Ranch, Iceberg Lettuce Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

As soon as Covid hit Sydney, we purchased a Kamado BBQ.

They’re brilliant and I cannot recommend enough.

An ancient form of cooking in a ceramic egg, the heat retention is extraordinary. A pile of charcoal can last several BBQs.

You can cook at 60c, smoking away for a day or take it up to 450c to blast a tomahawk steak in literally minutes.

We’ve cooked pizzas and slapped naan on the roof. We’ve done amazing skewers of chicken tikka. Slow cooked ribs, slow cooked pork shoulder. Lordy.

It takes practice and I recommend one of the many WiFi/Bluetooth heat thermometers, though the theatre, the fun and of course, the incredible flavours make this a very good – and long-term – investment.

Being us, we have recreated a number of memorable meals we have had out. And being Covid, with so many of our favourite restaurants – and countries – closed, we had no choice.

One of our favourite Sydney restaurants is Gowings in the QT.

It is just a great dining room. Warm, buzzing, swift service, down-the-line great mains and great sides.

Nat served this salad from Gowings on one of our Kamado nights and it won the show.

It looks the part, it pairs perfectly with a steak, grilled chicken or a pork schnitzel: and you can prepare it ahead of time.

A bit of extra effort makes the restaurant. And restaurant-quality this is.


1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tbsp chopped spring onions or chives
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder (you can grate or chop a stock cube)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp yellow or Dijon mustard
6 rashes streaky bacon, cubed
Iceberg lettuce or 3x cos lettuce


  1. Fry bacon until crispy.
  2. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl to combine.
  3. Cut lettuce into 4-6 pieces and lay on a flat plate.
  4. Sprinkle bacon and dressing on top of lettuce.

Salmon Salad with Vinaigrette

Serves: 2 – 4

Another sub-300 calorie dish that I have adapted.

And so good.

Alternate the number of pieces of salmon you cook (2 – 4) depending on how many meals you wish to prepare. Served the next day from the refrigerator, it is just as good as warm the night before so even if it is just you, I’d do two pieces of salmon: dinner and a fabulous, healthy lunch at work.

(And swap a boiled, sliced egg for the potato if you wish.)


400gm green beans, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
¼ c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp mince shallots
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 – 4 salmon fillets, skin off
4 c salad greens
¼ c sliced red onion
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp black olives, chopped
4 baby potatoes (or 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced)
Handful of parsley, chopped


  1. Steam the beans until al dente, refresh and drain. Combine the salad greens, capers, olives, beans and red onion and set aside.
  2. Steam the potatoes until cooked and slice. Set aside.
  3. Combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallots, 1/8 tsp salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined; set aside.
  4. Heat a pan to medium hot, spray both sides of the fish fillets with olive oil, season with the remaining salt and pepper and cook both side until fish flakes easily.
  5. Put a good handful of the salad/bean mixture in each bowl, sprinkle a few slices of potato (or egg) and flake the fish on top. Dress with the dressing and serve with a garnish of chopped parsley.

Warm potato salad

Serves 6

Growing up, potato salad meant two things to me. That fabulous, only-served-at-picnics Woolworths potato salad that you knew you shouldn’t like or eat.

Or the different variations my mother served to us; potato salads that were not bleached white, often contained mustards and wine and herbs and frequently enough, were warm. This recipe is one of many she has given me.

I still have a hidden love for the Woolworths variety, though I still know I shouldn’t eat it except for BBQs and picnics and fishing trips. This potato salad however, has no guilt attached to it and is simply fabulous served with a steak, sausages or really anything that goes with potato salad.

Better still, as with all potato salads, make enough and it is the gift that keeps on giving; head to the fridge with a teaspoon at 11pm on a Saturday night and repeat every fifteen minutes until  you wake up on Sunday and start the same trick from 11am onwards.

Long live the potato salad.


100gm thinly sliced bacon
1.25kg potatoes, scrubbed
½ c sour cream
1 tbsp honey
1 eschallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Fry the bacon and then break it up.
  2. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water and then drain, peel off the skins and slice.
  3. Combine the sour cream, mustard, honey, eschallot, vinegar, olive oil and chives, season with salt and pepper and toss through the warm potato and bacon.
  4. Garnish with the parsley and look forward to the next 24 hours of slightly guilt-free snacking.