Category: Food

Cream of chicken soup

I have had this recipe in my collection so long I can’t remember where it even originated from. I’m fairly certain it was something I learned to make in Home Ec as a teenager. Over the years, I’ve tweaked and adapted to suit my tastes and I have to say, it’s hands-down my favourite comfort soup! I make it the minute it starts to cool down with a huge serve of sourdough bread. Since winter has well and truly hit my part of the world, I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • Shredded chicken breast (either slow cook yourself or buy a roast one from the store)
  • 250mls thickened cream
  • veggies of your choice – I use carrots, onion, celery, potato, kale, zucchini – whatever is in the house/ in season
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • Chicken stock / Bone broth
  • 50g or so of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – the more, the merrier I say
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch

Chop up all your veggies nice and small. For zucchini, I just grate it all finely so the kids don’t give me too much grief. If you want to be real clever, you can peel yours first and it blends right in! I keep the skin on though so the kids get used to having bits of green in all their food. Then melt butter in a large saucepan and start to fry up your garlic and onion. Once they soften, add in your veggies and make sure they’re well-coated in butter. I like to have some water boiling in the kettle while I’m doing this. Next I add the flour and mix well. This is where you need to be quick because the flour will quickly glob up and stick to the bottom of your pan so have that boiling water at the ready. Once the veggies are coated in flour (about a minute or so) add in the water – use as much as you want depending on how much soup you want to yield. I don’t have this down to an exact science as it depends on how much veg I’ve cut up. Then add in your bone broth (I keep some frozen in cubes on hand always) or powdered stock will do then let is simmer away for about 15 minutes or until veggies are all cooked through.

At this point, if the soup is still too runny for my tastes I’ll add a few teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with cold water (make sure to mix them together first!) then add to my soup and quickly whisk it for 30 seconds. I only do small amounts at a time as it thickens the soup quite quickly. I then add in my shredded chicken and cream to finish off.

Serve with warm crusty bread and ENJOY! It’s so good for lunches too and everyone in my fam-bam wants seconds whenever I make it.

Spicy cashew cauliflower

So due to an overwhelming demand for this recipe after I posted it on my insta-story, I thought I better chuck it on here for handy reference.
Since June (admittedly after watch the documentary The Magic Pill) we’ve been trying to do a loose form of the ketogenic diet. I’m definitely not one for fad diets – or diets of any kind to be honest- but so much of what we watched and had been researching ourselves resonated with this. After all the sickness of 2017 (read this post if you don’t know what I mean) I knew I had to make some changes to my diet and every day life to see some progress and after a few short months, I can honestly say there’s been a change to my overall health and most excitedly I’ve started to lose my little ‘kangaroo pouch’ as I fondly called my leftover baby belly. Anyway all this to say I love food and still love carbs so if I was ever going to stick to this (well 80% of the time…) I had to find ways to make food I don’t normally enjoy (i.e. cauliflower) taste better. So without further ado here’s my accidentally amazing spicy cauliflower side dish recipe!


Ingredients

– 1 large cauliflower
– Frank’s RedHot sauce (2-3 tbsp depending on your taste)
– 1 tsp white vinegar
– 3 tbsp butter
– handful of raw cashews
– splash of EVOO & salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method
– Cut up cauliflower into small pieces and crush the cashews into small chunks
– Heat the oil and start to cook cauliflower. Add a small splash of water and put a lid on the pan to let the cauliflower steam through.
– In the meantime, melt butter in a small jug and add the hot sauce and vinegar, whisking together. Once the cauliflower is almost cooked through, remove lid and add cashews and hot sauce mixture. On a high heat, cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to serve.

I made this on the side of chicken cutlets battered in egg and almond flour, shallow fried and drizzled with lemon with greens on the side. Such a light, grain free but still delicious meal!

My makes-me-so-homesick-vodka sauce

If, like me, you grew up in New York – specifically Long Island – then chances are you’re familiar with Penne ala Vodka. It’s a staple in almost every Italian restaurant. And for good reason: it’s hands down the best sauce in the world. Ever, ever, EVER {foreva eva, eva eva in an Outkast voice, sorry had to}
Anyway imagine my dismay when I get moved to Australia as a 16 year old only to discover that it basically doesn’t exist here. No one had heard of it and only one restaurant had it on their menu as “vodka sauce” and it was nowhere near what I was used to. So a combination of boredom and homesickness was all it took to start perfecting this recipe. It’s an adaptation of Rachel Ray’s “You won’t be single for long” vodka cream sauce but her recipe has no meat in it. So I had to rectify that one. No disrespect for my girl but everything is better with a bit of bacon!

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 heaped tsp minced garlic or 2 cloves
1-2 cups vodka (nothing fancy needed!)
2 shallots {or 1 large onion in a pinch}
5 slices of pancetta, chopped in chunks {or prosciutto, bacon etc}
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bottle of passata {our family makes their own but whatever you can get}
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil
Pasta of your choice – I use bowties or penne

Heat butter and oil in a pan. Fry up pancetta and shallots until crispy. Add the fresh garlic and fry until golden. Add 1 cup of vodka and let it reduce for a few minutes.  Next, add the passata and diced tomatoes and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil and add salt.

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Once the pasta has cooked til al-dente {around 8 minutes}, turn the heat off the sauce and add the cream. Stir through, season with salt and pepper. I usually toss in another douse of vodka to finish it off and whack on some fresh basil.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and enjoy. I’m talking put on stretchy pants, pour some wine and really dig in.

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my go-to chicken cacciatore

Do you know someone who just had a baby? Maybe you’re visiting a sick relative or maybe you just need an easy dinner that generally pleases everyone. This is one of ours.
In our church, whenever someone has a baby there’s a group of us who cook meals to make the transition into parenthood that tiny, tiny bit easier. I love this meal because it’s easy to throw together, it freezes well and there’s not much in it that will cause upset to a newborn if you’re breastfeeding….except maybe the onions. Use at your own discretion.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 can diced tomatoes {400g}
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 small white potatoes
  • fresh basil

Fry up the onion in a little olive oil and add the wine. Cook until the wine is reduced then add the chicken and tomatoes. You can either cook the chicken through or finish it in the oven. Stir through the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.
As a healthy side option, I make mash in our Thermomix with this recipe {tweak the quantities as needed}. I also use both sweet and white potatoes with 75% of the amount being sweet potatoes but there’s something about adding a few white ones that makes it seem creamier. I also use regular milk as we aren’t a dairy free household but this recipe has saved my butt when cooking for friends who are DF.

Chuck the finished products in takeaway containers so there’s no washing up to worry about and you’re on your way!

sauce

Finished product pictured here with wholemeal cous cous for an extra-healthy option

Finished product pictured here with wholemeal cous cous for an extra-healthy option

whipped feta & pumpkin tart

One of my favourite weeknight meals to make is this tart {by the way does anyone else loathe the word tart..?!} Anyway a friend of ours introduced me to whipped feta and since that fateful New Year’s eve, I’ve been all but eating it by the spoonful. It makes a great base for this dish; I’m a sucker for the tangy saltiness of feta with sweet, caramelised onions. I won’t say it’s the healthiest dinner I make, but you can use light cream cheese and chuck a salad on the side to make yourself feel better!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1 medium butternut pumpkin
  • 1 block Philly light cream cheese
  • 200g Danish feta
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sage leaves {if they’re on hand or substitute with baby spinach as shown}

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees
Peel and cube pumpkin, drizzle with a bit of honey and bake for 15 minutes or til cooked through
Combine entire block of cream cheese and feta, whip until creamy*
Arrange thawed pastry over slightly greased tart pan & place in oven
Caramelise onions with a sprinkling of brown sugar in a pan for 5-10 minutes
Remove tart from oven when it’s almost completely cooked through {10-15 minutes}
Spread whipped feta along the base, layering with sage/spinach, pumpkin and caramelised onions
Return dish to the oven to heat finish cooking {no more than 5 minutes}

whipped feta pumpkin tart

Serve with a salad of your choice for a quick weeknight meal that won’t leave you feeling too guilty!