week of dinners

I love cooking! Which is just as well, cause I also love eating! And I have a husband who couldn’t cook to save his life…so the household story goes; I cook, he eats, he fills my need to be praised for my cooking. It’s win/win!

Here is last week’s dinners:

the menu pegged to the kitchen wall


smoked chilli chicken burger

Recipe by Donna Hay (Fast, Fresh, Simple) Smoked chilli chicken burger

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp  smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 x 200g chicken breast fillets, trimmed and sliced lengthways
2 bread rolls, halved (*I used a long baguette, cut into half)
rocket (arugula) leaves, to serve
lemon mayonnaise:
1/4 cup (85g) store-bought whole-egg mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the lemon mayo, place the mayo and lemon juice in a bowl and mix to combine. Combine the oil, paprika and chilli and pour over the chicken. Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan over high heat. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through. Spread the rolls with the lemon mayo and top with the rocket and chicken to serve. Serves 2.


angel hair pasta with shelled-crab

Date night! Jay & I went to Raffinato’s Cocktail bar and Restaurant in Pyrmont for a lovely date night. The company was fantastic, the wine was good, too bad about the food… [read my review here]


One of the coldest days in May (11-14°C) and the first of three State of Origin clashes between NSW Blues (cockroaches) and QLD Maroons (cane toads)! While we watched the game, I served up:

Mexican corn & bean salad with grilled pork

1tsp ground cumin
1tsp chilli flakes
2 lean pork rib-eye fillets (or whatever cut you prefer)
oil spray (or 1tbsp olive oil) for cooking
2 cobs of corn, kernels cut off
1 (400g) can of kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 shallots, diced
2 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 avocado, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix cumin and chill-flakes and rub over pork. Grill pork over mid-high heat, 3 mins on first side, 2 mins on the other side. Cover and set aside.

Fry corn kernels for 2 mins or until brightly coloured. Add in beans, stir and cook for another minute before adding in tomato and herbs (coriander, parsley, shallots & chilli). Season to taste. Take off heat, add lemon juice.

Serve corn and bean salad on a plate, topped with pork steak and dressed with diced avocado. Serves 2.


roasted carrot & parsnip salad with grilled scotch fillet

Roasted carrot & parsnip salad; recipe by Donna Hay (fast, fresh, simple)

3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 tbs oil
1.5tbs ground cumin
2 tbs honey
2 tbs lemon juice*
1/2 cups coriander (cilantro) leaves
85g labne or creamy feta
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, halved
1 tbs sumac

* this is where I deviated from the recipe as I found the dressing mix needed an acidic balance.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the carrot and parsnip in a ceramic baking dish. Combine the oil, cumin and honey (& lemon juice) and pour half the mix over the veggies. Cover and cook for 15 mins, then uncover and cook for a further 15 mins or until the veggies are tender. Divide the veggies between serving plates and top with the coriander, labne/feta and hazelnuts. Pour over remaining honey mixture as a dressing and sprinkle with sumac. Serves 2.

(I forgot all about the feta, so it doesn’t appear on my dinner plate!)


…night Jay, James & I ate pizza and drank copious glasses of wine. I did not cook! I’ll move that meal plan to next week.


Saturday night we listened to music, slow danced in our lounge room and cooked ribs.

ribs dry rub

Spice-roasted ribs. Recipe by Donna Hay (fast, fresh & simple)

1kg American-style pork spare ribs or baby-back ribs
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 160°C. Cut the ribs into 4 sections. Combine the paprika, chilli, sugar and salt. Rub generously over both sides of the rubs and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the cover and increase heat to 220°C. Bake for 15 mins or until browned.

chinese cabbage, finely shredded
red cabbage, finely shredded
red capsicum, finely shredded
red radish, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp whole egg mayo
2 tbsp lite sour cream

Ribs and 'slaw