Foundations of a great dinner

Using the five Project Dinnertime foundation recipes you can create at least 20 additional meals. Below are our 20 fail safe quick and easy dinners that you can depend on any night of the week.

Bolognaise bonanza


Here are some great ideas to change the foundation bolognaise recipe into four more great dinners.

1. Mexican beef – To the foundation bolognaise recipe add a can of kidney beans, one cup corn kernels and Mexican spices. Serve with tacos, burritos or rice.

2. Shepherd’s pie –  Cook and mash four medium potatoes. Pour prepared basic bolognaise in a casserole dish. Spread with mashed potato. Sprinkle with reduced fat grated cheese and bake until heated through and golden brown on top.

3. Pasta bake – Mix prepared bolognaise with four cups cooked pasta, two cups frozen mixed vegetables. Spoon the mixture into pie or casserole dish.  Top with ¼ cup grated reduced fat cheese.  Bake in moderate oven until heated and browned.

4. Jacket potato – Wash potatoes, prick with fork and bake or microwave until cooked. Cut a cross in the top of potato and gently squeeze to open. Spoon in hot bolognaise top with reduced fat yoghurt and top with reduced fat grated cheese.

Sensational soups


Soups served with grains and crusty breads come together to make well balanced dinners. Soups freeze really well, so always make extra and freeze for quick and easy lunches during the week.

5. Chicken noodle soup – Thinly slice 300g chicken thigh or breast fillet and add alongside 50g uncooked spaghetti or noodles to the foundation soup recipe and cook through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

6. Pumpkin and lentil soup – To foundation recipe add one cup washed dried lentils and 450g peeled and diced pumpkin. Blend and serve. Add 2 tablespoons of mild curry paste if you want a little more spice.

7. Minestrone soup – To foundation recipe add one can (425g) reduced salt kidney beans, one can (425g) reduced salt tomatoes and ¾ cup uncooked noodles or potato and cook.  Half an hour before serving add one cup shredded cabbage. Serve with crusty bread and grated parmesan cheese.

8. Lamb and barley soup – To the foundation recipe add 3 lean lamb shanks and ¾ cup pearl barley. Cook until meat is tender, remove meat from bones and return to soup.  Serve garnished with parsley and rosemary.

Curry in a hurry


Add a bit of spice to your life by introducing a curry to the weekly meals.

9. Hearty vegetable curry – To the foundation curry recipe add two cups mixed green vegetables and one can of coconut flavoured evaporated milk. Simmer 5 minutes and serve with rice or naan bread, reduced fat natural yoghurt and diced cucumber.

10. Lamb or chicken curry – In step 2 of the foundation curry, add diced lamb or chicken and continue following the recipe. Serve with cooked rice, reduced fat yoghurt and fruit chutney.

11. Fish curry – Spoon the foundation curry into a shallow pan or oven proof dish.  Place white fish fillets on the top of the curry, and season with lemon juice.  Cover with baking paper or foil and bake in moderate oven for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve with reduced fat yoghurt and sliced cucumber.

12. Curried egg – Boil two eggs per person, cool, peel and cut in half.  Place in a serving bowl and pour over prepared curry. Serve with boiled rice and sultanas.

Simple stir fries

stir fry

Stir fries are nutritious, delicious and simple to prepare. Check out how to change the foundation recipe into these tasty options.

13. Beef and sesame – Replace chicken with 300g topside beef, thinly sliced. Follow the foundation stir fry recipe. Add 100g snow peas, washed and sliced, and one tablespoon of sesame seeds before serving.

14. Stir fried tofu with broccoli and cashews – Replace chicken with 400g firm tofu, cut into cubes or strips and marinade in foundation sauce while preparing vegetables.  Prepare two cups broccoli florets and one bunch bok choy, washed and sliced. Stir fry tofu until lightly browned, remove from pan and set aside. Add vegetables to pan and stir fry until just cooked, return tofu and any remaining marinade, heat until sauce begins to thicken. Top with ⅓ cup unsalted roasted cashews, roughly chopped and serve with boiled rice.

15.  Prawn stir fry with Asian greens – Replace the chicken with 500g peeled green pawns.  Marinate prawns in a dish, cover and refrigerate while preparing the rice noodles and vegetables. Cook rice noodles according to packet instructions. Replace carrot and broccoli with 120g green beans, toped and sliced with ½ bunch washed and sliced bok choy. Follow foundation recipe instructions. Serve on a bed of rice noodles garnished with ½ cup snow pea sprouts and ¼ cup chopped coriander.

16. Mushroom and pork – Replace chicken with 350g pork strips and 400g mushrooms trimmed and sliced. Add two bunches of bok choy washed and sliced. Serve with cooked rice and coriander leaves, to garnish.

Fantastic frittatas


Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crust-less quiche. Mini frittatas can be made using a muffin pan and are perfect for snacks and lunches.

17. Tuna and peas – To the foundation frittata recipe, add one can of tuna (425g) in springwater, drained, and two cups frozen peas.  Bake until set and browned. Serve with salad greens or mixed vegetables.

18. Spinach and feta – To foundation recipe add two cups of fresh spinach or one packet of frozen spinach and 150g reduced fat feta, crumbled. Bake until set and lightly golden on top.

19. Ham and potato – This is a great way to use up left-over cooked potato. To the foundation recipe add two cups sliced cooked potato and 100g lean ham, chopped.  Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs.

20. Pumpkin and ricotta – Peel and cube two cups pumpkin, spray a baking tray and bake pumpkin for 20 minutes in a moderate oven (or cook pumpkin in microwave until soft). Mix cooked pumpkin with ricotta and add to foundation recipe. Serve with baby spinach leaves.

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