Chef Toby Paton, Jamie Oliver’s best friend, shares healthy and cheap family dinners

By Louise Allingham for Each day Mail Australia

00:48 18 October 2023, up to date 22:41 18 October 2023

Superstar Australian chef Toby Potok has shared his favourite wholesome and inexpensive household dinners.

Toby, who has spent a lot of his profession alongside star chef Jamie Oliver, has give you easy meals that aren’t solely user-friendly, fast and simple to organize but additionally assist scale back meals waste.

The 49-year-old chef, from Melbourne, advised FEMAIL his dumpling recipe is “principally free” as a result of he prepares the filling with vegetable scraps, and described his Mexican Tremendous Bowl dish as “among the best issues he is ever tasted”.

Toby is captivated with lowering meals waste to not solely assist the setting however to assist Australians save on grocery payments particularly as the price of residing places extra strain on household budgets.

He has additionally teamed up with meals rescue group SecondBite to offer as much as three million meals to Australians struggling to feed themselves and their households.

Superstar chef Toby Potok (pictured) shared three low cost and wholesome dinners. He’s now the face of the Three Million Meals marketing campaign, which helps struggling Australians put meals on their tables

The daddy stated cooking for his household will not be simple as a result of his eight-year-old daughter, Birdie, is a die-hard vegetarian.

“Since she was a child, she has been coming with me to the market the place one second she was on the petting zoo after which the subsequent second she was again surrounded by corpses. She has an actual understanding of the place meals comes from,” Toby laughed.

“We’re primarily vegetarian at dwelling however we eat just a little fish. If my daughter sees me consuming meat I’ll get into hassle.

When cooking at dwelling, Toby makes positive to not throw away leftover edible greens like broccoli stalks, which he makes use of to make dumplings with Birdie.

“I’ve a bucket within the freezer the place all of the chops go. No matter veggie chops, pumpkin mushrooms, no matter, it would not matter.”

Toby “beats” the scraps to create a mince-like vegetable filling after which cooks them for a couple of minutes.

Toby is an efficient buddy of Jaime Oliver (proper) who has labored with him extensively in London the place they love utilizing contemporary herbs. Contemporary herbs can carry and add taste to any meal, Toby stated
Toby “blitzes” and cooks a mix of leftover greens he collects all through the week to make a scrumptious filling for the dumplings: “It is virtually a free meal since you make them from small items.”

He added that he can normally do the mixing and cooking within the Thermomix however this may be simply replicated utilizing a meals processor and bowl.

“I cook dinner that for a minute or two, purchase gyoza wrappers and make dumplings — it is my daughter’s favourite factor on the earth,” Toby stated.

“That is virtually a free meal since you make it in small parts. It is a good way to introduce greens to children.”

Toby usually makes a Mexican Superbowl, an thought he “stole” from buddy, and he stated the combination has a vegetable base that may be eaten alone or with meat or fish.

‘It is some of the stunning issues I’ve ever tasted.’ He stated the substances can be found year-round within the grocery store.

‘It consists of just a little garlic, which you’ll pass over in the event you like, corn kernels, chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, contemporary coriander, chili pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, salt juice, just a little paprika and cumin,’

“You then crush all of it up together with your fingers and it is so scrumptious.” We eat that as is, however the crumbled fish fillet on high is very nice.’

Toby stated he and his household usually eat “non-carne” chili, a vegetarian consuming chili pepper, twice per week for dinner.

He makes a giant batch and freezes it in parts so it is good for a fuss-free night after a busy day and makes use of it in quite a lot of methods from nachos to sandwiches and with a facet of veggies and avocado.

“I will make a giant batch of this chili, 12-14 servings price, and I will put it in containers in parts and freeze it,” he stated.

“Tonight for instance, my woman texted me and requested what we must always have for dinner, and I replied, ‘We’re all busy, let’s simply have chili.’”

Tobi Chili Non Carne is a mix of onions, purple peppers, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils, and beans seasoned with cumin and paprika.

“After I get dwelling, I will bake some candy potatoes within the oven, I will soften the chili after which my daughter, she’s going to make guacamole and we’ll have this superb dinner.”

The daddy stated cooking for his household is not simple as a result of his eight-year-old daughter, Birdie (pictured), is a “self-described die-hard” vegetarian.

Birdie usually eats eggs with most meals to offer her meat-free eating regimen a “protein enhance.”

Toby says he normally retains a batch of minestrone soup within the fridge, gathering contemporary greens when he desires to serve them for dinner.

“I make a base and I do it merely with onions, carrots, celery, no matter herbs I’ve, parsnips, pumpkin, a can of tomatoes and water,” he defined.

‘I cook dinner that and freeze it. After I thaw it, I seize no matter different inexperienced greens are in there, like frozen peas or broccoli.’

Contemporary herbs are the right easy and inexpensive strategy to elevate any meal and add flavour, Toby stated.

‘The River Café, the place I labored with Jamie, was all about contemporary herbs. “I ran Jimmy’s eating places there and our weed payments have been costly however they add life to boring issues,” he stated.

‘You possibly can take a porterhouse steak or portobello mushrooms and easily grill them with salt, pepper and olive oil. You possibly can add some arugula leaves, put just a little mint in there, just a little basil, and all of a sudden it tastes nice.’

Nevertheless, Toby is aware of many are struggling to feed their households in any respect particularly as inflation has put extra monetary strain on extra Australians.

Learn extra: Straightforward dinner recipes: One-pot hen from an Australian chef that wows visitors each time — and there is barely any laundry concerned

Toby stated he and his household usually eat non-carne chili, a vegetarian who eats chili. It’s good for a fuss-free night after a busy day and is utilized in some ways

Of the 5 million Australians going through meals insecurity, a staggering 80 per cent are slicing again on their meals greater than ever earlier than, on account of present prices of residing in keeping with YouGov.

YouGov additionally discovered that amongst Australians who skip meals, practically 80 per cent say they’ve been skipping meals more and more over the previous 12 months, whereas 90 per cent say they’ve skipped meals so their youngsters can eat.

In gentle of this, Bulla and Coles have teamed up for the Three Million Meals marketing campaign, of which Toby is a proud ambassador, to lift much-needed funds for SecondBite.

Till October 24, 20 cents from each Bulla product offered at Coles will go on to SecondBite to offer three million meals to Australians in want.

“You are serving to folks by doing this, and the cash goes on to SecondBite and so they do a fantastic job,” Toby stated.

“I have been to the warehouse and so they’re going round selecting up the meals, taking it again to the distribution facilities round Australia and getting it to folks in want.”

Daniel Moorefield, SecondBite’s incoming CEO, will start his function as CEO with the launch of the three Million Meals Marketing campaign.

“We can make actual, tangible impacts on the lives of consumers who use our companies with these marketing campaign funds,” he stated.

Recipe: Tobi Potok Bread with Bitter Cream, Grilled Rooster, Zucchini, and Tomatoes


For flat bread:

1.5 cups self-raising flour

A superb pinch of sea salt

1.5 cups of bitter cream

For the yogurt marinated hen:

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 cup chopped coriander, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

A superb pinch of cumin

A pinch of salt and pepper

300 grams of hen thigh

A tablespoon of additional virgin olive oil

For cos salad:

1 medium-sized tomato, roughly chopped

½ small purple onion, peeled and minimize into slices

A small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely torn

6 coronary heart leaves, roughly chopped


Tobi potok bread with bitter cream, BBQ hen, couscous and tomatoes
  1. To organize the flatbread, add the substances to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the dough hook to combine till the substances come collectively right into a easy ball. Switch the ball to a floured floor and knead for a couple of minutes till very easy. Wrap it in plastic wrap and depart it apart till wanted.
  2. To organize the hen, add yogurt, coriander, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and blend them collectively. Add the hen thighs, combine, then cowl and depart to marinate for a minimum of three hours or in a single day.
  3. Take away the hen from the marinade, eradicating as a lot as attainable. Prepare dinner the hen over medium warmth for 4-8 minutes per facet or till cooked. Take away and permit to relaxation.
  4. Whereas the hen is cooking/resting, minimize the bread dough into 8 equal sized items and roll them into discs utilizing just a little flour and a wire rack till they’re about 3mm thick.
  5. Warmth a frying pan (massive sufficient to comfortably maintain a bit of rolled dough) over medium/excessive warmth. Brush the rolled dough with just a little olive oil and cook dinner one piece at a time till it begins to bubble and switch brown. Repeat for the remainder of the dough.
  6. Mix all of the salad substances collectively and prepare them on the flatbread. Minimize the hen into small items and prepare them on the salad.
  7. Served with a squeeze of lemon.

Serves: 4