Sweet little cabbage cakes


These are great, easy to whip-up little snacks or lunch-type patties that your children will love – provided you leave out the word ‘cabbage’ of course.

They only require a few simple ingredients that are most likely to be lurking in your fridge or freezer – namely sweetcorn (frozen or canned is fine), cabbage (I used a sweetheart cabbage, but any white cabbage is suitable) and eggs.

If you want to make them low carb, then skip the addition of flour. They’ll be a little more delicate and moist, but still hold together pretty well. Continue reading

Roasted aubergine towers

These little roasted aubergine towers make an impressive vegetarian dinner party dish. You can assemble them ahead of time and just lightly warm in the oven before serving. I’ve constructed these towers using my trio of beetroot fillings that I posted last week. Not only do they add an interesting mix of flavours, but they also create a vibrant collection of colours.

Of course, making all the fillings beforehand will be time consuming, so you could just settle on one strong flavour and use that. Some kind of pesto might be the obvious choice.

I made this dish just a few weeks ago, and already I’m thinking it looks so colourful and summery – and almost a little out of place as we plunge headlong into the more muted colours of autumn. I guess some roasted pumpkin or butternut squash would add a nice touch for this season. Continue reading

Orange and sesame glazed tofu

For many people, tofu is a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. Actually, I think a lot of people decide they hate it without ever even trying it. Maybe it’s the colour, or lack of it, or the perceived texture. Personally I really like it. It’s a good source of vegetarian-friendly protein, and you can jazz it up with all sorts of flavours, as it absorbs whatever you put it with.

It’s readily available in all the supermarkets, and as always, it’s better value if you buy it from one of the specialist Asian/Oriental stores.

This recipe is for a sweet citrus glaze, or if you decide not to reduce it so much, it could be more like a sauce. It’s light and refreshing and makes a very simple supper, served with crunchy green veg and some rice on the side. Continue reading

Paneer in a coriander, mint and chilli sauce

Paneer in a coriander, mint and chilli sauce

Paneer is a light Indian cheese that holds its shape when cooked and absorbs other flavours well

Paneer is an Indian cheese, and I sometimes see it referred to as Indian cottage cheese – but don’t expect the same consistency as the cottage cheese we know in the UK. It’s a firm, springy cheese that crumbles nicely. One of its great advantages is that it doesn’t melt when cooked but holds its shape perfectly, so it’s very suitable as a meat substitute when used in dishes with a sauce.

It isn’t salted either, so you can use a good quantity in a dish, in a way that you couldn’t with, say, haloumi or feta. Also, it absorbs its surrounding flavours beautifully, just like tofu, but is a much firmer, chewier texture. Continue reading

Lush red beetroot pachadi


Aside from being a beautiful, vibrant shade of red, this beetroot dish from Kerala, south India, is so easy to make. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the ingredients – it’s full of flavour and so creamy and moreish that I could probably polish off the whole lot in one go.

A pachadi is a vegetable side dish cooked with coconut or yoghurt and topped with tempered spices (usually chilli, mustards seeds, curry leaves and ginger). However, there’s no reason why this can’t be a light, healthy veggie lunch in itself.

You can make all kinds of pachadi (carrot or pineapple, for example) but here the combination of the sweet beetroot with the yoghurt and spice just creates something quite special. Looks impressive as a side serving at a dinner party too. Continue reading