Salads and Sides

Hearty Veg Stew

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Dairy free, Gluten free
By author Jamie Oliver
This hearty veg stew features readily available, inexpensive vegetables that are superfoods in their own rights. It will warm you from the inside out. the best thing about this dish is that it can be served multiple ways.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 Large leak (outer leaves removed, sliced roughly)
  • 1/2 Large sugarloaf cabbage (roughly chopped)
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas (still frozen - do not thaw - unless actually using fresh peas!)
  • 1 bunch broccolini (roughly chopped, stalks and all)
  • 3/4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 can butter or canneloni beans (400g - rinsed and drained of their juices)
  • 1 Large handful of mint leaves (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Large handful of parsley leaves (roughly chopped)
  • sea salt and pepper to season
  • 4 marinated artichoke (from the deli section - chopped into 4 pieces each)


Preparing your tools
1. You will need a large, but shallow frying pan, a spatula for stirring while cooking, a sharp knife and a chopping board.
Fire up
2. Place the frypan over medium heat with the olive oil in it. Allow to heat up. Then toss in the leak and garlic to start and cook for 3-5 minutes until sweating and translucent.
Add the rest
3. Add the cabbage next and stir well for about 3 minutes. Then add your chicken stock, broccolini, butter beans and your frozen peas. Cook this over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through.
Finish things off
4. Turn off the heat, season well with salt and pepper and toss your fresh herbs through and your chopped artichoke.


I adopted this hearty veg stew from a Jamie Oliver recipe - his Italian vegetable stew. I could not get hold of fresh artichoke and broad beans are difficult to find so I heavily varied his recipe and the herbs at the end are really the only remaining similarity.

This is not a strong, flavoursome dish, so if you prefer bolder flavours ensure you purchase a really good quality stock or make a more concentrated stock from stock cubes / powder. Season the dish well with extra herbs and salt and pepper.

Leeks, cabbage and legumes are such inexpensive foods and yet they do offer us a lot of nutrition – many people may find them bland. Hopefully this dish dresses them up a bit and inspires a few people to try them for a change.

The thing I love most about this dish is it can be served many different ways. The first night I cooked it, I served it aside some roasted pumpkin and steak (pictured above). Then the second night we had it tossed through some brown rice with grilled salmon on top. The next day I served the rest of the rice and stew with grilled chicken for lunch. It makes 5-6 generous portions as a side dish.

This is a side dish and really only ticks the box for a little healthy fat (olive oil) and a little carbohydrate (legumes). Please make sure this is served alongside some protein to adhere to all TBN criteria for a ‘healthy, complete, balanced meal.’

Please tag #tbn or #thebalancednutritionist if you give this hearty veg stew a go this winter.

Anytime Hash

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Fish, Milk, Soy, Wheat
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Side Dish
Misc Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegetarian
This vegetable hash is quick, simple and suitable for any meal be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or in between.


  • 12 Brussel sprouts (Sliced into 4 pieces lengthways)
  • 1 cup sweet potato (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1 bunch Broccolini (stem and head - chopped roughly)
  • 1 cob of corn (kernels sliced off)
  • 1 onion (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped, grated or crushed)
  • 1 capsicum (any colour, diced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil (heaped tablespoons)
  • 1 pinch chilli powder (to taste)
  • Sea salt and pepper (to season well)


Preparing your tools
1. You will need a chopping board, a shallow but large frypan, a wooden spoon or similar for stirring your hash a sharp chopping knife.
Chop your vegetables
2. Chop / prepare your vegetables as specified in the recipe. The onion and garlic will go in together first, followed by the broccolini, sweet potato and brussel sprouts, followed by the corn and capsicum.
3. Place the frypan over medium heat on the stove. Melt the butter or coconut oil. Then add your onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes until translucent. Next, add your chopped brussel sprouts, sweet potato and broccolini - for the next 5-7 minutes stir this intermittently whilst these cook. They should retain their bright colour and crunch but still cook through.
Add your capsicum, pinch of chilli and corn kernels and continue cooking and tossing your vegetables for a further 3-4 minutes. There should be ample butter/ coconut oil to ensure all off the vegetables are well coated and develop a lovely crisp texture.
4. At the last minute, add a generous pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and serve.


This dish is rich in cruciferous vegetables which contain diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM is used in concentrated, therapeutic dosages in nutritional medicine, to assist with phase 1 metabolism of oestrogen. This pathway may be obstructed in women exhibiting oestrogen dominant symptoms or conditions.

In this dish, sweet potato and to a lesser extent corn provides a source of carbohydrate, healthy fats are included as butter or coconut oil and clearly the dish is plant based. A tick for the TBN formula. To make this a complete meal, you do need to serve it with a protein. I have found it to be a lovely accompaniment to pan fried salmon and it also works nicely with steak. Pictured, I have used it as a filling for breakfast omelettes too – it really is ‘anytime hash.’

Good quality fats as well as the seasoning make this dish so please don’t skimp on these key ingredients.

Another good one to use up leftovers as you can of course vary the vegetables you use. I chose humble, nutrient rich veg that we sometimes forget all about – such as brussel sprouts. Everyone needs more brussel sprouts in their life! Consider variations such as subbing the sprouts for cabbage. I do recommend you stick with ‘crunchy’ vegetables and the corn adds a sweet burst of flavour.

(This dish is quite low carb and some may be better to add additional starch. Not sure if you have your macros balanced? Then book a consult here.)

Easy Pesto

Serves 6-8
Prep time 2 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Dairy free, Gluten free
This pesto is a great base for other pesto combinations. Add extra olive oil or even a little yoghurt if you prefer a smoother pesto and mix up your herbs for variety.


  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 1 bunch dill leaves (or use 2 bunches of basil)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 juice of half a lemon
  • 1 pinch sea salt


1. Combine all ingredients in a powerful food processor and blend to desired consistency.


This is a base recipe only.

Use seasonal herbs - coriander and mint pesto makes a great topping for Asian stir fries.

Store pesto in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. it can be used on homemade pizzas, tossed through pasta (such as the buckwheat pasta salad that follows) and as a topping for crackers. Enjoy.

Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Serves 4-5
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Gluten free, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Vegetarian
Website Inspired by Cyndi O'Meara's salad with slight variations.


  • 1 cup Quinoa (measured dry)
  • 1 Medium Capsicum (chopped roughly)
  • 15 Snow peas (approximately)
  • 1 handful Raisins (or substitute with 1 roughly chopped apple)
  • 1 Large Carrot (grated)
  • 6 shallots (finely chopped, or sub with red onion)
  • 2 cups Sweet potato (roasted, or substute for pumpkin)
  • 1 Large Handful of coriander (chopped)
  • 1 Large Handful of basil (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil (or sub for macadamia oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped or crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (finely chopped or grated)
  • juice of half a lemon (can be omitted)
  • 2 handfuls Nuts or seeds (such as cashew nuts or sunflower / pumpkin seeds)


1. Firstly, I recommend cooking your quinoa the evening before or at least an hour before you prepare the rest of the salad so it cools somewhat. I tend to cook mine the evening before and simply leave it in the fridge overnight. To cook the quinoa, measure 1 cup dry, add 2 cups water and bring to the boil. Then simmer it on very low for about 20 minutes until all water is absorbed and it appears fluffy.
2. When ready to make your salad, firstly chop your pumpkin or sweet potato into rough cubes and coat with olive oil. Roast on 200 degrees until starting to brown (this will take about 15-20 minutes). Meanwhile, roughly chop your capsicum, herbs and snow peas and grate the carrot. Add these vegetables into a large bowl with your precooked quinoa. Then, toss your raisins and nuts / seeds through the salad. (If you are using nuts and they are 'raw' I highly recommend lightly roasting them for a couple of minutes in a hot oven before adding them to the salad as it will enhance the flavour and the crunch.)
3. To make the dressing, combine the oil, tamari, lemon juice, garlic and ginger in a small glass jar and shake to combine. Please note that the dressing is still lovely and the dish tastes complete even without the lemon juice. Pour the dressing over the top of the salad and toss through the warm roasted pumpkin / sweet potato once it is cooked.
4. Serve this salad as is for a light meal or as a side salad to a protein source. Its a great addition to a summer BBQ. My favourite way to enjoy this salad is by tossing smoked salmon through at the end with the pumpkin. This makes it perfect after a workout as its packed with omega 3 and a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates.


Serves 4-5 as a main meal. Would serve more if used as a side dish. As specified, I like to toss 200g of smoked salmon through this salad and it yields dinner and lunch the following day for 2 people plus extra leftover.

As you can see, there are plenty of variations on the ingredients which means you don't need to panic if you don't have all the exact ingredients. This dressing is lovely and once you have made it once you may want to make a bigger batch next time and use it on other salads. It keeps well in a sealed jar in the fridge for over a week. What makes this salad so nice is the sweetness from the raisins / apple with the sharpness of the ginger, the crunch of the vegetables and the deliciousness of roast vegetables and quinoa.

Bacon Red Cabbage Bonanza

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Dairy free, Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Snacks
By author What Kate Ate (Nutrition for Life)


  • 1/2 Red cabbage (finely chopped)
  • 2 Rashers Bacon (chopped roughly)
  • 1 Pomegranate (seeds only - pop them out)
  • Feta cheese (crumbled - about 2 'handfuls')
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds (1 large handful)
  • Almonds (roughly chopped - i handful)


1. Fry the bacon off in a little bit of coconut oil until crispy.
2. Add the finely chopped red cabbage and cook on medium to high heat for about 15 minutes. Red cabbage does need more cooking time then normal cabbage.
3. When cabbage is almost cooked, toss through the pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, nuts and feta cheese. Optional: add some chopped parsley. Serve either on its own or as a side to steak or chicken.


Serves 4 as a side. If you are making this the main event, I suggest making a bigger batch, you will want leftovers! When I made this, I was out of feta cheese so I had to omit that and it was still super tasty.

Roast Cauliflower and Pumpkin soup

Serves 5-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Dairy free, Gluten free, Lunch, Main Dish, Soup, Vegetarian
Misc Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Vegetarian


  • 1/2 Medium Jap pumpkin (or seasonal variety- see recipe notes)
  • 1/2 Large Cauliflower
  • 1l Chicken stock
  • 2 Brown onions
  • 4 cloves Garlic (adjust for personal preference)
  • 3 stalks Celery (not a critical ingredient)
  • 200ml Thick cream (or coconut cream for dairy free version)
  • Salt, pepper and coconut oil
  • 2 Bacon rashes (Omit for vegetarian option - not a critical ingredient but lends extra flavour)


1. Remove seeds and skin from your pumpkin and chop roughly into 5cm chunks. Trim cauliflower into large chunks. Place pumpkin and cauliflower on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush both with coconut oil. Roast in a hot oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 30-40 minutes or until both start to brown. Roasting lends a completely different flavour to the soup.
2. Melt a small amount of coconut oil in a deep saucepan and fry off the finely chopped onion, garlic, celery and bacon. Add the chicken stock and bring this to the boil. Add the roasted pumpkin and cauliflower chunks and turn heat to low. Cook for about 2 hours on very low heat OR if time poor, cook on a strong simmer until well cooked through.
3. Transfer the above mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the stove and stir through cream over low heat until heated through. Season very liberally with salt and pepper. This makes a large batch and it will keep well for lunches.


I didn't weigh my pumpkin or cauliflower, but as I said I used half a Jap pumpkin and 1/2 a large cauli. I imagine this equates to about 1kg of pumpkin and approximately 600g of cauliflower (mine was a large one). If Jap are not in season, any variety would work. Be intuitive with this recipe - you can adjust the proportions and get different flavours. The bacon and celery can both be omitted, they are not critical to the recipe - they simply add extra flavour and nutrients. If you have other vegetables to use up, why not add some of them?

This is a great recipe to have bubbling on the stove on a Sunday in the cooler months as it has you sorted for lunches for the next couple of days.

I was happy to be able to create this recipe in order to use up the roadside pumpkin I picked up on my roadtrip on the weekend. This was pair nicely with some vegie bread.

Roast Vegetable Salad

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Dairy free, Gluten free, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Dairy free, Gluten free, Lunch


  • 1 to 1 1/3 cup Cooked Quinoa (This is about 1/3 uncooked)
  • 1/4 Pumpkin (about 400g)
  • 2 Medium Zucchinis (Or 6 mini zucchinis if you can get hold of them)
  • 2-3 Medium Carrots
  • 3 handfuls Fresh spinach or rocket or lettuce of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Olives
  • 100g Fetta cheese (Goats fetta if dairy intolerant)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil or avocado oil to dress (Quality counts. It tastes so much better)
  • Sea salt / himalayan salt and pepper (For seasoning)


1. To cook your quinoa, place 1/3 of a cup dry in 2/3 cup of water in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat until boiling. Reduce to low and keep it on the stove until all water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove the lid so it cools slightly. This can be done ahead, for example in the morning or the evening before.
Then, preheat your oven, 200-220 degrees Celsius. Chop the pumpkin roughly into cubes about 1.5cm each. Chop the carrot and zucchini into thick slices. Place all of these vegetables into a large bowl - I suggest using you salad bowl you are going to serve the salad in - less washing up. Pour some good quality oil over your vegetables and toss until coated. Season well. Place on a baking tray lined with paper and roast until starting to brown.
Place cooked quinoa in the salad bowl. Pour roasted vegetables over the top. Allow to cool down - slightly warm is fine, hot is not good as your spinach will wilt too much. Toss through the roughly chopped fetta and finally toss through the spinach leaves and finish with more seasoning until desired.
Serve this simply with grilled chicken, steak or fish. Also works well with baked salmon threaded through it. This is my go to salad and preparation is minimum besides cooking the quinoa and roasting the vegetables.


Not sure about quinoa? No problems, use a different grain like rice until you gather the courage to try this :). Adapt the recipe to suit your tastes and feel free to add extra salad items. Please note the featured image has chicken breast pieces tossed throughout. Don't have all the ingredients in your fridge? Don't stress! This is lovely simply with fetta or cheese, spinach and pumpkin. Its all about variety and real ingredients! Enjoy.

Cauliflower Bacon Bake

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Dinner, Lunch
By author What Kate Ate - Nutrition for Life


  • 2 cloves Garlic (Finely chopped)
  • 50g Butter
  • 50gg Plain flour
  • 6 bacon shortcuts
  • 500ml Milk
  • 500g Broccoli (finely chopped or pulsed through food processor)
  • 100g Mature cheddar cheese
  • 700g Cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 2 sprigs Fresh thyme (finely chopped)
  • 25g Flaked almonds or any finely chopped nuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
Cook the garlic and butter in a medium pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour for a minute to make a paste, then gradually add the milk, whisking as you go, until lovely and smooth.
Add the broccoli and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and starts to break down, then mash or blitz with a stick blender (optional - you can leave it like this if preferred). Grate in half the cheddar and season to perfection with pepper and good quality salt. Whilst sauce is simmering, pan fry bacon until it starts to brown. Then set this aside.
Arrange the cauliflower in a baking dish, sprinkle over the bacon pieces, then pour over the broccoli white sauce and grate over the remaining cheddar. Sprinkle the thyme and nuts over the cauliflower cheese and bake for 40 mins - 1 hour, or until golden and cooked through.

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