Category Archives: Main Dishes

Sam’s Jumbalaya

Sam1 pound ready to eat cooked frozen medium shrimp (If you really like shrimp feel free to add more)
2 cups leftover variety of meats chopped (sausage, pork, chicken, whatever you have on hand)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, 1 tablespoon for each degree of heat you like
(traditional would be 3 Tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Paprika

1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 20 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 vegetable broth cubes
2 cups boiling water
2 cups long grain white rice

1 cup Frozen corn

Chop the meats into bite sized cubes, combine in one container and marinate with part of the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and paprika, ensuring that every bit is covered, but not drowning in the sauces. Pull the shrimp out of the freezer, while still frozen, put in container and add remaining Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and paprika; again, making sure each shrimp is covered, but not drowning in the sauces. Put meats and shrimp into fridge for 3-8 hours.

In a large pot, saute the raw veggies in oil until the onion is translucent. Add canned tomatoes, drain any marinating juices from the meat/shrimp containers and add them to the pot. Add vegetable stock cubes, two cups water. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Add the meat (not the shrimp) and frozen corn. If the rice is not done, add water, one cup at a time and continue to simmer until the rice is done to your taste.

When the rice is tender, take the pot off the heat and stir in the shrimp. Let set until the shrimp is warmed through. As the shrimp is already cooked you don’t want to cook it more or you’ll end up with hard chewy little shrimp nuggets.

Serve with Emeril’s essence creole for those who like it extra spicy & flavourful (I found it here):Jumbalaya
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and put in an empty spice shaker jar.

It’s perfect with bread and green salad or just eat it on its own. It is also a great dish to make when you’re entertaining as it makes enough to serve a small army. I made this recipe tonight for the first time by combining a few different recipes found online and tossing in leftovers. Sam immediately asked for me to add it to the family recipe website and as other websites change there recipes or the links disappear, I thought it would be a good idea too.



Zucchini Slice

01.05.15 Sam and James at the beach 00049

3 1/2 cups zucchini (375g)
5 eggs
1 large onion
90g ham or bacon pieces (optional)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup SR flour (160g)
1 cup grated cheese (100g)
salt, pepper, mixed herbs (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 170C (350F).

Grate coarsely (or chop) zucchini, onion and cheese.  Add chopped ham, if adding, and all remaining ingredients.  Spray shallow dish with ‘pure and simple’.  Tip in mixture.

Put into oven and cook for about 30 __ 40 minutes or until brown all over and firm.

Good hot or cold.

*I don’t measure zucchini __ I just use 3 medium sized ones. A trick I learned from my daughter is to grate the zucchini separately and squeeze the water out, otherwise it can turn out too wet and it takes a lot longer to cook.  If I use bacon pieces (and I don’t always) I buy them already done and grated cheese in the packet.  I don’t measure the cheese, just pour a heap in __ probably more like 2 cups.  I also add a tin of drained mixed veggies. ~ Veronica

We met Veronica and Dave through their grandchildren when we first came to Australia.  The kids all love the beach and now we get together every school holidays and sometimes in between.  What Americans call bars, Australians call slice.  Whatever it’s called, I love this recipe.  Most recently I made it with leftover roast asparagus and carrots chopped and cottage cheese that needed to get used.  I left out the oil as there was plenty on the roast veggies.  It was so yummy.  It’s a good recipe to play with, is good hot or cold and perfect for lunches.  The best part is that James actually eats it.  There’s not many things I can say that about. ~ Karla


Bangers and Mash

10 or so medium white or red potatoes
1/8 head green cabbage
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup milk

1 large red onion
1 pound Irish chipolata sausages (pork)
1 bottle hard apple cider
1 tablespoon whole mustard
Salt & pepper
¼ cup flour
½ cup milk

Marinate the sausages in the cider for 8 hours or overnight.

Cut the potatoes (skin on) into ½ inch sized cubes and put in large pot, cover with water. Cut cabbage into bite sized strips and place on top of potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Boil for fifteen minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. Add butter and milk to cooked potatoes and cabbage and coarsely mash them.

While the potatoes are boiling, cut the onion into large wedges and place in a bowl. Pour the cider marinade over the onions. Brown the sausages in a frying pan. Once browned, add the onions, cider, mustard, salt and pepper. Cover and softly boil until the sausages are cooked through. strain the juices from the sausages and onions. Set the sausages and Onions aside to keep warm.

Put the remaining liquid back in the frying pan, adding water so that you have approximately 2 cups of liquid. Return pan to medium heat gently stirring, scraping any bits that may have stuck to the bottom. Mix flour and milk together in a cup or shaker container. This will be the thickener for the gravy. Once the liquid has begun to boil slowly add the thickener while stirring. Add enough of the thickener so that the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Serve the sausages and onions over the mash and top with gravy. To complete the meal, add a nice side salad and some hearty bread to soak up any leftover gravy.

*I used hard cider for this recipe, but I’m sure that sparkling cider (non-alcoholic) would work just as well.  The photo above is of the kids making their salads to go along with dinner.

The lettuce grew from stumps of romaine we placed in cups of water about a month ago. It was a fun project and they enjoyed them.

~ Karla

Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

Makes 6-8 servings

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 5 hours

Total time: 5 hours 30 mins


1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups sweet onions such as Vidalia, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 pound Italian hot sausage, removed from casing
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
1 pound chorizo (pre-packaged and available in most supermarkets)
2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 16-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 22-ounce can Bush’s Grillin’ Beans (Bourbon and Brown Sugar)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (or less for less heat)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less for less heat)
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
Saltine Crackers to serve with chili

In a large sauté pan, melt butter in two tablespoons of oil over medium heat.

Add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté for 8-10 minutes to caramelize the vegetables.
Pour this into a large slow cooker.

Heat the pan to medium high and add the remaining oil.
Add sausage meat, ground beef and chorizo meat and cook until meat has browned.

Scrape all of this into the slow cooker with the vegetables.
Then add all other ingredients to the slow cooker, except cheddar and crackers.

Stir, cover and set slow cooker to low and cook for five hours.
Stir after five hours.

To serve, dish out into bowls, top with cheddar cheese and serve with the saltine crackers.

This is my favourite chilli recipe. 

~Jason S.

Tater tot Casserole

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cans green beans drained
1 cup of frozen corn (optional)
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 large bag of potato gems

Preheat oven to 350F.

Press raw beef into large rectangle casserole dish and sprinkle with chopped onions. Top with green beans and corn. Using fingers, disperse beans and corn evenly across the top of the beef. Empty both cans of cream of celery soup over the veggies and use the back of a spoon to evenly cover the previous layers. Top this with tater tots arranged in neat rows.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The beef is cooked through when the soup is liquid and bubbling up from between the tater tots along the edges and center of the casserole. My family likes it served with salt, pepper and ketchup.

tater tot
It really surprised me that I couldn’t find this simple recipe online. Every site I checked had instructions that would result in getting multiple dishes dirty and called for so many more ingredients. Let’s keep it simple! That’s what’s so great about this dish, it’s simplicity.  I love that on cold winter afternoons you can just chuck everything in a dish and let it bake. The oven warms the house and the meal warms your tummy. The original recipe called for cream of mushroom soup; however, my kids didn’t like the chunks of mushrooms and preferred the saltiness of the cream of celery soup.

~ Karla

Lentil Chili

recipe from

1¼ cups dry lentils (half a pound) – pick out any weird-looking ones
4 cups tap water
2 tablespoons oil or bacon grease
1 to 2 tablespoons dry onions
3 beef bouillon cubes – this tastes the best, but I’ve also just added a little salt instead
15 oz can tomatoes
2 teaspoons chili powder – I use much less and it tastes plenty spicy to me
Dash hot pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce – optional
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place the lentils and the water in a large pot. Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the lentils are simmering gently. Cook for 30 minutes. Do not add the other ingredients until after the lentils have cooked. If the lentils begin to get dry, or if their water boils away then add more water. You want the lentils to remain juicy while they cook. When your 30 minutes are up, add all of the remaining ingredients. Simmer the chili for 15 to 20 minutes and serve with crackers or cornbread or over rice. Makes 4 servings.

This is a very good chili recipe. If you have ground beef or turkey, or some cooked chicken, you can add these to the chili too. About 1/2 a pound of ground meat or about 1 cup of cooked meat will be plenty. This recipe doesn’t need meat to taste good though. It is excellent just the way it is. (I have made it both ways. Even ½ cup of cooked meat adds just the right touch, but it truly is good either way, with or without meat. I serve this with her My Best Cornbread recipe – a delicious, complementary meal high in fiber).

~ Kerrissa