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hot cross buns being glazed

The Steam Oven Meal Plan for real people #5

Or, what to cook in your combi steam oven, April 3-9, 2023

Welcome to this week’s Steam Oven Meal Plan for real people!

New to this blog series? Check out the first Steam Oven Meal Plan for notes about how I do my meal planning and cooking, or just dive in and add this week’s ingredients to your shopping list.

I use my steam oven every day, but I also like to share other recipes I’m cooking, from all around the web. This is the closest you’ll get to being in my kitchen every week.

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A steam oven meal plan for Easter week

I appear to have been floating along in the mistaken state of belief that it’s still the very beginning of the year. Imagine my surprise that the calendar says Easter is already upon us, as is the end of first term for my kids. With term break upon me, and a chocolate-fueled weekend to kick things off, I’ll be spending much of this week preparing myself, and my freezer, for the onslaught.

Happy cooking, see you here again soon.

Monday

It’s kind of cheating the weekly meal plan because I started these on Sunday, but hot cross buns are on the agenda today (you could, if you wish, happily make them all in one day with mostly hands-off proofing and baking). Steam oven hot cross buns are wildly better than anything you can buy in a store, plus you get to choose what fruit you include (or go rogue with chocolate chips instead of fruit). I use this recipe multiple times every Easter and it’s still my favorite.

Fellow sourdough bakers, you can easily adapt this recipe to a hybrid commercial yeast-sourdough hot cross bun. Add 2 grams of yeast instead of the recipe’s 7 grams, and 100g sourdough starter when you mix the dough. They’ll benefit from a longer, room temperature proof rather than the fast steam oven version, and a second proof overnight in the fridge. The texture and deeper flavor of sourdough buns is fantastic, so if you have time I’d really recommend giving them a try.

If we don’t end up eating them all (in which case I’ll be making more on Friday), I’ll freeze the hot cross buns for the weekend.

Hot Cross Buns
Perfectly spiced and with the flexibility to add any fruit you like, these hot cross buns are the only ones I want to eat.
Check out this recipe

For dinner we’re having Nagi’s rissoles. If you didn’t grow up in 1980’s Australia, think of them as meatloaf in meatball-patty form. Basically a well-seasoned meatball mixture with loads of hidden zucchini and carrots. Have them with ketchup/tomato sauce, or go all out and make a simple gravy if that’s your thing.

Rissoles
Soft and tender, rissoles are super easy to make and leftovers make perfect lunchbox food (my kids love them cut in half and put in a flatbread with salad). Bake them in the oven instead of frying for maximum ease.
Check out this recipe

Tuesday

I love to give the teachers at my boys’ school a little something for Easter. Bought eggs are fine, but a home baked treat is always very well received (I don’t think people gift baked goods very often these days, but we should all do it more). I’m baking today, and this year we’re giving little carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting, wrapped up with a few mini chocolate eggs in some cute decorative nests I found. My carrot cake recipe is the one published in Steam Oven Baking, so pull out your copy or buy it now (ebook or paperback) if you haven’t got it. I promise there are lots of great recipes in there that you’ll use over and over.

Dinner is everyone’s favorite parmesan crumbed chicken. I’ll prep during the day for speed later on, and while it cooks I’ll pull together a salad with roasted broccoli and sweetcorn, because both veg are hanging around in my fridge. Think broccoli, corn, leafy greens and a handful of sunflower seeds with a vinaigrette dressing.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Crispy and crunchy and tender and juicy, all at once and all together. This is one of those dishes which seems like it must be complicated, but in fact it takes minutes to prep and not much longer in the oven.
Check out this recipe
parmesan chicken with chutney
Lemon Roasted Broccoli
Roast your broccoli and then turn it into a gorgeous warm salad with sweetcorn kernels, sunflower seeds and leafy greens. Dress with a quick vinaigrette or yogurt dressing and you've got a very worthy side or lunch dish.
Check out this recipe
Lemon roasted broccoli cooked in a steam oven on a pita bread with a halved lemon, white dressing and red chilli sauce

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Wednesday

I still have pesto left from last week’s bulk batch, so dinner will be a simple pasta tossed with that and steamed green beans. Because the kids are hit and miss with pesto, I’m hoping to get a parmesan garlic bread made as back-up and for snacks through Thursday.

Pistachio Pesto
Pesto stirred through hot pasta is a fast and delicious meal. I love to add steamed broccoli or beans, and if you want to add extra protein a little cooked shredded chicken is great tossed through at the last minute.
Check out this recipe
Freshly made pistachio pesto with basil in a small white bowl, with a wooden spoon and more fresh basil in the background.
Parmesan Garlic Bread Twist
I know this doesn't seem like a weekday bake, but if you're organized most of the time is hands-off, and it's a great way to dress up a basic dinner.
Check out this recipe
parmesan garlic bread

Thursday

Last day of school for term! I’ll be solo parenting for dinner, and to celebrate the holidays I’ll let the kids have breakfast-for-dinner. For some reason they all think this is a huge highlight. If they want it I’ll cook bacon and fry eggs, otherwise they can have cereal.

Friday

The kids will hate it, but I’ve been craving this upside down mushroom tart for ages and Good Friday seems exactly the right time. I’ll find something in the freezer for the mushroom haters, if they’re hungry after mainlining hot cross buns all day.

Leek and Mushroom Tart
Flaky pastry and perfectly cooked mushrooms make a very elegant tart that's perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Add roasted vegetables or salad and you're done.

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Weekend

I’m flying solo at dinner again, and my hubby will need dinner he can heat and eat at work. Chicken with noodles satisfies everyone’s needs and we haven’t had it for ages.

Easter Sunday will be all about more hot cross buns, egg hunting, and extras of the carrot cakes I baked for the teachers (they’ll freeze from earlier in the week).

Slow cooked lamb for dinner, because I always think it’s the very most fitting dish for an Easter meal.

Slow Cooked Lamb
I make this slow cooked, shreddy lamb frequently, and for good reason. It's great as a stand-alone meal with almost any vegetable side, but it also freezes superbly and I love tossing the meat through all manner of salads, pastas and sandwich fillings too.
Check out this recipe
slow cooked lamb on platter

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