Half a pumpkin, two beetroots and a few broccoli stems. That was the extent of our supplies one Monday night. 

To be fair, we did have some meat in the fridge, but after a heavy Sunday roast,  the whole family felt like a light vegetarian dinner. 

With my vegetable box due in the next 48 hours, I didn’t want to shop for extra and actually was keen to see if we could end up with a meal big enough to feed the four of us.

Truth be told, it was quite a fun challenge, reminding me of cooking on the boat. While cruising, it’s always been an exercise to come up with delicious and nutritious meals using whatever is available. I would read recipes of classic dishes and end up dreaming up ways to use the local produce, mixing up flavours and textures. Far from seeing myself as a recipe developer, it was more about making do with what was on hand and experimenting.   

Over the years, I have learnt a lot from locals showing me the ropes, reading tons of cookbooks and of course cooking. Drawing on this knowledge, and to this day, I mostly start cooking by focusing on one ingredient and building the meal around it. 

So I present you with our latest meatless Monday feast:

Roasted pumpkin with  garlic cream sauce

Puy lentils and broccoli stems salad

Warm salad of beetroot and red onions

A typical no-waste kind of meaI, I  am pleased to say that there was plenty to eat, thanks to a deep forage into the pantry and the crisper. A little imagination helps too. 


Roasted Pumpkin with garlic sauce

Serves 4


800g pumkpin, peeled and cubed

Olive oil

Garlic cream ( store bought ) or try NQN’s recipe

Greek yoghurt

Chili flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin and enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt.
  3. Transfer to a parchment lined baking tray and roast for 30 min or until tender and lightly charred
  4. Take out of the oven and rest for 5min
  5. In the meantime, in a small bow, combine equal quantities of garlic cream and yoghurt
  6. Transfer warm pumpkin to a serving plate. Drizzle garlic cream sauce and sprinkle with chili flakes to taste.   
  7. Serve warm

Puy Lentils and broccoli stem salad

Serves 6


1 cup puy lentils, rinsed

3 cups water

1 bay leaf

3 cups broccoli stems, trimmed and grated ( I use the grater attachment of my food processor, it takes seconds )

A handful of parsley 

Mustard vinaigrette

1tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

6 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

  1. Put lentils, bay leaf and water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered,  for 20 min or until lentils are tender. 
  2. In the meantime make the mustard vinaigrette: in a small bowl, wish together all ingredients until the mixture thicken. Put aside.
  3. Drain the excess water of the lentils, discard the bay leaf and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the grated broccoli stems and mustard vinaigrette. Mix well.
  5. Sprinkle with parsley, season with salt and pepper 
  6. Serve at room temperature

Beetroot and red onion  salad

Serves 4-6


2 medium beetroots, peeled and quartered

1 large red onion, peeled and quartered

Olive oil

1 cup pecan nuts, lightly toasted

A large handful of salad mix

Mustard Vinaigrette

Mint leaves for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Place beetroots and red onion in a large bowl, coat well with oil and transfer to a parchment lined baking tray.
  3. Bake in  the oven for 30 min or until vegetables are tender ( onions will be charred on the outside, beetroot should be easily pierced with a skewer )
  4. Line a large serving plate with a bed of salad mix, cover with the roasted vegetables and dress with mustard vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans and garnish with a handful of mint leaves.
  5. Serve at room temperature.


    • I know right? It’s generally one salad for 2, but when there are 4 of us, I add variety to cater for different tastes and appetites!

Leave a Reply