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6th Feb 2020

Meal ideas for your dad this Father's Day

Posted by Emily Seddon

We all love our dads and want to keep them happy and healthy. We’ve got some meal ideas to keep him full, satisfied, well and strong.


Relish your reds:

Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene – a strong antioxidant found in tomatoes, capsicum, watermelon, carrot, guava & red cabbage. You guessed it, it’s part of what creates the red pigment of these foods and is super important for male reproductive health throughout their entire lives.

Cooked tomatoes are especially good to eat. The cooking increases the availability and absorption of its lycopene content compared to ripe tomatoes.

This explains why my dad is obsessed with veggie juice loaded with tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, celery and spinach, and also adds this red relish to everything! It goes on eggs, steak, salmon, sandwiches, anything at all!


Kathy’s Red Relish Recipe:

Makes roughly 50 servings.

  • 2kg ripe tomatoes.
  • 6 small chillies or capsicums.
  • 5 large brown onions.
  • 1 cup rice malt syrup.
  • 1 cup diced Medjool dates.
  • 1 ½ heaped tbs plain flour.
  • 2 level tbs mustard powder.
  • 2 level tbs curry powder.
  • ½ cup salt.
  • Malt vinegar to cover.


  1. Cut up tomatoes and onions, sprinkle with salt and stand overnight.
  2. Drain excess juice, cover with vinegar and boil for 5 minutes before adding rice malt syrup and dates.
  3. Blend dry ingredients with a little vinegar until moist.
  4. Add dry ingredients and chillies to mixture and simmer on stove top for one hour.
  5. Bottle into hot, sterilised jars and seal when cold.
  6. Fills approximately 4x 400ml jars. Store in the fridge.

Marinate your meat…

Marinades are mostly made of three parts: acids, oils and spices. The oil adds moisture, the spices enhance flavour and the acid helps to denature the proteins, or breakdown the meat, making it easier to digest. You can simply add a squeeze of lemon juice on the top of a freshly cooked steak to help to break down the protein, or whip up your own marinade.


… with beer!

If you’re making your own, consider adding in some beer. Not only does it tenderize the meat like an acid, a study in 2014 showed that it may also reduce the development of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in your meal. PAHs have the potential to cause free radical damage and increase oxidative stress in the body.

Researchers used three beers (a Pilsner, a non-alcoholic Pilsner and a black beer) on pork samples. After marinating for four hours, they cooked the pork over a hot charcoal grill and found all beverages demonstrated a positive effect against the formation of PAHs, while black beer was the most successful.


Make like a Mexican!

Mexican food is always a crowd-pleaser, simple to create and can suit people of all ages, tastes, shapes and sizes!

Some key dishes to remember:

  • Guacamole. It’s full of satiating healthy fats in the avocado to keep everyone full and less inclined to reach for sugary snacks.
  • Corn, tomato and bean salad. Adding in beans provides a rich source of vegetable protein, zinc and vitamin D. They also contain soluble fibre (which may help your dad to spend less time on the toilet).
  • Chicken nachos flavoured with cumin, paprika, garlic & coriander. Try swapping some (or all) of the corn chips for sweet potato wedges. You can trade the chicken for beans and chickpeas for your vegetarian friends too!
  • Mexican rice made with basmati or brown rice in passata (high in lycopene!), with some quinoa for a protein punch. Don’t forget to add in the veggie rainbow!


Get the grill going:

September marks the return of warmer weather to us in Australia – summer is coming! What a great opportunity to relax in the park or backyard for the afternoon, get some fresh air, Vitamin D and impress the family with your Frisbee skills.

A few tips to make the day as enjoyable as possible:

  • Fire up the barbecue and chuck on some fish. The oiler the fish, the higher its content of health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Make it a seafood celebration and include shellfish and oysters – both high in zinc.
  • Bake some root veggies (sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, parsnip, garlic and onion) ahead of time to enjoy with dips or in a salad. Saves the hassle once you’re in the park and ensures everyone tucks into some colourful veggies.


Don’t forget dessert!

Treat your dad to a dessert full of antioxidant-rich fruit and some Greek yoghurt.

Brazil nuts contain selenium and pumpkin seeds have zinc – both crucial for your dad’s ongoing health. Pomegranate in particular contains antioxidants specific for cardiovascular. and prostate health, as well as cognitive function. Why not add them as a feature on top for extra wow-factor!

Have a wonderful father’s day from all of us here at Australian NaturalCare!

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