Chicken & Vegemite Pasta Recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

500g Chicken breast fillets

500g Bow tie pasta

1 Brown onion

½ Cup frozen peas

250ml Thicken cream

2 Tablespoons Vegemite

¼ Cup shredded Tasty cheese

Directions:

Step 1: Cook pasta according to packet directions, then drain and set aside.

Step 2: Meanwhile, prepare chicken and onion by dicing chicken into bite sized pieces and onions into small squares.

Step 3: Heat cooking oil in saucepan before stir-frying onions for 3-4 minutes until softened. Then add chicken and stir-fry for an additional 7-8 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink. Then add frozen peas and continue cooking for a further 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add cream to chicken and onion mixture and bring to a bubbling simmer, before adding the 2 tablespoons of Vegemite. Cook, stirring until Vegemite has blended itself into the cream. Then add drained pasta to the pan. Stir to combine.

Step 5: Remove from heat, adding the shredded cheese to the pasta . Then serve, dividing among 4 bowls.

Comments:

The first time we tried this dish, it was on Australia Day (quite fitting, don’t you think?). We cooked this recipe several times until we got the quantities just about right. Two tablespoons of Vegemite  is the right amount if you want to taste the Vegemite flavour, without being too overpowering.

Please feel free to add more or less of the Vegemite to suit your taste! Enjoy!

Hot Sweet & Sour Chicken & Peach Bowl Recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

500g Mince chicken

2 Ripe peaches (or 350ml tin of peaches)

1 Red onion

150g Bag baby spinach leaves

2 ½ Cups brown rice

For Marinade:

¼ Cup apple vinegar

½ Lime

1 Birdseye chilli

3 Cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 Teaspoon brown sugar

   Salt & Pepper

For sauce:

¼ Cup apple vinegar

½ Lime

1 Birdseye chilli

3 Cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 Teaspoon brown sugar

   Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare marinade by adding diced chillies and garlic to a small bowl of vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar. Squeeze lime juice and mix well. Allow sit for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Dice up red onion into small squares, and in a medium sized bowl mix onion into chicken mince. Add marinade to chicken mixture and allow to sit covered in the refrigerator for 20 mins.

Step 3: Prepare fresh peaches by removing stones and slicing flesh (with skin) into thin wedges.

Step 4: Prepare sauce by following the same steps as outlined in Step 1.

Step 5: Meanwhile, cook brown rice using your preferred method.

Step 6: Pre heat wok and remove chicken mince from refrigerator. When cooking oil starts to steam, add chicken mince and stir fry for 5 mins, breaking clumps of mince using the back of your spoon. After 5 mins add peaches to the wok, and cook for a further 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Step 7: To serve, divide up brown rice among 4 bowls, then place spinach leaves on top of rice before dividing up chicken and peach mixture among bowls. Finally, drizzle sweet & sour sauce over your Hot Sweet & Sour Peach Bowls.

Comments:

This recipe was inspired by the in-season peaches! However if peaches aren’t in season where you’re at, tinned peaches also work quite nicely.

If you’re using tinned peaches, after removing the peaches from the syrup, retain the peach syrup and add a bottle of beer (Lager or other dark beer) to the syrup for a refreshing beverage. Enjoy!

Mum’s Smashed Avocado Egg on Toast Recipe

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 Ripe avocados

4 Hard-boiled eggs

2 Tablespoon mayonnaise

8 Slices of toast

Salt & Pepper to taste

Step 1: In a pot of water, hard-boil the eggs, by adding eggs to a pot of cool water and bringing the water to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, take  the pot off the heat and allow stand for approx. 10 minutes. The aim is to have the egg yolks still slightly runny when you eventually moosh them. After 10 mins, remove eggs from water and run under cold water.

Step 2: While the eggs were cooking, prepare avocados by removing skin and seed. Then slice into quarters, placing the avocado flesh in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Step 3: Peel eggs and add whole eggs to avocado bowl. Using the back of a fork, smoosh egg and avocados together until avocado and eggs become incorporated (whilst the eggs still remain in chunky pieces).

Step 4: Add the 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise to the avocado egg mixture and gently mix together. When mixed, dollop and spread a thick layer of avocado-egg onto each piece of toast. Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste.

Comments:

The other day I was listening to an old foodie podcast, where they were joking about how the Smashed avocado on toast had become the breakfast dish Aussie’s around the world were known for (like vegemite on toast). And that started me reflecting  about my childhood, how my mum used to make me this smashed avocado egg sandwich to take to school for lunch; and even 15 years on I was still taking this same sandwich to work when I was still living at home (thanks mum for making me lunch for almost 30 years!).

I still remember my mum telling me that when she was a young girl in Hong Kong, she used to make this same sandwich for herself to take to work. So here I am, capturing down her recipe and sending it into the cyber-sphere, thus immortalising forever her 50 year old smashed avocado egg recipe (slightly tweaked for the humble toast). Enjoy! Let me know what you think after trying it in the comments section below.  Yeah?

East Meets West Fruit Salad Recipe

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 Papayas

2 Punnets blueberries 

2 Bunches red seedless grapes

1 Dragon fruit

1 Tin young coconut

1 Tin lychees

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare fresh fruits, by removing grapes from stems and wash both grapes and blueberries; remove skin and seeds of papaya, and same again for Dragon fruit and dice into bite-sized cubes. Add all fresh fruits to a large bowl.

Step 2: Prepare tinned fruits, by removing from tins and drain of all liquids (but retain the liquids) and add tinned fruit to the bowl.

Step 3: Mix, cover and place in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator when ready to serve.

Comments:

When we first got married we weren’t confident cooks, so whenever we were called on to bring a dish to a gathering/function we’d always put our hands-up for dessert and bring this salad (as no cooking was actually required. *Smile*).

We called it the ‘East meets West’ fruit salad because it contains half Asian fruits and half Western fruits (we always try to keep it a 50/50 split, and also a 50/50 split in-between fresh and tinned fruits).

The fruits which go into the salad highly depend on seasonality, and what the Asian grocer has in stock in terms of canned fruits.

In the past we had used the following Western fresh fruits: red or green Seedless grapes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, papaya, or mangos. And we’ve used the following Western tinned fruits: halved tinned apricots, mixed fruit salad, and quartered pears.

And in the past we had used the following fresh Asian fruits: star fruit, mangosteen, and custard apple, persimmon, longan, and Dragon fruit. Asian tinned fruits have included: young coconut, lychee, jackfruit, nata de coco, and palm seed.

We usually reserve the liquid from the tins, in case if the fruit isn’t sweet enough. If the salad requires sweetening, we’d drizzle some of the reserved liquids onto the salad (usually the lychee liquid).

Not to waste the liquids, we usually water them down with water and have them as refreshing drinks.

Please do try our East Meets West Fruit Salad, it’s super easy to throw together and real colourful (kids of all ages love it!).

Prawn and Chilli Mango Summer Salad Recipe

Serving 6

Ingredients:

600g Medium sized cooked prawns

1 Large mango

4 Waxy potatoes

1 Tin baby beetroots

1 Large bag rocket and spinach leaves

1 ½ Limes

1 Lemon

2 Birdseye chillies

4 Clove garlics

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste   

Directions:

Step 1: Dice potatoes (it’s your choice to peel or not to peel) into bite size cubes, and add to a pot of boiling water, cooking for 12-15 minutes. Then drain and pour into a large bowl to cool. Meanwhile, dice garlic into small pieces and pan fry until golden brown. Then pour onto the cooling potatoes to infuse, add just enough olive oil to lightly cover the potatoes.

Step 2: Peel prawns and place in a second bowl. Take the lemon and remove the flesh from the skin. Then dice the lemon flesh into small cubes and mix into the bowl of prawns.

Step 3: In the third and last bowl, dice mango flesh into generous cubes and place in the bowl. Chop chillies into small pieces and along with the seeds, add to the mango bowl. Juice the 1 ½ limes into the mixture and mix well.

Step 4: Cover all 3 bowls and place in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.

Step 5: To serve, add tinned baby beats (drained of liquid) and leafy greens to the potato bowl. Then add the prawn mixture to the potatoes. And lastly pour in the mango mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Comments:

The thought process behind this salad was to incorporate as many different flavours into a fun summer salad. For salt, the prawns and potatoes. For sweet, the mangos and baby beats. For sour, the lemons and limes. And for bitter, the rocket and spinach leaves.

The 3 main elements (potato mix, mango mix and prawn mix) can all be prepared in advance and refrigerated overnight. Thus taking the stress out of preparing a last minute dish to share, if attending a friends/family gathering.

You may choose to remove the lemon chunks from the ingredients if you don’t like an intense hit of sourness or bitterness. You may also cut down on the quantity of chilli (or remove the seeds) if you don’t want it too spicy for kids.

Please try this summer salad, the kick of chilli from the mangos always gain a favourable reaction from those who try it! *Thumbs-up*.

Spicy and Sour Mango Bowl with Poached Chicken and Miso Soup Recipe

Servings 4

Ingredients:

1 Large mango

1 ½ Fresh limes

2 Birds-eye chillies

1 Medium red onion

1 Small bag pre-packaged spinach leaves

1 Punnet cherry tomatoes

500g Chicken breast fillets

4 Sachets pre-packaged Miso soup (with 4 Sachets of dried garnish)

2 ½ Cups brown rice

Soy sauce to taste

Directions

1.Mango mixture- Slice mango flesh into generous sized cubes and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Juice the limes (all 1 1/2) over the mango, and dice up the chillies into small pieces and add to the mixture. Mix well and place covered in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. **Note: You can prepare this further in advance, but the longer you let stand, the spicier your mixture will become.

2. Rice- Cook brown rice according to your preferred method.

3A. Miso pot- Bring a pot of water to the boil (3 ½ cups of water), adding the thick pasty contents of the Miso sachets (all 4) to the water just before it starts to boil, stirring the thick liquid into the hot water. Meanwhile dice onion into thin strips. When the water comes to a boil, add onions to the pot and let cook for 5 minutes.

3B. while the onions are cooking, slice up the chicken into thin 2 inch strips. Before adding to the pot, turn water down to a simmer and then add chicken. Poach the chicken for 4-5 minutes until the outer flesh is no longer pink (the temperature of the Miso will drop to a poaching level when chicken is added). Then take off the stove and let sit, while you construct the bowls. The chicken will continue to cook while sitting in the hot Miso broth.

4. Other elements-While the chicken was poaching, slice cherry tomatoes in half, the baby spinach leaves require no prep. **Note: 10 minutes before serving, take mango mixture out of the refrigerator.

5. Bowl construction- Divide up the cooked brown rice among 4 bowls, then spoon out the mango mixture onto the rice. Next with a slotted spoon, fish out the poached chicken and onions, and place on-top of the mango mixture. Lastly top dish off with cherry tomatoes and spinach leaves.

6. Miso soup- Before ladling out the hot Miso, place contents of the dried Miso packet (seaweed and fried shallots) into a small rice bowl, then ladle the steaming hot soup onto it.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of soy sauce over the spicy and sour mango bowl to complete the dish.

Comments:

This dish was inspired by the gorgeous and large Kensington Pride Mangos at Coles, when in season they were 2 for $5. We tried once with a less ripe and again with a ripe mango, both were good. If you like more texture, elect a less ripe mango, if you want more juice to your dish, choose a more ripe fruit.

Adding lime and chilli is a great touch, to limit the sweetness of this dish, and the chilli adds a real nice kick to the meal.

We like this dish as it has all elements, sweet, sour, spicy, salty (depending on how much soya sauce you end up adding); chewy texture from the brown rice; the freshness from the tomatoes and spinach leaves; while the poached chicken and onion draws from the miso and all other flavours in the dish and makes the bowl more filling/satisfying. We hope you’ll enjoyed this fresh tasty summer bowl!