Winter warmer recipes


Chicken Pasta bake

500g chicken thighs, cut into small bite size pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp Italian herb mix

300g rigatoni

2 tsp salt for cooking pasta

5 slices bacon

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp chilli flakes / red pepper flakes

1/2 cup chardonnay or other dry white wine

2 tbsp tomato paste

700g tomato passata

1/2 cup water

1 tsp cooking/kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges then halved

2-3 big handfuls baby spinach

2 cups grated mozzarella

1/2 cup grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan).

Cook pasta as per packet directions, drain and set aside to cool while making the sauce.

Season chicken by tossing chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian herb mix.

Put bacon slices in an unheated large non-stick pan and turn stove on medium-high. Cook until light golden, remove and put onto paper towels, leaving fat in the pan. Once cool, cut into 1cm strips.

Using the pan and bacon fat (top up with olive oil if you don’t have at least 1 tbsp) turn heat up to high. Cook chicken for 3 minutes until light golden on the outside but still raw inside. Transfer into a bowl with a slotted spoon.

In the same pan, cook garlic and onion for 1 minute, then add chilli flakes and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes until onion is translucent. Add wine and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes until mostly evaporated. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to concentrate and improve flavour. Add passata, then use the water to rinse out the bottle and add to pan. Add salt, pepper, chicken (including all juices on the plate). Mix, then simmer for 5 minutes on medium.

Add baby spinach, tomato wedges, pasta and bacon and toss well.

Transfer mixture to a to 23 x 33cm oven dish. Top with mozzarella then parmesan. Bake 25 minutes until melted with some golden spots.

Stand for 5 minutes then serve!


The best chicken soup

1 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)

6 cups low salt chicken broth

500g skinless chicken breast or thighs

1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, stems removed

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup pearl couscous (or 1 cup Quinoa for a gluten free)

 cup frozen peas


Place a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add garlic, onion, carrots and celery; cook for several few minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add grated ginger and turmeric. Cook for for 1 minute, stirring, to let the spices cook. Then add chicken broth, chicken breast, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

Bring soup to a boil, and stir in couscous / quinoa. You’ll want the chicken to be covered by the broth so make sure you stir them down to the bottom. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Once chicken is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board to shred with two forks. Add chicken back to pot then stir in frozen peas. If you find that you don’t have enough broth, feel free to add in another cup. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To make vegetarian or vegan, you can use vegetarian broth and 1 can of drained chickpeas instead of chicken.


Mixed vegetable curry

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large brown onion, halved, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thickly sliced

3 large potatoes, cut into 4cm pieces

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into large florets

1 small eggplant, quartered, thickly sliced

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp hot chilli powder

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

400g can chopped tomatoes

5 fresh curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick

Fresh coriander leaves, to serve


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until softened. Add carrot and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and eggplant. Cook for 1 minute. Add garam masala, turmeric, fennel seeds, chilli, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add tomato, curry leaves, cinnamon and 1 cup cold water to vegetables. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with coriander just before serving. Serve with rice, crusty bread or as it is.


Rolled Brisket Pot Roast

1.2kg beef brisket, rolled and tied

1 tbsp olive oil

2 brown onions, thinly sliced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

3 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

400g can diced tomatoes

1 cup (250ml) salt-reduced beef stock

600g baby red potatoes, halved

½ cup Sicilian olives

200g green beans, cut into 3cm lengths

Steamed silverbeet, chopped chives, to serve

Preheat oven to 160°C (140° fan-forced).

Season brisket with sea-salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook the beef for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, turning regularly. Set the beef aside on a plate.

Add onions, carrots and fennel to same dish and cook for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute.

Return the beef to the dish, on top of the vegetables. Pour tomatoes and stock around the beef and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 ½ hours, turning beef halfway through cooking, adding potatoes after 1 ½ hours cooking. Remove lid after 2 ½ hours and cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered. Remove meat from dish, set aside on a plate and rest for 20 minutes before thinly slicing. Add olives and beans to vegetables, replace lid and set aside while meat rests.

Serve sliced brisket with vegetables, sauce and silverbeet. Sprinkle with chives.


One Pot Italian Chicken

1 tbsp olive oil

20g unsalted Butter

4 small chicken breasts fillets

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1/3 cup white wine

1 cup thickened cream

1/2 cup chicken stock

60g baby spinach

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Crusty bread, to serve


Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat until butter is foamy. Season the chicken and add to the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes each side to until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Place the garlic in the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and stir to coat. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute or until reduced. Add the cream and stock and return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Stir through the spinach until wilted. Season and sprinkle with the basil leaves. Serve with crusty bread.





Chicken pasta bake

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