Minestrone (serves 8)

I made this minestrone to avoid hitting the supermarket and to use what was left in my pantry.  The ingredients will vary depending on what you have on hand.  This recipe is based on one by Jamie Oliver.


Olive oil

2 strips bacon or half slice ham steak diced

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 carrrots, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

4 small potatoes, diced

2 cans  tomatoes (I used half a jar of passata left in my fridge)

4 cups chicken stock (I used low sodium store bought)

Dried or fresh herbs (I used thyme and sage)

Tinned garbanzo beans (I didn’t have any so substituted dried French lentils)

Large handful of pasta (I used macaroni)


  1. Heat olive oil in pan
  2. Brown bacon or ham
  3. Add onion, garlic, carrot and zucchini and cook gently for 15min until vegetables are soft
  4. Add tomatoes, potato, lentils and broth and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer 30mins until potato is soft
  6. Add pasta and cook for 10mins until pasta cooked
  7. Season with salt and pepper and  serve with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Note:   you can add canned chickpeas at step 4.  To increase nutrition content add some chopped kale at step 6.

Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 4)

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped finely

2 carrots, chopped finely

2 single chicken breasts, thinly sliced

32 oz chicken broth

2 cups water

8oz rice noodles

1 cup frozen peas or beans

Coriander (cilantro) leaves

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan
  2. Add onion and carrot and saute 2 mins
  3. Add broth and water to pan, bring to boil
  4. Add chicken, cook for 3 mins or until chicken cooked through
  5. Add noodles and frozen peas, cook for 2 mins
  6. Divide among bowls and top with coriander (optional)

Beef Casserole (serves 4)

1 1/2 lbs diced chuck steak

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 sticks celery, chopped

4 cups beef broth

1 clove garlic, chopped or minced


1/4 cup red wine (optional)

2 Potatoes, diced (optional)

  1. Heat oil in pan
  2. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and saute until onion soft
  3. Remove vegetables from pan.
  4. Add beef in batches and brown, remove from pan
  5. Add small amount of stock (and wine if using) to pan and deglaze
  6. Add remaining stock.
  7. Return beef and vegetables to pan and bring to boil.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hrs or until meat is tender.
  9. If using potatoes add to pan in last 20mins and cook until tender.
  10. Serve with green beans and/or mashed potato


To make the quick and easy version I use store bought ingredients (free from artificial additives and preservatives)

2 store bought pizza bases (free from calcium propionate).  I buy from Wholefoods

Pizza sauce

toppings e.g ham (preservative free), pepperoni, pineapple, mozarella cheese

  1. Spread pizza sauce over base
  2. Add a handful of shredded mozarella cheese
  3. Add toppings such as ham and pineapple
  4. Top with cheese
  5. Bake in 400 F oven until cheese melted and slightly golden

Lamb and vegetables (serves 4)

8 lamb cutlets

8-1o potatoes

2 cups frozen peas

1 tsp butter

2 tbs warm milk

  1. Add potatoes to large pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook until tender
  3. Meanwhile,
  4. Heat oil in pan
  5. Add lamb cutlets, cook to liking
  6. When potatoes and lamb are just about done add the frozen peas to the potatoes and cook for approx 2-3 mins
  7. Remove lamb from heat and rest under foil.
  8. Drain potatoes and peas
  9. Roughly mash potatoes with butter and milk.
  10. Serve with lamb.

Chicken cacciatore (serves 4)

Olive oil

750g (approx 1.5lbs) chicken (thighs, drumsticks etc skin on)

1 red capsicum (red pepper) diced

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

mushrooms (optional, I leave these out because the kids turn their noses up)

olives (ditto on above)

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

2 tins tomatoes

salt and pepper

Pasta to serve

  1. heat oil in pan and brown chicken
  2. remove chicken to dish, set aside
  3. Add capsicum, onion and garlic and saute for 3 mins or until onion soft
  4. Add wine and tomatoes, bring to boil.
  5. You now have two options- return chicken to pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 mins or until chicken cooked through or return chicken to pan (resting on top of vegetables), transfer to 360 F oven and cook for 30-45 mins
  6. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to boil and cook pasta as per directions.
  7. When chicken is cooked serve with cooked pasta

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