Balinese yellow chicken curry.
Balinese yellow chicken curry.

Invest in a healthier life with these recipes

FOR many people in their forties and fifties, eating well becomes more of a priority as they want to invest in their health for a longer, happier life. However, with all the food fads, latest superfoods and conflicting advice, it can be confusing knowing how to do this.

Midlife Kitchen, written by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice, two women in their forties, provides commonsense advice on nutrition accompanied by a range of recipes to help you build up a balanced and diverse diet.

Dishes include Vietnamese crabocado wraps, seared sirloin, drenched cardamom and ginger pears, beetroot and apple soup, and pumpkin and ginger cheesecake.

Health tips throughout the book explain the benefits of certain ingredients and We Love It sections explore the advantages of cooking each dish.

Balinese yellow chicken curry



1 tbs coconut oil

5 tbs Midlife curry paste, see below

2 lemon grass stalks, bashed with a rolling pin

4 kaffir lime leaves, crushed

2 tsp tamarind paste

1kg boneless chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin removed

350ml chicken stock

400ml can coconut milk

Juice of 2 limes

A large handful of coriander leaves, left whole, to serve

Sea salt flakes and ground white pepper


Heat the coconut oil in a large wok or deep saucepan, add the curry paste and fry over a high heat for about 1 minute until fragrant. Reduce the heat, add the lemon grass, lime leaves and tamarind paste and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes on each side to get a little colour, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the coconut milk and lime juice and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season and scatter with the coriander leaves, then serve.

Brown or red rice is an excellent partner for this dish and, as with most curries, it tastes even better reheated the next day.

Midlife curry paste


1 star anise

3 cloves

10 small shallots, roughly chopped

15 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

5cm piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped

5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

5cm piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped

1 lemon grass stalk, tough outer layers removed and thinly sliced

3 kaffir lime leaves, sliced

2-3 hot red chillies, deseeded and sliced, to taste

1 tsp Midlife spice mix, see below

4 tbs coconut oil, melted if solid

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper


Put the star anise and cloves in a coffee grinder or spice mill and pulse until finely ground. Alternatively, pound using a pestle and mortar.

Tip the ground spices into a food processor or blender, add the remaining ingredients and pulse to a coarse paste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Midlife spice mix


1 tbs ground fennel seeds

1 tbs ground coriander seeds

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground turmeric

2 tsp ground cardamom


Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to six months.

The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife and Beyond by Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice is published by Hachette Australia in hardback ($39.99) and ebook ($19.99).