Thursday- Chilli con carne meatballs, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

20130829_172807Blimey, this recipe has been blogged about so many times, I feel boring.

Bulgur wheat:

300g bulgur wheat

1 preserved lemon

1 cinnamon stick


400g lean beef mince

1 heaped tsp garam masala

olive oil

3 jarred red peppers

4 spring onions

1 tsp smoked paprika

700g passata

bunch of fresh coriander

1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans

pinch of cumin seeds

4 tsp fat free natural yoghurt

1 lime

Grilled chillies  – I didn’t do this, it didn’t need it.

Put 1 mug of bulgur wheat, 2 mugs of boiling water, the preserved lemon and the cinnamon stick into medium pan ,stir it occasionally.

Scrunch the mince with garam masala, salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture into 4, then with wet hands quickly shape each piece into 4 balls, placing them into the frying pan as you roll them.
Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss regularly.
Blitz the peppers, half the trimmed spring onions, the paprika, passata, half the coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper in the liquidizer until smooth.
Pour the mixture into another frying pan and turn the heat up to high.
Rinse and drain the beans, then add to the meatballs with the cumin seeds.
Transfer the meatballs straight into the pan of sauce leaving the beans behind.
Finely slice the remaining trimmed spring onions.
Stir the beans into the sauce.
Remove the cinnamon stick, then mash the lemon into the bulgur wheat and serve with the meatball sauce over it.
Add some yogurt, the charred chillies and wedges of lime, scattered with the remaining spring onions and coriander leaves.
We had couscous with lemon. I couldn’t find bulgar wheat in our local supermarket . It went well and Miss decided may be she does like it, result.
I would certainly make this again. The sauce was very lovely and one of those things you may have out and think you could never do. The kidney beans aren’t necessary and there are plenty of meatballs.
I used these tomatoes, 1 and a bit cans of them.
Photo 13-09-14 5 59 10 pm

The Dinner Rut Situation – Problem Solved

So, I gave myself a challenge and made it public via my facebook page-

“I am in one of those dinner low spots. The place where it seems like you eat the same old things over and over. It makes me feel as if I have nothing to blog about.
I have decided to fix this with a challenge. This challenge is 6 days, 6 new recipes. This afternoon me and Miss Muffin will search through the recipe books and find recipes, write a shopping list ready for Sunday and spend some quality time together. I will post the menu as soon as it is set in stone”

20130822_152538So we hunted through my many, many books. Miss was Almost helpful, she did come up with half the ideas with a bit of coaching. We managed to reduce the pile and came up with 6 meals that were not hugely different from how we usually eat but had that extra something. We varied the meats too and I even saw a way to be efficient.


To those outside of New Zealand, I must apologies, the Kiwi books dominate. Sophie Gray books are available in the UK, at least the latest ones.

Well, drum roll. Here is the list. I will highlight and link to each day as we write it up.

Monday- Noodles with slivered beef and red capsicum, Delicious by Sophie Grey

Tuesday- Caramelised onion and sausage tart, 100+ Tasty Meals by Sophie Grey

Wednesday- Chicken lasagne, World Kitchen by Nici Wikes

Thursday- Chilli con carne meatballs, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Friday- BBQ chicken pizza, Feed The Family for $15 or Less, Sophie Grey

Weekend meal – One pan chicken couscous, Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourties .
                               Mexican chicken stew, Easy Good Food Slow Cooker Favourites

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals,Gorgeous Greek Chicken, herby Vegetable Couscous and Tzatziki, p38

ImageHe managed it in 18 minutes, we are getting closer but there is a but, but he used ready-made tzatziki as we had it in the fridge.
The adjustments we made were
–    Not using dill, it isn’t family friendly
–    Next time, flatten the chicken more. NZ breasts are larger than UK chickens.
–    Pulsing the vegetables for the couscous is a really good idea
–    You can always add herbs to your own plate if the are served separately

It was very tasty, there was rather a lot of couscous. I bumped it out with the rest of the feta and had it for lunch at work. Bonus really.

I am not going to publish the recipe as most libraries will have the book or you can get it yourself, it is rather good. This made a lovely lunch. I would recommend the book.

Another Jamie meal –

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals, Lamb Kofte Pitta and Greek Salad, p108

ImageToday we decided to have a little lunch challenge, Mr Muffin selected the recipe . I was the cook and had to do the meal as close to 15 minutes as I could. I managed 24 minutes and think I could get it down faster next time and would make a few tweaks to suit our eating style a little more.

– mix the grated cucumber and onion in with the yoghurt and add the mint

– omit the mint from the couscous and add some of the lemon zest

– add some crushed garlic to the mince

I am not going to publish the recipe as most libraries will have the book or you can get it yourself, it is rather good. This made a lovely lunch. I would recommend the book.


Here is another Jamie post –