Hidden Veggie Meatloaf with Tomato Glaze

Family dinner with young kids can be tricky as much as you’d love them to eat every vegetable you eat sometimes it just seems impossible and not to mention stressful. I get it my kids have their moments too let me assure you.

Visually vegetables are an instant turn off for most kids, seeing the amount they have to eat each night already gets them in a bother. Sometimes we have to get creative and hide them in food they do like. Let’s be real as much as those cute food pictures that look like a butterflies or funny faces made out of veggies or cookie cutout salads look visually stimulating but who really has time to do that every night? Hiding them or mixing them in other foods just seems to be a much less time consuming and gimmicky way of getting their daily serve of veggies.

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Japanese Okonomiyaki

I was first introduced to this dish when my husband and I went on a trip to Japan. Before this trip my husband wasn’t much of a Japanese food eater this was 9 years ago, now we enjoy almost every week. We were also interested in the historic culture Japan so proudly exuded. The friendliness and politeness of the locals made our way around the predominantly non english speaking, ever so populated country much easier and enjoyable. Yet another reason we fell in love with Japan. The popularity of  western food has become evident though with fast food chains opening up in many suburbs over the past 20 years of the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. Full of the youngsters of the next generation eager to adapt to the western way of life, all awhile we go there for more of the authentic way of life.

During this trip we tried many firsts, raw sashimi, tea ceremony, charcoal bbq and this savoury dish Okonomiyaki. Which if you have never heard of it before is basically a savoury cabbage pancake with veggies. You can add your choice of cooked meat or seafood such as prawns, then top with kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise) Okonomiyaki bbq sauce, sesame seeds, green onions, shredded nori (seaweed) and pickled ginger.

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Spiced Pumpkin, Turmeric and Coconut Soup

Time to spice things up, A twist on an old classic soup. If you like Thai flavours of ginger, coconut cream and coriander well this is a simple yet tasty dish to help change-up the everyday pumpkin soup recipe.


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Peri Peri Roast Chicken with Roasted Veggies & Minted Peas with Fetta


When I think of family classic dinners, roast chicken comes straight to mind. I love the fact that you can prepare a whole chook earlier with whatever spices or flavouring you like then leave it to marinade. Then before all the after school craziness or after work fatigue kicks in you have the chicken ready to cook, throw a few veggies in the oven and in 30-40mins you have a delicious family dinner on the table.

I butterfly my chicken before I roast it  (meaning cut it so it lays out flat) I have explained this process in another recipe I’ve posted here’s the link incase  How to butterfly a whole chicken. It cuts the cooking time in half and no one can argue with that.  I used a Peri Peri spice rub this time which is a mix of paprika, garlic, chilli, salt and oregano. You can buy the Peri Peri or Portuguese spice premix in the herb and spice section of your supermarket or I have shared a quick make-yourself version in the recipe. Serve with whatever roast veggies you and your family like. Roast carrots and peas are always a good roast accompaniment, I have jazzed up my peas with some shredded mint and marinated fetta.

The secret to a succulent juicy chicken is all in how you cook it, with the addition of white wine in the roasting tray keeps the bird moist and doesn’t dry out. Add some slices of lemon and rosemary or oregano under the chicken to infuse extra flavours and make sure not to over cook. A regular size chicken with only take around 30-35mins to cook when it’s butterflied like this so make sure to check it, when the juices run clear it is ready. Enjoy!


Peri Peri Roast Chicken with Roast Veggies and Minted Peas with Fetta

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A Classic family dinner to feed the family


1 whole chicken organic preferably and butterflied

1 lemon sliced

sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 cup white wine

2 cloves garlic crushed

Dried Oregano leaves

Store bought Peri Peri or Portuguese Spice Mix or Make yourself

6-8 baby carrots peeled

4-6  potatoes peeled and quartered

3 cups frozen green peas

3-4  mint leaves roughly chopped

1/4 cup marinated fetta

Peri Peri Spice Rub


  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, ground
  •  3 teaspoons paprika
  •  2 teaspoons garlic salt
  •  2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  •  2 teaspoons ground ginger
  •  2 teaspoons garlic powder
  •  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional hot)


  1. Preheat oven to 180’C
  2. Rub chicken with garlic and spice rub then sprinkle oregano all over
  3. In a large roasting tray add slices of lemon and sprigs of rosemary.
  4. Lay chicken skin side facing up on top of the lemons, add the white wine to the roasting tray.
  5. Cover and leave to marinade, meanwhile prepare your vegetables.
  6. Place carrots and potatoes in a separate roasting tray with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of salt , place in the oven to cook for 35-40mins or until cooked through
  7. Cook chicken in the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 mins or until the juices run clear.
  8. Boil water in a small saucepan once boiling add frozen peas and 1 tsp salt cook for 5mins
  9. Drain, add mint and fetta and set aside.
  10. Once Chicken is cooked portion pieces and serve together with roast veggies and peas.



Quinoa Chicken Parmigiana

The New Healthy Parmigiana…

I’m all for quick meals at the moment, with this sweltering heat we’ve been having no one feels like spending hours in front of a hot stove even me!

Still always trying to keep dinners healthy for the family, so this version of chicken parmigiana came out of the recipe files. Replacing the bread crumbing with quinoa flakes making it gluten-free and added benefits of a superfood. Baked in the oven over fried (always a good idea) Then topped it with cherry tomatoes and bocconcini cheese, making this ordinary pub grub meal into a healthier summer family favourite the whole family will love.

Served with a simple side salad and some pan cooked asparagus or your families favourite veggies.


Quinoa Chicken Parmigiana

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


4 chicken breasts (organic preferably)

2 eggs beaten

1  1/2 cups *quinoa flakes

salt and pepper

2 tb olive oil or coconut oil

10-12 cherry tomatoes sliced in half

2 large buffalo bocconcini sliced or 10-12 small bocconcini balls sliced


  1. Preheat oven 200’C
  2. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthways
  3. Place eggs and quinoa flakes  with the salt/ pepper in two separate  in a bowl
  4. Coat chicken pieces first in the egg mixture then immediately in the quinoa flakes making sure to coat generously and evenly.
  5. Place in a baking tray drizzled with a little  oil then drizzle little extra over the chicken
  6. Bake in the oven for 20mins turning half way through
  7. Top with tomatoes and bocconcini and place back in the oven for a further 5-10 mins until melted and chicken is cooked through.
  8. Serve with a simple side salad and you favourite veggies such as pan cooked asparagus or steamed broccoli

*Quinoa flakes are quinoa steamed rolled flat to make thin flakes. Can be found in major supermarkets or health food stores