These are tried, tested and much loved recipes. Our families and friends are always unselfish and devote themselves to taste-testing these delicious creations and demand them repeatedly time and time again.

Our aim is to share with you our favourite meals and the little tricks and tips we have learnt along the way.
Time is precious.
Food is expensive.

Both are resources too valuable to waste.

We want to share recipes that deliver delicious, nourishing meals - making the most of your time and ingredients.

Life is way too short for bland, disappointing food.
So ... Feed your inner cook - and Enjoy!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Season's Greetings from the Feed Your Inner Cooks

Thank you for reading our recipe blog and we wish you and your families a Wonderfully Tasty and Happy Christmas 

May your cooking taste as wonderful as Belinda Jeffery's 

May your Christmas Day be as calm and effortless as Donna Hay  

May your guests' smiles be as beaming as Maggie Beer's

May you look as fabulous and unflustered as Nigella 

May the calories go to your darling Sister's (or skinny friend's) hips 

          and ...

May someone else wash up!   (anyone except Jamie Oliver - he spills stuff on the floor during his cooking videos)

Good Health,    

                       Contented Tummies

                                           Much Laughter

                                                          and   Safe Travelling


We look forward to sharing more recipes with you in 2013 

                      Best Wishes 

                     The Feed Your Inner Cooks


                      PS - no doggie was hurt in the taking of this photo 
                           - just embarrassed and bemused.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Cumin Spiced Mince

I found this Margaret Fulton recipe that includes roasted eggplant, so it has a different flavour to most mince recipes.  It can be quite flexible  - depending on what  vegetables are in your fridge and what type of mince you select to cook. I have made a few alterations to the original.

You could serve this on a large platter as a one-dish meal because the vegetables are cooked with the mince and the salad is incorporated into the presentation of the dish. 

Because it does not need to be served piping hot, it could be a good option for a summer dinner as an alternative to a salad dish.
Serves 5 -6 people depending on how hungry they are

Preparation time  -  20 minutes including charring the eggplants        
Cooking              -  20 minutes

2 medium eggplants    or    8-10 finger eggplants (Note – See below  -  must be charred prior)
              or  -   if you are really pressed for time - Delis sell charred eggplants in bottles
2 onions – finely chopped
Small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
500g lean mince.  Either beef or lamb would work well with these flavours
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground chillies (this amount is mild/moderate)  Adjust to your preference.
1 x 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of chick peas or lentils   -  very well rinsed and drained
¼ head of cauliflower – chopped into small florets
Good handful of green beans - sliced
2 tablespoons Tahini paste
½ to 1 cup of Low fat Greek yoghurt   (1 tablespoon of this is used with eggplant)    (Refer below) 
1 clove garlic – crushed
¼ - 1/3 cup pine nuts – toasted  (NB - need to be toasted prior to sprinkling on completed dish)
Small amount of parsley – very finely sliced
Small amount of mint – very finely sliced
Salt and pepper – taste at the end and adjust to your taste preference  (I did not need to use salt)

Lettuce leaves
Cucumber - sliced
sliced fresh tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes.

Serving Options:   shake of paprika, 
                            fresh mint leaves, 
                            few fresh pomegranate seeds, 
                            lemon wedges


Heat chargrill to high.  Place eggplants whole on the grill and turn regularly for about 10-15 minutes.  (Caution -can be smoky).  Skin will go crisp and brown, inside will be tender when pierced with a knife.   Allow to cool slightly so you can touch them.  Halve lengthways and scoop soft flesh into a bowl. Slice eggplant skin finely – keep separate – sliced eggplant skin will be added prior to final serving.
Mash eggplant flesh with a drizzle of olive oil, 1 tablespoon each of tahini and the yoghurt.  Reserve.

In a large frypan – gently fry onions til soft.
Increase heat and add mince. Cook, breaking up any lumps. Stir well.
Add cumin, chilli and garlic. Mix through.
Stir in the vegetables, tinned tomatoes and lentils and cook until cauliflower is tender. 
Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Stir in the chopped parsley.

Yoghurt dressing
In a small side dish serving bowl, mix ½ cup yoghurt, 1 tablespoon tahini and some chopped mint.
If you want a larger amount of yoghurt dressing – use the full 1 cup.  I find ½ cup is quite enough.
Serving the yoghurt dressing separately allows everyone to moderate their fat intake.


Spread the lettuce leaves on the base of a serving platter – this meal is good for sharing at table
-        Or   -  serve on individual plates if preferred
Dollop the eggplant flesh mixture over most of the lettuce.  (Allow space around edge for adding the cucumber and tomatoes later)
Pour the mince/tomato mix over these layers.
Sprinkle with the finely sliced eggplant skin.
Spoon over some of the yoghurt dressing.    I serve the remainder in a side bowl.
Scatter over the pine-nuts, mint and paprika.
Place the slices of cucumber and tomato around the edge of the platter.
Finally, it looks and tastes wonderful with a final sprinkling of pomegranate seeds - (which I put on after the photo!)

Serve lemon wedges in a side bowl.

Enjoy!     Colleen

Monday, 10 December 2012

David's Naughty Nuts

These moreish sweet, salty macadamias are always a treat.  No two batches ever quite taste exactly the same, but are always delicious. Thanks to Belinda Jeffery,  you too will be a star when you produce these "can't stop at one" nut snacks.

These nuts are named in honour of our neighbour David, who was not shy - when the first bowl emptied, he then pleaded for the hidden stash.


1 - 2 tablespoons Macadamia Oil (or light olive oil)
280g Australian macadamias
1/2 cup castor sugar
1  1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seeds
3/4  teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon castor sugar  -  extra
1 teaspoon salt flakes


Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Heat oil in a large frypan, when warm tip in the nuts, shake the pan to coat the nuts.
Reduce heat to low and sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the nuts.
Stir constantly until caramelised to form a darkish toffee (don't worry if some nuts are darker than others).
Mix the spices and salt, add to nuts and toss about to coat.
Spread evenly on the prepared tray trying to keep the nuts as separate as possible.  Cool and then sprinkle with the salt flakes.

Try to freshly grind the spices, use a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, the results will be worth the extra effort.

Mama Marmalade

Monday, 3 December 2012

Chicken Marbella Chorizo

Chicken Marbella Chorizo

This baked chicken dish is simple and delicious.  Overnight marinating really helps bring out the flavours. This is a very popular traditional recipe, and this version was found in Charlotte Wood’s book “Love and Hunger”.  I made a few additions and modifications but have also included the original ingredient amounts –  so you can adjust to your preference. The method involves a few steps but it is still easy to prepare and cook in a hurry.  Hope you enjoy!

trimming fat from chicken thigh fillets - allow 5 -10 minutes
Marinade Preparation: 10 minutes.         
Leave to marinade:    at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Cooking Preparation:  20 minutes (including potatoes).           

Baking:  25 – 30 minutes.

             Serves 6    - will depend on how many thigh fillets allowed per person


For Marinade

8 chicken thigh fillets   (approx. 0.8 – 1.0 kg). Add a couple more if you have hungry folks. Please be fussy and remove as much fat from the thigh fillets as you possibly can - remember: fat is fat. 

3 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed    (originally- 1 head of garlic – which would be very pungent)
¼ cup dried oregano leaves    – bit less is fine     – I used the Greek Oregano leaves from dried stems
1/3 cup red wine vinegar                            (originally ½ cup)
1/4 - 1/3 cup Good Australian Olive Oil     (originally ½ cup. I use 1/4 cup)
1 cup pitted prunes  - I suggest cutting the pitted prunes in half if very large  –  easier to eat later. (I ran out of prunes and substituted a few halved dried figs – was delicious - will always include the figs in future)
¾ cup pitted green olives   - have used black olives – was fine, though green are preferable, I think.  (original recipe used 1 cup olives). Best flavour is from olives you pit yourself - if possible.
¼ cup capers-drained (originally was ½ cup but I think that would be too strong and salty –up to you)
6 fresh Bay Leaves – crush them a little in your hand to release the aroma (used dried if none fresh)

For adding later during the cooking stage

1 chorizo sausage – sliced in thin rounds
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Potatoes – cut into quarters, part-cooked – I used 4 medium -  but add a couple more to extend meal
1 red onion (preferably) – peeled and sliced
Salt (probably won’t need) and Pepper to taste
¼ cup  brown sugar  - may not need the full amount
½ cup  dry White Wine  or substitute Chicken stock if you don't use wine
Parsley – good handful including stems if they are soft – chopped (save some for final flourish)

Method     Chicken Chorizo Marbella
This marinade step can be done the night before – only takes five minutes or so – easy

I like adding my marinade ingredients to a big freezer bag (which I later place inside a mixing bowl in case of leaks – never happened yet but …. ).  Then I can splodge it about and massage into the meat – which I try to do whenever I remember as I open the fridge during the marinading process. Not essential but makes me feel very ‘Nigella’.  
If you prefer marinading using a covered glass bowl etc –that’s fine.

Combine all the marinade ingredients – garlic, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, figs, olives, capers and bay leaves.  Squish them all together in the bag to combine well before adding the meat. 

Add the chicken thigh fillets.  Squish again to evenly cover meat with marinade.

Marinate in the fridge preferably overnight (massage whenever / if -  you remember) 

Method – the cooking stage
You will need a large frypan and
an oven-proof dish / tray -  large enough for the chicken, potatoes and marinade to bake 
- or 2 smaller dishes would be fine

Preheat oven to 200 o Celsius

Check you have the potatoes quartered and part- cooked – they will continue baking in the tray later

Using a large frypan -  brown the chorizo rounds. Should not need oil as the chorizo will release fat.
Remove the chorizo and set aside.
Take chicken pieces from the marinade and brown on both sides in the frypan.  It could spit a little due to the liquid coating.
Arrange browned chicken pieces in the ovenproof tray.
Sprinkle the paprika into the leftover frypan juices and mix in well.
Brown the prepared potato quarters and the sliced onion in the frypan residue til golden.
Remove from heat and toss in half of the chopped parsley.  Mix through.
Add this fried onion potato mix to the tray of chicken.
Spoon the remaining marinade over the chicken.
Mix in some pepper if desired.  I did not need to add any extra salt.
Scatter the chorizo pieces around the chicken.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the chicken and veg.  (You may not need the whole ¼ cup).
Gently pour the white wine around the chicken pieces in the tray.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes at 200 o C.  (will depend on your oven) – til chicken is cooked.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley (will help counteract that garlic).  Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

Serve with your choice of
steamed green vegetables, carrots etc
Chunks of crusty bread
Lemon wedges 

Enjoy!             Colleen