Author Archives: alihardie

Chicken, Coriander and Corn Dumplings

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I think we have already established that I am a bit of an Asian food fanatic and my latest escapades in the kitchen definitely do not suggest otherwise! Though these little morsels may look complicated and perhaps more effort than they’re worth..think again!! Once you’ve got all the ingredients in front of you they are actually super easy to prepare and only take a few minutes to cook!  And the best part? You can alter the filling ingredients all you like to keep things interesting! I’m thinking adding some seafood into the mix may be next on my list of things to try! These dumplings are the perfect party starters or as a delicious little meal on their own!

Chicken, Coriander and Corn Dumplings

(Makes 20-25 dumplings. Serves 5-6 for Entree)

What you need…IMG_5143

  • 250g chicken breast mince
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ¼ bunch coriander, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • kernels from 1 large corn cob
  • ½ packet round wonton wrappers

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

What to do…

For the dipping sauce, place all ingredients in a small serving bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the dumplings, place all the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling onto one half of each wrapper. Then run a damp finger around the edge of the wrapper before folding and pleating the

edges to seal. Set aside under a damp cloth until ready to cook.

Place a large steamer lined with baking paper over a large saucepan or wok of simmering water. Steam the dumplings in batches for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate to cover and keep warm.

Serve with the homemade dipping sauce and enjoy with friends over a lovely glass of Pinot Gris or crisp lager.

Enjoy!

A

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Dry Red Prawn, Sweet Potato and Green Bean Curry

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Dry Red Prawn, Sweet Potato and Green Bean Curry IMG_4921

(Serves 4 people) 

When I think of curries in general I usually think of rich heavy meals laden with meat and creamy sauces that taste bloody amazing but probably aren’t so great for our waistlines! But as I recently discovered, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, as this little beauty of a recipe that we whipped up the other weekend was a serious game changer! Not only is this recipe, light, fresh, and full of nutritious goodness but it just tastes so. damn. good!! I will eat my hat if it doesn’t win over in the hardest of critics! And the best part? It is super quick and easy to prepare..just keep reading and you’ll see what i mean!

What you need…

  • 1 tbsp red curry paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, very

    finely diced

  • 400ml tin coconut milk or cream (adjust quantities to your liking)
  • 500g green prawns, peeled
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 400g green beans, washed
  • fresh corriander and lime wedges to serve
  • steamed quinoa or jasmine rice to serve

What to do…

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Lay the sweet potato out on a lined baking tray and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven and allow to roast until the sweet potato is soft and slightly browned around the edges. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside for later.

Add a good dollop of peanut oil to a large heavy based frypan or wok and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Next add add the garlic and chilli and saute for another minute. Then add the curry paste, cooking until the flavours are well infused.

Next add the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar, mixing well to combine. Add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 5-10mins to allow to reduce slightly. Throw in your prawns and stir through, allowing to cook for 2-3 mins before adding the green beans for the final 2 minutes of cooking. Once the prawns and beans are cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and stir through the sweet potato.

Serve with some steamed rice or quinoa and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Deeeelish!! 🙂

A

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Healthy Pork and Bean “Tacos”

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A slightly healthier take on one of my all time favourite dishes….Tacos!! These little babies are not only LOADED with protein, fibre and other essential nutrients but they are also very low in carbs and fat yet still taste pretty damn out of this world! They’re also super easy to prepare and make great leftovers! And yes if you haven’t guessed already, I am a pretty solid Mexican food fan! But then again..who isn’t?!

Pork, Bean and Vegetable Tacos with allll the trimmings…only a much healthier version! 

(For 4-6people)

What you need…IMG_6828

  • 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and leaves seperated
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1/2 red or yellow capsicum, diced
  • 1 zucchini diced or grated
  • 5 button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 tin brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain greek or natural yoghurt

For the salsa:

  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • lemon

What to do…

Heat a large non stick fry pan or casserole dish over med-high heat. Add a dash of oil and then add then add the pork mince. Once just cooked through, remove from the heat and transfer the mince to a bowl and set aside.

Place the fry pan back on the heat and add another dash of oil. Sauté the onion until soft then add the garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for a further 2 mins. Throw the mince back in, followed by all the vegetables and stir over medium heat until well combined. Then add in your tomato paste and mix through, followed by the tinned tomatoes.

Finally add the beans and lentils and then allow to simmer over medium heat for 5-10mins.

Meanwhile, throw all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Place on the table along with the lettuce cups and  bowls of diced avocado and natural yoghurt.

Once the taco mix is ready, remove from the heat and you are ready to dig in!

Enjoy!

A

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Salmon Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa and Sirracha Spiced Yoghurt Dressing

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Salmon Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa and Sirracha Spiced Yoghurt Dressing      

(Serves 4 people)IMG_6479

What you need…

  • 4 x skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 chorizo, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp each of ground coriander, paprika and cumin (mixed together)
  • 1 packet mini flour or corn tacos (or try using iceberg lettuce cups for a grain free alternative)
  • 1/2 packet mixed coleslaw mix or ¼ red cabbage, sliced
  • 2/3 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp sirracha sauce
  • fresh herbs to serve

For the salsa:

  • 1 mango, cubedIMG_6475
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced (seeds removed)
  • juice of half a lime

What to do…

Pre heat fan forced oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Place the salmon fillets into a lined baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and then rub the mixed dry spices into both sides of the fish. Cover with alfoil and place in the oven 20minutes before you are ready to serve. Note: the cooking time of the fish will depend on the thickness of the fillets.

When the fish is cooked to your liking, pull it out of the oven and break the fillets up into pieces. Cover the dish with alfoil to keep it warm.

NOTE: If you are adding the chorizo, pan fry it on high heat just before you are ready to serve and then add to the fish dish to keep warm.

Meanwhile, add all the salsa ingredients to a bowl, drizzle with the lime juice and some olive oil and mix through.

Next, place the yoghurt in a small serving bowl and mix through the sirracha sauce.

Just before you are ready to serve, wrap the tacos in alfoil and place in the oven to heat through.

Finally, throw your cabbage or coleslaw mix into a serving bowl. And then guess what?

You’re ready to tuck in! Enjoy!

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And here’s a simple “grain free” alternative for the paleo fanatics out there! 😉

You’re ready to tuck in! Enjoy!

A

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

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finalWell if there is one thing for sure…summer is definitely on its way! With temperatures up in the high 30’s yesterday I could think of nothing worse than slaving away in a hot, sweaty kitchen for hours to whip something up for my parents who just happened to be passing through town! As it turns out, this little recipe creation turned out to be the perfect solution to my dilemma!

Fast, fresh and super healthy, these Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and require minimal cooking time, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and essentially making them the perfect choice for these balmy (almost) summer nights! Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they are also gluten free, packed full of high quality lean protein and loads of veggies to further boost their nutrient profile and fibre content.

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

(Serves 4 people)

What you need..

– 500g chicken breast, roughly chopped

– 1 large carrot, grated

– 1 large zucchini, gratedIMG_5726

– 1 egg, whisked

– large handful coriander, chopped

– 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 tsp ginger, grated

– 1.5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

– 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and drained

– extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli (if desired)

– sesame seeds for rolling

For the salsa:

– 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded, dicedIMG_5728 2

– 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced

– 1/2 red onion, diced

– 1 tbsp sweet chill sauce

– handful coriander, chopped

– juice of 1 lime

– 2 tsp fish sauce

What to do…

Throw all the ingredients for the chicken and quinoa cakes, other than the quinoa and sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until well combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir through the cooked quinoa. Place in the fridge until ready to roll and cook.

For the salsa, chop the tomatoes into quarters and discard the soft centre parts. Dice the tomatoes and add to a small serving bowl along with the other salsa ingredients. Stir to combine.

When ready to cook, place a large non-stick fry pan on medium heat and add a drop of olive or peanut oil. While the pan is heating up roll the chicken mixture into pattie shapes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Add a batch of the chicken and quinoa cakes to the hot pan and squish them down with a spatula so that they cook quickly and evenly. Once cooked, remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Team these bad boys with a light summer salad and the zesty salsa and you have yourself one ridiculously tasty, light summer meal in minutes!

Enjoy!

AIMG_5727

Thai Lime and Coconut Salmon Parcels with Lemongrass Infused Rice

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IMG_4541Planning a “dinner for two” but stuck for ideas and can’t bare the thought of spending the whole evening slaving away in the kitchen? Why not try this amazing little dinner and dessert combo that is packed full of flavour, easy on the eye and sure to please even the toughest of critics. Despite looking like something you would see served up at a fine dining restaurant, both of these recipes are very simple and easy to prepare, leaving you plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

Thai Lime and Coconut Salmon Parcels with Lemongrass Infused Rice

 What you need…

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 fresh lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely diced
  • small bunch coriander, choppedIMG_4519
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • ½ Chinese wombok, finely sliced
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Steamed greens to serve

What to do…

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Next place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, the lemongrass and the rice. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, spread two large pieces of alfoil down on a clean working surface and then place a piece of baking paper over the top. Divide the wombok amongst the sheets of paper and then top each with a salmon fillet. Next start layering the salmon fillets with the fresh lime slices followed by the shallots, garlic, coriander, chilli and kaffir lime leaves.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste to a bowl and stir well to combine. Fold up the sides of each of the salmon parcels and then pour the coconut mixture over the fillets. Wrap each parcel up like a big present.

Place in the oven and cook for approximately 15-20minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets. To test, open one of the packets, insert a fork into the centre of the fillet and gently pull back. If the inside flesh is opaque the fish is cooked. If not, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and serve with some steamed greens and the lemongrass infused rice sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

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Choc Coconut Dipped Strawberries with Pistachio Crumb

What you need…

  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries, rinsed and drained IMG_4557
  • 200g dark cooking chocolate
  • 200ml coconut milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp almond meal

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan forced. To make the crumb, mix the pistachios, almond meal and coconut together and spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spray lightly with oil and place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the edges of the mixture just start to brown slightly. Remove the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, use a double boiler or microwave to melt the chocolate and coconut cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Transfer the chocolate to a bowl and assemble on a platter with the beautiful fresh strawberries and the pistachio crumb.

Enjoy!

A

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Warm Lamb Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

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IMG_3If you are looking to whip up some tasty salads this spring but are in need of some foodie inspiration then its time to jump on
the Beet train! Fast becoming one of the most fashionable vegetables of 2014 it’s not hard to see why the humble old beetroot is making a comeback. With a seriously impressive nutrient profile, beets offer a range of health benefits to keep you looking a feeling your best. Available just about all year round these colourful little flavour bombs are the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, give this recipe a go, it will not disappoint!

Warm Lamb and Veggie Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

(Serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh baby beetroots, peeled and trimmed
  • 200g pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slicesIMG_2
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1x red onion, quartered
  • 100g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 250g lamb loin (backstrap), trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g marinated labneh or fetta cheese
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.IMG_5

Place the lamb in a bowl and rub with olive oil and the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Top and tail and then peel the beets. Slice them in half and then add to a lined baking dish along with the sliced eggplant, pumpkin, red onion and cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves and place in the oven to cook for approximately 45mins or until the veggies are soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick fry pan over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When almost ready to serve, place a non-stick fry pan over med-high heat and cook the lamb. Approximately 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Once cooked to your liking remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5mins before slicing.

Meanwhile, layer the baby spinach leaves over a large serving platter and then top with the roasted vegetables. Finally add the sliced lamb and sprinkle over the candied walnuts and labneh.

Enjoy!

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