Putting food on the table for a family can be expensive, unhealthy and even become repetitive. If you’re struggling for clean plates and happy faces, this article is for you. Packed with inspiration that is light on waistline and the purse strings, read on to discover 6 family food bloggers who may be able to help.
1. Kira Westwick
Kira Westwick loves her family and her food, believes in living a healthy lifestyle, and doesn’t subscribe to popular deprivation diets. The former Masterchef contestant stresses that food doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming, and her deliciously appealing recipes reflect that ethos.
Although Kira isn’t a qualified chef, she brings the love of a passionate home cook to every recipe. This makes Kira a champion for common sense families who just want to eat delicious, healthy food, and the recipes speak for themselves.
- Slow cooked chicken chilli, for lovers of Mexican cuisine this recipe combines lots of fresh, crisp veggies with a flavour explosion to bind it all together.
- The ultimate clean burger, with suggestions for healthy ingredient swaps. The steps to making the perfect burger patty are lovingly laid out so even first-timers can cook like the pros.
- Smokey baked eggs and beans, with optional sides. Suitable for vegetarians. Perhaps the best part is that it’s great for every meal.
2. Stay At Home Mums
Jody Allen, founder of stayathomemum.com.au, found herself suddenly unemployed whilst on maternity leave for her first child – and pregnant. Losing one income meant re-budgeting, and she and her husband found they had just fifty dollars a week to spare on food for their growing family.
Anyone who takes control of the grocery shopping knows that $50 can hardly feed one mouth, especially in a major supermarket. Jody had to become extremely resourceful, returning to seasonal fresh ingredients and cheap staples. Out with the convenience and pre-packaged foods and in with the simplicity! Now that Jody has a team of dedicated foodies on board, she offers healthy, delicious AND money-smart ideas for feeding the family.
- Impossible pie – 8 ingredients, choose your own vegies, and a rating of ‘easy’. No pastry is needed because a nice crust will form all on its own!
- Vegetarian lentil meatloaf – give meatloaf back its good reputation! Delicious, easy, and with Vegemite in the mix, a truly Aussie, modern take on a classic dish with plenty of nutrition.
- Salmon patties – what kid doesn’t love a good patty? Serve with salad or veg, and dress it up with tomato sauce or tartare for fussy kids, and get natural omega 3 and a good dose of protein.
3. One-Handed Cooks
Why only one hand, you might ask? Because the other is wrapped around a little person, and that’s why creator Allie Gaunt began experimenting with baby and toddler food that was nutritious, palatable and made with love in the home. Her team has since branched out into food for younger kids and the whole family, making onehandedcooks.com.au an extremely useful resource for parents of younger children. The recipes are overseen by an Accredited Practicing Dietician, which ensures your little ones are getting the right balance of nutrients.
- Pick ‘n’ mix frying pan pizza – Here’s one your kids can help with, and it’s quick and easy. The bonus is that you can let your kids pick which veggies they want, so you can tailor the recipe to your family’s tastes.
- Mango and mixed berry frozen yoghurt sticks – This snack isn’t just gorgeous to look at – it’s also far healthier than a standard ice cream. Big kids and little ones can enjoy the sweetness of fruit and the smoothness of yoghurt
- Cauliflower fried ‘rice’ – The magic with this recipe is that the cauliflower is the rice! What a way to get a cheap and nutritious vegetable into the tummies of growing kids. With a 25 minutes turnaround time and ingredients that can be scaled up to make a large batch for freezing, this might become your new staple.
4. Kids Dig Food
With a cute name and plenty of experience, founder Deb Blakley takes a psychologically sound approach to the child’s experience of eating, making her recipes on Kids Dig Food fun and family-friendly. An Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Deb and her sidekick Nina Meloncelli (also an APD) create colourful and healthy concoctions with zany names that kids will flock to. Fancy some ‘Green Martian Soup’ or ‘Magical Reindeer Food’? No problem.
- Eggy bread pies – with just a few ingredients and less than half an hour from start to finish, these yummy little parcels are the gifts that will keep on giving. Serve them up for dinner tonight and whack them in the lunchboxes tomorrow. With chicken, spinach and wholegrains, they are an excellent replacement for the standard Aussie pie.
- Aunty Em’s yummy beef casserole – Perfect for the slow cooker, you can come home to a ready-made dinner with little extra effort – just a couple of steamed vegies for brightness should do the trick. These are the sorts of classic flavours that never really go out of style with kids or parents.
- 15 minute pasta smash – You know how recipes love to tell you your prep time will take 30 minutes and it ends up being an hour? Well, here’s a recipe that delivers what it promises. While you’re boiling that water, you are throwing your meat and veggies into a pan, with the final added touches a mere dob of this and a sprinkle of that. Tasty, filling AND time-conscious.
5. The Picky Eater
Anjali and her husband live in San Francisco and come from very different families – she grew up on fresh fruit and vegetables and he was most comfortable with fast food. The Picky Eater grew when Anjali taught herself how to cook in a way that was acceptable for both of them. She got the nutrients she wanted and he got the taste. Gradually, she writes, he grew to love the fresh ingredients she used and actually began asking for more vegetables! This blog is full of ideas to keep your family healthy AND happy.
- Penne with walnut sage pesto, spinach and zucchini – With wholewheat pasta and plenty of added herbs and spices, this recipe feels like a treat as it nourishes. Wholewheat pasta is full of fibre, and the walnuts are an excellent source of good fats.
- Gourmet blackbean tacos – Say the word ‘taco’ to anyone and their eyes will light up. Who doesn’t love them? These tacos, instead of being jammed full of cheese and sour cream, instead combine taste with more authentic, healthy ingredients. This one is quick and easy because some of the ingredients come pre-packaged and there is very little cooking involved.
- Thai peanut curry with chickpeas – Thai flavours are comforting at the best of times, but this original recipe packs a punch when it comes to fresh, healthy ingredients and loads of spices. The trick is to use ground peanut powder rather than oily, calorific peanut butter. You can even grind up your own peanuts with a mortar and pestle, but the nutrients come in coconut milk, chickpeas, carrots and zucchini.
6. Kath Eats Real Food
It’s true, she does. No trendy fads and no weird food philosophies – just delicious, nutritious meals from a registered dietitian. Kath is a prolific food and health blogger, once boasting 3 posts per day, but now averaging one. What makes her blog especially enjoyable is the gorgeous design and the high-end food photography. Remember, we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths! Her huge backlog of posts gives her visitors and fans loads of recipe ideas to choose from, but we’ll start you out with three top picks.
- Mushroom lasagne – usually a time-intensive and preparation-heavy dish, this one will relieve you of all that. Kath times her preparation at 15 minutes. You can’t beat that! Delicious mushrooms, cottage cheese, tomato and plenty of onion deliver a nutritious dish, but you can add leafy greens like spinach and silverbeet to climb another rung on the health ladder.
- Know your roots salad – Bursting with bright colours from sweet potato, golden beets and cayenne pepper, and infused with delicious maple syrup and a host of herbs and spices, root veggies have never tasted so good. There are a few ingredients to combine, but it should only take 10 or 15 minutes to prep. This is one that every member of the family can get enthusiastic about.
- Farmers’ market garden bake – A bake is a versatile meal: serve with a salad, keep it solo or make a toasted sandwich from the leftovers! This particular bake is big on flavour and packs in the veggies. With less than 15 minutes prep, combine 5 vegetables, 4 herbs and spices, some pasta (or brown rice would work, too) and tie it together with a modest amount of mozzarella. It’s enough to make your mouth water!
All these recipes deliver big on flavor, huge in health, but slim on cost, which is the power three in the world of family recipes. We hope you’ve found some inspiration in these recipes, and feel like getting in the kitchen and cooking up something new and delicious for dinner.