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Food, Home & Garden

Sesame greens and bean sprouts

Sesame greens and bean sprouts

With a little inspiration even the most humble vegetables can be elevated to feature in unusual, well–flavoured side shes. This succulent stir–fry is full of flavour and crunch. It is ideal as part of an Asian menu or equally delicious with plain grilled fish, poultry or meat.

Carrot bread rolls

Carrot bread rolls

Just pull apart the rolls or ‘bubbles’ to eat this delicious bread for brunch or as a healthy snack or accompaniment with a meal. The yeast dough is flavoured with a fresh carrot purée, and grated carrots and spring onions add more colour and crunch.

Carrot soup with orange

Carrot soup with orange

Thickening soup with potato gives a velvety smooth result without adding the fat used in other traditional methods. Served either hot or chilled, this soup is ideal as a dinner–party starter all through the year.

Cauliflower with crispy crumbs

Cauliflower with crispy crumbs

The crispy golden topping in this simple side dish is usually made by frying the breadcrumbs in a generous quantity of butter. This version uses a modest portion of olive oil and fresh herbs to flavour a topping that tastes good with all steamed or boiled vegetables.

Celeriac dumplings in tomato broth

Celeriac dumplings in tomato broth

Fluffy white dumplings in a light tomato and vegetable broth make a delicious hearty lunch or supper. The soup can be made in advance, and the dumplings can be shaped and chilled to be simmered just before serving.

Chunky vegetable soup

Chunky vegetable soup

Although this is a hearty soup, laden with vegetables, it has a delicate flavour. Homemade stock is best, but you can use bought stock; if using a cube or powder, do not add additional salt at the beginning of cooking as you may find these products provide enough salt.

Ciabatta with garlic mushrooms

Ciabatta with garlic mushrooms

Garlic mushrooms make a delightful starter, but classic recipes tend to use generous quantities of butter. This version, pepped up with mustard, is deliciously buttery without being over–indulgent. A simple salad of finely shredded white cabbage and spring onion would be a good accompaniment.

Couscous Casablanca

Couscous Casablanca

Couscous is the staple food of much of North Africa, where it is often served topped with tender, colourful vegetables, drenched in delicious gravy and spiced with a traditional hot chilli sauce called harissa.

Crudits with three dip

Crudités with three dip

Few foods can be healthier than raw vegetable sticks, so make the most of them by serving them with tempting low–fat dips for a snack or instead of a formal first course. Or, for a light lunch, these quantities will serve 4. You could also offer a selection of fruit and warm pita bread for dipping.

Eggplant rolls

Eggplant rolls

Unlike many eggplant recipes which swim in oil, this one has just enough extra virgin olive oil to enrich and enhance the vegetables in a dish that goes down well with both vegetarians and meat–eaters. This is a great cook–ahead dish.

Eggs with spicy peas and lentils

Eggs with spicy peas and lentils

A little spice can turn a few everyday ingredients into something special. This simple, satisfying dish provides a wealth of vital vitamins and minerals and the right balance of essential protein and fibre. Serve with basmati rice and/or warm naan for plenty of energy–giving starchy carbohydrate.

Fruity vegetable muffins

Fruity vegetable muffins

Not only do grated vegetables and dried fruit add food value and flavour to these muffins, but they also make them deliciously moist. Unlike many muffins, these are not too sweet, so they are as good in a packed lunch or as a snack as they are for breakfast or a teatime treat.

Baked pumpkin with red onion and sage

Baked pumpkin with red onion and sage

Pumpkin is a versatile and easy–to–cook accompaniment for all sorts of main dishes. There are many types from the pale pear–shaped butternut pumpkin to the large blue–skinned Queensland blue and the popular jap pumpkin. Choose your favourite type for this recipe.

Herbed cheese bagels

Herbed cheese bagels

A little parsley adds a hint of freshness and colour to dishes, but when used in quantity its unique flavour can really be appreciated. It also makes a healthy contribution along with the vegetables to this delicious filling for bagels, which is based on creamy reduced–fat cream cheese.

Basil-scented sauted vegetables

Basil-scented sautéed vegetables

A large non–stick frying pan is ideal for sautéeing, the Western equivalent of stir–frying, based on quick cooking over high heat. This is a terrific method for preserving the colour of vegetables while bringing out their flavour to the full.

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