Winter Lunch Ideas

With more of us working from home again here are some lunchtime ideas for comforting and nutritious winter dishes to keep you going.

Healthy Tuscan Soup


2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1L vegetable stock
Bouquet garni (4 fresh or dried bay leaves, 4 fresh sprigs thyme, 2 fresh sprigs rosemary)
200g cavalo nero, stem removed, leaves shredded
2 thick slices Italian bread, lightly toasted, torn into chunks
40g finely grated parmesan, plus extra shaved, to serve
1 lemon, juiced, zested
Finely chopped continental parsley, to serve


Set a 5L slow cooker to browning or use a pan on the hob. Heat oil. Cook onioncarrot and celery for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlicfennel and chilli. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatobeansstock and bouquet garni. Season. Change cooker setting to high or transfer from pan to slow cooker on high. Cover. Cook for 3-4 hours or until vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in cavalo nerobread and parmesan. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until soup has thickened slightly. Stir in lemon juice, to taste. Serve topped with parsley, lemon zest and extra parmesan.

Thai Chicken Bowls


200g uncooked rice
2 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1kg vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces I used broccoli and carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peanut Lime Sauce
50g peanut butter
1.5 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons of water (or more as needed)


Cook rice according to pack instructions. Set aside to cool slightly before dividing between four meal prep containers.
Preheat oven to 180 oC.  Place the chicken on a baking tray and drizzle in olive oil and soy sauce. Turn to coat.
Toss the vegetables in olive oil and arrange on a large baking tray. Place chicken and vegetables in the oven together.

Bake the chicken for 25 minutes total , turning once halfway through the cook time. Bake the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until softened and cooked through.

While chicken and vegetables are baking, shake together peanut sauce ingredients.
Divide chicken and vegetables between the containers, and place a serving of peanut sauce on or with the container.
Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat until steaming hot, drizzle with peanut sauce and enjoy.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers


1 tablespoon olive oil
450g turkey mince
2 cloves garlic - minced
150g onions - diced
350g sweet potatoes - dice
125g tomato sauce (Pasta)
salt and pepper
2 large bell peppers cut in half
feta cheese - for garnishing
fresh parsley - for garnishing


Preheat oven to 180ºC. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat.
Add the turkey mince and garlic. Stir occasionally, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Make sure to break up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the onions, and cook until they are golden brown.
Add the sweet potatoes, cover the pan, and cook until they are tender. It takes about 8 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. Add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. If necessary, add more olive oil or a little bit of water to cook the sweet potatoes.
Arrange the peppers in a greased baking dish with the cavity side facing up. Fill each bell pepper halve with the turkey-sweet potato mix. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the peppers are cooked and soft. Remove from the oven, and garnish with feta and parsley.