Category Archives: Vegetarian

Day 13 – Spinach and Fetta Rolls

 Blame my son. He turned up in Melbourne recently with his girlfriend and after introductions were made – and a soothing cup of tea to ease my acute nerves – he gently told me both of them were vegetarian. To which my response was, ‘Yes, and?’

I think we can safely say I have that side of things covered off.  And while I didn’t bat an eyelid, it was a good excuse as any to make a round of these rolls on what turned out to be the first really cold day of the year.  Continue reading Day 13 – Spinach and Fetta Rolls

Day 13 – Chilli Beans and Lentils

From 2011, this meal may not be the prettiest, but it has been consistently popular since it was first published. I have updated the recipe to include the vital step of rapid pre-cooking of dried beans but if you don’t want the fuss or bother, tinned beans are perfectly fine. 

Is it authentic chilli if it doesn’t have meat in it?

I used up some pantry items, added some spices, stirred through  the remains of some pumpkin and onions that needed using up and then, with a nod to my mate Iain, stirred through some chocolate at the end.

Continue reading Day 13 – Chilli Beans and Lentils

Day 8 – Pumpkin and Chickpea Burgers

First published in 2010, this recipe was a riff on a favourite meal from a local café near my work. Thankfully, you can make a meal for four people for the same cost as a bought lunch for one.  It’s today’s suggestion for Meat-Free Week. 

Oh, come now. Eat your vegies. With a dollop of sour cream and sweet chilli sauce on top, it’s the best good-for-you food you are likely to eat all week.

And besides, with cheap-as-chips chickpeas and in-season pumpkin, this is nourishing, filling and incredibly tasty. Make a few more patties, freeze them between sheets of freezer wrap and have them ready to cook for a speedy mid-week meal the next time around.

Continue reading Day 8 – Pumpkin and Chickpea Burgers

Day 5 – Cauliflower Pakoras

Pakoras are fritters: Vegetable fritters. And if I was to simply leave it at that, you would never know just how sensational these crispy, warmly spiced flavour bombs are.

The batter is usually made with besan, a chickpea flour. You can buy it in large supermarkets, oddly positioned in the health food aisle, or you can find it in Indian grocers or in spice shops. It’s worth seeking out, as it makes a crispy, nutty flavoured batter. Continue reading Day 5 – Cauliflower Pakoras

Day 1 – Suzanne's Chana Pulao

Every now and then I struggle for inspiration in the kitchen. Those of you who have about a dozen recipes or less in your repertoire would I’m sure read this and be tempted to throw something at their computer screen. Or at my fat head for being so insensitive. And that’s okay, because it does make me sound like a sanctimonious cow. Continue reading Day 1 – Suzanne's Chana Pulao

Christmas – Mark's Herbed Roasties

This is part of the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.


Over the last few years I have lost count of friends who have told me they feel nervous about cooking for me. This is a tremendous shame for many reasons: First of all, I would never, NEVER want my friends to feel nervous around me for any reason. Secondly, I cook so much and so frequently that I am pathetically grateful for a toasted cheese sandwich if it means I don’t have to do it myself. Thirdly, I’m not exactly a food snob – I haven’t reached that point where only the very best is good enough and if I ever do reach that point, I hope my friends bitch-slap me back to reality. Continue reading Christmas – Mark's Herbed Roasties

Day 2 – Sweet Potato and Scorched Onion Skordalia

I confess, I often overlook sweet potato. It’s not that I don’t love it, it’s just that I have to make a conscious effort to add it to my shopping list. I don’t seize upon it the way I would asparagus, or pomegranate. Or ordinary food-coma inducing white potato.

What will seize my imagination every time is a good price and sweet potato were very well priced at my local markets last week, so I grabbed a couple. Continue reading Day 2 – Sweet Potato and Scorched Onion Skordalia

Day 1 – Pasta with Roast Pumpkin, Pesto and Tomato

My lovely friend Rosie took me for a drive to Cowes on Phillip Island a couple of weeks ago.  Cocooned as I have been in Melbourne’s inner north, the drive through the south-eastern suburbs and out into Gippsland was at once recognisable and delightfully new.  It reminded me of the places I had once lived, when I was growing up, when I was a happy newlywed, when I had babies… Continue reading Day 1 – Pasta with Roast Pumpkin, Pesto and Tomato

Day 11 – Carrot, Fennel and Orange Salad

This beautiful salad was a happy combination of good luck  and good management. I saw a link to a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi on Twitter and bookmarked it the moment I realised I had all the ingredients ready to go.

This is a sensational salad worthy of your consideration even though you might think that salads are only enjoyable in the heat of summer. If it helps you, think of this as some warm roasted vegetables tossed with a piquant orange dressing. Continue reading Day 11 – Carrot, Fennel and Orange Salad

Day 9 – Orecchiette with Broccoli

Autumn arrived on time in Melbourne this year, blowing in on a southerly change that plunged the temperatures more than fifteen degrees within a day of high summer. Fires were stoked, winter doonas were unpacked. People tweeted their appreciation. Outside, it rained and a cold wind blew.

So I went to the markets. Continue reading Day 9 – Orecchiette with Broccoli