Article - Try these family favourite recipes

Try these family favourite recipes

Natalie Oldfield’s book Love & Food at Gran’s Table is a beautiful collection of 120 recipes from New Zealand and around the globe. It celebrates the food our grandmothers made for us with love and care – and some of these recipes have no doubt been passed to our parents and to us.

We recently ran a competition to give away a copy of the book and asked people to share their favourite healthy recipe they make for their own family. The result was some creative and delicious looking recipes we just had to share. From hearty hot meals to lighter options and lunchbox staples, we’ve picked a great selection for you to try.

If these inspire you to share even more healthy recipes, do pass them on by leaving a comment below!

Pumpkin, red lentil & chili soup

Roast garlic and pumpkin, then once cooked, blend with a bit of milk until smooth.
Cook lentils in water with a bit of salt and pepper, ground turmeric and ground coriander (using about a teaspoon of each spice) and let that boil for about 10 minutes.

Then add lentils to the pumpkin mixture.
Add diced red chilies and the liquid from the lentils and/or milk to desired consistency.
Serve with a whole grain bread roll or homemade garlic bread.

- Aedene

Light, simple and healthy Chinese style steamed fish

You need (per person):

1 fish fillet of your choice, about 120g-150g
2 Tbs of soy sauce
1 Tbs of sesame oil
Ground white pepper to taste
Finely sliced root ginger
Finely sliced spring onions


1. Line a heatproof bowl with some spring onions and ginger
2. Place fish skin side down in bowl
3. Add soy sauce and sesame oil
4. Season with pepper
5. Cover fish with more ginger and spring onion.
6. Make sure that the water in the steamer or wok is at a full boil and steam the fish for about 5-7 minutes
7. Serve immediately with steamed white rice

- Karen Teo

Homemade muesli bars


100g butter
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of peanut butter

Boil ingredients in a saucepan for 8-10 minutes, then test for fudge consistency.

Take the mixture off the heat and add to:

2 cups of rolled oats (toasted)
1 cup of coconut (toasted)
2 cups of cornflakes or Ricies
1/2 cup of dried fruit and nuts. etc
1 tsp of mixed spice
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence

Put into a greased shallow tin - press the mixture down firmly, then cut while warm.
Break up or grate an energy chocolate bar over the top while still warm, and spread over.

- Rosey Bristow

Chicken and sundried tomato orzo

I love making and serving up chicken & sun-dried tomato orzo (when my partner first tried it was not sure, but now he’s in love with it.) So easy and healthy – a perfect combination.

(I sometimes add capers)

225g of orzo
1 cup of water
1/2 cup (not oil packed) chopped sundried tomatoes
1 diced tomato
1 peeled clove of garlic
3 tsp of chopped fresh marjoram
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 Tsp and 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 350g thawed package frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup finely shredded cheese, divided

1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, tomato, garlic, 2 Tsp marjoram, vinegar and 2 Tsp oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large frypan/wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.

3. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 Tsp of cheese.

4. Cook, stirring, until heated through, for 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.

5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 Tsp of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

Looks like it’s hard, but really isn’t! And it’s yum yum yum.

- Lee

Freekah with tomatoes and cilantro

Freekah is a traditional Lebanese recipe, this particular freekah is refreshing and tasty with the tomatoes and cilantro.


Large heirloom tomatoes
Water, with a dash of salt and pepper
Cut up cucumbers, green peppers, chili pepper
A dash of red pepper paste
One small onion
One cup of chopped cilantro
Juice of a lemon
1/3 cup of olive Mazolla oil
2 cups of cooked freekah

Peel and cut the tomatoes and place in a blender (one half at a time).
Peel and cut the onion and place in the blender; add the cilantro.
Add some water (about one and a half cup), lemon juice, olive oil, salt, red pepper paste and process to get it smooth but still a bit chunky.
Taste for seasoning.
Add the freekah, mix and serve.

To cook the freekah:

Soak in water for one hour or longer; drain and make sure no dirt remains or small pebbles. Rinse several times.
Bring double the volume of freekah to a boil with a dash of salt, add the freekah and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the grains are soft.
With a spatula, clean off all the froth that will come up on the surface.

- Venessa

‘Slime’ soup

This is just the thing to warm your family up when they get home. I know the title sounds disgusting – it’s meant to – but the soup itself, as any pea and cheese soup would be, is addictively wonderful and, as you can see, really easy to make.


4 cups of frozen peas
1 spring onion
3 cups of boiling water
vegetable broth concentrate to taste or a stock cube


1. Cook the frozen peas and scallion in the boiling water with the stock concentrate or stock cube until tender and cooked through.
2. Remove and discard the scallion once the peas are soft enough to be blitzed into soup.
3. Put it into the blender or a processor.
4. Makes 1 litre, which is probably enough for four to six children.

- Linda Maginness

Easy coconut chia pudding

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Small pinch of pure stevia
1/4 – 1/3 cup of chia seeds

Warm milk in microwave or on stove until just below a simmer. Do not boil.
Remove from heat, stir in stevia and chia. Stir every few minutes until chia is completely hydrated.
Refrigerate. Add seasonal fruit and eat within a week.

- Cheryl


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