Monday, August 29, 2011

My 8 favourite homemade dinners

I love all the recipes I've shared here on Craving Fresh, but some I return to more than others. I thought you might be interested to know which dinners I make the most. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Lasagne
I love this recipe because it can feed a crowd, or feed our family with dinner and lunches for a couple of days. It's also a great one to sneak extra veges in, like spinach or zucchini.

2. Asian pork salad baskets
I usually make this without the noodles or lettuce, as we don't always have them on hand. Instead I serve the mince on basmati rice and leave it at that. Paul, Lily and I all love it!

3. Roast chicken
I love a good roast. And I especially love roasting up a chicken because I can use the leftover meat for so many other dinners, like Satay noodles, Mexican roll-ups, Pad Thai, Butter Chicken, Pizza, or Fettucine with Alfredo sauce.

If I'm not going to use the leftover chicken the next day, I bag it up in one or more small ziploc bags and freeze it till I will use it. It's so handy to be able to pull out pre-cooked, shredded chicken when I need it.

The other thing I LOVE about chicken is making chicken stock. No need to waste those bones. I boil them up in a big pot of water for hours and hours and hours, until the water has turned golden. I then use the stock as a base for all my soup recipes.

4. Pumpkin soup
I like this recipe because it doesn't require a long list of ingredients to taste great. It also freezes really well, so I like to make up a big batch for dinner, set some aside for lunch the next day (which I re-heat with a little extra water in a pot on the stove) and then freeze the rest.

5. Spicy beef casserole
This is my go-to beef casserole recipe when I want to cook up some blade steak or other slow-cooking meat as I usually have all the ingredients on hand and it tastes great. I like to whiz up the leftovers for Mince and cheese pielets or Shepherd's pie, thereby extending one meal to two or three.

6. Stir-fry beef and broccoli with cashews
This recipe can be made with whatever cooking vegetables we have on hand (not just broccoli), so it's a great way to get extra veges in our diet. The flavours of the sauce are something special - I think it's the rice wine vinegar that gives it its "Ooh la la" factor.

7. Satay noodles
This is another great recipe for getting lots of vegetables into our diet. It can be made with or without meat. Sometimes I throw in leftover roast chicken for added protein, but it's just as satisfying without.

8. Pad Thai
I've experimented with using lots of different vegetables for this dish, and they all work to some extent, although mung beans are definitely my favourite when we've got them. Now that I've started sprouting my own mung beans, we might be able to have this dish more often.

After looking through the above list again, I think I make them so much because it's possible to cook most of them year round just by changing out the vegetables. Many of the other recipes I've shared are strictly seasonal.

What are your favourite recipes?


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