Bircher Muesli with poached dried apricots and pistachios


Brighten up your morning with this sweet and juicy bircher, topped with autumn fruits.

Serves:  4 (makes 5 cups)


2 Gala apples, quartered and cored (not peeled)

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup apple juice

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Using a box grater, coarsely grate the apples into a large bowl.

2. Mix in the oats, yogurt, apple juice and cinnamon.

3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Note: The muesli will keep for up to three days, covered, and refrigerated.


Autumn topping: Poached dried apricots and pistachios


1 cup dried apricots, halved

½ cup water

⅓ cup honey

⅓ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped


1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the dried apricots, water and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the apricots are plump and very tender and the syrup has thickened slightly. Cool completely.

2. To serve, spoon the apricot mixture over the muesli and sprinkle with the pistachios.

Recipe from Good Food, Good Life by Curtis Stone (Ebury Australia, $39.95)

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Black Bean Salsa


This spicy, fragrant sweet potato soup will banish any thought of the winter chills.

Serves: 4

This thick, sweet potato soup is the perfect way to warm up your day, thanks to a generous amount of chipotle, garlic, and ground spices. All this spice is balanced out by a black bean, avocado and coriander salsa.

Note: When it comes to pureeing the soup you have two choices: 1) Use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot; or 2) Cool soup to room temperature and blend in batches in your blender.


For the soup

2 large sweet potatoes (approx. 800 g total)

1 medium purple onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons dried cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed coriander seed

1 tablespoon vegetable stock

3-4 cups boiling water

1 chipotle chilli in adobo (or 1 ½ tablespoons spicy Mexican sauce)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup low fat milk

For the salsa

1/2 cup black beans (1/2 400g can)

1/2 medium avocado

2 stalks spring onion

1/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh coriander leaves

Juice of 1 lime

Pinch of salt and black pepper


1. Peel sweet potato and dice into 2 cm cubes. Peel and dice onion.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot over a medium heat. Add crushed garlic, diced onion, cumin, and coriander. Sauté until onion is transparent and spices are fragrant.

3. Add sweet potato and stir until the cubes are well incorporated and coated with spices and garlic.

4. Dissolve vegetable stock in 3 cups of the hot water. Add to sauce pan. The stock should just cover the sweet potato. If required, add up to an extra cup of water.

5. Stir in chili in adobo (or Mexican chili sauce) and tomato paste.

6. Turn heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once the liquid is boiling reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the sweet potato cubes are tender when pierced with a fork. This should take about 30 minutes. While soup is cooking, make salsa. (See below for instructions.)

7. Add the lime juice, stir well.

8. Remove soup from the heat and puree (see note about pureeing!)

9. Return pureed soup to pot and place on a low heat. Stir in milk and heat until gently bubbling.

10. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a generous dollop of black bean salsa.

Making salsa

1. Place well rinsed black beans into a small bowl.

2. Peel and dice avocado. Add to bowl.

3. Thinly slice white and light green parts of spring onions and add to bowl.

4. Gently stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Leftovers will keep for up to 2 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Winter Chicken Casserole

Winter chicken casserole

It’s that time of year again when the meals on your table need to become a little more hearty and warming. And what could be more comforting than a winter casserole? Made with chicken, potatoes and pesto sauce, this one-pot winter casserole is both filling and full of vitamins.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 300g potatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 150g broccoli, chopped
  • 150g carrots, chopped
  • 150g peas, fresh or frozen
  • Bunch asparagus, chopped into quarters
  • Bunch spring onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (homemade or bought)


In a large frypan, heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the onion and sauté until softened.

Next, add the chicken and fry until browned all over. Then throw in the potatoes and the stock, and bring to the boil. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

When the chicken and potatoes are cooked through, add the broccoli, peas, carrots, asparagus and spring onion, and stir through. Return to the boil and cover until the vegetables are cooked. Finally, stir in the pesto.

Serve immediately  and enjoy.