When you come from the country and your backyard is a bone-dry paddock, the beach can seem like a utopian paradise. My childhood holidays were spent at Manly beach with my sisters and cousins - 14 of us to be exact. It really was utopia - at least for us kids! Three eskies, five beach umbrellas, a few chairs, LOTS of towels, and that’s it, we were gone for the day and weren’t returning till dark!
You could spot our camp-sight from a mile away. It’s hard to miss five umbrellas in a row with 14 kids hanging around the edges. We spent most of the day in the water, but returned for much needed sustenance - we were always hungry! Our mothers would prepare food that was easy to make, and tasted great. It was triple wrapped in glad wrap to stop the sand from getting in. Beach picnics - they had it nailed!
Chilli chicken and avocado rolls - mum even managed to jam in some lettuce. This is what we ate at the beach and the menu rarely changed. I remember being handed one, picking a spot in the sun, and demolishing mine in minutes. The rest of our stomachs would be filled with watermelon. Feeling very satisfied and extremely bloated, I’d join my cousins back in the water. Apparently you’re not supposed to swim after you’ve eaten, but I can say with certainty, that myth has been discredited by the 14 of us!
The moral of this story is - you might be carrying a beach umbrella, dragging an esky, supervising four young children crossing the road, and picking up the towels they’ve dropped. Nevertheless, you must always find time to prepare good food. Not junk food, not processed food, just real honest food. This teaches children to eat nutritious food, and build healthy eating habits. Trust me … I would know!
2 x chicken breast fillets
¼ cup plain flour
1/3 cup olive oil for shallow frying
¼ cup store-bought sweet chilli sauce
1 long baguette
2 tbsp. whole egg mayo
1 large ripe avocado
2 big handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves
1. Trim any fat off the chicken breasts and cut each breast into 3 thin strips
2. Toss chicken strips in plain flour until well coated
3. Heat a large fry pan with olive oil and add the chicken strips to the pan. Shallow fry until golden and cooked through, making sure to turn the chicken pieces
4. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
5. Remove any excess oil before returning the chicken to the pan. Add the sweet chilli sauce to the pan and give the pan a shake to coat the chicken. Cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the fry pan and set aside to cool
6. Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin and into a bowl. Use a fork to mash the avocado
7. Slice-open the baguette. Spread one side with mayo and the other with mashed avocado. Lay the chicken on top of the avocado and finish with mixed lettuce leaves.
8. Slice the baguette into 4 rolls and serve