You’ve seen them on TV, you follow them on Instagram, but now, you’re getting a behind-the-scenes look into their kitchens. The first in our new ‘In the kitchen with…’ series is former Bachelor, dad of three girls and fitness entrepreneur, Sam Wood.

You might know him from ‘The Bachelor,’ or maybe from his über-successful fitness program, 28 by Sam Wood, but his three daughters – Eve, Willow and Charlie – simply know him as ‘dad.’

After finding love on The Bachelor with now-wife Snezana Wood (née Markoski), Sam Wood settled into dad life easily. Snezana already had Eve, now 15, but it wasn’t long before the couple welcomed their first daughter together, Willow, and later Charlie.

So, what does life with three daughters look like for busy Sam? We asked him – and he was kind enough to share three of his favourite recipes in return.

Who does the cooking in your house?
We mix it up. Snez is an absolutely fantastic cook and would definitely do more than me. I love to get in the kitchen and make my 28 recipes, especially when it can involve the kids.

Does your approach to making sure the girls eat a balanced diet differ based on their ages?
Willow is a little fussier than Charlie, who eats like an absolute trooper. We find that getting them involved is a really good way of getting them on board with healthy eating, whether it’s putting a variety of healthy options in their bento lunch box or dividing their plate up with things that they choose. At the same time, they’re kids and if they’re going to eat ice cream and have yummy snacks, that’s okay too.

What is your family’s go-to meal after a busy day?
Why tell you, when I could show you?! Here are three of my favourite quick, easy, family-friendly recipes that we’re cooking at the moment…


RATATOUILLE PASTA BAKE
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion (red) diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 capsicum (red) diced
  • 1 capsicum (yellow) diced
  • 1 eggplant(s) cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 zucchini diced
  • 700 g tomato passata or puree
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup basil (fresh) roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 250 g wholemeal (or gluten free) spiral pasta
  • 1 cup cheddar (or tasty) cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

  • 80 g mixed salad
  • 1/2 lemon(s)
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 27cm x 15cm baking dish with 1/2 teaspoon oil.
  2. To cook pasta: bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.
  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add remaining oil. Add onion, garlic and chili and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until softened.
  4. Add capsicum, eggplant and zucchini. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to soften.
  5. Add tomato, water, oregano and season well. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add ratatouille to the pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, top with basil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
  7. Serve pasta bake with mixed salad leaves, dressed with lemon and salt to taste.

SIMPLE SAUSAGE ROLLS
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 300 g beef mince
  • 1/4 cup basil (fresh) finely chopped
  • 2 free range egg(s)
  • 5 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal (or gluten free) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 carrot(s) finely grated
  • 1/2 onion (brown) finely grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 puff pastry ready rolled sheets, defrosted
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

INGREDIENTS FOR SERVING

  • 250 g cherry tomatoes mixed variety, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1/2 avocado(s)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven 200oC.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together mince, basil, 1 egg, worcestershire, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, carrot and onion. Season to taste.
  3. Refrigerate mixture.
  4. Cut pastry sheets in half (about 10-12 cm wide).
  5. Lightly beat the other egg.
  6. Divide beef mince mixture into 4 even portions and form each quarter along one edge of the pastry.
  7. Brush the open strip of pastry at opposite side of the mixture with egg and roll pastry over mixture into a long even log.
  8. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds and cut into rolls
  9. Place roll seam side down on a lined oven try with baking paper.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.
  11. Mix all salad ingredients together, season and serve with sausage rolls.

SPANAKOPITA RUSTIC PIE
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 8 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 350 g baby spinach
  • 1 shallots stalk, finely chopped
  • 360 g ricotta cheese
  • 6 sprig(s) spring onion(s) chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 free range egg(s) lightly beaten
  • 1 sprig mint (fresh) sprig, leaves picked
  • 2 tablespoons dill (fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • 150 g Dodoni feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (extra virgin) melted
  • 3 sheets filo pastry (or gluten free if required)

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

  • 1 cucumber(s) chopped
  • 2 tomato(es) chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley (fresh) leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon lemon(s) juiced

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan forced.
  2. Heat a large fry pan over high heat, add spinach and shallot and toss until spinach is wilted. Squeeze out any excess water and roughly chop.
  3. Gently combine ricotta, spring onions, garlic, eggs, herbs and nutmeg together. Stir through wilted spinach and shallot.
  4. Brush a round oven proof fry pan with a little coconut oil. Lay filo pastry in fry pan, covering all the bottom and sides and leaving edges overhanging. Pour ricotta-spinach mixture into pan and crumble over feta. Roughly fold over edges of pastry and brush with remaining coconut oil.
  5. Cook over low-medium heat on stove top for 5 minutes (be careful not to burn the bottom). Then transfer to oven for 25 minutes, until golden and crisp and cooked through.
  6. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  7. Remove pie from oven, and rest for 5 minutes before serving with salad.