Category Archives: Low carb

Tray Bake Chicken with Feta and Olives

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Tray Bake Chicekn Plated

Tray Bake Chicken

In recent years, tray bake dinners have been the solution to many a mid-week meal problem at my place. And my friend Amy keeps me in great supply of new tray bake recipes to try. Or try for me – by which I mean, she makes enough for her family and mine and then sends me home from Small Group with the next night’s dinner, plus the recipe. Yep, she’s a keeper. And so is this recipe. Everything in it is inexpensive, easily sourced and fast to make. And with my lemon tree once again going bananas, this dish is the very definition of doable. If you need a low-carb option, just ditch the wedges of potato, like the original recipe suggests here. Apart from the ease and affordability of this gluten-free dish, it must be said that it just tastes so good – the chicken skin goes nice and crispy in the hot oven, the cubes of feta don’t melt but they brown up nicely and the flavour made by the lemon and oregano is homely, satisfying and not too out there for the kids. This dish serves 6-8 people easily and costs less than $20 to make. And if your need is for a smaller group, the quantities halve nicely. Thanks, Amy, for this recipe and much more.

  • 8 chicken thigh cutlets, bone in, skin on
  • 200g Greek or Australian feta
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into wedges (not too thickly)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • cracked black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Cut the capsicums and onion into thick wedges. 

3. Cut the feta cheese into large cubes.

4. Cut the potatoes into wedges, not too thickly or they won’t cook in time with the rest of the dish.

5. Place the chicken thighs and the cut vegetables into a large bowl.

6. In a small bowl, combine the oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and stir until combined.

7. Pour the olive oil mixture into the large bowl with the chicken thighs and vegetables. Toss to make sure all the chicken and vegetables are coated in the olive oil mixture.

8. Place the chicken mixture into a large baking dish or a rimmed baking tray. Make sure the chicken is skin side up on the tray. You will also want the vegetables to be at the bottom of the tray. Some juices may collect in the cooking process so it is better if there is a small rim on the tray or dish. Add the olives, feta and lemon wedges around the chicken pieces. Try not to place them on top of the chicken skin. 

9. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then increase the temperature to 220 degrees Celsius/430 degrees Fahrenheit for a further  10-15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. 

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Oven-baked Bolognese

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This bolognese sauce is my new addiction. My friend Corinne made dinner for the kids and I last week saying “We’re just having bolognese, I’ll bring some over.” But there’s nothing “just” or ho-hum about this bolognese, which is hinted at by its somewhat random ingredients list, and twice cooked methodology. But man, is it worth it. Corinne’s bolognese is hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. I think perhaps she was well aware of our family’s penchant for Weetbix and porridge dinners, especially when dad’s away. But we so appreciated her kindness in sharing with us some of what she and her family were having for dinner that night, which just so happened to be amazingness masquerading as ordinary. To me, this best ever bolognese is called Bacony Kindness Bolognese, and I thank God for my friend and for hers. First published by Delicious Magazine, (photo credit too) this lovely gluten free and freezer friendly recipe costs under $20 to make and easily serves 10.

  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 200g bacon, any kind, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g each beef and pork mince
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) dry red wine (I just use a cheap clean skin)
  • 800g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) beef stock (I use powdered, but use a gluten free variety if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
  2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until it starts to crisp. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the beef and pork mince and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned.
  3. Add the milk and nutmeg and simmer over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the milk evaporates. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2-3 minutes until combined, then add the wine and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, then cook in the oven for 2 hours or until thickened and reduced. Skim any fat from the surface, then serve with pasta.

Cauliflower Bake

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Cauliflower Bake PlatedCauliflower Bake

Well here in Australia, my favourite season – winter – has arrived. For me, winter is all about boots and soft socks, jackets, warm jumpers, snuggly evenings on the couch and having people over to enjoy comfort food. The downside is only that these yummy dishes are often carb-heavy and and high in fat, and well, over the course of winter, the old jeans can get a bit tight. So I thought I’d share this recipe with you cause it’s been getting a bit of a workout at our place lately and while it’s definitely a treat-like comfort food (it’s no low-calorie salad!), it is very low carb. And it’s so versatile – we use it as a side as well as a main and the whole family devours it. It’s also great for lunches made on Sunday afternoons for the working week ahead or as an easy meal to give away. This yummy, wintery dish that serves 15 people as a side, 8+ as a main, costs $28 to make if you buy your cauliflower and all the other ingredients from a supermarket (I’ve calculated this based on current Woolworth’s pricing), but almost half that if you’ve got time to swing past a fruit and veg shop. Similarly, Coles has recently released an excellently priced and packaged You’ll Love Coles cream cheese product, and streaky bacon from Aldi is always a good price. A little shopping around makes the whole meal quite affordable. Happy winter, everyone!

  • 2 heads fresh cauliflower
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch spring onions sliced finely, white stalk to mid-green length (chuck away dark green part)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated finely
  • 10 slices of streaky bacon (though any kind is fine), fried off and crumbled
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Boil the cauliflower covered in water in a large pot. Drain the water completely and mash to a pulp in the pot you cooked it in.
  2. Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, spring onions, parmesan and ¾ of the bacon.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly into a large lasagne dish. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake for 30-35 mins until hot and bubbly. Enjoy!