Easy, tasty and affordable

Family Favourites by Bargain Box with Nadia Lim, published by Random House NZ, $35.
Family Favourites by Bargain Box with Nadia Lim, published by Random House NZ, $35.
Making easy, tasty meals an affordable reality for New Zealanders is the aim of Nadia Lim's latest cookbook.

Family Favourites is another in the series of books Lim has released based on her involvement with the My Food Bag delivery service.

The recipes have been selected from the favourites families have experienced from Bargain Box - a delivery service aimed at growing families and those on a budget.

''It's about making the best use of what you've got, getting the kids in the kitchen and adding a bit of variety to your mid-week meals.''

Along with recipes for hearty dinners, asian and mexican inspired dishes and pizza and pasta, there are also recipes for deserts, sauces and dressings.

More importantly there is a section on what to do with those ingredients left over in your fridge or pantry.


Photos: Tam West
Photos: Tam West
Moroccan meatballs with couscous salad

Cumin, coriander and turmeric are all popular spices in Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy these fragrant flavours, meatball-style!

Serves 5

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes


Moroccan meatballs
600g beef mince
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1½ Tbsp Moroccan spice mix (see below)
1 cup grated cheese

1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp tomato sauce

Moroccan spice mix
Mix together 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp ground turmeric

Couscous salad
1 cup boiling water
1 cup couscous
½ tsp salt
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets and stem diced 1cm
½ telegraph cucumber
1 carrot
1 Tbsp vinegar (e.g. red wine, white wine, cider)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

To serve
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp Moroccan spice mix

Preheat oven to 220degC and position oven rack in centre of oven.

Lightly grease a large casserole dish (measuring about 25cm x 35cm) and place in oven to preheat.

Bring a full kettle to the boil. Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Preheat barbecue hot plate to medium-high (if using to cook meatballs).

Place all Moroccan meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using clean hands. Roll into golf ball-sized balls.

Carefully place i

n preheated baking dish in a single layer and bake for 13-15 minutes, until cooked through. Turn oven setting to grill (leaving oven rack in centre of oven) and grill meatballs for 2-3 minutes, until golden.

Alternatively, cook on barbecue hot plate for 8-9 minutes, turning often, until cooked through.

While meatballs cook, prepare the rest of the meal. In a large, heat-proof bowl, combine boiling water, couscous and salt. Stir, cover and leave to swell for 5 minutes. Fluff up grains with a fork.

Prepare veges. Cook broccoli in pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain, place under cold, running water to cool and drain again. Quarter cucumber lengthways and dice into 1cm pieces; grate carrot. Stir veges through cooked couscous, along with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream with second measure of Moroccan spice mix (if using).

To serve, divide couscous salad among plates and top with a few Moroccan meatballs. Spoon over sour cream.

Energy 2864KJ (685kcal) | Carbs 34.8g | Protein 40.4g | Fat 42.6g


Steamy fish parcels

A family-friendly take on fish en papillote (fish in paper), these tasty Thai-inspired parcels are a great way to get the kids involved in cooking.

Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes

600g boneless, skinless, white fish fillets
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce (preferably mild)
½ tsp runny honey
zest of 1 lemon
2-3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
½ capsicum, core and seeds removed, finely diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced

To serve
400g dried egg noodles (or your favourite fresh or dried Asian noodles)
1 head broccoli
1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 200degC. Set aside an oven tray. Bring two medium-sized pots of salted water to the boil. Cut 4 large squares of baking paper and foil (measuring about 30cm x 30cm).

Lay foil squares on a flat surface and place a piece of baking paper on top of each. Pat fish dry with paper towels and cut any larger fillets in half.

Place some fish in the centre of each square, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sweet chilli sauce, honey and lemon zest, and spoon over fish. Top with spinach, capsicum and onion.

Wrap paper/foil into parcels by pulling two sides up and rolling together towards fish. Twist each end of the parcel tightly, ensuring sauce does not leak out.

Place on oven tray and bake for 15-18 minutes (depending on thickness), until fish is just cooked through and vegetables are still crunchy.

While fish is baking, add noodles to first pot of boiling water and cook for 9-10 minutes (or according to packet instructions) until just tender. Drain and toss with a little oil to prevent sticking. Cover to keep warm.

While noodles are cooking, cut broccoli into small florets and dice stem into 1cm pieces. Add broccoli to second pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until bright green and tender, then drain. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, open parcels (being careful of steam) and place noodles and broccoli to one side of the fish. Place a parcel on each plate and serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing.

Energy 1905KJ (455kcal) | Carbs 52.7g | Protein 45.4g | Fat 6.7g


Vege nachos

Packed with hidden veges, these nutritious nachos are sure to put a sombrero-sized smile on everyones face!

Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Ready in 30 minutes

Vege bean sauce
1 brown onion, finely diced

1 leek, white and pale green part only, cut in half lengthways and thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1½ Tbsp nacho spice mix (see below)
½ cup water
400g can chopped tomatoes
420g can mild chilli beans
1 Tbsp soy sauce
250g frozen corn kernels
1 cup grated cheese

Nacho spice mix
Mix together 1½ tsp ground cumin, 1½ tsp ground coriander, 1½ tsp powdered vegetable stock and 1½ tsp cocoa powder

½ iceberg lettuce
½ telegraph cucumber
1 capsicum

To serve
200g corn chips
½ cup sour cream

Preheat oven grill to 200degC/high. Set aside a large casserole/baking dish (if you do not have an oven-proof frying pan).

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan (preferably oven-proof) on a medium heat. Cook onion, leek and carrot for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. Stir through nacho spice mix and cook for a further minute, until fragrant.

Stir through water, canned tomatoes, chilli beans, soy sauce and corn. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce has thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sprinkle over cheese and grill for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted. If you don't have an oven-proof frying pan, transfer mixture to an oven-proof dish before adding the cheese.

While vege bean sauce is grilling, prepare the salad. Thinly slice lettuce; roughly dice cucumber; remove core and seeds from capsicum and roughly dice. Place all in a bowl with a little olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place vege bean sauce, corn chips, sour cream and salad in the middle of the table for everyone to help themselves.

Energy 2884KJ (689kcal) | Carbs 72.6g | Protein 23.6g | Fat 31.7g


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