When the pantry is almost bare, recipeland.com is fantastic – just type in the few bedraggled ingredients you can gather and it does the thinking for you. But when time is on your side, it’s nice to have some cooking inspiration at your fingertips.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
Former primary school Italian teacher and Melbourne-based author of Ostro, A Year of Simple Family Food and, most recently, Around the Table, you may also know Julia Busuttil Nishimura from her features in Good Weekend. Julia’s cooking has many influences: her Maltese heritage; her time learning Italian cooking in Tuscany; and the Japanese recipes she’s learnt from husband Nori. She is big on using seasonal produce and allowing simple ingredients to shine. There are a few recipes on her website, with stunning photographs – rhubarb and white chocolate cake; goat’s curd, tomato and fig salad – and many more online in places like SBS Food and Good Food (with a handy indication of the time each recipe takes).
Alice in Frames
On her website, Alice Zaslavsky states that she is “cook, writer, vegelante” and her book In Praise of Veg is a welcome statement for anyone who grew up feeling as though vegetables were too often an afterthought. Alice has also published a book specifically “for budding young foodies”: Alice’s Food A to Z, which Books + Publishing describes as “Andy Griffiths meets Heston Blumenthal”. She is a popular voice on ABC radio and her recipes appear regularly in places like the Guardian, Delicious and Good Food.
Bake Play Smile
This recipe website from Melbourne ex-primary school teacher Lucy Mathieson has a (very welcome) big emphasis on sweet treats. Great for anyone with a Thermomix or a slow cooker and short on time, this is where you head for filling traditional favourites like chocolate caramel slice, chocolate self-saucing pudding and slow cooker chicken noodle soup. There’s a whole section on lunchbox recipes, and when it includes things like ‘traditional egg and bacon pie with puff pastry’ it’s definitely not just for children.
Melbourne nutritionist and author of Frugal Mediterranean Cooking, Melanie Lionello makes home cooking look impossibly tasty. Her recipes include mouth-watering takes on traditional dishes, including blackberry brioche bread pudding; salt-roasted sweet potato salad; and cheat’s pizza dough, and her Instagram includes very welcome little hacks like the best way to cut a tomato, and how to dice an onion quickly enough to avoid tears.
Sydney-based Sneh Roy is a stylist and photographer as well as a cookbook author, and you can tell from the sumptuous images. With a strong focus on vegan and vegetarian meals, her site includes recipes like easy potato fish cakes and chilli paneer alongside old favourites with a twist like coffee banana bread and rosemary Anzac biscuits.
Coming from further afield, over in Portland, Oregon, this understandably popular site includes lots of plant-based ingredients, and plenty of recipes with the words “easy” and “one-bowl” in the title, tonnes of salads, plenty of gluten-free recipes, with a big emphasis on healthy but tasty. This is a great site for sauces for everything: peanut, bechamel, Caesar, “3-ingredient tahini sauce for everything”, as well as stir fry sauces.
More on Instagram
@khanhong Incredible packed lunch ideas that will find you reaching for a multi-section bento box.
@lisaeatworld Mornington Peninsula cook Lisa Holmen offers easy to follow recipes for hearty, feelgood meals.
@pheebsfoods This is the work of a nutritionist, so something that sounds as good as ‘peanut caramel slice’ can still (somehow?) be healthy.
@gatherandfeast With sumptuous pics from Ashley Alexander, includes the best easy creamy lemon spaghetti.
@jessica_nguyen_ Be warned: these recipes – egg fried rice; mushroom pappardelle – are accompanied by jealousy-inducing lifestyle photos.
@sian_redgrave Winner of the Great Australian Bake Off, Sian Redgraves’ deceptively simple meals include a ‘flu tonic’ lemon and pissaladière tart.