Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)


Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: <30 mins, appetizers, sauce, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 1 large bowl (4 cups) | Prep time: 15 mins | Mix time: 20 mins

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This recipe is for all you garlic lovers out there. If you’ve never had toum before, you’re in for a treat! It’s a Lebanese whipped garlic sauce with the most amazing intense garlic flavour. It goes well with meats, as a sandwich spread, or even a quick way to make garlic bread. It’s made with only 4 easy ingredients: garlic, oil, salt, and lemon juice. Although this sauce is technically easy to make, but it can be time-consuming. The key is patience. You need to drizzle the oil and lemon juice verrrry slowly – if you do it too quickly, the sauce won’t emulsify properly.

Make sure you use the freshest of ingredients for optimal flavour. This recipe yields a whopping 4 cups, but for the amount of effort you’re going to put in, you might as well make a big batch. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. This sauce also never seems to last long because its so damn delicious and versatile. I’ve just made a fresh batch today to have with shawarma and pita bread, and Toby has already gone through a quarter of it in one sitting. 😅

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

You need about 1 cup of garlic cloves = ~2 bulbs of garlic. This is definitely a tedious process but well worth it.
  • 1 cup of garlic cloves (~2 bulbs), peeled with the fibrous tips cut off
  • 2 tsps kosher/cooking salt
  • 3 cups neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Put the garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and blend until the garlic is minced.

Add in a couple tablespoons of oil and blend until you get a thick paste.

Next, SLOWLY drizzle the oil and lemon juice into the food processor, alternating between the two. Emphasis on the SLOW – you want a 1-2mm stream while you’re drizzling it in. If you pour it in too fast, your sauce will separate and won’t be light and fluffy. This process should take about 10-15 mins. Scrape down the sides as needed. You should have a light and fluffy white garlic paste by the end. Enjoy! Store in an air tight container.

Summarized Recipe:

Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: <30 mins, appetizers, sauce, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 1 large bowl (4 cups) | Prep time: 15 mins | Mix time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of garlic cloves (~2 bulbs), peeled with the fibrous tips cut off
  • 2 tsps kosher/cooking salt
  • 3 cups neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Put the garlic cloves and salt in a food processor and blend until the garlic is minced.
  2. Add in a couple tablespoons of oil and blend until you get a thick paste.
  3. Next, SLOWLY drizzle the oil and lemon juice into the food processor, alternating between the two. Emphasis on the SLOW – you want a 1-2mm stream while you’re drizzling it in. If you pour it in too fast, your sauce will separate and won’t be light and fluffy. This process should take about 10-15 mins. Scrape down the sides as needed. You should have a light and fluffy white garlic paste by the end. Enjoy! Store in an air tight container.

Baba Ghanoush


Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Baba ghanoush is a Lebanese dish that is typically served as a starter or a side to a meat dish. It’s made with charred eggplants, tahini, garlic and lemon. It tastes similar to a hummus but with an extra smoky flavour from the grilling of the eggplants. The ingredients to a baba ghanoush and hummus are nearly identical but instead substitute the chick peas with eggplants. Comparatively, hummus is much easier to make because you skip the step of grilling eggplants, but flavour-wise I prefer baba ghanoush for the smokiness. If I’m feeling lazy and wanting a whip up something quick for a party or a side, I’ll go for the hummus (you can check out my hummus recipe here).

There are many ways to char an eggplant. Traditionally the eggplant is placed over an open flame until the skin wrinkles and the flesh softens, but I find this method more time-consuming to constantly watch the eggplant and I also find it harder and messier to peel. My preferred method is to slice them in half and char them in the oven on high heat. You can then simply scoop out the eggplant flesh instead of having to peel it.

You can simply serve it with some sliced veg and pita chips, or slathered in a wrap with a chicken shawarma.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft.

Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.

Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Baba Ghanoush

Date Published: Sept 27th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 27th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: dips, appetizer, easy, healthy, snacks, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 medium sized bowl) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Roast the eggplants: Preheat oven to 220˚C (430˚F). Cut the tops off of each eggplant and then cut them in half. Arrange the eggplants skin side up on a baking sheet and brush each one with olive oil. Roast in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles and the flesh is very soft (~30-45 mins).
  2. Prepare the eggplants: Once the eggplants are done, set them aside to cool. Once it is cool enough to hand, use a spoon and scoop out all of the flesh. Discard the eggplant skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. You can let it rest for another 30 mins to let more juices drip out.
  3. Blend it all together: Add the eggplant flesh and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your preference. Done!

Hearty Mexican Rice


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Mexican rice is a flavourful rice typically cooked with tomatoes and spices and often served as a side dish. It kind of reminds me of a paella. Traditionally, white rice is used but I’ve decided to use a mix of brown and black rice for the extra health benefits. I’ve also further deviated from the traditional form and added ground beef and roasted red peppers to make it more hearty and filling so it can be served as a main dish as well. This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly. You can serve this on its own or as a side, topped with some sour cream and extra grated cheese. It’s also fantastic as a filling in a stuffed red pepper.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 140g (~1/2 cup) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • (optional: 3 chicken thighs, diced)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)

Directions:

In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.

Next add in the spices: cumin, coriander, onion powder, and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the tomato paste and stir for another minute.

Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, water and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Hearty Mexican Rice

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 140g (~1/2 cup) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • (optional: 3 chicken thighs, diced)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Next add in the spices: cumin, coriander, onion powder, and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the tomato paste and stir for another minute.
  4. Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, water and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking. Turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Curry Zucchini Soup


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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This curry zucchini soup is quick, easy and healthy. The bulk of the soup is just zucchinis so its also low in calories as well. This is the perfect weekday meal with minimal effort. Serve it with some croutons, bread, or even toss in leftover shredded roast chicken or vegetables.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).

(A yellow onion will be fine. I only had red onion on hand at the time.)

2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.

3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).

4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Zucchini Soup

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).
  2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.
  3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).
  4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

How to Roast Red Peppers


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Prep time: 10 mins (depending on how many you’re roasting) | Cook time: 20 mins

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This past weekend we came across a clearance produce sale and got 45 red peppers for $10!! Say wuuuuut! We can never pass up a good deal…but now we’re stuck with 45 peppers 😂. I’m not a huge fan of eating red peppers raw unless in small amounts in a salad, but roasted is another story! Roasted red peppers are super versatile and so easy to add to any dish including salads, marinades, soups…etc. Therefore I decided to roast pretty much the entire box! They also last much longer when kept roasted in an air tight container. This how-to guide is how I roast red peppers.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Red peppers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230˚C (450F).

Cut the peppers in half and get rid of the stalk and seeds.

Brush the outside of each peppers with olive oil and arrange them on a baking dish lined with aluminum foil or a reusable liner (caution: baking paper can burn at high temperatures).

Bake in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles, collapses, and the outside is charred (~15-20 mins).

Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof bowl and cover for 10 mins to let it steam. This will let the skin peel off easily. Tip: don’t let it steam for too long or else the skin will become too fragile and be harder to peel off in one piece (I learned this the hard way). Remove the skin and discard. Your peppers are now ready to use!

Storage:

  • They store well in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.
  • Store them in olive oil for 2 weeks.
  • Place in a freezer back and store for longer.

Summarized Recipe:

How to Roast Red Peppers

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Prep time: 10 mins (depending on how many you’re roasting) | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Red peppers

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 230˚C (450F).
  2. Cut the peppers in half and get rid of the stalk and seeds.
  3. Brush the outside of each pepper with olive oil and arrange them on a baking dish lined with aluminum foil or a reusable liner (caution: baking paper can burn at high temperatures).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles, collapses, and the outside is charred (~15-20 mins).
  5. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof bowl and cover for 10 mins to let it steam. This will let the skin peel off easily. Tip: don’t let it steam for too long or else the skin will become too fragile and be harder to peel off in one piece (I learned this the hard way). Remove the skin and discard. Your peppers are now ready to use!

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This past weekend Toby and I discovered a discount produce market only 10 mins near our new place in Western Australia. The market is held every Saturday at a large produce distribution centre and at the end of every week they sell BOXES of leftover produce that didn’t get sold to the shops for CHEAP. We got an entire box of zucchinis (that’s ~40 zucchinis!) for only $5. We also got a box of 45 red bell peppers (known as capsicums in Oz) for only $10. The deals were insaneeeeee. Toby and I love a good market and even better yet we LOVE a good deal. So now we have a shit ton of zucchini and capsicums that we have to use up – we just can’t pass a good deal. For the past week I’ve been researching and experimenting with different zucchini and capsicum recipes. I decided to roast most of the capsicums so they keep longer and its just so versatile to use in sauces, spreads, topping in salads, marinades…etc. With the zucchinis I’ve made a few soups that have turned out pretty well and of course this fritters recipe has definitely been a winner. I’m sharing this recipe as the first of many capsicum/zucchini recipes that is to come. We’ve made these twice now and they’ve turned out great each time. They’re so easy to make, packed full of vegetables, healthy, and quick to make.

Only $15 for the lot!!

This recipe makes 8 large patties. You can eat these on their own, in a burger, or served with a dipping sauce. Our favourite is to have it with a side of garlic aioli. You can even form them smaller and serve it as an appetizer or a snack. They store pretty well in the freezer as long as you cook them first. To keep it healthy, we’ve air-fried them (which was actually a bit of a pain to do them in batches because we only have a small air-frier 😅), but you can also shallow-fry them for optimal crunch, or bake them.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

*Grate the zucchini with a food processor if you have one so the zucchini retains its moisture. If you grate it by hand, the zucchini becomes watery and your batter will be more wet. If you don’t have a food processor and only have a box grater, then add a couple tablespoons of flour to your batter until you get a consistency thick enough to form into patties.

Directions:

  1. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.

2. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)

3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. (Preheat the oven to 200˚C if you’re going to be baking them.)
  2. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.
  3. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)
  4. 3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

BEER BUTT CHICKEN 🍻


Date Published: Sept 9th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 9th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1-1.5 hours

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Get ready for the juiciest and flavourful chicken you’ve ever had. The beer can steams the chicken from the inside and makes the chicken super moist. This beer butt chicken recipe is super easy and gets rave reviews every time. The instructions seem long, but it’s actually pretty simple – it just took longer to describe the steps than to actually do it.

The first time I’ve ever had Beer Butt Chicken was at a Thanksgiving dinner with my friends in Melbourne. It was so damn good and moist! It also looked pretty fun to make. Apparently it’s a super common thing for people to make over the fire during camping season – which probably explains why I’ve never heard about it since I’m not much of a camper. This recipe is adapted from AllRecipes and we’ve made it at least half a dozen times in the past couple years with a few tweaks. I think it’s going to be a regular Christmas tradition for us since it always gets rave reviews!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 can beer (any beer will do)
  • 1/2 stick butter (60g), melted
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or just thyme or rosemary)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Veggies (you can use whatever veggies you like. These are a few of my favs to roast):
    • 2 carrots, diced large
    • 4 cloves garlic, whole or roughly chopped
    • 1 large onion, diced large
    • 1/4 Jap/kent pumpkin, diced large

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 175˚C (350˚F). Change the racks around the oven to accommodate the height of the chicken standing upright later.

Wash the outside of the beer can and pat dry. Wrap aluminum foil around the outside of the can, leaving the top and bottom uncovered. Open up the beer and drink half of it. Add the diced onion, garlic and peppercorns into the beer can. Gently swish it around to mix it.

Rinse your whole chicken and pat dry. Grease the outside of the can with some oil (super important step to help you remove the can later). Stuff the can of beer into the butt of the chicken about halfway. The chicken and beer should sit upright. Put the chicken in the middle of a deep baking pan and distribute the diced veggies evenly around the chicken. Use a couple of the veggies and plug the hole of the neck of the chicken.

In a small bowl, melt the butter and add in the garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well.

Undermine/loosen the skin around the chicken (especially over the breast and the thighs – you can make small slits in the skin to make it easier). Add 1/2 of the butter mixture under the skin on all sides. Massage the mixture under the skin to evenly distribute around the whole chicken. Rub the rest of the butter mix on the outside of the chicken.

With your saucy hands, rub the veggies in the tray to soak up some of the sauce. Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to the veg and mix.

Put the whole pan into the preheated oven and roast until the skin is golden brown and the meat is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. The timing will depend on the size of your chicken. I bought an average sized chicken and it took 1 hour. Larger chickens can take 1.5 hours. I suggest you check on it at 45 minutes in.

An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).

When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. When ready to carve, gently remove the beer can – be careful it will be hot! Serve with the veggies. Make sure you drizzle the drippings in the pan over the chicken and veg!

Tip: I find it easiest to remove the can by pushing the chicken downwards onto the can to release the seal around the can and then gently remove it with oven mitts or tongs.

If you slice it when hot, the moisture will evaporate and dry out your chicken. By letting it rest, you’re keeping the juices inside and allowing it to cool at the same time. 

Summarized Recipe:

Beer Butt Chicken 🍻

Date Published: Sept 9th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 9th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1-1.5 hours

Ingredients:

  • Half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 can beer (any beer will do)
  • 1/2 stick butter (60g), melted
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or just thyme or rosemary)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Veggies (you can use whatever veggies you like. These are a few of my favs to roast):
    • 2 carrots, diced large
    • 4 cloves garlic, whole or roughly chopped
    • 1 large onion, diced large
    • 1/4 Jap/kent pumpkin, diced large

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175˚C (350˚F). Change the racks around the oven to accommodate the height of the chicken standing upright later.
  2. Wash the outside of the beer can and pat dry. Wrap aluminum foil around the outside of the can, leaving the top and bottom uncovered. Open up the beer and drink half of it. Add the diced onion, garlic and peppercorns into the beer can. Gently swish it around to mix it.
  3. Rinse your whole chicken and pat dry. Grease the outside of the can with some oil (super important step to help you remove the can later). Stuff the can of beer into the butt of the chicken about halfway. The chicken and beer should sit upright. Put the chicken in the middle of a deep baking pan and distribute the diced veggies evenly around the chicken. Use a couple of the veggies and plug the hole of the neck of the chicken.
  4. In a small bowl, melt the butter and add in the garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  5. Undermine/loosen the skin around the chicken (especially the breast and thighs – you can make small slits in the skin to make it easier). Add 1/2 of the butter mixture under the skin on all sides. Massage the mixture under the skin to evenly distribute around the whole chicken. Rub the rest of the butter mix on the outside of the chicken.
  6. With your saucy hands, rub the veggies in the tray to soak up some of the sauce. Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to the veg and mix.
  7. Put the whole pan into the preheated oven and roast until the skin is golden brown and the meat is no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear. The timing will depend on the size of your chicken. I bought an average sized chicken and it took 1 hour. Larger chickens can take 1.5 hours. I suggest you check on it at 45 minutes in.
    • An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).
  8. When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. When ready to carve, gently remove the beer can – be careful it will be hot! Serve with the veggies. Make sure you drizzle the drippings in the pan over the chicken and veg!
    • Tip: I find it easiest to remove the can by pushing the chicken downwards onto the can to release the seal around the can and then gently remove it with oven mitts or tongs.
    • If you slice it when hot, the moisture will evaporate and dry out your chicken. By letting it rest, you’re keeping the juices inside and allowing it to cool at the same time. 

Vegetarian Chili (Tomato Lentil Soup)


Date Published: Sept 9th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 9th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, vegetarian, healthy, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 1 hr

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This soup may not look like much, but it’s SO good, healthy and really filling! The softened texture of the blended lentils resembles a minced meat texture and the combination of spices in this soup makes it taste kind of like a southern chilli – but vegetarian. The lentils pack a load of nutrients and fibre which makes this a really filling soup, perfect to keep you full when you have a busy day at work.

This recipe is adapted from RecipeTinEats with a few minor adjustments.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
  • 400g (1 can/14oz) crushed tomato
  • 2 cups (400g) green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1.5 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped parsley for serving

Directions:

In a large pot over MED heat, sauté the garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until fragrant (~30 seconds).

Next, add in the carrot and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and easy to break with a spoon. You can put a pot lid on to help quicken this step so the veggies steam and cook faster.

Once the vegetables are soft, add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: chicken stock, crushed tomato, lentils, cumin, coriander seed, paprika, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it simmer until the lentils are cooked (30-45mins).

Once the lentils are cooked, remove the the bay leaves and use a stick blender to blend the soup a few times until you get a chunky consistency (or more if you prefer a smoother soup). Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Optional: before serving, drizzle some lemon juice and lemon zest over the bowl with chopped parsley. Serve with bread or on its own.

Summarized Recipe:

Tomato Lentil Soup

Date Published: Sept 9th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 9th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, vegetarian, healthy, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock
  • 400g (1 can/14oz) crushed tomato
  • 2 cups (400g) green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1.5 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped parsley for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over MED heat, sauté the garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until fragrant (~30 seconds).
  2. Next, add in the carrot and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and easy to break with a spoon. You can put a pot lid on to help quicken this step so the veggies steam and cook faster.
  3. Once the vegetables are soft, add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: chicken stock, crushed tomato, lentils, cumin, coriander seed, paprika, and bay leaves. Bring the soup to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it simmer until the lentils are cooked (30-45mins).
  4. Once the lentils are cooked, remove the bay leaves and use a stick blender to blend the soup a few times until you get a chunky consistency (or more if you prefer a smoother soup). Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
  5. Optional: before serving, drizzle some lemon juice and lemon zest over the bowl with chopped parsley. Serve with bread or on its own.