Creamy Spinach (or Silverbeet) Risotto


·         1 Tbsp butter

·         ½ onion

·         Optional – 1 clove garlic

·         1 cup rice (arborio preferred, but just use what you have on hand)

·         1 cup white wine, chicken or vegetable stock

·         3 cups water

·         1 small bunch spinach

·         1 cup cream, or sour cream

·         Optional – ¼ cup parmesan cheese

·         Salt and pepper


In a large pot melt the butter.  Finely dice and add onion and garlic. Cook on medium heat until they are becoming clear.  Add the rice, stir for a few seconds to coat each grain with butter.  Add wine or stock. Bring to a boil and let half of the liquid evaporate.  In the meantime, blend the water with spinach as if you are making a water and spinach smoothie. Add this mixture approximately ¼ cup at a time, stirring well.  This should take about 15 minutes.

Add the cream or sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and keep cooking approx. 10 minutes until the rice is done.  Serve with parmesan cheese, if using.


Moroccan Beef


·         100 g stewing or casserole beef per person

·         3 Tbsp flour

·         ½ onion

·         2 medium potatoes

·         1-2 carrots

·         1 Tbsp curry powder

·         Optional flavour boosters – 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, if you like some heat ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ cup raisins.

·         1 tsp salt

·         3 cups beef stock (or 2 cups beef stock and 1 cup red wine)

·         1 tin tomatoes


Remove fat and slice beef into 2 cm cubes.  Place in a large casserole dish.  Sprinkle flour over and toss beef through until well coated in flour.  Dice onion and add.  Peel and slice potatoes and carrots, add to the dish.  Add all remaining ingredients and stir through.  Cover and bake at 180 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  It is cooked when the meat is tender and cooked through.  The sauce should self-thicken during the cooking process.  Serve with cous cous.


Spanish Style Pork and Fennel


·         Optional – 1 chorizo sausage

·         100 g pork schnitzel per person

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         1 tsp paprika

·         1 fennel (bulb and stalks)

·         2-3 courgettes

·         Optional – 1 Tbsp lemon juice

·         1 glass white wine

·         100 ml chicken or vegetable stock


Slice chorizo and fry on a medium heat, in a large non-stick fry pan, for 3-4 minutes, until browning on outside.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Slice schnitzel into 1 cm wide slices, season well with salt and pepper, then cook in the same pan, with the cooking juices from the chorizo.  Once the pork is browning, remove from the pan and set aside.  Slice fennel bulb, stalks and courgettes then add to the pan.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, then return the meats to the pan with the vegetables.  Stir together and check if further seasoning is required.  Add lemon juice, wine and stock to the pan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Serve with pasta or crusty bread.  I like this with risoni pasta, as the small granules of pasta pick up the lovely flavours quite well.


Baked Salmon, Fennel and Celery with Orange Dressing


·         1 fennel bulb

·         6 celery stalks

·         2 oranges

·         2 Tbsp oil

·         Salt and pepper to taste

·         1 salmon fillet per person

·         1 tsp brown sugar

·         1 tsp rosemary

·         ½ bunch kale


Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Finely slice fennel bulb.  Slice celery stalks into 4 cm lengths.  Cut orangs in half.  Place all in a large oven proof dish and toss through with oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake in oven for approx. 8 minutes, until fennel and celery are softening.  Nestle salmon fillets into the fennel and celery, and return to oven for 12-14 minutes, until salmon is just cooked. 

Squeeze juice and pulp from the oranges into a small bowl.  Whisk with brown sugar and rosemary, to form a dressing.  Set aside.

To serve, rinse and tear kale leaves.  Use kale as a bed and serve fennel, celery and salmon on top of this.  Dress lightly with the orange dressing.


Chinese Style Chicken and Corn Soup

·         1 L chicken stock

·         200 g chicken

·         ½ onion

·         2 cobs of sweetcorn

·         Optional – extra corn either 1 cup frozen or a tin of kernels

·         2 sticks of celery

·         2 Tbsp corn flour

·         3 Tbsp water

·         Optional – 1 tsp sesame oil

·         Optional – 2 egg


Bring stock to the boil in a large saucepan.  Finely dice or shred chicken and add to the pot.  You can use precooked shredded chicken or finely dice a raw portion, just be sure to cook it through.  Finely dice ½ onion and add to the pot.  Remove the kernels from the sweetcorn and add to the pot.  Finely dice celery and add.  If you would like more vegetables you can add extra corn, or finely dice other vegetables you have on hand and add to the soup pot.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Mix corn flour with water and stir though the soup mixture to thicken slightly.  Add sesame oil if using.  Continue to simmer.  If you like the Egg Drop style soup, beat egg and use a spoon to add small amounts into the soup mixture.  The heat of the soup will cook the egg drops as you add.

Chicken and corn soup.jpg

Kumi Kumi (or pumpkin) and Bacon Carbonara


·         1 Tbsp oil

·         300 g bacon

·         ½ onion

·         Optional – 1 clove/tsp crushed garlic or 1 tsp garlic flakes or salt

·         ½ kumi kumi (or pumpkin) (peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes)

·         3 Tbsp flour

·         2 ½ cups milk

·         2 eggs

·         ½ cup pasta per person dining

·         Optional 1-2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

·         Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large fry pan and add diced bacon, onion and garlic (if using).  Once onion is beginning to appear clear, add kumi kumi and fry for 7-10 minutes until beginning to soften.  As the kumi kumi is cooking, cook pasta in a pot in accordance with packet instructions.  Sprinkle flour over the kumi kumi and mix through.  Add the milk to the fry pan and whisk well.  Bring slowly to the boil, continuing to whisk to avoid milk burning on the bottom.   Whisk egg in a cup, then add to the milk, whisking continuously to keep the sauce smooth.  Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.  When the sauce has reached your desired consistency, drain and stir through pasta and serve.


Honey Roasted Turnips


2 Tbsp oil

1/4 cup honey

1 bunch turnips

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional – 1 tsp dried thyme or ¼ tsp cinnamon or nutmeg


Remove turnip tops, wash and cut into wedges.  Put turnips in a bowl and stir through with olive oil and honey.  Add to an oven proof pan.  Sprinkle over salt and pepper and thyme or cinnamon/nutmeg.  Toss vegetables so well covered with seasoning.  Bake in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes.  Turn 3-4 times during the cooking process to ensure they are cooking evenly.  Once the vegetables are soft through this can be served as a warm roast salad, or as a side. You can also add other chopped root veges to this dish, such as carrots, parsnips and beetroot to give more variety.


Chicken Teriyaki


¼ cup soy sauce

½ cup water

1 Tbsp corn flour

3-5 Tbsp honey or brown sugar

(The above will create a nice basic teriyaki sauce. If you like a richer flavour add 1-2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tsp ground ginger root and 1 Tbsp rice wine or apple cider vinegar.)

100g chicken breast or thigh per person dining.

½ cup rice


In a small pot whisk together soy sauce, water and corn flour.  Heat over a medium-high heat.  As the sauce is warming add honey or brown sugar and stir through.  Add additional ingredients now, if you want a richer sauce. Continue to stir rapidly and bring pot to the boil.  Reduce to a medium heat and stir until the desired consistency is reached. If it thickens too quickly, prior to reaching boiling, add a further 1/4 cup water.  Remove from heat.  Do not leave on heat unattended as the sugar content means this sauce can burn quickly.

Cook rice in accordance with packet instructions.

 Cut chicken into strips.  Fry until browning and cooked through.  As it is cooked, pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken and stir through. 

Serve the chicken and sauce over the rice.  Steamed vegetables make an excellent side dish with this for a complete meal and can be stirred through the sauce with the chicken if you prefer. Sliced spring onion and sesame seeds also make a tasty garnish.


Summer Sweetcorn Salad

2 cobs of sweetcorn

1 capsicum

½ cucumber

1 beetroot


Cut to remove kernels from sweetcorn.  Place in a bowl.  Dice capsicum and cucumber into cubes and add to the bowl.  Peel and grate raw beetroot and stir through the remaining vegetables.  The beetroot provides a sweetness and moisture to this salad, so no dressing is required.  If you have tomatoes available they can be diced and added to create a sweetcorn salsa style recipe. Avocado is also a welcome addition. If you have many mouths to feed, you could cook and add cooled rissoni to this for a vegetable/pasta salad.

It can be used as a vegetable accompaniment to tacos or wraps and also makes a great side to our vegetable fritters and fish cakes. It is also great, easy side for a BBQ meal.

corn salad.jpg

Cauliflower Fish Cakes

  • ½ head cauliflower

  • 1 clove garlic (crushed or finely diced)

  • 75 g white fish per person dining (blue cod, ling, monkfish etc) or 1 tin smoked tuna or salmon

  • 1 tsp dill (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ onion, finely diced

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tbsp cornflour

  • 1 Tbsp milk

  • 1-2 Tbsp oil (for frying)


Chop cauliflower into small florets and boil until soft.  Mash.  Wash and chop fish into small pieces, or open and drain the tin of fish. 

Combine all of the ingredients, excluding the oil, together in a large bowl.  Mix together. 

Heat oil in frying pan, over medium heat.  Add mixture in 1 tablespoon lots.  Fry until golden on one side, then flip until golden on the other side.  Remove from the frying pan and put on a plate with a paper towel to drain.  Serve with remaining broccoli.

potato fritter.jpg

Radish and Apple Salad


·         1 bunch of radish bulbs

·         2 apples

·         1 carrot (optional)

·         1 Tbsp oil

·         1 Tbsp lemon juice

·         1 Tbsp orange juice

·         1 tsp honey

·         1-2 Tbsp grated parmesan or cheddar to serve (optional)



Slice radishes and apples into small wedges.  Grate carrot (if using).  Toss together in a bowl.  To make dressing the wet ingredients can be whisked together in any combination, such as if you don’t have lemon or orange juice, just omit and combining oil and honey together can work just as well.  Or if you don’t have fresh citrus at home you could use some bottled orange and/or lemon juice.  Drizzle over the radish and apple mixture.

The flavour of cheese and apple together is a popular combination, so you can add parmesan or cheddar, sprinkled over the top to serve.


Easy 3 Egg Quiche

3 eggs

½ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

½ cup grated cheese

2 cups diced/sliced or grated vegetables (Silverbeet, spinach, broccoli, potato, carrots, capsicum, corn, zucchini and onion are great.  Just put together any combinations you like up to around 2 cups of veges.

50 g ham, bacon or salmon, or a tin of salmon (optional)

Whisk eggs.  Add flour and baking powder and whisk again.  Add milk and continue to whisk to ensure any flour lumps are broken down.  Add cheese and vegetables and meat/fish (if using).  Grease a quiche dish and pour the mixture into this.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees.  It is cooked when the centre has become firm and top of quiche is beginning to brown.


Savoury Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized muffins

2 cups flour

½ cup grated cheese

4 tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups chopped and grated vegetables (silverbeet, spinach, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, onion, corn, capsicum all work well, but be creative)

1 egg

50 g butter

1/2 to 2/3 cup milk

Put flour, cheese and baking powder in a bowl and stir together.  Add vegetables and stir though again.  Put butter in a small microwave proof dish and melt.  This will take 20-30 seconds and it is a good idea to cover it, as it may spatter as it heats.  Re-use your flour cup and beat egg with a fork in this.  Add ½ cup of milk to the egg and beat together.  Add the butter, egg and milk to the dry ingredients and mix through.  You may need to use a little extra milk if the mixture is too dry.  You want this to be similar to a damp scone mix consistency, or with all components wet, but firm.

Grease 12 muffin tins, spoon the mixture into these (divided evenly) and bake at 200 degrees until cooked through and browning on top.


Silverbeet and mince pasta

1 Tbsp oil

1 onion

1 clove garlic, or 1 tsp garlic granules/powder (optional)

500 g beef mince

1 beef stock cube

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 grated carrot (or zucchini)

1 tin tomatoes

1 bunch silverbeet

2 cups pasta

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Time it so the pasta is ready at the same time as your mince and vegetables.

Heat oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan.  Dice onion (and garlic if using) and cook until beginning to soften.  Add mince and cook through.  Sprinkle stock cube, basil and oregano over the mince and stir through.  Add carrot and tomatoes and stir.  Chop silverbeet and add to the frying pan.  Stir through so the heat can help wilt all leaves.  It is ready to serve when the silverbeet is wilted. 

I add the pasta to the frying pan and serve all together, but you can also put the pasta on the bottom and cover with the meat and vegetable mixture, if you prefer.


Minestrone Soup


1 Tbsp oil

½ onion

½ bunch celery

1 carrot

1 broccoli stalk (diced and optional if you have some to use, rather than composting)

1 tin tomatoes

1L stock (vegetable or chicken)

Salt to taste (can also add 1tsp of paprika, basil and oregano for flavour and 1/2 tsp of chili powder)

½ cup red lentils (optional)

½ cup pearl barley (optional)

1 cup pasta (or diced potato)


In a large pot, heat oil.  Dice onion and cook until it begins to soften.  Dice celery and carrot, broccoli stalk and add to the pot.  Stir together until it begins to soften.  Add tomatoes, salt (paprika/oregano) and stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Add lentils and barley (if using).  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add pasta (or potatoes) to the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

You can either grill some cheese on toast to serve with this, or make a batch of easy cheese scones. Any left-over scones can make the start of a great lunch for the following day.


Leek and Potato Soup

2 onions

2 cloves of garlic (or 1 large tsp of crushed garlic)

2 leeks

100 g finely chopped bacon (optional)

5 medium potatoes

olive oil

2 cubes chicken or vegetable stock (or 1.8L liquid stock)

Peel and dice the onions. Peel and crush the garlic.

Cut the ends off the leeks, halve lengthways, wash under running water, then cut into thin slices.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan on a high heat.  Omit oil if using a non-stick pan.  Add onion, garlic, leeks and bacon (optional).  Cook until softened, stirring regularly.  This will take about 10 minutes.

As the onion etc are cooking, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes (approx. 1cm).

Add the potatoes to the onion, garlic and leeks.  Stir through to combine.

Dissolve stock cubes in 1.5 litres of boiling water, then add to the vegetables.

Cover the pan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  The soup can be served chunky, or blend until smooth, based on your preference.


Easy, peasy cheesy carrot pizza

1 Pizza base or wrap

1tbsp tomato sauce, chutney or pesto

¼ to ½ cup grated carrot

75g sliced ham, bacon or salami (optional)

¼ to ½ cup grated cheese

Turn oven on to pre-heat at 180 degrees.  Spread sauce (chutney or pesto) onto the pizza base or wrap.  Sprinkle over the grated carrot until base is well covered.  Sprinkle meat option over the cheese.  At this point you could also add other veges if you wish (corn kernals, onion, peppers, celery etc).  Cover with cheese and bake on an oven tray for approx. 10 minutes (if using a wrap) or 15-20 if using pizza base.  You will know it is cooked when the cheese is bubbling and the edge of the base begins to crisp.

This is great either hot or cold, so makes it a great option for lunches. It is so easy to make you could do 2-3 at once and save some in the freezer. If you cut into wedges before freezing, you can just thaw as you need.


Potato, pumpkin and chickpea curry

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed (or 1tsp crushed garlic or garlic granules)

½ to 1 onion

2-3 potatoes, diced to 1cm cubes

1 or 2 tsp ground cumin

1 or 2 tsp ground coriander

1 or 2 tsp ground turmeric

Pinch of chilli powder (to taste)

1tsp salt

Ground pepper to taste

¼ pumpkin, diced to 1 cm cubes

1 tin chickpeas

100-200g spinach (optional)

Handful of fresh coriander (optional)

Natural yoghurt

This is one of few recipes that I make that takes a little more time.  It is worth it to get the curry flavour well infused.  While the spice recommendations are not specific, you know what you like, so play around with the spices to get the flavour that suits you.

Heat olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large pot or frying pan.  Add garlic and onion.  Cook until onion starts to go clear.  Add the diced potato and start to stir until well coated in oil, garlic and onion.  Add the spices, salt and ground pepper.  Stir until the potatoes are well covered.  Continue to stir and cook the potatoes with the oil and onions.  If the potatoes and powder begin to stick, add a tbsp of water at various intervals, to avoid sticking, and help form a thick sauce.  As potatoes begin to soften, help to break them down with your wooden stirring spoon, until the potatoes are all mashed and resemble a thick curry sauce.  (This takes a while, but it is worth it). 

Add the pumpkin and chickpeas (including brine) to the potato curry sauce mixture and stir.  Add approx. ¼ cup water to the mixture, if the consistency seems too thick.  Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for 30-40 minutes (until the pumpkin is cooked through).  Just prior to serving, stir through spinach and coriander (if you are using greens).  Serve with rice and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

If you prefer to use dried chickpeas, remember to get them soaking the day before (in accordance with packet directions).  Adjust water accordingly. 

Photo by  Dragne Marius  on  Unsplash

Lou’s Lazy Mac n Cheese (with stashed broccoli and cauliflower)

Optional 1 or 2 cups dried pasta (I use penne, but you can use any kind)

½ to 1 onion (or leek)

¼ to ½ of a cauliflower

½ of a broccoli

2 carrots

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup grated cheese

100 g diced ham or bacon (optional)

Pumpkin seeds (optional)

The pasta in this is optional.  If you prefer you could omit it and have this as a vegetable bake.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Fill and boil the kettle.  While the kettle boils dice onion, roughly chop cauliflower and broccoli (make it as large or small as you need to get it past the fussy eaters in your house), slice carrots.

Put the boiling water in a large pot and add pasta, cook in accordance to the packet instructions.  If you have a steamer pot that matches this pot, put the vegetables into this, cover and steam over the pasta as it boils.  If you don’t have a steamer pot, just use a sieve or colander in the same manner.

As the pasta boils and the vegetables steam, make a quick cheese sauce in the microwave.

Put butter in a microwave save dish (at least 1L capacity) and melt (takes about 15-30 seconds depending on microwave).  Remove melted butter from the microwave and stir through the flour, to make a butter and flour paste consistency.  Add the milk and stir well.  Check the butter and flour is not sticking to the corner of the dish. 

Put in the microwave on high for 3 ½ minutes.  Remove three times throughout the cooking period and stir well.  When the time is up, remove and stir through the cheese.  If it becomes too think to comfortably stir through the vegetables later, add a small amount of extra milk.  Aim for a similar consistency to yoghurt or custard.

Grease a large oven proof dish (of a suitable size to take the pasta, vegetables and sauce).  Remove the pasta and vegetables from the heat and drain well.  Put in the oven proof dish.  Add the bacon or ham if using.  Pour cheese sauce through and stir until the pasta and vegetables are well covered.  Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.


Creamy silverbeet (or spinach) pasta

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic (or 1 tsp crushed garlic or granules)

1 onion or leek

100 g per serve of chicken breast (optional)

1 head silverbeet (or approx. 300 g spinach)

125 g cream cheese

2 heaped tbsp basil pesto

1 tbsp chilli sauce (optional)

2 cups of pasta (your choice of dried or fresh, I normally just use penne)

These instructions include my shortcuts to keep this dish to about 20 minutes prep time.  I’m new to writing recipes down, as normally just cook from memory, or experiment, so let me know if anything isn’t clear.

Fill kettle and turn on to boil, this will become your pasta cooking water, but boiling the kettle first also reduces time taken to reach boiling, saving time and reducing your power use.

Add olive oil to a large, deep frying pan or wok and heat on a medium heat.  Crush garlic, slice onion or leek and add to the pan.  Cook until onion/leek is softening and starting to become transparent.  Stir while cooking to avoid burning the garlic.

By this time, kettle should be boiled, so transfer boiling water to a large pot and cook pasta in accordance with packet directions (normally around 7 to 12 minutes).

Dice chicken and add to frying pan.  Cook until juices run clear (approx. 5 mins).

Slice silverbeet/spinach and add to frying pan.  Stir through with chicken and onion/leek, so the heat of these helps to wilt the greens.

Add cream cheese to frying pan and stir through.  As cream cheese is melting through add pesto and chilli sauce.  This should just be starting to combine well, as your pasta is ready, so drain pasta and add to the frying pan mixture.  Stir well and serve.

Top tips:

Don’t stress about quantities, if you like something, add more of it, or substitute with something else.  We often add mushrooms, broccoli, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds, bacon, or chorizo to this recipe.  If you like extra sauce, double the cream cheese and/or increase the pesto.  Try with sundried tomato pesto instead of basil, if that is more your thing.  This recipe is invincible, you can’t hurt it by experimenting. Any genius enhancements, please let me know.

If the cream cheese sauce is too thin, don’t just add water from the tap, try ladling a little water from your boiling pasta pot and add to the mixture to get the desired consistency.  The oil and salt in the pasta water helps maintain the flavour of the dish, and the starch helps the sauce stick better to the pasta when served.

Happy cooking!

Photo by  Alice Pasqual  on  Unsplash