Quick Winter Warmers

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Winter meals don’t have to be long and slow, try these quick meals.


Stir-fried Beef with Rice Noodles and Mushrooms

200 gm thinly sliced beef fillet
100 ml peanut or grapeseed oil
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 200 gm mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, enoki and black fungi
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
500 gm fresh rice noodles, sliced into 1 cm ribbons (see note)
2 tbsp each dark soy sauce and light soy sauce

Beef marinade
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp caster sugar
½ tsp cornflour

2 tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsproast chilli flakes in oil


Combine beef marinade ingredients in a bowl, add beef, stir to coat and stand to marinate for 15 minutes, then drain well.

Meanwhile, for chilli-vinegar, combine ingredients and set aside.

Heat 25ml oil in a wok over high heat, add beef, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant and beef is browned (2-3 minutes), then set aside.

Heat another 25ml oil in wok, add mushrooms and spring onion and stir-fry until just tender (1-2 minutes), add to beef and set aside.

Add remaining oil and noodles to wok and stir-fry until just golden (4-5 minutes), add soy sauces, season to taste and toss to combine. Toss with beef mixture and serve hot with chilli-vinegar.

Note Fresh rice noodles are available from Asian grocers and select delicatessens.

Carrot Soup with Feta and Quinoa

carrot soup
Flatbread drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven until crisp is a great accompaniment to this soup.

2 tbs polive oil
1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.2 kg carrots, coarsely grated
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
750 ml (3 cups)vegetable or chicken stock
100 gm quinoa
300 gm Greek feta, coarsely crumbled
1 tbsp Sherry vinegar, or to taste
1/3 cup each coarsely chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley

To serve:extra-virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (2-3 minutes). Add carrot, spices and lemon rind and stir occasionally until carrot softens (4-5 minutes). Add stock and 600 ml boiling water, season to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until well-flavoured (5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, cook quinoa in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (10-12 minutes), then drain and set aside in a bowl.

Remove soup from heat, add lemon juice and half the feta, process with a hand-held blender until smooth, then add vinegar. Top with quinoa, scatter with herbs and remaining feta, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve hot.

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