Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Pasta salad with olives and roast garlic

I started out making pasta when I moved out of home, at age 17, featuring a crisper worth of vegetables plus some pesto from a jar. (Wry smile thinking about the strange tiles of pumpkin I used to cut, and the undercooked eggplant. But I was doing a good job of eating vegetables at least!) Continue reading Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Stir-fried courgette and seasonal greens

We grew a great zucchini (courgette) in our garden this year – as soon as I saw its first baby fruits in pre-flower stage, like long curved pencils drooping downwards, I knew I liked this fellow a lot! It’s an Italian heirloom called Tromboncino and it appealed because it could climb up a trellis, and also because regular zucchini hasn’t worked for me in recent years … Continue reading Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Gado gado with homemade sprouts

Roasted peanuts, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves for satay sauce in food processorSatay (peanut) sauce and gado gado

My five-year-old daughter surprised me the other day and asked for some sprouts in her kinder snack box. I looked at her and said, ‘What, do you mean plain?’ And she said ‘Yes – a container of sprouts, with a spoon please Mum.’ I almost said, ‘Are you sure?’ but stopped myself. Continue reading Gado gado with homemade sprouts

Sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

purple and green beansSweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

In April 2012 the Hungry Girls were invited to do a guest blog for American website Design Sponge, and we settled on this favourite salad. It’s a jumble of soft-roasted chunks of sweet potato and regular potato, caramelised onion, crunchy green beans and juicy tomatoes – plus lashings of parsley and just enough Spanish smoked paprika for an element of spice.  Continue reading Sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

Green bean, coconut and yoghurt salad

Green bean, yoghurt and coconut salad

Tonight at dinner our 18-month-old daughter finally decided that beans are pretty good. We didn’t have to cut them up into little pieces and ask her to ‘go quick’, which is a silly game that involves her stuffing as much into her mouth as fast as possible, and sometimes ends with the food dribbling back out (we resort to it only if we’re getting a bit desperate). We also didn’t have to scatter tinned tuna on top like I did the other day at lunch, or sneak bean pieces in on chopsticks hiding behind something else more appealing. Instead she sat there with a half-eaten bean wobbling in her hand as if to say, you know what, Mum and Dad, these aren’t bad. ‘Maw’ she said after she’d eaten that one, and I thought, hurray! Continue reading Green bean, coconut and yoghurt salad