a salad.

This recipe is from BBC Vegetarian Food Magazine from a long time ago.

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Serves 4

Spanakopita is a creamy, spinach pie, wrapped in small crisp filo pastry parcels. You can also make a large pie from this recipe – use a medium-sized pie dish that will serve four people.

  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves only
  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g/5oz ricotta cheese
  • 150g/5oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of herbs (dill, parsley, maybe a little mint), chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 8 sheets filo pastry, thawed
  • Melted butter

Wash the spinach leaves (don’t dry them) then place in a large microwave-proof bowl, cover with cling wrap and cook in the microwave for a few minutes or until well wilted. Allow to cool then squeeze out excess water and chop roughly.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook leek for a few minutes or until softened but not browned.

In a large bowl combine eggs, cheeses, herbs, salt and pepper. Add cooked spinach and leek and stir well to combine.

Grease 4 individual pie tins. Brush two sheets of pastry with melted butter then cut them through the middle to form four squares. Pile the four squares on top of each other then place over a pie dish and press carefully so the pastry fits the mould, and there is plenty of pastry overhanging around the tin. Repeat with remaining pastry and pie dishes.

Spoon the spinach filling into the four dishes then fold the overhanging pastry over the top, bringing one side in at a time so that the pies have a thick pile of pastry on top. Brush with a little more melted butter.

FREEZE: When the butter has hardened, wrap the pies in cling film or store in a plastic container and freeze.

DEFROST: In the fridge (or partially defrost on the kitchen bench before finishing in the fridge). Not suitable for the microwave.

COOK: Bake in 180C/350F oven for about 30 minutes or until hot throughout and the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

SERVE: Remove the pie tins then serve the spanakopita with your favourite salad.

This recipe is from Frost Bite by Susan Austin

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Serves 4 

  • 400g Spaghetti (spelt or wholewheat pasta is great)
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Sliced red chilli, to taste (1-2 small ones)
  • 80ml white wine
  • 90g baby English spinach
  • Sea salt
  • Small handful finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 TO SERVE: Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, put the olive oil, garlic and chilli in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until the garlic is golden. Add the wine and cook, stirring for 20 seconds. Add the drained pasta and spinach and toss to coat it well.  Season with salt and sprinkle with parsley, then serve with lots of grated parmesan.

This recipe is from Everyday by Bill Granger

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Serves as a meal for 4 with steamed rice or as part of a banquet for 4-6

Marinating the chicken overnight gives this dish a rich, luscious flavour – the honey caramelizes when stir-fried and the addition of the five-spice powder gives this dish that unmistakable Chinese aroma. 

  • 800g (1lb 10oz) chicken thigh fillets cut into 2cm (1inch) slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce


  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shao hsing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

Combine chicken with marinade ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the marinated chicken with the marinade and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add remaining chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return reserved chicken to the wok with soy sauce and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and slightly caramelised. 

Serve with steamed greens and steamed rice. 

This recipe is from Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

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