Posts in what i ate

What I ate: Shredded lamb pasta


So I had a satisfying roasted lamb over the weekend, but seeing as how I roasted a whole 2+kg lamb shoulder, I was bound to have leftovers. Well, waste not want not, and I think this is a fantastic way to use up those bits of lamb left in your fridge.

For space, I shredded the lamb after the roast had cooled and store it away in an airtight container in the fridge. So for a quick lunch (or weeknight dinner) I just took that pasta and added it to:

  • Cooked pasta (just boil it to just under al dente)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Semi dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Feta
  • Lemon juice

It was just a matter of warming the lamb in a pat of butter, adding the hot, freshly cooked pasta over the top, then throwing in the tomatoes and olives to warm through, and then top with feta. A squeeze of lemon juice over the top, and off you go.

Feel free to add any other bits and pieces you have in your fridge – I just needed some acidity to cut through the lamb, so I think that other types of antipasto will do: roasted capsicum, charred eggplant, marinated feta…the list goes on.


What are your favourite ways to use up meat leftover from a roast?

What I ate: Squid ink pasta and crabmeat aglio e olio


Sometimes, you just want a light lunch. Sometimes it’s nice to pretend that it’s still spring and immerse yourself in punchy fresh flavours that make you forget that you had to drag yourself out of the warm cocoon that is your bed to face the day.

As much as I love long stews and slow cooking during the cold dreary days of winter, sometimes I feel like it doesn’t even feel like winter yet. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes I feel a little weirded out when I see the sun out, and can walk to the shops in my t-shirt and shorts. But the upside is that the sun just calls for light meals and a cold glass of crisp white wine.

And that’s where this recipe came in. I had some squid ink pasta that had to get used, and my pantry is always stocked with chilli and garlic. In this case, I used tinned alaskan crab meat, but crab meat is available in tubs at the supermarket, or feel free to use bacon or pancetta if you’d like. I know it’s not an Aglio e olio in the strictest sense, but it’s time to clear out my cupboards and it’s extremely tasty and so simple.

Here’s what I used:

Squid ink pasta
Garlic (1 clove per entree size portion, and I love my garlic.)
Bird’s eye chilli (1 chilli per clove of garlic, but feel free to use more)
Extra virgin olive oil (a nice fruity one)
Fish stock
1 tin alaskan crab meat
Yuzu juice

I par boiled the pasta first in salted boiling water, then finished it in a little bit of fish stock.



I find that finishing the last 2 minutes or so in fish stock gives it just a little bit more flavour, but you can just finish boiling the pasta in salted boiling water. Just remember that because you’re cooking it a bit further with the garlic and chilli, haven the pasta slightly underdone, so that by the time the garlic is cooked, your pasta is perfectly al dente.

While the pasta is boiling, I smashed the garlic and chilli through a mortar and pestle with some cracked black pepper and salt.

I moved the pasta from the pot into my sauté pan with a splash of fish stock, and simmered it till the stock is completely absorbed. Half a cup was all I had to use for 2 entree sized portions, but add a splash more if it isn’t enough. Then simply add the garlic paste and olive oil to the pasta, gently sauté it till the garlic loses the acrid burn, then stir through the crab meat, yuzu juice and a smidgen more oil. Scatter with some coriander to finish,

Curiously addictive and easy, this makes for a light lunch, or a simple weeknight dinner. Don’t like crab? Well it works with all sorts of meats, herbs (use parsley if you don’t like coriander), and because it’s so basic, it’s open to your wildest imaginations.

What I ate: Miso glazed eggplant


Eggplants seem to be everywhere lately, and I love how a simple glaze can transform the humble eggplant into Nasu Dengaku. The miso glaze is dead easy.
Just combine:

1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp water, to thin it out

I grilled my eggplants in the oven, set to 200C, but you can also do it on the stove. I first sliced my eggplant into thick pieces and lightly salted them. When beads of moisture appeared, I patted dry with a paper towel, then sprayed them with oil and popped them under the grill. When they’re a light brown, I just brushed them with the glaze and put them back under to finish off.

So simple, and tasty. I have it on rice as a light lunch, but you can definitely also have it as part of a larger meal.

What’s your favourite eggplant recipe?

What I ate: Pumpkin and Blue Cheese Gnocchi


It’s that time of the week again – when you want something delicious, but you don’t want to go through the hassle and production of spending the whole evening in the kitchen preparing dinner.

And let’s face it – everyone wouldn’t mind something new for their meals. Cooking in big batches gets rid of the need to be cooking all the time, but (I don’t know about you) I tend to have a short attention span when it comes to my meals, and after the second meal of the same thing I’m off looking for other things to feed myself with.

That being said, leftovers are a wonderful thing! I like them because you can always repurpose them in creative ways for your new meal, and you can clear a few little containers of food at one go. For this speedy meal I used:

  • Gnocchi (I made a large batch once and have a bag of them in my freezer. You can use bought gnocchi if you’d like)
  • Roast pumpkin (Leftover from the weekend)
  • Stilton Blue Cheese (I had a hunk just sitting in my fridge)
  • Cream
  • Truffle honey (a treat for me, any honey will do though)

And as with all my other What I Ate posts, there aren’t any quantities. Just get creative! I boiled the gnocchi until it floated to the top of the water, drained it, then in the pot I just emptied, I warmed the pumpkin up (there was oil from the roasting already). And since the pumpkin was roasted with thyme and garlic, there’s your flavour boost that’s already been incorporated into the ingredient. Then I add the hot gnocchi back into the pot, add a little bit of cream, crumbled some blue cheese on the top, and drizzled some honey over just before digging in.

It was creamy and comforting, and used up stuff I just had sitting in my fridge/freezer and pantry. Don’t have roast pumpkin handy? Well just about any roast root vegetables would do – I would use roast carrot, parsnips, capsicum…not so much potato though, because there are potatoes in the gnocchi. But it’s completely up for interpretation! Don’t like blue cheese? Add some cheddar and turn it into a gnocchi version of mac’n’cheese!

The variations are endless, and I’m no longer bored when I need to clear my fridge. Especially when I get into a cooking mood over the weekend and there are containers of random things everywhere.

What’s your favourite way of using up leftovers?

What I ate: Brussel Sprouts


It’s that time of the week again, where I look in my fridge and wonder what I’m going to do with the random things that are in my fridge and pantry. This time it’s the great winter veg: the brussel sprout!

Brussel sprouts get such a bad rep because of the possibility of them being bitter, but that’s also because many places that sell brussel sprouts tend to boil them to death, like the ‘steamed veg’ option in a bad steak restaurant. But they actually taste really lovely when done right, and are really not that hard to cook.

So, as with the other recipes that involve me clearing out my fridge, there aren’t any quantities, but feel free to use as little or as much as you like. Also feel free to include or omit whatever you’d like, and get creative with it!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180C. Halve the cleaned brussel sprouts (click the outer leaves off if they’re a bit raggy and give them a quick wash) and toss them with olive oil, ground cumin, salt and pepper.

Roast them in the oven till lightly browned, then sprinkle the chopped bacon over the top. Once the bacon starts browning and the brussel sprouts look lovely and golden, drizzle with honey and pop back to the oven for a minute.

Finish with grated parmesan.


It’s great as a side or as a light, healthy lunch, especially when it’s cold and rainy outside, like it was today. Hearty and satisfying. =)

What I ate: Bean salad

Bean salad

It’s been so crazy busy lately and I’ve got so many photos backed up to write about!!!!

I usually try to pick and choose the interesting or special places/recipes/dishes/etc to write about, cause I generally feel like the meals that I have at home – as it can be for many people – can get a little repetitive and boring. But after a suggestion from one of my closest friends – Fiona – I thought it might be worth a mention the stuff I throw together at home. Especially on leftover Sundays.

Today, it’s a bean salad. It’s a pretty loose and easy recipe, and great if you have stuff in your pantry that you’d like to clean out. Here’s what I used:

  • a tin of four bean mix (drained and rinsed lightly)
  • a tin of cannelloni beans (ditto)
  • tinned beetroot (finely diced)
  • finely diced chillies
  • sliced black olives
  • semi dried tomatoes
  • feta
  • tuna in springwater
  • finely diced onion
  • finely diced cucumber
  • lettuce

For the dressing I used the juice from the tin of beetroot, reduced with 1 bay leaf, then mixed with some white miso (I didn’t have mustard in the fridge), some balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, pinch of salt, and extra virgin olive oil.

I also had some bread rolls in the fridge – you know the kind that you finish baking at home? – and spread those with some homemade garlic butter (parsley, garlic, lemon juice and butter) and threw them into the oven.

I really liked that this salad was pretty much a pantry-ready salad, and cleared out a lot of bits and pieces in my fridge that needed eating. I didn’t feel over stuffed after, and it was incredibly moreish.

Leftover sundays are the best. =)

Leftover Pizza!


Not that the pizza was leftover…rather it was pizza made out of left overs.

One weekend I really felt like olives and roasted red peppers. I thought, “Hmm, why not make a sandwich with all those toppings? Ooh I could make them like little pizzas. But wouldn’t they be too small. I could make pizza dough and make real pizzas instead!”

So I made pizza dough. My train of thought always gets me in trouble.

It was quite a bit of effort, but on behalf of everyone who ate it – Sean and myself – it was really worth it effort. And there’s something about kneading dough that makes me happy.

I simply used this pizza dough recipe from Taste, and covered the pizza with tomato paste and with whatever leftovers I had in the fridge! I had:

  • Roasted red peppers – I bought red capsicum in bulk and chucked them all in a 200C fan-forced oven till they were all blackened. I then covered the tray with foil and let it cool. After it cooled, I just peeled off the skin and took out the stem with seeds. Then, I just put them into a sterilised jar and keep them in the fridge!
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Chopped Bacon
  • Haloumi
  • Misc Cheese – I had some tasty cheese, a little block of parmesan and a teeny tiny bit of mozerella left over.
  • Olives

The recipe for the pizza dough yielded two medium cookie trays worth of pizzas, which means as much experimenting as you want!!

Just remember to oil the bottom of the trays before you stretch the dough onto them.



When the Moon hits your eye…


That’s right, I made a Pizza Pie! Thoroughly inspired by Muppy’s Pizza Campofranco, I thought, “I’m not up for making pastry on a week night, but I LOVE the idea of the layered pizza!”

The answer? A Pizza Pie! It is easy, and takes barely any effort at all.

Leftover Pizza Pie
You’ll need:
Chorizo, sliced
Bacon, chopped (Or any other meat that you’d like to put into your pizza)
400g Tinned tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 medium Onion, chopped
Mozerella cheese
Puff Pastry, Defrosted

First, sauté the garlic and onions in two tablespoons of olive oil till golden. Next, tip 400g tinned diced tomatoes into the pan and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the tomatoes reduces to a thick sauce.


While the tomato sauce is reducing, fry off your selection of meat.



When all your ingredients are ready to go, lay down a sheet of puff pastry (I used frozen) onto the pie dish of your choice. Next, layer the tomato sauce, meat, basil and cheese.


I used some pumpkin purée as well as I had some steamed pumpkin left over. The idea of this is to add whatever you feel like, because at the end of the day, it’s your pie! Cover with another layer of puff pastry and fold in the corners. Bake in a 180-200 C oven till golden brown.


And there you have it! A quick, yummy weekday evening treat that took barely anytime to make at all. And the best part is that anything in your pantry goes! Which means that you don’t have to scrounge around for a particular ingredient, or make that mid week dash into the shops.