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Lana Brinkley’s story

27 February, 2019

Lana kindly wrote to the Foundation, as we communicated further we learnt a little about Lana’s story which she kindly agreed to share along with 2 beautiful recipes.

“It seems a million moons ago, yet sometimes only yesterday when Vogue Entertaining named my fun Cooking School [no real ritzy name] as one of the best eight schools in Australia. I facilitated the school from my beautiful home in Paddington, Sydney. The laid-back stylish kitchen featured Tasmanian Huon timber and glass cupboards, open shelving showcasing blue and white china carried home from travels in South East Asia, black and marble bench tops, – opening out to see a sunlit courtyard through white-painted French doors to pick green herbs so easily to add to my food. My aim was always to present fresh, flavoursome, new creative cuisines from around the globe to a lively group gathered around my rustic wooden table. My Cooking School created the greatest joy imaginable for me. I coached, cooked, and offered food-flavoursome-food to salivating students. The first recipe from Cooking School days coming to mind is the Moroccan dish B’stilla (chicken and almond pie wrapped in golden paper-thin pastry leaves) – I cooked it decades ago while facilitating the school in my home for friend and cookbook author Belinda Jeffery, who said: “My toes are curling in delight under your dining table.”

We are delighted to have Lana share two of her beautiful recipes which we have trialled and tasted- simple and delicious! We know you and your residents will agree- have a go!


Makes approx. 1.25kg 10x serves at 125g


  • 1 tbsp (30g) butter
  • 2-3 (15g) cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 12 cm (30g) piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 leek (200g) [ white part], chopped
  • 3 (500g) long Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, chopped
  • ½ (250g) small cauliflower, broken into florets, blanched for 3 minutes
  • 500 g Greek yoghurt
  • Chicken stock, if needed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh mint, torn
  • S & P to taste
  • Extra cucumber, diced for serving


  1. Melt butter in a large pan
  2. Saute crushed garlic, grated ginger, leek and cucumber for 2 minutes
  3. Take off stove, add blanched and drained cauliflower, stir.
  4. Cool a few minutes
  5. Add yoghurt , lemon juice, S & P, fresh mint to taste
  6. Blitz, check consistency, add chicken stock or water if needed
  7. Chill, refrigerate at least 2-3 hours
  8. Stir, pour liquid on top of diced chopped cucumber in individual bowls
  9. Optional: Serve with small sprigs of fresh mint, Tiny tiny sprinkle of paprika for a speck of colour and olive oil (for Maggie)


Makes 2kg- approximately 8x 250g serves

[There is the option of sautéing vegetable chunks to brown first for a few minutes – time and space permitting]

INGREDIENTS– rinse and leave skin on all root vegetables and cut roughly into 3cm chunks

  • 300g Sweet Potato
  • 650g Pumpkin – Qld Blue or Kent
  • 400g Potato
  • 300g Carrots
  • 200g Broccoli florets- cut into approx. 3cm pieces
  • 200g Cauliflower florets- cut into approx. 3cm pieces
  • 300g (1 large) Red Onion or Leek
  • 3 garlic cloves- in skin and crushed with back of knife
  • ½ cup Peas [frozen can be used for convenience- Birds eye brand]
  •  4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  •  ¼ cup fresh Oregano chopped
  • To garnish
  • ½ cup fresh Parsley leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh Mint leaves chopped
  • Persian Feta [select cheese to taste re salt content and texture]


  1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 200c, line a large baking dish with parchment paper
  2. Chop root vegetables into chunks and place in a large bowl. Cut florets and onion/leek and place in a separate bowl.
  3. Mix the powdered spices, S & P, and oil. Divided between both bowls of veg and toss to coat.
  4. Place the coated root vegetables on the prepared baking dish, add garlic and bake for 20-30 mins. Check for colour. Turn chunks.
  5. Reduce oven Temp to 180c add florets, onion/leek and oregano, bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until crisp outer and soft centre. Bake frozen peas in separate dish.
  6. Once cooked removed from the oven and allow to cool slightly, before presenting in a serving dish, evenly scatter with fresh mint, parsley, S&P, peas and crumbled fetta
  7. Optional: Saute mushroom slices on stovetop for added nutrition