Family Dinners

I think one of the best ways I can support my children, not just in their sporting lives, but for their over all health and well being, is to provide nutritious and healthy foods.

The nutrients in their foods and drinks give children energy, helps the body with recovery and repair, can even help protect the body from illness and disease. If you are what you eat then, good nutrition early in life can help build the strong bodies and bones fundamental for sports performance. I believe I am giving my children a gift…the habit of healthy eating that will last thought their lives.

I have spent many, many hours researching and developing family meals, treats and snacks that are healthy, nutritious and that my family will eat!! I’ve had so much fun in the kitchen, sometimes even with the kids help! I thought I would share some of my recipes here. Please let me know what you think!

The Gourmet Garden Blog Off

Spaghetti with Parsley, Chilli and Garlic Prawns

Special Chicken Soup

Prawns with Ginger and Chilli Spice Paste

SportyMummy’s Favorite:  Prawn and Chorizo Spaghetti

I like to serve this dish on a large platter in the middle of the table, so everyone can help themselves to the bits that they like…. The grown-ups make a bee-line for the prawns! For me, it is my ultimate comfort food. The chorizo carries a big flavor punch, and hopefully, a sausage shared between 5-6 people is not too bad for you!

1 red onion cut into wedges
1 carrot sliced thinly
1 zucchini sliced thinly
1 bunch of asparagus with the woody stalks removed
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 punnet ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

1 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
300g fresh uncooked prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons lemon juice
Chopped flat leaf parsley or baby spinach
1 packet thin spaghetti

  • Place prawns in a bowl, add paprika, a little salt and pepper and toss until 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.
  • Add chorizo to the pan and cook until just brown (about 2 minutes each side), remove from heat and drain on paper towel
  • Use a  paper towel to wipe out frying pan.

  • 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 oil to the pan and cook the onion, carrot, zucchini and asparagus over medium-high heat until just tender about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute
  • Add cherry tomatoes and cook for a further few minutes
  • Add the prawn and chorizo back to the pan and stir until re-heated
  • Fold through the cooked spaghetti. Use the pasta water to moisten the pasta if it needs it
  • Stir through the parsley or baby spinach and lemon juice
  • Serve garnished with capers and more parsley if desired.

SportyKids Favorite Dinner: Sporty Spaghetti Bolognaise

Just tonight I was asked,

 “…whats for dinner mummy?...please let it be spaghetti bolognaise???....”

This is the kids absolute favorite, I remember it was also my childhood favorite.  I’ll often make this for the girls on the night before a big competition. I can be sure that they will eat a good dinner and have the energy to reach their potential at the competition (as usual, I try ads sneak some vegetables in).

1 carrot
1 brown onion
1 stick celery
1 zucchini
All diced as small as I can

4 cloves garlic chopped
500g lean mince
¼ cup red wine (or chicken stock if you don’t like using wine)
 1 can chopped tomatoes in thick tomato juice, salt reduced
1 can tomato soup, salt reduced
1 tablespoon wostershire sauce
Few drops of Tabasco sauce (to taste)
½ cup Salt reduced chicken stock

  • Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan, cook vegetables until very brown and tender.
  • Add garlic and stir for just 1 minute.
  • Add mince and cook until very brown (I cook it until it just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan). Break up the mince with a wooden spoon as it cooks
  • Add the red wine (or chicken stock) and use the wooden spoon to scrape up the yummy bits stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the tomatoes, soup, sauces, chicken stock and pepper and stir, bring to the boil
  • Turn heat down and simmer, covered for about 10 minutes (or more if you need).
  • Top cooked spaghetti with the sauce and serve to whoops of delight
  • (us grown-ups like to add parmesan cheese on top!)

Easy Chicken Stir-fry

This dish is packed with lots of vegetable and colour to provide anti-oxidants, vitamins and fiber. My kids love the flavor of soy sauce and the tender chicken bits which are a good source of protein. They will even eat some of the vegetables, if they are covered in the sauce! You can serve this stir-fry with rice, noodles or pasta (my kids just love pasta!!). I always cook with extra virgin olive oil (even though you are not supposed to) for the health benefits.

2 Chicken breasts (I use free range)

1 red onion cut into wedges
1 small head of broccoli cut into florets
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
½ red capsicum cut into strips
1 bunch of asparagus with wooden stalks removed

Handful of snow peas and/or sugar snap peas topped and tailed
1 tin champignon mushrooms
1 zucchini cut into small strips


¼ cup reduced salt soy sauce
1 cup low salt chicken stock
1 tablespoon sweet chilly sauce
A splash of sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper


Spread a baking tray with baking paper (saves scrubbing the tray) and place the chicken breasts on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spray on a little olive oil on both sides. Place in the oven at 180ºC  for 20-25 minutes (or until just cooked). After resting slice the chicken thinly.


1. In a non-stick heated wok, add a small amount of olive oil and then toss all the vegetables (except for the zucchini, mushrooms and snow peas) together for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for a further few minutes.

3. For the sauce I add all the ingredients and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and stir through the chicken breast until they are hot and covered with the sauce.


Garlic and Rosemary Lamb with Roasted Vegetables

This is GrumpyDaddy’s Favorite Dinner. Luckily he doesn’t know how easy it is to prepare. But don’t tell him….I need the brownie points!!

6 lamb loin chops, with all visible fat removed.
1 red onion cut into wedges
1 small head of broccoli chopped into flowerets
1 bunch asparagus with wooden stalks removed
1 small sweet potato peeled and thinly sliced
6  whole cleaned and de-stalked button mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic peeled and halved
4-6 sprigs of rosemary

  1. pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC
  2. pre-heat a non-stick pan and then add 1 tsp olive oil. Add the trimmed lamb chops and cook on both sides for about 2 minutes to brown.
  3. remove from heat and place in a large baking tray
  4. arrange rosemary sprigs around lamb in baking tray
  5. add prepared vegetables (except tomato) and garlic to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, add about 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and stir until all vegetables are coated in the oil
  6. tip vegetable mix on top of the lamb chops in the baking tray and spread them evenly across the tray.
  7. place the baking tray in the oven for approx. 20 min or until vegetables are just tender
  8. add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes
  9. remove rosemary and garlic, serve lamb and vegetables drizzled with the pan juices

This dish goes really well with some nice crusty bread to soak up all those tasty pan juices!!