Monday 27 October 2014

Piri Piri Grilled Chicken

Serves 4

Piri Piri is a traditional portuguese chilli sauce which has become very popular and is now widely commercial available. But you can't go past homemade, and it is seriously easy to make. It marries well with chicken but you could also marinade or drizzle over grilled prawns or pork. Ideally, marinade your meat in the sauce overnight for the best flavour, but a couple of hours in the fridge will also do the job.

What's in it?

600g chicken breast

Piri Piri Sauce
1/2 red onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 large red chillies, including seeds, roughly chopped
1tbs smoked paprika
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 a lemon
2tbs white wine vinegar
freshly ground salt and black paper
Bunch of basil, leaves only
125mL water

How do I make it?

1. To make sauce, add onion and garlic to mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Add all remaining sauce ingredients and blend for 1min / speed 9.

2. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of clingwrap or baking paper and pound with a meat tenderiser until around 2cm thick. Place in bowl with about 1/3cup of the piri piri sauce and allow to marinade in fridge for at least 2 hours (but preferably overnight).

3. Grill marinated chicken on a BBQ (preferably) or cook on each side in a non-stick frypan sprayed with olive oil for around 4-5mins each side. Slice to serve. 

4 ProPoints per serve. 


We always served our piri piri chicken with a simple green salad and baked cherry tomatoes. To serve as pictured, you will need 250g truss cherry tomatoes, about 3 cups of rocket and/or spinach, 1 avocado (sliced) and 1/2 a red onion (finely sliced). Cook the tomatoes in a 180°C oven for around 30mins to release their sweetness.

Friday 24 October 2014

Mango Yoghurt Popsicles

Makes 6

This is a fun summer treat. Made with only 2 ingredients, it really couldn't get any simpler and making your own is not only cheaper but avoids the addition of nasty artificial flavours and colours found in most commercially available icypoles. Make sure you use full fat greek yoghurt in these to ensure a creamy texture. 

What's in them?

250g greek vanilla yoghurt
Flesh of 3 mangoes or 6 canned mango cheeks

How do I make them?

Place the ingredients in the mixing bowl and blend for 20sec / speed 4. Divide mix evenly between 6 popsicles moulds and freeze for at least 6 hours. 

1 ProPoint per serve. 

Monday 20 October 2014

Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

This is a beautiful alternative to porridge for summer. But we don't just have it for breakfast; it's great as a snack too. You need to think about it in advance as the oats need to be soaked overnight, but that makes it so easy to put together using your thermomix in the morning. If you need to feed more, or want some leftover for snacks or breakfast for the next day or so, double or triple the recipe. 

You can serve it with any fruit you like; we tend to have fresh berries when they are cheap and available and stone fruits when in season.

What's in it?

80g rolled oats
250g skim milk 
250g creamy greek vanilla yoghurt
20g cranberries (craisins)
20g pistachios
2 spples, cored and quartered
Berries, peaches, nectaries or other chopped fruit, to serve

How do I make it?

1. Soak the oats and cranberries in the milk and yoghurt overnight. 

2. In the morning, place the pistachios in the mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 8. Add them to the oats.

3. Place the apples in the mixing bowl and chop for 2sec / speed 5. Add them to the oat mixture and combine everything. 

4. Serve topped with berries, chopped peaches and nectarines or any other fruit you desire. 

10 ProPoints per serve.


You can drizzle some honey on this if you wish (as pictured), but I prefer it without as I find that the yoghurt and fruit makes it sweet enough. 

Crunchy Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Fetta

Serves 6 as a Side

A crunchy refreshing salad, perfect for warmer weather. This recipe is derived somewhat from the beetroot salad recipe in the EDC, but the spinach, nuts and fetta included in my version gives it more flavour and some different textures. 

What's in it? 

40g walnuts
200g carrot, peeled and roughly chopped into 3-4 pieces per carrot
200g fresh beetroot, peeled and quartered
1 large apple, cored and quartered
1/4 red onion
2-3 springs coriander
10g olive oil
10g lemon juice
150g soft fetta, crumbled
150g baby spinach leaves

How do I make it?

1. Place walnuts in mixing bowl and chop for 2sec / reverse / speed 5. Set aside. 

2. Place all other ingredients in bowl except spinach and fetta and chop for 2sec / speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl and then chop for a further 2sec / speed 5. 

3. Add chopped vegetables to walnuts and toss with spinach and crumbled fetta. 

4 ProPoints per serve. 

Saturday 18 October 2014

Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscuits

Makes 12

This recipe for a crunchy cookie will quickly become a family favourite. You can substitute the cranberries for any dried fruit, but cranberries are lower in sugar than a lot of dried fruits and work really well together with white chocolate. 

What's in it?

85g unsalted butter
60g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g plain flour
30g rolled oats
50g dried cranberries (craisins)
60g white chocolate melts, roughly chopped

How do I make it?

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Melt butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste for 2mins / 60°C / speed 2.

3. Add all remaining ingredients and mix 10sec / reverse / speed 4.

4. Roll small spoonfuls of mixture into balls, place onto baking trays lined with baking paper and flatten slightly with a fork, leaving space between each one for spreading during baking. 

5. Bake approximately 18 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on trays until they have become more firm, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container. 

4 ProPoints per cookie.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

'Fried' Brown Rice with Prawns

Serves 6 

I was excited about how good this dish turned out and my husband and kids loved it!! This a super healthy version of one of a favourite Chinese takeaway and makes a huge batch. I used brown rice because I much prefer it to white rice. I love its nutty earthy flavour. You could easily make this with long grain white rice instead, but once you swap to eating brown rice you won't go back. 

This dish is also a great way to get some use out of your Varoma basket if you feel you are not using it to its full potential. 

What's in it?

300g brown rice
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
125g bacon, fat trimmed and roughly chopped
20g sesame oil 
400g peeled deveined prawns
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into 3-4 pieces 
100g mushrooms
100g frozen peas
100g frozen or canned corn kernels 
3 eggs, lightly beaten with salt and pepper to taste
2tbs kecap manis
1tbs oyster sauce 

How do I make it?

1. Place prawns on base of varoma basket. 

2. Put carrots in mixing bowl and chop for 4sec  / speed 5. Add mushrooms and chop a further 3sec / speed 3. Spread carrots and mushrooms evenly on top of prawns in varoma basket then top with peas and corn. 

3. Place onion and garlic in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Add bacon and chop a further 2sec / speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl, add sesame oil and saute for 5min / 120°C (TM5) or Varoma (TM31) / reverse / speed 1. When finished, spread evenly over vegetables in varoma tray. 

4. Pour 1.2L of water into mixing bowl. Place rice in steamer basket and place in mixing bowl over water. Cook rice for 40min / varoma / speed 4. 

5. While rice is cooking, wet and scrunch a large piece of baking paper and lay on the varoma tray. Pour beaten egg on top of the baking paper. 

6. Place varoma basket (not including egg) on top of mixing bowl for the last 15 minutes of the rice cooking time. Insert the varoma tray with the eggs for the last 5 minutes of cooking time to cook the omlette. 

7. When finished, remove varoma basket with varoma lid underneath to prevent drips. Remove steamer basket and add rice to the varoma basket with the prawns, vegetables and bacon/onion mixture. Slice omlette into 2-3cm square pieces and add to everything else. Drizzle over sauces and mix everything together well. Serve piping hot. 

10 ProPoints per serve. 


If using white rice instead, reduce the amount of water to 1L, cook for 20 minutes instead and place the varoma basket on top of the mixing bowl at the start of cooking, adding the varoma tray with the eggs for the last 5 minutes. 

Monday 13 October 2014

Warm French Mustard Bean Salad

Serves 4 as a side dish

This bean salad is dressed in a tangy mustard dressing and is a perfect side to beef, chicken or lamb. This time around, we served ours next to a marinated lemon and olive chicken breast. 

What's in it?

350g green beans, stalk ends trimmed
1 shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
40g dijon mustard
20g white wine vinegar
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
25g olive oil

How do I make it?

1. Place beans in varoma tray and set aside.

2. Place shallot and garlic in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Add dijon mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper and mix for 10sec / speed 4. Gradually add oil with blade turning at speed 4. Set dressing aside in thermosever or a large bowl. 

3. Add 1L of water (there is no need to wash the bowl first) to mixing bowl and bring to the boil for 8min / varoma / speed 2. Put varoma in place and steam beans for 7min / varoma / speed 2. 

4. Place beans in thermoserver or bowl with dressing and combine.  Serve immediately. 

2 ProPoints per serve. 

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Mini Upside Down Peach Cakes

Makes 4

These little cakes are very light and moist. Simple enough to make for the kids for afternoon tea, but beautiful enough for a post dinner dessert. 

What's in it?

400g tinned peaches in natural juice, drained
40g unsalted butter, cubed
60g caster sugar
90g reduced fat buttermilk
1 egg
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste
100g self-raising flour

How do I make them?

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (electric) or 180°C (fan-forced).  Lightly spray four 1 cup ramekins or moulds with oil. Line bases with cut baking paper. Arrange 2 to 3 peach slices on base of moulds. 

2. Place remaining peaches in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 5. Set aside. 

3. Place butter in mixing bowl and melt for 1min / 60°C / speed 1. Add sugar, buttermilk, egg and vanilla bean paste and mix for 20sec / speed 4. 

4. Add flour and reserved peaches and mix for 10sec / reverse / speed 3. Scrape down sides of bowl and then mix for a further 10sec / reverse / speed 3. 

5. Spoon batter evenly into moulds and smooth top. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. 

6. Run a knife around the edge of each mould to loosen each cake, then turn out onto serving plates.  Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, alongside a dollop of thick vanilla yoghurt or icecream. 

6 ProPoints per serve. 


Any type of tinned or fresh fruit could be substituted for tinned peaches in this recipes. Try halved strawberries, tinned apricots or sliced mango. 

Sunday 5 October 2014

Balsamic Onion Jam

Fills a medium sized condiment jar

It's not pretty but it tastes incredible. Dark, tangy, sticky and sweet.  

My favourite way to eat this onion jam is spread, on its own, on a piece of sourdough bread. Nothing more is needed, but it's also brilliant with crackers and a vintage cheddar cheese or in a grilled cheese sandwich.  Tonight, I heaped it generously on a steak sandwich.  Grilled sourdough bread, a BBQ'd scotch fillet and some greens, made special with the addition of this tasty condiment.

What's in it?  

4 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
10g olive oil
60g balsamic vinegar
25g brown sugar
freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste

How do I make it?  

1. Pour oil into mixing bowl and heat 2min / 115°C (TM5) or Varoma (TM31) / speed 1. 

2. Add onions and balsamic vinegar and cook for 30min / 115°C (TM5) or varoma (TM31) / reverse / speed 2 with MC removed to allow steam to escape and the liquid to evaporate. 

3. Add sugar and salt and pepper and cook a further 5min / 115°C (TM5) or varoma (TM31) / reverse / speed 2 with MC removed. 

4. Allow to cool then spoon into an airtight container.  Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

5 ProPoints for entire recipe.

Saturday 4 October 2014

A review of the TM5 and a note about My Kitchen Thermomix recipes and the TM31

Up until last week, I was the proud owner of a TM31, which served me well every day for 18 months. But when the news hit that a new model had been released (the TM31 having first been released in 2007), I couldn't help myself. Within a day, I had decided to upgrade and, within 2 days, had advertised and sold my beloved TM31 so that I could justify the expense of the upgrade.

So how different are the two machines?

The biggest differences relate to the operating system, rather than the design of the primary components. TM31 and TM5 perform exactly the same functions and should produce identical results for most things. The blade is the same, as is the bowl albeit 10% larger (which doesn't sound like much, but it certainly looks bigger to the naked eye). The TM31, although now superseded, remains a technologically ingenuis kitchen appliance. But, as you must expect, the TM5 is a new model and necessarily incorporates new and more advanced features.  

Most obviously, the new TM5 features a colour touchscreen and recipe chip technology including guided and automated recipes. Recipes on the recipe chip can be accessed and scrolled through using the touch screen. 
The programmed recipes are a definite time saver as a result of not having to constantly refer to a hard copy recipe book. 

A single dial now controls temperature, speed and time. I have found this surprisingly easy to use and control (and perhaps even slightly quicker) compared to the manual buttons on the TM31 for each function.

The TM5 is definitely quieter when performing most functions but chopping ice, cheese and nuts is still as loud as with the TM31.

The automated cooking function is a nice touch. All you have to do is select the automated recipe you want, put the ingredients in the bowl and the machine does the rest. At the moment, the only automated recipes included are custard, rice and yoghurt. I have made all 3 and they have worked well. I imagine that Thermomix will ultimately include other automated recipes on the TM5. One downside of upgrading to the new TM5 early is that it does not seem that any mechanism has been included to enable newly released automated recipes to be downloaded to already purchased TM5s.

The design of the butterfly has changed significantly and the changes must make a difference because everyone keeps raving about how fluffy their egg whites are with the TM5. The other big design change that has been made is to the lid.  The lid seal is now built in (and it is easy to clean around it) so there is no longer any need to remove the seal, clean and reinsert before using the lid again. The lid also locks in place after you turn the dial for speed so it does not need to be manually locked.

The design of the MC has also changed and, in my view, has decreased its functionality. With the TM31, I used the MC to scrape ingredients off the lid into the mixing bowl. With the newly designed MC, that is difficult to do. 

Overall, I am happy I upgraded. So far, the only downsides I have identified relate to the new design of the MC and that it seems unlikely that automated recipes released in the future will be made available to existing TM5 owners. For me, the technological advances make up for these, relatively minor, issues.

Finally, a note about the recipes on this site.  Up until this point, all recipes published on this site were developed using a TM31. There will be absolutely no issues following the steps in these recipes using a TM5. But, now that I am developing recipes using a TM5, a couple of things need to be borne in mind by TM31 owners.

Firstly, the new TM5 has the ability to increase temperature increments by 5° whereas the TM31 can only increase increments by 10°. Temperature settings will need to be rounded up or down on the TM31 when referring to recipes designed for the TM5 using a 5° temperature increment. 

Secondly, the Varoma setting on the new TM31 is the highest temperature setting (set at a steady 115°) whereas Varoma temperature setting on the TM5 is designed to vary between 100° and 120° so as to produce a constant stream of steam.  On the TM5, the Varoma setting is intended to be used only for steam cooking and reducing water based liquids.  For sauteing, it is recommended that the new 120° temperature setting be used on the TM5.  As a result, in new recipes published on this site, I will identify which temperature setting should be used when steaming or sauteing depending upon whether the unit you are using is the TM31 or TM5.

Happy cooking!

Spiced Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup

Serves 4

Everyone I have ever fed this soup to has raved about it, and for good reason. There are so many things to love about it. It can be made with ingredients that you likely have on hand, the flavours are intense but it takes less than 20 minutes to make, its healthy and hearty and, with a loaf of good bread, it's a complete and satisfying meal. Enjoy!

What's in it?

Small handful of coriander leaves
2tsp cumin seeds
pinch of chilli flakes
1 onion, peeled and halved
20g olive oil 
140g dry red lentils
850g preservative free liquid vegetable stock 
400g canned diced tomatoes
200g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

How do I make it?

1. Place coriander in mixing bowl and chop for 5sec / speed 5.  Set aside.

2. Without cleaning bowl, place cumin seeds and chilli flakes in mixing bowl and roast for 2min / varoma / speed 3. 

3. Add onion and chop for 3sec / speed 7.  Scrape down sides of bowl, then add oil and saute for 3min / varoma / speed 1. 

4. Add lentils, stock and tomatoes to mixing bowl and cook for 15min / 100°C / speed 1.  

5. Blend for 1min / speed 8, increasing speed gradually from 1 to 8. Once blended, add chickpeas and heat for 1min / 100°C / reverse / speed 1. 

6. Serve sprinkled with coriander and freshly ground black pepper with some crusty sourdough bread.

5 ProPoints per serve.


Suitable to freeze. 

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Balsamic Chorizo and Rocket Fettucine

Serves 4

This uncomplicated traditional Italian fettucine is one of my favourite pasta dishes. It has a strong bitey flavour from the chorizo, vinegar and olives and can be thrown together quickly with pantry staples in around 25 minutes.

What's in it?

300g fresh (or 250g dried) fettucine
1 red onion, halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
10g olive oil
150g chorizo, thinly sliced
Small handful basil leaves, shredded
2tbs tomato paste
Pinch dried chilli flakes
400g canned diced tomatoes
20g balsamic vinegar
100g button mushrooms, sliced
100g kalamata olives, packed in water and drained
3 cups rocket

How do I make it?

1. Heat a large pot of salted water on your stove top. Cook fettucine until al dente, then drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place onion and garlic in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl.

3. Add olive oil and chorizo and saute for 10min / varoma / reverse / speed 1.

4. Add basil, tomato paste, chilli flakes, tomatoes, vinegar and mushrooms and cook for 10min / 100°C / reverse / speed 1.

5. Finally, add cooked pasta and olives and cook for a further 5min / 100°C / reverse / speed 1. Serve topped with fresh rocket.

12 ProPoints per serve.