Smoked Salmon and Veggie Rice Bake

As you can see, I’m a big fan of the rice bake – it’s a great way to get dinner ready quickly, and boy, is that the name of the game lately! We’re up to four days of sports practice for the kids, and of course, they all start at 6pm. So anything I can make quickly… or better yet, the night before, after I’ve run around all evening, is relatively cheap AND is healthy, holds a special place in my heart. Taste.com is a little hit or miss sometimes, but this is definitely a hit!

This bake is a prime example. It’s full of kale, broccoli and capsicum, as well as eggs and salmon for a nice protein hit. And because it’s so flavourful, having used marinated capsicum and Australian mustard to up the ante, you only need a small amount of salmon, keeping it so much more budget friendly than most seafood dishes. Personally, I’d love to swap the kale out and use baby spinach, but after 3 years of me living off the stuff, the husband is begging for something a bit different!

Taste has this recipe yielding six serves, but for once, I go a bit bigger, and have it feed four. It’s still only 485 calories, which is absolutely reasonable, and you can bask in the knowledge that if you don’t need quite so much, you can enjoy a dinner just under 400 cals. Which is handy when you’re eating on the run… and these days, that’s pretty much the only way we eat dinner anymore.

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

1 brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

1 small bunch kale, chopped roughly

300g broccoli, cut into small florets.

8 eggs

2-3 tsp Australian mustard

1/2 cup Greek yoghurt

290g jar marinated grilled capsicum, drained and diced

250g microwavable brown rice (no need to microwave it)

150g hot smoked salmon, flaked

2tsp dried dill

Salt and Pepper, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Steam broccoli in the microwave for 2 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Drain and allow to cool while completing next steps.
  3. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and lemon and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in kale, cooking until just wilted. Add broccoli and break up larger pieces. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
  5. In a clean bowl, whisk eggs, mustard, yoghurt, capsicum, rice and salmon until fully combined. Season with salt, pepper and dill, and pour over kale mixture. Combine well and smooth the top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, and serve.

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Apple, Spinach and Chorizo Frittata

Ahhh, frittatas. So easy, so delicious, so good at making a meal out of the most basic ingredients.

This particular frittata, for example, is so stupidly easy, yet the flavour is almost undeservingly wonderful. Such marvelous results for such little effort or need for cooking expertise. I mean, isn’t that the best kind of cooking? All the results for little effort? In my busy, lazy world it is.

This frittata is so versatile, too. You can make it the night before, which is perfect for Thursday nights when the daughter and I both have netball training, the son has baseball, and the husband has a killer commute. It’s a meal in itself, but light enough for those nights when you don’t want a full dinner. And, best of all, while doesn’t last long in my house as everyone loves it, if I can keep it away from snacky, sneaky hands, it lasts two or three days for a great work lunch. A larger serving (1/4) is only 360 calories, and a smaller serving (1/6) is 240. Add some veggies or a salad, and you’re absolutely good to go – and it’s more filling than just the larger serve.

Ingredients

2tsp olive oil

180g chorizo sausage, sliced into coins

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 red apple, thinly sliced

100g baby spinach

9 eggs

60g milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Heat oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Cook chorizo for five minutes, or until golden. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until softened. Transfer both to a bowl, but keep oil in the pan.
  3. Place apple slices in pan and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and starting to soften. Remove to a separate plate or bowl.
  4. Add spinach and stir briefly until just wilted. Return onion and 3/4 of the chorizo to the pan, and distribute evenly in the pan.
  5. In a clean bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Pour into pan, over the spinach mixture.
  6. Arrange remaining chorizo and apple slices over the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking occasionally, until eggs just start to set. Transfer to oven, and bake for 12-15 minutes until egg is golden and cooked though.

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Crab Cake Eggs Benny

My eldest turns 12 today. Crazy.

He’s always angling for that next seafood meal, so I made him crab cakes, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for breakfast. A worthy birthday breakfast for my favourite little foodie.

But kids always have that knack of keeping you humble, right?

“It’s okay that you didn’t make the English muffins from scratch this time, you’re still a good mum.”

Thanks, dude.

Despite the glaring failure of store bough English muffins, the rest was seriously good. And because all the components came from a range of sources, I’m collating them here for next time. Something tells me there will be a next time. Probably 365 days from now.

I’m not even thinking about calories here. It’s not an everyday kind of breakfast, so let’s just leave it “many”.

Aside from resting the crab cakes for 30 minutes, this only takes about 15 minutes of active cooking time, and can easily be coordinated together (even for me… and I usually hate cooking breakfast because I freak about the timing). Might I suggest:

  1. Prepare the crabcakes and rest in the fridge
  2. After 30 minutes, heat the pans for crabcakes, eggs and hollandaise – remember, you want the crab cakes pan hot and the other two just at a simmer.
  3. Steps 1-3 of Hollandaise
  4. Fry the crab cakes, while still stirring the hollandaise
  5. Pop the crab cakes in the oven
  6. Step 4 of the hollandaise
  7. Between stirs of the hollandaise, poach your eggs
  8. Remove sauce from heat – steps 5-6 – and toast your muffins
  9. Assemble

Serves 4 

Ingredients

Crab cakes

450g crab meat (from a can is fine, if like me, you didn’t win the lotto last night)

2tbs mayonnaise

1 egg, beaten

4tbs dried breadcrumbs

1tbs sweet chilli sauce

2tsp dried parsley

1tsp dijon

salt and pepper, to taste

2tsp olive oil

hollandaise sauce

2 egg yolks

1.5tsp cold water

1.5tsp lemon juice

100g butter, melted

salt and pepper

pinch cayenne pepper

poached eggs

Water, to come up a few inches in a wide pan

2tbs white vinegar

4 eggs

2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered, to serve

Method – Crab Cakes

  1. Drain crab meat (if canned), and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients except for oil. Gently fold into the crab meat, being careful not to overmix.
  3. Shape into four flat patties. Mixture will be a little wet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up a bit.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C.
  5. On the stove, heat oil in an oven-safe frypan over medium-high heat. While you’re at it, start simmering the water for the eggs and the water in the double boiler for the hollandaise.
  6. Carefully transfer crab cakes to pan and fry for 2 minutes, until the underside is golden. Very gently (honestly, they’re a bit fragile) turn and cook for a further two minutes. Should one break a little when you turn it, you will be able to reshape it.
  7. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, while you make the rest of the components.

Method- Hollandaise Sauce

  1. In the top bowl of a double boiler (off the heat), whisk the yolks, water and lemon juice until pale and frothy. Actually, I use a rubber spatula, rather than a whisk because I hate the sound of metal on metal, so pick your weapon.
  2. Set the bowl over the base, with 2.5 inches of water simmering (definitely not boiling!) over low heat.
  3. Stir constantly and vigorously over this low heat for two minutes. (If the eggs start to scramble, immediately place them over a bowl of very cold water and continue to whisk the lumps out. Strain the eggs, pour back into the double boiler, and continue with the method. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to restart.)
  4. Whisk in the butter very slowly – a bit at a time. Continue to whisk vigorously for another minute or two, until thick and glossy.
  5. Remove the entire double boiler from the heat and separate the two pans while you cook the eggs (otherwise the eggs will continue to cook and will scramble). Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  6. You can leave for a short while, but once the water is no longer simmering hot, placing the sauce back over the water pan will keep the sauce warm and smooth while you finish up.

Method – Poached Eggs

  1. Add vinegar to a wide pan with enough water to reach a few inches up the side, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Crack each egg into a deep saucer or teacup/espresso demi-tasse, taking care not to break the yolk. One egg at a time, create a small whirlpool in the water – just large enough for one egg – and gently slide the egg into the vortex.
  3. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Bringing it all together

Butter your toasted muffins, top with crab cake, egg and sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

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