A bright green, tender crisp green bean can be perfection on a plate when cooked properly. They’re in season right now so you can pick up a big bag of bargain beans for your dinner. Never know how to get them to their eating sweet spot? Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook green beans plus some delicious recipes to try them in.How to trim green beans
It’s easy to nail the prep of green beans. Simply give them a rinse, line up a small handful on your chopping board, preferably stems all facing the same way, and chop off about 1cm. You can trim both ends if you like but as long as the harder woody tip has been cut off, you’re good to go.
You can also get your kids involved. Give them a pile of beans, and get them snapping off the ends. If you’re lucky, they might even nibble on a few of them while they’re helping!How to cook green beans
• Boil: Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green. To stop them from cooking too much and the green turning dull, quickly add them to a bowl of iced water.
• Steam: If you’re more comfortable using a steamer then the blanching method, this is a great way to get a similar bright green result. You may just need to steam the green beans for a about 5-6 minutes for the right consistency.
• Microwave: Place trimmed beans in a microwave-safe bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water to cover the base of the bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or a plate and microwave on High for about 4-6 minutes.Now that you know how to cook them, here are some dinner recipes to try now.
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Aussie summers and stone fruit such as juicy plums go hand in sticky hand. The sweet flavours of these gorgeous stone fruits aren’t just incredible when eaten fresh from the fridge, they also shine through when cooked. Here what you need to know about how to store and cook plums.
It’s often the cooking process that intensifies the sweet, aromatic flavours in the fruit. So if your looking for inspiration around the sunny season, look no further than your fruit bowl.How to store plums
Choose plums that are blemish free and are firm and shiny. Once you get them home, if they are underripe, store at room temperature in a paper bag. This will help to ripen them. If they are ripe, keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to 5 days depending on ripeness.How to cook plums
We have three top ways to cook and prepare your plums.1. Grilled
Grilling stone fruit such as plums, creates a smoky caramelised sensation like no other. Either on the bbq or using a pan, stone fruit is best grilled over a moderate heat.2. Poached
Poaching intensifies plum’s subtle sweetness, softening it’s flesh just enough to soak up the aromatic flavours in which it has been bathed. From vanilla, to cinnamon and even white wine, the flavour combinations are endless.3. Roasted
Roasting is an easy and fuss-free way to bring the perfumed flavours of plums to another level. It is also a great way to make the most out of fruit that is slightly underripe.Health benefits of plums
As with other purplish fruit and veg, the deep skin and flesh colour of plums points to the fact that it contains anthocyanin. That antioxidant powerhouse. Plums are also high in other antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre.
Now that we’ve whet your appetite, here are some recipes that make plums shine.
Healthy Plum Slice – Australian Summerfruit
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Also known as Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year plays a colourful and important part in the Australian calendar. Join in the celebrations with a recipe that’s steeped in tradition like these tea eggs.Chinese New Year Food
Chinese New Year is celebrated this year from the 5th February to the 19th with a festival of food, fireworks and fabulous traditions.
It begins with a New Year’s Eve dinner with family. The dishes served are believed to promote health, wealth and happiness.
Each region will have it’s own traditional dishes but there are some common ones such as dumplings, spring rolls, noodles and especially rice or moon cakes.Tea Eggs with Noodles Recipe
Tea eggs are as steeped in tradition as they are in tea. They are thought to bring fertility, health and prosperity during Chinese New Year. They get their striking marbled effect when boiled, slightly cracked then steeped in brewed black tea.
This feature contains a mix of content from myfoodbook third party content partners and our own opinions.
School’s going back, work is hotting up and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. Keep the relaxed summer vibe going with easy back-to-work dinners.
Simple salads, satisfying pastas and fast frittatas should be your go-to for family meals. Pizzas are also the perfect remedy for that back-to-school funk.How to make dinnertime easier
• Make sure you have some staples in the cupboard and fridge that can feature across a number of meals, think dried pasta, tomato passata, tinned tomatoes, a bag of baby spinach or mixed leaves, a tub of ricotta, parmesan or shredded cheese
• Get buy in from your kids on what’s on the menu for the next couple of days to stop the “what’s for dinner?” whinge
• Prep vegies on the weekend and keep in an airtight container in the fridge ready to cook with.
• Keep it simple and stick to what you know everyone wants to eat.Easy back-to-work dinners to try now
Easy Four Cheese Spaghetti Carbonara
*DISCLAIMER: Perfect Italiano is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Perfect Italiano and our own opinions. You can find out more about the full range of Perfect Italiano Cheese, here.
They say to make hay while the sun shines and picnics are the perfect way to to this.It’s a relaxed way to catch up with family and friends during summer. Sitting on a rug, sharing great food and letting the kids go free range away from screens.
But nothing can sully sweet memories like a bout of accidental food poisoning, which can occur when foods aren’t stored or transported correctly. Though we may love the heat, cold meats and seafood, don’t. The following guide is a great check-list of tips for the perfect picnic, including ways to prepare, transport and store all your favourite picnic food.Tips for the perfect picnic
Keep it cold: be sure you have ice packs fully frozen before placing into the Esky, and throw a bag or two of ice over sealed containers once the food is packed. This will help to keep the temperature right down throughout the day.
Transport BBQ meat: if barbecuing, keep meat in a sealed container and place at the bottom of the esky to ensure no raw juices run onto other foods and contaminate them.
Prepare ahead: Keep salad dressings in jars separate to the salads to dress on location where possible. And if something is tricky to cut or portion out, consider doing this before leaving home.
Keep flies away: don’t forget to pack a gauze throw over, old table cloth or sheet to lay over the food once set out, to prevent spoilage from the ever-present flies.
Don’t forget water: if you are going to an area with no running water, ensure you take some from home for hand washing and any washing up. Also, bring plenty of chilled drinking water, picnics can be thirsty work.
Leftovers: as a general rule in the interest of food safety, if food has traveled to the picnic in an Esky, it is best to discard any leftovers on your return home.
Picnic recipes to try
Chicken and pork terrine with egg centre
Mornings can be hard. Whether you sweat it out at the gym, or have to do the school run before heading off to work, making lunch is probably pretty low on your priority list.
But this year, why not pack yourself a nourishing lunch in advance and save heaps on money and encourage healthy eating. Your bank balance and waistline will thank you. Win, win!Here are 7 fail-safe tips to pack your lunch like a pro
Keep it simple: your lunch menu doesn’t need to be complicated. Keep it simple and easy so you don’t get overwhelmed and demotivated.
Pack food you actually enjoy: If sandwiches and salads aren’t your thing, then make something you’ll actually look forward to eating. That way you’re less likely to cave in and buy something else.
Stock your workplace with necessary supplies: in addition to packing your lunch, bring in supplies such as salt and pepper, dressing and olive oil. The right condiments can turn a so-so salad into something exceptional.
Set aside Sunday for prep day: if you set aside a little time over the weekend – an hour should do it – you can smash out the prep for a week’s worth of lunches. Taking that time upfront to prep will make bringing your lunch effortless and easy.
Prepare food in bulk and bring it all to the office if possible: there is no escaping your pre made lunch if it’s already in the office. Bring whatever you can prepare in advance and the rest of your ingredients to the office ready for a week of eating.
Get ready the night before: if you can’t take your lunches to the office beforehand, have everything ready the night before so you can grab and go. You might even want to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to grab it from the fridge. Nothing worse than come lunch time thinking about that delicious food sitting lonely at home.
Set specific days of when you will bring your lunch: Mix things up a bit. Let’s face it, some days you might just fancy grabbing sushi or a wrap with a friend. Don’t pressure yourself to do it every day or you’ll get over it quickly.
Need more inspiration, try these delicious lunch ideas.
Make-ahead lunch recipes to try
Avocado and Egg Salad
Avocado and Tuna Pasta Salad
As we creep closer to Australia Day, it’s time to start thinking about what food you’re going make for your guests if you’re hosting, or what bring-a-dish meal you’ll contribute. Because you can’t have an Australia Day party without some classic Aussie meals.
Rest assured you’ll have the ultimate Australia Day spread with these easy and fail-safe recipes. From classic Aussie desserts, simple bites and delicious mains, there is something for everyone.Get ready for Australia Day with these easy recipes
Healthy sausage rolls
What’s more Aussie than a sausage roll? This healthier recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen, which allows for more fun to be had on Australia Day.
Avocado, garlic and cheese pull-apart bread
Wow guests with this tasty avocado, garlic and cheese pull-apart bread. This quick and easy recipe will keep your mates satisfied until the main course.
This classic Aussie burger with the lot – yes, pineapple and beetroot included – is perfect for a backyard barbie.
Classic pavlova with lemon curd and kiwi fruit
What’s an Aussie Day party without a pavlova. Enjoy this easy pavlova recipe topped with green and gold, lemon curd and kiwi fruit.
Treat your friends and family to these no-fuss potato wedges. These delicious bites are an easy party snack or tasty side dish.
Finish off your Australia Day feasting with this gorgeous passionfruit tart. The fresh and flavoursome dessert will certainly be a firm favourite among guests.
Welcome to the home of fun, easy and oh-so tasty treats to make with your kids during the school holidays. Whatever the age and cooking experience, these school holidays baking ideas are sure to please. Plus, most of them are actually no-bake.Make sweet memories
The beauty of all these recipe ideas, such as the Honey Joys, or the Hedgehog Slice, is that they are part of Australian baking nostalgia. So not only are you reviving a memory from your childhood, you’re creating new memories with your kids.School holidays baking ideas
Choose from these fun and easy recipes and get baking now!
Layered Chocolate Crackle Slice
Chocolate Crackle Popcorn
We love it when raspberries are in peak season, like now. There are bright red punnets for days. But apart from popping a few berries into bowl for a sweet and healthy snack, there are some delicious to get more raspberries into your diet.
Read on for some seriously tasty inspiration on how to use up raspberries this summer.Benefits of raspberries
As if you needed convincing to eat more raspberries, here’s are three reasons why these berries are so good for you.
- High in fibre
- Loaded with vitamin C
- High in that wonder antioxidant, anthocyanin
• Keep them in a breathable container – the one you bought them in is perfect.
• Store them in the fridge but not in the crisper drawer.
• Only rinse them when you’re ready to eat them.
• You can freeze fresh berries. Lay them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer, then transfer the frozen berries to a zip-lock bag ready to add to smoothies and desserts.How to use up raspberries
In sweet treats and fruity snacks, raspberries add their signature vibrant flavour. Dive into one of these recipes now.
How to make Yoghurt Bark
New year calls for a refresh of your favourite brekkie ideas. Breakfast is the perfect meal to set you up right for the day and to give you the energy to smash all your daily goals.
Breakfast doesn’t need to be elaborate to be delicious. Think simple ingredients and great flavours. Also an even better way to make the most out of your breakfast time is to make it the night before. This will save you time and stress in the morning rush.
Check out these easy breakfast recipes that will make you feel good and start your day off right.New breakfast ideas to try
Vegetable and ham slice
When we think of capsicums, we think of sun-kissed Mediterranean meals like peperonata, ratatouille and stuffed capsicums. But this fruit, yes, fruit not vegetable, adds its distinct flavour and abundant nutrients to all sorts of dishes. Here’s how to cook with capsicum and some delicious recipes to try this summer.Capsicums for courses
Red capsicums seem to get all the love, however there is a time and place for using green, orange and yellow capsicums. Each colour brings a different flavour and nutrient profile to the table.
• Green capsicums are the immature fruit that if left on the plant would turn yellow, then orange and finally red. They are the most bitter of the capsicum varieties and work better when cooked longer or when combined with the other colours.
• Yellow and orange capsicums are milder and slightly sweeter than the green capsicums and add crunch and colour to salads or are delicious when charred slightly on the barbecue as this brings out their sweetness.
• Red capsicums rule supreme in terms of their all-round flavour. Raw, grilled, stuffed or slow cooked, red capsicums can do no wrong. And let’s not forget the amazing levels of vitamin C and phytonutrients that provide. Get them now at their peak.
Delicious capsicum recipes to try now
Teriyaki Beef Noodles – Passage to Asia
The last thing you want to be doing on a hot day is turn the oven on to cook dinner. The thought of making it hotter sounds pretty awful. It’s very possible that before you have had time to contemplate that thought, your keys are in your hand and you’re off to the local air-conditioned pub for a parmigiana and a cool cider.
Yes, we’ve all been there. Nothing says night off cooking quite like a blistering 40°C Aussie Day. But put down the keys, we’ve got some cool recipes for those hot summer nights.Dinner ideas for when it’s too hot
- Easy cold pasta salads are a great family dinner
- Simple salads with a vegetarian protein, such as chickpeas or lentils
- Think pita breads and flatbreads or wraps
- Serving meals in lettuce cups for a light summer dinner idea
- Cold cuts and fresh seafood, such as already cooked tiger prawns
- Antipasto plates or pick-n-mix plates of dairy, meats and veggie sticks
As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome in the new year, we can also look forward to brand new and exciting flavours and dishes try. What’s going to be the new cauliflower rice or sriracha chilli sauce, and will kombucha still be the go-to ‘soft’ drink? We’ve searched the web to see what’s predicted to be the top food trends to watch in 2019.Top food trends in 2019
Pacific rim-inspired flavours
Flavours from Asia, Oceania and the western coast of South America are set to become even more popular. Items such as guava, dragonfruit, and dried shrimp and shrimp paste are ones to keep an eye out for.
Fermented kimchi and various pickled foods, touted for their gut health benefits, have been on the rise for a while now. However soon probiotics are going to be added to muesli’s, oats and other everyday products.
‘Fat’ products rising
We’ve seen a rise in the keto diet in 2018 which involves eating more ‘fats’. This will continue to grow in 2019 with even more options to integrate fat sources into your diet. Think chicken chips, meat snacks like beef jerky as well as a new wave of ready-to-drink ‘bulletproof’ vegan coffees made with coconut butter or oil.
New healthier frozen treats
Look-out for interesting new ice-cream flavours made with avocado, hummus and tahini.
New-ways with seaweed
Seaweed has been mainstream for quite some time but in 2019 ingredients like seaweed butter and kelp noodles will start to be added to menus and be available in grocers and possibly in supermarkets.
Hemp has been hot topic of late and is now available mainstream to use in cooking as oil and seeds. The hemp product range will only continue to grow.
Faux meat snacks
While plant-based foods have been around for quite some time, it seems that even those who traditionally don’t identify as vegan or vegetarian are now exploring plant-based snacking. This means that items such as veggie jerkies and faux bacon snacks will pop up in groceries stores.
As we know some brands support environment causes and animal welfare, but 2019 will see a growth in more people-focused causes. Such as employing more female farmers, open-hiring polices plus much more.
As we’ve seen our supermarket giants switch from plastic bags to no bags, this momentum will continue to grow with more environmentally conscious initiatives such as eco-friendly packaging of products.
Snacking will apparently take a turn towards upgraded artisanal and healthier version of nostalgic childhood snacks. More snacks will also be geared toward people on the Keto diet.
Bring on 2019!
The apricot is one amazing fruit. This small yellowish-orange flesh fruit with a thin skin and soft flesh is both sweet and tart tasting, plus it packs a punch when it comes to its nutritional benefits. Don’t let its small size fool you. Read on to find out the many reasons to eat more apricots.
These little delights make for a wonderful addition to desserts, jams, dressings, salads and plenty of savoury dishes.Here are 5 reasons to eat more apricots
- Just 100 grams of apricot will give you 12% of vitamins A and C and 6% of potassium that you need daily.
- Apricots are great for digestive health. They’re full of fibre to break down fatty acids and enhance digestion.
- With their high levels of vitamin A and E, apricots are great for improving both skin and hair health.
- Apricots have considerable amounts of minerals needed for healthy bones. Such as calcium, manganese, phosphorus, copper and iron.
- Apricots can boost immunity. Full of antioxidants such as vitamin C, apricots may help to build a strong immune system and reduce the impact of summer colds.
Now you can see how powerful these little fruits can be, it’s time to get cooking.Ways to eat Apricots
Classic apricot chicken
Christmas day is sorted. Tick. Leftovers have all been eaten. Tick. It’s now time to get ready to party like it’s 2018! And we’re here to help with these crowd-pleasing last-minute appetisers for New Year’s Eve.New Year’s Eve your way
Whether you’ve got plans for a big NYE party, a quiet gathering of close friends, or a picnic at a local firework vantage point, you need some quick and easy finger food recipes to graze on. And maybe a cheeky cocktail or two to see you into the new year.
These last-minute appetisers that we’ve chosen for you are simple to make at the last minute and will make any celebration taste better. Choose from everyone’s favourite mini sausage rolls, fresh finger food in the form of watermelon bites or a vegetarian’s delight of mushroom fries.
New Year’s Eve is all about celebrating the old and welcoming in the new. And these recipes will help you do just that.
Happy New Year! from myfoodbook.com.auCrowd-pleasing appetiser recipes
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What better than a crisp triangle of watermelon to munch on as a fresh summer snack. As Aussies, this tradition starts early on in life. But our relationship with watermelon has now blossomed into something far more fruitful than a simple slice. Here’s how to make the most out of watermelon in sweet and savoury recipes.
We now love this summer fruit in Mediterranean-style salads, as a refreshing sweet pizza base and even as a quick and easy appetiser.
See below for our ultimate seasonal guide to all things watermelon, including how to cut and store this wonderful fruit.When is watermelon in season in Australia?
While you can usually find watermelon throughout the year in Australian green grocers, it is at it’s seasonal peak from October – February.How to cut watermelon
- Cut the whole watermelon in quarters
- Working with one quarter at a time, cut the melon into 2 cm wide slices
- Lay individual pieces of watermelon on their flat side
- Cut away the green rind carefully by drawing the knife close to the white rind
- Chop melon into 1cm cubes and enjoy
Watermelon should always be stored in the fridge. Once cut, wrap the cut side tightly with cling film. Try to replace the cling film each time you re-wrap your watermelon.
Alternatively, you can store cut pieces of melon in an air-tight container in the fridge.Watermelon recipes to try
Watermelon salad with feta and mint
Every year, we tell ourselves not to go overboard and buy crazy amounts of food for Christmas Day, but this never seems to happen. At the end of the day, you find yourself with copious amounts of leftovers.
All the family go home with containers full of food, and for days we eat extravagant Christmas food (not that we’re complaining).
So instead of settling for a simple ham sandwich or turkey salad, we’ve collated our best recipes that you can use up all your leftovers with. From your Christmas ham and turkey, to your roast veggies and even your desserts. Don’t let these delicious ingredients go to waste.Ways to use-up Christmas leftovers
Frittatas and slices: a frittata or slice is the perfect way to use up any leftover veggies and meats. Simply chop up all your ingredients and add to your egg mixture and you’re ready to go. Frittatas are perfect if you’re feeling like a lighter meal, especially after the Christmas feasting.
Salads: why not add your leftover roast veg, or sides to a salad? Throw in any leftover herbs and even add a little chopped up cheese or nuts leftover from the nibblies.
Fritters: why not use up your Christmas leftovers for breakfast the next day? Fritters are very forgiving and can consist of any combination of veg and meats. Throw in a bit of leftover cheese and herbs and voila!
Toasties/Jaffles: what better than a super-easy Christmas ham toasted sandwich on Boxing Day? Seriously quick and easy way to use-up those leftover Christmas meats.
Desserts: Use up any fruit or baking ingredients to make some delicious treats. Christmas pudding can easily be turned into truffles, or stirred through bought vanilla ice-cream and frozen to make a festive ice-cream. And smashed pav will be perfect as an Eton mess. Just add extra berries. Yum!Leftover recipes to try
Hash brown ham and egg nests
There is no need to fret if you’ve left your Christmas menu planning to the last minute. You can still have an impressive feast, especially with these last-minute Christmas recipes.
With Christmas only a few days away, check out these easy Christmas meals that can be whipped up with little effort. Don’t worry, they still deliver on taste and wow factor. Remember Christmas Day doesn’t need to be stressful, and there are no hard and fast menu rules. Think outside the turkey to meats like lamb, which is actually a little easier to cook.Last-minute Christmas recipes to try
Classic pavlova with lemon curd and kiwi fruit
If you’ve never made a pav before, then this classic pavlova recipe is a great one to start with. Topped with zingy lemon curd and kiwi fruit. And if you really need a last-minute dessert solution, you could cheat and use a bought pavlova base. Shhh! It can be our secret.
Rosemary, garlic and lemon roast lamb
This easy roast lamb recipes with rosemary, garlic and lemon would make for a great meat option if you’ve run out of time to pick up a turkey or ham.
The new devilled egg
These retro wonders, are the perfect fuss-free appetiser to kick-start Christmas Day.
Best German potato salad
This trending German potato salad is seriously easy but tastes even better. This salad will certainly impress on Christmas Day.
Summer fruit trifle in a glass
This easy summer fruit trifle, the perfect fuss-free dessert for Christmas. All you need to do is buy the fruit, cream, custard and mini jam rolls then assemble.
The sweet smell of ripe mangoes heralds the start of the long Australian summer. Their ready availability during the summer months, combined with their versatility, makes mango one of the most popular summer fruits. In the below video, we show you how to prepare mangoes to get the best out of them.
Enjoyed in combination with other seasonal fruit or simply on their own, mangoes are exotic and deliciously juicy. Use to accompany seafood, add to salads, layer in desserts or use in fresh smoothies, mangoes are in season and the perfect fruit to bring you into the summer months.How to select a mango
Select firm, bright mangoes with a distinct pleasant aroma. Avoid mangoes with black or soft spots.How to store mangoes
Ripen at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the vegetable crisper or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use within 3 days.How to prepare mangoes video
This video shows you how to peel, slice and dice mangoes.What are the health benefits of mangoes
- Great source of Vitamin C
- Good source of beta carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A
- Source of dietary fibre
Incredible as a sweet addition to savoury dishes such as salads, perfect as a breakfast addition in smoothies and smoothie bowls and ideal for summer desserts. Try sweet ideas like trifles, gelato and of course, one of the best ways to use mango; pavlova!
The following recipes show you just how easy it is to add mango to your favourite dishes.
So as you wake on Boxing Day think about all the tasty leftovers sitting in your fridge. You can transform that leftover turkey and roast vegies into a delicious new meal. Why not turn it into hearty brunch like bubble and squeak turkey fritters to enjoy after a lazy lie in?
These bubble and squeak turkey fritters are just the thing, and they pack a full flavoured punch to wake up your tastebuds on Boxing Day. Top them with a perfectly poached egg for the ultimate meal. And best of all, they’re impressive enough to serve up to friends or family you’re catching up with after Christmas.
Plus they’re so easy to make. All you need to do is combine your mashed up roast veg with shredded leftover turkey, toss in a whisked egg, season and cook. Then be sure to finish off with a poached egg.Bubble and squeak turkey fritters with poached egg recipe
*DISCLAIMER – Australian Eggs is a contributing recipe Partner at myfoodbook.com.au. This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Australian Eggs and our own opinions. Find more about Australian Eggs.
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