A birthday feast in two courses

So I promised my sister that I’d make her a birthday feast at a time that worked for both of us, as a gift to her.  This weekend was the weekend in which we did it.  Jacinta’s (my sister) task was to select recipes that she wanted from my cookbooks.  As you can guess, this wasn’t an easy task because I have many good cookbooks and it takes a while to get through them.  Jacinta ended up choosing 4 dishes (there was to be a dessert, but we were defeated by all the food prior to getting around to making dessert) and I thought I’d write them up here.

All these recipes are from books that I have already cooked from, so I will link back to the original post, so you can see any additional criticisms, or find the link to get a copy of the book if it is available.  Given I was cooking from 4 different recipe books, I think that we managed the timing of these dishes really well.  Go us.

Oh and even though I’m going to include the recipe for Chicken Kiev that I made, I seriously recommend you don’t make it.  It’s no better than chicken kiev bought from a shop or butcher, in fact it’s more annoying and fiddly.  Pay someone else to do the hard and dirty work, and you just have to deep fry or roast the chicken for all the garlicky goodness.


Vegetable soup/stew with dumplings

Recipe from More Than One Way and The Australian Heritage Cookbook

Ingredients Soup/Stew:

  • 1 tin corn
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups of sauteed onion, celery, carrot, garlic

Ingredients Dumplings:

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of milk or water


  1. Mix together the soup/stew ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Make dumplings: Mix together the flour, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add enough milk or water until the dough forms a soft dropping consistency (ie you can knead it and it’s still sticky).  Flour your hands and roll the mixture into balls, and place on top of the soup/stew after it has simmered for 30 minutes.  Cover, and cook, for about 15 minutes.  You might have to increase the temperature to a high simmer to cook the dumplings through.
  3. Enjoy

Notes on this recipe:

  • This was a combination of an exercise in More Than One Way, demonstrating how easy it is to eat protein heavy vegetarian meals, with a table where you choose one ingredient from each column.  As I was adding dumplings to this soup/stew I cut out the final column which was more crumbing the stop of the stew, and converted the whole recipe to being made on the stove versus in the oven.
  • This went down really well.  The dumplings turned out nicely, and really you could add other things to them like cheese, sundried tomato, anything that can be minced or grated, and change it even further.



Cheese and Chive Roulade

Recipe from Best of Vegetarian


  • 2 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2/4 cup Soy milk (or actual milk)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 310g tin creamed corn
  • 1/4 cup grated soy cheese (or cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  • 1/4 cup grated soy cheese (or cheese), extra for topping


  1. Heat margarine/butter and garlic in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until the margarine/butter is melted.
  2. Add flour and stir over a medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat and gradually add soy milk/milk. Return to the heat and stir continuously until mixture boils and thickens.
  4. Remove from the heat, cool slightly; mix in two lightly beaten egg yolks and salt.
  5. Place three egg whites in a bowl; beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  6. Gently fold beaten egg whites into sauce.
  7. Spread mixture into a lightly greased and lined 25cm x 30cm Swiss roll tin.
  8. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Combine Filling ingredients
  10. Turn cooked roulade out onto a damp tea-towel covered with baking paper.  Carefully remove paper lining from roulade.
  11. Spread roulade with Filling and roll up from the short end (or the long end, which makes more sense, but you know… whatever)
  12. Place roulade back onto tray.  Sprinkle with extra soy cheese (or cheese) and bake 10 minutes more until heated through and cheese is melted.  Serve immediately

(serves 6 and an entree)

Notes on this recipe:

  • I’ve never made something like this before.  It was surprisingly easy, and very tasty.  I rolled mine from the long end, because I don’t think it would have worked being rolled from the short end.  It’s kinda like an omlette, but not at the same time.

Lentil and Mushroom Bake

Recipe from Best of Vegetarian


  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups red lentils, washed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mushroom filling:

  • 1 tablespoon oil, extra
  • 250g flat mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, extra
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, extra
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, extra


  • 2 slices wholemeal bread, crumbed
  • 2 teaspoons margarine/butter, melted


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.  Stir fry onion, garlic, carrot and celery, until soft.
  2. Add water, red lentils, soy sauce, dried basil and salt.  Bring mixture to boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender.  Set aside.
  3. To make the mushroom filling: Heat extra oil in frying pan, fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes.  Add extra garlic, parsley, basil and salt.  Mix well.  Drain off any excess liquid.
  4. Place half of the lentil mixture into a lightly greased, shallow casserole dish.  Spread mushroom filling over the top, and then cover with the remaining lentil mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with the combined topping ingredients and bake at 190C for 20 – 25 minutes, or until top is golden.

(serves 6)

Notes on this recipe:

  • I was too full to try this recipe.  Apparently the red lentils made the texture a bit odd as they turn into mush (as red lentils do).  It might be better with other types of lentils like green or channa daal.  It did smell really good though.

Chicken Kiev

Recipe from The Only Cookbook you’ll ever need


  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • grated rind of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • seasoned flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125g breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep frying


  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of cellophane and flatten with a mallet or rolling pin.
  2. Cream the butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat in the herbs, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning.  Shape the butter into a rectangle and chill in the fridge until firm.
  3. Cut the chilled butter into 4 pieces and put 1 piece in the centre of each flattened chicken breast.  Roll up tightly, folding in the edges so that the butter is completely encased, and secure each roll with a toothpick.
  4. Coat the chicken rolls first with flour, then with egg, and lastly with the breadcrumbs.  Put them on a plate and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oil to 190C.  Fry the chicken for about 7 minutes (we did 10 minutes) or until they are golden.  Drain well, transfer to a warmed platter.

Notes on this recipe:

  • Just don’t.  Buy them from a shop.  Like croissants, Chicken Kievs are best left to professionals and machines to make for you.