RecipeTin Meals is our food bank, where we make and donate 100,000 homemade meals annually to the vulnerable here in my hometown, Sydney. Here are the top 10 recipes we make, regulars because they’re crowd pleasers, freezable and economical!
RTM on TV!
There was a lovely segment on TV yesterday about RecipeTin Meals, my food bank (“RTM”), on the Channel 7 Sunrise show. The crew came and spent the better part of a day in our cosy little kitchen, filming the team at work and interviewing us! Here it is:
So it seems timely to share a list of the recipes we make most often at RTM, something I’ve been meaning to do for months. Especially because most of the recipes are from my website!
OUR TOP 10 RECIPES ARE:
Easy to scale up
While the last point may not be relevant to everyone, I know the other points are things that many readers look for in recipes. So, here they are. Hope you find some new ideas! To read more about RTM, head here.
Top 10 recipes we make at RecipeTin Meals
With bonus commentary from Stephen Fixter, the boss chef at RTM!
1. Lamb Shawarma Soup
Stephen says: A crowd pleaser with the recipients and my personal fave. Love the spice mix and the flavours combined. Also easy prep wise, and all the cooking is done on the stove so we can utilise the oven to prep for the next day.
Nagi says: Personal fave for ME TOO! If I was a soup, this would be me. Big flavours. Bit exotic. All the typical spices. Quick to make. Punches way above its class for effort vs output! (PS Is it weird to compare myself to a soup? )
2. Marinated Vegetable pasta salad
Stephen says: A little bit more work than your average pasta salad but a nice change to the boring ones you see. Zesty, punchy dressing. Great for keeping spend down as there’s no protein and depending on season you can sub out the asparagus for broccolini, green beans or spinach when the prices increases.
Nagi says: Marinating makes all the difference. Adds stacks of flavour into the veg! (PS “Marinating” is a fancy term for “pour dressing over vegetables while hot so they suck up the flavour”.)
3. Cowboy RICE Salad with chicken
Stephen says: Nice mix of colours and veggies. Quick and easy to pack so you can do other prep in the background.
Nagi says: AND it’s cool cause it’s called “cowboy”.
* Note: He uses my Cowboy Rice Salad recipe, pictured, and adds cooked chicken.*
4. Sausages with French lentil ragout & salsa verde
Stephen says: Looks good, feels restaurant-y. I love the lentils, as it’s a nice change of garnish/carbohydrate and they are cheap. Obviously more time consuming prep wise but worth it.
Nagi says: Stephen, did you take humble sausos and fancy them up with salsa verde?? That’s SUCH a cheffy thing to do!!
5. Chilli Beef Mac ‘n Cheese
Stephen says: Combo crowd pleaser and freezer safe!
Nagi says: The recipe on my website is a convenient one-pot version that serves 5. When scaling up, that’s not viable. So the pasta is cooked separately from the sauce, then they are mixed together.
6. Baked Chicken breast with Garlic Butter Kale Rice
Stephen says: Ingredients are all reasonably priced and it utilises both stove and oven at the same time effectively. This halves the days’ cook time, giving us the opportunity to do more prep for other dishes.
Nagi says: How good is that rice, right??!! Nobody complains about eating kale when it’s with that rice!
7. Crispy Salami Risoni Salad
Stephen says: Or as we call it, “the pizza supreme salad”. We just love it because it’s a little different, it’s nice to prep and pack. Salami is of a reasonable price too.
Nagi says: Puh-lease tell me we use a machine to chop the salami…. I can’t imagine hand chopping 20kg / 40lb of salami!!
8. Chorizo potato stew/soup
Stephen says: Because its chorizo!
Nagi says: Amen to that! (PS Do you guys think it’s a stew or a soup?? I’m still undecided! )
Recipe: This recipe is in my cookbook, page 90. Video tutorial here!
9. Garlic Chicken Thigh with bean ragout, tomatoes & broccolini
* This is the recipe we were making when Channel 7’s Sunrise came to film us at RTM!*
Chef Stephen says: Again, I just love the way it looks and it’s the kind of food I love to cook. All components are usually cheap/reasonable and it’s one of those meals you drop off and the ladies are like “ooooh what’s this”.
Nagi says: So Stephen, what you’re telling me is that this is on high rotation because you enjoy the female attention??
Garlic chicken thighs recipe here
The bean ragout is from the Crispy Skin Fish with Bean Ragu from my cookbook (p67), video tutorial here.
The tomatoes are lightly roasted – method in this recipe.
The broccolini is steamed.
10. Spaghetti Bolognese
Nagi says: Of course Spag Bol is in our top 10! It ticks all the boxes – budget friendly, freezable, quick prep, easy to make in big batches and everybody loves it.
In my recipe, I do the proper step of tossing the pasta with the sauce before serving. But at RTM, we just put plain cooked spaghetti in the containers then spoon the sauce over, and sprinkle with parmesan. This holds up better in the freezer.
And here you have it!
If you have any questions about how we cook at scale, whether it’s logistics or food safety, or cost management, drop them below! I’ll get either JB to answer them (he’s the big boss Chef who works at RTE with me, Stephen reports to him) or I’ll get the answer from Stephen.
And to learn more about what we do at RTM and where our meals go, head to the About RTM page.
Hope you find some new cooking inspiration from this list. Thrifty meal-prep excellence! – Nagi x
Life of Dozer
Dozer has not nor will he ever step
foot paw inside the RTM kitchen which is subject to strict healthy regulations. But he’s there in spirit on the wall, with his motto that we live by:
“Because no one should go hungry” ~ Nagi & Dozer x