2 Avocados [ripe]
2 Small Broccoli
4 Celery sticks
2 Cobs Corn
1 Bunch coriander (optional)
Fresh seasonal produce (we use: celery, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower) [5cups]
9 Cloves Garlic
Ginger [½ teaspoon]
Green beans [1 cup]
5 Medium sweet potatoes
1 Red onion
2 Rosemary sprigs
Seasonal greens [serve a little with every meal]
500g Chicken tenderloins
1kg Lamb neck fillets [ask your butcher, but if you can't find this you can replace with diced lamb]
500g Beef mince
Canned and Jar Goods
1 Can Black beans
1L Chicken stock
2120g Cans Mackerel
1 Can Pinto beans
Tomato paste [5 tablespoons]
Cheddar cheese [1/4 cup]
Sour cream [1/2 cup]
Unsalted butter [2 tablespoons]
Frozen peas [¼ cup]
4 Sheets Nori seaweed sheets
Oils and Dressings
1 Tablespoon Coconut oil
8 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
Pasta & Rice
350g Penne pasta (this recipe also works beautifully with gluten free options)
1 Cup Short grain or sushi rice
Sauces and Condiments
Tamari [¼ cup]
Worcestershire sauce [2 tablespoons]
Spices and Seasonings
¼cup Bread crumbs(optional)
Beef broth or stock [2 cups]
Beer, Wine and Spirits
1cup White wine (optional)
Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie
This is a great meal to make a double or triple batch of as it freezes so well. While you can make it on the day you intend to eat it, it is perfect for prepping on the weekend and cooking from frozen on busy week days. You can be flexible with your choice of vegetables as long as the are diced quite small- I often use this recipe to clear out the crisper at the end of the week.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion [finely diced]
2 cloves garlic [minced]
500g beef mince
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
5 cups of diced vegetable (we use: celery, carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower)
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons arrowroot (sub with plain flour if unavailable)
2 cups of beef broth
1 bunch of kale [finely chopped]
1 kg potato [peeled and chopped]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a large heavy based pot, heat oil and and fry onions and garlic until softened.
- Add beef, fry until browned. Add thyme and diced vegetables, then lower heat, gently cook until vegetables have softened.
- Stir in worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and arrowroot. Pour in beef broth.
- Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and simmer until tender.
- Drain potatoes well and place back into the saucepan. Combine with butter and mash well (you can add a splash of milk here if your potatoes are a little dry).
- Heat oven to 220c (200c Fan Forced)
- Remove meat from heat and stir in kale.
- Divide meat mixture into two oven-proof dishes, then top with mashed potatoes, spreading evenly over the surface.
(If you are freezing one of the pies, allow to cool, cover and freeze until needed. See note for cooking instructions)
- Brush topping with melted butter and place in the preheated oven for around 20-25minues, or until golden and bubbling.
Serve with seasonal greens.
Note: To cook from frozen, heat oven to 180C/160C fan, cover with foil and cook for 90 minutes. Increase 220C/200C fan, brush topping with melted butter and cook uncovered for a further 20 mins or until golden and bubbling.
Mackerel & broccoli pasta
Everyone loves pasta! But fish can be a little tricker for some. Combining favourites with new tastes, encourages exploration of tastes and texture- so this delicious zingy, mackerel pasta might just be the ticket.
Fish is an important part of a well balanced diet because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin Bs among other nutrients. Smaller fish such as mackerel have a high concentration of nutrients and are lower in pollutants and can be bought on a budget, from most supermarkets.
2 120g cans of mackerel
2 garlic cloves [minced]
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoons chopped drained capers
1 large handful of tarragon [chopped]
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
350g penne pasta (this recipe also works beautifully with gluten free options)
2 cups of broccoli florets (about 2 small broccoli heads)
Parmesan [finely grated]
¼ cup of crunchy bread crumbs (optional)
Chopped parsley and lemon wedges (optional; for serving)
- Very gently warm olive oil in a small saucepan then remove from heat. Add mackerel, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, half the tarragon and a pinch of salt. Set aside to infuse while you make the pasta.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta.
- Just before the pasta is al dente, throw the broccoli into the water and cook for a further minute. Drain the pasta and broccoli, but reserve ¼ of the water.
- Combine the pasta and broccoli with the olive oil etc.
- Stir through through the parmesan, adding some of the reserved liquid if it is a little dry (1 tablespoon at a time)
- Just before serving, gently toss through the crunchy breadcrumbs, fresh parsley and the remainder of the tarragon
Loaded Sweet Potato Chips
Getting kids in the kitchen and part of the meal making process is a fantastic way to encourage them to eat well. This is a great meal to get the whole family involved. Younger children help to sprinkle the chips with spice and mash avocado, while bigger kids might help with the chopping and mixing.
Cooked sweet potato and beans are sources of resistant starch, which is important for gut health. So, you can reserve or make extra for lunches the next day.
4-5 Medium Sweet potatoes [cut lengthwise in 1.5 cm width strips]
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 can of black beans [drained and rinsed]
1 can pinto beans [drained and rinsed]
2 ripe avocados
1 clove garlic [finely grated or minced]
3 tomatoes [finely diced]
1/2 red onion [finely diced]
2 cobs of corn [cut into 4 pieces]
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
1 large handful of fresh coriander [chopped] (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200c [180 fan-forced]
- Place sweet potato strips into a large bowl, rub with olive oil. Add paprika, cumin, ground coriander, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat on each side.
- On a large linked baking tray (or a couple of smaller ones), place the sweet potato strips at least 2cm apart. Insert into preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash the avocados well. Stir in the garlic, juice of 1 lime, and a large pinch of salt. Cover and place to the side.
- In another bowl, combine diced tomatoes, onion, juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Place to the side
- Add corn to saucepan, and cook for around 4 minutes- or until tender. Drain well.
- Add all your hot chips to one baking tray/ dish and top with drained beans and cheese. Add the tomato salsa, avocado, sour cream and fresh coriander. Serve alongside corn.
Slow Cooked Lamb Stew
This is the perfect nutrient dense meal for those days where you have all the after school activities. It can either be prepped on the weekend and frozen/ refrigerated, or can just earlier in the day. Either way, you will come home to a nourishing, nutrient-dense meal with little clean up.
I have chosen to use lamb neck as the cut of meat in this dish because it is much more economical and stews beautifully.
1kg lamb neck fillets [ask your butcher, but if you can’t find this you can replace with diced lamb]
3 tablespoons of arrowroot flour [sub with plain flour if not available, but this will not be GF]
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 onions [diced]
4 sticks of celery [diced]
3-4 medium carrots [sliced into 1cm thick rounds]
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup of wine (optional but replace with water)
1L chicken stock
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
4 medium potatoes [quartered]
¼ cup frozen peas
1 cup of green beans [trimmed]
1 bunch kale [Finely chopped]
- Coat lamb in flour and spring with a pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 160c
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy based, oven proof pan over medium-high heat. Brown lamb in batches and set aside.
- Turn down heat to medium and add remainder of oil, onion and garlic and saute until softened.
- Add wine and gently use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits at the bottom of your pan.
- Add celery and carrot and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Mix in tomato paste, and chicken stock along with rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf..
- Add the potato, bring to a boil then turn off heat.
- Cover and place in the oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, lift lid, throw in the peas, beans, and kale then replace lid.
- This will stay hot for some time, so when you are ready to serve just open the lid, stir, and serve.
**To make this recipe in the slow cooker follow steps 1-6, then transfer to your slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours.
Chicken Sushi Bento
I often recommend bento style meals for kids- especially for those that have trouble being adventurous with food. This is because it is a great way for them to explore new tastes and textures at their own will.
I love this particular combo, because I use leftover rice veggies and chicken (if there is any) for lunchbox nori rolls the next day.
To make this a completely plant based dish, you can sub the chicken with firm tofu and the honey with maple syrup.
2 large carrots [cut into sticks]
½ red onion [very thinly sliced]Sushi seasoning
¼ cup tamari
4 tablespoons of honey
½ teaspoon fresh ginger [grated]
2 cloves of garlic [minced]
1 tablespoon of arrowroot [sub with cornstarch if not available]
500g chicken tenderloins
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 cup cooked rice (check out this how-to to specifically make sushi rice).
Steamed green vegetables (we used broccoli and green beans)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of sliced spring onions
4 sheets of nori seaweed cut into quarters.
- Place onions and carrots into a small bowl and cover with sushi seasoning. Cover and refrigerate.
- Cook rice according to instructions of packaging (or this article if making sushi rice)
- Steam green veggies.
- Whisk honey, tamari, ginger, garlic and arrowroot in a bowl or jug until there are no lumps.
- Heat oil in a large frypan on a medium to high heat. Add chicken. At around the three minute mark the edges of the chicken should be white, this is when to flip it over. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium and pour in the sauce over the chicken and stir constantly until it thickens into a lovely glaze. Stir in sesame seeds and spring onions. Remove from heat.
- Drain the carrot and onion.
- Serve all ingredients in a bento style plate or bowl.