Chicken, Freekeh and Corn Salad

Summer is the best time to experiment with different types of salads, especially in the week after Christmas when everyone is needing a light dinner and a bit of a break from the indulgence.img_8276.jpg

This salad was a bit of a throw together salad, but definitely one worth jotting down for a quick, easy salad. Most of the preparation can be done earlier in the day, leaving the cooking of the chicken and dressing of the salad for immediately before serving. Being heavily pregnant, while trying to wrangle 2 small children, meals like these are great as I can get dinner pretty much prepared while Claire is sleeping and Mark is having is quiet time, then while they are watching Peppa Pig at 5:40pm, I can throw it altogether and have dinner on the table before 6pm.


The leaves I have used are kale and spinach (out of the garden) and some bought salad mix. When adding kale to a salad, the key is to give it a wash and massage it. The massaging helps to soften the leaf as well as decreasing the bitterness.


Zucchini and corn can be added in raw, but by popping them in a frypan and lightly grilling them, it allows a fantastic caramelisation to be added to the salad with very little extra time taken. I have used golden beetroot today, but either purple or golden will work well.


If you haven’t tried freekeh before, I highly recommend it. It is a wheat grain that is made from roasting green grains. As they are harvested while they are still green, they contain more protein, vitamins and minerals than the same mature grain. Freekeh is naturally a low GI, high fibre grain and is a good source of probiotics (food for the good bacteria in the gut). You can buy cracked and uncracked freekeh, I recommend the cracked freekeh as its less chewy and takes less time to cook.


The dressing on this salad is very simple and brings the whole dish together. The addition of the chicken completes the meal and adds a good quality protein source, although the salad could be made to accompany a fillet of fish or with some chickpeas for a vegetarian option.


As far as the kids went with this one….they are tired, having spent 5 days at the grandparents over Christmas, with not enough sleep, dinner tonight was a struggle. They both said they didn’t like it before they even tried it and complained, wanted toast, but we persevered and they both ate about 75% of their meals, so obviously didn’t hate it that much!


Enjoy xx.


Serves 4 as a main

  • 1/2 cup cracked freekeh, rinsed
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into sticks and grilled
  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 1 cob of corn, kernels removed and grilled
  • 1/2 punnet cherry, tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups mixed lettuce leaves (kale, spinach, rocket, lettuce, etc)
  • 2 handfuls basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 80g feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbs pine nuts, toasted


  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To cook the freekeh, place into a medium sized saucepan along with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat once boiling. Cook for ~25-30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the beetroot by placing the beetroot into a saucepan and covering with water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender when a knife is inserted, ~45 minutes. Drain and run under cold water, rubbing the skin off. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, dice.
  3. Cook the zucchini by heating a medium sized frypan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place zucchini sticks into the pan and cook, turning occasionally until lightly golden. Remove from pan.
  4. In the same pan, cook the corn kernels, stirring occasionally, until they start to change colour, ~3-4 minutes. Remove from pan.
  5. Cook the chicken breast by heating a medium sized frypan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing. Place all ingredients into a jar and shake well to combine.
  7. To assemble the salad, place the green leaves into a bowl, along with the torn basil, freekeh, beetroot, zucchini, corn, cherry tomatoes, onion, feta and toasted pine nuts and gently toss to combine. Top with the dressing and the grilled chicken and toss well to combine.



Grilled Peach and Bacon Pasta Salad

Pasta is one of the easiest, filling and varied meal options. It makes a great hearty meal in Winter when teamed with some Bolognese or ragu and in Summer can be a light, flavoursome salad with the right ingredients and dressing. This dish has become a new Summer staple in our house.


This delicious pasta salad is based on The Noshery’s Grilled Peach and Bacon Pasta salad with Honey Herb Vinaigrette, but obviously modified, as I didn’t have all the ingredients and, I like to freestyle in the kitchen putting my own spin on things. When it comes to a pasta salad, I like to add plenty of other ingredients to balance out the pasta to veggie/salad ratio, generally aiming for about 1 cup cooked pasta per portion.


Stone fruit are plentiful at the moment and are becoming cheaper by the week. They make a fabulous addition to a pasta salad or an ordinary salad, especially once grilled and lifted with a caramelized flavour, and when paired with smoked bacon….wow!


Whenever I am buying pasta at the supermarket, I get the kids involved in choosing which shape they want as usually it results in them eating the pasta as they are excited about what they chose. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that choosing process involves me offering them 2-3 (which I would like) to choose from, so we don’t come home with something like risoni to go in a pasta dish such as this one. This meal has been a hit with the kids the few times I have made it, regardless of pasta.



Enjoy xx


Serves 4

  • 275g large shell pasta
  • 2-3 peaches/nectarines, halved and seed removed
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, fat trimmed and chopped
  • 5 broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 2 radishes, cut into thick match sticks
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thick match sticks
  •  3 handfuls of rocket leaves
  • 2 tbs parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbs pine nuts, toasted


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp dijonnaise
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped


  1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into a jar and shake well to combine, at least 30-60 seconds. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and once boiling, add the pasta. After about 5 minutes, add the broccoli. Cook until pasta is al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside, allowing to cool.
  3. Heat a griddle pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the peaches/nectarines cut side down for ~3 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  4. Using the same pan as the peaches, cook the bacon for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until bacon and zucchini have both coloured, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Toast the pine nuts by heating a small pan over medium heat, add pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Slice the peaches/nectarines into ~1cm thick slices.
  7. In a large bowl, place the pasta, broccoli, bacon, zucchini, stone fruit, sliced radish and rocket. Give the dressing another quick shake and pour over salad. Toss well to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pine nuts and toss lightly once more.
  8. Serve between 4 bowls.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza is one of the favourites in this house – guaranteed to be in the top 3 if I ask the kids what they want for dinner.


Pizza does not have to be an unhealthy option and seeing as the kids love it, I always top them with lots of grilled veggies. For the pizza dough, I use is this simple taste recipe, which makes 4 bases. We use 2 and then wrap the other 2 (as a ball) in glad wrap and freeze for next time.


Depending on what meat we have available will determine what goes on the pizza – usually one ham and one salami or chicken or fish if we have any leftover. I always put some caramelised onion on the pizzas, except when I caramelise the onion and it sits on the stove and I forget about it when I am assembling the pizza, in which case it gets left off as I inevitably find it after we’ve finished dinner – this happens far too often!


Our pizzas are always cooked on a pizza stone in the weber. If you don’t have a pizza stone, I highly recommend getting one, you will never go back to cooking pizza without one.


The ingredients on these pizzas are what we regularly have, but really any meat, cheese or vegetable you like can go on a pizza. If you haven’t tried topping a pizza with kale, I highly recommend it. Once it has been chopped, lightly toss it in about 1 tbs of olive oil. When it cooks, it goes really crispy, adding to the pizza.


Enjoy xx.


  • Pizza dough
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced and grilled
  • 1 potato, sliced and grilled
  • 250g pumpkin or sweet potato, sliced and grilled
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced and grilled
  • 6 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 60g ham, finely sliced shredded
  • 60g mild salami, finely sliced shredded
  • 300g grated cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 kale leaves, stem removed, finely chopped and tossed in olive oil.


  1. Make the pizza dough as per the link above and allow to sit and rise for several hours.
  2. To make the caramelised onion, heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onion, place the lid on, reduce to low heat and allow the onion to sweat, ~5-10 minutes. Once translucent, add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  3. Grill the eggplant, potato, pumpkin and zucchini in a frypan or on the BBQ. Set aside. The caramelising of the onion and grilling of veggies can be done hours ahead and kept in the fridge until needed.
  4. When ready to assemble the pizzas, preheat the BBQ to at least 200°C with the pizza stone in place (this can also be done in the oven).
  5. While the stone is heating, assemble the pizzas. Role out the dough on baking paper to ~5mm and no bigger than the pizza stone. Mix together the crushed garlic and 1/4 cup oil and spoon this over the bases of the pizza, garlic and all.
  6. Sprinkle and thin layer of cheese onto each pizza, followed by 1/2 the caramelised onion per pizza, then follow as below:

Pizza 1: salami, potato, eggplant, mushroom

Pizza 2: ham, pumpkin, zucchini, mushroom

Then top pizzas with remaining cheese and finely chopped kale, if using. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the base is crispy and topping is cooked.

Bacon and Spring Vegetable Pasta

I love a lighter, vegetable pasta in Springtime and when most of the veggies come from our own garden, it makes it even better!


This dish took about 20 minutes from start to finish, it is very easy, the kids ate it quite well and it is suitable for both warm and cool weather – so versatile. It is a great dish to pack full of vegetables and aim for a 1:1 pasta to veggie ratio, which is good for portion control. If there are leftovers, it also would make a great cold pasta dish the following day.


Our vegetable garden is doing so well this Spring, except for the broad beans. Although, everything is a bit later than usual, so we are keen to make some room for the Summer veggies, which means eating everything up, and when everything is ready all at once, this dish was an absolute winner! The garlic, lemon, broccoli, snow peas and peas were all from the garden, which makes me very happy! One day we will have asparagus again as well and I will most definitely add that when we do!


Enjoy xx


Serves 4

  • 3 rashers bacon, fat removed, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup de-shelled fresh peas
  • 15-20 snow peas
  • 2 1/2 cups raw pasta – shells or bows work well
  • 1.5 cups rocket leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large saucepan full of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain and place into large bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking water.
  2. Heat a medium frypan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add onion, lemon zest and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broccoli and white wine and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is almost tender.
  4. Add the peas and snow peas and cook for ~2 minutes or until they turn bright green. Remove from the heat and add to the pasta, along with the rocket, reserved cooking liquid, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Mix well and divide between serving bowls.

Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot, Kale and Goats Cheese Quiche

I find quiche to be one of the most versatile and relatively easy meals to create, and the best thing is they can be very impressive. This one, I literally threw together with what we had in the fridge and it wasn’t until I was about to cook it that I realised what a great combination it was….hence the lack of progress photos.


We had spent the day down at Point Nepean going for a picnic and a bike ride with the kids. When we got home, I needed to cook something for dinner that night and for the following night after work…enter quiche! I knew I could make the pastry, let it rest and finish it off once the kids were in bed. I had bought some Meredith Goats Cheese with Ash for our picnic, so the rest of that needed using, we had some beetroot in the fridge that I had boiled the day before, pumpkin that needed using and some kale in the garden – what a winner!


When I have a little bit of time to make pastry, I always will, especially for a quiche, it’s much nicer, but you can always use bought puff pastry or filo pastry or no pastry and make a frittata. My go to recipe is Stephanie Alexander’s Shortcrust Pastry.


Whenever I serve a quiche to the kids, especially if it is slightly different, they will always start off saying “yuck” or “I don’t like it”, but the rule in our house is no dinner, no yoghurt for dessert, so inevitably, after ignoring their negative comments about the delicious meal I have just made, they eat most of it. So, I won’t say that a quiche is a guaranteed incident free meal with them, but I will say that they enjoy it, but they also enjoy trying to get a rise out of me!

Enjoy xx


Makes a 24-26cm quiche

  • 1 x Stephanie Alexander’s Shortcrust Pastry OR 1 sheet of Puff Pastry
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 500g pumpkin, cut into 1-2cm cubes
  • 1 large beetroot, peeled and cut int 1-2cm cubes (or you can used boiled beetroot)
  • 75g goats cheese
  • 6-8 large kale leaves, stalks removed and chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place chopped pumpkin and beetroot into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and mix to coat. Place onto baking paper and cook for ~30-40 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and cook until translucent. Add chopped kale and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until wilted.
  4. Line pie dish with pastry of your choice (ensuring that shortcrust pastry has been blind baked as per Stephaine’s recipes). Add roasted pumpkin and beetroot to the pastry, crumble the goats cheese over the top and top with kale and onion.
  5. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and bake for ~40 minutes or until the centre is firm.
  6. Serve as is, hot or cold, or with a side salad.
  7. This is a great meal that can be made one day and reheated and eaten the next.


Tuna, Lemon, Tomato and Rocket Pasta


I love a good bowl of pasta and this creation came about nearly 10 years ago when I was in the height of my running ‘career’, where my life consisted of working, running, running coaching, eating, sleeping and drinking wine :). My weekends were coaching, running, drinking some wine on a Saturday night and then a long run on a Sunday morning. This delicious bowl of pasta was my go to either for a Saturday night carb load or a post Sunday long run lunch. And the best part, it literally takes as long as it takes to cook the pasta, so about 10-15 minutes.


This is the first time I have made this dish in quite some time as Aaron isn’t a massive fan of tinned tuna, however, if he’s away, the kids and I will devour it.


What do I like so much about it? It’s very well balanced. There’s obviously carbs, which can be portion controlled if you are worried about too many carbs in your diet. There’s tuna, which is one of the best sources of protein and omega 3’s and the tomatoes and rocket provide a good salad/vegetable component. My general recommendation when serving pasta is about 1 cup cooked per person, so aim for that and if you feel that isn’t enough, then have a side salad or add some extra tomatoes and rocket into this dish.


Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids that are needed by the body and do so many great things, such as improve brain health, reduce inflammation and promote heart health. Ideally, we should be aiming for at least 3 serves per week of oily fish, which includes tuna, salmon (skin on), sardines, cod and mackerel. So, if you aren’t getting enough fish at dinner, a tin of tuna or salmon at lunch is a great way to incorporate some more.


My kids love tuna, which makes me really happy. They will eat it in pasta, in patties and even by itself straight out of the tin. This makes last minute meal prep for them very easy if we are going out for dinner or having dinner once they are in bed, think tuna, veggies, pasta/potato – so easy!


So, next time you are rushing home from work and have no dinner plans, consider this one…it’s so easy!

Enjoy xx


Serves 2

  • 1 x 190g unflavoured tinned tuna in olive oil
  • 150g dried spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 handfuls rocket leaves
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs pinenuts, toasted
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  2. To toast the pine nuts, heat a small frypan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a medium sized frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil, crushed garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook, stirring for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lemon zest and half the juice and the tuna, oil and all. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tuna is heated through, 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1-2 tbs of liquid. Place into large bowl.
  5. Add the rocket, tuna mix, reserved liquid and pine nuts to the bowl, along with the remaining lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil. Mix well to combine.
  6. Serve between 2 dishes. So quick, so easy and SO tasty!

Mexican Feast

Apologies for the lack of activity on What’s Prue Cooking of late – between being away and the whole family coming down with a bout of gastro, creative cooking has not been high on my list of priorities, but I’m back!


On Friday night, we had some good friends round for dinner and we decided that a Mexican Feast would be a great idea, and it was! We LOVE Mexican food, and if you have the right ingredients and a little bit of time, it is a cuisine that is so flavoursome and impressive, yet very simple to prepare.


Our menu consisted of Chicken Tostadas with Smoked Paprika Mayo, Crab Tostadas, Char-Grilled Corn and a Mexican Bean Salad. The tostada recipes were a Masterchef and an Epicurious recipe, respectively (see links) and the bean salad and the corn, I created myself.


If you haven’t had tostadas before, I highly recommend making some or ordering some next time you are at a Mexican restaurant – they are essentially a corn chip topped with so much freshness and flavour! They make a great starter or in this case a key component of a main meal.


The kids were not part of this deliciousness (which meant I could add a little extra chilli/jalapeno), but I know that if it were served up to them, they would love it. They are crazy about Mexican food.


This meal is a great one for entertaining, as pretty much all the components can be made in advance and all that needs to be done while your guests are there is to assemble to tostadas and grill the corn.

Enjoy xx

Mexican Bean Salad


Serves 4


  • 1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red capsicum, diced
  • 1 small yellow capsicum, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cob of corn, kernels removed
  • 4 radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • 1 corn tortilla, roughly chopped
  • Vegetable oil


  • Zest of 1 lime, finely grated
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place all the chopped vegetables, except avocado, and black beans into a bowl and stir to combine.
  2. To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a small bowl and stir well to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to combine. Refrigerate, allowing the flavours to develop, until needed.
  3. To make the crispy tortilla pieces, heat ~2-3 cm of vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan for shallow frying. Once the oil is hot, add 1/2 of the tortilla pieces and cook until golden brown (~1-2 minutes). Remove from the oil and place onto a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortilla pieces. Set aside until needed.
  4. When ready to serve the salad, remove from the refrigerator, top with diced avocado and toss lightly. Sprinkle tortilla pieces on top and enjoy!


Char-grilled Corn


Serves 4


  • 4 cobs of corn
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime wedges, to serve


  1. To make the basting sauce, combine yoghurt, garlic, paprika, zest, chilli and salt and pepper into a bowl.
  2. Preheat a grill pan or the BBQ.
  3. Pull down or remove the corn husks and using a pastry brush, coat the corn in the basting sauce.
  4. Place corn onto BBQ or grill pan and cook, turning and basting every 30-60 seconds until basting sauce is gone and the corn is tender (~5-7 minutes).
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice.