Mushrooms are up there on my faves list, alongside avocados and cheese. All three can usually be added to anything to instantly improve it.
Aside from cake.
Anyway, this recipe is amazing, I wish I could take credit for it (not that clever!) but I plan on making these ALL the time, the addition of lemon zest is genius I tell you! I used my pie maker and the recipe made four large pies. These delish Mushroom Pies are perfect winter warmers, they’re super-quick to whip up, inexpensive, filling and make an easy addition to your family meal plan.
Now that you can pronounce fajitas, let’s figure out exactly what we’re talking about before we dive in and get cooking.
My first fajita experience was in a popular Tex-Mex chain restaurant in the US. Piles of sizzling sliced meats, sliced, sauteed capsicums and onions served to the table in a HOT cast iron skillet with warm flour taco tortillas (tor-tea-aas), salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese and sour cream served on the side. It’s a sight to see and the fun of assembling your fajitas makes eating a really tactile experience. Fajitas are also great for a family meal as the platter presentation works perfectly for sharing and keeping picky eaters happy.
The difference between tacos and fajitas? Assembly and toppings.
The term fajitas actually refers to the filling and means ‘little strip’, referencing how the meat and vegetables are cut and cooked. Tacos are served pre-filled, whereas fajitas are a DIY experience at the table, tacos generally have fresh, raw toppings whereas fajitas are served with sizzling veggies in the pan.
I love them both, like, I LOVE THEM BOTH, but let’s cook some Farrah’sfajitas!
Sizzling Shrimp Fajitas Recipe
Sound a bit tricky?? Fajitas are super easy, check out the 1 min video below if you need some convincing : )
500gm raw shrimp cutlets
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to season
2 capsicums, different colours, cut into strips
1 red onion cut into strips
1 x Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix (available in the Mexican aisle at your supermarket)
1 x pack of Farrah’s Taco Tortillas (available in the Mexican aisle at your supermarket)
Prep shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese on a platter
Lime wedges to serve
Cilantro, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce to serve.
Heat oil in cast iron skillet or pan.
Add garlic and shrimp.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir through half the pack of Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix.
Cook until shrimp exterior is pink with red tails and the flesh is slightly opaque and a little “white” in color.
Remove shrimp from skillet and de-tail if you haven’t already.
Add capsicum and onion to skillet with the remainder of the Farrah’s Fajita Spice Mix. Cook, stirring until veggies are just softening.
Return shrimp to pan, bring back up to temp.
Serve straight to the table, taking care with the hot pan.
Enjoy fajitas with warm Farrah’s Taco Tortillas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, salsa and hot sauce to serve.
I guarantee your family will love this meal and it’s SO quick and easy to whip up, get the kids in the kitchen to prep the cold toppings while you take care of those delicious shrimp!
I actually could eat this meal every day. The fajita mix from Farrah’s is an amazing, smoky blend of spices that pairs perfectly with many different proteins. Don’t forget the squeeze of fresh lime on these, you’ll be thanking me!
Mexican dishes are on the menu in our house every week and I’m so keen to get you guys excited about trying some new dinner ideas that I have 5 amazing prize packs to give away thanks to Farrah’s!
2 x Main prize winners: Farrah’s Mexican Range; including Farrah’s taco tortillas + spice mixes across the range. Enough to share!
3 x Runners up: Fajita Mexican Pack; including new Fajita Spice Mix + Farrah;s Taco Tortillas.
To enter, leave me a comment below sharing your favourite way to enjoy the Farrah’s Mexican range.
Thanks for making this post possible Naked Locals, your soups are incredible! Check out their full range of 13 flavours here.
I spent a lot of time with both of my grandmothers when I was young and for this, I feel so grateful. There were week-long school holiday sleep-overs, quick overnights and just simply days when pick-up time came all too soon. Though both sets of Grandy’s lived in Auckland as we always have, their respective homes were poles apart from The Suburban North Shore Life my brother and I found ourselves navigating.
One Nana lived on a farm in what was then rural Auckland while the other had raised her kids the Westie Way – before there was a ‘Peninsula’ to bring the million dollar price tags to Te Atatu.
I spent those childhood years convinced that both of my Nana’s freaking LOVED to cook, they were always in the kitchen and I just couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen with them ie always underfoot, making another mess for them to clean up, insisting on cooking every single day I was with them, hiding Nan’s ciggies because the smoke irritated my eyes………..poor Nan. She didn’t even have her stress-relief to deal with my exuberant self lol.
30 years on and a mother myself, perspective and hindsight have made me realise my childhood view may have been a little skewed. My Grandmother’s had seven and five children respectively – they weren’t in the kitchen perfecting their choux pastry for the next ‘Ladies, a Plate’ function at the Golf Club, they were just trying to feed their large families – over and over again, day in and day out.
One of my late-Nan’s go-to recipes in winter and one that has been loved by all for years is her pumpkin soup. Hot, nourishing, seasonal, cheap, quick and easy…………….soup of any kind is a family mainstay but Nan’s Pumpkin Soup has a special place in our hearts.
Reminiscing made me think about culinary traditions and the memories that can be invoked by a mere taste or smell. Food is important to family’s and to society as a whole, but what happens in our time-poor modern lives when we just can’t make a pot of soup to save ourselves? Or, you just hate cutting pumpkin? (#GuiltyasCharged #PumpkinsSuck)
What happens is, we look for alternatives and fingers crossed, those alternatives provide nutrition and emotional sustenance in much the same way our heritage recipes do.
Case in point; we’ve been travelling a lot, I’ve been very stressed and overworking. Our family returned from a magical trip to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers last week and I was firmly under the weather with a non-sinister, but still formidable head cold. There was no food in the house yet all I wanted was my own bed and some of Nan’s pumpkin soup.
Dave was dispatched to the grocery store and returned with the next best option; with my NEW favourite soup. Not ‘a’ pumpkin to make soup, but a sick-wife-needs-comfort-food-asap version that is much more convenient.
Dave had not purchased packet soup, but rather fresh East Coast Sunshine Pumpkin Soup from Naked Locals. This was the 2017 version of my Nan’s famed Pumpkin soup. The curry powder has been switched for the good-for-you aromatics and flavour combos of ginger, turmeric, paprika and cumin as well as coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne. Basically, all the good stuff beginning with C except for chocolate!
And that was it. Veges, sunflower oil, coconut cream, salt, yeast and herbs and spices.
Nothing else but NZ made goodness. Preservatives and artificial stuff – not there. Soup made the same way my Nan made it, and the same way we make it (when Dave is home to cut the freaking pumpkin!).
Naked Locals soup is what happens we are time poor when we just don’t have it in us to cook from scratch. As parents and partners, we search out brands and products that can deliver on that hearty, home-made promise of our grandparent’s cooking, without delivering the guilt that consuming ‘fast-food’ so often renders. Perhaps this is a ‘new’ tradition? A new way of enjoying a meal with minimal prep, harking back to those legacies that helped build my love of cooking meals for my family.
Have you tried the Naked Locals range yet? Which is your favourite soup?
There’s something about adding a little bit of heat to winter meals that works so well. Thai dishes can be exactly what you need to warm the family’s bellies on these dreary, dark nights.In saying that, I’ve always been a little intimidated by Thai, I think that the inherent layering of aromatic flavours has always seemed a bit too complicated for me. Cooking a curry from scratch is the best way to get over any feelings of Thai-inadequacy. The ingredients are minimal, straightforward and they just make sense once combined, plus, there’s no fancy techniques or timings to master. Using authentic ingredients in any recipe is a must, hence my inclusion of Trident products here. Their Sweet Chilli Sauce (freaking amazing!) is made in Thailand but is also the top selling Sweet Chilli Sauce in New Zealand! Yum.
Give this recipe a go, I promise you’ll love it and make it more than once!
1/2 red chili, finely chopped (I deseeded the chili)
2cm piece of grated, fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Trident Hot Chili Sauce
400g can Trident Coconut Milk
For the vegetables
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 heads baby pak choi cut in half
250g green beans, trimmed
1 large carrot, in ribbons
2 x packs of Trident Udon Noodles
Chopped coriander to serve
Lime wedges to serve
For the meatballs
Combine chicken mince, panko crumbs, Trident Sweet Chili Sauce, garlic, ginger, mint and coriander in a bowl.
Roll tablespoons of mix into balls, pop in fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan. Cook meatballs until golden brown and cooked through, approx. 10 minutes.
For the curry
Heat the oil in a large pan, add garlic, chili and ginger, stir until soft.
While stirring add the curry powder.
Add the soy sauce and Trident Hot Chili Sauce.
Stirring until combined, add the Trident Coconut Milk then simmer covered for 15 minutes.
For the vegetables
Heat sesame oil in a large pan, add the veges and stir for 5 minutes.
Add the Trident Udon Noodles, sprinkle with water and gently separate with chop sticks.
Add the curry sauce, gently stir to combine.
Serve in bowls, adding meatballs, a sprinkle of chopped coriander and lime wedges on the side.
By Melissa Jack
Win with Trident!
Guys, listen!!!! If you make your own creation using Trident Sweet Chilli Sauce and post it to Trident’s Facebook page (click here) with the hashtag #authenticasiancreations you could win a year’s supply of Trident Authentic Chilli Sauces, Noodles & Coconut Milk & Creams!
What are you waiting for?! Maybe you could even recreate my recipe! xx
Dave and I love cooking. We are constantly looking for meal inspo, experimenting with different techniques or twists on old faves and frequently testing and re-testing our own recipes to share with you guys here or on FB or IG. But let’s be clear, this ‘fun in the kitchen’ does NOT happen Mon-Fri at 5pm. At that time of day, as in most households with children present, dinner time (or the ‘Witching Hour’ as it’s more commonly known), is when we parents enter survival mode. Kids are tired after busy days, hungry, often ‘hangry’, being rushed around to sports practices or after-school activities and with zero patience. “FEED THE KIDS” becomes priority Number 1 but often at the expense of our lofty (or even just basic!) aims in the nutritional department!
We’ve all seen the proliferation of food delivery services over the past few years; magical meal kits that arrive with recipes, ready to cook and assemble, or simply reheat if you’re really time poor. Our family has tried and enjoyed most of these offerings and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a massive fan, but………there is obviously a significant cost involved, a lack of choice around products, brands and ingredients used and an inability to cater for multiple, different dietary requirements in each meal.
Until now that is.
Over the past 10 days, we’ve been in the kitchen, getting to know How2Food – an online platform dedicated to providing completely customisable meal plans that work with your family’s nutritional needs and give you back the power to shop when and how you want.
Fill out your profile including how many people you need to feed, the number of meal recipes you need per week, & which day you’d like to receive them
Select which kitchen appliances you have available for meal prep
Specify any allergies, foods you don’t eat and dietary requirements
That’s it! Done. Your weekly recipes and shopping list will be generated on your chosen delivery day and then making magic in the kitchen is all up to you and your family.
We generally shop at Pak ‘n Save but as we’ve been away in Queenstown all week, having our weekly meal plan completed by How2Food meant we were able to shop online at Countdown and have a food delivery set-up for Saturday afternoon – organisational convenience at its finest right?!
So what’s on our menu for next week? Two Mexican dishes (our family fave!) and shrimp pasta. The recipes sound amazing and perfectly suited to our family’s tastes and time available to spend in the kitchen on meal prep.
So what do you guys think? I’m in love with this concept; it’s completely different to anything on the market right now, provides the benefits of meal delivery services with the freedom to shop how and when you choose, ultimately saving you money.
To celebrate their launch, How2Food are offering a one-month free trial as well as a referral incentive which could see your monthly subscription reduced from $19.95 to just .50c if you refer up to 5 friends!
Let’s get cooking guys and get our families back in the kitchen and back to our dining room tables in 2017.
Is Macaroni Cheese the unofficial king of comfort food? The champion of family-friendly, fill-you-up deliciousness?
Absolutely. There are few challengers who would take on the magical combination of cheese and pasta, plus, throw in some bacon and there’s just no contest.
Made in the traditional way, Macaroni Cheese can be a multi-pot explosion of dishwashing. One pot to make the cheese sauce, one to boil your pasta, the colander to drain it and the baking dish to throw it all together in (from which you can expect to still be scrubbing burnt cheese off 3 days later).
Move on from the sink and get creative with this easy-peasy Crock-Pot recipe for Macaroni Cheese. It’s a total 1-pot winner in which you add the ingredients and get on with your day……..for 2.5 hours at least!
This recipe makes a pretty jumbo sized batch, so get ready for a cook-once-eat-twice meal – I love it when this happens!
Crock-Pot Macaroni Cheese Recipe With Dukkah Chicken
For the Macaroni Cheese;
1 x 500g bag of macaroni elbows
3 ½ cups hot milk
1 small onion finely chopped
300gm chopped bacon
½ tsp paprika
1 ½ cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 pack of Tatua cheese sauce
For the Dukkah Chicken;
Diced chicken thighs/breast as much as needed for your family
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tsp olive oil
Pepper & Me The Mother Dukkah to coat the chicken
Combine all ingredients for Macaroni Cheese in your Crock-Pot.
Cook on high for 2.5 hours.
Toss in Worcestershire/soy sauce. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Add oil and chicken to pan, shake over The Mother Dukkah to coat and cook until chicken is ready.
Serve with some fresh chopped red capsicum and enjoy!
If you want to get inventive in the kitchen with your own amazing Crock-Pot then you’re in luck as I’m giving one away – actually I’m giving THREE away, so keep you eyes peeled for two more posts in my Crock-Pot series and two more chances to win! (First post here)
Thanks to Crock-Pot for making this post possible.
PF Chang’s is a popular restaurant chain in California that serves a lettuce wrap dish and people go gaga over them. I ate there once and wasn’t flipping out over them to the point that I felt I would never be able to recreate them at home. I mean, they were totally delicious, but not intimidatingly delicious, does that make sense?
Fact: I did recreate them successfully.
Fact: They are super easy!
These lettuce wraps are filling, warming, and pretty healthy without even trying to be an on trend hipster-paleo dish. I LOVE that lol.
The title may have been a giveaway lol, but this is indeed a Crock-Pot recipe so you can get the dinner prep crossed off your list before witching hour arrives and all hell breaks loose – or is that just my house???
To get this dish off to a great start I sauteed the chicken mince on our gas stove top first – in the Crock-Pot pot! No switching pans and making extra dishes, the new Sear & Slow model is induction, gas and electric ready so you can make the most of those delicious flavours and keep them all in one pot!
Recipe: Crock-Pot Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
600 gm Chicken mince
1 cup Rice uncooked
1 x Medium onion chopped
2 Cloves garlic
2 Green onions chopped
½ Red capsicum
1 Tbsp Grated ginger
1 Tsp Red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp Olive oil
½ cup Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 ½ Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Can water chestnuts, drained
¼ Cup sliced cashews
Mung bean sprouts to serve
In olive oil, saute onions, garlic and chicken on stove-top in Crock-Pot Sear & Slow pot until chicken is no longer pink.
Add chopped capsicum, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and salt and pepper to pot. Cook on low for 3 hours.
Add rice, water chestnuts, green onions, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and cashews to mixture. Stir through and cook for 5 minutes.
Gently pull apart lettuce leaves, fill with chicken mix and garnish with mung bean sprouts to serve.
Adapt for kids – The boys weren’t too keen on the idea of the lettuce wraps so we switched theirs out for flour tortillas and dinner was served.
If you want to get inventive in the kitchen with your own amazing Crock-Pot then you’re in luck as I’m giving one away – actually I’m giving THREE away, so keep you eyes peeled for two more posts in my Crock-Pot series and two more chances to win!
> To win the Crock-Pot® Sear & Slow – CHP700, leave a comment below and tell me one of the awesome features on this innovative Crock-Pot model (psssttt, have a look here).
Competition closes 18 May 2017, NZ residents only.
Never made zoodles before, preeeety sure I’ve never created OR made a whole foods recipe before either.
First time for everything – including using New Hemisphere Hemp Seed Oil – and let me tell you, I will be making this again, and again and again. The nutty taste of the Hemp Seed Oil is the perfect complement to the smooth, creamy avocado blend (especially as I forgot to buy pine nuts for the pesto!).
I read a lot about zoodles before I began, it seems the key to making them is not to overcook them, you don’t want a pile of courgette / zucchini mush on your plate. Use the same principles as cooking regular pasta – firm, al dente noodles are your goal.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Macaroni Cheese. This is the easiest, quickest, most delicious Macaroni recipe you will ever make. One pan. One step. Forget about boiling pasta, making a sauce, draining the pasta, combining the ingredients, baking……………this is too easy! Dave and I whipped this up in 20 minutes, seriously.
Press play to watch the 1 min video and check out the recipe below.
I came to the realisation this week that, despite being a born-and-raised Kiwi mummy, there was something that was missing from my life. Something so quintessentially ‘New Zealand’ that I’m pretty embarrassed to have been overlooking it for so long.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten a pie.
There are few things we hold dear as a nation, but our collective love of pies has to be one of them. Specifically, in recent times, Kiwis love chucking curry in a pie.
Look, I may be ridiculously good at many things – such as online shopping and liking stranger’s photos on Instagram – but I have never in my life made a curry from scratch and I’m not about to start at age 37.
That’s for the experts, and the experts are My Main Course.
Last night we whipped up these delicious pies as per the suggestion on the back of the Thai Chicken Curry pouch. Grab these in the supermarket, flip the pack over and all the ingredients you need to create a kick-ass dinner are right there for you to pick up with your shopping.
We recreated My Main course’s Pot Pie recipe (find it here) using our new piemaker (I may have impulsively bought because PIES!), and it was a perfect family meal that made 4 pies from one pack of Thai Chicken Curry + some added ingredients.
Check out the ingredients – nothing fancy or complicated here!
Into the piemaker after minimal prep,
And check out the end result!
Don’t pooh-pooh this dinner idea because you think pies are ghetto. This chicken curry is an elegant, light filling that’s so full of flavour and is perfectly complemented by the fresh coriander.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
New family fave right there.
The My Main Course range (Thai Green Curry, Mexican Chicken, Pulled Pork, Savoury Mince, Baked Beans, Green Lentil Dahl) is perfect for helping busy families whip up great tasting meals with minimal prep time. Your meal base is all done, you just choose your sides and get creative – or not lol, totally up to you.
WIN > I have ANOTHER $50 supermarket voucher to give away thanks to My Main Course! (Make sure you’ve entered the first comp here!) Just comment below and let me know which variety you and your family would love to try first.