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Top 10 quick meals

No time to cook? Try one of these easy, speedy ideas to get a wholesome dinner on the table in a flash.

  • Chicken Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 200g pkt pad Thai rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 500g chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
  • 240g jar pad Thai paste
  • 200g snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 2 long fresh red chillies, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions (shallots), thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 80g (1/2 cup) roasted peanuts, crushed

2.Chilli beef stir-fry with broccoli and peanuts

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons macadamia or peanut oil
  • 500g extra-lean beef mince
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 (about 400g) eggplant, trimmed, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 350g broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large bunch pak choy, trimmed, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, to serve
  • 2 cups steamed brown rice, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

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3.Loaded sweet potato fries with rump strips

Ingredients

  • 500g beef rump strips
  • 550g sweet potatoes, sliced lengthways
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 80g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream, to serve
  • Mixed salad leaves, to serve

Method

  • Step 1

Preheat a sandwich press. Lightly spray the sweet potato with olive oil. Cook the potatoes in the sandwich press for 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway, or until just tender. Set aside to cool slightly then slice into 1cm thick fries.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Cook the onions for 2 to 3 minutes until softened.

  • Step 3

Add the beef strips, cumin, garlic powder, and chilli powder. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and cooked through.

  • Step 4

In a bowl, mash avocado with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 5

To serve, place sweet potatoes on a plate. Top with the beef mixture, avocado and tomato. Sprinkle with feta and green onions. Serve with sour cream and mixed salad.

4.Lemon and basil prawn risoni

Ingredients

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stems finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g peeled green prawns, tails intact
  • 1 1/2 lemons, rind finely grated, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 350g dried risoni pasta
  • 1L (4 cups) Massel salt reduced chicken style liquid stock
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, chopped
  • 200g grape tomatoes, halved
  • Lemon wedges, extra, to serve

Method

  • Step 1

Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a shallow casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion, basil stems and half the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl.

  • Step 2

Add 1 tbs oil and prawns to dish over medium-high heat. Season. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add rind, chilli and remaining garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Transfer prawn mixture to a bowl. Set aside.

  • Step 3

Return onion mixture to dish over medium heat. Add risoni and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until coated. Add stock and lemon juice. Cook, stirring regularly, for 12-14 minutes or until risoni is al dente and liquid is almost all absorbed.

  • Step 4

Meanwhile, preheat oven grill to high. Line a baking tray with foil. Place asparagus and tomato on tray. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbs oil. Season. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until blistered and tender.

  • Step 5

Stir the prawn mixture, half the vegetable mixture and the basil leaves into the risoni, until warmed through. Remove from heat. Top with remaining vegetable mixture and basil. Serve with lemon wedge

5.Steak with speedy 'roast' potato salad

Ingredients

  • 260g jar chargilled capsicum in oil
  • 1kg large cream delight potatoes, boiled, roughly chopped (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 225g jar antipasto, drained
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 4 (150g each) beef rump steaks
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill sprigs
  • Salad leaves and lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  • Step 1

Drain capsicum, reserving 1/4 cup marinating oil. Roughly chop capsicum.

  • Step 2

Heat reserved oil in a large frying an over medium-high heat. Add potato, capsicum and onion. Cook, turning, for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned all over. Add antipasto and capers. Cook, tossing, for 2 minutes or until heated through.

  • Step 3

Meanwhile, season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill on high heat. Cook for 3 minutes each side for medium, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.

  • Step 4

Add parsley and dill to potato mixture. Toss to combine. Serve steak with potato salad, salad leaves and lemon wedges.

6.Quick and easy pizza muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 7g sachet dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved (see topping variations in Notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

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Method

  • Step 1

Preheat oven to 200 C/180 C fan-forced. Grease a 12-hole (1/3-cup-capacity) muffin pan.

  • Step 2

Combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well. Whisk oil and 2/3 cup warm water in a jug. Add to well. Mix to form a soft, sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes or until dough springs back when touched.

  • Step 3

Roll out dough until 5mm thick. Using a 7cm round cutter, cut 12 rounds from dough, re-rolling and cutting trimmings if needed. Line holes of prepared pan with dough rounds, pushing into pan to come 3/4 up side of each hole.

  • Step 4

Spread pizza sauce over base and sides of pizza bases. Sprinkle with a little of the mozzarella. Top each pizza base with a basil leaf, then tomato. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then dried herbs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bases are golden and cheese is melted. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to a baking paper-lined wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold

7.Quick spicy prawn laksa

Ingredients

  • 100g (1/3 cup) Ayam Malaysian Laksa Paste
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 24 green prawns, peeled, tails intact
  • 200g dried rice stick noodles
  • 120g green beans, thickly sliced diagonally
  • 80g bean sprouts, trimmed
  • Fresh Thai basil, leaves picked, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Method

  • Step 1

Heat a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add laksa paste and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in coconut milk and water. Simmer for 3 minutes or until heated through and well combined. Add prawns and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, cook noodles following packet directions. Drain.

  • Step 3

Place a nest of noodles in each serving bowl. Ladle laksa mixture around noodles. Top with beans, sprouts and basil. Serve with lime wedges.

  • 8.Gado Gado

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) satay sauce
  • 150ml light coconut milk
  • 4 chat potatoes, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, sliced on the diagonal
  • 150g baby green beans, trimmed
  • 150g firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 200g bean sprouts
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced on the diagonal, to serve

Method

  • Step 1

Stir the satay and coconut milk together in a small saucepan over low heat, then keep warm over a very low heat.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large steamer and steam for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and beans and steam for a further minute.

  • Step 3

Add the tofu, cabbage and bean sprouts and steam for a further 1-2 minutes, or until the cabbage has just wilted.

  • Step 4

To serve, divide the steamed vegetables and tofu between 4 serving plates, drizzle with the satay coconut sauce and garnish with chopped chilli.

9.Quick & easy paella

Ingredients

  • 600g chicken thigh fillets, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons harissa (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimenton) (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (330g) Calasparra (see note) or arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine
  • 3 cups (750ml) Massel chicken style liquid stock
  • 1 cup (120g) frozen peas
  • 2 x 190g jars roasted capsicum, drained, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

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Method

  • Step 1

Combine chicken, garlic, zest, harissa, paprika and oil in a bowl. Place in fridge to marinate for 15 minutes. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove chicken and set aside.

  • Step 2

Add a little oil to pan if necessary, then add onion and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add rice, then stir for 1 minute to coat rice in onion mixture.

  • Step 3

Add the wine and allow to bubble for 2-3 minutes, then add stock and bring to the boil. Return chicken to the pan, season, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until rice is almost cooked and most of the stock is absorbed. Stir in peas, capsicum and olives. Cook for a further 2 minutes until rice is tender and all the stock is absorbed. Stir through parsley, then serve with lemon wedges.

10.Quick couscous salad

Ingredients

  • 2 x 175g pkts San Remo Microwavable CousCous with Vegetables
  • 400g can brown lentils, drained, rinsed
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 300g shaved turkey
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

Method

  • Step 1

Prepare couscous following packet directions. Place in a large bowl. Cool slightly.

  • Step 2

Add lentils, baby spinach, oil and vinegar. Season and toss to coat. Spoon onto a serving platter. Arrange turkey and avocado on top. Season with pepper and sprinkle with seeds



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