Spring recipes


BBQ lamb and barley salad

1 cup (200g) pearl barley

12 lamb cutlets, French trimmed, or 4 Lamb Forequarter Chops

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil

300g mixed medley tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 Lebanese cucumber, coarsely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mint

1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 lemon, zested, juiced


Cook barley in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 mins or until tender. Refresh under running water. Drain well.

Meanwhile, combine the lamb, paprika, oregano and 1 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Season and toss to combine.

Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill over medium-high heat. Cook lamb for 2-3 mins each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil and set aside to rest for 5 mins.

Place the barley in a large bowl with the tomato, cucumber, onion, spring onion, mint and parsley. Drizzle with the lemon juice and remaining oil and toss to combine.

Spoon the barley mixture over a serving platter. Top with the lamb and sprinkle with lemon zest to serve.

Tips: substitute barley with quinoa or brown rice, cook as per packet instructions.



Spring vegetable lasagne

30g butter

1/4 cup plain flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, thickly sliced

2 zucchini, cut into ribbons

2 green onions, trimmed, cut into 8cm lengths

1 bunch English spinach, trimmed

10 dried instant lasagne sheets

1 cup frozen peas

250g fresh ricotta

2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 cup grated pizza cheese

Extra basil leaves, to serve


Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced.

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk until combined. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add asparagus, zucchini and onion. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towel. Add spinach to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Remove with slotted spoon. Squeeze out excess moisture when cool enough to handle. Roughly chop.

Cover the base of a 20cm x 28cm (8 cup capacity) ovenproof dish with 2/3 cup white sauce. Layer 1/4 lasagne sheets trimming to fit. Layer asparagus mixture, peas and 1/3 ricotta. Top with 1/3 of remaining lasagne sheets, 1/2 spinach, and 1/2 remaining ricotta. Repeat. Top with remaining lasagne sheets and remaining white sauce. Arrange tomato and basil on top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and pasta is tender. Serve with extra basil leaves.



Chicken Caesar rissoles

500g chicken mince

3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan

2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

1 garlic clove, crushed

8 rashers streaky bacon

1/2 loaf Turkish pide, cut into 8 slices

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 extra eggs

2 baby cos lettuce, leaves separated

1/3 cup Caesar salad dressing

1/2 cup shaved parmesan

Chopped fresh chives, to serve


Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine mince, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, grated parmesan, chives and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using damp hands, shape into 8 rissoles. Wrap a bacon rasher around each rissole.

Brush both sides of bread slices with half of the oil.

Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook rissoles, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to prepared tray. Bake for 10 minutes, adding bread in the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, cook extra eggs in a small saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes, for a soft yolk, or until cooked to your liking. Drain and peel under cold running water. Cut in half.

Cut toasted bread into large pieces. Arrange lettuce, rissoles, egg and bread on a large serving platter. Drizzle with dressing. Serve sprinkled with shaved parmesan and extra chives.



Cheesy French onion pasta bake

375g Penne Pasta

25g butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large brown onions, thinly sliced

200g shortcut bacon rashers, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra leaves to serve

40g sachet French onion soup mix

1/2 cup dry white wine

300ml pure cream

1 ½ cups grated Colby cheese


Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced.

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until almost tender. Drain well and return to pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add soup mix and stir to coat. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Gradually stir in cream. Season with pepper. Add to pasta and toss well to coat. Spoon mixture into a 6cm-deep, 17cm x 28cm baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted.

Serve sprinkled with extra thyme leaves.



Healthy chicken and sweet potato soup

1 chicken style stock cube

150g chicken breast

400g pkt Sweet Potato Ginger Soup with Turmeric

55g (1/3 cup) roasted sweet potato

45g (1/4 cup) canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained

20g baby spinach

Fresh parsley, to serve (optional)


Bring 750ml (3 cups) water to the boil in a saucepan. Add the stock cube and stir until dissolved. Add chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the soup following packet directions. Shred chicken. Stir through soup with sweet potato, chickpeas and spinach until warmed. Microwave again, if necessary. Season.

Serve soup topped with parsley, if using.



Quick chicken, broccoli and cashew stir-fry

450g pkt hokkien noodles

1 tbsp peanut oil

500g Chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, cut into wedges

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp crushed ginger

1 head broccoli, cut into florets, stem halved lengthways and thinly sliced

1/3 cup (80ml) oyster sauce

1/2 cup (75g) unsalted cashews, toasted


Cook the noodles following packet directions and drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry the chicken, in 2 batches, for 2 mins or until golden brown and cooked through, transferring to a plate between batches.

Combine the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger and broccoli in the wok or pan. Stir-fry for 4 mins or until broccoli is tender.

Add the oyster sauce with 1/4 cup (60ml) water and cashews. Stir-fry for 2 mins or until heated through.

Add noodles to pan, remove from heat and mix until well combined. Serve immediately.



Easy chicken okonomiyaki

1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded

(Finely chop 1 capsicum half. Thinly slice the remaining half.)

1 tsp sesame oil

250g Chicken Mince

125g green beans, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

75g (1/2 cup) wholemeal plain or spelt flour

4 eggs

2 tbsp chilled water

200g packet fine cut coleslaw

1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce

100g mixed salad leaves


Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the beans, garlic and chopped capsicum. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Place the flour, eggs and water in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the coleslaw and chicken mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Wipe the pan clean. Spray with oil. Heat over medium-high heat. In batches, add 1 ⁄2 cups of the mixture to the pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread into 1cm-thick discs. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat to make 8 pancakes in total.

Drizzle the oyster sauce over the pancakes. Serve with sliced capsicum and salad leaves on the side.



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