Chicken, Basil Pesto and Baked Vegetable Risoni

Chicken, Basil Pesto and Baked Vegetable Risoni

Chicken, Basil Pesto and Baked Vegetable Risoni

2-3 chicken breasts
2 small lebanese eggplant, med dice
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 tbsp sliced black olives
½ red onion, fine diced
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Mediterranean Seasoning paste
1 tbsp oil
1 cup risoni
2 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
30g shredded parmesan cheese
50g tasty cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Gourmet Garden Basil Pesto Finishing Drizzle

Preheat the oven to 2000C (1750C fan forced).
In a heavy based pan, or suitable stovetop-to-oven dish, add oil, and sauté onion over med heat until translucent.
Add Mediterranean seasoning and garlic, and mix through.
Add eggplant and cook until it has just started to soften.
Add the risoni, and gently stir the mixture until the pasta is well coated, then add stock and diced tomatoes.
Bring mixture to boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add zucchini, olives and parmesan cheese, and stir to combine.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, and bake in oven for 20-50 minutes until golden brown.
Heat pan to medium-high heat. Lightly coat chicken with oil and pan fry for approx. 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve baked risoni with chicken. To finish simple Shake, Tear and Drizzle over chicken.

4 Simple Tips For Creating A Restaurant Quality Meal On A Budget


At times, it can be difficult to sit at home and watch a show like MasterChef as you tuck into a bowl of two-minute noodles or finish off your trusty baked beans on toast. You might find yourself wishing you had a few more dollars to spend so you could buy some of the more exotic ingredients professional chefs use to craft a restaurant quality meal.


Luckily for you, we spoke to 4-Ingredients author and Gourmet Garden ambassador Kim McCosker who shared her advice on how you can turn everyday meals into a culinary experience worthy of a chef's hat.


'You don't need to break the bank if you're cooking at home – some simple food swaps and tricks can transform the look and taste of your meal in a matter of minutes," she said.


'There are so many Aussies out there who think they're not capable of whipping up a delicious meal in their own kitchen, so I'm encouraging you to experiment with my easy kitchen hacks to then enjoy with your nearest and dearest."


Here Kim shares her top tips on how to make quality meals on a budget:


Invest in the dough: To complement a soup, rather than opting for the white loaf you are keeping in the freezer, pay only a couple of dollars more for the sourdough or 7-grain variety to immediately boost the quality of the dish. A lot of bakeries will sell their stock at a reduced price in the afternoon, so try your luck later in the day to catch a bargain… Nothing screams comfort food more than a warm bowl of soup and a toasty piece of sour dough!


Experiment with your sauces: Instead of naturally reaching for the tomato or BBQ sauce, don't hesitate to mix it up a little and give your tastebuds a sense of excitement. I love finding new and healthy condiments to boost the flavour of my go-to meals – I often use Basil Pesto over chicken and veggies and for red meat, Chimichurri does the trick!  In my family, the most important thing is convenience and flavour, which is why I opt for healthy sauce alternatives like Gourmet Garden's' Finishing Drizzle range – a simple shake, tear and drizzle adds so much flavour!


Burn the citrus: Always take a moment to garnish! When it comes to meals, a burnt slice of lemon or orange can make a homemade dish go from drab to fab. Simply peel your orange into segments and place on a baking tray, lightly brush them with olive oil before seasoning with sea salt or whatever herbs you have on hand (thyme or rosemary work great). I suggest to then roast them in a 180C oven for 20 to 25 minutes. These are delicious served with anything grilled and in any number of desserts.


Try a dumpling soup: Buying a packet of frozen dumplings and using them as a basis for a soup is an affordable and creative way to bring a restaurant dish into your abode. In a large saucepan, bring to boil ginger, garlic and chicken stock. Reduce the heat, add prawn and pork dumplings (our favourites!) and a splash of soya sauce. Let it simmer for eight minutes and then serve with sliced shallots and a sprinkling of lightly dried chilli.


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