Ipswich City Council offers free and low-cost healthy eating and nutrition sessions to encourage and support our community to cook and eat healthier foods.

Click here to see all upcoming Healthy Eating Workshops
Cooking is a great activity to do at home and a fun way to learn new skills and try new foods - especially with the kids.
Book into one of our sessions today!


Honey and Whole Grain Mustard Chicken Drumsticks

Honey ChickenThis recipe is a very easy and yummy chicken dish everyone in the family will love.

  • Serves 2
  • Around 30 minutes
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 50ml sweet soy sauce
  • 60ml honey
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 20g ginger, crushed
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  1. In a medium size pot, add oil, brown onions and drumsticks and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and mix well.
  3. Add the sauces and whole grain mustard – let it simmer until cooked for around 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with some rice or mash potato.

Chef’s Tip: To thicken up the sauce use cornflour mixed with water and add until the right consistency.

Tuna Mornay Pasta Bake

Tuna CasseroleThis Tuna Pasta Bake is made with pantry staples. A simple and tasty family meal that everyone will enjoy.

  • Serves 2
  • Around 40 minutes
  • 1 tin 425g tuna
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 50g of each frozen peas and corn kernels
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 250g or ½ a packet of pasta
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Cook pasta.
  3. In a large saucepan add water, milk and half of the onions. Don’t let it boil.
  4. In a frypan on a hot heat, melt butter and cook the rest of the onion until they are clear.
  5. Once onions are soft add flour.
  6. Then place mixture of the frypan into the saucepan and place on high heat and continue until it thickens and bubbles.
  7. Add cheese and seasoning and stir.
  8. Add tuna-mix in.
  9. Add pasta and mix – place in casserole dish.
  10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs then cheese and place into the oven 180°C until golden brown.

Braised Beef Stew with Vegetables and Red Wine

Braised BeefTender melt in your mouth beef and hearty vegetables are slow cooked to perfection in this saucy stew. This meal is comforting and perfect for winter.

  • Serves 4
  • 8 hours
  • 60g bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 500g boneless beef, diced into large pieces
  • Chicken broth or water (to cover the meat and the vegetables)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 50g flour
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  • 180g carrots, cut into thick chunks
  • 180g baby potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 60g button mushrooms
  • Serving suggestion – garnish with finely chopped parsley; serve with crusty bread
  1. In a large frypan, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer to slow cooker bowl.
  2. Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches until browned on all sides in the oil/bacon fat. Transfer to slow cooker bowl with the bacon, and
    add in the potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms. Season with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon ground pepper.
  3. Pour the red wine into the pan and allow to simmer for 4–5 minutes, then whisk in the flour until free from lumps. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly, then pour it into the slow cooker along with stock, tomato paste, garlic and herbs.
  4. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until beef is falling apart and tender.

Chef’s Tips

  • Slow cooking is the best way to tenderise and add flavour to meat. Red wine in stews brings out the deep
    and rich flavour in the sauce.
  • Tip for type of red wine is a Pinot Noir/Merlot.

Fried Rice

Fried RiceAn easy, tasty and quick Fried Rice. The recipe has many optional ingredients so you can use leftovers or pantry staples. As they say, simple is best!

  • Serves 2
  • Around 10 minutes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (options include: corn, carrots, peas, or any frozen mixed vegetables of your choice)
  • 30ml soy sauce (use tamari if gluten free)
  • 30ml sweet soy sauce
  • 60g cooked meat of tofu (options include: small prawns, chicken, canned tuna or salmon, grilled tofu)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  1. Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl and beat them together. Set the bowl aside.
  2. Heat a wok (or large saucepan) with ½ tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the beaten eggs and scramble them for about a minute. Transfer the eggs to a dish and turn off the heat. Wipe off the wok with a kitchen towel.
  3. Drizzle the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the mixed vegetables and spring onion and cook for another
    minute. I like to save some of the spring onion (the dark green part) for garnish.
  4. Add the cooked rice into the pan or wok and cook for a few minutes, until the rice is heated through. If you have large clumps of rice, break them apart
    with the back of your spatula.
  5. Add both soy sauce, and stir to distribute the sauces. Add the 2 scrambled eggs and stir to mix again. Garnish with nuts and spring onion.

Chef’s Tips

  • Peanut oil will give the fried rice a nice nutty light fragrance and taste.
  • Left over cold rice is best to use rather than fresh cooked rice as it may become gluggy.

Homemade Yoghurt

YoghurtChef’s Tip:

When you’re buying yoghurt, also check that it lists ‘Live Active Yoghurt Cultures’ in the ingredients — we need those! The live cultures are what actually turn the milk into yoghurt. The number of cultures doesn’t really matter; as long as there is at least one you can make yoghurt. Some common ones are Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus CaseI.

  • Serves
  • Overnight
  • 1L full cream milk
  • 50ml water
  • 60g Greek/Natural yoghurt
  1. In a small saucepan add water and milk (TIP: the water will stop the milk from burning).
  2. Bring milk and water mixture to the boil and then take off the heat. If you have a thermometer, the temperature should reach between 93–100°C.
  3. When the milk is lukewarm, mix in the yoghurt. This is the most important part – if you add it too early it will split.
  4. Place a lid on top of the saucepan and wrap it in a tablecloth and leave in a warm place overnight.
  5. Transfer mixture into a suitable container and place in the fridge to fully set.

Chef’s Tips

  • It’s important to heat the milk slowly to make a creamy yoghurt. Heating the milk too quickly will create a grainy texture.
  • If the yoghurt looks too soft, strain in a fine sieve until the liquid comes out and place back in fridge to firm up (place in fridge first for an hour and see if it becomes thicker before straining).
  • When you’re buying yoghurt, check that the ingredient list includes ‘live active yoghurt cultures’ – we need those!
  • Honey is a natural sweetener that can be served with the yoghurt, but is still a sugar.

Homemade Granola

GranolaHomemade Granola is a healthy, comforting and delicious treat. Perfect for breakfast or a snack. This recipe allows you to choose what nuts and dried fruit you want to include.

  • Makes 1 kg
  • 30 minutes
  • 4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 ½ cups mixed nuts and seeds (options include almonds, pepita seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ⅔ cup chopped dried fruit (options include apricots, apples, cranberries or sultanas)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and mix.
  3. Pour in the oil, honey and vanilla and mix well until lightly coated.
  4. Pour mixture onto a baking tray and spread it evenly.
  5. Bake until lightly golden, stirring a couple of times (usually around 15–20 minutes).
  6. The granola will crisp up as it cools, so allow to cool completely and then add in the coconut.
  7. Break the granola into chunks.
  8. Serve granola with homemade yogurt and fresh fruit.
  9. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 1–2 weeks.

Homemade Banana Bread

Banana BreadHere is a very basic and tasty recipe that takes all of 10 minutes to whisk together. An hour of waiting while your house fills with tempting aromas and then you’ll be snacking on your very own slice of warm, fresh-baked banana bread.

  • 1 loaf
  • 60 minutes
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 110g unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour (can use wholemeal)
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional: chocolate chips or chopped walnuts
  1. Pre heat oven to 180°C.
  2. In the mixing bowl add butter and sugar, blend on high until it becomes pale in colour and fluffy.
  3. On a low speed add in bananas
  4. Add flour, eggs, bicarb soda and vanilla and stir to combine. If using chocolate chips or walnuts stir these into the mixture
  5. Line or spray a rectangular baking tin
  6. Add mixture to the tin and bake

Chef’s Tips

  • The riper the banana the better don’t worry if the skin goes black its perfect for banana bread. Any bananas that become over ripe you can freeze for another time.
  • Don’t over mix the batter.
  • Insert a skewer or toothpick in the middle to see if cooked, when you pull out and it comes out clean and no batter it’s ready.

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

Dog BiscuitYes! Pumpkin is a healthy choice for dogs. In fact, pumpkin offers many health benefits for dogs, including:

  • Weight Management
  • Digestive Health
  • Urinary Health

Your dogs are part of the family, so why not make some treats for them as well? They will love you more for it, woof woof!

  • 220g flour
  • 40g pumpkin puree
  • 20ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 60ml milk
  1. Preheat the over to 160°C.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix into a dough.
  3. Roll out the dough.
  4. Cut the dough into dog bone shapes. You can use a cookie cutter or a home-made stencil.
  5. Place the biscuits on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  6. Let the biscuits cool until serving them to your dog.

San Choy Bow

San Choy BowGluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb

This recipe is loaded with veggies and yet still remains a family favourite, even with the kids!

  • Serves 2
  • Around 20 minutes
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 30g ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 200g pork or chicken mince
    (take out for vegetarian option)
  • 1 small grated carrot
  • 2 small mushrooms sliced (optional)
  • 1 small grated zucchini
  • 30g spring onion chopped finely
  • Lettuce leaves into cups
  • Toasted sesame seeds and chopped spring onions to serve
  1. Heat sesame oil in a wok/fry pan until very hot and add garlic followed by the pork mince. Using a spoon, stir fry and ‘mash’ the pork/chicken mince until half-browned.
  2. Mix together olive oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce and ginger in a jug.
  3. Add the spring onions and half of the oil mixture and continue mashing until all pork is combined.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, and the rest of the oil mixture.
  5. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve in trimmed lettuce leaves and top with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.

Chef’s Tips

  • As an alternative serve prepared pork mixture on raw carrot and zucchini noodles with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.