I love roasted vegetables. When you get that lovely caramelised sweetness, the only seasoning they need is some ground salt and pepper and a little sprig of fresh rosemary. On that note… I seem to be able to grow every known herb except rosemary. Is it not supposed to be hardy and unfussy? Every rosemary plant I have had has simply given up on me for no apparent reason. Other than basil, this is the herb I use most often and I dream of having an abundance of them outside my kitchen. Please leave me some any rosemary growing tips you may have in the comments below.
Guinea Pigs and Food Critics
Back to the matter at hand though, the kids aren’t always as keen on the roasted vegetables as I am. SuperDad eats everything, as he likes to proclaim, which is somewhat true. He also critiques everything quite thoroughly! Therefore I have a team of very honest food critics giving me their opinions on a daily basis and I have a great source of instant feedback, which is great. They have also gotten quite used to being my little guinea pigs.
I am lucky… scratch that… we have encouraged the boys to eat a wide variety of foods and they aren’t unreasonably fussy. We also don’t force them to eat things that they really and truly dislike. Wade, for example, doesn’t like boerewors or hamburgers. It could be the texture, because he doesn’t drink juice with particles or eat yoghurt with pieces of fruit. He will eat just about anything else.
Blake generally has an aversion to green vegetables. Obviously, these are the very healthy ones so I do ask him just to try and if he really doesn’t want to eat it I will allow him to move one thing aside, but eat everything else.
There is one thing that breaks my heart and that’s the fact that they absolutely, hands down refuse to eat mushrooms. Like trained sniffer dogs, they will locate the tiniest trace of a mushroom and alert the food police immediately that mom is trying to poison them! I love mushrooms. I miss them in my life…
About the roast veggies then… I thought I would try something different to ramp up the roasted veg and it worked like a charm! Everyone knows that when you smother stuff with cheese, they’ll eat it… so… mix in some egg and bake it and then add some cheese and the result is just magic. This entire dish was polished before you could say Harry Potter. It’s a must try for your food critics! I baked some hake medallions to serve along with it, although it would really compliment any protein.
I have made this dish before and it absolutely has become a favourite. With only three ingredients to pop into the oven, you end up with a mouthwatering comfort meal that everyone will love. Not only that, it’s healthy with loads of super broccoli, as well as gluten free, low carb and you don’t need to add anything else. I served up with some seasoned butter beans on the side.
The only seasoning you need is some coarse salt, pepper and rosemary for the chicken. The natural flavours of the broccoli, bacon and chicken make a fantastic combination that really just gets highlighted with the minimal seasoning. Cheese doesn’t need any explanation other than, because cheese!
If your kids have an aversion to broccoli, you may have a problem. Mine generally love broccoli, even as a baby it was a top choice for Blake. Occasionally they might have an “anti green stuff” day which can always be sidestepped by covering it with bacon and cheese!
I don’t generally make up my own recipes, but I do go hunting all over the internet for recipes according to whatever inspires me on the day or week. Then, I chop a little bit here and change a little bit there and make it according to my family’s tastes.
The benefit for you is I do all the hunting for you and you can be sure it’s going to be easy, quick, healthy and family friendly! Any day you’re wondering what to do for supper, just pop in here and you’ll be sure to find a recipe that appeals to your tastebuds. Must add though that my kids are quite unfussy and easy to feed (not sure what this actually says about my cooking).
For the longest time I couldn’t remember where I found this recipe… eventually I realised it was from one of my favourite apps, Kitchen Stories. There’s something for everyone and loads of how-to’s for the beginner cook.
I find it very hard to resist anything with Parmesan in it! Add chicken and homemade tomato sauce and it’s sure to be a winner. Served with a side salad, it’s low in carbs and a light, nutritious meal.
Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces, cover the chicken pieces in cling wrap and flatten with your fist.
In a large pan, saute the onion in oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add tomatoes and oregano to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly. Season with ground coarse salt and black pepper.
Mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and season.
Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Then, using tongs, dip a piece of chicken into the egg and then into the Parmesan mixture, coating all over.
In a large frying pan, cook the chicken in some oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Set aside an repeat until all the chicken is done.
Blend the tomato sauce with a hand blender.
Spread the tomato sauce on a plate, place the chicken on top and serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.
I love a big stirfry with lots of colour and all the Asian flavours I can possibly fit in. The brightness of the vegetables always seems to cheer me up! Stirfry is also a great way to pack in a variety of veggies and possibly sneak some in that the boys wouldn’t usually eat.
Having been craving Chinese food for some time, I stumbled across this recipe from FitLikeMummy’s blog – an inspiring view into her journey to better health and fitness. Anything with Cashew Nuts instantly grabs my attention and it looked so absolutely delicious, I had to cook it!
I just added some red cabbage for colour (and forgot that I wanted to add carrots). Hoisin Sauce was not to be found anywhere in the regular shops so I did without. On contemplation, I realised afterwards that I am literally five minutes from an entire selection of Chinese supermarkets. Notes for the future!
I have been trying to not only include more fish into our diet, but also to do so economically. For that purpose I have been experimenting more with tinned tuna recipes. I do know a few people who aren’t very fond of tuna though and decided to use tinned salmon as well.
Salmon is very high in Omega oils and having fresh salmon every week would be fantastic, but very expensive. I cook fresh salmon once in a while as a treat, otherwise I try to use different kinds of fish for our normal weekday meals.
These salmon and corn fish cakes were quite full of flavour and the kids definitely wouldn’t mind having them again – test passed with flying colours!
Line an oven tray with baking paper and place 300 g butternut on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper, then roast in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes or until butternut is tender.
Boil cubed potato in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes or until soft, then drain and mash.
Place the mashed potato, corn, salmon, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Shape 1/4 cup of the mixture into a patty. Put on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (if time permits).
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the salmon and corn cakes in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining patties.
Meanwhile, boil the frozen peas in a small saucepan with salted water for 5 minutes.
I must say that I was very happy with this meal as it came together out of literally nothing.
It was one of those days where I hadn’t planned anything and walked into the house having no clue what I was going to do for dinner. I knew I had boerewors in the freezer, but what does one do with boerewors other than pap/maize meal? We need something healthy and I don’t feel like going to the shop… My brain having been given a challenge, I started raiding the fridge for random veggies to chop up.
When I saw the packet of barley I knew I was onto something yummy and so it became the most fantastic, full of veggies, boerewors stew pot. Not a bad carb in sight! The sausage does contain gluten, so if you were totally gluten free I would suggest finding a gluten free sausage or changing your meat. The veggies are just fresh, beautifully healthy and barely need any flavouring.
This is a must to try for your family! Let me know when you make it and remember to tag @mammachefjozi when you do 🙂
This recipe truly is as delicious as it sounds! The butternut gives it such a lovely sweetness that makes it warm and comforting, the crispy bacon adds a little crunch. The kids got in on the action and the whole family just loved this meal. Definitely one that will be showing up in future!
Chicken & Rice Bake with Green Vegetables – Because Green is Good!
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
500 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp crushed garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Cook the rice according to packet instructions. Add one chicken stock cube or stock pot to the cooking water and mix well.
Preheat the oven on grill.
In a large pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat. Once onions soften, increase the heat to medium high and add chicken to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces and add the garlic. Cook for about 1 more minute.
Add the broccoli and green beans to the pan and stir often so that the vegetables stir fry, but don't burn, just a couple minutes needed. Once the vegetables are tender but still firm, add the cooked rice and the chicken and veg mixture to a large oven dish, add the grated cheese and mix through well. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the top.
Place the dish into the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.
Creamy and delicious, filling and nutritious, this vegetarian casserole is fast as flash to the table. Gluten free and perfect for a Meat Free Monday dinner when you just want to pop a dish in the oven and have it come out steaming and ready to please the whole family.
Creamy Vegetarian Casserole in Less than 30 Minutes
Category: Meat Free Mondays
1 tbsp olive oil
30 g butter, chopped
1 leek, trimmed & sliced
3 tsp crushed garlic
800 g baby potatoes, quartered
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
400 g broccoli, trimmed & cut into small florets
150 g sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
Preheat oven grill to medium.
Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Cook leek and garlic for 2 minutes or until leek softens. Add potato. Stir well. Add stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to med-low & simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Stir in broccoli, sugar snaps, asparagus, cream and parsley. Bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Transfer vegetable mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheese over vegetable mixture. Grill for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve.