Cauliflower and Sausage Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of those dishes that I love, but just don’t order all that often. Instead, I tend to opt for white rice when we are out at an Asian restaurant (or, even better, brown rice if it is available).

Recently, though, we rediscovered the magic that is a good fried rice, particularly when we worked out just how much the kids love it. However I remain mindful of the fact that it can be a little calorific and not something we should order all the time.

That was, until I came across a cauliflower version I could make at home.

Yes – instead of white rice – the base is cauliflower – processed until it resembles grains and stir-fried with a number of yummy additions. On this occasion it was eggs, sausages (we used a flavoured pork variety), coriander and variety of vegetables – corn, shallots, capsicum and onions.  Brought together with a little oil, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

And after a quick flash fry in the wok – we had ourselves quite the tasty fried rice. Served with a small bowl of chilli sauce for the adults, yet keeping the main dish chilli-free for the kids.

The kids even went back for seconds, so I’m definitely keeping this dish in rotation. It makes for a great meal by itself, and would definitely work as side dish too!

Cauliflower and Sausage Fried Rice (serves 4) – Adapted from Taste magazine

  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets and processed until it resembles rice
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 4 sausages (we used pork), cooked and then sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 green shallots, sliced
  • Handful chopped coriander
  • Chilli sauce to serve
  1. Heat oil in a wok. Pour in the whisked egg, and swirl until it covers the base. Cook for a few minutes, then remove once cooked through and slice.
  2. Heat a little more oil in the wok and add the vegetables, garlic, ginger and soy. Stir-fry for 4 or so minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  3. Add the cooked sausages and cauliflower, and cook for a few minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and the sausage slices are heated through.
  4. Add the sliced egg, soy sauce and coriander, and stir. Cook until everything is well combined and heated through.
  5. Spoon into bowls, and serve with chilli sauce (if using).

Beef and Kale Stir-fry

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For a while now, I’ve been waiting for the new ‘normal’ to kick in. At first I thought it would arrive when J’s schedule became a little more predictable.  Then I thought it would happen when we settled C into pre-school.

But here we are, in May, and I feel as though I am still searching for the new ‘normal’.  My blogging schedule has been a little lacklustre, I seem to be constantly flitting from one thing to another and there is that ever-niggling feeling that I need more hours in the day.

Then it hit me.

Perhaps this is the new normal.

An ongoing balancing act of school drop offs, kids’ activities, work, book-keeping, household chores, growing laundry piles and squeezing in fitness when I can (mainly in the form of early morning walks and runs).  Routine works, sometimes, but there is a lot that just needs to be slotted in where it can.

One thing that remains constant, however, is our dinners. We rarely eat out, opting instead for home-cooked meals almost every night.  Nothing too fancy, but generally featuring some green, and with an aim to have the meal on the table not long after C goes to bed (unless we eat all together earlier).

One such meal, was this Beef and Kale Stir-fry. For I always tend to turn to stir-fries when time is short and the fridge is starting to look a little bare.

Simply – beef mince and onion, stir-fried in the work with Worcestershire sauce, ginger, lime juice and brown sugar, before adding some chopped kale and broccoli.
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Served on some microwaved brown rice, and drizzled generously with chilli sauce for the adults (meaning that the leftovers were ‘chilli free’ and made a great dinner for the girls the next night).

From idea to plate in under 20 minutes. Yep gotta be happy about that!

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Beef & Kale Stir-fry (serves 4)

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 500 lean beef mince
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 400g broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tbs water
  • Brown rice and chilli sauce to serve
  1. Preheat oil in a large wok over a medium/high heat. Add the mince and the onion, and cook stirring, until browned.
  2. Add the ginger, sauce, lime juice and sugar, and stir to combine.
  3. Add the kale, broccoli and water, and continue cooking until the vegetables have just softened and the water has mostly evaporated.
  4. Serve with brown rice and drizzle with chilli sauce.

What about you? What are your ‘go to’ convenient meals?

Crispy chicken with blood orange sauce

IMG_0415 We’ve had cake, we’ve had salad, but this latest recipe in what’s becoming a ‘blood orange’ series was certainly a different one. It was a tad more involved than I had envisaged, and there was no vegetable in sight, but it was nice to experiment with a new dish and method all the same. Crispy chicken with blood orange sauce. IMG_0434 Perhaps inspired by the ol’ Chinese takeaway favourite – lemon chicken. Or perhaps an alternative to that other famous poultry + citrus dish – duck a l’orange? IMG_0420 All I know is that it was quite a tasty little dish indeed. There were a number of steps involved – so this is not a ‘throw together’ meal. I had, however, found myself with some extra time one dreary afternoon – so spending the time creating in the kitchen sounded just lovely. First – the chicken – ‘marinated’ in a sherry / egg / cornflour mixture – and set aside to do its thing… IMG_0409 IMG_0411 Before being floured and given a ‘first cook’ in the deep fryer, until the chicken had cooked through.. IMG_0426 IMG_0429 Next up – that all important blood orange sauce – IMG_0413 Blood orange juice, zest, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and chilli (to taste). IMG_0425 Allowed to heat on the stovetop, simmered, then thickened with a cornflour mix. Finally – it was time for the chicken cook – part 2. Heated in a wok, then drizzled with a portion of the blood orange sauce. Finished with a good sprinkle of sesame seeds, and piled high on a bed of rice. IMG_0434 The sauce (which we went back for seconds of) was tangy, zesty and had just a hint of chilli, making the whole dish rather moreish indeed. IMG_0436 Next time I’ll make sure to cook some greens for the side. Promise Winking smile Crispy chicken with blood orange sauce (serves 2-3) For the chicken

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs water
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dry sherry
  • 3 tsp cornflour (+ 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tbs plain flour
  • 400g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds

For the sauce:

  • 3 blood oranges, juiced, plus zest of one
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chilli sauce (or more or less to taste)
  • 2tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbs water
  1. For the chicken: Whisk the egg, water, soy sauce, sherry and 3 tsp cornflour until well combined. Place in a bag with the chicken, seal, and toss well to coat. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-fryer. Combine extra cornflour and flour on a plate. Remove chicken from marinade, and shake off excess. Coat in flour, and set aside. Cook chicken, in batches, for 3 – 4minutes or until cooked through. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: Combine juice, water, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar and chilli sauce in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes – or until starting to reduce. Add the cornflour mixture, and cook – stirring – for a few more minutes. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat a small amount of oil in a wok, and return the chicken pieces to the pan to cook through and crisp up. Add a quarter to half of the orange sauce, and warm through.
  5. Serve chicken on brown rice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle over extra sauce if desired.

What about you? What is your favourite way to enjoy citrus fruits?

A speedy stir-fry

Happy Monday lovely people! IMG_9340 Our weekend was, in fact, rather delightful. Nothing too extravagant planned, just time with family and friends, and embracing a somewhat slower-than-normal weekend. I took a look back at our dinners last week, and noticed a common theme. They were mostly quick to prepare – suggesting that perhaps I was short on time. I don’t feel like we are any busier than normal – but perhaps we are. Or perhaps we are still adjusting to the shorter daylight, and the chill in the air that greets us each morning. But speedy doesn’t have to mean boring, and our meals – although a little random – were still rather delicious. One such meal was this stir-fry. IMG_9339 Flavoured simply with soy and a little sherry – and packed with whatever vegetable I could find in the fridge (along with a little rumps teak I had in the freezer). IMG_9325IMG_9330 And, as it usual when it comes to stir-fries – all the work was in the preparation. For once the veggies and meat were sliced – it only took moments in the work to bring the dish together. IMG_9333IMG_9336 Simple – speedy – and delicious. IMG_9351 A perfect mid-week meal, really. What about you? What is your favourite ‘speedy meal’?

Singapore noodles

My food photo archives are starting to swell, again, and this dish represents one such meal that was made some time ago. IMG_1013 Singapore noodles! Well something akin to Singapore noodles, I suspect, as I am not convinced that this version is all that authentic…. IMG_1015 The star of the show? This Malaysian curry sauce (I didn’t have any Malaysian curry powder) and ginger. IMG_1017 Into a wok went the vegetables (carrots and spring onions), sliced cooked chicken, ginger and the curry sauce (I used about 1/2 of the tin). IMG_1020 Finished with dried noodles that I had softened in boiling water, along with a splash of kecap manis and soy sauce. IMG_1022 Piled high on a bed of crispy, crunchy lettuce (I am really loving the contrast of textures in meals like this at the moment).. IMG_1023 And last, but not least, a sprinkle of fresh coriander. IMG_1027 For a speedy wok meal, this sure had a lot of flavour. From the sweetness of the curry sauce, to the saltiness of the soy sauce, it really was my kinda meal! IMG_1029 With the added bonus that it was on the table quickly, and there was only one dish to wash up afterwards = winner. What about you? Are you a fan of wok cooking?

Sizzling steak and hoisin prawn noodle bowl

This dinner, which we literally threw together last night, was another one inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals cook book. IMG_7679 A sizzling steak and hoisin prawn noodle bowl. IMG_7677 It came together so quickly, in fact, that there are no ‘in progress’ photos to share. IMG_7680 Just the final product! IMG_7682 Steak – seasoned and coated with Chinese five spice, then grilled to perfection. IMG_7683 Served atop a noodle bowl – made with egg noodles, hoisin sauce, prawns, coriander, chilli and spring onions. IMG_7684 Finished with some toasted peanuts and sesame seeds, along with a few cos leaves for crunch, and….well….it was eaten with gusto! Another winner! What about you? Cooked any winning dishes lately?

Teriyaki beef stir fry

IMG_9864 Quite often, a bunch of Asian greens will appear in our weekly vegetable box. Which normally sees me making a stir-fry for dinner, not long after. But I am always at a loss for how to flavour the stir-fry. Normally I just throw in some tamari and sesame oil, and perhaps a bit of chilli, and hope for the best. On this occasion, however, I decided to try my hand at making a teriyaki sauce in which to marinate the meat. And I must say, I was rather pleased with the end result. IMG_9858 I coated the beef in a mixture of tamari, rice wine, sesame oil, caster sugar and minced garlic, then let it marinate for an hour or so. IMG_9859 As for the rest of the stir fry, I sliced carrot, spring onions and bok choy, and also had some leftover brown rice and rice noodles to add. And, as they say – all the work is done in preparing your ingredients when it comes to stir fries! For after the little Miss went to bed, all we had to do was throw the ingredients in a wok! IMG_9861 And our dinner was served! IMG_9862 As I mentioned earlier, I was really pleased with this ‘take’ on teriyaki. The flavours came together well, and were a nice change to my usual tamari / sesame combination. IMG_9864 I must remember to do this again next time a bok choy arrives in our vegetable box! IMG_9865 Teriyaki marinade (marinates about 500g meat)

  • 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

Combine all ingredients and pour over sliced meat. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour. What about you? Any tasty stir-fry flavours you would like to share???

Gourmet Garden – Thai inspired tofu stir-fry

I think that it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I am a big fan of healthy, yet easy, meals. And, although my preference has been for “make ahead” meals recently, ie ones that I can put on the stove and ‘forget about"’ throughout the afternoon, stir-fries usually also feature heavily in the BBB household. blog So, for my third Gourmet-Garden inspired meal, I decided to return to an old favourite. On the menu… Ctofu A Thai inspired tofu stir-fry. Flavoured with two more of the herb pastes sent to me by Gourmet Garden. IMG_7000 Basil paste and Thai Seasoning. IMG_7001 The first thing that I noticed when I opened the Thai Seasoning, in particular, was its wonderful aroma. You could definitely detect all the included herbs – lemongrass, ginger, coriander and chilli. Flavours I used to marinate a block of organic tofu (drained and cut into cubes). IMG_7002IMG_7009IMG_7011 Then, after Charlotte went to bed for the evening, we set about bringing the rest of the dish together. Vegetables, sliced…. IMG_7014 Rice vermicelli prepared… IMG_7016 Thrown into a wok, with the marinated tofu and a couple eggs. IMG_7020 Piled into bowls, pretty ones of course Winking smile IMG_7021 And our super speedy mid-week meal was done. IMG_7023 While I normally tend to rely on fresh herbs when it comes to cooking, I cannot fault how tasty these herb pastes are (not to mention being convenient). IMG_7025 The chilli had quite a kick to it too – which my spice-lovin’ husband was pleased to find out! IMG_7028 While I used tofu, I have no doubt that you could use any protein of your choosing. Delish! What about you? Are you a fan of spicy food? I used to be, but while pregnant I found that I had no tolerance to spicy food at all. Slowly but surely I think it is starting to come back though! Bring on the vindaloo……

Pork and broccoli stir fry

Thankyou for all your well wishes about my recent trip to hospital. I feel like I am well and truly on the mend now, and I cannot express just how happy I am to be home. For there is nothing better than sleeping in one’s bed is there?? Oh and cooking in one’s kitchen. IMG_5145 While there has not been a lot of baking going on recently, I have managed to cook a homemade dinner almost every night. This is almost certainly due to my Mum being in town, ready to give lots of cuddles to Charlotte if she stirs while dinner is being prepared, and Mr BBB is not yet home from work. In saying that, I have kept our dinners pretty simple. Easy to prepare, and quick to cook. The meal mantra of any new Mum I suspect. One such meal was this pork and broccoli stir fry. IMG_5134 Just a bunch of lovely fresh ingredients.. IMG_5137 Stir-fried with pork mince, spinach… IMG_5138 IMG_5139 And a handful of rice noodles. IMG_5140 And our easy dinner was done. IMG_5142 I always forget how wonderful mince works in stir-fries – it soaks up all the flavours of the sauce really well. IMG_5146 Then combined with my other love – rice noodles – I had one happy belly following this meal. IMG_5149 Delish! IMG_5144 Most ‘post natal’ meals to follow soon! What about you? Do you use mince in stir fries?

Stir it, fry it

That was certainly my mantra for dinner this evening. IMG_4379 Mr BBB worked late, then we wanted to fit in our evening walk, so a quick and easy dinner was a must. Rather unsurprisingly, we turned to a stir fry. Starting with rump steak, sliced and marinated in mixture of GF soy, rice wine, garlic and ginger. IMG_4368 For I am trying to include more red meat in my diet after finding our that I am slightly anaemic during my OB appointment the other week. IMG_4370 Stir-fried with broccoli.. IMG_4373 And served with a brown / white rice combination courtesy of our rice cooker. IMG_4374 Topped with green onions. And our dinner was complete. IMG_4376 To time save – we had put the rice cooker on, and had the meat marinating, while we were out for our walk. IMG_4369 Then, when we got home, it was just a matter of throwing the beef and vegetables into a wok and voila. IMG_4380 Dinner in a flash. What about you? Are you as in love with your rice cooker as we are? We bought the one pictured above using a gift voucher a while ago and I am smitten. It has a timer function and will cook my porridge to perfection In love(a big improvement on our last rice cooker that would leave half uncooked and stuck to the pot!)