By Recipes No Comments

A family standard but surprisingly something I didn’t make very often until we moved to Australia. Since we arrived I made it once for mum and dad and they loved it so much it’s now on weekly rotation. I try to “add in” as many veggies to dishes like this as I can. It helps to bulk it out, add flavour, texture, fibre and micronutrients too.

Serves 6
1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
1 onion, diced
2 celery sticks, finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
500g beef and pork mince
1 carrot, grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 x veg stock cube
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
125 ml red wine
½ cup red lentils
Lasagne sheets
2 teaspoons butter
50g/ or 1/3 cup plain flour
150ml milk
100g cheddar cheese (grated) plus extra for the top
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion, celery and garlic. Gently fry until soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
Add the mince and grated carrot. Break the mince up with a wooden spoon and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
Once the mince has browned add the tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, red wine and red lentils. Dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 150mls of boiling water and add that to the pan too. Season with black pepper.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.

While that is simmering make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Once melted add the flour and mix until it forms a paste. It may go into lumps which is fine, these will dissolve when the milk is added.
Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until all the lumps have dissolved and it starts to thicken. You may need to add a little bit more milk if it gets very thick.
Add half the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Place a tiny amount of the mixture mix on the very bottom of the dish, this is so the bottom layer of the lasagne cooks. The mixture shouldn’t even cover the bottom of the dish.
Then place a single layer of lasagne sheets on the bottom, break them with your hand if you need to, it’s always a bit like a jigsaw!
Place a layer of the met mixture over the lasagne sheets until they are fully covered. Cover the mixture with a layer of cheese sauce.
Layer over the lasagne sheets ensuring they are not over lapping.
Then repeat the layering again.
You should finish the lasagne with either a layer of sheets on top or a small layer of the meat mixture, it doesn’t matter which one it will just depend on how thick you have made the layers. Top this with any remaining cheese sauce and then two handfuls of grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
Serve with a side of greens such as broccoli, sautéed spinach or bok choi.


By Recipes No Comments

These are a simple way to get extra veg into your diet and also make pancakes green which the kids just love. Spinach doesn’t have a really offensive flavour which means it’s the perfect ingredient for colouring! These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days and can also be frozen.

Makes 16 small pancakes
175g self raising flour⠀
175ml milk⠀
1 egg⠀
1 handful of spinach

Boil the kettle.
Place the spinach in a colander or sieve and pour the boiled water over it until it wilts.
Place the spinach in a blender/nutribullet and blend to smooth (ish) consistency, don’t worry if there are still small lumps these wont be obvious in the pancakes themselves.
Whisk the flour, milk and egg together.
Add the spinach and stir until it’s green and well mixed.
Oil a large frying pan. I use a pastry brush to spread the oil evenly over the pan.
Use a dessertspoon to place small spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan.
Once the pancakes have small bubbles forming on the surface flip them over and cook on the other side.
Serve as a stack with layers of grated cheese in between, topped with chopped cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of black pepper.


By Recipes, Snacks No Comments
A true Aussie classic, these biccies are quick to make, will last for a week in an airtight container and there is history behind them and their story being sent to the soldiers fighting in world war 1.
Makes 18
85g oats
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
85g desiccated coconut
100g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey
Preheat oven to 160C .
Line 1 or 2 trays with greaseproof paper or grease the trays with butter/oil.
Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and oats together in a large bowl.
Melt the butter over a low heat. Once melted add the golden syrup (or honey if you don’t have any).
Boil the kettle.
Add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to a mug with 2 tablespoons of boiling water.
Combine this with the butter and turn the heat off. Be careful as when you stir this in it will rise and foam up.
Add this to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Make into small round balls and place on baking tray 2cm apart (they spread quite a lot during the cooking process).
Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown.
Leave on the tray for a few minutes to cool as you will notice they are quite soft when they first come out of the oven. Then transfer to a wire rack.
Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea.


By Cooking, Recipes, Vegan No Comments

I have been making this for years and it’s so easy I wanted to share it. I have tweaked and changed the original recipe and now find this is the quickest, cheapest and tastiest option. Suitable for freezing too.

Serves 4
1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
10g fresh grated ginger or 2 teaspoons of minced ginger
10g grated garlic or 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
200g dried red lentils
300ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon chilli powder (leave out if you want a milder version or for children)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tin of coconut milk (400g)

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan and add the onions. Then cook on a medium heat until softened and translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Then add the spices and mix with the onions, then add the lentils and mix until coated.
Add the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock and stir.
Reduce to heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture looks like it is getting too thick then add some more water. You know it’s ready when the lentils have softened and the curry is a thick consistency.
Serve with rice, couscous, quinoa, naan bread, poppadoms or even potato wedges. A dollop of yoghurt and some coriander go well too.


By Food for thought, Recipes No Comments

Another one from Dad. Not gonna lie, grating beetroot is messy but the end result is worth it. Great on crackers with cheese or as a topping on a burger. Also a very thoughtful gift.

3 medium beetroot, grated⠀
1 1/2 medium onions, thinly sliced⠀
250mls cider vinegar⠀
1 teaspoon rapeseed oil⠀
Black Pepper⠀

Cook the onion in the rapeseed oil on a medium heat until it’s caramelised. ⠀
Add the beetroot, vinegar, salt and black pepper and bring to the boil.⠀
Simmer for around 30 minutes until most of the liquid has disappeared.⠀
Spoon into jars and keep in the fridge.⠀


By Recipes No Comments

Honestly one of the best stir-fry dishes I have ever made. Firstly with chicken and then with tofu. The spices and sauce mix definitely make it super tasty.

Serves 2
300g tofu OR 2 chicken breasts, diced
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of roasted garlic
A handful of spinach
6 brussel sprouts, quartered
4 small florets of broccoli, roughly chopped
15 green beans, trimmed and halved
Udon noodles (2 x 200g packs)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Small handful of coriander roughly chopped
Rapeseed oil
Sesame seeds/pumpkin seeds

It’s the roasted garlic that makes the difference here. I know it sounds like a lot of effort but it’s quite simple to do. Get a whole bulb of garlic and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180C. Throw the bulb in the oven whilst you are cooking something else.

If using tofu: In a wok (or similar shaped pan) fry the tofu in a teaspoon of rapeseed oil until golden brown and remove.
If using chicken start here: In a wok (or similar shaped pan) fry the onion and roasted garlic until softened in a teaspoon of rapeseed oil (about 5 minutes).
Add the diced chicken and fry until it has some colour
Add in all the veggies, spices and sauces.
Stir fry until the veggies are cooked, roughly 5-8 minutes.
Cook your noodles as per the packet instructions. This is usually to boil them for 2 minutes.
Drain. Then add them to the stir fry pan. And add in the cooked tofu if using.
Mix until everything is combined.
Serve topped with sesame or pumpkin seeds and coriander leaves.


By Breakfast, Cooking, Recipes No Comments

I know so many people want to cook tofu but don’t know how. So here’s a really simple and quick way to use it which works for breakfast on toast with baked beans or lunch with a salad or in a wrap. This will also keep in the fridge for 3 days.

1 x 280g pack of firm tofu (plain of smoked)
1 x tomato
Spinach or greens of some sort
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 x teaspoon rapeseed oil
Mixed herbs
2 x tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt & black pepper

Roughly chop the tomato and shred the spinach or greens. Thickly slice the tofu.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Lightly fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomato and mix, cook gently for 1 minute.
Turn the heat to low.
Crumble the tofu into the pan and stir.
Season with mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over a low heat.
Stir through the spinach or greens.


By Cooking, Recipes, Vegan No Comments

A few weeks ago we had a cauliflower to use. The BBQ was on so I took a chance and it worked.

1 x cauliflower
Chilli oil
Salt & pepper

Place the cauliflower in a large roasting tray.
Marinade with some chilli oil and pre chopped garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 200C for around 45 minutes. (Also works in an oven).

Either break up and serve warm or chop, keep in the fridge and use in salads/wraps throughout the week. When I baked this one in the oven I had some bulbs of garlic in the fridge so threw them in too.


By Recipes No Comments

I make this at least once a week, purely because it takes no time at all and uses up loads of leftover veggies. Plus it’s a pretty balanced meal too.
Serves 2

4 chicken thighs
1 medium potato
½ large sweet potato
½ courgette
1 red pepper
½ onion
Chopped garlic
Rapeseed oil
Salt & black pepper

Marinade the chicken in the garlic, paprika and turmeric for 2 hours or overnight if you can.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Slice the courgette into fairly thick slices
Chop the potato and sweet potato
Roughly chop the pepper and onion
Place all the veg into an oven tray, season with herbs, salt & pepper and a dash of rapeseed oil.
Make four spaces for the chicken thighs and place them in the tray too
Bake for 20 minutes.
Stir the veg to ensure it is brown on all sides.
Increase the oven temperature to 200C and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.


By Cooking, Recipes No Comments

Mum is a lover of really easy meals. And being a mum myself I now know why. This isn’t like the traditional risotto you have to continuously stir, it’s adapted so you can out the lid on and come back when it’s pretty much done.

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 medium chicken breasts (roughly 500g)
1 onion
350g arborio rice
1 packet of chicken flavoured cup of soup
1/2 a chicken stock cube
4 cups of boiling water (1L)
1/2 cup of frozen peas (100g)
1/2 cup of single cream
Black pepper
Dried mixed herbs
Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
Brown the chicken and onion with some black pepper and dried mixed herbs.
Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.
Add the cup of soup mix, stock cube and water. Stir.
Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
Add the peas and cream and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes. If the risotto is starting to stick, loosen with a dash of extra water.
Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.