THE NEW ZEALAND VERSION of Eat Well for Less was a big hit and had a huge impact on the families involved. This book gives all the recipes from series 1 and 2, plus tips and tricks on tasty, easy and economical cooking from the hosts Michael Van de Elzen and Ganesh Raj.
Includes nearly 70 recipes from light meals and snacks, to main meals and sweet treats – from chicken sliders to lamb moussaka or beef noodle salad to mixed berry frozen yoghurt with choc-almond topping.
Also includes ideas on smart shopping, nutrition, kitchen tips, and a peek at the participants from series 1 and how they fared after the cameras stopped rolling. Did the lessons they learned stick?!
MICHAEL’S FAMOUS CHICKEN PIE
This dish should be renamed ‘Bee’s famous chicken pie’ after my wife, as it’s her go-to dish on a cold winter night. You can easily adapt this to your taste – feel free to add in loads more vegetables like peas, pumpkin or corn!
MAKES 1 BIG FAMILY-SIZE PIE
- 1 cooked free-range chicken
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- pinch each of salt and black pepper
- 1 leek
- 50g butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 50g standard flour
- 300ml milk
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Start by picking all the meat off the bird, and set it aside. (Keep the chicken carcass to make stock!)
Thinly slice the leek, place in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Once leeks are well-drained, gently heat the oil in a large pot. Add in the leek, salt and pepper and cook, stirring regularly, until soft. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add butter to the pot, then add garlic and cook gently, stirring, until soft. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, over a medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually add first measure of milk, stirring well between additions. Once all the milk has been added, return to the heat and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Add the leek, chicken meat, peas and mustard and stir well to combine.
Spray a family-size pie dish with cooking spray and place one sheet of pastry in the bottom. Spoon in the chicken mix. Lay the second sheet of pastry over the top. With your fingers, press the two sheets of pastry together around the edges and then trim any excess.
Whisk together egg and second measure of milk to make egg wash. Prick the top sheet of pastry with a fork and brush with egg wash. Bake pie for 25–30 minutes.
Delicious served with homemade tomato relish and baby spinach leaves.
GANESH’S APRICOT COCONUT SLICE WITH TOASTED CINNAMON ALMONDS
Your kid’s lunch box is sorted with this simple but delicious snack. Chewy, fruity and crunchy, this recipe will make enough portions to store some away for the week. With no baking, you can get the kids involved with this one. It’s tactile and fun!
MAKES 16 SLICES
- 300g digestive biscuits
- 300g dried apricots, chopped finely
- 150g butter
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for topping
- 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
In a food processor, blitz biscuits and place in a large bowl. Add chopped apricots and mix briefly. Line a medium-sized tray with baking paper.
Place butter and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute, then leave to fully melt. Pop it back in and cook in 10-second bursts if not fully melted. Once melted, pour into biscuit mix and add desiccated coconut and condensed milk. Mix well – if need be, get your hands in there to make sure it’s really well combined. Press mixture into prepared tray.
Place almonds, honey and cinnamon in a pan over a medium heat and toast for 5–7 minutes, stirring often.
Sprinkle extra desiccated coconut on top of the biscuity mix in the tin, then sprinkle the almonds on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Eat Well For Less by Michael Van De Elzen and Ganesh Raj, Published by Random House NZ, RRP $35.00, Photography by Jae Frew.