Delicious lunch recipes which are light, fresh and easy to make, with a few slow-cooking recipes for the weekend.

How to Cook Artichokes

How to cook artichokes – instructions for boiling, Instant Pot, pressure cooker, grilling and frying. Don’t be intimidated by artichokes any longer! Plus recipes for a delicious aioli and vinaigrette to go alongside. I adore artichokes. As a child, my mother would boil a whole artichoke for my dinner on those nights when she was preoccupied with other things or, more likely, fed up with cooking and needed to give me a no-fuss

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Vietnamese Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

An easy Chicken Pho recipe (Pho Ga), just like my mother’s recipe. Make an authentic and delicious Vietnamese Chicken Pho in less than 30 minutes with your Instant Pot or pressure cooker! Instructions for stovetop, Instant Pot and pressure cooker. Pho Noodle Soup A fragrant and soul-soothing Beef Pho Noodle Soup is often what I crave when only a steaming bowl of noodle soup will do. But when time is sparse and I

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Roast Pumpkin Soup

An easy and delicious Roast Pumpkin Soup with sweet potato, and lightly scented with cinnamon. Roasting the vegetables first gives the soup more depth and flavour. I recommend making a double batch! The following recipe for Roast Pumpkin Soup with sweet potato is inspired by one from Nigella Christmas, a book which is always a great source of comfort and inspiration to me at this time of the year. Nigella Christmas is a colourful

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Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup

bowl of beef pho with bottle or sriracha hot sauce in background

A classic and authentic recipe for Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup. This beef pho recipe uses oxtail and beef brisket for a delicious and full-flavoured pho broth. Tips on how to make pho at home! Beef Pho could perhaps be described as the national dish of Vietnam. But what many people don’t know is that Beef Pho is predominantly a breakfast dish in Vietnam. In some parts of the world, breakfast might be a

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Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Pies

mini spinach feta pies

These Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Pies contain just a few ingredients but have maximum flavour. Make them as small or as big as you like, perfect for snacks or light meals. When it comes to entertaining, it’s always good to have a few vegetarian options, and these Spinach and Feta Puff Pastry Pies are one of my stand-by options. As an Australian, I also have a fond affection for a party pie, so

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Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

easy sweet sour chicken

Get dinner on the table in 30 minutes with this Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken. A fresh and healthy version with less calories, but tastes amazing with a homemade sweet and sour sauce. No need for Chinese takeaway anymore! Recently, my son’s kindergarten teacher asked me if I cooked sweet and sour chicken at home. At first blush, I thought she was asking me (you know, the only Asian mother at a very traditional

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Cheese Soufflé

cheese souffle

A classic recipe for Cheese Soufflé with step-by-step photos. Instructions for large and individual soufflés. Making soufflé is easier than you think! This post has been prepared in collaboration with Kenwood Swiss AG, but the content and opinions are my own. My husband’s great-aunt, whom we call Marraine, is a spritely 93 years old who still loves to cook and bake for the family. At the top of her list is a Cheese

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Swiss Cheese Fondue

cheese fondue

How to make a classic Swiss Cheese Fondue using Gruyère, Vacherin Fribourgeois and Camembert. This classic recipe from Switzerland is perfect for sharing with friends. Swiss Cheese Fondue Cheese melted in white wine … could there be anything more delicious?? In Switzerland, cheese fondue is hugely popular, and this is hardly surprising given that the country is a proud and world-famous producer of many excellent varieties of cheese.

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Fried Lambs’ Brains

fried lambs brains

Follow this easy and straight-forward recipe for golden and crispy Fried Lambs’ Brains. When the folks at Cathay Pacific asked me to cook, style and photograph fried lambs’ brains for an upcoming edition of Discovery, their in-flight magazine, I was somewhat nervous. And that was before they disclosed that the accompanying article would be written by Umberto Bombana, the head chef at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, the only Italian restaurant outside

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Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Lemongrass Chicken

vietnamese lemongrass chicken noodle bowl

A healthy and delicious Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Lemongrass Chicken (Bun Ga Nuong), full of fresh and bold flavours. The chicken is marinated in a classic Vietnamese marinade and served grilled over a bed of vermicelli noodles, salad, fresh herbs and a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham). Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram will know that I shop at the farmers’ market in Zurich quite regularly – three times

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Vietnamese Meat Pies “Pâté Chaud”

vietnamese meat pies pate chaud pate so

These Vietnamese Meat Pies (also called Bánh Patê Sô) are based on the French Pâté Chaud. They have a delicious pork filling seasoned with fresh Asian herbs and spices, and wrapped in golden puff pastry. Perfect for snacks or a light meal. Meat Pies Growing up in Australia, I ate my fair share of meat pies, especially as the daughter of a baker. Pepper steak pies were my favourite, with a layer of mushy peas under

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Chicken Katsu Curry

chicken katsu curry

An easy and authentic recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry which you can make at home from scratch. The chicken is coated with panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch, and the curry sauce contains a secret ingredient for the best flavour. Recipe for Chicken Katsu Curry There used to be a Wagamama’s restaurant in Zurich which we really enjoyed visiting, often to satisfy my cravings for ramen, but mostly because they had a great kids’ menu

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Swedish Meatballs with Creamy Sauce and Homemade Lingonberry Jam

swedish meatballs creamy gravy

A tasty and authentic recipe for Swedish Meatballs with Creamy Sauce, including tips from my Swedish sister-in-law. Full of fresh ingredients for maximum flavour. This easy to follow recipe is perfect served with mashed potatoes and homemade lingonberry jam. Swedish Meatballs Recipe Like most busy mothers trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry, I’m always trying to find shortcuts wherever possible. For me, this has been one of the biggest adjustments

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Chinese Tea Eggs

chinese tea eggs

An easy & delicious recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs, perfect for a simple dinner or as part of a Chinese New Year meal. Chinese Tea Eggs Following on from my previous post where I shared my recipe for Chinese Turnip Cake, it seemed only fitting to also include my recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs. If you are planning a Chinese New Year lunch or dinner, or any Chinese-inspired feast, these Chinese Tea Eggs

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Chinese Turnip Cake

chinese turnip cake

Recreate this Dim Sum specialty, Chinese Turnip Cake, at home with the delicious and authentic recipe. This recipe uses Chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms for maximum flavour. Chinese Turnip Cake With Chinese New Year around the corner (on 28 January this year), I’m already thinking ahead to our lunch menu. Last year, we celebrated the event with some good friends at home, and my mum would have been proud of the spread which I

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Celeriac and Chestnut Soup

celeriac chestnut soup

A simple and delicious Celeriac and Chestnut Soup. Christmas is often a time for indulgence, whether it be treating yourself or loved ones to a special gift (or three), or enjoying the festivities with an abundance of good food and maybe too much champagne. After feasting on Duck Confit Parmentier and multiple serves of our favourite Chestnut Cream Pavlova for Christmas lunch, my husband asked for a simple vegetable soup for dinner later

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Chilli Con Carne

chilli con carne

A delicious recipe for Chilli Con Carne which the whole family will love! The meat sauce is slow-cooked with herbs and spices with lots of kidney beans for extra protein and texture. Serve with rice or tortilla chips for a tasty meal! Chilli Con Carne Recipe For me, there is much comfort to be found in having a large pot of Chilli Con Carne bubbling away on the stove, especially since I know

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Caramelized Beetroot Tarte Tatin

This Caramlized Beetroot Tarte Tatin is a delicious way of serving beetroots. Most Australians will have some memory of soggy lunchtime sandwiches. When I think of the sandwiches of my childhood, they were most often sliced multigrain bread filled with lettuce, grated carrots, tinned beetroot and a slice of plastic cheese. The beetroot always left a red stain on the bread, on my hands, on my school uniforms. And they almost always made the sandwiches soggy,

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Bun Cha – Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Vietnamese Noodle Salad

A tasty recipe for Bun Cha – grilled Vietnamese pork meatballs served with a Vietnamese noodle salad with fresh herbs and citrus dipping sauce (nuoc cham). A healthy and delicious dish, perfect for lunch or dinner. Bun Cha My latest contribution to Discovery, the in-flight magazine for Cathay Pacific, is currently out now on all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights. This month’s foodie feature is the classic Vietnamese dish called Bun Cha,

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Potato Churros with Red Pepper Sauce

Try these delicious savoury Potato Churros with Red Pepper Sauce. With her talent for introducing tasty twists on popular classics, Rachel Khoo has delivered yet another delicious spin, this time on the classic churros. Churros are traditionally served at breakfast alongside a rich hot chocolate but, in countries like Australia and the US, they are more commonly found as hot snacks rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and dipped in a chocolate sauce. These

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Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs

Delicious Sticky Chinese Pork Ribs which are marinated overnight for maximum flavour. Sticky Pork Ribs I wish I could be more comfortable eating ribs in public but, the reality is, I enjoy eating them more in the comfort and privacy of my home; somewhere where I can gnaw at the bone like a messy cavewoman and lick my fingers with glee. I think it is definitely a dish best eaten in the company

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Homemade Hummus

My go-to recipe for Hummus which is perfect for dips and entertaining. Hummus would have to be my go-to dip. It’s quick and easy to make and, what’s more, it’s a very versatile dip. It can be served with vegetable crudités and crackers as an appetiser, spread onto flatbreads to eat as a snack or light meal, or even served as part of a main meal with some grilled lamb koftas and a

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Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise

These soft-centred Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise are perfect for picnics and light meals. If there is one thing that is getting me through the middle-of-the night feeds with the baby at the moment, it’s TV. It happens to be the only time that I get to watch TV, uninterrupted, and something which is not Peppa Pig.

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Merry Christmas! My Christmas Feast for 2014

Merry Christmas everyone! It is a rare occasion for us to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, a rather welcome change as it has given me the opportunity to cook on Christmas Day, something which might prompt fear and dread in most people but has instead filled me with glee as the Christmas season started to approach.

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Smoked Salmon, Potato & Dill Tart

A stunning Smoked Salmon, Potato & Dill Tart Smoked salmon is, admittedly, not an everyday ingredient, but I do love to keep some in the fridge for a quick lunch with some lightly buttered white toast, thinly sliced onions, a scattering of salty capers and a good squeeze of lemon. But when I’m wanting to incorporate smoked salmon into a more substantial meal, this Potato, Smoked Salmon & Dill Tart is a lovely option.

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Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce

A delicious Vietnamese recipe for Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce. The chicken wings are marinated in fish sauce and then fried to crispy perfection, served with a sweet and sticky mouthwatering dipping sauce. My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes

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Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, and Lemon

This Spaghetti with Tuna, Chilli, Rocket & Lemon takes only 20 mins from start to finish! I have been a long-time admirer and follower of Donna Hay’s cookbooks, even as early back when she was the food editor of the Marie Claire cookbooks in Australia. Her clean and refined approach to food styling is what normally attracts the attention of readers in the first instance; food which looks so stunningly beautiful on the

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Ham and Cheese Hand Pies

Tasty Ham and Cheese Hand Pies which are a great way of using leftovers. These hand pies are filled with ham, Béchamel sauce and vegetables, but you can use any leftover meats and vegetables you like. Perfect for snacks and light meals. My mother is someone who can effortlessly create a delicious three-course meal from a simple fridge raid, with an uncanny ability to never let anything go to waste. Sadly, I didn’t

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Zurich-Style Veal in a Mushroom & Cream Sauce with Smashed Potatoes

Zurich-Style Veal in a Mushroom & Cream Sauce (or Zürcher Geschnetzeltes), served with crispy and golden Smashed Potatoes. A classic dish from Zurich which is easy to make at home with this recipe. Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great start already to 2014. We often celebrate the New Year in Zurich and so it seems fitting to start 2014 on ELB with a classic recipe from

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Spaghetti Bolognese

An easy and delicious recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese which contains no wine. This traditional bolognese recipe requires slow cooking to develop the rich and meaty flavours, and uses fresh and good quality ingredients for an authentic taste. Pasta Plausch In Switzerland, the Pasta Plausch is a favourite menu item for many. In my last job, Thursdays in the canteen was (and still is) known simply as Pasta Plausch, a day where the lunchtime

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Vegetable Barley Soup

An easy and delicious recipe for Pearl Barley Soup with step-by-step photos. It is a popular soup in the Swiss alps, called Gerstensuppe in German. The pearl barley thickens the soup as it cooks, making the soup quite substantial and comforting. A Weekend in Kandersteg A trip to the Swiss mountains usually guarantees good, hearty, winter fare. After a day of heavy duty winter sports, the body is likely to crave something substantial,

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Chicken Dumpling Soup

A simple and nourishing Chicken Dumpling Soup from the Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Recipe with step-by-step photos. A little while back, I had posted quite a few reviews on recipes from Rachel Khoo’s delightful French cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. For a short time, it looked like I was cooking my way through the book, and indeed I was – just a lot of the recipes haven’t made it to my

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Chargrilled Lemongrass Beef with Hoisin Dipping Sauce

From looking at the recent entries on my blog, you wouldn’t think that I cook a lot of Vietnamese food at home. The fact is, I probably cook Vietnamese food about 4 to 5 times a week! Of course, the frequency varies, but hardly a week goes by when I haven’t made something at least Vietnamese-inspired. After my mother, Luke Nguyen would have to be my greatest source of inspiration when it comes

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Beef and Guinness Pie

A classic Beef and Guinness Pie with tender chunks of beef and a delicious gravy. Make with traditional puff pastry or a tasty Sour Cream Pastry. Beef and Guinness Pie For many Australians, a meat pie at lunch with a good squirt of tomato sauce (ketchup) is almost a daily ritual. In fact, when I lived in Australia, I often preferred a meat pie to a sandwich, the latter being something which I

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Coq au Vin Skewers

It was never really my intention to cook my way through Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen, but so rarely has a cookbook resonated with me so much that I have found myself trying a new recipe from this book every few days since I first purchased it. If only I had this level of enthusiasm for all of my cookbooks! With the weather warming up recently in Zurich, I was curious to

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Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup

In case you were wondering what the soup is which is photographed with the Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread, it is the Cream of Tomato & Potato Soup from French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. Long before cooking became a passionate hobby and was more of a matter of survival for me, I heavily relied on cookbooks to put together really basic and simple meals like … vegetable soups. Yes, for something which

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Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake

A delicious Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake, or a no-yeast savoury bread, which is perfect for serving alongside soups or on picnics. Delicious served warm or cold. I love savoury cakes and this particular recipe is a firm favourite of mine. Given my New Year’s resolution to cook more vegetarian food, this has frequently been in the form of vegetable soups. After several days of eating rich food like Swedish Meatballs or Boeuf

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Croque Madame Muffins

Here is another fabulous recipe from Rachel Khoo with her take on the French classic, a Croque Madame. Most people would be familiar with a Croque Monsieur which is a toasted cheese and ham sandwich, commonly served in most French bistros for lunch or as a light snack. For a more decadent treat, the Croque Monsieur is also sometimes coated with a béchamel sauce and baked in the oven until the sauce is golden

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Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme

Delicious Savoury Waffles with Gruyère & Thyme which are perfect as a light meal or served alongside a bowl of soup. Savoury Waffles Faced with some bits and pieces of leftover cheese in the fridge, I thought I would try my hand at a savoury waffle for lunch today, and these waffles with Gruyère and fresh thyme were absolutely scrumptious!

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Chilli, Cheese & Rosemary Polenta with Tomato Sauce

Due to hubby’s request to eat more vegetarian meals this year, I saw no reason to not buy the latest book from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of the River Cottage fame, Veg Everyday. The book is dedicated to eating vegetarian meals, though it is not written by a vegetarian – an important distinction in my mind because it means there are no spooky and holistic ingredients which would otherwise make vegetarian cooking too much of

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Pumpkin Laksa

I have long been a fan of Nigel Slater, his books having been instrumental in my initial forays into the kitchen, along with Nigella Lawson and, dare I say it, the Australian Women’s Weekly. One of my favourite cookbooks would have to be Appetite, a hefty book filled with amazingly delicious recipes but provided in a manner that encourages the cook to develop some intuition in the kitchen. Rather than call for, say,

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Waffles with Bacon & Maple Syrup

I had an inkling to make waffles for breakfast this morning, and upon waking to see the snow falling heavily outside, thus meaning a day of welcome indoor activity, I set about humming in the kitchen. But faced with a slight over-supply of bacon in the fridge, it was time to turn my usual waffles sprinkled with icing sugar into something more savoury at breakfast.

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Chestnut Soup with Bacon & Parsley

As soon as the street vendors start setting up their chestnut-roasting stations in Zurich, I know that Christmas is around the corner. I adore these roasted beauties, their sweet and fluffy interior making for the perfect street snack when you need something warm and filling. Sometimes when the air is bitingly cold, a little bag of roasted chestnuts is the perfect excuse to warm your hands while you are waiting for your tram.

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Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce (again!)

Early this morning, one of my neighbours knocked on my door and suggested a barbeque at her place in the evening with some other neighbours. Such spontaneity is not common in Switzerland and I happen to love informal gatherings like these at short notice. Given that one neighbour happens to be a vegetarian, the first dish that came to my mind was Yotam Ottolenghi’s Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce which I made for the

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Spicy Tuna Fish Cakes with Coriander and Chillies

These Spicy Tuna Fish Cakes are fragrant with Asian flavours, including coriander (cilantro), ginger and chillies. Easy to make and a great way of using up leftover mashed potatoes. Further to my previous post, we still had another 1 kg of potatoes to get through, and as we are going away next week, I had to come up with a way to use those potatoes. And then, by chance, Carrie from The Patterned

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Aubergines with Buttermilk Sauce

I was out during my lunch break yesterday buying some teatowels (as you do) and there nestled amongst the pretty decorative linens were copies of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. It’s not a place where you would ordinarily find cookbooks, but I’m sure some thoughtful person had anticipated that product placement of this kind would work on a gullible consumer like myself. If one was in the mood for over-priced but practical teatowels, why not

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