Vegetarian Italian Zucchini Pasta

Rustic Italian Vegetarian Zucchini Pasta

Meat-free Monday, again…

Meat-free Monday was upon us again, and sometimes, just sometimes, the ideas won’t flow as easily. A lot of times the best way to think of what to cook for supper is to open the fridge and see what ingredients are staring at you. I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends’ fridges are quite empty and they go to the grocery store each day buying specific ingredients for a dish. That is not how it is in our house. I buy a whole lot of ingredients at once and figure out what to cook with them as I go along. So, once again, these ingredients (zucchini, pesto and goats cheese) were in the fridge and I merely had to come up with an idea, hence this recipe. CONTINUE READING

Fresh Butternut & Carrot Salad

Lately, a lot of people have asked me to post a recipe for something easy to prepare on a weeknight. Well, you asked for it and here it is. 🙂

While it’s still autumn, let’s stick to the warm colours and loads of pumpkin!

We recently had a braai at our house and I had to make some side dishes. Having butternut in the house mostly all year round, I thought it would be easy to make use of this wonderful, versatile vegetable. Who says butternut can only be eaten cooked?

This salad is really easy to prepare just before the meat on the braai is cooked. The guests will hardly notice you were gone!

Dressing Before - FB

Dressing After - FB

Salad and Dressing - FB

Salad Bowl - FB

Salad Plating - FBPlating Angle - FB

Fresh Butternut & Carrot Salad

Served 4

Adapted from: Food Well Said


  • Salad Dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Wholegrain Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Red Onion
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salad:
  • ± 1½ Cups Shaved Butternut (± ½ of a very small butternut)
  • ± 1½ Cups Shaved Carrots (± 2 medium carrots)
  • 2 Cups Rocket (I prefer wild rocket, but normal rocket is also fine)
  • A Handful of Dates
  • A Handful of Sunflower Seeds
  • A Handful of Pumpkin Seeds


  1. To make the salad dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid. With the lid secured tightly, shake the jar vigorously until it is well combined and an emulsion has formed. Leave it in the refrigerator until later.
  2. To make the salad, peel the butternut and remove the seeds. With a peeler, shave the butternut to form long thin slices. Repeat this process with the carrots. There is no need to peel the carrots first – you can use the outer layer if is has been properly scrubbed with a brush to remove all of the soil. Less wastage!
  3. Combine the butternut, carrots and salad dressing in a mixing bowl. Allow to ‘marinate’ for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the dates into smaller pieces – whichever size you prefer.
  5. Over medium heat in a non-stick pan (without any oil), toast the seeds for a few minutes. Please stir them every ten or so seconds as they can burn easily. They will start popping when they are busy toasting. Once they are golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool completely. The seeds can be eaten raw, but I prefer the flavour of toasted seeds – it really does enhance the flavour and bring out a nutty taste that wasn’t there before.
  6. Carefully place the ‘marinated’ butternut and carrots on a platter or in a salad bowl. Add the rocket. Lastly, scatter the dates and seeds over the rocket. You can also combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and then empty onto a platter or into a salad bowl – it is entirely up to you and which look you are going for.
  7. I have added some goat’s cheese pecorino to this salad and it really works well. It is also recommended that you grate in fresh horseradish with the salad, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere, so I have added horseradish cream to my portion.
  8. Serve immediately.
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BTW – Toasted seeds are great as healthy snacks throughout the day! Read more about the benefits here and here.

Feel free to play around with the ingredients. Grating the butternut and carrots can also work!

Brown Lentil Greek Salad

Since my husband and I started with ‘Meat-free Mondays’, I have tried to make something different every time. Being a big meat lover, and taking into consideration my husband’s dietary preferences (no pasta or bread during the week), it sometimes gets difficult to think of something we have not tried before. My brain simply does not want to go into vegetarian mode.

My husband goes through these stages where he obsesses over something and eventually when he has had enough, he is (almost completely) over it (for what feels like forever). Let me give you an example. A few years ago he started to obsess over canned beetroot. He had it every single day for about 2 weeks. Being the thoughtful person I am, I made him some canned beetroot by spending my entire weekend cooking and canning them. I probably made 5 or 6 large glass jars full. He was really happy about it, until after the second day he decided that he has had enough of beetroot. Needless to say, we gave most of the glass jars away to friends and family.

Well, this time around he started to obsess over chickpeas for Meat-free Monday. He had chickpea salad at work for a few weeks and I eventually made him some chickpea salad, but after a few weeks my husband fell into old habits, and chickpeas were a thing of the past. Trying to incorporate some kind of protein in our Meat-free Monday dishes, I turned to brown lentils. Lentil bobotie sounds great, right, but let’s save that option for winter! 😉 While it is still sunny in South Africa, let’s keep it cool and refreshing. That is when I decided to take a simple salad (a Greek salad) and just mix it up a little – hence, brown lentil Greek salad.

Lentils are a really inexpensive form of protein and have a wide variety of health benefits. If you would like to know more about the health benefits of lentils, read this article.

Lentils are so easy to cook and we should all include them in our diets more often.

Lentils-and-Olives - @kreateryLentils-Cooking - @kreaterySalad-Dressing - @kreatery


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If you are curious about spiral slices, you can view them on & buy them from Yuppiechef.

Cucumber-Spirals Trio - @kreatery