{The Nest Cooks} 12 minute pantry mystery dinner

I hate those days when you have no idea what to cook for dinner and are left scouring the pantry for ingredients that kinda/maybe/probably go together.

Here is our latest creation:

12 minute pantry mystery dinner


Things you will need:

  • Chicken (about 500 grams)
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped
  • 1 capsicum (red or green) sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbs vegie stock paste (from Thermomix) – optional
  • Basil/Oregano/Parsley – doesn’t really matter just something to add some flavour!
  • Pasta of choice (we mixed spaghetti and fettuccine because we didn’t have enough of either one!)
  • Olive oil


  1. Cook the onion in a pan until it becomes translucent
  2. Add garlic and your cubed chicken and cook until golden
  3. Add capsicum and canned tomatoes and stock paste and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Meanwhile cook pasta according to packet instructions
  5. Serve pasta with chicken mix on top.

*You could add olives/sundried tomatoes/bacon or anything you have in the cupboard or fridge. This is essentially our ‘use the leftovers’ dish.

A bit plus of this dish is that the little birdies LOVE IT!

What’s your family’s go-to?


{Raising Little People} Some help on raising a good eater

Everyone knows that too much cake bad. Apple good.

But raising little birdies is tough. Feeding them is an ordeal some days. And sometimes nuggets is what ends up on the plate.

My theory is that we are responsible for raising a new generation of eaters, who understand moderation and ‘sometimes’ food and indulge daily in a balanced diet.

Our very clever mates at One Handed Cooks have set out some helpful ways to encourage Raising A Good Eaterblueberries

Read it.

Happy health Nesters x

{The Nest Can Cook} Stuff my kids ate: Meatballs

I find that feeding little birdies has two extremes, firstly there is the I-can’t-get-enough-and-cannot-seem-to-fill-up. This usually occurs with fun, bland food like Vegemite sandwiches, biscuits and cheese.

Then on the other end of the spectrum is the mum-you-may-have-spent-five-hours-in-the-kitchen-but-I-am-not-going-to-eat-it-anyway situations.

As a secretive dictator (well, I tell myself I am in charge) I am always on the search for secret ways to hide nutrition in food that my birdies will actually eat. An imaginary gold star is also added to my chart if it is food that the hubby-bird and I enjoy as well.

Earlier this week the toddler-bird and I made Meatballs. Surprisingly enough, they were tasty, nutritious and devoured by both of the birdies.

Here is the recipe (p.s I use the word recipe VERY lightly, we did kind of make it up as we went along)


  • 500g mince (beef, chicken, turkey, pigeon whatever tickles your fancy really)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup rosemary (or to your taste)
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (or not, depending on your family)
  • 1 egg
  • splash of barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • several cherry tomatoes (we used the lonely few leftover in the bottom of the vege drawer)
  • Splash of olive oil


1. Mix mince, onion, parsley, rosemary, chilli, zucchini, carrot, egg, barbecue sauce and tomato paste together in a large bowl.

2. Heat olive oil in frypan on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.

3. Roll mince mixture into small balls (well, it’s up to you if you like big balls make them big!)

4. Brown the balls in the frypan until sealed

5. Add cherry tomatoes and stir around. Season with pepper and salt.

6. Once cherry tomatoes start breaking down and meatballs are nearly cooked, pour in canned tomatoes and bring to a boil, before lowing temperature to a simmer.

7. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes have reduced.

8. Pour a glass of wine (or full sugar lemonade if you are really feeling dangerous)

9. Give yourself a high-five for being so awesome.

10. Serve with rice, or wholemeal pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Cheers!meatballs copy

Both my birdies demolished it, as did the hubby-bird. Best of all the kiddies kept asking for more and they didn’t even realise they were eating vegies!

{Raising Little People} Green Fries for your little birdies

Getting the little birdies to eat green beans is not the easiest thing. Especially if you make an epic fail and let it slip that they are good for them..


So, instead of just cooking them the old-fashioned-steaming-way, why not try something just a little bit different?

The fantastic team at Super Healthy Kids have added a little spin on the boring old beans. You can’t tell me that “Green Fries’ doesn’t sound just a little more appetising?

Head here to find the recipe -> Green Fries

green beans 2

Do you have a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more veggies?

Happy eating Nesters!