Tag Archives: fast

From my Garden to my Table – Chorizo, Silverbeet and Quinoa Pilaf

11 Jan chorizo, silverbeet and quinoa pilaf

chorizo, silverbeet and quinoa pilaf ingredients Let me just state for the record, my thumb is by no means green. Generally I’d put it closer to the brown spectrum.

You could be forgiven for assuming that I have an epically green thumb. This recipe includes not one, not two, but three things I grew myself in the garden.

Firstly, my silverbeet is actually quite bushy. Not quite as hectic as say, my bikini line mid-winter, but it certainly has a lushness to it that I don’t deserve (spinach, not ‘kini line).

My basil is just coming into its own. For once the arsehole caterpillars haven’t ravaged the shit out of it before I can enjoy it’s pungent fresh Italian-ness…. but I reckon it’s just a matter of time. I lovingly check it, like a child’s hair with nits, but those suckers are the exact same shade of green and not easy to catch until they’re big and fat and full of my basil.

My truss tomatoes have been prolific. One child loves them and the other bites and spits it out after the initial explosion in her mouth so I often step bare foot on half chewed, slightly rotten tomatoes but I’m down with that. It’s all the name of the game.

You see, I grew the vege patch in the first place to show my kids where food comes from. As for what happens next, I’m not totally fussed.

I am a 100% bonafide seat o’my pants gardener. I buy a seedling (did seeds once. Fail), stick it in the ground; which in my defence I will toil and mulch and mix with stenchy cow and horse produce that I don’t like to consider too much; and then I water it until something happens.

Or not.

garden 15Let’s say I’m hit and miss.

My beets were like testicles. My lettuces became trees. My garlic was minuscule, if pungent and my recent fennel and beetroot seedlings appear to have, well, disappeared.

And I’m down wit dat.

However, sometimes, my poo brown thumb is a little closer to khaki and we actually get to eat something. This meal is a fine example of gardening success.

Yield – 2 to 3, but it’s easy to double.

What you will need : 

  • 1.5 fresh chorizo sausages per person
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 bunch of silver beet, stalks removed and chopped
  • 1/2 a spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 10 olives, squished to deseed and halved
  • 1 whole roasted marinated red capsicum, seed it and chop it
  • a good handful of basil, chopped
  • a generous glug of balsamic vinegar
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • fetta, for serving

What you will need to do :

Pop your quinoa on the stove to cook. Remember to put 3:1 water to quinoa on a low heat with a lid.

Pull the chorizo meat out of the skins in little chunks and chuck into a dry frypan on medium high heat. I like to render out the fat to cook the rest of my stuff in, but today’s sausos were actually quite dry. Add a little oil if you need.

When they’re almost cooked, toss in your onions and move it all around so the flavours marry nicely.

Add your halved cherry tomatoes, and leave them for 5-7 minutes until they start to break down a little.

Throw your spinach in, stir it around. Add your balsamic and keep it all moving until spinach is all nice and wilted.

Bash your olives to get the seed out, chop them lightly and add them. Throw in the capsicum, add your cannellini beans and basil.

Season generously.

Add your quinoa , toss it all together ensuring it’s all beautifully combined and serve.

Sprinkle with crumbled fetta and a good squeeze of lemon.

I also like tabasco…. cos I’m a hot tamale.

chorizo, silverbeet and quinoa pilaf


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

A Dream Come True – Healthy Choc Chip Biscuits

2 May choc chip biscuits yum

Everyone loves a choc chip bikkie, or cookie, or whatever you want to call it.

Tragically, the supermarket ones are super loaded with fat and sugar (which is why they’re yummy) so it’s hard to justifiably eat many…..not so with these little darlings.

If you want a biscuit with absolutely no fat or sugar, eat some cardboard, or better still, an apple, but if you want a healthy version of this yummy treat, look no further.

These are low GI, high fibre, a little dried fruit and a little dark chocolate.

As we all know, dark chocolate is an antioxidant and helps to release happy hormones. So, use a little in the biscuits for your kids and eat the rest of the block for an afternoon buzz.

Or just cut to the chase and eat these with a glass of wine.

I often find ‘healthy’ treats taste like tricked up horse food and leave me wishing I’d just reached for the damn Tim Tam in the first place…..alas, no so with these.
These actually hit the biscuit spot. The trick is half/half wholemeal and plain flour.

Not too chaffy!

If you don’t have self-raising, remember it’s just 2 teaspoon baking powder to 1 cup flour.

If you think you don’t have time for this, trust me, you do. 5 minutes mixing, 10 minutes resting (cup of tea???) and 15 minutes in the oven. Badda boom, you got yo’self some healthy choc chip biscuits.

Yeild – 18 biscuits

You will need – 

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain SR flour
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (use desiccated if it’s what you have)
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • finely grated rind of half an orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 50g 70% Dark Chocolate

healthy choc chip cookies

Put oven onto 170C fan forced (180C if not).
Mix your dry ingredients into a bowl. Into a sperate bowl place all of your wet ingredients and stir well.
Add to dry ingredients and leave it to infuse and rest for ten or so minutes.
Using a tablespoon and moist hands roll into 18 balls and place onto a tray lined with baking paper.
They will spread so give your babies some room. Gently press them with the back of the spoon (I use my thumb, usually well licked. Don’t share my biscuits if it bothers you). Pop them into the oven for 15 mins or until golden.

biscuit boy

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5 Ingredients, 5 Minutes – Hello, Lime Pie

23 Apr lime pie larger

I had two dinner parties this weekend. There was a moment, naturally, where I thought I was completely insane, but I must admit one of them we all agreed that Thai takeaway was the call of the day. I thought the very least I could do was whip up a little dessert.

Now, I do love me some dessert. I make my own ice-cream when the flavour begs to be created (I do like some wacky ones – liquorice ice-cream anyone? It was awesome!), and I’m also fond of a creme caramel and I dream of whipping up a soufflé, but just at this stage of my pregnancy, I wanted something EASY. Easy peasy, in fact. I called my Mama, my ‘Go-To Gal’, and posed the question. Delicious, fail safe, fast and simple….with not a second’s hesitation she replied ‘Lime Pie. 5 ingredients, 5 minutes. Any idiot can do it’.

Not sure what she meant by that, by I chose to let it slide in my haste for her to get off the phone and text me the necessary ingredients.

Everyone who’s lips this little, no cook, beauty touched this weekend asked if I would be blogging about it, so I figure it’s only fair to share. This is not low fat, no Siree Bob. Not one for the calorifically shy, but it certainly promised everything my Mum said it would. This idiot had no problem at all and done in time to put my feet up and have a cup of tea!

5 minutes, gang. No word of a lie….your time starts now.

Yield : Enough tarty goodness for 8 piggy sized serves (i.e. big enough for me to stretch to both nights – WIN!)

You will need :

  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 can condensed milk (oink)
  • 150g gingernut biscuits (wizzed in the processor to a fine crumb)
  • 85g melted butter

Stir your butter in with your ginger nut crumb and mix well. Press firmly into a pie dish, or tart dish. I used a ‘pop base’ quiche tin. You could use springform too.

In a bowl, beat condensed milk and lime juice until well combined. Add cream and stir through lime zest. Give it a beat for a minute, but it will not thicken at this stage. Somehow the lime thickens it in the fridge. Pour into prepared base and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. I popped a little extra zest and a lime round on it to pretty it up, but that’s up to you.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr


Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.


If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.


To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now.


If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Zesty Baked Chicken Rissoles with Mozzarella

16 Apr rissoles, love 2

Recipes fly back and forth in my family. If someone finds something interesting we email each other, and even send photocopies – old fashioned style – through the mail. I have a big pink folder with tried and true recipes handed down from my family and friends. It’s a faithful ‘go to’ when I’m in need of inspiration. This one was an email from my Mama, to my Nana, with me as a cc. I’m still happy being an afterthought.

My Mama is one of those cooks who is as comfortable tackling a three course meal as she is a weeknight quicky. As the aim of this blog is fast and fabulous, at least for the present moment, so I won’t try to dazzle you with any of her doozies just yet (it’ll come, my pretties, we’re just getting to know each other), but this little recipe is super fast, and easy, and again suitable for little and big munchkins alike. It’s not fancy, but it’s tasty, and it’s healthy.

These zesty, cheesy little morsels are paired perfectly with pasta, or rice, but polenta is having a resurgence in my house, so I make a batch of creamy, delicious wet polenta. I always make sure to have left-over polenta because twice cooked polenta (read : polenta chips, mmmmmmmm) are delicious. These rissoles work equally well with turkey mince if you want to extra lean, but they’re also yummy with lamb mince if you want to go in a slightly different direction. You can add dried mixed Italian herbs to the lamb for a more robust herb aroma.

If you don’t have mozzarella just sprinkle with cheddar but the stringy, gooeyness of mozzarella takes this to a different realm for me. Again, I’m a little modest in my cheese usage for fat reasons but you can go nuts with it if you want to. I also struggle not to sneak in a little vegetable here and there, particularly if I’m feeding it to D Man who’s not yet au fait with ensalada (ha, French and Spanish, I’m obviously a linguistical genius. So tempted to remove this but it’s is how my brain works). These work well with a little carrot finely grated or zucchini. They’re both fairly innocuous and undetectable by the naked eye when smothered in tomatoey, cheesy, deliciousness.

Yeild : 10 rissoles

You will need :

  •  500g chicken mince
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 bread crumbs (make your own if you can, it does make a difference, but if you can’t be arsed, it doesn’t make that much difference!)
  •  plain flour for coating
  • 700ml jar passata (If you want to make your own, throw some onion and garlic into a pan and add some crushed tomatoes and Italian herbs – it’s totally worth the effort, but we’re keeping it simple this evening, because we’re tired and our back hurts)
  • mozzarella (1 cup grated, but I used slices)

Preheat oven to 180c.

Throw into a bowl your mince, breadcrumbs, parmesan and basil. Add lemon juice and zest, crack your egg in and get your hands in there to give it a good ol’ mix. Take your wedding rings off as rissoles in your filigree ain’t pretty. Shape into about 10 rissoles and coat very lightly with your flour. Heat oil in a large frypan and over a moderate heat and lightly sear rissoles on both sides before transferring to over proof dish. Pour over your passata, top with mozzarella and bake in the over until golden and bubbly and yummy. Serve with your pasta or polenta and a big salad.

‘Wow, what do you call these, love?’


Never gets old.




Treat ‘Em Green…..5 Minute Pesto

25 Mar pesto bowl

So, for the record – I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I don’t propose to be Neil Perry or Kylie Kwong. What I am endeavouring to do is give food inspiration to busy and tired people. Healthy, tasty, quick. That’s the key.

Let me preface this recipe by saying I love pesto.

I don’t love it because it’s versatile, and can be stirred through mayo to dress a salad or smear on a sandwich, and I don’t love it because it keeps nicely when refrigerated or frozen. I love it because D Man loves it and it takes 5 minutes to prepare. By the time the water for the pasta has boiled my pesto is ready and we’re good to dine, in a messy green fashion. This can be dolloped onto grilled fish or chicken, or stirred through freshly boiled potatoes with a squeeze of lemon. Basically, take what’s in the fridge and fancy it up with green stuff. Works on kids and husbands.

Traditionally, pesto is basil with a few other bits thrown in for excitement, but I’ve discovered that with enough basil and parmesan you can disguise most green vegetables so it’s a brilliant way to get in some sneaky veg. Raw food is incredibly important for the human body so I often don’t bother cooking what I blitz, although if you wanted to blanch quickly, that works too. If you’re all freaky on wheat there are many alternatives available at the supermarket these days – quinoa, rice and corn is a great combo that has fabulous nutritional qualities. D Man can spot it, however, at 20 paces and gives me the Mafioso stare down if I try to feed it to him…..that said, I can do a sneaky half and half if he’s not watching. Cooking times are different though so beware of the crunchy penne dilemma and be sure to read cooking instructions.

Now, I’m writing this as a toddler meal, but on busy weeknights I’ve most certainly been known to buy some good quality spinach and ricotta ravioli and crisp up some pancetta and serve this to us tall people for dinner. It’s seriously so fast and easy….and most importantly, yummy.

NOTE : If basil is too expensive or strong tasting for your bub, you can substitute parsley. The added bonus of this is a monster iron hit, too.

Time : 5 minutes

Yeild : 4 toddler serves or 2 adult and 1 toddler serve

Can be frozen in portions in freezer for a couple of weeks. Then it’s even easier than easy!

  • 2 big handfuls fresh, yummy basil
  • 1 handful or rocket or baby spinach
  • 50g good quality parmesan
  • 30g nuts – pine nuts, almonds and walnuts work for me
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Small handful of choice of veg – sugar snap peas, broccoli, zucchini combo
  • 90ml good olive oil
  • Penne to serve

Place all ingredients into a mini food processor, or blender or container to blitz with hand held Kitchen Wizz thing. Basically, smoosh it all together until it forms a paste. You want it to be luscious, not gluggy so add a little water, if needed, until it’s like a thick sauce.

Meanwhile, boil your pasta. At the last minute I also throw into my pasta water some cubed carrots and cauliflower as this gets devoured when green.

Drain pasta, add a couple of spoons of pesto and serve. You can also add tinned tuna, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes or whatever you have for variety on the theme.


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