Monday, 14 May 2012

Spaghetti with Parsley, Garlic and Chilli Prawns: The Gourmet Garden Blog Off

Cooking is something that I really enjoy. If I’m cleaning, folding washing,  wiping or scrubbing something horrid…then every minute seems to drag…But when I’m creating something in the kitchen, time just seems to fly past!

When I heard about the Gourmet Garden Blog Off’/Cook Off competition, I jumped at the chance to register and have a great excuse for playing around in the kitchen and creating some yummy, healthy recipes for my family!

Healthy cooking is something which is very important to me.I have recently lost 30kg of post baby/pantry snacking weight after my 3 children….and I have never felt healthier. I have really begun  to appreciate how seriously important healthy eating and exercise are for good health.

 I also truly believe that preparing healthy meals for my active and sporty children is one of the most important things I can do as a mother….to teach them life long healthy eating habits and to ensure that have the essential energy and nutrients to reach their potential.

I just love cooking with herbs and spices. The Gourmet Garden range of prepared herbs is wonderful because they are just so convenient and quick. They are on hand in the fridge and don’t take any time to wash, strip, chop (or pick the pieces out of the garlic press when washing-up!)…perfect for rushed mid-week meals….and believe me,  there are a  lot of rushed meals at my house with swimming, gymnastics, soccer, homework and music lessons all happening after school!

Herbs add loads of flavor to food often without many kilojoules. Unfortunately, reducing sugar or fats in many recipes can reduce the flavor…but the addition of herbs can boost the flavor right back up….a simple squeeze of herbs, garlic or chili to a slow cooker meal can prevent it tasting like bland hospital fare! I have just tried squeezing some garlic and herbs into the bread maker with the dough and the results were delicious!!

Herbs have been referred to as a super food…For example, the unique flavor of many herbs and spices comes from phytochemicals that are also potent antioxidants and have anti inflammatory properties. Chili has been reported to speed up metabolism. Garlic has been reported to be a provides the food for the good bacteria to eat in the intestine!  

When cooking for a family, younger children often prefer blander tasting foods. One of the great things I have found about the Gourmet Garden range of herbs is that they can be easily added to finished dishes like soups and stir-frys to give them a real adult lift…this week I have become addicted to adding Gourment Garden coriander and chili to my own little bowl of  stir-fry…YUM!!

 This is the recipe for one of my family’s favorite weekly meals. It is full of flavor and nutritious ingredients and works wonderfully with the Gourmet Garden herbs.

Spaghetti with parsley, garlic and chili prawns


4 teaspoons Gourmet Garden garlic (or adujust to taste)
2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden chili  (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden parsley
1 red onion cut into wedges
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 zucchini sliced thinly
1 bunch of asparagus with the woody stalks removed
1/2 punnet ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

500g fresh uncooked prawns, shelled and de-veined ( I buy them already prepared)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)

1 packet thin spaghetti

  • Wash prawns and pat dry with a paper towel. Place prawns in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden chili, 2 teaspoons gourmet garden garlic and a little salt and pepper. Toss until the prawns are evenly covered.

  • Cook prawns, in a little olive oil, on medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan for about 2-3 minutes each side until pink, remove from heat, set aside and keep warm.
These prawns are super yummy and I had to stop my daughter stealing them from the kitchen!!

  • Use a  paper towel to wipe out frying pan. (or the bits left can stick, burn and taste bitter)

  • Add pasta to rapidly boiling, salted water, cook until just al dente, when cooked drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

  • While pasta is cooking, add a little olive oil to the pan and cook the onion, carrot, and asparagus over medium-high heat until just tender about 5 minutes.
  • Add zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes
  • Add 2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden  garlic and ½-1 teaspoon of Gourmet garden chili. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for  a further few minutes.
  • Add the prawns back to the pan and stir until re-heated

  • Add the lemon juice, black pepper and Gourmet Garden Parsley
  • Fold through the cooked spaghetti. Use the pasta water to moisten the pasta sauce if it needs it
I serve this dish on a big platter in the middle of the table so that the family can help themselves to the bits that they like…..

I think the kids liked it! What do you think????......

.....she adds tomato sauce to everything...*sigh*

Note: This post is my entry into the Gourmet Garden Blogoff/cook off competition. I was kindly provided with a range of Gourmet Garden products.


  1. Yum! I was just thinking about doing pasta with veg for dinner too so extra inspiration for me here! Thanks x

    1. Thanks Vicki! you're Thai Chicken Mince sound yummy too :)

  2. That looks fantastic!! I am doing the Gourmet Garden cook off too and used the same herbs last night. I made a gluten free vegetarian spag bol. I think yours looks so much yummier. Rachel x

    1. Thanks Rachel! I'm really enjoying looking at all the great recipes that are appearing! can't wait to see your veg spag bog!

  3. Yum, yum, yum. All my favourites together! Will be trying this one.

  4. Oh wow
    Thirty kilos......congratulations that is wonderful. I've lost 12 kg since September and I thought that was good. You really have something to be proud of there.

    I know what you mean about hating most of the house work but not cook. That is so me.

    I'd love to meet you in the final. Best of luck in this little game. I'm having so much fun cooking and making contact with others through this.

  5. It's great fun looking at all the other wonderful recipes! best of luck to you too! .....I did lose 30kg...but I think they are coming back *aghhh*

  6. Yum! You are making me hungry- that looks delicious. Congrats on losing 30kg- that's amazing. It's hard to stay fit when we spend so much time driving and watching our kids stay active.

  7. Yum yum yum. I so forgot to respond to this in time. Stupid me. Best of luck to you this sure is a great entry

    fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely

    1. Thanks so much Rhi! I don't have high hopes...but it was a fun competition to be involved in...yummy too!!

  8. I'm thinking it was definitely a hit in your house! Well done! :D

    1. Thanks Carmen...sometimes it's tough to get a thumbs up from my harshest critics :)

  9. That looks amazing! I also like the idea of adding herbs to the bread. I've never tried that - will give it a go.

    1. Thanks! I added thyme, rosemary and was yummy!Bbut the bread went a bit green ;)

  10. That looks a-maze-ing Nicole! Yum :)

  11. oh!! very nice taste of the noddles but very cute baby.