Five nourishing dishes a chef cooks at home
I love food. I live and breathe food. So I always aim to cook and eat the best quality produce. This means it must be fresh, sustainable, seasonal and organic. If you can combine this with a clean-living lifestyle that puts the body first – you’re already way in front.
Despite being a chef by trade, I don’t whip up three course meals when I’m at home. I’d much rather prepare a quick and easy dish that I know will give me a soul food hit with a good punch of nourishing goodness… and then I zonk out in front of a zombie film.
Below are five of my favourite meals to to prepare at home.
Salads are one of those things that you can make with whatever you have in the fridge. The colours, textures and flavours you can create using vegetables and leaves are endless and they’re a great way to get in a good hit of vegetables. They work well as a side dish, or as a standalone meal.
Warm kale and chickpea salad
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 zucchini, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Sprig of thyme
Salt and pepper, to season
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
2 large kale leaves, finely chopped
- Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, chilli, zucchini, zest and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 3-5 minutes until onion is softened, but not coloured.
- Add chickpeas and cherry tomatoes to pan. Cook until chickpeas are warmed through. Add juice and remove from heat.
- While chickpea mixture is still hot, pour over kale. Toss to coat and wilt kale.
- Serve warm.
2. Slow cooked (anything)
Slow cooking, however you’re doing it – braising, slow roasting, confit – can transform the life of a busy person. You can pop it on in the morning and come home to tender meat that is full of flavour and falling off the bone. My current favourite is osso bucco. Make sure you talk to your butcher about getting the best quality cuts. They can also teach you about nose-to-tail eating, so that nothing is wasted.
500 g osso bucco
750 ml red wine
2 litres beef or chicken stock
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup carrots, diced
6 tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp olive oil
- Pre heat oven to 160°C.
- In a bowl mix rosemary, thyme, garlic and 2 tbsp olive oil. Rub all over osso bucco and marinate overnight.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot over high heat then add the osso bucco, colouring evenly on both sides. Remove and place to the side.
- In the same pot add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and remaining marinade and cook until tender and caramelised. Add red wine and reduce until thick.
- Place the osso bucco back into the pan.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste then cover with stock.
- Place in oven for 2 to 4 hours until the osso bucos begins falling off the bone.
- Serve with crusty bread.
Rice is a staple for me — it’s a hearty and clean ingredient that I always have in my kitchen. It’s very versatile and can be paired with seafood, lamb and chicken or added to salads and stir fries.
Fragrant rice with barbecued barramundi
1 cup rice (my current fave is SunRice fragrant jasmine rain fed rice)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 fennel, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 onion, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Rind of 1 lemon
Rind of 1 orange
2 cups chicken stock
1 baby barramundi, cleaned
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup oregano, chopped
1 tsp capers, drained
1 tsp anchovies, minced
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
- Heat olive oil in a pot on medium heat then add onion, fennel, garlic, chilli and cook until tender (6 to 7 minutes), then add turmeric and cook until fragrant (20 sec).
- Add rice, stirring constantly until grains are coated and translucent.
- Add stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat until rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed (15 to 20 minutes).
- Take the pot off the heat. Add lemon and orange rind, then cover with a lid and with a towel. Let it sit for about 12 minutes.
- Rub the barramundi fillet with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a hot barbecue. Cook on each side for about 6 minutes until flaky but not dry.
- Take barramundi off the barbecue and let it rest on a serving dish.
- Make salsa verde by mixing olive oil, mint, parsley, oregano, capers, anchovies, lemon rind and salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Dress barramundi with salsa verde and let rest.
- Flake fish over rice and serve with fresh herbs.
I’ve always felt a connection to the ocean and I love catching my own fish. If I can’t catch my own, I try to buy sustainable options where possible. Seafood has a lot of flavour, and in most cases, can be prepared quite quickly.
Whiting in herb and prosciutto jacket
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
2 chillis, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, squashed
4 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
25 g butter, cut in half
1 lemon, sliced
50 ml white wine
6 slices of prosciutto
3 whole sand whiting, cleaned, scaled and gutted (ask your fishmonger to do this)
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Place cherry tomatoes in a large oven tray. Throw in chilli, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, butter, lemon, sea salt and wine.
- To wrap fish, lay 2 slices of prosciutto on a flat surface, slightly overlapping. Top with parsley and coriander. Wrap whiting up in prosciutto slices. Continue until all the whiting is wrapped. Place in tray.
- Cook for 20 minutes, or until prosciutto is crispy and fish is cooked through. Serve with cherry tomatoes.
5. Fresh fruits
Life is too short to not enjoy ‘nature’s candy’! And there’s so much you can do with beautiful, fresh, locally grown fruit. I often like a nibble on something sweet at the end of the day, and fruit is a healthy way to satisfy those cravings. Enter the fruit whip – all you really need is some frozen fruits in the freezer and you’re good to go. You can even get super creative with herbs, textures, flavours and colours.
Chia, mango and banana sorbet
2 frozen mango cheeks, roughly chopped
2 frozen peeled bananas, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp protein powder
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp of chia seeds
Handful of mint leaves
Blueberries, mint and chia seeds, to garnish
- Place frozen fruit in a food processor.
- Add juice, zest and protein powder.
- Process mixture until just smooth (don’t over process, otherwise the fruit will melt too much).
- Add chia seeds and mint leaves. Process until just combined. If mixture has become too runny, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Garnish with extra mint, chia seeds and blueberries.
For more great recipes from Guy head to Bondi Harvest
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