Today is Australia Day so I’m pretty excited to be sharing this lovely lamb recipe with you, not only because in my family Australia day equals eating a good deal of lamb, but because this dish, adapted from a terrific one by Nigella Lawson, pointed in my direction by my friend Amy, is all the things this blog is about: easy, tasty, affordable and delightfully do-able when having people over. Using either lamb loin or chump chops, simply place all the ingredients in a roasting dish at the same time and stick it in the oven. You don’t even need to turn anything! Just add something green to eat it with, perhaps a salad or steamed green beans, and whack the lot, straight out of the oven, onto the middle of the table with a fresh loaf of bread for mopping up the yummy juices. The lamb turns out oh so tenderly and the chopped fresh parsley makes the flavours come alive. This recipe is easily doubled using two roasting dishes and which can both go in the oven together – no problem: that’s 12-16 people fed for the cost of one at a nice restaurant! Even better is the fact that this delicious one-pot feast is gluten, egg, wheat and diary free. Using the quantities below, this recipe serves 6-8 and costs no more than $15 to make. Thanks for this one, Amy.
- 12 lamb chops, either loin or chump
- 3 baking potatoes, adding up to approximately 650g
- 45ml olive oil (approximately three tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (a little less if substituting with chilli powder)
- salt and pepper
- 2 lemons
- small handful of roughly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Put the lamb into a roasting dish
- Cut clean potatoes into wedges (don’t bother peeling them) and place them in the gaps around the lamb.
- Drizzle the oil over the lamb and potatoes and sprinkle with the dried mint, chilli flakes and salt.
- Zest 1 lemon over the roasting tin and then juice both lemons and pour the juice over everything in the tray.
- Season well with salt and pepper and cook in the oven for 1 hour, not bothering to turn anything over. Pull the tray out of the oven when everything looks quite brown (don’t let anything burn), and if it looks like it’s very brown before the end of the cooking time, cover the tray in foil and return to the oven.
- Serve everything in the middle of the table for a yummy and casual feast.
One lovely thing about writing a blog is hearing from other bloggers. One day I hope to meet Meredith who writes a very stimulating blog The Key to the Door, but in the mean time I’m thoroughly enjoying trying some recipes she has sent in along with her stamp of approval for their ease of use when having people over. When I tried this delicious chicken dinner, I didn’t have much time or energy for cooking but the quickness and ease of it meant we got through another arsenic hour scenario and it wasn’t too taxing. Originally from the $120 Food Challenge website, I’ve adapted this a little to serve more people by cooking it in the oven rather than on the stove. Everyone in our family loved this and it’s such a versatile recipe: next time I make it, I’m planning to add a jar of drained and pitted Kalamata Olives and might then call it Oven-baked Chicken Cacciatore! Using the quantities below, this recipe serves 8 and costs around $16 to make. Thanks for sharing, Meredith.
- 8 chicken thigh fillets, (could also use drumsticks)
- 4 tablespoon oil
- 4 brown onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 packet French onion soup mix
- 2x 440g tin diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
- Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan or large frying pan and sauté chicken pieces until brown and then place in a large oven-proof casserole dish.
- Add onions and garlic and fry until translucent. Add tomatoes and juices, the soup mixture, water, soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar.
- Distribute this mixture evenly over the chicken and bake in a moderate oven for 40 minutes. When cooked, top the whole dish with parsley and serve with rice and greens if desired.
My friend Victoria posted a link to this delightful recipe during the week and I was genuinely intrigued by it – pikelets made using only eggs and bananas? I had to try them. This morning provided the perfect opportunity: waking up to an overcast, sleep in, pyjama type Saturday. The kids devoured these healthy, protein rich, gluten free and diary free pikelets that contain no added sugar or carbohydrate – definitely my kind of breakfast or snack. The consistency of these on eating is a little more spongy than a standard pikelet, but it certainly isn’t a deal-breaker. If you prefer something a little sweeter, simply add some icing sugar to serve. These little babies would also make an excellent dessert for sugar-phobes, simply drizzle with cream – though I must confess to eating mine like this for breakfast. Makes 24+ and costs no more than $2.
- 2 bananas, mashed a little with a fork
- 4 eggs
1. Put slightly mashed banana and eggs in a mixing jug. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until completely smooth.
2. Pour small amounts (about the size of the lid of a jam jar) into a frypan set to medium/low. Use a small amount of canola spray before pouring. Cook each for a couple of minutes each side (though I do find the first side takes around 3 minutes and second takes less than one). Eat by themselves, with a dusting of icing sugar or with some runny cream.
Though not here yet, summer is on its way. And while signs of winter can still be seen, as daylight saving time began in NSW last weekend, our barbeque has been beckoning us. Today we had good reason to give in and so enjoyed our first of the season. And what’s a barbie without some yummy fresh salads? Originally from my friend Amy, the following Asian Noodle Salad is my all time favourite salad. It’s so tasty and filling it could easily be eaten on its own as summer style main course. For these reasons, it’s a terrific option when needing to cater for vegetarian friends and can you believe, this scrummy salad is also egg, dairy and gluten free. As if it couldn’t get any better, this very large salad is so affordable, costing around $8 to make and serves 15+ people as an accompaniment or 8 served as a main.
- 1 x 250g packet of rice stick noodles (clear flat ones, come in a variety of widths)
- 1 x 250g packet of bean shoots
- 1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked from stalks (cheapest from a grocer)
- 1 bunch of shallots (8-10 stalks)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten free variety if necessary)
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (fresh is great, but I always use squeeze from fridge)
- Cook noodles for a couple of minutes only, until soft, in a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Drain using a sieve or colander and run lots of cold water through the noodles to stop the cooking process. Rinse out pot with cold water to cool it down, ready to use again for combining the salad ingredients.
- Place cooked noodles, coriander leaves, bean shoots and chopped shallots in the cooled down pot. Set aside.
- In a jar with a tight lid, shake together soy sauce, peanut oil, sesame oil and lime/lemon juice.
- Pour dressing over all the ingredients in the pot and toss well using tongs. Transfer to a large salad bowl and serve at table. Enjoy!
I spotted this recipe a few days ago in Donna Hay’s No time to Cook. The recipe looked so yummy and easy that I had to give it a go and we all devoured it. Seriously, it took no longer that 20 minutes to cook the whole dinner and I was amazed at how moist the chicken turned out. This recipe allocates 1 small chicken breast per person, but ours were bigger, so we only used half a breast each (and with veggies underneath that was more than enough for each of us). So I’m thrilled that this ticks the affordable box as well as those of taste and ease. As well as all these things, this recipe is gluten, diary and egg free! The recipe that follows serves 4 and will cost no more than $10. Hope you enjoy it.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon oregano leaves (dried is fine, fresh is better)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 x small chicken breast fillets, halved lengthways
- 4 x spring onion, finely sliced or 1/2 cup basil leaves (roughly torn)
1. Decide what veggies you want to serve this with (I suggest steamed carrots, beans, broccoli and mashed potato) and get them going. Meanwhile, place vinegar, oregano, sugar and pepper in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened slightly.
2. Add chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes each side, or until cooked through.
3. Stack up your chosen veggies on each plate (mashed potato works best on the bottom). Place pieces of chicken across the top. Drizzle the dish with the remaining vinegar mixture from the pan. Top with spring onions or bits of torn basil.