Toddler Eats : Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs

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Now that Lochlan has turned one (where did time go??), I’m trying to wean him from purees and introduce chunkier food, to encourage him to chew. Don’t get me wrong, he knows how to chew. But just prefers the purees cause he could finish it much quicker. haha So this marks the start to my new series of Toddler Eats! Hopefully it will be helpful to mummies out there who also want to try different foods and make them from their kitchen when time permits!

I decided to try making something I thought he might like! I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good meatball? Especially with the addition of cheeeeese! These are quick and easy and you could have it on its own or mix it with pasta and some homemade tomato sauce and viola! Meatball pasta!

Meatball pasta

Lochlan’s Verdict : 2 1/2 meatballs (together with other food for dinner and strawberries for dessert hehe). I think thats a not too bad start!

 With the addition of cheese, you don’t even need to add salt to it. So it’s perfect even for babies from 10 months! Especially if you wanna do Baby-Led-Weaning. hehe Perfect finger food! These are not just for your little ones at home, the mr and I enjoyed it too!

So here’s the recipe, do give it a shot and let me know what u or your kiddos think!

Cheesy Chicken & Veggies Meatballs (A Food Made With Love Original Recipe)

Ingredients : Makes 24-26 meatballs

250g mince chicken (or meat of your choice)

2 stalks of spring onions, finely sliced

1 small carrot, grated

1/4 apple, grated

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 zucchini, grated

2-3 florets of broccoli, finely chopped

50g cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg

Ground black pepper, to season

Ingredients

(I’ve got a double yolk! Lucky me! hehe)

Steps :

1) Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius. Spray/Oil a baking tray/ casserole dish and set it one side.

2) Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl until well combined.

Mixed till well combined

3) Using a tablespoon, roll the mixture into balls. Do note that the mixture will be a bit wet and sticky. Wetting your hands might help in the rolling process.

Rolled out

4) Place the meatballs onto the baking dish, and bake for 12-15 mins, until the meatballs are cooked through and/or slightly browned.

All baked

5) Serve as is or you could cook it in a homemade tomato sauce and toss it through some cooked pasta for a variety!

Enjoy!

P.S : You don’t have to grate the vegetables if you’re cooking for yourself or older kids and want more texture. Just finely diced them and it would be as delicious! Also you could always change the types of vegetables in the meatballs, find a combination that wins the most votes in your house! (:

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx !

Chicken Tagine – MealDish

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Good evening dear readers! So sorry for the hiatus! It’s been a busy few months with Baby Ho’s grandparents (both paternal and maternal) and uncle & aunty coming to visit him consecutively! So I haven’t had the chance to sit down and churn posts out! But I will be doing it whenever I can, I promise!

So a few months back, I was introduced to MealDish. A website that aims to help people eat healthier, eat fresh, whilst minimising food waste and saving them time and money. This was absolutely perfect for me, especially since I can only get down to cooking with Baby Ho is asleep!

So off I went to the website and it’s so simple to use and follow!

MealDish 1

You just have to choose what you like, the number of recipes you want and then click the number of people you’re cooking for and get a meal plan! As easy as that!

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If you have any particular cuisine you would like to try, or specific ingredients to exclude or you have intolerances, there are options for you to tick too! So it’s really for everyone. I did different options and there are heaps of recipes to choose from. They even suggests side dishes that would go perfectly with the recipe you decide to cook that day. Sounds good, no?

MealDish 2

So I decided to just go with the quick option and choose the type of protein I wanted to cook with – Chicken! These were the 5 options I was given, and straight away I was drawn to the chicken tagine recipe, especially cause my beautiful tagine has been sitting on the shelf ever since I made my Moroccan meatballs one and half year ago! haha So it was time to get it on the stove again.

MealDish 4

If you’re a person who loves order and likes to get everything ready before you cook, Mealdish is definitely for you. The recipe comes with ‘Preparation Steps’ so that you have everything ready to go when you start cooking, missing nothing out! This cuts your cooking time and dinner will be on the table, pipping hot, in no time!

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Of course, there’s ‘Cooking Steps’ which are clear and easy to follow. What’s best about this website is that they have a ‘Shopping List’ tailored to the number of people you are cooking for. So there’s no waste and you just buy what is needed!

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Chicken Tagine

The results were as good as I thought it would be! The Mr loved it and even though I made enough for 4 people, we only had a serve left! What’s best is, this recipe had both protein and vegetables rolled into one! So we only needed that one dish for dinner. Paired with toasted Turkish bread – Dinner was ready within an hour!

So if you are looking for inspirations to cook your family or even just yourself something delicious, and want something quick and easy, hop onto the MealDish website and you will definitely find something you fancy!

Here’s the ingredients used for this dish. The steps are as described in the ‘Cooking Steps’ above! Or you could always just head to the website and search for the recipe to get the ingredient amounts tailored to the number of people you are cooking for!

Ingredients :

(For 4 people)

3/4 Onion whole

4 Garlic cloves

1 1/4 Celery stick

3/4 can tinned tomato

200g Pumpkin

2 tsp Coriander

3/4 tsp Ground Ginger

3/4 Cinnamon Stick

1/4 Lemon

1/4 cup apricot (I used raisins)

3/4 cup Chicken stock

8 Chicken drumstick

3/4 cup couscous

2 tbs fresh coriander

Chicken Tagine

Have a great rest of the day and hope you all will have an awesome hot dinner tonight since it’s freezing here in Melbourne!

Till the next post, remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

My Mr The Chef : Chicken Money Bag

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I am truly a lucky woman. I married a man who can seriously cook some delicious food! Although he’s really busy, he still takes time to cook something once in a while, which I am super thankful for! If you’ve followed me for a while now, you would have seen some of his creations : Hainanese chicken riceroasted beef ribshomemade bacon and polenta chips!

Ready to be served

I’m  not sure if you remember seeing this dish on Masterchef last year, but this was a dish by the ever so talented – Maggie Beer! The Mr wanted to make it the moment he saw it and boy am I glad he did. It was absolutely delicious! Tedious to prep, but all the hard work definitely paid off! Just imagine golden crispy chicken skin (like yum!) and the meat is just succulent and full of flavour on the inside! Together with the tomato chutney, it’s just the perfect pair!

Skinning the chicken

The trickiest part of the dish is probably skinning the whole chicken and keeping the skin whole, making sure there are no holes! The Mr did such a good job! He got it out in one go! Don’t think I would be able to do it. haha

So here’s the recipe from Maggie Beer! Give it a try, the hard work is definitely worth every delicious bite!

Chicken Money Bag with Preserved Lemon and Tomato Chutney (Recipe closely adapted from Maggie Beer, Serves 3)

For the chicken :

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

2 tbs olive oil

3 shallots, finely chopped

225g white button mushrooms, sliced

1 tbs lemon thyme leaves, chopped

1/3 cup white wine (I didn’t have Verjuice)

1.8kg whole chicken

100g chicken fat, finely chopped

1 1/2 tbs preserved lemon rind, chopped

1 1/4 tbs tarragon, chopped

15g sea salt flakes

1 egg

For the Preserved Lemon & Tomato Chutney : 

1 1/2 tbs Olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine (Use Verjuice if you have it!)

800g tomato, roughly chopped

100g preserved lemon, rinsed and chopped

110ml Red wine vinegar

90g caster sugar

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

2) Place a heavy based pan over medium-high heat, add butter and heat until it has turned nutty brown. Add olive oil, shallots and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add thyme, toss to combine, and season with salt.

3) Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook until it is sticky and reduced. Place mushroom mixture in a large bowl, and set aside to cool.

4) Skin chicken and place in a bowl. Remove chicken marylands, roughly chop leg and thigh meat, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse paste. Add chicken fat and pulse to combine. Remove breasts and cut into two centimeters dice.

Prepping the chicken and mushroom mixture

5) Finely chop mushroom mixture, then add the preserved lemon rind and tarragon to cooled mushroom mixture and mix until well combined. Add chicken leg mixture, diced chicken breast, sea salt flakes and egg to the bowl and slap the mixture against the side of the bowl until combined.

Prepping the ingredients

Chicken mixture

6) Cut chicken skin into three even triangular shaped pieces.

7) Over a 6cm springform baking tin, place a sheet of cling wrap, then spread skin over. 

Making the money bags

8) Add chicken mixture, bring each end of the skin together to create a pouch, then place in the fridge for ten minutes to allow the skin to set.

Adding the chicken mixture

Bringing the skin together to create a pouch

9) Invert baking tins onto a baking tray and carefully lift tins to remove. The skin should remain neatly tucked underneath, holding the parcel together as it cooks.

All ready to be baked!

10) Place baking tray into oven, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. If you have a meat thermometer, check to see that the internal temperature has reached 62 degrees celcius.

Baked till golden brown

11) Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

12) For the chutney : Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes until softened and translucent. Add garlic and rosemary, and cook for two minutes.

13) Deglaze the pan with white wine then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced to about two cups and a chutney-like consistency. Remove from heat, and place into a bowl to cool. Season to taste with salt.

14) To serve : Slice the chicken money bags and serve on the tomato chutney. Enjoy! (:

chicken money bag sliced

Enjoy the coming weekend everyone! (: Hope this has inspired you to cook something special for your loved ones this weekend! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx

Oven-fried Chicken

Fried chicken. How could you not like fried chicken? I would happily chow down two without much thought! haha But what could be better than fried chicken? Oven-fried chicken of course! Anything to make it feel a little less sinful than the oil-fried version. Just so you could enjoy it guilt-free. Definitely a win-win, if you ask me! (:

I chanced upon this recipe on Everyday Maven, and was coincidentally craving for something fried. It’s really quick and easy as well! Even though it’s baked, the chicken is so crunchy with every bite! The mr and I are addicted to it! We had it twice in a week. Definitely gonna make this for my family at the end of the year.

The chicken pieces were coated with crushed melba toast. I have to admit, I’ve heard of melba toast a number of times, but never really tried it or used it to cook. These were mini toasts that were baked and they were really amazing! Unlike normal bread crumbs, these ensures that the coating remains crunchy and not get soggy even after being baked. Would definitely not hesitate to use melba toast in the future! hehe

And what goes well with fried chicken? A side of kipfler and broccolini salad of course! Of course if you want to keep to the healthy-theme, you could always have it with a side of salad. Your tummies will still be satisfied. (: So I urge you to give this a try, you will never need to feel bad about have fried chicken ever again! hehe

Oven-fried Chicken (adapted from Everyday Maven)

800g chicken pieces (skin removed)

1 box of Melba toast (5-ounce/142g), crushed

1/2 tsp garlic salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp hot paprika

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup kewpie mayonnaise

1 tbs Dijon mustard

Steps :

1) Place the melba toasts in a zip lock bag. Using a rolling pin, crush them till they are relatively fine, leaving some little pebbles for texture and maximum crunchiness. You could also place them in a food processor, but be careful not too completely pulverize them.

2) Add the garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and dried oregano into the zip lock bag and give it a good shake. Pour the seasoned crumbs into a plate.

3) In a separate bowl, mix the kewpie with the dijon mustard and mix till well combined.

4) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Coat each piece of chicken with the mayo mixture (just enough to lightly coat) and roll it in the melba toast crumbs. Make sure the chicken pieces are covered well and evenly.

5) Place the chicken pieces on a cooking rack and place in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.

Enjoy it with a side of your choice! (: Don’t worry, I didn’t only have one piece. hehe I couldn’t resist another (or two)! Have a great weekend everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Spicy Chicken Bulgogi

It’s winter and I don’t know about you, but I always crave for something spicy or soupy during this time of the year. I have to admit. Winter is my least favourite season of the year. Gloomy, wet and freezing! All I want to do is hide under my blankets and hibernate! Definitely can’t wait till it is over. But for now, winter warmers are a must!

If you’ve been reading my blog (and thank you for you constant support!), you know that I’ve been obsessing about the korean cuisine. When I do go to a korean restaurant, I would find myself looking at either the hotpot or hotplate page of the menu and I would end up ordering bulgogi. A hot favourite is beef bulgogi of course. But I also enjoy the spicy version of bulgogi. Don’t you? I’ve had really good spicy chicken hot plate at 7&7 in Carnegie and tonight, I was just craving for some! So I decided to make it for dinner!

Matched with a variety of mixed vegetables – it’s my version of a perfect and balanced meal. You have your carbs, protein and fiber all in one dish. Plus the heat from the dish just brings comfort to our tummies. Definitely a win-win! Have to thank Bee from Rasa Malaysia for her recipe for bulgogi. It’s delicious! (: Thank you for helping me satisfy a craving!

 Spicy Chicken Bulgogi (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

Ingredients : 

2 skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips

1/2 leek, thinly sliced

1/2 carrot, thinkly sliced

1/4 chinese cabbage, cut into strips

100g enoki mushrooms

4-5 spring onion, cut into large pieces

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs water

ground white pepper to season

For the marinade : 

3 tbs Korean red chilli pepper paste (gochujang)*

1 tbs Korean red chilli pepper powder (gochugaru)*

2 tbs light soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

1 tbs sugar

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs mince garlic

1 tbs grated ginger

pinch of ground black pepper

Steps : 

1) Mix all the ingredients in the marinade and add the chicken strips. Mix well and allow the chicken to marinade for at least 30 mins to an hour.

2) Heat a deep frying pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the leek and carrot and fry till soft. Add the cabbage and enoki mushrooms and fry until the vegetable is cooked. Season with ground white pepper. Place in the serving bowl and set aside.

3) Add the other tablespoon of olive oil into the pan and fry the chicken till cooked. Add water and all0w the chicken to simmer for 5-10 mins. Add the spring onion and fry for another 3 mins.

4) Serve the chicken on top of the vegetables. Have it with korean rice and ENJOY! (:

Definitely spicy enough to warm up our tummies tonight. The Mr was very happy (: This recipe is a keeper and perfect winter warmer. Do give it a try and let me know what you think!

So dear readers, what do you order when you’re at a korean restaurant? Would love to know!

* Note : You can get the red chilli pepper paste and powder from most asian supermarkets. I got mine from KFL at Springvale. If you have a korean supermarket near you, ever better! (: