A photographic food adventure

Posts tagged ‘the young and hungry’

Tuna Pasta Bake

Hey guys,

This one is nice and easy and yummy. Like my last recipe it uses sauce from a jar but when I glanced at the ingredients on the bottle I realised I could have made it myself and better so I’ll work on that and post the recipe when I’ve perfected it! I’ve made enough for one person but you can make more by adding more tuna and pasta. You can use other meat in this recipe, like chicken or whatever but being semi-vegetarian, I wouldn’t.


1 jar pasta bake sauce of your choice
1/2 a tin of tuna
1 cup pasta


Boil salted water, add pasta when boiling.

When pasta is cooked, drain and return to pot. Add tuna and stir.

Add sauce and stir until pasta is well coated. Remember some sauce will dry out when you bake this so you may want to add a little more sauce than you need.

Put mixture into oven-proof dish and add cheese.

Bake at 160 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

See, easy!




Cheat Lentil Tikka Masala

Hey guys,

This recipe is a bit of a cheat, I bought a jar of Tikka Masala sauce and added a couple of my own things but it was yum, simple, cheap and easy, which is the point of this blog so it definitely counts. Although, I’m sure Nurul can do better and I challenge her to do that! Although in hindsight it would have actually been cheaper to try and make it myself but I have NO idea how to make a curry from scratch so spending up to $5 on a jar of curry sauce was a good choice and $5 is still cheap.

As a vegetarian, lentils are a very healthy high source of protein and a great meat alternative. I don’t eat a lot of lentils but I should start eating more.

1 jar of tikka masala sauce (could also use butter chicken sauce or any other sauce of your choice)
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped and crushed
1 tin of lentils
Extra chilli if needed
1/4 cup of rice (That’s enough for me, you can make more if you like rice or are cooking for more than one person)
Naan bread from the supermarket or from your local Indian restaurant/take-away shop


First, boil salted water for rice.

While you’re waiting for your water to boil, open your tin of lentils. Tinned lentils are usually kept in brine, which is a gross brown liquid that I think smells like catfood. To avoid the brine, I always wash my lentils well so put your lentils in a colander and run cold water over them for a couple of minutes.

Add rice to the boiling water and cook til soft.

Chop and crush your garlic. (I really just wanted to show off my new knife, which I got from Countdown supermarket by saving stickers they give you after every $20 purchase). You could probably add diced onion too but I didn’t have one at the time. Like Nurul, every dish I make has a garlic or onion/garlic base, it’s called FLAVOUR. Although, I’m pretty sure, as a meat eater I never used garlic but now I’m unsure where I’d be without it. I use so much I can’t even taste it any more!

Fry the garlic in olive oil but not til it goes brown. Like Nurul, I start everything on high and turn it down when it starts to get hot. Garlic is best cooked on medium heat, it is gross as soon as it goes brown so it’s best to saute it on a low heat to get all the flavour  out.

Add lentils and fry on medium heat for 2-5 minutes. The lentils are already pre-cooked so you just need to heat them up.

Add your sauce, while on high heat then when it starts to boil, turn it to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While your sauce is simmering, take your rice off the heat and drain it (if you cooked it using heaps of water like I did).

Also while my sauce was simmering, I went to my local Indian restaurant and got a couple of pieces of garlic naan to go with the curry, naan is always my favourite part of a curry and although my local Indian restaurant (2 minutes walk from my house) makes terrible curry, it makes good naan so that was perfect for this situation.

Plate everything and enjoy!


Winter Vegetable Soup

Hey guys,

Winter’s coming, last week we had a “weatherbomb” with wind and rain and general coldness so I felt it was the perfect time to make soup.

This soup is very easy but you may want to freeze some of it coz it makes a LOT of soup, unless you want to eat soup for like 2 weeks straight. I’m not sure if it’s possible to make a smaller batch.


1 packet King traditional soup mix
9 cups water
Vegetables of your choice, diced into similar sizes (I used 3 potatoes, a quarter of a pumpkin, half an onion, 3 big cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and 4 sticks of celery)
A tin of tomatoes
A few tablespoons of tomato paste
Stock cubes (If you taste the soup after an hour or two and it tastes bland)


As I said earlier, this recipe is VERY easy, it’s basically just throwing everything into a pot and boiling it for 2 and a half hours, or until your vegetables are cooked and the soup tastes like all the flavours have been incorporated into the soup.

The first step is to chop your vegetables (I don’t have a picture of this, I was too hungry and desperate to make soup fast!). Dice them into bite-sized pieces but all similar sizes so they cook evenly but you boil them for so long they’ll all cook eventually anyway but it’s best to cook them at a size to make them easy to eat in a mouthful with other vegies and liquid (the rest of the soup).

Put the soup mix into a large, large pot.

Add water and bring to the boil on high heat.

Using medium heat, add hard diced vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, kumara etc, things that take longer to cook than other vegetables. I also added my garlic at this point to start adding flavour to the soup.

Cook those vegetables for 30 minutes before adding softer vegetables like leek, celery, onion, whatever else as well as your tin of tomatoes and tomato paste and salt and pepper.

Stir in the soft vegetables and cover soup for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste occasionally also, if the flavour doesn’t start to develop, add a stock cube or 4 to add flavour.

Using a fork, try one of the hard vegetables to make sure they’re cooked (it would be completely stupid if they weren’t by this point). Try some of the soup liquid also. Add more salt and pepper if it doesn’t taste flavoursome.

Spoon into bowls using a ladle, cut some nice crusty bread and enjoy!



Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Hey guys,

I finally got a new computer so I’ll be posting regularly again and by the looks of it, Nurul is all settled in as well and will also be posting regularly so The Young and Hungry is back!

I have a beautiful recipe for you today, it is never fail, which is such an important quality when baking. Baking is a lot more difficult than cooking, so much can go wrong so usually it’s important to follow the recipe EXACTLY.

The recipe is actually for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting but this time I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting the recipe for chocolate, either way it is successful so worth a shot. It’s from the New Zealand Red Cross cookbook.

125g softened butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoons (or more) vanilla essence
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup self raising flour (If you don’t have self raising flour, use plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
1/4 cup cocoa (if you’re not using cocoa, add a whole cup of self raising flour instead and omit the cocoa)
3 tablespoons warm milk (warmed for 10 seconds in the microwave)

125g softened butter
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk, warmed for 15-20 seconds in the microwave
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
(The amounts in the frosting recipe can be halved or quartered, depending on how much frosting you need/want, it is also more open to interpretation, meaning you can taste it as you go and add more of anything if you feel it needs it).

Cupcake Method:

Preheat oven to 180C, line a 12-hold muffin pan with paper cases.

Place butter, sugar, vanilla essence and eggs into a food processor. Process for 10 seconds.

Add flour and cocoa, process again til combined.

Scrape down the edges of the food processor. Add warmed milk. Process again til combined.

Spoon mixture into prepared paper pans.

Bake for 17 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

(My cupcakes always look like little volcanoes, for some reason they always rise in the middle instead of staying flat like cupcakes should but don’t worry about this, it will be covered with frosting later on.) 

Frosting Method:

To make the frosting, cream the butter with an electric beater until very pale, which should take 2-4 minutes.

Using a low speed, mix in the icing sugar and cocoa alternately with the milk and vanilla.

Continue to beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe or swirl the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. (I have bought plastic piping bags from the supermarket to decorate cupcakes, they’re pretty cheap in boxes of 4 or 5, which includes little nozzles to put on the end of the bags to make different patterns with the frosting but if you don’t want to do that, you can just use a spoon to put a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake.  If you’re using piping bags, put all the frosting into the bag (trying not to get too much air in the bag) and then snip the end of the bag with scissors).




Home Made Pesto Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes

Hi guys,

Pesto is an amazing, versatile sauce for any meal. With this batch of pesto, I made pesto pasta (this recipe), pesto mashed potato and pesto on toast with cheese.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to buy pesto, it’s extremely easy to make and today, I’m going to teach you how from this Jamie Oliver recipe.

Garlic (Jamie suggests half a clove but as you’ll see, I used three haha but then it was a bit too overpowering so stick to just one clove)
Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Lemon juice



Put garlic into a food processor.

Blend. Add basil and salt.

Blend. Lightly toast pine nuts in a pan.

Add pine nuts to blender. Blend.

Side note: This is where my camera went out of focus for a few pictures so a few steps are missing photographically but it’s not hard, just throw everything into the blender.

Add some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Blend. Add parmesan.

Add more olive oil until the consistency is correct. How do you know when the consistency is correct? You can’t see individual bits like you can in the above picture but it’s also not very runny. Also, keep tasting. If it needs more of anything to make it taste the way you like pesto, add more oil or lemon or even basil.

Chop tomatoes. Put them on a baking tray and into the oven at 200 degrees until roasted.

Boil pasta in salted water til cooked.

Toss a few teaspoons of pesto through the pasta. You don’t need much, it’s strong stuff. Add the roasted tomatoes on top.



Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Hi guys,

Sorry about the delay in recipes, I spilt wine on my computer recently and that’s meant being unable to post but I’m borrowing a friend’s computer today to post some recipes I’ve been making over the past week or so.

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is very simple and quite cheap. It’s the first time I’ve made it myself, I’ve previously had it at restaurants and it’s pretty tasty.

One packet of cannelloni tubes, which can be found in the pasta aisle of your local supermarket
Spinach (I used frozen spinach, defrosted but fresh is great if you have it)
A tub of ricotta cheese
2 yolks
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/3rd of a cup of grated cheese

Tin of tomatoes
Mixed herbs
Tomato paste
Garlic (optional)


Put ricotta into a bowl.

Add spinach and garlic. Stir.

Add egg, nutmeg and salt.

Add cheese. Stir again.

Stuff cannelloni tubes with mixture. They’re quite small tubes so very fidgety to stuff but try using a knife to push the mixture down so the whole tube is filled.

Now you can focus on your tomato sauce. In a pan, fry garlic (if using), a tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs. Boil for 5 minutes then take off the heat.

Pour half of the tomato sauce into your baking dish and put the filled cannelloni tubes on top.

Pour the rest of your sauce on top and add grated cheese on top too.

Bake in the oven for 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if cooked.



Chinese-style Poached Fish with a Summer Salad

Hey guys,

I’m a vegetarian who eats fish so today I thought I’d show you a really nice, easy poached fish recipe I always enjoy.

A piece of fresh (or frozen) fish (if frozen, defrost beforehand)
Garlic, crushed
Fresh ginger, chopped
Soy sauce
Lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Chilli flakes
Spring onion

Summer salad with vinegarette
Cherry tomatoes
Spring onion
Cucumber (if you have or want it)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (I don’t usually like vinegarette but I recently went to the Martinborough fair and bought myself a nice olive oil from one of the local olive groves and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It made SUCH a difference to the vinegarette, it’s very much worth it if you can find a high quality olive oil. If not, extra virgin olive oil will be fine but I really recommend a high quality oil, mine was only $6 for a small bottle of Molive Gold at the fair).


Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl, add 5 tablespoons of soy sauce. (More may be added later, this recipe is all about flavour balance so it’s important to taste with every new flavour you add to ensure the flavours complement each other perfectly and nothing overpowers anything else.)

Next, add a tablespoon of honey and mix it til it’s incorporated into the soy sauce. Add lemon. Taste to check the flavour balance. If it tastes too sweet, add more soy sauce, if it’s too salty, add more honey.

Add garlic and ginger, stir. Taste again. (Doesn’t have to be a big taste, I usually just dip a finger in and that gives me the general idea.)

Add chopped spring onion and chilli flakes. Stir. You know the next step: TASTE.

Grease tin foil with butter. Place the fish onto the greased tin foil.

Spoon the marinade over the fish. You don’t have to use all of it, try and use most of the garlic/ginger/spring onion but it doesn’t need a lot of liquid. (If you’re making more than one piece of fish, wrap each piece individually in it’s own tin foil package with marinade.)

Fold the tinfoil over the fish. Fold the long parts first then the short folded on top.

I folded mine wrong, as you’ll see in the pictures but just take my advice, fold the long sides then the short sides otherwise some of the juice spills out.

Put your fish package on a baking tray and into the oven.

The cooking time is SUPER important so listen closely. Use a timer or stopwatch or clock, or whatever. Cook for 5 minutes. Take the fish out of the oven and unwrap the package.  If the fish is white and falls apart easily when touched with a knife, it’s done. If it’s a thicker piece of fish, it may need more time (it may still be pink). Give it another 2 minutes if that’s the case. 8 minutes should be the very very limit the fish will need to cook for. You do NOT want to overcook the fish, it will be dry and disgusting (the flavour will still be amazing though!)

Meanwhile, (But don’t lose track of time!) it’s time to make your side salad.

Chop your lettuce, tomatoes and spring onions.

Add one part vinegar to three parts oil into a bowl (for example, I used one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to three teaspoons of Molive Gold olive oil). Whisk til the mixture has emulsified (or the vinegar and oil have combined, but fair warning, if you leave the mixture too long, it will separate again and you’ll have to whisk it again). Taste, then add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.

Place your salad onto the plate and drizzle a few teaspoons of vinegarette over it.

When the fish is cooked, place it on the other side of the plate (presentation is EVERYTHING, guys) and spoon a little of the remaining marinade over it.