Category: Main meal

Cornflake Chicken

These are so tasty! I’m not even a fan of cornflakes, but I love these! If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use 1 cup of milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

cornflake chicken1 pound chicken tenders (or chicken breast cut in to strips)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Put buttermilk in a bowl, and the crushed cornflakes in another. The cornflakes should be crushed to the size of breadcrumbs. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk and then in the cornflakes, coating them well.

Line a baking tray with tin foil and lay the chicken on it. Spray with oil, and bake for 16-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Spaghetti Squash

My love affair with spaghetti squash is recent. Zoe was a fan before I was! I’ll let you know a few of the things I have made with it.

First of all, to bake it, heat the oven to 375F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Put cut side down on a baking tray and bake for around 45 minutes, or until you can pierce a knife through the skin. Flip it over, so the cut side is up, and let it cool. Once cool, take a fork and shred the pulp – it’ll look like this:

Spaghetti SquashNow that you have this, you can do quite a few things with it. When Zoe was younger, I would often brown some ground beef, mix with pasta sauce and veggies, and add to the spaghetti squash. I would often have bags of this in the freezer for quick grab and go meals.

Now, one of my favourite things to do with it, is to make it in to a breakfast casserole. Here it is:

2 cups spaghetti squash pulp
1 chopped onion
7-8 large eggs
4-6oz of cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8×8 square pan. In a frypan, cook the onion until soft (you could also chuck in some bacon, now would also be the time to cook that up). Mix everything together in a large bowl, and pour in to the prepared pan. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top so it goes all nice and golden once cooked. Cook for around 45 minutes or until the centre is firm. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days – this is filling and so tasty! You could add other veggies too – zucchini, red pepper, grated carrot etc. Yum!






Orange Chicken Stir Fry

This is a yummy stir fry that we all enjoy, and I vary the vegetables depending on what we have in the fridge. I keep the little 200ml juice cartons in the pantry just for this!

IMG_1791 (1280x960)200ml pure orange juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
Vegetables – I tend to use red bell pepper, snap peas, broccoli, carrots

Mix everything except the chicken and vegetables in a small bowl. Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the chicken for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetables (harder veggies first) and cook for another two minutes or so, then remove everything from the pan. Put the sauce in the pan, bring it to the boil and reduce it by half (about 5 minutes). Add everything back in the pan and cook for a further minute, making sure the chicken is cooked and veggies are tender.

I serve this with brown rice, but Asian noodles would be good too.

New Veggie Of The Week – Acorn Squash

Acorn SquashFor the last few weeks we have been trying a new vegetable each week. Some weeks it might just be a new one for Zoe, sometimes it might be for all of us. Past weeks have seen us try jicama and turnips – this week, it was acorn squash. Ohhhhhh it was so good!! And just as important – so easy.

1 acorn squash
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
Dried thyme
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. Slice squash in to 3/4 inch slices. In a bowl, mix together the other ingredients. Add the squash and stir it around to coat.

Lay the slices out on a baking tray, and put them in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes until squash is tender and golden. The skin will peel off easily.

Beef, Lentil & Pasta Bites

Beef Lentil and Pasta BitesThese can be mixed up a bit – you could swap the ground beef for ground turkey, or even swap the pasta for rice. Throw in some diced zucchini, mushrooms – so versatile, just work with what you have in the fridge!

150g dried pasta (I used small shells)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp olive oil
300g ground beef
1/2 cup red lentils
14oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth (no salt added)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add the beef and brown. Drain off any fat. Add the lentils, tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, and any veggies you want to add.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender, then add the Italian seasoning. While that’s cooking, cook the pasta.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, and add the pasta, cheese, and meat/lentil mixture. Stir well to combine. Spoon mixture in to a greased muffin pan, filling the pans to the top. It should make around 24 regular size “muffins”. Cook for 20-25 minutes.


Lentil & Veggie Wedges

Lentil Veggie WedgeGreat hot or cold – good for picnics too!

1 cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 cups water
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Ground black pepper to taste

Put the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain any excess water off. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Grease a round 9 inch pan. Pour mixture in to pan, press in using the back of a spoon and cook at 375F for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and then cut in to wedges. Freezes well.

Mac & Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese BitesHandy to have as a side dish and so easy!

6oz small pasta shells
1 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a mini muffin pan. This makes about 30 bites so the bigger the pan, the better!

Cook the pasta according to the direction on the packet, and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat the egg, add the milk, and grated cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix it all together. Spoon in to the prepared pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes until starting to brown.

You need to let these cool in the pan a bit before you take them out – maybe 10 minutes or so, otherwise they won’t set and will just fall apart when you take them out!

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine MeatballsGreat for everyone and a nice twist on regular meatballs. Just add some veggies and you have a complete meal!

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked white rice (I used basmati)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce/tomato puree (not ketchup!)
1 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients together apart from the last three, and roll in to balls. Makes around 18, depending on the size.

Brown the meatballs in a pan, then drain and discard any excess grease. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for around 40-45 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and the rice is tender.

Pasta Pie

Pasta PieWe all love this – tastes like lasagne but with half the effort! I also liked that I could make it in stages while keeping an eye on my daughter. I could cook the spaghetti, then play, then cook the meat sauce, play, mix the cheese mixture, play, then assemble and in to the oven. Yay!

8oz spaghetti (could use other pasta), cooked
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan (divided)
1 pound ground beef/chicken/turkey (I used beef)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta (could use cottage cheese)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350F. Put the cooked pasta in a bowl and mix with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix eggs and 1/4 cup parmesan in a bowl, then mix with the pasta. Put the pasta in a deep dish pie plate or springform pan and spread so it covers the bottom.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and brown the meat. Pour the pasta sauce in and mix to combine.

In a bowl mix the ricotta, remaining parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Spread this over the pasta, then add the meat sauce, then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.

Put the dish on a baking pan/sheet pan (it can leak!) and bake for 30 minutes.


Veggie Rice Cakes

Veggie Rice CakeGreat to have as a side for dinner, and versatile – you can mix up the vegetables and seasoning depending on taste.

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar/mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup vegetables – I use corn, peas or steamed broccoli
Pinch seasoning – coriander, cumin, Italian etc
2 large eggs, beaten
Oil for frying

Combine rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, vegetables and seasoning in a bowl. If you’re using broccoli. cauliflower etc I would steam them first before adding. Add eggs and mix together. Shape mixture in to patties (somewhere around 1/8 – 1/4 cup size is good). Heat oil in pan and add patties, cook around 2 minutes each side until golden brown.

If you’d like to freeze these, do so before cooking them in the pan. When you’re to use them, just defrost and cook.