Easy Pumpkin Salmon Gnocchi

This is “cooking” for when you don’t have time to cook (i.e. me around exam time!).

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • Packet of store bought pumpkin gnocchi
  • 150g hot smoked salmon, flaked
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley and basil, finely chopped

Method

  1. Cook the gnocchi as per the packet directions in a pot of boiling water. Once cooked, drain and return to the pot but off the heat.
  2. While still warm, stir in the spinach, herbs, oil, salmon and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Vegan Chickpea Stew

I was at a loss as to what to name this. It’s technically not a curry. It is more like a tagine in texture, just not cooked in a clay tagine pot. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious, earthy, and packed full of veggies!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300g passata
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 medium sized butternut pumpkin
  • 1/2 large eggplant
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1.5 tsp Ras el Hanout (or Moroccan spice mix)
  • 125g baby capsicums
  • 3 large carrots
  • Handful fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic chives
  • Spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and brown rice to serve

Method

  1. Dice the potato, pumpkin, eggplant, capsicums and carrots into large chunks of similar size.
  2. In a large fry pan over medium heat, briefly sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  3. Add the potato, pumpkin, carrots, 1/2 cup chicken stock and passata with the spice mix and bring to a simmer until soft (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add the eggplant, capsicums and fresh herbs, and continue to simmer until soft (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the chickpeas. Serve with fresh baby spinach and brown rice, with cherry tomatoes to garnish.

More pie maker adventures!

The Betty Crocker strawberry cake mix makes for some lovely strawberry cupcakes:

The Aldi carrot cake mixture also works quite well:

And these babies were made with an Aldi banana bread mix and a square of white chocolate inside!

Pie Maker Savoury Muffins

After a recent baking spree for night shift, I can now truly appreciate why people are going nuts over these pie makers!

You’d be surprised at what people can create in such a short space of time with one of these (a real bargain considering they’re only $29 from Kmart). For some epic recipe ideas, definitely look up the Australian Kmart pie maker recipe group on Facebook!

As part of my experimentation, I made an old recipe of mine, a cross between a muffin and a frittata – a fruffin if you will (because mufftata sounds a bit risky).

I made two different flavours of these by changing the spice, otherwise the base recipe is the same!

Ingredients (makes 12)

Method

  1. Turn on the pie maker.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the milk, flour, yogurt and spice mix and stir well to combine.
  3. Place spinach leaves at the base of the pie mould, then pour 1/8th cup of filling mixture on top. Place a small piece of cheese, then add another dollop of filling mixture to cover.
  4. Cook in the pie maker until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). These will cook more evenly the more full the mould is.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if they don’t all get eaten!

One Tray Mediterranean Chicken Bake

This is one for those ‘cooking when you can’t be bothered cooking’ kind of days!

Ingredients 

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 500g mushrooms
  • 2 red capsicums
  • I head of broccoli
  • Herbs of your choosing – I used my favourite garlic lovers mix from Gewurtzhaus but a clove of garlic and a generous sprinkle of mixed herbs or parsely + oregano will work just fine!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Line a baking dish with paper or grease with olive oil.
  2. Chop the zucchinis, broccoli and capsicum into roughly even sized chunks.
  3. Place the vegetables on the bottom of the dish, then place the chicken on top, covered with a little olive oil and the herbs of your choosing.
  4. Cover with alfoil and bake until cooked through (about 30 minutes). Remove from oven when chicken is just cooked (as the veggies will be cooked underneath). Serve hot or use as meal prep to fill the freezer!

Non Alcoholic Summer Punch

Whether you’ve got little kids or are just having a healthy silly season, this punch packs a punch without the booze!

Just soak three Twinnings watermelon strawberry tea infusers in 500ml of coconut water and 1 litre of no sugar added apple juice for 15 minutes until the liquid has changed colour to a deep pink. Add frozen raspberries and mint to serve!

Gigantic Mango Weiss Bar

This 4-ingredient dessert is the perfect way to beat the heat in our hot Australian summer, while celebrating one of our most glorious summer fruits – the mango!

Ingredients

  • 2 large mangoes
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • 1 can (~300g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Line a loaf tin with plastic wrap, with enough overlap along the edges to cover the top.
  2. Remove the flesh from the mangoes and blend until smooth. Pour the mango mix into the loaf tin and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then mix with the condensed milk and vanilla. Be careful not to over mix as the cream will split and the texture will become grainy.
  4. Pour the cream mix on top of the mango mix, then fold the plastic wrap edges on top (this is to prevent the top from becoming icy). Freeze overnight or for at least 4 hours until firm.
  5. When ready to serve, remove from the loaf tin and let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Serve topped with whatever you like, but I love mint and blueberries!

Pumpkin Poulet Patties

These are based on my turkey rissoles, and make for some great chicken burgers (although they’re just as tasty on their own too!).

Ingredients (makes 8 large patties) 

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 small piece sourdough
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 100g pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • herbs: 2 sprigs dill, 4 sprigs parsley, 6 tarragon leaves

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft (~ 20 minutes). Leave the oven on.
  3. Place the bread in a food processor and process into crumbs. Add the mince, egg, herbs and pumpkin until combined, then stir in the quinoa flakes.
  4. Heat a large fry pan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Roll 2-3 tbsp of mixture into balls and drop onto the pan, squishing with the back of a spatula. Lightly brown both sides of the patties, then remove from the pan, place on the oven tray and return to the oven until cooked through (~ 15-20 minutes). Serve hot or cold.

Served above with a beetroot and cauliflower dip (essentially my lemon beetroot hummus but with roasted 1/2 head small cauliflower instead of chickepeas).