Alexia Damianou, Owner and Chef at Lemoni on Park, Bedfordview, shared tips on: how to use a common ingredient in different ways, making the most of leftovers, tasty recipes and easy snacks for kids during the lockdown, and beyond.
Making the most of leftovers
1. Cheesy beef nachos
This is the best lunch to share with a friend or family in lockdown and involves zero to no skill. Use yesterday’s mince in a light, simple and effective way.
Yields 2 servings
Nacho chips or Dorito chips
Cheddar/Gouda cheese, grated
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Spring onion, sliced thinly
Tomato, chopped roughly
Coriander leaves, chopped
Corn in brine, drained
Avocado (optional), sliced thinly
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Place half the Doritos on a baking tray and top with half the cheeses and half the mince.
3. Top with the remaining Doritos, mince and finally a layer of cheese on top.
4. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until melted and the cheese has crisped.
5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining ingredients over the top.
6. Dollop the sour cream in the middle.
7. Enjoy while hot!
2. Chicken Asian wraps
We are often left with roast chicken or chicken breasts from the previous night’s meal. These wraps are perfect on warmer days as a light and healthy lunch. They also have a tasty sauce, which adds tons of flavour and takes two minutes to make.
Yields 2 servings
± 6 leaves
|For the sauce:
Salt and pepper to taste
For the wraps:
Chicken, cooked and shredded
Red cabbage, shredded thinly
Red onion, sliced thinly
Lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
Carrots, peeled and grated
1. Warm the wraps up in the microwave.
2. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined and smooth.
3. Toss the chicken into the sauce and allow to sit while you begin to assemble the wraps.
4. To assemble: place the lettuce, cabbage, red onion and carrot into a bowl, toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.
5. Place a generous amount into the centre of each wrap and top with the shredded chicken.
6. Drizzle any remaining sauce over the ingredients in the wrap.
7. Heat a pan over a high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
8. To fold the wrap: fold the top and bottom in about ¼ way over the fillings in the centre.
9. Begin to roll up the wrap, keeping the top and bottom tucked in.
10. Place the wrap into the pan, folded side down, and toast until golden and crisp.
11. Remove, cut in half and enjoy!
Easy snacks for kids
1. Loaded Fries
A Lemoni favourite amongst our customers! This snack is so tasty and perfect for little busy bodies to sit and enjoy before getting back into their games and activities. We are convinced moms will make themselves a small portion because it’s so tasty.
Yields 1 serving
1-2 handfuls McCain’s Chips, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
2-3 rashers bacon, cooked and chopped roughly.
- Place the cooked chips on an ovenproof tray.
- Toss with cheddar cheese and cooked bacon bits.
- Bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius until the cheese has melted and crisped on the top.
- Serve in a cool bowl for the kiddies to enjoy.
2. Healthy chocolate dipped blitz balls
Healthy snacks are a major trend, but how do you disguise foods so that kiddies will enjoy them and parents will be at peace knowing that the snacks at home are healthier than store-bought items? These blitz balls are the answer!
Yields 15 balls
10-15 dates, pitted
3 Tbsp. honey
1 cup almond flakes, toasted
1 cup walnuts or pecan nuts, toasted
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch salt
1 ½ cups dark or milk chocolate
- Blend the almond flakes and walnuts until they a coarse texture.
- Add the remaining ingredients (excluding the chocolate) and blend until the mixture comes together.
- Remove and roll into almost golf sized balls.
- Melt the chocolate in a plastic container in the microwave on bursts of 30 seconds, checking in between each time.
- Using a fork, dip each ball into the melted chocolate and place on a plate lined with cling wrap or baking paper.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes and enjoy!
How to use a lemon in different ways:
One of the best ingredients to keep in your kitchen is lemons. They aren’t just a citrus addition to any meal; they can be used in weird and wonderful ways.
Cleaning and degreasing: lemons are known to break down fats and stains on pots and pans. Rub a half-cut lemon onto a greased pot and leave for 10 minutes before using with hot water.
Lemon vinaigrette: combine two parts of olive oil with one part of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and whisk in a bowl with salt, pepper and your favourite herbs and spices. Store this in a jar and drizzle over salads and meals like chicken or potatoes and enjoy.
Perfect rice: add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice when cooking rice. This creates the fluffiest rice without sticking, and leaves no lemon flavour.
Lifts up droopy lettuce: soak wilting lettuce in cold water with a squeeze of lemon in the fridge for about an hour and then drain away excess liquid. Pat the crispy lettuce dry and voila!
Removes odours from the fridge: cut a lemon in half and place on a small plate. Leave in the fridge overnight and in the morning the fridge will smell fresh and clean. This works with the microwave as well.
Freezing ice blocks: fill a jug with lemon, lemon zest and mint sprigs and leave in the fridge overnight. The following morning, fill an ice tray with the flavoured water and add a small slice of lemon and a mint sprig into each cube. Freeze and drop a tasty lemon ice cube into your water for a refreshing twist.
For those who want a night off from cooking, Lemoni is delivering pre-made meals as well as platters, cakes and desserts during the lockdown. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries and you will be contacted with the menu to choose from.