Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming is an Asian-inspired one-pan mince and rice dinner and something that I have not had since a kid (and that is some years ago now!)

I was reminded of this old family dish when I saw that Maggi – who are an international brand of seasonings, instant soups and noodles –   have made a packet meal of it.

I thought ‘fancy that!’ –  you don’t need to buy the packet mix because you will have the ingredients in your pantry, and best of all, you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

A bit of research online told me Kai Si Ming hit the NZ dinner scene sometime in the 60s, when recipes for it started popping up in women’s magazines, Plunket newsletters and the like.


  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g mincemeat
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1cup uncooked rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup broccoli, pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, celery
  • 1 chopped red capsicum
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded 

Heat the oil in a large pan (I use my wok)

Cook the onion until soft, then add the mince and brown.

Add Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, rice and boiling water.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add frozen peas and broccoli, celery and simmer for about 10 minutes

Add shredded cabbage and turn off the heat. Leave to stand with a lid on for about 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls.

** Use any vegetables that you have on hand

**Substitute the rice for noodles if you prefer.IMG_0299.JPG

If you are a child born in the 1960’s in New Zealand, your mum will have her version of this dish in her recipe book somewhere. I think mine is pretty close to my mum’s – I’ll have to ask her if I got it right!

What is a dish you can remember from your childhood that you haven’t had since then? It might be time to resurrect it and share it with your family, and make a new memory.

Happy foody memories xx






Confetti Couscous

What on earth is ‘Confetti  Couscous” I hear you say! What it is not is small pieces of coloured paper tossed in couscous!

This is a fabulously quick & easy side dish for any protein; fish, beef, lamb or chicken. I whip this up when I am feeling too lazy to wash and peel potatoes (or it is carb-free night and I’m cheating!)

Couscous is so easy to cook.

1/2 cup of boiling water to 1/2 cup of dry couscous. In a bowl combine couscous, boiling water, 1 tbsp butter and a pinch salt. Cover and leave tis and for 5-10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the grains.

While the couscous is ‘cooking’ heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan

Chop 1 small red onion and add to the pan and cook until soft. Next add chopped capsicum, courgettes…and literally whatever else you have in the vegetable drawer that is quick to cook.

I had a fresh sweetcorn that I sliced the kernels off and added to this cook.

Season well with fresh cracked pepper and salt. Add cooked couscous to the pan and mix  to combine. A handful of chopped parsley adds colour, texture and flavour if you have it on hand.


When I have more time, I roast orange kumara (sweet potato) or pumpkin that I have chopped into 2cm chunks; use runny honey or even maple syrup drizzled over the vegetables and season. Roast for about 20 minutes until the kumara/pumpkin is soft.

Dried cranberries are also a great addition – bottom line is this is a side dish that  you can make your own with your favourite vegetables.

Happy confetti tossing? xx

One-Pot Smoked Paprika Chicken

One-Pot Smoked Paprika Chicken, August 2016

One-Pot Smoked Paprika Chicken with carrots, potatoes & mushrooms is full of flavour, healthy and so easily put together! Try it with rice, quinoa or couscous.


  • 500g, skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt & black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 350g small potatoes, cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp flourOne-pot
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • garnish – fresh thyme if you have it – parsley if you don’t

Take the smoked paprika, salt & pepper and mix together in a zip lock bag.  Mix the chicken with the spiced set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan – add the chicken and cook until brown. Put aside.

Next cook the onion, and garlic in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Whisk the flour with the wine, and pour into the pan with the vegetables. Bring to the boil, stirring as you go. Add the chicken stock and stir again. Next add the chicken back to the pan and bring to the boil.

Cover the pan and simmer gently on a low heat for roughly 30 minutes.

Taste and adjust with more salt & pepper – serve on rice, quinoa or couscous.

And that is as easy as it gets – this is a delicious tasty one-pot meal that the whole family will enjoy!

Happy cooking xx

Smoked chicken

Baked Vege Biryani

Something different to tease your palate!  A delicious selection of veggie’s spiced up and baked in the oven with crispy finish to the rice – finished with a dollop of natural yoghurt!

I make a vegetarian meal at least once a week – and making it tasty is my main focus. This is a great dish that meets that brief.


  • 2 big tbsp rogan josh curry paste (or whatever you have open in the fridge!)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled, & grated
  • 3 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 butternut, peeled, chopped into 2.5 cm chunks
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

    Baked vege biryani
    Delicious vege’s with a curry paste of your choice – tasty, spicy & healthy
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & grated
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
  • 200 g basmati rice
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 200g tin of light coconut milk
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c
  2. Add the curry paste and 2 tbsp of oil to a mixing bowl. Pick the coriander leaves & finely chop the stalks, adding these to the bowl. Ginger, garlic and the cinnamon stick with a pinch salt & pepper added next and then mixed well.
  3. Add the butternut and cauliflower next.
  4. Aubergine is next into the bowl. Toss everything together well and then spread out onto a baking tray and cover with foil. (I use baking paper on the tray first)
  5. Bake in the hot oven for 25 mins. Take the foil off and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, cook the rice with the turmeric. Once cooked, drain the rice, and then return to the pot.
  7. Take the baked vegetables and transfer them into a baking dish – add the drained chickpeas and coconut milk and stir everything together.
  8. Sprinkle the cooked rice evenly over the top and press down lightly. Pop the dish back into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the rice is crisp and the sauce is bubbling 🙂
  9. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and sprinkle over the top of the dish – serve with the chopped green chillies, some natural yoghurt and a cold beer!

Happy vegetarian dinner time xx



Honey Roast Veggies with Garlic Aoili

Honey Roast Veggies go well with the Tasty Honey Mustard Chicken or Sticky Honey Mustard Drumsticks for a quick, easy and satisfying week night dinner.

We first tried this yummy veggie dish recipe a few weeks ago with our ‘My Food Bag’ – it was so good I wanted to share it with you all. I was able to have this dish prepared and on the table within 30 minutes – I have made it several times again as it was not only delicious, but quick and easy to prepare during the working week.

And one lesson Mum’s need to learn when feeding children, is that the more interesting and colourful a dish, the higher chance you will have of it getting eaten!

Try it with fish too – in fact you could have any protein on the side and this vegetable dish would compliment it 🙂

Honey Roast Veggies

  • 2 carrots, peeled & cut into thick sticks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled & cut like the carrots
  • 350 g potatoes, diced
  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 220°c, and line a tray with baking paper.

Toss the carrot, parsnips, potato and garlic in olive oil and honey. Season with salt & pepper and bake for 15 minutes.

Dice the courgette and capsicum and add to the the tray tossing together. Bake for a further 10 minutes, until tender.

To finish toss the roughly chopped spinach through the cooked vegetables and you are done!

Garlic Aioli

  • 2 cloves garlic, skin on
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Remove the garlic from the tray of  veggies and squeeze the garlic flesh into a small bowl  discarding the skin. Mash with the back of a spoon. Add lemon juice and mayonnaise and stir to combine. Season with salt.

Happy eating xx

Honey roast veggies
Making veggies look interesting is half the battle won getting kids to eat them – try this veggie dish & taste success with the kids!

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