Every Friday at Bonnie House and Mimosa, many of the families who are currently living in our accommodation get together in the kitchen where they have lots of fun learning new cooking skills and sharing delicious meals made from recipes across the world. We use the fresh produce we gratefully receive every week from OzHarvest – Australia’s first perishable food rescue organisation.
It is often difficult for families to find the time and money to make healthy, nutritious food. But sometimes all that is needed is a nudge in the right direction. Having fun in the kitchen is a great start. I’ve really enjoyed learning and sharing some valuable skills alongside the women and children in our service.
In recent weeks, we have made potato bake, fruit salad, roast chicken, pesto chicken pasta, kale salad, mashed potato and garlic and ginger stir fry. The soy and garlic marinated chicken legs and the macaroni and cheese were a big hit with the kids.
Cooking can be an enjoyable experience. Not only does it build skills, but it helps build a sense of community and belonging in the refuge. It can also be used for mindfulness! While everyone in the refuge is eating there are a lot of laughs and shared stories.
One of the women involved in the cooking group said it was a great way to spend quality time with other families and get to know one another in a casual, and friendly way.
A tip for healthy eating is to have a piece of protein, such as chicken, beef, lamb, tofu, beans or fish, with a wide variety of coloured vegetables. Different colours mean different vitamins and minerals!
One of the most popular recipes we’ve made has been Marinated Chicken Legs – simple and finger-licking good! Perhaps you want to try it at home!
- 12 chicken drumsticks
- 5 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
Place all ingredients into a bowl or zip-lock bag and leave to marinate in the fridge while you prepare accompanying food (steamed rice, vegies lightly fried with garlic or a big green salad perhaps). Marinating for a few hours or even overnight is also good!
Place chicken pieces in an oiled baking dish and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (you will know this by cutting open the chicken close to the bone. If the meat is still pink, it needs more time in the oven!).
Written by Alison M