Main Meals

Chicken & Cashews

This is a delicious recipe, it is from the Everyday  Cooking cookbook, with a few changes.  Although it looks a bit fiddly, trust me you will be happy with the results!  The vegetables listed below are suggestions only – use whatever veggies you have in the fridge.

Chicken & Cashews

Ingredients

900g water

200g basmati rice (rinsed in basket until water runs clear)

300g chicken breast, chopped into smallish cubes

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon sesame oil

broccoli florets

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 celery stick thinly sliced

½ red onion cut into wedges

¼ cabbage shredded

½ red capsicum thinly sliced

½ small can bamboo shoots

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

50g unsalted cashews

Sauce Ingredients

300g cooking liquid (reserved from steaming)

40g cornflour

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon stock concentrate

50 g dry sherry

Method

Place water in thermomix bowl and insert basket with rice.  Place chicken in bottom of varoma dish and mix in soy sauce, honey and sesame oil to coat, then cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4  Ensure some of the holes in the varoma tray are not covered to allow the steam to get through

Remove rice and place in thermoserver to keep warm

Place vegetables in varoma tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds, cashews and sesame oil.  Stir chicken in varoma dish to ensure even cooking.  Place varoma tray on varoma dish and cover with lid.  Cook for a further 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4.  If there isn’t enough room for all veggies in the varoma tray, add the harder veggies (carrot etc) to the varoma dish with the chicken.

Once cooked, place the chicken and veggies in a covered serving bowl to keep warm

To make the sauce, tip out liquid used for steaming ,and reserve 300g.  Place reserved cooking liquid, corn flour, soy sauce, stock concentrate and sherry into thermomix bowl and cook for 3 minutes at 100°C speed 5

Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve with rice.

Serves: 5

Approximate calories per serve:360

By |March 29th, 2013|Main Meals|1 Comment

Cooking Pasta in your thermomix

Now I have to admit, although I have owned my thermomix for about 4 and a bit years, I have only just discovered cooking pasta in it the other day.  What have I been doing all this time??  It is so easy and convenient.

Ingredients

1200g water

big pinch of salt

100 – 500g dry pasta

Method

Place water and salt in thermomix bowl and cook for 14 minutes at 100°C on speed 1

Add pasta and cook for 8 – 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse + speed soft

Note that cooking time will vary depending on the type of pasta you use.

Drain and serve with your favourite sauce, or try my delicious bolognese sauce here.

Approximate calories per serve: 100g dried pasta is 360

 

By |March 14th, 2013|Hints and Tips, Main Meals|1 Comment

Bolognese Sauce

I love my thermomix – I really do!!!  Usually when I make spaghetti bolognese I do it the way I have always done it – on a stove, chopping onions, stirring, waiting….  Tonight I have a babysitter coming to look after the kids, so wanted dinner all ready for me to be able to walk out the door.  Spaghetti bolognese is a meal that always pleases my kids, so I was really happy to find a quicker way of cooking it.  I made it this morning in between school lunches and brushing teeth – it was fantastic!   So great knowing dinner is cooked and I hardly had to lift a finger.

I had made a bolognese sauce in the thermomix once before when I first got it, and must say that I wasn’t too impressed.  I think it is because I basically just did it the stove-top way.  Today I didn’t use a jar of pasta sauce that I usually do, nor did I use canned tomatoes.  I used lots of fresh veggies, and it tastes wonderful!  I really hope you try this recipe.

Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

20g olive oil

4 – 5 ripe tomatoes

2 carrots

½ zucchini

½ red capsicum

500g beef mince

70g tomato paste

100g button mushrooms or small can champignons

2 Tablespoons stock concentrate

100g water (or red wine)

Method

Place onion and garlic in thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5

Add olive oil and cook for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1

Add tomatoes, carrot, zucchini, red capsicum and herbs at chop for 5 seconds on speed 6

Add mince, mushrooms, tomato paste, stock concentrate and water then cook for 45 minutes at 100°C on reverse + speed soft

Once cooked place in thermoserve bowl to keep warm while you cook the pasta.

Serves: 6

Approximate calories per serve: 212

 

By |March 14th, 2013|Main Meals|2 Comments

Chicken & Vegetable Noodle Soup

This morning I was woken up by my gorgeous girl who was in bed with me, and she was in agony.  It was about 3am and her cold had now given her an ear infection and the pain was terrible.  She was snotty, teary and tired and did NOT want any medicine to take away the pain.  It was one of those times as a parent when you feel helpless.  So I made her take the panadol and she finally settled back down and went back to sleep.  As soon as I could in the morning I rang the doctor and made an early appointment for her.  While all this was happening, my beautiful boy came in proudly showing me where his tooth had finally come out. He had been complaining of a sore throat for the last couple of days, and had wanted to stay home from school.  Today was the weekend and he could only whisper, and as the time approached for my daughter’s appointment I realised it was actually my son who needed the doctor more.  It was about at that time that I realised it was going to be one of those days!  The good news is we got antibiotics (and jelly beans) from the doctor and the kids spent the day lying on the couch watching tv, and were slowly getting back to their normal selves.  At about 4pm I was wondering what to cook for dinner, knowing my son had a sore throat so we needed something soft and easy to eat.  What better for when you’re feeling sick than chicken soup???  So I quickly defrosted some chicken and thanks to my thermomix we were on the way to having a healthy, nutritious meal that was going to tick all the boxes.  It is sooooo much better than the scrambled eggs I was thinking of making!!

Chicken & Vegetable Noodle Soup

Ingredients

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 – 2 sticks celery

20g Oil

1 – 2 carrots

500g chicken (I used skinless boneless thigh fillets)

1000g water

1 tablespoon stock concentrate

1 fresh corn cob or small tin of corn

Changs Long Life Noodles

Soy Sauce

Method

Place onion, garlic and celery into bowl and chop for 4 seconds on speed 7

Place oil in bowl and cook for 4 minutes at 100°C on speed 1

Add carrot, chicken, water, stock concentrate and cook for 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse soft speed

Cut kernels off corn if using fresh corn, or drain can and add to bowl with 1 cake of noodles (break up noodles before adding) and cook for a further 10 minutes at 100°C on reverse soft speed

In the last minute add a splash of soy sauce.

Serve topped with chopped parsley and toasted french stick.

**Note – you can add the celery at the same time as the carrots if you like, but my kids pick out celery pieces so I chopped it with the onion.  I also hand chopped the carrot just so the pieces are even.

 

Serves: 4

Approximate calories per serve: 265

By |March 3rd, 2013|After School Snacks, Lunchbox, Main Meals, Soups|3 Comments

Steamed Dumplings

When I first got my thermomix, we had just returned from a holiday to Beijing, so one of the first things I made was the delicious steamed dumplings we had been enjoying on our holiday. These aren’t  the doughy ones, they are light and healthy you will need to make a lot as you wont be able to stop eating them!

Steamed Dumplings

Ingredients

4 spring onions

2 cloves of garlic

55 g bamboo shoots

300g pork mince (or mince your own first)

10 g Chinese rice wine

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¾ teaspoon sesame oil

30 fresh wonton wrappers

Method

Mince pork if using pork steak (close lid and turbo 3 – 4 times).  Set aside

Place spring onions, garlic and bamboo shoots into bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5

Add pork mince, Chinese rice wine, white pepper and sesame oil and select closed lid then press turbo 3 – 4 times to combine

Place 1 wonton wrapper on bench, brush edges with water then place 1 teaspoon of mince mixture in the middle of the wrapper, then fold wonton wrapper in half to make a triangle.  Fold the top corner over, then twist the side corners once and fold to the opposite side to enclose the filling.  Use extra water to stick the edges together if needed.  You can work with a few wrappers at once to save time.  I laid out 6 wrappers, brushed them with water, placed mince in the middle of each wrapper then folded each one.

There are heaps of different ways of folding the dumplings and it is probably easiest to do a search on “folding wonton wrappers’ on the internet to find a style that suits you.

As you finish each dumpling place them on the Varoma tray in a single layer.  You will probably need to use the Varoma dish as well.

Once all dumplings are wrapped, add 900g water in bowl, place lid on top without MC, place Varoma tray and dish on then Varoma lid on top.  Set for 15 minutes at Varoma Temperature on speed 4

Once cooked, place on a serving tray and serve with a dipping sauce.  I have some delicious dipping sauce recipes here, or you could try your own.

Serves: 30

Approximate calories per dumpling: 30

Chicken & Vegetable Sausage Rolls

If you are anything like me, then you are already trying to think of new and interesting goodies the kids can have in their lunch box, which is on the healthy side, but will make them happy too.  I have decided to cook a new lunch box /after school snack each week that I can freeze, so there is always a selection of healthy(ish) food for lunch boxes or when friends pop over.  This is the start of my baking adventures!

Chicken & Vegetable Sausage Rolls

Ingredients

1 carrot
½ – 1 zucchini
½ red onion
bunch of parsley
500g chicken skinless boneless chicken thigh
70 g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs (or two slices of bread to be made into breadcrumbs)
1 egg (plus 1 extra egg lightly beaten)
5 sheets frozen puff pastry
Sesame Seeds

Method

Place chicken and parsley into thermomix bowl and in mince 10 seconds on reverse speed 8.  Repeat if needed.

Add carrot, zucchini and onion and chop 3 seconds on speed 5

Add minced chicken, breadcrumbs and egg and combine for 20 seconds on reverse speed 5

Place just thawed puff pastry sheets on a bench and cut in half.

Divide chicken mixture into 5, and then place half lengthwise along the centre of each piece, and repeat with other side.

Fold over pastry to make a roll, and ensure seam is underneath.  Repeat with remaining pastry and filling

Cut rolls in half and then into thirds (so you have 6 small sausage rolls from each roll)

Place rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Cut a slit into each roll and brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using)

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until rolls are lightly browned

Serves: 60

Approximate calories per serve: 65  

Fruity Moroccan Lamb

This is a great meal to prepare either in the morning, or the evening before you need it.  You could probably do the whole cooking process in your thermomix, but I liked the idea of slow cooking in the oven (and it worked perfectly to put it in the oven then take the kids to swimming lessons – when we got home dinner was cooked!).  The lamb just melts in your mouth, and the apricots and dates are nice mix to give a bit of sweetness to the whole dish.

As I was typing out this recipe I realised I forgot to add the chickpeas to my casserole!  Oops!!  I don’t think it mattered too much, and truth be told the kids where probably happy about it, but I definitely would have liked them in there!!  Also, don’t be put off by the number of ingredients and the length of the method – this really is a quick and simple dish – especially if prepared earlier in the day.  The initial preparation takes less than 30 minutes, then you simply place it in the oven for about 1 ½ hours.

Fruity Moroccan Lamb

Ingredients

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1cm piece of ginger
20g olive oil
500g diced lamb
1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
1 orange
300ml water
2 teaspoons stock concentrate
400g can chickpeas, drained
70g dried apricot
70g pitted dates
150g green beans
35g pistachios
fresh coriander
1 cup couscous
2 teaspoons stock concentrate (extra)
natural yoghurt to serve

Method

Pre heat oven to 160°C if you are cooking it now, or if this is being prepared in the morning pre heat oven as needed

Place apricots and dates in thermomix bowl and chop 3 seconds on speed 5.  Set aside

Place pistachios in bowl and chop 2 seconds on speed 6. Set aside

Peel half of the orange and place rind in bowl and grate 5 seconds on speed 9. Set aside

Place onion, garlic and ginger in bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7

Scrape down sides of bowl, add oil and saute for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed 1

While the onion mix is sauteing, use a bowl to coat lamb in Moroccan seasoning

Add lamb to thermomix bowl and cook for 6 minutes at100°C on reverse speed 1

Juice orange, and add juice, grated orange rind, water and stock concentrate and cook for a further 6 minutes at 100°C on reverse speed 1

Place contents in a covered oven-proof casserole dish and either place in oven if cooking straight away, or allow to cool and place in the fridge.

When placed in the oven, cook for approximately 1 ¼ hours.

Add apricots, dates, green beans and chickpeas and cook in oven for a further 15 minutes.

While this is happening, boil kettle and place couscous in a bowl and add extra stock concentrate with 1 cup of boiling water.  Stir, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork

To serve, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and coriander, and add a spoonful of natural yoghurt to each plate.

Serves: 4

Approximate calories per serve: 720

By |February 20th, 2013|Main Meals|1 Comment

Quinoa Salad

I found this recipe on one of my favourite blogs: Quirky Cooking  http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/quinoa-salad-thermomix-style.html and have tweeked it a bit to suit what was in my pantry.  It is a delicious salad and makes heaps – it would be great to take for a bbq (maybe omit chicken?), but I am using it for my lunch for the next couple of days (after having it for dinner last night) as it is super healthy and filling and very easy in the thermomix!  You can basically add whatever ingredients you have on hand, but this is my version.

Don’t forget that quinoa is pronounced as KEEN-wa!Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
450g Chicken thigh, cubed (boneless and skinless)
250g pumpkin thinly sliced
4 eggs
350g quinoa rinsed and soaked (overnight if possible, otherwise for as long as you can)
200g silverbeet and rainbow chard (but you can use baby spinach)
15 oil free sun dried tomatoes sliced thinly
15 green olives seeded and finely chopped
1/2 red onion finely chopped
100g feta reduced fat
handful of basil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon Pepitas
1 Tablespoon Pine Nuts
1 Teaspoon kecap Manis
60 ml Balsamic Vinegar
60 ml Olive Oil

Method

Rinse quinoa and place in steamer basket and add 800g water to bowl.  Wash the eggs thoroughly and place them on top of the quinoa.

Place lid on bowl and place chopped chicken in varoma dish and sliced pumpkin in varoma tray.  Cook at Varoma Temperature at speed 4 for 15 minutes.

Give chicken a stir to ensure even cooking.  Add silverbeet to varoma tray with pumpkin.

Cook at Varoma Temperature at speed 4 for 5 minutes

While quinoa is cooking, prepare sun dried tomatoes, olives, red onion.  Place in a large bowl.

Once quinoa is cooked, remove eggs and place in a bowl of cold water to stop cooking process and to clean.

Place quinoa, chicken, pumpkin and silverbeet in large bowl with tomatoes, olives and onion and mix well.

Allow to cool.

When ready to serve add basil and feta and toss well.  Peel eggs and cut into quarters and place on top of bowl.

In a dry frying pan add nuts and seeds and gently heat until the pepitas start to pop.  Add kecap manis and cook for about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle over salad.

Place balsamic and oil into a jar and shake and then serve with salad.

Serves: 8

Approximate calories per serve: 450 

By |February 6th, 2013|Main Meals, Salads and Sides|2 Comments