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Comfort foods- Recipes that are prepared easily



4 Med. eggplants (choose plump, shiny, dark purple coloured ones, with the part opposite the stem nice and round).

500 g Passata

250 g Mozzarella

20g Grated Parmesan

1 lightly beaten egg

Small amount plain flour

Few pinches of Oregano
or Vax fav: Hoyts It herb mix.
A few leaves of Basil.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Wash and cut the eggplants lengthwise in 5mm thick slices.
Eggplants have now been selected and bred to be more dry and less bitter, and it is not necessary to have them ‘under salt’ to let the bitter moisture drain. But if we wish we can sprinkle with salt and let them drain for 1/2 hour.

Coat each slice in the plain flour and dip into the lightly beaten egg. (Add some salt to the egg).
Fry in abundant oil of whatever type you prefer, until golden brown. Place on a plate covered with an absorbent paper towel.

In a lightly greased oven proof dish start with tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplants, then add the cheeses and herbs, until the finish with mozzarella and parmesan. And a few basil leaves on top.

Place in oven, preheated to 180C, until golden brown on top.

The traditional way of coating with flour and egg is usually skipped nowadays and the slices are often just placed under the grill or on a hot plate or just shallow fried.
It’s up to individual taste how we prefer our Parmigiana.



An easy recipe that is an ideal snack for these cold winter days and nights .


  • 500g pack of Coles Lean beef mince . It has only 10% fat and you need to cook filling down to a dry mix .

  • 1 packet of Coles Traditional stir fry Vegetables . They are not frozen , very low salt and wholly Australian grown . If you use these you may have to prep them using a mincing knife , often called a mezzaluna , to dice them into smaller portions . Any good knife or cleaver will do though . Pile them on your chopping board and rock and chop through about 4 times .

  • Mon Tomato Sauce . Purchased at Woolworths . Again uses all Australian grown produce .

  • Kikkoman Soy sauce . Optional but 1 teaspoon in the mix livens things up a bit .

  • Freshly cracked black pepper . A sausage roll would not be the same without it .

  • Antonio Filo pastry . You will need to layer 3 sheets on top of each other to get a nice fluffy pastry .

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil . I used my favourite Cobram Estates Robust . It is used to brush onto the Filo pastry when layering it

  • Hoyts or Masterfood onion Flakes . 1 teaspoon of this . You can also finely dice or grate around 1/4 of a small onion .


  • Place your skillet or fry pan on the cook top and bring to a medium heat . Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil , Cobram Estates Light olive oil in my case , and lift the skillet and tilt it to get an even covering on the cooking surface .

  • Add the meat and get some stirring action going . Add 1 teaspoon of the dried onion flakes and 1 tablespoon of the Mon tomato sauce . Stir the mix thoroughly to get an even cook . Add the cracked black peppercorns to taste . I like pepper but don’t go over board .

  • If too much fat comes off the mince meat pour it off into a small basin . Don’t tip it down the kitchen sink as it will solidify and may block your grey water pipes .

  • When the mince has started to brown add the prepped stir fry vegetables . Mix them well through the mince and keep cooking for about 8 - 10 minutes gradually reducing the heat . I have a gas cook top but induction or electric may cook quicker .

  • Take the mince mixture off the heat and put aside to cool or carefully spoon it into a basin to cool .

  • Take your Filo pastry sheets and lay one on your chopping board or bench top . Coat it with Extra Virgin Oilve oil using a cooking brush and place another on top . Repeat again and coat the top to promote a good browning .

  • The Filo sheets are roughly 300 x 410 mm in size so you will lay your mix across the 300 mm width . This gives 2 nice 150 mm ( 6 inch in the old measurement ) rolls .

  • Carefully spoon the mix across the prepared Filo sheets . Start to roll the Filo over the mix . I roll over about 4 times to get a good fluffy pastry . Cut the Filo with a sharp knife and repeat the process .

  • Cut the rolls into about 150 mm lengths and place on baking paper on a baking tray .

  • Pre heat oven to around 175 C and place the tray in the middle of the oven . Cook till pastry is golden brown .

Any rolls that aren’t eaten at the time of cooking can be packed in freezer bags once cooled and frozen for future snacks




A post was split to a new topic: [Food that makes us feel good and can it be healthy?]

Winter weather spells soup weather to me . If you have a favourite soup recipe it would really be great to see it posted here .


My favourite warm up soup is Clear Beef Broth:

500g Beef brisket (or any cut of meat that can take long slow cooking).

1 large onion
2 med. carrots
4-5 outside stalks of celery
Bunch of continental parsley
3-4 Roma tomatoes
Few grains of black pepper
Salt to taste.

Rinse the meat in cold water, trim of excessive fat, if any.
In a 5lt pot place meat in about a litre of cold water (should be cold if you wish a good broth).
Bring to the boil and use a skimming spoon to remove all scum which forms on top.

Prepare, wash, and roughly chop veggies. Add to pot, and top up with about 3 lt of boiling water. Add seasoning.


Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook for a minimum of 1 hour, (up to 3 hours for a very reduced, very tasty

Strain to make clear soup.

Serve hot.

Possibly serve with croutons, or a little rice, or some egg noodles.

Bon Appetit!


I’ve never heard this specified - I had a quick search for it and discovered lots of references to growing celery from the usually discarded base and one such site that also mentioned “The darker the stalks become, the more nutrients they will contain. Texture changes with color; dark green stalks will be tougher.” - is this part of the reason for using the outside stalks? they contain good stuff but aren’t as nice raw? it got me curious anyway …


Yes, @draughtrider, as you say the outer stalks are very tough to eat raw, unlike the inner part which can very nicely go into salads, as you’d know. But when cooked for a long time they do release nutrients and flavour. I don’t include the dark green leaves because they give a little bitter taste to the broth, but some cooks don’t mind that.
I find that after such a long cooking time the veggies are much too soft to be served and are discarded. But that’s a personal choice.
Also, I’d like to add about the tomatoes:
some cooks don’t even include them,
a broth should only be of a golden-rose colour and needs very little tomatoes, either fresh or whole peeled canned ones.
I would also stress the use of parsley,
it really makes a superior broth.


I’d been dealing with junk foods while watching Netflix. I gained weight remarkably and now I’m into a diet spree. I also need comfort foods during my cheat days.


If I buy a bunch of celery I usually use the outside stalks as the inner part of the bunch are usually too bitter . I have used " home grown " celery supplied to me by a friend with a great vegetable garden . Definitely better in taste and texture than the commercially grown product and a lot less wastage as well . I find the cheaper alternative is to buy the bagged pre-cut celery stalks as sold by Coles or Woolies and some IGA’s . .


Yes they are nice raw. Cut into 10cm lengths and fill the groove with peanut butter. A great healthy snack to add to lunch boxes.


We buy celery hearts from Coles and Woollies as thay have most of the waste already removed and are generally better value than either whole celery or celery pieces.


That sounds delicious!

Another way to use those tougher celery stalks:

Rinse well and peel off the tough strings of each stalk.
Cut into about 5-6 cm long x 1-1.5 cm wide sticks.
Coat the sticks with plain flour, dip in a lightly beaten egg, roll into bread crumbs.
Fry until golden brown.
Serve hot.

PS my apologies for going off ‘soup’ topic.



I had to prepare some soup for some fishing buddies recently . I had not gone fishing with them ,too cold , but they had advised me they would be dropping in around 10 PM . I thought I might do some soup to warm them up but I looked in the pantry and only found one can . Would have to bulk it up a bit .


  • 1 Can of Campbell’s Chunky Irish Stew Style soup 505 g

  • 3 litres of Beef Stock . I used Campbell’s .

  • 5 Baby Charisma Potatoes peeled and quartered .

  • 4 Shallots . Top and tailed and peeled .

  • 1/2 cup of grated carrot .

  • 1 Cup of Pasta . I used Vetta Vegetable Twist #89 ( weird name )

  • 4 Swiss Brown small mushrooms quartered .

  • Hoyts Italian Herb Mix . 2 teaspoons

  • Hoyts Dried chives . 1 teaspoon

  • Tumeric . 1 teaspoon .

  • Mon Tomato Sauce 1 tablespoon .

  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste .


  • You will need a stock pot of at least 5 litres and medium sized saucepan .

  • Fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil . Add the potatoes and shallots .

  • Add the can of soup and the 3 litres of beef stock to the stock pot and put on a low , I mean low , heat and stir thoroughly .

  • When the sauce pan comes to the boil turn heat back and simmer potatoes and shallots for 3 - 4 minutes . You need them to be par boiled .

  • Drain the sauce pan’s contents into a colander and add to the stock pot . Increase the heat on the stock pot to medium low and stir well .

  • Add the carrot , mushrooms .

  • Add the Pasta . Stir well .

  • Add the tablespoon of Mon Tomato Sauce .

  • Add 1 teaspoon of each of the following . Turmeric , Chives

  • Add 2 teaspoons of the Hoyts Italian herb mix .

  • Stir stock pot contents regularly .

  • Add cracked black pepper to taste .

  • If mixture in stock pot looks like boiling turn back the heat . Simmer for around 20 minutes then with a spoon or ladle scoop out a piece of potato . Test it with a skewer or fork . If soft soup is done .

Ladle into soup bowls and serve with buttered toast . Any soup left over can be frozen for a meal in the future .




Quick and easy lentils and pasta soup

200g canned Lentils,
4 tbsp Oil,
4 tbsp Passata,
2 small Garlic cloves,
One or two Bay leaves,
1 Litre Water or Veg. Stock
80g Small Pasta (Ditali, Small shells…)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a 2 Litre saucepan sauté oil and garlic, and stir in the passata.

Add well rinsed and drained lentils.

Add boiling water ( or boiling veg. stock if you prefer), bay leaves, salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, and add the pasta,
turn heat down to a gentle bubbling,
stirring frequently, and cook for about 10 minutes or until pasta is ‘al dente’.

Remove garlic and bay leaves.

Serve hot.

Bon Appettit!



A recipe for soup that is warming on the cold winter days . All ingredients are readily available at your supermarkets . Takes a little time but well worth the effort .


  • 3 x 1 litre of Campbell’s Beef stock .

  • Can of Ardmona Peeled Tomatoes .

  • 1 cup of peas .I used Coles Australia frozen .

  • 1 cup of Corn kernels . I used Coles Australian Frozen .

  • 8 rashes of bacon . Local Deli . Cut into approximately 20mm squares .

  • 5 shallots . Peeled and diced .

  • 1/2 cup of pasta . I used Vetta High Protein Spirals from Coles .

  • 1 teaspoon of Turmeric . Used Hoyts .

  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala . Used Hoyts .

  • 3 teaspoons of Hoyts Italian Herb Mix .

  • 1 small sweet potato . Peeled and diced .

  • 5 baby Charisma Potatoes . Peeled and diced .

  • 1/2 Carrot finely grated .

  • Freshly cracked black peppercorns to taste.

  • Cooking oil . I used Cobram Estates EVOO Robust .


  • Take a fry pan or skillet and add 1 table spoon of cooking oil . Add bacon and shallots and cook at a medium heat . Stir occasionally .

  • Take a sauce pan and bring to the boil and add the potatoes and sweet potatoes . Lightly salt the water . Bring back to the boil and turn down to simmer for 3 - 4 minutes . Pour contents of sauce pan into a colander and put aside .

  • Take a stock pot . I used a Chef Inox 8 litre but a 4 litre up would do fine . Add the Campbell’s Beef stock and put on a low heat .

  • Add the par boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes and grated carrot to the stock pot .

  • The bacon and shallots should be cooked now . Low and slow when you do these . Add them to the stock pot .OPTIONAL Deglaze the the fry pan with some white wine or white vinegar and add to stock pot .

  • Add the can of peeled tomatoes to the stock pot . I took a potato masher and broke them up . Leave whole if you choose . They will cook down .

  • Increase the heat to medium under the stock pot .

  • Add the Peas and Corn kernels and give a good stir .

  • Add the pasta .

  • Add your Turmeric , Garam Masala and Italian Herb Mix .

  • Stir well . Pepper to taste .

  • Increase heat to just under the boil .

  • Stir often . Watch that the stock pot does not boil . A vigorous simmer is the go here .

  • Cook for 40 - 60 minutes . Stir often but do not let boil .

  • Take a spoon or soup ladle and dip into the stock put and if the potatoes and peas are cooked soup will be ready to serve .

  • Ladle into serving dishes . I used a finely chopped spring onion to garnish but suit yourself here .

  • Any extra soup can be frozen in containers for meals at a later date .




2 posts were split to a new topic: Fred’s Recipes

Minestrone soup with Pesto sauce.

This soup does not start with the usual sauté base, this time the vegetables are cooked in the pot in a seemingly boring way but the soup gets its flavour and aroma from the sauce made with fragrant, fresh basil leaves: Pesto.

Minestrone can be made with any veggies we prefer or are available according to the season, and beans and pasta or rice can be added.
The following recipe is just one of the many ways.


150g Green beans.
150g Peas.
50g Small carrots.
150g Small zucchini.
2 Med. potatoes.
1 Med. onion.
2 Small celery stalks.
1 Small bunch of silver beet.
2-3 Peeled and seeded tomatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Wash, peel, chop veggies in small cubes (of the same size as much as possible).
Place in a large pot, add as much water to cover 2-3 inches above the veggies.
Add seasoning.
Bring to the boil, turn heat down to a gentle simmer for about 50-60 minutes.
If required add more liquid as the soup cooks.
2 minutes before turning off the heat,
stir in a few tablespoons of Pesto.

Top the individual bowls with a teaspoon of pesto and extra Parmesan.

Pesto sauce:

50g Basil leaves, washed but well dried because any moisture will alter taste and colour.

1/4 cup Evoo, Light is best, not too intense.

2 Garlic cloves.

6 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

Pinch of cooking salt.

1 tbsp. pine nuts (optional in soups).

Place ingredients, minus the cheese,
in a Blender. Use the Pulse function to blend in short bursts, to avoid the herb getting warm and turning black.
Blend to a creamy texture. Add Parmesan, mix by hand.

Any leftover pesto can be stored in a sealed jar for about 7-10 days, in the fridge.

Bon Appetit!


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Fred’s Recipes

A quick and tasty winter soup:
Cauliflower and pasta soup.

1 Med. Cauliflower.
1 Garlic clove.
1/2 Bunch of Continental Parsley.
5 Anchovies fillets (oil-preserved).
4 Tbsp Oil.
2 Tbsp Passata.
200ml Fish stock.
300g small pasta.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Grated Parmesan cheese.


Wash the cauliflower and cut into small florets, leave to drain.

Very finely hand-chop parsley and garlic.

In a med. saucepan heat the oil, add the anchovies, parsley, and garlic, and keep stirring until the fillets liquify.

Add in the Passata, cook for a minute.

Add the florets and the stock, and season to taste, remembering that the anchovies are already a little salty.

Cover the saucepan and let cook at a gentle simmer for about 20 m.

Add the small pasta and more liquid if needed. Cook until al dente.

Serve with grated Parmesan and a little chopped parsley on top.

Bon Appetit.


An easy lunch meal.


  • Pack of Gotzinger Bratwurst sausages.
  • Pack of Coles Finest By Laurent White Sourdough Rolls
  • 2 onions, peeled, cut in half, and sliced thinly.
  • Masterfoods French Mustard.
  • Butter.
  • Red Kellys Sweet Chilli & Lime Dressing.


  • Grill onions until soft.
  • Grill bratwursts until lightly browned.
  • Cut rolls lenghtways and toast lightly on BBQ grid.
  • Butter and spread mustard on rolls, add onions and sausages, and pour some dressing on top.

The dressing is a good substitude for sauerkraut.

Gotzinger Bratwurst are stocked at Woollies and our local Supa IGA but not at Coles.

As we are not big eaters, my wife and I share one roll for lunch.