Moroccan Lamb with kumara and raisins


2 tbsp olive oil
1.2 kg boned lamb shoulder,chopped
1 large brown onion, thickly  sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp ras el hanout or Moroccan spice mix
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (125ml) water
1 tbsp honey
2 medium kumara, chopped coarsely
400 g canned chickpeas , rinsed and drained
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1/2 cup raisins, halved
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup roasted almonds flakes

Heat half the oil in large frying pan.
Cook lamb, in batches, until browned. Remove from pan.
Heat remaining oil in same pan.
Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion is soft. Add spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
Stir in stock, the water and honey.
Place kumara in 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker. 
Stir in chickpeas, cinnamon, cardamom, lamb and onion mixture.
Cook, covered, on low, 6 hours.
Season to taste.
Stir in raisins and coriander.
Sprinkle with nuts to serve.

Suitable to freeze (without garnishes)

Serves 6

Recipe source: Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooker: The Complete Collection

Easy spinach and ricotta canneloni


750g fresh ricotta cheese
150g baby spinach leaves, chopped
4 fresh lasagne pasta sheets
2 cups Italian tomato pasta sauce
75g grated tasty cheese
60g baby rocket

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place ricotta in a bowl with spinach. Stir to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Cut lasagne sheets in half crossways.
Spread 1/8 of ricotta mixture along the centre of each piece.
Roll up to enclose filling.
Repeat with remaining ricotta mixture and lasagne sheets.
Spread half the tomato sauce over the base of a 6cm-deep, 20cm x 30cm (approx) ovenproof dish.
Arrange pasta tubes, seam side down, over sauce.
Spread with remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and the top is golden brown.
Serve topped with rocket.

Serves 4

Indian Vegetable Curry


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 leek, sliced thickly
1 brown onion, sliced thickly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
400 g can diced tomatoes
500 g kumara, chopped coarsely
2 large carrots, chopped coarsely
400ml canned coconut milk
375 g patty pan squash, quartered
400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
155 g baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander

Heat oil in large frying pan.
Cook leek, onion and garlic, stirring, until softened.
Add spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
Add stock and bring to the boil.
Pour stock mixture into 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker.
Stir in undrained tomatoes, kumara, carrot and coconut milk.
Cook, covered on low, for 4 hours.
Add squash and chickpeas to curry.
Cook, covered on high, about 40 minutes or until squash is just tender.
Stir in spinach and coriander.
Season to taste.

Serves 6



Cottage Pie


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large brown onion, chopped finely
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1kg beef mince
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 x 425g cans chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
200g mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen peas
1kg sebago potatoes, peeled, chopped coarsley
3/4 cup hot milk
40g butter, softened
1/2 cup (50g) coarsley grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan. 
Cook garlic, onion and carrot, stirring, until onions softens.
Add beef; cook; stirring, about 10 minutes or until changed in colour.
Add sauce, paste, undrained tomatoes and herbs, bring to the boil.
Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in mushrooms and peas.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to moderate.
Boil, steam or microwave potato until tender; drain.
Mash potato in large bowl with milk and butter.
Pour beef mixture into deep 3-litre (12-cup) ovenproof dish; top with mashed potato mixture; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, in moderate oven about 45 minutes or until pie is heated through and top is browned lightly.

Reduce fat content by using lean mince, skim milk and reduced fat cheese

Cottage pie can be made up to 2 days in advance; keep, covered, in refrigerator. Reheat, covered, in moderately slow oven for about 40 minutes.
The pie can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating as above.

Serves 8

Beef Pasta Bake


Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a 3-4L capacity freezer-proof baking dish with oil.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, bacon and chilli.
Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned.
Stir in passata and basil.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions. Drain. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir the mince mixture into the pasta. Spoon into the prepared dish and top with cherry tomatoes.
Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Freeze baked or unbaked covered in plastic wrap and foil.
Thaw in fridge before reheating in the oven.

Serves 6

Olive oil, to grease
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g short-cut low-fat bacon, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chilli falkes (optional)
500g lean beef mince
700ml btl passata (tomato pasta sauce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
500g dried tortiglioni or rigatoni pasta
250g cherry tomatoes
100g (1 cup) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
20g (1/4 cup) finely grated parmesan


Indian Chicken Curry


3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamons pods, bruised
2.5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 whole star anise
8 curry leaves, crumbled if using dried
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
2.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger-finely chopped/grated
4 tbsp mild Indian curry paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp five spice powder
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts-cut into bite-size pieces
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fresh coriander-chopped


Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Add mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, star anise and curry leaves.
Fry over low heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 mins. 
Add the curry paste, turmeric and five spice and fry for 2 mins, stirring. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until sealed.
Stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk and salt. 
Simmer for 10-15 mins, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove from heat and stir in coriander.
Serve with basmati rice.

Serves 4-6

Suitable to freeze once cooled.

Easy chicken and chorizo paella

This dish is full of flavour, easy to prepare, and suitable to freeze. 


Heat the oil in a large deep pan over high heat.
Add garlic, onion and chorizo and cook for
4–5 minutes or until browned.
Add rice, stirring until combined.
Add stock and tomato and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for a further 15 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is cooked.
Stir through the coriander and feta to serve.
Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 brown onions, chopped
4 good quality chorizo sausages, sliced
2 cups medium-grain rice
4 cups (500ml) chicken stock
2 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
200g feta, crumbled
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Mexican Beef Lasagne


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
600g lean beef mince
I complete burrito or quesadilla meal kit*
400g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup pickled jalapeño chillies, chopped** 
1 1/3 cups reduced-fat grated tasty cheese
guacamole and sour cream to serve (optional)

*Kit contains 8 corn tortillas, seasoning and salsa
** Omit chillies if cooking for young children

Preheat oven to 180°C
Lightly grease a deep, 20cm square ovenproof dish.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 
Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft. 
Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. 
Add seasoning, beans and 1/3 cup cold water. 
Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Place 2 tortillas, trimming to fit, in prepared dish. 
Spread one-third of mince mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with one-third of the tomato and jalapeños and 1/3 cup cheese. 
Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. 
Spread salsa over tortillas and top with remaining cheese. 
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. 
Cut into pieces. 
Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Suitable to freeze sealed in plastic wrap and covered with a double layer of foil.
To reheat, remove foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover with foil. 
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through. 

Chilli con carne


2 teaspoons olive oil
125g rindless bacon, roughly chopped
750g lean beef mince
2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
2 medium red capsicums, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long red chilli, chopped
2 tablespoons Mexican chilli powder
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
sour cream
avocado, chopped
corn chips
spinach leaves to serve (optional)

Note: If cooking for children, you may wish to reduce the amount of chilli used.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. 
Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes or until crisp. 
Add mince and cook, stirring to break up mince, for 15 minutes or until browned.
Add onions, capsicums, garlic and chopped chilli. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft. 
Add chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup cold water. Bring to the boil. 
Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
Add beans and increase heat to medium. 
Cook for 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened. 
Serve topped with avocado, corn chips and sour cream. Or if transporting, pack toppings separately. Freeze, chilli mixture only.


Vegetable Lasagne


800g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick slices
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium red capsicum, chopped
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 medium eggplant, chopped
400g can diced tomatoes
80g baby spinach
2 tbsp basil
30g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese
8 dried lasagne sheets

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Toss pumpkin in 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange in a single layer, on tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, capsicum, zucchini and eggplant.
Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or vegetables are tender.
Stir in tomatoes and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Add spinach and basil and stir gently for one minute or until spinach has just wilted.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
Add flour and cook stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute or until bubbling.
Remove from heat.
Gradually add milk, stirring to prevent lumps forming.
Return pan to heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.
Remove pan from heat and stir in half the cheese. 

Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish (16x 28cm)
Spoon half the vegetable mixture into the dish.
Place half the pumpkin over the vegetable mixture.
Arrange half the lasagne sheets over the pumpkin. 
Repeat layers.
Spoon cheese sauce over top. and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and pasta is tender. 
Stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cooked and uncooked lasagne may be frozen.
Cover with plastic wrap and foil to seal.
Remove plastic wrap before reheating.

Red lentil soup with lemon


In a large pot, heat oil over high heat.
Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden.
Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes, and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add stock, water, lentils and carrot.
Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low.
Simmer until lentils are soft (about 30 mins) 
Season to taste.
Purée half the soup in a blender then return it to the pot. 
Reheat if necessary.
Stir in lemon juice and coriander. 

Suitable to freeze (before adding lemon and coriander)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of dried chilli flakes, more to taste
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander