5 dinners my kids love

Dinner is so Groundhog Day when you have kids. Sometimes it seems like all I ever do – when I’m not working – is go to the supermarket, stagger home with the shopping and cook (with a little recreational blogging after I stack the dishwasher).

Sprog 2 grouched the other day that I’m “always in the study or the kitchen”.

She’d be even grumpier if I DIDN’T feed her.

It’s also tough finding recipes everyone in the family loves. So I thought I’d share five firm favourites from the Household, just in case your kids might enjoy them too …

Recipe: Low-fat buffalo wings with blue-cheese dressing

image (10)

12 whole chicken wings, separated at the joint, tips removed (Woolies does chicken niblets in trays that take all the hard work out of this bit)
20g butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Nando’s mild peri-peri sauce (or the hot type if your kids can hack it)

Blue cheese dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

100gm blue cheese, crumble

METHOD: Bring a few cups of water to the boil in large saucepan with a steamer. Place the wings into the steamer, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Remove wings and pat dry. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Roast wings for 20 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 20 minutes, until golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, make blue cheese dressing by mixing together buttermilk, yoghurt, lemon juice and blue cheese. Then melt the butter, garlic and peri peri sauce in microwave. Stir. Remove wings from the oven and toss with the sauce. Serve warm with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. OK, so the kids don’t actually eat the blue cheese dressing, but it’s yummy for the adults to dip their wings in.

Chicken pot pies

Olive oil

1 leek, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 stick celery, diced

600g chicken tenderloins, diced

375g Carnation Lite & Creamy

1 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with a little water

2 tablespoons lite cream cheese

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg, lightly beaten

METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C. Saute the leek in olive oil until soft then mince in a blender with the chicken stock (to hide it from little people who profess to not like onion). Add a little more olive oil to the pan and saute the carrot and celery until softened. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Add the leek mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the Carnation Lite & Creamy. Return to simmer. Add cornflour mixture, thicken sauce. Stir through cream cheese until dissolved. Divide mixture between four ramekins. Cut one of the sheets of puff pastry into quarters and place a piece over each ramekin to form a lid. Cut the other piece of puff pastry into “fingers”. Place the ramekins and fingers on a tray and brush with beaten egg. Bake in oven until golden. Serve with steamed veggies.

Homemade fish fingers & oven fries


4 salmon fillets (preferably the long, narrow ones), cut into fat ”fingers”

3 wholemeal bread crusts

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp dijon mustard.

METHOD: Zizz the crusts in a food processor to make crumbs. Beat egg with dijon mustard. Dip salmon pieces in egg then bread crumbs. Heat a tablespoon of oil – I used rice-bran oil – in a frying pan and cook until golden. If pan gets a little dry, add a dash more oil.

Oven fries

Red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into fries

rice-bran oil

rock salt

METHOD: Cut potatoes into chips. Toss in a little rice-bran oil, just enough to coat, not drench or the chips will be soggy. Place on baking paper on a baking tray. Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with rock salt and serve.

Roast tomato soup


4 tablespoons olive oil

1kg roma tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, halved

1 onion, sliced

small handful of thyme sprigs

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 litre chicken stock

2 semi-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

Sea salt, to taste

METHOD: Preheat oven to 220C. Toss tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme sprigs, sugar and salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes until caramelised. Tip into a stock pot, removing woody stalks of thyme. Add chicken stock, semi-dried tomatoes and barbecue sauce. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Reheat if necessary. Pour through a sieve if you don’t like “bits” or want a fancier result. Serve with a fresh cob of bread and butter.

Recipe: Quail & noodle stir-fry

400g quail breasts

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons rice bran/peanut oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

4 green shallots, chopped

1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped

400g fresh rice noodles

1/2 cup chicken stock

Juice of 1 fresh lime

Chilli sambal sauce to serve

METHOD: Marinate quail breasts in 1 tablespoon oil, soy sauce and honey for two hours. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy based frying pan or wok. Stir-fry quail breasts until golden. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Add a little more oil to the pan. Stir-fry garlic, ginger and shallots until softened. Add bok choy, stir-fry 1 minute. Add noodles, chicken stock and lime juice. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Add quail breasts. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sambal for the adults, if desired.


4 thoughts on “5 dinners my kids love

  1. Incredible and after reading through your recipes I am humbled (and hungry). Thought with the Groundhog Day allusion you’d be describing the usual – spag bol, hamburgers, basic stir fries etc but these are truly gourmet…I now realise I am a slothful, unimaginative mother and chef, and must change! You will have created some very sophisticated sprogs indeed with the likes of these lovely meals 🙂

    • No! You’re not a sloth! I think we are a product of our children’s bland tastebuds. But I keep yearning for foods which we can all enjoy, which has led to the experiments you see here. It’s a rebellion against all the meat and three veg meals I endured as a kid.

  2. I so agree with the Groundhog Day comment. One of the best things about our kids going away for 2 weeks recently was that we got to cook and eat different foods for the whole time. I actually lost weight. Having said that, your recipes look good. Mine might eat the chicken pies and the fish. The chicken is quite similar to what I already make. I rub the adult ones with tandoori or Thai curry paste.

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