The Dairy Kitchen approached me with the idea to chat about the importance of dairy in a family’s diet and proposed I cook one recipe a day with milk, yoghurt or cheese in it to show people how easy it is to incorporate into a family’s diet. They even sent me some links with suggestions and immediately I saw a problem.
“I want to cook all of it,” I told Tracey.
“I want you to cook all of it too,” she said, looking over my shoulder.
So I did.
“Party,” I announced to local family, and we had a lovely evening trying a heap of dishes.
So in keeping with the brief, Day One:
note: all the recipe titles in orange are links to the recipes
I have no idea what this dish tastes like. By the time I’d brought all the other dishes to the table this one was finished and there were requests for the recipe from the adults and demands from the kids I march back into the kitchen and whip up another batch. Overall I think that’s fairly positive.
So good. The only adult at the table who was disappointed with this dish was the vegetarian. For obvious reasons. Even though it looks fancy smancy the whole thing only takes five minutes to prep and then the oven does all the work.
Don’t panic: Orechiette is just a fancy way of saying shell pasta. I used our nutrininja to blend up the sauce – too easy, and not much washing up. The fussiest eater in the house, Miss9, loved this dish so much she hid a small container of it in the fridge for afternoon tea the next day.
This was my favourite, although I very nearly didn’t get to taste it either – the way my kids went at the spread a passerby might have assumed the kids hadn’t eaten for days. The lamb mince tasted fantastic with the herbs, Turkish bread and Mozzarella, and the baby spinach and cucumber gave crunch and colour. I liked this so much, and it was as easy to make as a spag bog, that I cooked it for dinner again the next night.
Not only did the family’s token vegetarian love this dish, the meat eaters were talking it up as well. Because they all loved it, and because it’s so deceptively simple, I decided to do a video of this recipe. Personally I love pumpkin, so it was always going to be a winner with me. I’m not big on garnish, but the pumpkin seeds on top really did add a nice visual touch to the dish. Of course, they taste nice too.
The satay sauce was a huge hit. Huge. “Did you make this?” my mother-in-law wanted to know. She sounded doubtful. BBQ’s the skewers while sipping a beer and chatting with the fam.
This was the least favourite dish of the day, probably because I didn’t wring the frozen spinach out enough and was crying out for more salt. To be fair though, it was up against some cracker dishes. Next time I think I’ll use fresh spinach or fresh baby spinach even. So least favourite, but still worth having another crack at. Especially as even if you’re lactose intolerant you can still enjoy recipes like this. Cheeses generally have little to no lactose in them.
Master24 is adamant doesn’t like zucchini. He liked this dish. A lot. Not only did it look beautiful on the table, despite the lack of meat it was the second dish to disappear entirely from people’s plates. Not bad for a vegetable we usually have to grate into spag bog so the kids don’t know they’re eating it. A genuine surprise, and a dish I’ll be adding to our family BBQ staples.
Like I said, good enough to have two days in a row. I’ve never used yogurt much in the kitchen and I’ve nearly gone through two big pots of Greek yogurt this week. It is brilliant stuff. Fun to cook with and healthy to boot – includes lots of essential nutrients like protein, vit B12 and iodine. Plus it makes a dish look a little bit fancy.
Tracey and the resident vegetarian enjoyed this dish. I focused on the mushroom half because I have a thing for fungus. Fungus? Fungi? Mushies anyway. Apparently only ten percent of us are getting the recommended intake of dairy each day. Recipes like this can help you address that.
The prep for this is done the night before and takes about a minute. All I needed to do in the morning was sip on a coffee while I toasted some walnuts and cut up two dates and a banana. When we go to Wonga Beach for our family Christmas bash we each have to do the cooking for one day. This will be my breakfast offering. Very impressed.
My kids love making morning smoothies in the nutrininja. I love it too because, although there’s always a bloody big mess, they do it themselves giving me time to focus on important things like making myself a string of very strong coffees. The muesli was a nice touch and one I think they’ll keep. The certainly did the day after I made these for them and they did they whole thing by themselves before I’d even gotten out of bed. A good find.
Confession time – I’ve always wanted to try doing this. Maybe it’s my love of westerns. Can I just say it was just as satisfying as I imagined it would be. Big surprise was two of the kids who won’t touch baked beans out of a can LOVED this.
Finally, I got to try this recipe and see what all the fuss was last weekend! I get it now, I do. The ricotta in with pork and veal mince makes for really light meatballs. Dare I say they’re amazeballs. This will not be the last time we have these.
So there we go. A week of including cheese and different dairy products in our meals and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten better. What I loved about these recipes is they weren’t difficult or time consuming. Most of the time it was a matter of mixing things together and letting the oven, pan or fridge do the work.
Dairy is one of the five food groups recommended every day for good health. Milk, cheese and yogurt are bursting with vitamins, minerals and protein, including calcium for building strong bones and teeth for the rest of their lives, so I see including them on my dining table as a great idea for giving my kids a great start.
The fact I’m sick of spag bog and want to eat stuff with flavour might also come into play.
Here’s a link to the actual recipe on The Dairy Kitchen
Raising a family on little more than laughs