You don't have to be a vegetarian to love vegetarian food.

Chunky broccoli slaw with apricots

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 11:28 pm November 28, 2009

These days, two topics dominate both media coverage and personal conversations. Seriously, have any of us gone one full day in the past year without hearing anything about either the budget crisis or what is called the obesity crisis? Well, here is a recipe that, in its own way, addresses both issues.

If you want to save money on your food budget, one the best ways to do so is to make the most of your ingredients. A great deal of what most people normally throw in the trash could actually go towards making meals.

For example, instead of throwing away your carrot and onion peels, keep them in the freezer until you have filled up a freezer bag. Then use all those trimming to make a vegetable stock. Not only have you made the most of something you have already bought but you save yourself having to pay for store bought stock or stock cubes.

When, I was in the States, I discovered broccoli slaw. I guess this is something that became popular after I left the States to move to the UK because I hadn’t even heard of it until recently. Basically, it is just like coleslaw but instead of cabbage the main ingredient is shredded broccoli. It turned out to be really very tasty. Also, depending on the dressing you use for the broccoli slaw recipe it can be very healthy. Broccoli is, after all, a super food.

Upon my return to the UK, I decided to try to figure out how to make my own broccoli slaw recipe since it isn’t available in British supermarkets. When I investigated what went into making a broccoli slaw I found out that the broccoli used is actually the broccoli stem. How great is that? Something which the vast majority of us just chop off and throw away can be used to make something so tasty and healthy. You simply use a vegetable peeler to take off the top layer of the broccoli stem and then you are ready to make your broccoli slaw recipe.

So, in one full swoop you can take on both the budget and obesity crisis by making this tasty low fat and healthy broccoli slaw recipe. I cut the vegetables chunky because that way I can have it has a side dish when I want but I can also have it as a lunch salad all on its own if I desire. Plus, I am usually too lazy to pull out the food processor to shred them.

Chunky broccoli slaw with apricots


45 grams broccoli stem
85 grams carrots
70 grams green cabbage
55 grams law fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon skim milk
25 grams dried apricots


1. Peel the carrots and broccoli stalk and then cut them into matchstick sized pieces.
2. Use a knife to shred the cabbage and put into a large bowl with the carrots and broccoli.
3. In another bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, onion flakes and milk until well combined.
4. Fold the vegetable mixture into the mayo mixture until all of the vegetables are covered in the dressing.
5. Slice the dried apricots into thin slices and fold into the slaw mixture.
6. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so and then serve.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Fresh pesto and tomato salad

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 3:29 pm September 28, 2009

Often it is the recipes with the most simple of ingredients that really pop. I came up with this zippy fresh vegetarian salad idea nearly straight after I made a homemade pesto recipe for the first time ever in my life. Honestly, I don’t why I waited this long to learn  how to make my own pesto sauce. I guess, I am conditioned to think that sauce you buy in a little jar on the supermarket shelf is going to be too complicated to make at home.

Fresh pesto tomato salad

Boy, is that wrong when it comes to making your own pesto recipe ! For guidance, on how to make my own pesto sauce, I went to the recipe collections of one of the cooking gurus of Recipezaar – Kittencal. As well as having nearly 4,000 (!) recipes posted on Recipezaar, Kittencal also has her very own Kittencal’s Kitchen blog.

I knew she had a pesto recipe, so I went looking for it on her blog and found Kitten’s Best Pesto recipe. It was only me in the house and I wasn’t sure if I would mess up making my own pesto sauce. So, I decided to only make a half batch of the pesto. I followed her recipe to the letter with the only difference being that I toasted my pine nuts in a pan just before putting them into the recipe.

Want to know how easy it was to make my own pesto? I stuck the basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil into my mini chopper. Yup, I didn’t even have to get the actual food processor out. Which is great because I truly hate cleaning up my big food processor after I use it. Then I wizzed it up for a bit before opening it up and chucking in the cheese, some salt and some pepper and giving it maybe about 30 seconds of whizzing. Done! I mean, seriously that was too easy.

Of course, the proof is in the tasting. So, I dipped my spoon in and tasted my first ever homemade pesto recipe. I swear, as the pesto sauce hit my tongue it was as if my taste buds came alive and started to dance the can-can. No store bought pesto sauce ever tasted that good. The only problem was that if I was going to stop myself eating the whole batch of pesto sauce with a spoon (which I totally would have done!) then I needed a recipe for it.

I took a look in my veggie drawer and really, I couldn’t get past wanting to pare the fresh pesto sauce with the ripe vine tomatoes I had. For a while, I was leaning towards doing a tomato and pesto sandwich on granary bread. I still think that would taste really good but instead I went for this super fresh tasting pesto and tomato salad.

Try this but really, if you don’t make your own fresh pesto for it then you aren’t getting the full impact of the recipe. Try making your own fresh pesto recipe. It really is stupid easy!

Fresh pesto and tomato salad



1 medium tomato, sliced fairly thickly
1 tablespoon pesto sauce, fresh is best
1/2 teaspoon pine nuts, toasted


1. Lay the tomato slices out on a plate with the ends just overlapping.
2. Drizzle the fresh pesto liberally over the tomato slices.
3. Scatter with your toasted pine nuts and enjoy.

Serves: 1