Tomatoey Lentils and Veg with Rice

I made this last week but unfortunately didn’t written anything down until I wrote this post, not even a title or recipe link saved on my phone. So I’ve had to take a bit of a guess at things.


  • Onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Water/ vegetable stock
  • Vegetables – e.g. bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushroom
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Spicy sauce (optional – just something I had in the fridge, consists of a stir-fry sauce with chilli and garlic and mixed herbs)


  • frying pan
  • saucepan
  • kitchen spoon
  • cutlery and crockery


  1. Chop onion and vegetables
  2. Put lentils in the saucepan on a low heat, in water. Add chilli sauce if desired and cook.
  3. Fry onion and mushroom in the pan until onion is soft and mushrooms are starting to turn golden.
  4. Add other vegetables and fry for a minute or two, then add mixed herbs and tomato paste with vegetable stock.
  5. Let simmer until vegetables are done (sauce will reduce, so top up with extra water as needed.).
  6. While vegetables are simmering, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and let cook.
  7. When vegetables are almost ready, add lentils into the pan and stir to combine.
  8. When noodles are finished, drain them and tip into the pan with the vegetables and lentils.
  9. I “fry-steamed” a couple of Brussels sprouts to go with this, just because I felt like it. They take 8 or so minutes in a small frypan.
  10. You’re ready to serve. This will make leftovers.

Flavoured Chops with Veggies and Noodles

Hi all. Here’s another recipe post.

The other night, I had chops, veg and noodles. I started out with a simple idea of dusting the chops with mixed herbs, then frying them with some garlic. A usual thing for me. But when it came time to cook, I didn’t want to have steamed veggies with it. So I did things a bit differently.

In a deep black frying pan are chops in a red tomatoey sauce with carrots, corn, bok choi and cauliflower with noodles stirred through


  • 2-3 small chops
  • 1 clove garlic*
  • 1 tsp dried ginger*
    NB. Or whatever variations of garlic and ginger you have.
  • 2-3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/4x onion
  • different veggies – as you can see in the picture, I used carrot, cauliflower, corn and bok choi
  • Water
  • Tomato paste (to taste)
  • 1x serving of noodles
  • Cooking oil


  • 1x frying pan
  • 1x small saucepan
  • 1x kitchen spoon
  • 2-3 teaspoons
  • 1x tongs
  • cutlery and crockery for plating & eating


  1. Chop vegetables, onion.  and garlic clove.
  2. Take chops out of its packaging and chop off excess fat
  3. Fry the onion with garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes in oil.
  4. While this occurs, scatter a teaspoon (roughly) of mixed herbs onto each chop and ensure both sides are coated.
  5. Fry chops in oil with the garlic, ginger and onion.
  6. When both sides are browned, turn heat to low and add chopped vegetables.
  7. Give that another minute or two, then add water mixed with tomato paste. This shouldn’t cover the vegetables or meat but just create a nice sauce for them.
  8. Cook noodles in boiling water. Once done, stir them through the frying pan mixture.
  9. Plate up and eat.



Meatloaf with mushroom sauce

This week has been busy! Yesterday was a real doozy. Something that keeps me grounded is my cooking.

On Monday evening, my partner came over and we made a meatloaf with mushroom sauce, steamed veg and noodles. It was really good.


  • 2x serves of mince (we used 1x roo mince and 1x Adani Kofte-flavoured mince) – about 200g?
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp of Vegemite (or equivalent malt/ yeast spread)
  • 4-6 button mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4x onion
  • vegetable stock
  • cooking oil
  • extra veg, for steaming
  • noodles or another carb, to serve


  • 1x medium to large mixing bowl
  • 2x kitchen spoon/ spatula/ stirrer
  • 1x baking tray
  • 1x steamer pot
  • 1x saucepan


  1. Mix mince, breadcrumbs, egg and 1 tsp Vegemite in the bowl.
    NB.   You can add extra flavourings (e.g. mixed herbs, garlic) and/or extra veg (e.g. carrots/ celery/ zucchini, chopped finely), but I had no carrots in the house, and as we were using already-flavoured mince, extras weren’t really needed.
    NB#2. The Vegemite tip came from my dad – it gives the meatloaf a really nice subtle “extra” flavour.
  2. Drizzle a baking tray with oil, or cover it with baking paper. Shape the mince mixture into a rough log/ loaf and place onto the tray, then into the oven it goes. We put it in for 35 minutes.
  3. Chop the veggies for steaming then place them in the steamer pot. They’ll take about 15 minutes to cook – remember to time it so that they’ll finish at the same time as the meatloaf.
  4. Prepare the noodles for cooking and time this to the finishing time of the others.
  5. The last task is to make the mushroom sauce/ gravy. You’ll want to chop up the mushrooms quite finely and dice the onion.
  6. Put these into a pan over medium heat and let simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms start turning golden. Add either a tsp of Vegemite or a dash of soy sauce in at this point.
  7. Keep stirring and add a bit of flour, then veggie stock, then flour, then stock. Do this until you’ve reached your desired consistency, depending on whether you’re making a sauce or a gravy.
  8. When everything is ready, serve it up and dig in!


Spicy black bean and mushroom stew

Hi all. This was last night’s dinner – I was very pleased with it. It was a case of “a little of this, a little of that”, made using a few things I had in the fridge and pantry. It made two servings – so I’ll get to enjoy it again another day. Yay!

On a white plate with green rim are the pasta with the stew on top - you can see the black beans, cauli, Brussel sprouts and peanuts clearly


  • 1x can of black beans, drained
  • 3x Brussel sprouts (1 large, 2 smaller)
  • 1x large floret of cauliflower
  • 2x choy sum leaves
  • 6x button mushrooms, small to medium sizes
  • 1/3x onion
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • A generous amount of chilli (whatever suits your spice levels)
  • A dash of pepper
  • A sprinkling or two of mixed herbs (mixed herbs go with everything!)
  • A glug of honey-soy sauce
  • 1 – 1&1/4 cups of veggie stock
  • Oil for frying
  • Optional: a sprinkling of fish sauce and a dollop of oyster sauce (I used these because they were available – if you’re really vegetarian, sub in something else, even another glug of the honey-soy)
  • Optional: a decent handful of peanuts
  • Optional: a couple of dollops of cream or milk
  • pasta (or another carb) to serve with the stew


  • 1x large flat-bottomed frying pan
  • 1x kitchen spoon
  • 3x teaspoons
  • 1x strainer
  • 1x small to medium-sized pot


Note: I tried to watch the clock with this so I could say how long everything took, but I got distracted by the cooking process, cleaning up as I went – and by listening to a podcast from Conversations, which is a regular mealtime activity if I’m by myself. All I know is that cooking took about half an hour all up.

  1. De-shell peanuts, if required and set aside
  2. Chop up mushrooms into very small pieces
  3. Thinly slice the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and roughly chop the choy sum
  4. Chop onion roughly.
  5. Fry onion in hot oil. After a minute or two, add garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir around to coat the mushrooms and make sure nothing is sticking. Give it a couple of minutes.
  6. After that’s cooked for a bit, dump in the mushrooms and peanuts, if using. Mix around to coat and let them fry for a bit. Maybe five minutes?
  7. Put on the pasta to cook according to packet instructions – if it finishes before the stew, just cover it and turn the heat off.
  8. Next, tip in the drained black beans. Mix them around to allow them to soak up the flavours. Give it a couple of minutes.
  9. Add the sauces and stir, then give it another five minutes or so.
  10. Add the rest of the veg, with the cup of veggie stock. Stir it around and add some mixed herbs and pepper if desired. Cover and let it simmer away for another five minutes or so.
  11. Take the lid off and stir the mixture around. You can add a few dollops of cream (or milk) here if desired – I had some in the fridge thanks to a dinner gathering I went to earlier in the week.
  12. Let it simmer away for another few minutes until the veggies you added in Step 9 are soft and everything is combined nicely.
  13. Serve it up and EAT!

Here is the process in pictures:

Reblog: Top 5 tips for Living Healthily on a Budget

Check out the latest post from Jack Monroe. I might use their method to do a kitchen audit, and chat more about my thoughts about this, later…. once I’ve made more progress on my project proposal, that is. The flexible deadline is tomorrow (Friday), but given tomorrow’s schedule, I want to get as much as possible done today! So this busy bee needs to get buzzing.

Here, have a picture of one of my latest “creations”: lentils and veg in a store-bought-on-special teriyaki sauce with rice. It was quite nice actually.

On a white plate with green rim sits white rice with lentils and veg in a teriyaki sauce around it on the right side. A fork is partly visible next to the rice.

Morrocan Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

Hi there! The first of a few new recipe posts from the past few weeks.

Eggplant is a really versatile vegetable, as it can be used in lots of different ways. It can have a strong flavour, but I think that depends a bit on how you cook it, myself. 😉

The recipe:


  • Half of/ one eggplant
  • Half/ One can of chickpeas
  • Teaspoons of garlic to taste
  • Morrocan spice mix
  • One onion
  • Vegetable stock
  • Tomato paste or diced tomatoes
  • Extra vegetables – carrot, corn, greens
  • Oil, for frying
  • Potato/ rice/ pasta/ couscous, to serve with the stew


  • large, flat-bottomed frying pan
  • kitchen spoon
  • kitchen knife
  • chopping board
  • pot for potato/ rice/ pasta


  1. Cut off the ends of the eggplant, than chop into cubes.
  2. Chop the onion roughly.
  3. Coat the frypan with oil and set on the stove at medium heat.
  4. Add the garlic, onion and Morrocan spice mix, with extra chilli or cumin if desired. A handful of mixed herbs would go well here too. Cook until the onions have softened (approx. 4-5 minutes).
  5. Add the eggplant and chickpeas, along with the stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the extra vegetables and simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for fifteen-twenty minutes, until the eggplant is tender.
  7. Uncover and stir. Depending on preference, you can give it another five minutes or so uncovered if you want it to be less soupy.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve over rice / pasta / couscous / potato.



Vegetarian Stir-Fry with Special Sauce

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while. In fact, I thought I already had, but I’d only written it down…

A can of mixed beans is an awesome base for a vegetarian meal. Get several when you see them on special and store them at the back of the cupboard.

A couple of months ago, I was looking to buy some soy sauce as I was running low. In the supermarket, I spied a sauce that looked interesting called “honey-soy sauce”. I decided to buy it and try it. It has served me well, and this dish was its first outing.

On a white plate with green rim is a mix of green, orange, yellow and white veg covered in brown sauce, mixed with beans
Vegetarian stir-fry with special sauce
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Veggies
  • Potato, rice or noodles
  • Can of a four-bean mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • A decent glug of honey-soy sauce
  • Splash of oyster sauce,
  • Half or full teaspoon of chilli
  • A tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • Pot
  • Large frypan
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  1. Chop veg & onion & potato
  2. Mix water, honey-soy and oyster sauces, chilli and peanut butter together to make the sauce – adjust quantities to taste.
  3. Combine garlic, ginger, onion in a hot frypan
  4. Boil water for potato/ rice/ noodles
  5. Tip veg into the frypan
  6. Start cooking potato
  7. Fry veg for ~5 mins, stirring
  8. Tip sauce into the pan, stir
  9. Add more water if necessary
  10. When it’s cooked, it’s ready to eat with the potato.

Sauce inspired by this recipe:

And yes, if you’re paying attention, the marinade for the one-pot chicken dish was based on this sauce! Having been introduced to it, I love this combo.

One-Pot Chicken Meal

on white plate with green rim sits cooked chicken, surrounded by carrot, potato, zucchini, capsicum, corn
  • Oil, oyster & honey-soy sauces, tsps of garlic & ginger, loaded tsp of peanut butter, half tsp of chilli.
  • Tsp of mixed herbs, half tsp of wattle spice mix, pinch of Moroccan spice mix, dusting of pepper, 1 crumbled stock cube
  • Chicken thigh on the bone (or something like that)
  • Veggies: potato, carrot, zucchini, corn.
  • Onion.
  1. First make the ‘wet’ marinade: Tip a bit of oil, plus a glug of oyster & honey-soy sauces, tsps of garlic & ginger, a loaded one of peanut butter, a half tsp of chilli into a container. Mix.
  2. Put chicken on the bone in and coat.
  3. Make dry marinade ingredients: tsp mixed herbs, half one of wattle spice, pinch of Moroccan spice, dusting of pepper, 1 crumbled stock cube.
  4. Set aside chicken mixture to rest.

  5. Wash and chop veggies & onion. Slice potato thinly.
  6. Tip dry ingredients onto chicken mix – if I was doing this step again, I’d coat the chicken better, as the dry mix ended up sticking mainly to one side which was mostly skin!
  7. Fry onion and potato for a few minutes until onion is soft – requires medium heat, as you don’t want the onion to crisp up too soon.
  8. Add marinated chicken, then add veggies and warm water.
  9. Bring to boil then simmer for about 20 mins (at least).
  10.  Check chicken to ensure it’s cooked – slice it in the centre, see if juices run clear. (If you forget this step, finish it off for two minutes in the microwave….)

Then you’re ready to serve!


… and I have to run. Final week of classes for my last full theory subjects is in full swing!

Tikka Curry – but not as you know it

The other week, I bought a jar of tikka paste at the supermarket as it was on special. However, I had no chicken in the fridge. I did, however, have some ‘roo mince. So I got cooking…

On a white plate with a green rim are mince, beans and veggies like capsicum, carrot and corn, sitting on fettuccine pasta. A silver fork is visible off to the right.


  • Two tablespoons of tikka curry paste
  • Vegetable oil
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Teaspoons of garlic and ginger pastes, plus 1/2 a teaspoon of chilli paste
  • 250ml (1 cup) stock –  I used a stock cube dissolved in hot water for this)
  • Vegetables – e.g. carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, corn, beans
  • Rice or potatoes etc. to accompany the curry


  • Frypan
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Mug (for the stock)
  • Saucepan
  • Plate & cutlery
  • Container for leftovers!


  1. Heat oil in large frypan over medium heat, add onion, chilli, garlic and ginger and cook until golden
  2. Add tikka paste and stir to combine flavours – it should start smelling really nice.
  3. Add stock and vegetables and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes or until sauce thickens slightly
  5. Add the mince to the mixture and stir through, ensuring it is covered – add a dash more liquid if necessary.
  6. Simmer for a further fifteen minutes or until mince is cooked through and everything is combined really well.

I based this recipe off one I found here, and it can be adapted for lots of different meats and or vegetarian style. It was delicious, and I love how the tikka paste made the dish look. The photo above is of the finished product on the plate (yes, that’s fettuccine, I had no rice, potatoes or couscous). Below is a beautiful image of the tikka curry cooking.

A black frying pan sits on a white stove. In it are cauliflower, carrot, green capsicum and corn in a thick and glossy reddish-brown liquid.

Look at how glossy it is! I’m very satisfied with this meal.


 P.S. Si

Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

I really do like being creative at dinner. It feels like it’s been too long since I made a recipe post, so here’s one, with a few to schedule as well.

I was making this for a potluck last week – it’s a recipe that’s easy to adjust quantities for, and make a few serves of. Add or substitute different veg as you please; I made this with what I had in the cupboard.

A large black frying pan sits on a stove, holding the burrito meal - corn, beans, carrot, capsicum and cauliflower are visible in a dark sauce


  • Onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • Morrocan spice mix – I had no separate cumin spice, or “burrito spice mix” in the cupboard, so substituted this instead
  • 1 tsp each of minced garlic and ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of minced/crushed chilli
  • 2/3-3/4 tin of corn kernels
  • 2/3-3/4 tin of Mexican bean mix: had kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini beans, I think
  • 2/3 of a carrot (I think?)
  • Half a capsicum
  • A few florets of cauliflower
  • Bread, wraps, etc. for burritos


  • Strong kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Plate


  1. Chop vegetables into small pieces
  2. Heat oil in frying pan until hot
  3. Add onion and set heat to medium-high or medium, then fry, stirring, until onion is golden
  4. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and spice mix and stir for 20-30 seconds
  5. Add veggies and fry until tender
  6. Add beans and a little water, then bring mixture to a simmer
  7. Add salt and pepper, then remove from heat and serve.

Remember that this is a meal that’ll get messy as it’s eaten with your hands. It was soooo yummy. A recipe to keep!