Slow Cooker Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry; Meal Plan Your Way to Weight Loss – Rebecca Burnicle and Wendy Van Staden

Meal-Plan Your Way to Weight Loss by Rebecca Burnicle and Wendy Van Staden, published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $39.99, photography by Jeremy Simons.

“Meal-prepping is so easy when you put your slow cooker to work. This recipe
makes 8 portions, so stocking your freezer with ‘I can’t be bothered’ dinners
is a breeze. All it takes is 15 minutes of prep in the morning.
Serves 8 / Prep 15 minutes / Cook 3 hours 45 minutes – 7 hours 30 minutes” p154

Slow Cooker Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry

2 brown onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder ( I use a gluten free stock)
50 g coconut milk powder
2 cups (400 g) dried red lentils
250 g cauliflower, cut into 2 cm pieces
250 g orange sweet potato (kumara), cut into 2 cm pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 2 cm pieces
400 g can diced tomatoes
400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
150 g baby spinach leaves
1 cup fresh coriander sprigs
2–6 PersonalPoints range per serve

1 Place all ingredients, except for chickpeas, spinach and coriander sprigs in a 5.5 litre (22 cup) slow cooker. Add 1 litre (4 cups) water and stir to combine. Cook on high for 3.5 hours (or low for 7 hours).

2 Stir in chickpeas and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for a further 15 minutes (or low for 30 minutes). Top with coriander sprigs to serve.

Stove-top method:
1 Heat a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic and ginger, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, until softened slightly. Add spices and stock powder and cook,
stirring, for a further 1 minute.

2 Stir in coconut milk powder, lentils, cauliflower, sweet potato, zucchini and tomatoes. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30–40 minutes, until vegetables and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding extra water if mixture starts to catch
on base of pan.

3 Stir in chickpeas and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Top with coriander sprigs.

· TO REFRIGERATE: Transfer curry to a large reusable container or divide individual portions into separate reusable containers. Store for up to 5 days. To reheat, simmer gently in a saucepan or microwave single
servings until hot, stirring in a little water if curry is too thick.

· TO FREEZE: Store curry as above. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat
as above.

**This is one of my favourite vegetarian curries though I hadn’t thought of adding cauliflower – what a great idea. I will make this to take with me on my next visit to my vegetarian daughter.**

Indian Feast, Chana Masala: Deliciously Ella with Friends – Ella Mills (Woodward)


Deliciously Ella with Friends by Ella Mills RRP $29.99 published by Hachette Australia on 31 January 2017

Indian Feast

Chana Masala


“Absolutely delicious and filled with incredible spices that really transform the chickpeas. I also add leeks and spinach, as I love getting the extra veg in and they add a great flavour, plus the green of the spinach makes the meal look beautiful, too. I love this served alongside my Aloo Gobi and Coconut Rice (pages 130 and 133), with a generous dollop of coconut yogurt.” p. 129


DELICIOUSLY ELLA WITH FRIENDS by Ella Mills (Woodward). Hodder & Stoughton 2017.

DELICIOUSLY ELLA WITH FRIENDS by Ella Mills (Woodward). Hodder & Stoughton 2017.

Serves 6

5 tablespoons olive oil
6 curry leaves, or 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 leek, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 onion, finely chopped
2.5cm root ginger, finely grated
5 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 green finger chillies, halved lengthways
plenty of salt and pepper
2 x 400g cans of chickpeas,
drained and rinsed
250g baby leaf spinach
juice of ½ lemon
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and throw in the curry leaves, if using. Let them sizzle away and release their flavour for a few minutes, then drop in the leek and stir.
Next add the dry spices – including the curry powder if you’re not using curry leaves – and stir so that they’re mixed nicely with the leek. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding the onion, ginger and garlic; at this point you can add 1–2 tablespoons of water if things are starting to stick to the pan. Cook for a few minutes before adding the canned tomatoes, tomato purée, green chillies, salt and pepper. When you’ve poured in the tomatoes from their cans, swish a little water around in each to get the remaining juice, then add this to the saucepan, too. Let everything bubble away for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and cook for another
10 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, just until it wilts. Let cool slightly, then stir in the lemon juice and serve in shallow bowls, sprinkling coriander leaves over the curry.
Make extra so that you have leftovers. As with most curries, this tastes even better the next day, as the flavours have had a chance to develop further, so it’s worth saving some to enjoy in your lunch box!
FEASTS p 129

Post Script: The Dinner Ladies Fill You Fridge and Freezer – Sophie Gilliatt & Katherine Westwood


Fill Your Fridge and Freezer 170+ Recipes to Cook Now and Eat Later

Sophie Gilliatt & Katherine Westwood

Murdoch Books

ISBN: 9781743365854



Stock your fridge or freezer with nourishing dinners that can be made ahead

The evening, when time and patience are at their shortest, can be the worst part of the day to throw a meal together. And then there are the unexpected mouths to feed: a friend with a new baby, an elderly family member, a couple of uninvited ravenous teenagers.


Enter the Dinner Ladies, the fearsomely organised duo bringing delicious peace to busy households. They are the mistresses of stocked-up fridges and freezers thanks to a wide-ranging repertoire of nourishing, reliable make-ahead meals.


Family-friendly favourites dominate: there are spiced slow-cooked lamb shanks; warming curries; veggie-focused ‘thinner dinners’; and easy desserts that may not make it as far as the table, such as apricot, raspberry and coconut crumble or chocolate mint honey pots.


Welcome the Dinner Ladies to your kitchen and reclaim your evenings.


Author bio:


The Dinner Ladies are Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood. They first met at the school gate in 2007 and came up with the idea of preparing dinners for time-poor friends so that they would always have good homemade food in their fridges and freezers. What started as a back shed project has now grown to a fleet of delivery trucks dropping off thousands of delicious home-cooked meals every week to hungry households in their home city of Sydney.


Between them, the Dinner Ladies have two husbands and seven children of varying sizes, appetites and degrees of fussiness. There’s not much they don’t know about pleasing a tricky crowd.


My View:

This is a must have book for your kitchen library!

Last night I had a read through – we are having a shared plate/easy supper with our daughters tonight and I was looking for inspiration – I go it in bucket loads – and I haven’t even reached the dessert section yet!


So on my list thus far:

Chickpea and Coriander Burgers

Hummus (hommus)

Wimmera Grain Salad (barley & green lentils predominate)

Super Foods Salad

Meatballs or koftas – not sure yet both are tempting…


So that is tonight sorted. But this book has so much more to offer – (Chocolate Mint Honeypots aside ) so many great recipes that will keep in the fridge for a few days, recipes great for the freezer, slow cooked meals, thinner dinners, sweet and easy desserts…and my favourite  section super tasty  “spice and five”.


This is a keeper!

Chick Pea and Squash Salad – Deliciously Ella Everyday – Ella Woodward

Deliciously Ella Every Day

‘These recipes are from Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward, published by Hachette Australia, RRP $29.99.’



“This may sound simple but – trust me – it’s so much more than it seems. I first made this for a collaboration with a café in London and it was such a hit that I knew I had to share it with you all, too! It is a great simple dinner for one, or you can make a huge bowl of it to serve with friends alongside lots of my Black Bean Burgers.” (p.96)


Serves 1


For the salad

120g chunk of butternut squash

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (I use herbes de Provençe)

salt and pepper

olive oil

80g chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon chilli powder

big handful of rocket (30g)

40g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped


For the dressing

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon honey

Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C).


Peel the squash, then cut it into small bite-sized pieces. Place on a baking tray with the paprika, mixed herbs, a little salt and olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tender.


Place the chickpeas on a separate baking tray with the chilli powder, toss well to coat and bake for 20 minutes, until they’re firm but not too crunchy.


Mix all the dressing ingredients together, seasoning with a bit of salt and lots of pepper.


Once the chickpeas and squash have cooked and cooled, mix them with the rocket and sun-dried tomatoes, then pour on the dressing and toss everything together.


Tweak It

If you don’t have any squash then try using sweet potato instead, it tastes awesome in this.




Meatless Monday – Falafel

Falafel for Breakfast cover

At the moment we have a crop of broad beans in our garden ready to pick and I have been looking for  recipes to take advantage of this bounty –  last week we had broad bean mash – which was divine! ( it surprised me  just how good this was). Tonight I thought I would give  a recipe from  Falafel For Breakfast a try – this  is the first time I have encountered falafel made with chick peas and broad beans.  The recipe uses dried broad beans but as I have plenty of fresh I blanched the bean, removed the tough outer skin and used the tender fresh bean instead – this falafel must be the best I have ever made and much much better than any I have ever bought.  Simple ingredients- chickpeas – soaked and rinsed, broad beans, coriander, cumin, garlic, chilli, sesame seeds and baking powder.

I fried the falafel in rice bran oil. I  then made  a”wrap” with mountain bread, tomato, lettuce and avocado spread  (mashed ripe avocado, black pepper, lime oil) and then added the falafels – perfect! Easy. Tasty.



Leftovers for tomorrows lunch 🙂


Todays Challenge…

I have been attempting to make sour dough bread these past few months – part of my eating healthier/gut health plan, finally have got it right! We had lovely sour dough bread and free range eggs for breakfast this morning. This afternoon, by request, I am making Chocolate Covered Katie’s  Choc Chickpea Blondies.

Sour dough

And the Blondies have now been made and taste tested- another success. 🙂

Choc Chickpea Blondies

Recipe here:

Vegetarian Meals Made With Love

Last week my daughter fractured her shoulder; she was on an evening out, ready to order her meal, was about to take the last step on the stairs to the venues dining area, hand on rail and slipped in a pile of something disgusting- we wont go there. Consequently she now is suffering with a fractured shoulder – and needs assistance with most things – washing her hair, cutting up her meals, preparing meals. She cant drive , cant shop, cant work, for at least 6 weeks.

It is times like  this that it is very difficult to be a parent who lives 3 1/2 hours away from one of her children who is in pain and in need.  Her sister has been very helpful, she has been up to visit a  few times, taken her shopping, taken her to the doctors, styled her hair, took her dog for a walk….These two are great supportive sisters.  On the last visit I sent up a care package – food made with love 🙂  I am currently preparing more meals.

The injured daughter is vegetarian – and I haven’t really cooked many vegetarian meals since this daughter left home, many years ago. Lately I have just made the odd meal when she has visited – vegetarian pizza, curry, chilli beans etc To make a 6 weeks of vegetarian meals that can be eaten with one hand ( preferably a spoon) is a challenge. Thankfully I have some wonderful new cook books to help me out.

Coconut Thai Curry with Chickpeas

Coconut Thai Curry with Chickpeas


Deliciously Ella is a great resource. I am currently soaking red kidney and black beans (I prefer not to use tinned legumes) to make a Ella’s Black and Kidney Bean Chilli.  Last week I made Ella’s Lentil and Butternut Squash Dhal, Coconut Thai Curry with Chickpeas and Almond Butter (or nut butter if you prefer),  I made Anna Gretta’s Banana Cakes – one for the freezer and one cut into slices for use now and Dan Churchill’s Protein Balls (always a favourite). I also made huge saucepan of vegetarian minestrone soup – a meal in a bowl, and bean patties with Quinoa flakes – my own creations –  recipes I will share with you at a later date.

Bean Patties with Quinoa Flakes

Bean Patties with Quinoa Flakes

What to make for the next 5 weeks? Any suggestions?  The food must be able to be frozen, be vegetarian and not require cutting.

Coconut Thai Curry With Chickpeas: Deliciously Ella – Ella Woodward

Made this for dinner tonight – so easy, so delicious and warming. I use dried chickpeas – as canned pulses are not a favourite of mine and I had the time to soak and cook the chickpeas before hand  I added some grated zucchini as we have plenty in the freezer to eat up and this also boosted the number of serves of vegetables in this dish. I served with some wilted baby Asian greens and brown rice – yum. I can see this would work well with cauliflower too. I love a meal you can cook in one pot. There is  plenty left over for lunch tomorrow and some to freeze for care pack for vegetarian daughter in Perth.  Everyone wins:)

Coconut Thai Curry with Chickpeas