Pumpkin, Zucchini and Spinach Cheese Bake

Layers of pumpkin, zucchini, baby spinach, onions, garlic and cheese make this very tasty. It’s a simple dish to make and I adapted it from the potato, cheese and onion pie recipe I made earlier https://quarteracrelifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/potato-cheese-and-onion-pie/

The layers are loose, it doesn’t come out in easy cut slices. I always fear putting my recipes on here because my photo taken in the dim night kitchen are hopeless but no getting around it really!!

Amounts are approx only.

400 g – 500g pumpkin, cut into 1/4 ” thick slices

2 med zucchini, sliced

2 cups baby spinach

2 onions, sliced

2 – 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

2 cups grated cheese (approx)

fresh basil or parsley (optional)

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Saute onions and garlic in oil until soft.

Place enough pumpkin to cover base of medium sized oven dish which has been greased.

Cover with sliced zucchini, then spinach leaves and a little of the onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then grated cheese. Repeat twice more, finishing with cheese.

Cover dish with tinfoil, bake approx  45 mins – 1 hour until pumpkin is soft. Remove foil and continue to cook until browned.

And here’s my terrible photo… this was so much better in real life lolImage

I just had the leftovers for lunch and like many things it’s better on the second day 🙂

Chicken Curry (or beef, lamb…)

I use this basic curry recipe for any of these meats. It’s simple and very good, the recipe came from my son who is a chef and he made us this one visit. The coriander can be left out for those who don’t enjoy it, sometimes I will add cumin or tumeric once I’ve checked for taste. It never turns out the same even in it’s simplicity.

This photo defies the great taste of this, served with brown rice and photo taken in a dim evening kitchen does not present well 🙂


Chicken Curry:

2 chicken breasts or 4-5  boneless chicken thighs (cheaper)

1 x 425 g tin tomatoes, chopped in pulp (or equivalent fresh)

1 tin coconut cream

1 good tsp curry powder

1 good tsp green curry paste

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

fresh coriander, 1 – 2 tablespoons, or little ground (to taste)

1 tsp salt, black pepper

Chop onions and crush garlic and saute in a little oil with the curry powder and paste.

Tip in the tomatoes and 1/2 the fresh chopped coriander. Simmer this until much of the liquid from tomatoes has evaporated, maybe 1/2 hour.

Add the coconut cream, salt and pepper and simmer another 5 minutes.

Add sliced chicken and remainder of coriander and simmer around 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked but still tender. Serve on rice, nice with slivered almonds on top.

Lamb or Beef:

Cube the meat and saute with the onions, garlic and curry mixes. When the tomatoes are added simmer slowly with lid on for 1 hour for lamb, or two for beef. Add the coconut cream when most of the liquid has gone (you may have to add a little water if this happens too soon).   Simmer another 10 minutes, taste check for seasonings.

Simple Pan Fried Potatoes, Bacon, eggs….

This doesn’t get much easier (or economical) and is delicious. Pan-fried golden potatoes with bacon, garlic, onions….with eggs.Image

4 medium potatoes

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

3 rashers bacon

4 eggs

Scrub potatoes and chop into smallish pieces. Heat oil in a pan and throw in potatoes, sliced onion, chopped garlic and chopped bacon. Add salt and pepper.


Saute on medium heat, cover with lid if possible to hasten cooking, turn once browned on the bottom. When potatoes are soft and everything is golden make 4 hollows in mix and break in the eggs. Continue cooking another 3 minutes or so until eggs are cooked but yolks are still soft. Serve with homemade tomato sauce 🙂

This is a great weekend meal and the servings here are what I use for just the two of us. It’s nice with mushrooms added, or baby spinach…tomatoes, leeks or pumpkin, lots of fresh herbs. This basic recipe can be used for a multitude of different ingredients to add flavour and variety…it’s also great accompanied by baked beans!

Simple but good food.

Roast Pumpkin and Carrot Soup

This is a really nice, full bodied soup with the flavours of India – cumin, cardamon, coriander, tumeric, mustard seeds, garlic and topped with natural yogurt.


1 kg pumpkin, cubed

800 g carrots, cubed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 brown onions, sliced

salt ( I used approx 11/2 tsp)

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)

4 cups vegetable stock.

Natural yogurt to serve

I did mine a different way to the original recipe, full the other option see end of recipe. I made mine in an electric frypan.

Saute the carrot and pumpkin in the olive oil till soft and browned. Add the onions and garlic and continue till they are soft. Add spices and cook a further few minutes. Image

Add stock and salt and cook a further 15 minutes. Whiz in the food processor till smooth, return to heat and bring back to boil. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and black pepper if wished.


Pour into bowls and top with yogurt. Serve with crusty bread.

For the optional method of cooking (roasting in oven etc) and origin of recipe see here:


Potato and Lamb Soup

I made this delish recipe from Cathy last night….this is just the best soup, truly tasty. I added parsnip and a little pumpkin…plenty of room here to put whatever is on hand in this soup or what comes out of the garden.



Now that the weather has decided it’s about time it was Winter in the south West of Western Australia, I felt I should share this most wonderous hearty soup that could also double as a stew it’s that thick. I call it a stoup when I make it because of it’s stew like texture. I think you could add more beef stock to thin it down or vegetable stock if that suits.


1 tablespoon of oil

1 kilogram of lamb shanks (about 4 shanks)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 medium carrots (about 240gm) diced

2 sticks of celery, chopped

810gm can tomatoes, crushed

1 and a half litres of Beef stock

5 large potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium zuchinni, diced skin on

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Half a teaspoon of sugar

Heat oil in large pot and brown…

View original post 99 more words

Silverbeet (Chard), Sundried tomato and Pesto Quiche

This is very nice using feta however I use grated cheddar nowadays. Quantities are not important here, I just throw in amounts haphazardly really.

The pesto I used in this was a parsley and sunflower one I had made and frozen. The sundried tomatoes are homemade also.


I broke my one and only quiche dish several weeks ago and haven’t replaced it, so the dish I used is not one I would normally.

2 sheets pre-rolled pastry

1 bunch silverbeet leaves

Sundried tomatoes, to taste, chopped finely

1/4 – 1/3 cup pesto

7 egg

1/3 cup milk or  cream

75 – 100 g cheese, grated (or crumbled feta)

1 tsp salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Line a greased quiche dish with the pastry. Layer silverbeet leaves in, sprinkling each layer with small dolops of pesto, grated cheese and sundried tomato. Finish with a layer of cheese etc. Beat together eggs with milk and add seasonings.


Bake in oven till golden on top, pastry is cooked and filling in middle has set (using a skewer or knife to test) around 30 minutes.


Simple, slow baked shanks


Low on ingredients and time yesterday I rushed this into the oven and it turned out delicious so thought I would share. Though of course it would be nice with lamb these were hoggett shanks which need a little more cooking.

4 shanks

2 med onions

1 cup sliced mushrooms

5 – 6 tomatoes depending on size, chopped (or a can would do)

3 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced

rosemary leaves, couple of sprigs

tablespoon brown sugar

1 tsp salt

black pepper

drizzle olive oil

Place lamb shanks in bottom of a lidded roasting dish, cover with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle some olive oil over. Cover and bake in slow oven (220 deg F) for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. These are meat coming off the bone tender and very tasty.

We had with mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables.


Potato, Cheese and Onion Pie



60g butter, plus extra for greasing
2 onions, finely sliced
1.8kg potatoes, such as nicola or dutch cream, skins left on and finely sliced
120g grated tasty cheese
1 bunch sage, leaves picked
green salad to serve


Heat butter in a frypan over a medium heat and fry onion until it becomes soft and translucent. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease an 18cm x 7cm springform tin and press an overlapping layer of potato slices around sides. Next, create a layer of concentric rings of overlapping discs to cover base. Spread a little onion and cheese across base, season with sea salt and ground black pepper, then dot with 4 sage leaves. Cover this layer with potato, and continue alternating potato and cheese, onion and sage layers until you reach top of the springform tin. Brush pie with butter, place on a baking tray, and loosely cover with foil. Bake for 1½ hours, then remove foil and bake for 30 minutes or until potato is crisp. Remove and allow to cool a little. Cut into generous slices and serve with a green salad. http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/marie-claire/lifestyle/recipes/recipe/-/7143464/cheese-onion-and-potato-pie/

I made this last night and am using their photo as it looks nicer than mine lol. I only wanted a small one and didn’t have a springform pan small enough so made mine in an enamel pie dish and it didn’t survive being turned upside down 🙂 I didn’t use sage but sauteed 3 cloves of garlic (chopped) with the onion. This was delicious – should have made a big one!


Pumpkin and Spinach Chickpea (Garbanzo) Patties


I found this recipe on the net a couple of years ago and change it to suit whatever I have in the garden or as leftovers, unfortunately I can’t remember where I got it from to link it to it’s rightful owner. It’s such a versatile and inexpensive recipe.

I buy my chickpeas from a bulk food store, cook and freeze them in serving sized packets. This is alot cheaper than buying canned and I prefer the taste of them.

1 tbspn oil

1 med onion

2 cloves of garlic

Small zucchini, grated

400 g – 500 g chickpeas

2 – 3 slices of wholegrain bread made into soft breadcrumbs

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

3 cups cooked vegetables (I used 11/2 cups cooked pumpkin, 1 1/2 cups finely shredded raw spinach)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (or other herbs)

1 tsp salt and little pepper

Fry onion and garlic till soft, drain well. Squeeze all liquid out of grated zucchini. Using a food processor make breadcrumbs then add chickpeas and process till crumbly but still some texture to peas. Tip into a bowl and add all other ingredients, mixing well. Mixture should be like a hamburger consistency, able to shape into patties. If too wet add more breadcrumbs. Fry on each side till golden.

We had these served with chutney, jacket potatoes, salad and beetroot. They also make a great vegetarian hamburger, or with salad as an open sandwich…or just cold out of the fridge! I vary them every time, sometimes leaving the curry powder out depending on what is in them.

Added 2 weeks later, toasted bread with salad and shallow fried chips.


Bacon, mushroom and spinach Stromboli


Thanks to Narf at http://theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com for the recipe for this (which can be found here: http://theroadtoserendipity.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/a-serendipitous-stromboli-for-the-may-2013-virtual-vegan-potluck/ ) It looked delicious so I needed to try it!

I made the dough using the orginal recipe however I varied the filling a little to something we make quite often…

Mushroom, Bacon and Spinach filling:

Saute 4 rashers bacon, 2 large field mushrooms, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic until browned. Add 3 tomatoes, some fresh basil and oregano and / or a couple of tablespoons of pesto, and seasoning as desired. Simmer until all liquid has evaporated and added finely sliced spinach. Turn off heat and leave spinach to wilt with the heat that’s in pan. I left this to cool for this filling, and sprinkled with cheese once on dough.

This turned out delicious, thanks Narf 🙂

We often make half again of this amount of the filling I used and have been eating it with honeyed figs, sounds a little weird but it’s a delicious combination.

Postnote: I have since made this a few times using leftover meat or vegetable dishes, a delicious way to use up leftovers!