Persian Chicken Bastilla

Bastilla (also called Pastilla) is a rustic savoury and sweet meat pie originating in Morocco. This version is from a Persian cookbook and is a bit different than other recipes I’ve seen. I’ve adapted the recipe to be more exact and to omit onions and coriander, replacing them with other spices. This dish is flavourful, aromatic and each bite has a mix of textures that is just divine.

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Plant-based Meat Burger

There is a new brand of “plant-based meat” available in Australian Woolworths grocery stores. It’s meant to look and taste just like beef. I bought some and made it into a hamburger in order to test it out. If you want to read up about it, here’s the product website. This post is more of a review/experiment than a recipe, so read more to see I thought when I tried this for the first time.

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4 Ingredient Cheesy Drop Biscuits

Biscuits aren’t biscuits in Australia. In Australia “biscuits” are cookies, and they don’t have anything like American biscuits. In America, biscuits are served instead of bread rolls with some meals. They’re scone-like, hearty, buttery, and are an amazing comfort food. Drop biscuits aren’t kneaded or cut into circle shapes like some biscuits are. They’re by far the simplest type to make, and this recipe goes a step further by even cutting down on the number of ingredients that most recipes have. These are delicious as a side with bbq chicken, roasts, or even for breakfast with eggs. I was looking through recipes for these and wondering why they had so many ingredients. I gave it a try with just the basics and it’s better than anything else I’ve tried!

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Baked Pasta Alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)

Pasta Alla Norma is one of Sicily’s most iconic dishes – a fresh tasting combination of pasta, crushed tomato, garlic, eggplant, basil and cheese. Pasta Alla Norma translates wonderfully to being a baked dish and tastes even better the next day. If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll love this (and it’s lighter, too)! I’ve also included steps for the one true way to keep eggplant from getting bitter, and also a recipe for my own simple Italian pasta sauce. The key to a fresh tasting pasta recipe is to keep it simple and make things from scratch. It’s worth it!

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Coffee Banana Oat Muffins

Coffee and banana seem like an unlikely combination, but the flavors complement each other incredibly well. Simply leave out the coffee if you’re not a fan, but it adds a nice additional flavor that isn’t too strong. These muffins are simultaneously fluffy and also hearty due to the oats and make a great portable breakfast. With 265 calories for a big muffin (or 198 for a smaller one), they’re not incredibly unhealthy either. Everyone wins!

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15 Minute Spinach Dip

This dip is truly addictive. I made it for New Years Eve last night and the only detractors were the people who were upset that they couldn’t stop eating it. It is remarkably simple to make, and with a few healthier shortcuts, isn’t quite as unhealthy as some of the other dips out there! A fresh taste, fast preparation, and ingredients that won’t break the bank – you can’t ask for much more than that! It can be served with sliced cucumbers, wheat crackers, or even in a bread bowl or with sliced sourdough.

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Shortbread Buttons

Christmas cookies are not really a tradition in Australia (nor is use of the term “cookie”), but they do make shortbread here, so why not combine 2 traditions? With only 6 ingredients and one bowl, these are so remarkably simple to make and there’s barely any washing up to do! The whole recipe, from start to finish, will take you all of 20 minutes. I halved the recipe for our small household, but have posted the version that makes 2 batches. Enjoy!

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Geordie’s Banana Bread

I had been scouring the internet for an easy recipe to make banana bread, and my friend Geordie came to the rescue. I’ve had this recipe for a while but finally got around to photographing it, so here is a no fail, easy and delicious recipe for banana bread. It’s not too heavy, not too sweet, and great toasted with a slathering of butter. I use this recipe to make muffins (makes 8 cupcake sized muffins) and they’re great for a quick breakfast on the run.

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