Serves 4

  • 1 bunch English spinach, leaves only
  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g/5oz ricotta cheese
  • 150g/5oz Greek feta cheese, crumbled
  • Handful of herbs (dill, parsley, mint) chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 sheets filo pastry, thawed/fresh
  • Melted butter

Wash the spinach leaves (don’t dry them) then place in a large microwave-proof bowl, cover with cling wrap and cook in the microwave for a few minutes until wilted. Allow to cook then squeeze out excess water and chop roughly.

Heat some oil in a frypan and cook leeks for a few minutes or until softened but not browned.

In a large bowl combine eggs, cheeses, herbs, salt and pepper. Add cooked spinach and leek and stir well to combine.

Grease four individual pie tins. Brush two sheets of pastry with melted butter then cut them through the middle to form four squares. Pile the four squares on top of each other then place over a pie dish and press carefully so the pastry fits the mould, and there is plenty of pastry overhanging around the tin. Repeat with remaining pastry and pie dishes.

Spoon the spinach filling into four dishes then fold the overhanging pastry over the top, bringing one side in at a time so that the pies have a thick pile of pastry on top. Brush with a little more melted butter.

FREEZE: When the butter has hardened, wrap the pies in cling wrap or store in a plastic container and freeze.

DEFROST: In the fridge (or partially defrost on the kitchen bench before finishing in the fridge)

COOK: Bake in 180C/350F oven for about 30 minutes or until hot throughout and the pastry is golden brown and crips.

TO SERVE: Remove the pies from their tins and serve with your favourite salad.

This recipe is from Frost Bite by Susan Austin (this is a great book)

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This recipe does seem a bit adventurous with rendering pork back-fat and Mizuna salad, if you look beyond these I think it will be tasty, quick and easy and a gourmet treat.  If you are still not convinced, replace the rendered pork back -fat for olive oil or vegetable oil and serve with your favourite green salad.

I am going to give it a try – I hope you do too.

Serves 4

  • 50gm pork back-fat, finely diced (see notes below) or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 120gm honey
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved


  • 875g (31/2 cups) chicken stock (gluten free)
  • 60mls (1/4 cup) milk
  • 120gm (3/4 cup) polenta
  • 20gm (1/3 cup) finely grated parmesan

ROCKET, MIZUNA AND WHITE NECTARINE SALAD (if this seems too complicated any green salad will be great).

  • 2 cups (loosely packed) wild rocket
  • 1/2 bunch mizuna, leaves picked (Japanese greens also know as Xiu Cai, Kyona – similar to rocket with a peppery flavour)
  • 1 white nectarine, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar

Preheat oven to 180C. For parmesan polenta, bring stock and milk to the boil to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, gradually add polenta, stirring continuously, then stir occasionally until polenta thickens (10-15 minutes). Just before serving, stir in parmesan and season to taste.

Heat fat in an ovenproof frying pan over high heat until rendered (5 minutes). Remove fat pieces with a slotted spoon and discard, (or if using olive oil heat the oil), then add pork chops to pan, season to taste and cook until golden (2 minutes each side). Add honey and rosemary, season to taste, squeeze over lemon and roast until pork is just cooked (5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, for mizuna and white nectarine salad toss ingredients in a bowl to combine, then serve with parmesan polenta and pork chops drizzled with pan juices.

* For this recipe the lard has been rendered by cooking pork back-fat in the pan before adding the pork chops, you could render a larger batch to have on hand – it enhances the flavour of many meat dishes. We recommend making your own because it has far more flavour than the shop-bought version. Cook diced pork back-fat with 1cm of water in a saucepan over low heat until the fat is melted, then strain, chill, and lift the fat from the excess water and particles in the base of the pan.

This recipe is from the February 2011 issue of Gourmet Traveller.

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I have been working all day – this doesn’t stop us from having a tasty meal tonight.  Our local butcher sells lamb loins stuffed with spinach, pine nuts and apricots, if you are not as fortune as us with your local butcher you could use lamb cutlets, fillets or back straps.  The potatoes do take a bit of time to cook if you don’t have time make mashed potatoes.  First prepare the potatoes.


Preparation: 25 minutes     Cooking: 90 minutes    Serves 6

  • 1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, Desiree, King Edwards or Idaho
  • 2 onions
  • 25g butter
  • 300mls hot chicken stock or vegetable stock (gluten free)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a few sprigs of thyme

Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

Peel the potatoes and slice them very finely using a mandolin or a food processor. Slice the onions in the same way.

Butter an ovenproof dish and make layers of the potatoes and onions, with seasoning and the thyme leaves (stripped from the stalks) sprinkled over each. Finish with a layer of potatoes and try to make a neat overlapping pattern with them. Using the flat of your hand, press down the potatoes firmly.

Pour in the hot stock. Cut the remaining butter into little pieces and dot the top with them. Cover with tin foil and cook for 1 hour.

Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes. The potato should be soft al the way through and the top layer golden brown.

This recipe if from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

After you have removed the foil from the potatoes, put the lamb loin in a roasting pan and roast for 25-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with Boulangere Potatoes and steamed brocolli.

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Puy lentils cook quickly, and hold their texture during the cooking process, where larger lentils tend to turn to dhal. 

Serves 4

  • 50g/11/2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped Spanish onions
  • ½ cup sliced leeks, white part only
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g (13oz) tin chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 1 litre (32oz) vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ cup lentils du Puy
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley

TO SERVE: Parmesan toasts 

Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and leeks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, stock (or water), bay leaves, oregano and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir through parsley.

Ladle into serving bowls and serve with Parmesan toasts. 


  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ baguette
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

 Place oil and garlic in a blender and process until smooth.

Slice the baguette into thin slices. Lay the slices in one layer on a baking tray. Using a pastry brush, brush each piece of baguette with the garlic oil. Bake the toasts for 15-20 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp. Serve at room temperature. Makes 20pieces. Note: Toast will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This recipe is from Sydney Food by Bill Granger

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This recipe was given to me by a nutritionist.  I have modified it slightly by adding extra rolled oats, bran flakes and fruit.  I don’t add the protein why or the walnuts as I am not a big fan of these foods however, I have kept them in there as they may be your favourites. 

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup bran flakes
  • 1 cup amaranth (super grain) available from health food stores and in the health food section at major supermarkets
  • 1 cup whole linseed or ground LSA
  • 1 cup slivered almond or raw almonds chopped
  • 1 cup desiccated/shredded coconut
  • ½ cup lecithin granules
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup psyllium husk
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 cup Protein supplements (soy and Whey)
  • 1 cup cranberries or sultanas 

This muesli combines many super foods that are well know for their health benefits. These food provide high levels of nutrients such as essential fatty acids including Omega 3, soluble fibres, essential amino acids, plant enzymes, natural anti oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

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Stir-Fried Chicken with Peanuts and Cucumber

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 500g Chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 small red and 1 small green pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, halved, seeded and diced

 Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Cook the chicken in batches for 3-4 minutes, or until golden, remove from the wok.

 Mix together the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and cornflour. Return the wok to medium-high heat. Add the rest of the oil, the onion and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, then add the pepper and cucumber and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the wok, add the sauce and stir-fry for another couple of minutes.

 Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle the chopped peanut over the chicken.

This recipe is from Every Day by Bill Granger

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Serves 4 

Prep:   30 mins          Cook:  1hr 10 mins   Marinate:       3hrs 

  • 1.8kg (size 18) chicken (I used 3 chicken supreme pieces this is the breast and wing on the bone with skin – I get these from my local butcher)
  • ½ cup (125ml) dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup (125ml) light soy sauce
  • ½ cup (125ml) malt vinegar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Lime wedges, ground white pepper, to serve


  • 4 cups shredded gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
  • 2 cups shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves and stems
  • 3 green onions (shallots), julienned
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup (75g) whole egg mayonnaise

Wash chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Combine soy sauces, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, Chinese 5 spices and sugar in a large bowl. Add chicken and roll to coat. Turn chicken breast side down, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight to marinate.

Preheat oven to 220C or 200C fan. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Remove chicken from marinade. Sit chicken on a rack set over a roasting pan half-filled with water. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 160C or 140C fan and cook for another 50 minutes, until skin is crispy and golden brown, and chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and rest for 20 mins. (If using the supreme pieces the cooking times is between 25-40 minutes, or until cooked through).

Meanwhile, combine all coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

Use a cleaver or large knife to chop chicken into six pieces. Slice chicken breast. Serve with coleslaw, lime wedges and white pepper. 

This recipe by Ross Dobson and is in the BBC Australian Good Food Magazine – March 2011

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Serves 4-6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 large green chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 250g/1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • Small handful fresh coriander leaves

Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, chilli, salt and cumin and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Add the lentils and 750mls (3 cups) of water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until the lentils have dissolved.

Remove from the heat and stir through the lime juice. Top with the coriander leaves and serve with naan bread

 To make this more of a meal I also added 1 grated carrot and 10 button mushrooms, chopped.

 This recipe is from Simply Bill by Bill Granger

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makes 18

  • 350g/31/2 cups Rolled oats
  • 30g/1/2 cup Shredded coconut
  • 50g/1/2 cup Flaked almonds
  • 45g/1/2 cup Wheatgerm
  • 30g/1/4 cup Sesame seeds
  • 35g/1/3 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 55g/1/4 cup Chopped dried apricots (or cranberries are good)
  • 185ml/3/4 cup Honey
  • 55g/1/4 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
  • 125ml/1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1. Lightly grease and line a 35 x 25 cm (14 x 10 inch) tin. Put the oats, coconut, almonds, wheatgerm, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and apricots in a bowl.

Put the honey, sugar and oil in a small pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this over the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir until everything is well combined, mixing with your hands if necessary.

Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into bars while still warm.

 This recipe is from Every Day by Bill Granger


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Serves 4 

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Small handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 x 180g firm white fish fillets, such as ling, snapper, Pollack or organically farmed cod


  • Mashed potatoes
  • Butterhead lettuce salad

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof flameproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion and parsley, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for a further 1 minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.

Add the fish to the dish, pushing the pieces into the tomato mixture. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a lettuce salad. 

This recipe is from Feed Me Now by Bill Granger

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