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Food, Home & Garden

Asparagus and pea vichyssoise

Asparagus and pea vichyssoise

Based on the classic leek and potato soup, this version has asparagus and sugar snap peas added, and it is enriched with yogurt rather than cream for a lighter, lower–fat result. Traditionally served chilled, the soup can also be served hot, so it is ideal for days when the weather is changeable.

Penne rigati with sesame and orange dressing

Penne rigati with sesame and orange dressing

This fresh–flavoured pasta salad is ideal as a side dish with grilled chicken or firm fish, such as fresh tuna or swordfish. It makes a healthy change from pasta dressed with oil or butter and parmesan cheese.

Bacon and mushroom kebabs

Bacon and mushroom kebabs

In this dish, three favourite breakfast ingredients – bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes – are cooked on skewers with new potatoes and yellow squash. The kebabs are served on toasted ciabatta with a refreshing citrus salad. Enjoy them for brunch at the weekend or as a midweek supper.

Piquant pasta and tuna salad

Piquant pasta and tuna salad

The dressing for this colourful salad has a sweet sour flavour, which perfectly complements the lightly cooked zucchini, tuna, tomatoes and al dente pasta. Serve the salad cool, but not chilled, or try it while it is still warm. Mini pita bread is good served alongside, to mop up the dressing.

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Pork pot-stickers with spicy peanut salad

Pork pot-stickers with spicy peanut salad

These fragrant Chinese–style pasta purses are made with wonton wrappers, available from Asian supermarkets. They are part fried, then simmered in stock and served on a bed of green leaves with a salad of crunchy vegetables, peanuts and coriander. Serve as a starter.

Radiatori with white beans in tomato dressing

Radiatori with white beans in tomato dressing

When beans and pasta are eaten together, the vegetable proteins combine to provide as good a source of protein as meat. Here, tender cannellini beans partner chunky pasta in a salad with celery, capsicum and artichokes. A well–flavoured dressing marries the ingredients perfectly.

Rigatoni with garlicky sausage

Rigatoni with garlicky sausage

Eggplant can contribute succulent texture to pasta sauces. Here, the eggplant provides the perfect complement to tasty sausage and olives, simmered with canned cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs. Tossed with pasta, the result is a speedy, well–balanced meal that tastes terrific.

Rotolo of ricotta and spinach

Rotolo of ricotta and spinach

This is an attractive recipe to serve as a main dish, and it is equally good served as a first course, when it will provide 8 portions. Serve a fresh, crisp green salad as an accompaniment, taking advantage of the wide range of leaves and green vegetables that can be eaten raw.

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Rustic grilled vegetable and rigatoni salad

Rustic grilled vegetable and rigatoni salad

Mixed grilled vegetables, such as capsicum, tomato and eggplant, are delicious with chunky pasta in a tangy dressing. Serve this salad as a light lunch or offer it as an accompaniment for grilled poultry or meat, when it will serve 6 or 8.

Saffron couscous

Saffron couscous

Serve this salad warm or cool as a main dish for 4, or as a main course accompaniment for 6. Either way, it is a flavoursome low–fat vegetarian dish that has real meal appeal. Saffron, which brings the taste and colour of the Middle East to the couscous, is available from supermarkets.

Souffl-topped pasta bake

Soufflé-topped pasta bake

A topping lightened with whisked eggwhites and finished with a sprinkling of parmesan can make a simple pasta and vegetable bake very special. You can use a wide variety of vegetables with the pasta in this easy version of a soufflé. Serve with a salad of curly endive and watercress.

Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

Here's a new lower–fat version of one of the pasta classics, a full–flavoured meat sauce tossed with spaghetti and served with parmesan. There's less beef than in traditional recipes, but low–fat chicken livers enrich the sauce. Serve with a spinach, tomato and onion salad and bread.

Spaghetti carbonara with roasted tomato salad

Spaghetti carbonara with roasted tomato salad

This version of an all–time favourite makes use of lower–fat dairy products and dry–cured ham instead of bacon to make a healthier dish with no compromise on flavour. To complete the meal, a salad suggestion is included, but you can always make your own favourite salad.

Spaghettini with seafood

Spaghettini with seafood

Cooked in a delicious wine–enriched tomato sauce, a nutritious mix of seafood makes an elegant partner for the long thin pasta called spaghettini. Prepare a leafy mixed side salad with a wide variety of attractive and flavoursome greenery to go with this dinner party main course.

Pasta frittata

Pasta frittata

Pasta is a convenient and delicious alternative to potato in omelettes, especially if you have some left over from a previous meal. This version, flavoured with ham and packed with vegetables, is complemented by a zucchini and tomato salad. It makes a simple but satisfying lunch.

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