All your favourite dinner recipes made lighter (and in less time)

To help us put a fresh spin on tradition, internationally acclaimed chef and nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin shares her favourite winter-warming recipes.

Gathering the family together at the dinner table each night is a tradition that the majority of us have been accustomed to for most of our lives. During the cooler months in particular, hearty meals like Sunday roasts, spicy curries, casseroles and syrup-laden desserts are a family mealtime staple, as stories are shared around the table and tummies are filled.


Winter in Australia means slow-cooked, flavourful dishes to comfort the body and soul however it is possible to keep it light and simple without compromising on taste.


Instead of heavy sauces and thick dressings, fresh herbs and spices can add flair, flavour and fun to a dish but are little lighter on the waistline. 


It’s also important to focus on seasonal produce, as food grown in season offers punchier flavours and more nutrients.


To help us put a fresh spin on tradition (and whittle away at those waistlines while we’re at it), is Nutritionist, Mother, Founder of Nutritional Edge and internationally trained chef of Le Cordon Bleu School in London, Zoe Bingley-Pullin.


Sharing some of her favourite alternative recipes to the traditional winter-warmers, which are lighter on calories but are heavy-hitters when it comes to flavour, Zoe’s a big believer in sticking to the basics and not overcomplicating it.


Zoe also gives us a peek inside her pantry and divulges the cooking staples that she always has on-hand, to give her meals that extra 1% of punchy flavour.


Snap a picture and let us know on our Facebook @lendleaseretirementliving if you try one of Zoe’s winter-warming recipes, we’d love to see them!



Before: Traditional roast with all the trimmings

After: Lemon Thyme Chicken with Desert Lime Stuffing



Lemon thyme chicken


Lemon Thyme Chicken with Desert Lime Stuffing


Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 10-15 minutes Cook time: 60-90 minutes


Seafood Bouillabaisse

Seafood Bouillabaisse


Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes


Mild Chicken Curry with Quinoa


Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes


Maple dessert



Maple Syrup Custard with Berry and Almond Crumble Topper

Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 20-25 minutes Vegetarian


I believe a heart-warming custard recipe belongs in every home. I particularly like this recipe because it uses pure maple syrup. Maple syrup not only tastes divine but also contains a higher antioxidant and nutrient content compared to alternative sweeteners. Always remember, the darker the better when it comes to selecting maple syrup.


The staples


If you had a peek inside my pantry, you’d always find Australian extra-virgin olive oil – I don't believe in buying imported when our local produce is so good! I also use a bit of virgin coconut oil because it's stable at high temperatures, though admittedly it has been interesting getting used to the flavour. Furthermore, I'm a lover of good salts for finishing a dish as well as tamari and apple cider vinegar, which I use as the base for a lot of my dressings.