If you’re into vibrant, wholesome REAL family food then I’m thinking you’ve probably already heard of Sydney based Mum and foodie Michelle Schoeps of Love & Bones Broth!
With a passion for feeding her family healthy, delicious meals, Michelle also has a long standing appreciation of the nutritional value of bone broth, which forms part of almost every meal she cooks at home. After years of making her famous broths for family and friends, including a stint supplying soup to her childrens’ school canteen, earlier this year Michelle finally launched her business – and it has gone CRAZY! Sydneysiders can buy Michelle’s delicious homemade broth directly from her website, and she’s still in the process of securing a handful of likeminded Melbourne stockists – we’ll keep you posted on that!
Michelle is kicking off an inspired week of tasty family food ideas with a dinner plate she regularly makes for her youngest child, Wilco!
I’m a Mum first, but on the side I’m the ‘Broth Lady’. I have been told that I am the maker of the best bone broth in Sydney, it’s called Love and Bones Broth. After years of feeding my family and friends, including a stint supplying soup to our children’s school canteen, it was my partner Max who pointed out a gap in the food market for a really delicious, nutrient rich bone broth. And so, earlier this year after selling it to a few friends and friends of friends who followed me on Instagram, my business Love and Bones Broth was born.
The story goes back way further than that, because as a Mum and a passionate cook, I have been blogging for years about the importance of certain foods on growing bodies and brains. You could say that family and food are my two biggest passions.
I’m from a strong European background. My main food influencers growing up were and are my German father, French mother and Jewish/Hungarian great Aunt (who is like my Grandmother). They’re all amazing cooks, and so I’ve been surrounded by delicious and, as it turns out, pretty healthy food for most of my life.
I love feeding my family the most nutrient rich, unprocessed foods that I can. I want them to grow up and make well-informed decisions about what they’re putting into their bodies, so that they live happy, healthy lives. Ever since my kids were born, I’ve made it my mission to feed them well. I’m not extreme but I make a concerted effort to feed them the best food that I can afford. If that means buying certain foods and stretching them into many meals, then that’s what I do.
It is possible to get five variations from one meal and use leftovers from those meals to make meals the day after. I do this most nights. We are all different. We don’t all like the same foods or tastes and textures. When I shop I buy only organic, seasonal produce or local, unsprayed fruit and veg, always pastured eggs (from free roaming hens), unhomogenised whole milk and yoghurt, and the best grass-fed pastured meat or wild fish I can afford. If that means buying bulk off my friend Charlie Arnott and having 20kg of grass-fed beef in my freezer, or splitting it with a friend, that’s what I’ll do. If it means buying a pastured bird that’s a little bit more expensive, but comes from a farm, which I know lets its birds roam free, I’ll happily buy it and make sure everything gets used. I’ll always try and buy the best bird available and get my butcher to remove the breasts, legs and thighs, wings and neck. Nothing gets wasted in our kitchen!
If you’d like to learn a few of my tricks this month I will be sharing some of our family recipes. I also hold occasional cooking classes in my home to show people how to make really simple meals for their families, utilising each ingredient to the max.
The first recipe I am sharing today is Wilco’s dinner. Wilco is my youngest and cheekiest child. He’s the baby of our family and so we all run circles around him. As he’s grown up we have found he’s more of a ‘bits and pieces’ kind of kid. His plate always has a raw veg, a cooked veg, some good protein, and a cup of bone broth either straight up or with rice or pasta, plus apple cider vinegar for dipping his vegetables. He loves vegetables – most nights his vegetables are removed from his plate so he will eat his other dinner first! Once his soup and protein are gone the veg get eaten, usually dipped piece by piece in apple cider vinegar. Give him a piece of cheese with that and a little pate and the kid is sorted and Mummy is happy.
I think these kinds of meals work for children of all ages, as they’re colourful and there’s lots of variety. Plus when things look fun kids are generally more likely to eat them! You can mix and match elements from any of the recipes from the next five weeks. I also have lots of different ideas on my Instagram account!
MICHELLE SCHOEPS ORGANIC QUICK BONE BROTH (MAKES 10L)
2 or 3 chicken carcasses, a kilo of chicken wings + 2 pieces of osso bucco
1 leek including the green stalks (wash well)
3 carrots (peeled)
A head of garlic cut through the middle
1 bay leaf
Leaves from 1 bunch of celery
A splash of apple cider vinegar
Himalayan sea salt (to taste)
Peppercorns (to taste)
TO MAKE WILCO'S DINNER
Any in-season organic vegetables such as avocado, capsicum, celery, cucumber, radish, carrots, tomatoes etc
1 cup organic jasmine rice
Sweet potato and waxy potatoes, like Dutch creams
Organic chicken breast
Day old good sourdough bread
1 cup Love and Bones Broth or any good quality homemade bone broth/stock
1-2 garlic cloves
Apple cider vinegar, for dipping
1 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1/2 cup of flour
Himalayan sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
For the MSO Organic Quick Bone Broth
I use MSO Love and Bones Broth in all of our family meals. Below is a quick, easy-to-make Love and Bones Broth recipe for you and your family.
Place all ingredients into a 10 litre pot and fill the pot with filtered water to within a couple of inches of the top of the pot. Place in the oven at 110 degrees celsius and cook for up to 8 hours, or on the stovetop at the lowest possible heat so it’s just simmering. Strain through a fine sieve and portion into glass Pyrex containers and freeze for easy dinners.
To defrost frozen broth, simply run hot water over the glass container and the broth should easily slip out. Place broth into a saucepan and bring broth to the boil with the lid on and then immediately turn off the heat, cool and serve.
For the raw vegetables and potato crisps
Chop a variety of colourful vegetables and avocado. Leave in the fridge until required, these will be used as the raw vegetable component of the dish.
Peel your potatoes and keep them in a bowl of water until you’re ready to slice and fry them. Thinly slice the potatoes either in the food processor or using your mandolin – the slices should be almost see through or as thin as you can get them.
Once the potatoes are cut, warm the coconut oil in a shallow fry pan and test the heat by placing one thin potato slice into the oil.
Pat dry the slices of potatoes on a clean tea towel then fry the potato slices in the hot coconut oil, but DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THEM as they cook really quickly and you’ll need to turn them constantly to avoid burning them on one side. Once golden put them on a sheet of greaseproof paper sprinkled with salt.
For the schnitzel
Using your food processor blitz your day-old bread with a clove or two of garlic and a handful of parsley — until the crumb is fine and slightly green.
Using three shallow bowls: in one bowl, mix flour, paprika, a little salt and pepper; in another bowl place the eggs with a little salt and pepper and whisk well; in the third bowl add your crumb mixture.
Slice your chicken breast horizontally into three slices – or cut into several smaller pieces if you cut each slice in half.
Place each piece of chicken into the flour bowl, then into the egg, then into the crumb. Once crumbed set aside on a plate until all chicken pieces are finished (at this stage you may freeze the crumbed chicken in glass Pyrex containers with greaseproof paper between each schnitzel).
Fry your schnitzel until golden on each side and place on a piece of kitchen paper to drain.
For the soaked rice
Lightly toast one cup of jasmine rice in a small saucepan.
Once it starts to toast (not colour) add one cup of bone broth and place the lid on your saucepan and turn the heat down to the lowest setting for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off completely for another 10-15 minutes.
Before serving, stir a small amount of salt and a teaspoonful of butter through the rice.