Monday, November 21, 2011

Spiked Lemon Chicken Salad

Spiked Lemon Chicken Salad
Summer is almost upon us and the weather here in Brisvegas has definitely started to heat up, so we're moving away from hot dinners to salads and BBQs.  I'm a sucker for a warm chicken salad, so I love this dish.

The original recipe is from beautiful Annabel Langbein's new cookbook, Free Range in the City.  She does the chicken as skewers on the BBQ and serves the dressing as a dipping sauce.  I've adapted it into a quick and easy salad (though am consistently reminded by Sammie that people don't eat leaves, only koalas eat leaves!).

When Jack saw me blogging this recipe last night, he piped up with his favourite Chicken joke - A chicken was crossing the road and met a man half way.  He asked the man his name.  "Bond, James Bond." replied the man.  "Ken, Chic Ken." replied the chicken.  Don't you love 7 year old humour!!!


Spiked Lemon Chicken Salad
(Adapted from Free Range in the City by Annabel Langbein)


500g chicken breasts - largely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
20g olive oil
Foliage from 1 sprig of rosemary
Salt & Pepper

Baby spinach leaves
Sunflower sprouts (or any other kind)
Sliced salad vegetables - carrots, capsicum, snow peas, beans, cherry tomatoes etc.
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Spiked Yoghurt Dressing:-
125g natural greek yoghurt
75g mayonnaise (made in your TMX, of course!)
2 limes - zest and juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp rapadura, brown or palm sugar
1 clove garlic
2cm ginger - peeled
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 cup coriander leaves
2cm red chilli - seeds removed



1.  Place rosemary in TMX bowl and chop for 3 seconds on Speed 5.  Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and mix for 3 seconds on Speed 4.

2.  Pour over chicken.  You can marinate for a while or grill immediately, depending on how much time you have.

3.  Grill the chicken on the BBQ or in a pan, until lovely and golden brown.


1.  Place lime zest in TMX bowl and chop for 5 seconds on Speed 8.

2.  Add garlic, ginger and chilli and chop for further 5 seconds on Speed 8.

3.  Add coriander, chop for 3 seconds on Speed 5.

4.  Add yoghurt, mayonnaise, fish sauce, sugar, tumeric and lime juice.  Mix for 5 seconds on Speed 4.


Place chicken in a large serving bowl with all the salad ingredients.  Pour dressing over and mix through.  Garnish with pine nuts.


To bulk the salad out a little more, you could add some steamed cous cous or a couple of chat potatoes which have been halved and boiled/roasted/steamed. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's Cooking This Week

Spiked Lemon Chicken Salad
There are only 9 days left of school for us, so I'm slightly manic today thinking about all the things that need to get done around here before school holidays start.  I'm going with quick and easy meals this week, to maximise the kid-free hours on kindy days.

Monday:-  Baking:  the usual staples of bread & yoghurt, plus Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Coconut Ice Slice and Steamed Christmas Puddings (it's okay, we don't actually eat all of that - I farm a lot of it out to innocent bystanders!).  Dinner:  Spiked Lemon Chicken Salad.

Tuesday:-  We're having Quirky Cooking's Beef Fajitas.  Tuesday is our crazy day, so something that is all prepped ready to go is always a good call for us on Tuesday.

Wednesday:-  Mr MLT went deep-sea fishing last week and came home with two gorgeous big snappers (a 38cm & a 50cm - neither of which will fit in the Varoma!!!), so we're having Baked Snapper and salad.

Thursday:-  My eldest son's Japanese teacher sent some video links home during the week of japanese recipes the kids might like to try out.  Jack was particularly taken with the Okonomiyaki, so we're going to try out the recipe for Okonomiyaki from In The Mix.  I feel a tad more confident in using that recipe than relying on the video recipe, given the chef is a dog!

Friday:-  Home made pizza night!

Saturday:-  I am busy working all day Saturday, so Saturday night will be our leftovers night.  If my hungry hoardes manage to eat all the leftovers before dinnertime, our usual standby is omlettes or Thermomix Baked Beans.

Sunday:-  We're having some long-lost friends for dinner on Sunday afternoon, so I'm going to try out Quirky Cooking's Chicken with 40 cloves of Garlic.  To follow we're having a Spiced Chocolate Cake, with Tenina's Crio Bru Gelato.

I've got a couple of recipes I've been working on which will hopefully make it onto the blog this week - Spiced Pecan Pie, Harissa Chicken with Toasted Quinoa Salad, Chicken & Vegetable Pies. 

I've also got the Spicy Lemon Chicken recipe we're having tomorrow night ready to blog, and the Cook-A-Long for this week....

So, stay tuned!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Pretty much every recipe I've seen in the past two weeks which has originated from America has called for pumpkin.  Obviously, it's Thanksgiving and they're very keen on their pumpkins, but I'm a little bit over it. 

However, when a recipe for Roasted Butternut Baked Penne flashed before my eyes, I thought it looked worthy of conversion.

The resulting dish is excellent comfort food material.  It's warm, cheesy and sweet - all essential comfort food ingredients. 

We served it with a green salad and fresh crusty bread (as if there weren't already enough carbs happening on the plate!). 


Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese
(adapted from How Sweet It Is)


120g mozzarella cheese
120g parmesan cheese
650g butternut pumpkin - peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic - peeled
1 onion - peeled and halved
120g shortcut bacon - roughly chopped
30g butter
1 tbs vege stock concentrate
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs plain flour
70g marscarpone cheese
190g milk
Few sage leaves
250g macaroni


1.  Place mozzarella & parmesan into TMX bowl.  Grate for 5 seconds on Speed 8.  Set aside.

2.  Place onion, garlic, pumpkin and bacon into TMX bowl.  Lock the lid and chop by pressing the Turbo button 3-4 times. 

3.  Add butter and cook for 5 minutes at 100°, on reverse on Speed 2.

4.  Add stock, nutmeg, flour, marscarpone and milk.  Cook for a further 5 minutes at 100°, on reverse on Speed 2.

(While steps 3 and 4 are going, I cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling water on the stove.  You don't want to completely cook it - 5 minutes in the boiling water is plenty of time because it will continue to cook in the oven.)

5.  Drain the pasta and pour it into a heatproof casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over the top and stir through.  Top with the mozzarella and parmesan mix and garnish with sage leaves.

6.  Cook in the oven at 180° for approximately 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's Cooking This Week

Aussie Meat Pie from Meat on the Menu
So, it turns out having my wisdom teeth out was not the 2-3 day recovery affair I thought it might be.  I'm still quite sore in the mouth (particularly one cheek which has a couple of stitches in it) and ridiculously tired.  Which is a little frustrating because, you know, I've got stuff to be doing!!!

What I can vouch for though is how fabulous the Thermomix is for wisdom teeth recovery.  Mashed potatoes, yellow split pea soup, smoothies and porridge have helped Mr MLT provide me with appropriate mushy food (though I'm fairly certain I've had my fill of custard for the year).

Anyway, hopefully by later this week I'll be able to chew a little more easily.  Otherwise, it's pureed pie for me!

Monday:-  Today my gorgeous big 7 year old is playing in the school piano recital.  He gets to choose take away afterwards as a treat, so tonight will be a non-cooking at home night.  We rarely have take away anymore (I think we've probably only had it 3 times since the Thermomix arrived at the beginning of the year), so it's a big treat for him.

Tuesday:-  Mr MLT's Thermomix specialty:  Spaghetti using the Ragu sauce from the EDC, served with a giant green salad.

Wednesday:-  Baking:  Bread, Sunshine Balls (Lunchbox Ideas booklet) and Walnut & Blue Cheese Shortbread (Festive Cooking booklet).  Dinner:  Grilled salmon (with the leftover bourbon glaze from last week), grilled vegie stacks and cheesy polenta wedges

Thursday:-  Butternut Pumpkin Penne which is a new recipe I'm converting and will post.

Friday:-  A new favourite in our house, the Aussie Meat Pie from Meat on the Menu.  I'm also making a batch of the pies for my MamaBake group on Monday, together with Yoghurt & Apricot cookies.

Saturday:-  Lemon Chicken skewers with spiced yoghurt sauce, served with salad.

Sunday:-  We're dining with friends and taking along a Maple Pecan Pie which I'm converting for the first time. 

The very clever Jo Whitton at Quirky Cooking has developed a link to enable everyone to share their Menu Plans in one place, which is just brilliant.  Head on over and take a look, print out your own Meal Planner from my Meal Planning page and then get ready for the week!

We'd love to hear what you come up with and what you end up cooking, so feel free to share either here or on Facebook.

Happy Mixing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long: Edition 5

I am really excited to be sharing this Cook-A-Long post with you.  I'm excited for a number of reasons:

1.  This bread is really, REALLY, good!  It is my all-time favourite bread recipe, ever.

I started making it about 5 years ago now and it's been a staple in our household ever since.  It's high in protein, literally packed with goodness and tastes delicious (I'm particularly fond of it toasted and then spread with almond butter).

2.  I've had multiple people say to me that they're a bit scared to start making their own bread because it seems a bit daunting.

I accept that starting down the path of baking your own bread can be a bit scary.  I'd suggest starting with small steps - you don't have to bake a week's worth of bread in one day (I do, but that's because it works best for me that way).  One of the reasons I do bake multiple loaves at once is because I have the world's dodgiest oven (please Santa, bring me a new oven for Christmas, PLEASE!!!) and it's easier to just have it on and heating the whole house up once rather than every day.

Start with one loaf.  Do it while your baking something else - make the bread, let it rise, get your other thing ready (go on, make the Magic Bean Chocolate Cake, you know you want to!) and then cook them both at the same time.  One of the great thing about Bible Bread, is that it only rises once - you don't knock it out and let it rise again, so it takes very little time and effort.

Once you've tried a couple of loaves, start experimenting with different sorts to see what you like best.  Every week I make Bible Bread, a 5 Seed Loaf, some spelt rolls and then usually something else to mix it up and try a new recipe.

Baking bread isn't hard.  Thermie does all the work, so just follow the instructions and you'll be fine.  If you run into problems, I'm happy to help you out - everyone should get to have the smell of fresh bread emanating from their kitchen!

3.  Cyndi is fabulous and I'm very grateful to her for allowing me to share this recipe with you.  I love that Cyndi is so passionate about helping people live better.  I've watched her listen to people confess that their poor food choices are impacting their happiness and seen her visibly inflate them and show them there is a solution and that they have the power to change their diet and their lives. 

Whether you agree 100% with everything she says or not, she is to be applauded (and loudly!) for helping to raise awareness of what is in commercially produced food and for inspiring people to change.  To read more about Cyndi and her work, visit Changing Habits and learn more, so you can do more.

Bible Bread
(taken from Cyndi O'Meara's Changing Habits Changing Lives Cookbook)


370g filtered water
1 tablespoon organic cold-pressed oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried yeast
300g organic unbleached white flour
250g Supermix (see note below) or:-
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon maize flour
- 1 tablespoon ground almonds
- 1 tablespoon soy flour (I use quinoa or buckwheat flour instead)
- 1 tablespoon linseeds
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon besan flour
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats


Place water, yeast, oil and salt into TMX bowl.  Add all other ingredients and bring together on Speed 7 for 5 seconds.

Lock the lid and then knead for 4 minutes (remember not to walk away while your machine is kneading).

While the bread is kneading, lightly butter a bread pan (I use a 15cm square tin). 

Pour the mixture into the tin and sit somewhere warm to prove.  (I usually bake bread in the morning and so sit my loaves out on the bbq in the sunshine with a fly cover over the top).  Give the bread a good 20-30 minutes to rise (it pretty much doubles in size).

Bake at 180 for 40-50 minutes.  This is the only area that requires some decision making - it all depends on how hot your oven gets.  Bible Bread in my oven takes a full 60 minutes (because most of the heat has escaped out the dodgy door).  To be sure it's done, go for the skewer test - stick a metal skewer straight down the middle of the bread.  It's cooked when it comes up cleanly.


If you find that you really like this bread you can save time by making the supermix in advance. I mix all mine up and keep it in a container, ready to go (it saves a lot of time!).  

Instead of tablespoons use cups:
1 cup sesame seeds
2 cups organic raw sugar
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup maize flour
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup soy flour (I mill quinoa or buckwheat down instead and use that)
1 cup linseeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup besan flour (freshly milled in the TMX on Speed 10 for 1 minute, with ear muffs firmly in place)
2 cups rolled oats


Super Easy Method For Soaking Grains

All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran.  If the phytic acid isn't broken down before consumption, it can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption.  (At this point, you want to remember that the whole reason for eating whole grains is because we know they contain more vitamins and minerals and are better for us - BUT only if we actually get to absorb those qualities!)

You can break the phytic acid down in grains simply by soaking them overnight.  This also neautralises enzyme inhibitors which are contained in all seeds.  Soaking also assists in the digestion of the grains because the gluten protein is partially broken down into smaller components that are more easily absorbed by the body.

Given that bible bread is so high in grain and seed goodness, we really want to make sure all those fabulous nutrients are available to us.  The easiest way to do this is just by soaking the grain overnight, as follows:-

1.  Place all ingredients except water, yeast, oil and salt into TMX bowl. 

2.  Crush slightly on speed 5 for 5 seconds

3.  Add 370g water to the bowl, plus 1-2 tablespoons of an acidic medium (buttermilk, kefir, yoghurt, lemon juice).  This neutralises the anti-nutrients that are formed while the phytic acid breaks down. 

4.  Put the lid on and let it sit overnight.

5.  In the morning, add yeast, oil and salt.  Bring together on Speed 7 for 5 seconds.

Lock the lid and then knead for 4 minutes (remember not to walk away while your machine is kneading).

Continue as per the method above.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's Cooking This Week

On Thursday I am off to have my wisdom teeth taken out, so I'm madly trying to cram two weeks worth of work into 4 days.  So, if ever there was a week when I need a Thermomix - this is it.  Not only will it make Mr MLT's life easier when it comes to mealtimes, but I also think I'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sorbet, icecream and smoothies as I recover.

So, after stocking up on party ice for sorbet, here's what we're eating this week:-

Monday - Baking:  bread, breadrolls and In The Mix museli slice; Dinner:  Baked Penne from Meat on the Menu (pictured).

Tuesday - Grilled salmon with Bourbon glaze, sauteed potatoes, asparagus & carrots.

Wednesday - Steak, mashed potatoes (ahhhhh, the world's best mashed potatoes from EDC), bernaise sauce and greens.  (I'm thinking I'll have a big fat juicy steak, given that I won't be chewing for a while!)

Thursday - Risotto Al Salmone which is my youngest son's favourite risotto recipe, ever!

Friday - Shepherd's Pie (from the EDC) which I've already made and have frozen, ready to go.

Saturday - Quirky Cooking's Creamy Chicken & Brown Rice soup, which is my favourite Thermomix soup recipe and hopefully by Sunday night I'll be ready to gobble some down.

Whatever you're cooking this week, I hope you have fun.  As always, if you've got any great recipes to share, I'd love to hear all about them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long: Edition 4

I am very fortunate that my boys tend to happily scoff down whatever is put in front of them (and nine times out of ten, always come back for more).  Where I have issues sometimes though, especially with Mr 7, is with lunches.  The allure of soccer on the oval overcomes sitting and eating a sandwich most days.

After finding that perfectly good (and delicious!) sandwiches were returning to me each day with a couple of bites taken out of it, I sat down with Jack to talk about how important it was that he eat lunch.  The crux of the issue for him is just that sandwiches take too long to eat.

So, we found a compromise.  He gets sandwiches a couple of days a week but I don't overfill them.  I use Cyndi O'Meara's bible bread which is pretty much a complete protein, so I figure it's okay if all that's between the slices is almond or cashew butter. 

The other days I try to vary the lunch box big ticket item.  Some days I'll make blueberry buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and he'll take the leftovers, as is also the case with ham & egg bread baskets.  Savoury muffins or quiches work a treat - things that he can scoff down in bites just seem to work out better than sandwiches.

So, when Wendy Blume at Vegie Smugglers shared her recipe for Cheese Puffs on Facebook the other day, I thought I'd give them a go.  They were a huge hit with all male members of the household.  I've made them 3 times now, the latest batch with corn kernels and a handful of peas included in the batter as well.  If the boys are having them at home, they smear them with natural yoghurt and avocado and pretty much lick the plate clean.

I've subsequently purchased Wendy's Lunchbox Inspiration Planners which are packed full of brilliant lunchbox ideas such as Spinach Pikelets and Rice & Tandoori Chicken salad.  Wendy has kindly allowed me to share her recipe with you, converted with Thermomix simplicity, of course!


Vegie Smugglers - Cheese Puffs


120g milk
1 egg
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 zucchini - chopped into chunks
2 spring onions - chopped into chunks
130g cheddar cheese
170g organic unbleached self-raising flour


Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray.

1.  Place zucchini, spring onions and cheese into the TMX bowl.  Chop on Speed 8 for 4-5 seconds.
2.  Add the milk, egg & paprika.  Mix on Speed 4 for 2-3 seconds, on reverse.
3.  Add the flour and mix on Speed 4 for a further 2-3 seconds, on reverse.

Dollop out portions onto the baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until beautifully golden brown and a delightful cheesy smell emanates from your oven.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.