Author : Fiona McKenzie

One Pot Mince

What’s great about it

This versatile dish can help you use up any leftover veggies you might have in the fridge. Perfect for fussy children! You can change the flavour up with a can of crushed tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes), and a clove of garlic for a Bolognese-style mince. Simply add the tomato after the vegetables are mashed up.








Serves: 4            Prep time: 15 minutes                     Cook time: 20 minutes

Fruit and Veggies: 2 ½ serves per portion


500g lean mince
1 onion
1 cup water
1 beef stock cube
1 sweet potato, diced
1 potato, diced
2 carrots, diced
¼ pumpkin, peeled and diced


FRY off the mince in a large saucepan then add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.
ADD the diced vegetables with 1 cup of water and the stock cube.
COOK until vegetables become mushy, then mash all the veggies until they thicken the mince.
ADD a little more water if necessary and reheat before serving.
SERVE over wholemeal pasta or brown rice (or for something different try with cauliflower rice or fried cabbage).


Courtesy of Susan Gale, Miles Branch


Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

What’s great about it

One of QCWA State Level Cookery Convenors, Mrs Milligan loves baking. These muffins can use up left over mashed pumpkin, and spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon they make the perfect winter treat.









Serves: 12            Prep time: 20 minutes                     Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Fruit and Veggies: ½ serve per portion


¾ cup self-raising flour
¾ cup wholemeal self-raising flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon mixed spice
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup sultanas
1 egg
½ cup milk, reduced fat
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin, mashed and cooled



PREHEAT oven to 180˚C and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners or baking paper.
SIFT flour and spices into a bowl stir in sugar and sultanas.
BEAT egg, milk and oil together.
ADD pumpkin to egg mixture and combine well with a whisk.
ADD the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well.
SPOON mixture into muffin pans and bake 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.


Courtesy of Beverley Milligan, Millaa Millaa Branch

Zucchini Slice

Whats great about it

A favourite of every family, this zucchini slice includes onion, carrot, tomato and just a hint of bacon. The addition of wholemeal flour adds dietary fibre and will balance the moisture from the additional vegetables.









Serves: 8                      Prep time: 10 minutes                    Cook time: 40 minutes

Fruit and Veggies: 1  serve per portion


280g zucchini, grated
120g carrot, grated
1 whole onion, diced
2 rashes bacon, fat trimmed and diced
5 eggs
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cheese, reduced fat, grated

1 medium tomato (75g), sliced


PRE-HEAT oven to 180˚C. Line a 20cm square  x 5cm deep baking pan with baking paper.
COMBINE all ingredients except for tomato into a large bowl and mix well.
POUR mixture into the baking pan and lay 8 slices of tomato evenly over the top.
BAKE in the oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through and slightly golden. Serve with a side salad.

Courtesy of Anna Lynch, Country Kitchens Team.

Emu Patties with saltbush and native basil salsa

What’s great about it

One of our most popular recipes from a showcase celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019, these Emu Patties are a healthy Aussie twist on a classic burger. Emu meat is becoming increasingly available and as a red meat, is high in protein and low in fat. Emu meat is a good source of iron and Vitamin B12. If your local butcher doesn’t stock emu meat, ask if they can order it in.










Serves: 8                                 Prep time: 25 minutes                    Cook Time: 15 minutes

Fruit and Veggies: 1 serve per portion (when served with salad)



3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
2 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 sprigs continental parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Saltbush, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Native Basil, finely chopped


1 kg Emu mince
1 cup carrot, grated
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 egg
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground aniseed myrtle
1 teaspoon pepper



PLACE all salsa ingredients into a bowl.
COMBINE and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Use regular basil and mint if you can’t get a hold of native basil and saltbush.
COMBINE remaining patty ingredients in a large bowl.
SHAPE mixture into 8 patties
COOK over medium heat on a BBQ or frypan
SERVE patties with the salsa, salad and a wholemeal roll if desired.


Mediterranean Chicken Bowl

What’s great about it

This is a great recipe for using up leftover veggies and recommended ingredients can easily be substituted for what you have in the fridge. With no added salt and sugar, this recipe is still packed with flavor from the herbs, spices and tangy homemade tzatziki.









Serves: 4                                  Prep time: 15 minutes                                     Cook time: 25 minutes

Fruit and Veggies: 2 ½ serves per portion



1 zucchini, diced

1 red capsicum, diced

1 eggplant, diced

3 tablespoons olive oil

300g chicken breast, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup couscous, large pearl

½ cup feta, reduced salt


Tzatziki Dressing

1/2 cucumber, finely chopped

1 cup natural yoghurt, reduced fat

1 tablespoon lemon juice



PREHEAT oven to 180°C

ADD zucchini, capsicum and eggplant to large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

HEAT half the oil over medium heat in large fry pan.  Add chicken slices, half the garlic, cumin and oregano, stirring until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan.

ADD remaining oil over medium heat in pan, add in onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add in couscous and ½ cup of water. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes until water is absorbed. Use fork to fluff up couscous.

SQUEEZE juice from cucumber with hands.

ADD yoghurt, splash of oil, lemon juice and remaining garlic in small bowl and mix through cucumber.

LAYER couscous, vegetables and chicken in bowl. Drizzle tzatziki dressing and garnish with feta.


Recipe Courtesy of Lindsey Nash, Country Kitchens Team

Harmony Week – Celebrating Australia’s cultural diversity

Australia celebrates cultural diversity in our country on March 21st, which coincides with United Nations ‘International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’. The uniting colour to wear on Harmony Day is orange – one of the QCWA Country Kitchens core colours! The QCWA Country Kitchens Program team are excited to support Harmony Day.

Harmony Week celebrates Australian multiculturalism, and the successful integration of migrants into our community. As one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world, Australia enjoys celebrating cultural diversity with events that include food, friendship, sport, music and entertainment.

The diverse range of cultures in Australia has had a great impact on the Australian diet and we can see global recipes and flavours throughout the country. British, American, Asian, Indian, European and Mediterranean influences have changed the way we eat over the years. Spices such as chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric are often used in cooking to add flavour without the need to add salt. Australia has an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available and we recommend you always fill half your plate with vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is usually high in vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, nuts and seeds and olive oil which may assist you to reach your five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day for better health!

As a local organisation with community leaders, QCWA is at the heart of Harmony Week. How can you get involved and spread the message of “everyone belongs”?

  • Host a Harmony Week morning tea using Country Kitchens healthy recipes
  • A photo competition with images that capture diversity, respect, multiculturalism and sense of belonging
  • Host a Crafty Foodie morning – check the Country Kitchens website a variety of crafty foodie ideas for those who love handcrafts, including the Felt Foodie Book guide.
  • A food festival, inviting local community groups to share their cultural meals
  • An Art Show where local artists can come and share knowledge about their culture and art.
  • Organise a community fun run with healthy morning tea to celebrate. To find some healthy recipe ideas, visit the Country Kitchens website or purchase one of our cookbooks

Did you know?

  • More than 70 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.
  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was.
  • We identify with over 300 ancestries.
  • Since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia.
  • 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia.
  • Apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi.

For more information and to access the event planning kit for communities, visit the Harmony Week website


Lamb Meatballs

What’s great about it?

These quesadillas make the perfect leftover lunch for your kiddies and are great eaten cold! With six different kinds of veg and each serving providing 1 and a half serves of veg, you can rest easy knowing the kids are getting the nutrition they need to help them succeed throughout the school day.

Serves: 4 (makes 12)               Prep Time: 10 minutes               Cook Time: 10 minutes

Fruit & Veggies: 1 serve per portion


250g lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, grated

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 egg

Cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

12 small cos lettuce cups

200g natural Greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped


COMBINE all ingredients except the olive oil, tomato, lettuce, yoghurt and mint in large bowl.

FORM 12 meatballs with your hands

HEAT oil in pan over medium heat and add balls, fry until golden brown, remove and set aside. Repeat for all balls.

FOLD yoghurt and mint in a small bowl.

PLACE a few cherry tomato halves in lettuce cup, then the meatball and top with yoghurt mixture to serve.

Recipe Courtesy of Rachael Belot, Country Kitchens Team

Donna Formosa, Freshwater Branch

Meet Fabulous Facilitator from Far Northern Division of the QCWA

Mrs Donna Formosa, Freshwater Branch

My name is Donna Formosa. I belong to the Freshwater Branch, Far Northern Division. I have been a QCWA Country Kitchens Fabulous Facilitator since November 2018. As a new QCWA member I didn’t really know what was expected or what I could contribute. It was when Gina, the CK Team Leader spoke at a Branch meeting that I became interested in Country Kitchens.

My love of cooking and the fact that I work as a Teacher Aid in Home Economics it made sense to me that this should be where I should contribute. I have not worn any other hats for QCWA, but have recently been nominated as one of the Vice Presidents at the Freshwater Branch. I think I would like to firstly bring awareness of the Country Kitchens program to the QCWA members of our Branch and our Division so that together we can take small steps in changing the eating habits of our children.

I would say my strengths are in building relationships with people. At this point, I would prefer to be in the background as my confidence builds. I prefer cooking and I wish I was a champion photographer. I have facilitated a stall at the local primary school fete. At each of the Branch Meetings I discuss the Monthly Munch and remind the members of the 5 key messages. I have 5 beautiful children ranging in age from 13 to 25. They are my world. I love campfires and starry nights.

[caption id="attachment_7318" align="alignleft" width="300"] Salmon Frittata recipe promotion with Freshwater Branch members.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7320" align="alignleft" width="300"] Attendance at Fabulous Facilitator Training & Networking Weekend.[/caption]

Veggie Quesadillas

Veggie Quesadillas

What’s great about it?

These quesadillas make the perfect leftover lunch for your kiddies and are great eaten cold! With six different kinds of veg and each serving providing 1 and a half serves of veg, you can rest easy knowing the kids are getting the nutrition they need to help them succeed throughout the school day.









Serves: 4 (makes 8)               Prep Time: 15 minutes               Cook Time: 25 minutes

Fruit & Veggies: 1.5 serves per portion


8 multigrain tortillas

1/3 cup tomato salsa

11/3 cups tasty cheese, reduced fat, grated

400g can red kidney beans, reduced salt, drained

1 cup carrot, grated

1 cup baby spinach leaves

Olive oil cooking spray

1 avocado, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice



1 medium tomato, diced

½ medium red onion, diced

1 medium red capsicum, sliced

½ avocado, diced

1 lime, juiced



LAY 4 tortillas on a clean surface. Spread with tomato salsa and sprinkle with half the cheese.

TOP each tortilla evenly with kidney beans, grated carrot and spinach leaves. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Cover with the remaining 4 tortillas.

HEAT a large non-stick frying pan or an open sandwich toaster grill and grease with cooking spray. Add one filled tortilla, cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes or until golden underneath. Using an egg slide, carefully turn and cook other side until golden. Remove from pan or toaster grill.

REPEAT the above step with remaining filled tortillas to make 4 quesadillas. Cool then cut each into 4 wedges.

MASH avocado with lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve with quesadillas if desired.


Recipe Courtesy of Healthy Kids NSW

Time as a social and environmental determinant of health for rural women

Time as a social and environmental determinant of health for rural women

We are excited to have another paper published on the QCWA Country Kitchens program. This paper presents research that was led by the team at Central Queensland University or CQUniversity during March – June 2018.

The team travelled with the Country Kitchens Health Promoters (Nutritionists/Dietitians) to communities in the Maranoa and North Western Divisions of the QCWA. The participants and Branch Facilitators they met participated in the research project whilst also attending our Hands on Nutrition Workshops.

You can read more in the Journal of Health Education & Behaviour.

Authors: Wendy Madsen BA, MSc, GCFL, PhD, MPH (1)  Jenni Judd DHSc, MPH, MEd, DipHPE (1) Sue Williams PhD, GDHN, GCSN, BHSc (1)

Fiona McKenzie BSc (Biol/Health), GCHSM, GCHP, Cert IV WAT (2), Jay Deagon PhD, MEd, BEd (Secondary) (1)

Kate Ames BBus (Comn), GCTertiaryEd, MLitt(CultStud), PhD, Cert IV TAE (1)

(1) CQUniversity, (2) Queensland Country Women’s Association

Acknowledgements: The authors wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the QCWA Country Kitchen’s Nutritionists – Chloe Dyce, Alice Cameron and Connie Conyard – for engaging with the communities and helping facilitate this research.

Funding: CQUniversity Merit Grant.

Conflict of interest: The authors confirm there is no conflict of interest.


Background: Time insufficiency is frequently cited as a reason for poor dietary habits. This does not adequately explain the variations in how time is perceived as a factor in healthy eating.
Aims: This study placed the eating behaviours of rural Australian women within the contexts of their stories to understand the factors that influenced healthy eating and how rural communities could enhance their health and well-being.
Methods: A three-phase sequential multi-mode narrative inquiry was used within four communities in rural Queensland, Australia. Each phase used a different mode of data collection: photo elicitation focus groups; narrative interviews; participatory workshops. Data were thematically analysed iteratively to inform subsequent phases.
Results: Nine final themes were identified. This paper explored the theme of time and two contrasting perceptions of time sufficiency regarding healthy eating within a rural context during a drought.
Discussion: Exploration of “time as a commodity” and “time as a duty” allowed a deeper understanding of time as a social and environmental determinant of health.
Conclusion: Time’s influence on healthy eating is much more than the minutes it takes to prepare a meal. To fully appreciate its impact, time should be considered as a social and environmental determinant of health.

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