Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Steak, onion & tomato pie

This is an easy pie recipe which can be thrown together before you head out for the day.  I make the filling in the slow cooker and it is ready to put into a pie by late afternoon.  Tonight, I couldn't be bothered turning it into a pie so the filling went straight from the slow cooker onto the plates and it was still a hit with my family.  An extremely simple yet tasty meal served with a plate of veges.

Amanda xx

Steak, onion and tomato pie

  • 2 Tbspn flour
  • 1kg chuck steak
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 ½Tbspn balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbspn gravy powder

1. Add flour into bottom of slow cooker.

2. Dice steak into small pieces & add into slow cooker.  Toss to coat the meat in flour.

3. Add onion, tomatoes, thyme, vinegar & stock. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Cook on high for 4 ½ hrs or low for 7 hrs or until meat is tender. At the end of cooking time, add gravy powder & stir until mixture thickens slightly.

5. Preheat oven to 200oC.

6. Transfer meat mixture from slow cooker into small dishes or one large dish.  Top with mashed potato (recipe below).

7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins or until the top has browned.

 Mashed potato:

3 large potatoes, peeled
¾ cup milk
1 ½ Tbspn butter

Dice potatoes into pieces approx. 1 ½ cm.  Boil in salted water until potatoes are tender.  Drain.  Add milk & butter & mash until smooth.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Gingerbread cakes

What a great combination of gingerbread biscuits and cake - gingerbread cakes.  Why not!!
They are delicious on their own but even better with lemon icing drizzled over them. They keep well in the freezer and can be popped into lunchboxes frozen as they will be thawed by lunch time and of course....perfect with a cup of tea.



  • 125g butter, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup maple/golden syrup
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbspn ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbspn lemon juice
  • 1 tsp water

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease 12 muffin pan or line with cases.

In a large saucepan, add butter, sugar, maple syrup & milk. Stir over medium heat until ingredients are combined & sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat & stir in bicarb soda.  Set aside to cool for 5 mins.

Add eggs & whisk until combined.

Sift in flour, ginger & cinnamon & whisk until smooth. Spoon into muffin cases & bake in preheated oven for 18 mins. Remove from oven & transfer to wire rack to cool.


Add icing sugar, lemon juice & water into a bowl & stir until smooth.  Drizzle over cakes & let sit for 10 mins to allow icing to set.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Trail mix bars

I experimented with these a few weeks ago and they turned out great!  My kids loved them as did others who tried them so I'd say that it is a winner for the school lunch box.  You could substitute the butter for peanut butter if you are making it for a home snack but for school lunch boxes - stick with ordinary butter.


Trail mix bars

  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups puffed rice
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (85g)
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal

Line a slice tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees. 

In a saucepan, add butter and honey.  Melt over high heat then reduce the heat and allow to gentle boil for 2 mins.

In a large bowl, add sunflower seeds, puffed rice, sultanas, choc chips and bran cereal.  

Pour over butter and honey mix and stir to combine. Press down firmly.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins.  Remove from oven and refrigerate to set.  Cut into bars and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Coconut chicken noodles

This is a great weeknight meal that features in my cookbook 'Food before 5'.  I love that it only takes about 25 mins from start to finish and is a healthy and delicious meal that can be tailored to suit your taste.  Use vegetables that are in season or replace the rice vermicelli noodles with your favourite type.  I have also made it with singapore noodles and rice stick noodles which both turn out well.


Chicken Coconut Noodles

  • spray oil
  • 500g chicken breast fillets, diced
  • 2 tsp green curry paste
  • 400ml tin light coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 150g rice vermicelli noodles

1)   Spray the base of a large pot with oil.  Over high heat, brown the chicken.

2)    Stir in curry paste.  Add coconut milk & chicken stock.  

3)    Add veges and stir. Cover & cook over medium heat until veges are almost tender.

4)   Add noodles & cook for a few mins (or until soft).                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Absolutely delish & only 25 mins from start to finish!!  

Tonight I made it with rice stick noodles

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Cauliflower fried rice

This has become my new favourite thing to accompany a meal - Cauliflower fried rice.  It goes great with a curry or as a healthy side dish to almost anything. Sorry, my photo isn't great and next time I make this I will take more photos and add them to this post.

Cauliflower fried rice

Cut a head of cauliflower into florets.  Place the florets into a food processor and gently process until you get the consistency of rice.  Don't over process as it will be too fine. I do it in batches as I like to make lots of it.

In a frying pan, add bacon and fry until cooked.  Add a heap of frozen veges and fry until heated through. You can add almost anything you like including scrambled eggs, shallots, capsicum etc. In the photo below, I added some kale which I had on hand.

Add the raw cauliflower rice and toss around to mix through with the bacon & veges.

Cook, stirring regularly until the cauliflower is tender.  This doesn't take very long at all (a few minutes).

Pour over some soy sauce and stir through.  Serve with anything!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Choc cherry balls

These delicious balls are so easy to throw together and the pink coconut makes the kids think that they are eating something totally unhealthy and naughty.  In actual fact, they aren't too bad at all which makes them perfect for an after dinner dessert or lunch box item. We love them and they are a regular at our place.

You can replace the glace cherries with dried cherries, dried cranberries or other fruit that you prefer.

Amanda xx

Choc Cherry balls
Makes 18 balls
  • 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut (135g)
  • 1 cup pitted dates (140g)
  • 3/4 cup glace cherries (or dried cherries)
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn cocoa
  • extra 1/2 cup coconut to roll with a few drops of pink colouring
Add coconut, dates, cherries and cocoa into a food processor.  Process until the ingredients blend together and form a sticky dough. 

In a small bowl, add the extra 1/2 cup coconut and a few drops of pink colouring.  

Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls (approx tablespoon size) and roll in the coconut to coat.

Place in an airtight container lined with baking paper and refrigerate until hard - this may take a few hours. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sesame bars

A delicious and healthy recipe which is perfect for snacks for adults and kids. This recipe has peanut butter in it so if you are wanting to make them for school lunchboxes, substitute peanut butter with ordinary butter or even coconut oil.  I haven't used these ingredients as substitutes yet but I plan to trial them soon.


Sesame bars

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
100g pkt sesame seeds (almost 1 cup)

Line a slice tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add honey and peanut butter.  Stir over high heat and stir until just starting to boil. Remove from heat.

Add oats, coconut and seeds into honey mixture and stir to combine.

Pour into lined tin and press down firmly. Refrigerate for a few hours until set. Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Beef red curry

Here is a very simple meal that only takes minutes to throw together in the slow cooker.  Leave to simmer all day and dinner is served. I also make this with chicken thigh fillets and korma paste instead of red curry paste but both ways are very delicious.  You can serve it with rice but tonight I made some cauliflower fried rice to go with the curry instead. 


Beef red curry - slow cooked
  • 1kg beef or lamb, diced
  • 1/3 cup red curry paste
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 120g pkt baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
1. Add beef/lamb into slow cooker.

2. In a jug, mix curry paste with tomatoes, sugar and stock.  Stir to combine and pour into slow cooker. 

3. Add spinach and stir to combine. 

4. Cook on high for 4 hrs or low for 7 hrs or until meat is tender.  

5. Prior to serving, stir in sour cream.