Saturday, April 12, 2014

One Pot Cheesey Pasta

We've had a cold and rainy week all last week here in Wellington and its been chilly. I think we've got a few more days of rain. When it gets all cold, our family's choice of food is some cheesy pasta. I've been quite busy trying to get my business website ready ASAP, so a quick and easy meal to save time has been my agenda this past week. This is a one pot, with zero chopping type of a dish. If you choose to include some chopping, add some veggies to it.

Miss D the two year old loves her mince and pasta with a whole lot of passion, so when this was placed in front of her, she snuffed it up within a few minutes and yelled for MORE! Pair this dish with a fresh salad, or a veggie stirfry and you will be massively full.


  • 500 gms of beef mince
  • 1 Jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 packet of pasta
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In some heated oil, cook the beef mince. Season with some salt and pepper. I had some garlic salt so I added that to the mince. Once browned, slowly pour out the extra oil, then add the jar of pasta sauce and a cup of water. If you don't have pasta sauce at home, add a can of diced tomato.

Once it comes to a boil, add the pasta, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and allow it to cook.

After the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and add the shredded cheese, cover with a lid again so the cheese can melt.

Spoon into a bowl and serve.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes

This week has definitely zoomed by really fast! It's a new month and daylight saving ends here in NZ this weekend. Its starting to get cooler here, but its been great during the day... been loving the warmth ... mostly because I get to dry the clothes in the sun.

This recipe is for a busy weeknight/cold day, so make sure you save this one for a day like that! This is a dump in a big pot and walk away type recipe and trust me for a full time mum, this is the perfect recipe especially since Miss D loves her mash and beef.



  • Beef chuck roast
  • 1 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • A big bowl of mashed potatoes

In a slow cooker, put all of the ingredients excluding the mashed potatoes. Allow it to cook for 7-8hours and boom you've got dinner ready!

Spoon it over a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes and serve!
Add a big bowl of salad and maybe some garlic bread and this will be one filling meal!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pepper Chicken Chettinad

My daughter turned 2 this past saturday - it has been incredibly busy leading up to it with work and planning for that party. So many details have gone into it that I will need to put it together in a separate post. Will try to get this up sometime this week!
The week prior to her birthday was definitely a celebration week too. This chicken recipe kicked it off! The spice in this is definitely hot, but the flavours are definitely yummilicious. I paired it with the biryani instead of going with plain white rice, but I am sure that should be ok if you end up making that!
Definitely recommend making this dish! K loved the peppery spice. My daughter is in this chicken craze phase at the moment, and this was terribly spicy for her little tongue but she kept asking for more chicken :). 
If you are not into spicy curries, you can try the Chicken Chettinad
If you want to make the Egg Biryani  as well. Click HERE
  • Chicken: a combo of Thighs, breasts, drumsticks or you can stick to your preferred choice
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods, gently crushed
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • Curry Leaves of 2 sprigs
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
To the heated oil, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Saute for a couple of minutes, but make sure you don't burn them. Add the onions next along with the curry leaves, ginger and garlic pastes and the green chillies and continuing cooking until the onions have softened and you get a lovely aroma of all the spices cooking! YUM

Powdered spices go in next: turmeric, coriander and chilli powder. Give it all a good mix and add the diced tomatoes and season with salt.

Allow this to cook for about 8mins and then add the chicken pieces.

When the chicken is almost fully cooked, add some freshly ground pepper.

I served this with some egg biryani. It was absolutely YUMMO!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Curried Meatballs - A paleo recipe

We are almost at the end of the week and I hope you have enjoyed the recipe a day this week with our Vegan / Paleo and Gluten Free theme.
I have recently begun to incorporate Paleo recipes in our menu each week. I like that I don't have to buy all these extra ingredients ... so don't freak out if you are considering a Paleo diet. Its actually pretty simple to work with and cook...
Meatballs is a big favourite in our house especially for Miss D who turns 2 on saturday (YAY!). K thought the house smelt amazing when I began frying the meatballs, I think it was the coconut oil that did it. I am sure you will have all or atleast most of the ingredients, so if your family loves meatballs, give this recipe a shot.
Lesser calories is always good! :)
  • 750gms ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2/3 cup almond flour (powdered almond)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
In a large bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients, excluding the coconut oil.

Create medium sized meatballs, and once they are ready, heat the coconut oil in a skillet
and add in all your meatballs. We are not deep frying the meat balls so please don't add a ton of coconut oil!!

Also add the finely chopped onion (from the sauce ingredients).

Allow the meatballs to brown on one side and then gently flip it so the other side browns up. So about 5 mins on each side.

While the meatballs were cooking, I mixed the ingredients of the sauce (excld the onions as its already in the pan) in a bowl.

Once the meatballs are well brown, pour the sauce and cover the skillet with a lid. Simmer until the meatballs has cooked through and the sauce thickens.

I served it with white rice and it was a hit with my daughter. She loves mince so she loved every mouthful of this dish!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pesto Chicken Penne

My day job is in finance and its been a bit busy in the last few weeks due to the end of the year audit coming up - so after I get home I am definitely tired but hello! I need to get dinner together for K and the daughter. So one of those busy evenings, I went through the pantry and the fridge and got a meal together in less than 30mins and served it to the family. K and I luvvvvvvvvvvv pesto with all of our heart LOL. Whenever we go to a food show, he usually likes to get pesto since they are always on a good deal in comparison to the supermarket!

So this dish is the third one in our week of Paleo, Vegan and Gluten free recipes. If you have been considering trying GF, this is an easy recipe to try. If you are a vegetarian, pull out the chicken
and put loads of veggies and it will be a very filling meal.

  • 1 packet of Gluten Free Penne pasta
  • 2 large skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jar of Pesto
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in a pot of slightly salted water according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken in the olive oil until it is cooked. I didn't include veggies in this dish, but you can add broccoli or carrots or anything that you usually would include in a pasta dish.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the jar of pesto (you may not need the whole lot), stir in the cooked pasta and toss well to coat.
Grate some Parmesan cheese if you would like before serving.