Vege Macaroni Bake

My plan for this week is to keep my meals as cheap as possible, while maintaining a somewhat healthy diet. This website suggests having a theme for each night. This is the planned menu for the week

Sunday (Pasta): Vege Macaroni Bake
Monday (Rice): Lemony Chicken with Rice
Tuesday (Casserole/Slow Cooker): Beef Goulash
Wednesday (Breakfast for dinner): Eggs on toast with bacon and tomatoes
Thursday (Fish): Salmon Rissoles
Friday (Freezer): To be confirmed – we have heaps of meals that have been cooked previously that are frozen in the freezer. We have Chicken Noodle Soup Pie Mix, Beef Pie Mix, Moroccan Lamb Mince, Vegetable Soup, Lamb Chops, Lamb Shanks, Tomato sauce (leftover from parmigiana). Let me know what you think we should have for freezer night!!
Saturday (Chicken): Roast Chicken Drumsticks with cous cous

Tonight we had Vege Macaroni. I got the recipe idea from Sainsbury’s Feed your family for a fiver (a mixed venture they did with Jamie Oliver, very similar to the Coles Curtis Stone thingy, but possibly a tad more healthy).

  • about 2 cups macaroni
  • broccoli cut into florets (chop up the stalk as well if you want its still yummy, I used about half of a small head of broccoli)
  • Asparagus chopped into 3cm lengths (I used half a bunch)
  • a punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • a small clove of garlic finely chopped
  • a couple of handfuls of baby spinach
  • Cheese sauce (you could use store bought or make your own, I make my own using about 2 large tbsps of butter, 2 large tbsps of plain flour, about 1-2 cups of milk, and about a cup of grated cheese – melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then add the flour and stir well, then gradually add the milk until it has the texture of runny cream, stirring well to ensure there are no lumps, continue stirring over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add grated cheese, I also added some chopped parsley)
  • Extra grated cheese (to top)
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, I cook the broccoli in a bamboo steamer on top while I cook the pasta. I added the asparagus to the boiling water with the pasta when the pasta was almost cooked.
  2. Combine the tomatoes with the chopped garlic in a bowl
  3. Put the baby spinach into a baking tray. Add the hot cooked broccoli and pasta and asparagus and cover while you cook the cheese sauce (this will help the baby spinach to wilt)
  4. Add the tomato and garlic mix and cheese sauce and mix well to ensure that all the pasta and vegies are coated with the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Top with some extra grated cheese and bake in a moderate over (180-200) for about 20 minutes until the cheese is golden
  6. Serve with some gooey bread, We had some yummy sliced grainy bread and butter with ours.

This was a very tasty dish and I managed to make it for about $7. It made enough for 4 serves (dinner and lunch for us). Next time I think I might add some cooked chicken or sliced ham for some protein.

Close up of cheesy pasta goodness

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Beef Skewers with cous cous and lemon yoghurt sauce

This recipe comes from the “Feed your Family for under $10″ recipe cards from Coles. This was a very tasty dinner, but it didn’t actually contain any vegies!! Next time I think I’ll add some vegies to the cous cous, or serve it with some salad.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsps bread crumbs
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cous cous
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 2/3 cup greek style yoghurt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  1. In a bowl combine mince, garlic, bread crumbs and 2 tbsps of parsley. Combine well and season with salt and pepper. Form into 8 sausage shapes and thread onto skewers (or make into about 20 meatballs)
  2. Cook in a fry pan or on a grill for about 4 minutes per side (mine were more of a squareish shape so I probably did more like 3 minutes on each side, since mine had 4 sides). Remove to a plate and rest for 3 minutes
  3. While the meat is cooking, bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Turn off heat, add cous cous, mix and cover, then let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork and add olive oil and 1 tbsp of parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix yoghurt with lemon juice and lemon zest ans season with salt and pepper (there seems to be a lot of seasoning going on in this recipe :P)
  6. To serve spoon the cous cous onto the plate, top with the beef skewers (2 -3 per person is plenty), then drizzle the yoghurt sauce over the top

Making the cous cous

The lemon yoghurt sauce

Frying up the skewers

Dishing up

Close up 🙂

Veal Parmigana

  • 400g can of tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • fresh basil
  • fresh oregano
  • Veal steaks
  • 1-2 eggs (beaten)
  • plain flour
  • fresh bread crumbs
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • Vegies to serve, I did broccolini and mash (see my tips for mash here)
  1. Tomato Sauce: Heat some oil in a saucepan and add onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 5 mins or until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, basil and oregano to taste ingredients and simmer on a low heat until mixture thickens
  2. Preparing the Veal: If the veal is a bit thick bash it out so it is nice and thin. Dip the veal in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs (mix the parmesan in with the bread crumbs, you can also add a bit of salt and pepper)
  3. To assemble: Fry the schnitzels until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the tomato sauce and grated mozzarella. Cook in a moderate oven (about 180-200) for about 10 – 15 mins until the cheese has melted.
  4. Serve with your choice of vegies. It would be tasty which chunky oven baked chips

Close up of oozy cheesy parmigana

A couple of odd friends

So I know this totally misses the whole theme of my post, but spotted pufferfish was blogging about her Pikachu which made me think about all the crazy stuff we got in Japan.

1. Samurai Kirby

Ok so he was probably meant for kids, but he is sooo cute!! There were other Kirby’s, but this little guy was by far the coolest we found! I should also mention that his hat has a cape/flap at the back, and the purple thingy on top is supposed to be like a plume feather thingy.

 

2. Tokyo Tower Man

This little guy is called Noppon and he is one of the mascots for the Tokyo Tower which wasn’t actually the most interesting place we visited… but he is so weird!! Not the weirdest mascot we found though, the mascot for the Sapporo tower actually has a mustache and enjoys grocery shopping, drinking sake, and eating noodles.

 

3. Todai-ji Man

Todai-ji is actually the largest wooden building in the world. Located in Nara, with the crazy crazy deers!! We won this little guy in a UFO catcher machine, on our first go too!! That didn’t stop us wasting a whole lot of money trying to win other stuff after. But basically he is supposed to be a soft toy version of the very large building.

 

Anyways, that is all…. I promise my next post will be about food again!