Australia. A land where bold flavours, local produce and fresh seafood combinations are the staples of every dish.
We’re talking about a nation that will barbecue anything and skewer everything, and where 100s and 1000s on buttered white bread is considered a delicacy. We stick bubble in our bills, caramel in our koalas and Vegemite in our chocolate. It’s a country where families flock to a hardware store for a sausage sanger on a Sunday, and where it isn’t a party until someone brings out the Woollies mud cake.
One thing is clear. We're certainly not a nation known for salads and vegetables, particularly on Australia Day when sauce-slathered snags and sugar-laden lamingtons are the top picks on the lunch menu. But there's no need to let your health slide to the wayside - by switching up the traditional Aussie feast, you can have your cake, and a hot bod too! Swap barbecued sausages for prawns, ditch the heavily processed store-bought pies and be a little less naughty with our health-ified Pavlova.
As a nation with so much to be thankful for, do your country proud this Australia Day with these beaut recipes sure to have your mates grinning like a shot fox.
Spicy coconut prawn and pineapple skewers
Summer’s all about succulent seafood, so fire up the BBQ and give your grilling arm a workout with this reinvented take on the ancient Aussie proverb throw a shrimp on the barbie.
- ½ cup light coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 large limes)
- 500g of uncooked king prawns, peeled and deveined (you can use fresh or frozen, thawed prawns)
- 350g pineapple, cut into 3cm chunks
- Freshly chopped coriander and/or shallots, for serving
How to make
- Combine the coconut milk, Tabasco Sauce, soy sauce, orange juice, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add the prawns, toss to coat, and cover. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-2 hours, tossing occasionally. If using wooden skewers, soak in warm water while prawns marinate.
- Preheat the BBQ to medium high heat. Remove the prawns from the marinade, and reserve the excess marinade for grilling. Thread the prawns onto skewers, alternating with the pineapple.
- Place the prawn skewers on the BBQ and grill for 3 minutes, brushing with the marinade, then turning to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Brush with the marinade again until the prawns are just cooked through.
- Remove to a serving plate and garnish with coriander and shallots. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Well Plated by Erin.
Lamb and rosemary mini pies
There’s nothing more Australian than a lamb mince pie (except for watching The Castle in your budgie smugglers…). You’ll be the toast of the town with these irresistible pie-lets, eaten the Aussie way – with two hands and no safety napkin.
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 600g diced lamb leg, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 carrot, peeled, diced
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 ½ cups Campbell's Real Stock Beef
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
How to make
- Remove leaves from two rosemary sprigs. Cut remaining sprig into four and set aside.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, stirring often, for five minutes or until browned. Remove to a plate.
- Add onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary leaves to pan. Cook, stirring, for five minutes or until tender. Add flour and cook, stirring for two minutes.
- Combine tomato paste, wine and stock in a jug and add to pan. Cook, stirring, until sauce comes to the boil.
- Return lamb to pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until lamb is tender. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare a muffin tray by spraying it with oil.
- Cut two 15cm rounds and two 9cm rounds from each pastry sheet. Use large rounds to line muffin holds.
- Fill pastry cups with lamb mixture. Brush edges with water and top with remaining pastry rounds. Press edges to seal and brush tops with egg. Press in rosemary sprigs.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around pie edges to loosen and remove from pan. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Taste.com.au.
Pavlova - health-ified!
Finish on an Aussie classic, the mighty Pav, decked out with mountains of seasonal fruit and crunchy nuts. We’ve sweetened the deal with this health-ified take, meaning you can’t go wrong with this iconic dessert!
For the merigue:
- 6 egg whites (Don’t discard your yolks! Save them in the fridge for your morning scramble!)
- 2-3 tablespoons of rapadura sugar (all depends on how sweet you want it - we used minimal as we prefer a slightly less sweet taste)
- 2 teaspoons of cornflour
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
For the cashew cream:
- 2 cups of raw cashews
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
For the top:
- 2 bananas
- 6 strawberries
- 4 dried or fresh figs
- Handful of chopped pistachios
- ½ a lime (and four cheeks for decoration)
How to make
- Soak the cashews in cold water overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours prior to cooking.
- Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper with melted butter and dust with cornflour.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form (for non-bakers, that’s when the egg whites have just become glossy, and are starting to hold their shape when the whisk is pulled away from the mixture, forming a ‘peak’ shape). Gradually add the sugar in one tablespoon at a time, beating well until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the sugar has dissolved.
- Add in cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
- Spoon meringue onto baking tray. Use a baking spatula to smooth the mixture into a circular shape, roughly 25 cm in diameter. Smooth sides and top, and use the spatula to form peaks around the edge for a rustic look.
- Bake for 1.5 hours or until the pav is dry to touch (allow up to 2 hours). Turn off the oven, and leave the Pavlova inside with the door ajar until completely cooled.
- Transfer pavlova carefully to a serving dish. Empty cashews from the water and dry. Combine all cashew cream ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spoon cream mixture over meringue and top with fresh fruits.
- Drizzle with lime juice and maple syrup. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Lorna Jane.
Now that you’ve tucked into a good feed, why not burn off those cheeky pies with a fair dinkum workout fit for Australia Day?