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Simple winter recipes the entire family will love

There is an absolute abundance of in-season produce at Top Ryde City’s fresh food retailers right now, so if you’re up for some serious savings while also serving up some simple to make meals, you’re in luck. We’ve found our favourite winter warmers that the entire family will love; even for those who aren’t a fan of veg. Promise!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

What child – of any age – doesn’t love mac and cheese? Add some cauliflower and this much-loved winter warmer will not only please the crowd but also pack a nutrient dense punch. The best part? If you cut the cauliflower into small florets, they’ll never even know they’re in there. Super-easy to make, and even easier to eat. 

What you’ll need

  • 150g macaroni

  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets 

  • 500ml milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter 

  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup (120g) shredded tasty cheese

  • 1 cup (100g) shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped

  • 150g ciabatta or Turkish bread, torn into small pieces

  • 60g butter, melted

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a 10-cup (2.5L) ovenproof dish. 
  2. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for approximately 5 minutes
  3. Add the cauliflower, cooking for a further 8-10 minutes (or until pasta is al dente and the cauliflower is tender).
  4. Drain and return to the pan.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, butter, flour and nutmeg. Whisking constantly over a medium heat, cook for 4-5 mins or until the mixture boils and thickens.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the tasty cheese and mozzarella. Set aside.
  8. Add the sauce, half the chives, and half the cheese mixture to the pasta mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  9. Pour into the prepared ovenproof dish. 
  10. Toss the bread, extra butter, garlic, and remaining chives and cheese mixture in a medium bowl, and sprinkle over the pasta. 
  11. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden – voila!

Tip: Love a fuller cheese flavour? Add a little (or a lot – we don’t judge) of parmesan to taste. And if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t despair. Woolworths, Coles and The Growers have a huge range of lactose-free options so you can make your Mac and Cheese and eat it too!

Roast Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

If there was ever a super-easy and super-tasty pumpkin soup, this is it. Simply roast, blend, and indulge.

Not only does roasting the pumpkin first give the flavour incredible depth, but the roasted ginger and garlic elevates it to next level comfort food – trust us.

What you’ll need

  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 75g ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup (85g) mascarpone
  • 2 tbs finely chopped dill
  • 1/3 cup (50g) toasted hazelnuts, chopped

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Place pumpkin, ginger and garlic on a large baking tray and drizzle with oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft – be sure to check on the garlic to prevent it burning. 
  5. Put mixture in a blender or food processor with half of the stock.
  6. Blend until smooth, and season to taste.
  7. If there are lumps, strain through a fine sieve. 
  8. Place the soup in a large saucepan with the remaining 2 cups (500ml) of stock. Mix gently, and warm over medium-low heat.
  9. Divide soup among 4 bowls, top with mascarpone, and serve with dill and toasted hazelnuts. 

Tip: Grab a fresh baguette from Top Ryde Bakers House or Bakers Delight

Beef Vegetable Casserole 

A modern take on an old classic - we love this hearty casserole to heat us up during the colder months. Take it up a notch and add a few more of your favourite vegetables.

What you’ll need

  • 3 celery stalks, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced into chunks
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs; 1 whole, and 1 with the leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket) cut into large chunks.

What to do

  1. Heat oven to 160C, and boil the kettle.
  2. Place the following into an ovenproof dish:
  3. Sliced celery, Chopped onion, Carrots, 5 bay leaves, 1 whole thyme sprig, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp butter
  4. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in plain flour.
  5. When mixed through, add tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and crumbled beef stock cubes.

  6. Gradually stir in 600ml of hot water before adding the stewing beef. Bring to a gentle simmer.

  7. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 minutes. 
  8. Uncover and cook for 30 to 60 more minutes until the meat is juicy and tender, and the sauce is thickened.

  9. Garnish with the picked leaves of the remaining thyme sprig.

Tip: Serve with rice, mashed potato, or warm chunky bread. Best of all, Pryde Meats will be able to recommend the perfect slice of meat for your dish.

Harira Lamb Tomato Lentil Soup

This Moroccan dish takes next to no time to prep, and the oven does all the work. There is truly nothing better than devouring a huge bowl of this soup to warm you up any time of the night or day. 

Best of all, the spices aren’t extravagant so the kids will love it. So much so, in fact, that we’ve had family fights over who gets the leftovers in their thermos the next day for lunch!

What you’ll need

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 700g diced lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1L (4 cups) beef stock
  • 2 x 400g cans tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 x 400g cans brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Thick Greek-style yoghurt and toasted pita bread, to serve

What to do

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium to high heat.
  2. Season the lamb before cooking, in batches, for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook. Stir for 3-4 minutes or until softened. 
  4. Return the lamb to the pan, adding the tomato paste, spices and bay leaf. Stir for a minute. 
  5. Add the stock, chopped tomato and coriander. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. 
  6. Cook for 60 minutes, then stir in the chickpeas and lentils. 
  7. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender and the soup is slightly reduced and thickened.

Garnish with extra coriander and serve with yoghurt and pita bread. Mmm-mmm!

Tip: Prefer a dairy-free option? Simply remove the Greek-style yoghurt or swap it for cashew or coconut yoghurt!

Sat 4 Jul to Sun 7 Aug – Join our augmented reality fruit & veg hunt! 

Bring the family and embark on a fruit and veg mobile augmented reality hunt throughout the centre to find a series of custom designed characters. Collect and check at least three items off your ‘shopping list’ to enter the Fresh Food competition for your chance to win weekly prizes, including a $100 Top Ryde City gift card.

And if you spend over $40+ across selected fresh food retailers on LG2 and Level 1, you’ll also be eligible to enter the Fresh Food competition for a chance to win weekly prizes. You can find more information here.

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