Warming your cockles this winter

By Jo Elliot (B. App.Sc.)

WONDERFUL winter is here and it is only human nature to think of warming foods that sustain us.


Though some of us are dusting off the slow cooker ready for the casseroles, stews and soups, many seniors live alone and sometimes find it hard to get motivated to cook for one.


I know many of you are happy to use the slow cooker, make bulk and then freeze it in individual portions. This is very economical and saves wondering what to have after a cold afternoon watching the grandchildren play soccer.


But when there is nothing in the freezer and you need something warming without too much fuss, sometimes it’s all too hard and you can easily resort to just toast.


These recipes are quick and easy (20-minutes), most of which make four serves so you’ll have leftovers, which is always good.


Enjoy and stay nourished and warm.



Coconut and Brown Sugar Porridge



  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 ½ cups coconut water*
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes, toasted


  • Place the oats, coconut water, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat and stir to combine.
  • Bring to boil and reduce heat to low.
  • Cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally or until oats are cooked through.
  • Add the coconut milk and stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle with the brown sugar and coconut flakes to serve.

*Coconut water can be found in the Asian section in supermarkets or at Asian grocers.



Grown-Up’s Hot Chocolate – you deserve it!


  • 2 cups milk
  • 50g dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons coffee or hazelnut liqueur
  • 4 marshmallows


  • Place milk, chocolate and vanilla bean and seeds into a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for three-four minutes or until the milk just comes to the boil.
  • Strain and discard vanilla bean and add liqueur.



Hot Smoked Salmon Chowder with Corn and Dill



  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 600g chat (baby) potatoes
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 370g hot smoked salmon fillet, skin removed and flaked
  • 2 cobs corn, kernels removed or 1 can corn kernels (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dill sprigs to serve


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the leek and the garlic, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for four minutes or until softened.
  • Add the potatoes, stock and salt and pepper and cook covered for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  • Remove from the heat and, using a hand held stick blender, blend to a thick soup.
  • Return soup to a medium heat, add sour cream, salmon, corn, salt and pepper and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add lemon rind and juice and stir to combine.
  • Serve topped with dill sprigs.