There is no doubt about it: Kim McCosker has built what has become a hugely successful empire. Her 4 Ingredients books – now numbering 30 – have sold 8.75 million copies around the world, she’s in demand as a speaker and now is co-hosting a weekday radio show on Talking Lifestyle.

Talk about busy! Over the last 10 years, the 4 Ingredients brand has resonated with cooks across Australia – and around the world – looking for fast and easy meal solutions.

“It’s become a very respected, very well-trusted brand in that real easy home-cooked food genre,” says McCosker. However, she stresses that even though the food is simple, it still needs to look and taste good.

“I like things to look really elegant, but I like them to be easy and affordable at the same time,” she explains.

“It's definitely not pretentious at all, but it still looks beautiful. I really believe food is first eaten with the eye, and if it looks good, no matter what it is, people will try it, but if it looks like a big pile of mush, it'll be sitting there at the end of the day when everyone's gone home. It's got to look good.”

Check out her delectable Mandarin Friands recipe using only four ingredients – click here

The move into radio has been a new direction for McCosker, but she is really enjoying it.

“There are two things I absolutely love above all,” she says. “Number one, we try and interview a farmer every day. I honestly believe, as a nation, we have forgotten how important our farmers are to our lifestyles. Farmers in Australia represent less than 2 per cent of our population, yet supply us with 100 per cent of our food. I love being able to shine a light on them. I'm a farmer's daughter, I grew up in a very small country town on a citrus farm.

“The second part I love is the interaction with the listeners. I love when they call in and share their favourite recipe.”

“I find them very interesting with a wealth of information. I invite them to call and to engage in the conversation because I don't want the wonderful life lessons they've learned to be lost. I want them to be heard.”

McCosker says she has a particular affinity with the over-50s audience – also the core readers for WYZA.

“They are the sweet essential home cooks,” she adds. “They may have lost their shine or love for it a little bit but they still remember everything. They've got these elephant memories of when Nanna used to make her damper, or they ring up and share all these extraordinary stories and I love it. I've kind of become addicted to the interaction I have now, and our amazing audience. I get really excited every time someone rings up, because I think, what little pearl of wisdom are they going to impart today? Because invariably, they do.”

“The bulk of our listeners are like me. We've got this inner, frugal streak. Where we can save a half a capsicum we will, we won't just waste it. We've got this aligned sense of ‘waste not want not’. That's kind of a real thing. One day we talked cornflour, and I think we had 20 calls about cornflour. You just never know. It's live, it's real, but it's interesting, and I think that's what makes a good show. It's informative, it's funny.”

For some food inspiration when you have limited ingredients, try Kim’s shepherd's pie, bacon and pea soup or beef and coconut satay recipe.

Kim McCosker is on Talking Lifestyle with cohost Ed Phillips Monday to Thursday from 2pm to 3pm.

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