Not the most popular...

Ask your children what veggies they like the most! Then ask them what veggies they dislike the most. I haven’t seen any stats in this regard but I’m pretty sure that the following will appear on a list of veggie dislikes:






Snap peas

So when the kids go to a sleepover, and you grown-ups are alone in the house, here’s your chance to enjoy the following recipes. Otherwise make one or more of the following dishes anyway and force the children to eat it. It’s good for them (as if that’s going to work. LOL😁)

30-minute brinjal and chickpea stew

This vegetarian stew is sure to be a winter favourite. It’s quick and easy and packed with spicy flavour.


  • 2 punnets (200g each) baby brinjals
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4cm knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) coriander seeds
  • ½ Tbsp (7ml) mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp (10ml) smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 packet (50g) tomato paste
  • 1 can (400g) Mediterranean-style chopped tomatoes
  • 2–3 cups (500–750ml) vegetable stock
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup (125ml) mixed dried fruit
  • Chickpeas:
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained
  • Juice (60ml) of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp (3ml) ground coriander
  • ½ tsp (3ml) ground cumin
  • Handful chopped herbs like mint, parsley or coriander
  • For serving:
  • Flaked almonds
  • Pomegranate rubies
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh coriander
  • Dollops of yoghurt
  • Couscous, rice or bulgur wheat


  1. Halve brinjals and grill in a smoking-hot pan until charred on both sides.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot and fry onions until soft and golden.
  3. Add garlic; ginger; cumin, coriander and mustard seeds; paprika; cinnamon stick; and fennel seeds, if using, and fry for 2 minutes to create a fragrant paste.
  4. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Pour in chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock and simmer.
  6. Add brinjals, lemon peel and mixed dried fruit.
  7. Simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  8. For the chickpeas, heat olive oil in a separate pan and fry chickpeas with lemon juice, coriander and cumin until crispy and golden.
  9. Remove from heat and toss in a handful of chopped herbs.
  10. Stir chickpeas through brinjal stew just before serving.
  11. Serve stew topped with flaked almonds, pomegranate rubies, mint and coriander and a dollop of yoghurt, with couscous on the side.
  12. If baby brinjals are too much for your pocket, use regular ones; they work just as well. Simply chop them into 4cm chunks.

Spinach and bacon mielie bread

Best-ever country loaf.


  • ½ cup (125ml) olive or canola oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 6–8 bacon rashers, fried and chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups (500ml) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (125ml) grated cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ packet (100g) Swiss chard, blanched, dried and finely chopped
  • 1 can (410g) Whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp (5ml) dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and milled pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Grease a 19cm x 8cm x 6cm deep loaf pan with oil and line with baking paper.
  3. Mix bacon, flour, cheddar, Swiss chard and sweetcorn together. Make a well in mixture.
  4. Whisk oil, eggs, chilli, garlic and seasoning together.
  5. Stir into bacon mixture to form a batter.
  6. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then unmould and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or store in an airtight container.
  8. *Cook’s tip: You can replace the bacon with shredded biltong or roasted butternut chunks.

Lentil bolognaise

A meat-free alternative that still packs an umami punch, thanks to tomato paste.


  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) dried brown lentils
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped, plus extra leaves for serving
  • 1 packet (500g) spaghetti, cooked according to packet instructions


  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in tomatoes and stir to coat.
  4. Add chilli flakes, herbs, sugar, stock and lentils.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 17-20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  6. Add more water if mixture gets too thick and adjust seasoning.
  7. Dish spaghetti onto a plate and top with bolognaise.
  8. Garnish with basil and serve with bread.

Radish, sugar snap pea and goat’s cheese salad

Cook the turkey on the braai for a more social, South African festive feast.


  • 1 packet (150g) radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 punnet (125g) sugar snap peas, halved lengthways
  • 1 punnet (20g) watercress
  • 1 punnet (20g) microherbs
  • 1 log (100g) crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) lemon juice,
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sugar
  • ½ tsp (3ml) mustard
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Toss radishes, sugar snap peas, watercress and microherbs together.
  2. Add crumbled goat’s cheese.
  3. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, mustard and salt to make dressing.
  4. Dress salad and serve.

Brinjal curry

A vegetarian curry with deep and intense flavours.


  • Sri Lankan curry powder:
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) basmati rice
  • ¼ cup (60ml) coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) black mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp (10ml) whole cloves
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp (5ml) fennel seeds
  • Main ingredients:
  • 18 baby or 3 medium brinjals
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5ml) salt
  • Glug oil
  • onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut cream
  • ½ cup (125ml) vegetable stock
  • 8 naan breads
  • Melted butter, to brush
  • Handful coriander, for serving
  • Handful toasted almonds, for serving


  1. Toast basmati rice in a dry pan over medium heat until golden.
  2. Add spices and toast for 3-5 minutes. Swirl pan to keep spices from burning.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Blitz in a coffee grinder or bash using a pestle and mortar until fine. Set aside.
  5. Make three 2cm incisions lengthways into the baby brinjals or thickly slice medium brinjals. Toss brinjals with ground turmeric and salt.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  7. Fry onions and garlic until softened.
  8. Add brinjals and fry for 15 minutes.
  9. Add curry powder, curry leaves and cayenne pepper and fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  10. Tip in coconut cream and stock.
  11. Simmer for 35 minutes, or until brinjals have softened.
  12. Brush naans with butter and toast in a hot pan.
  13. Serve curry with warm naan, coriander and nuts, if using.

Broccoli rice tots

A cheerful vegetarian frikkadel alternative!


  • 3 cups (750ml) cooked brown rice, cooled
  • 1 punnet (300g) broccoli florets, blanched and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (500ml) cheese (we used a combination of mozzarella and cheddar)
  • 8-10 peppadews, chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp (5ml) Dijon mustard
  • Handful fresh parsley or coriander, chopped
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Flour, for dusting


  1. Combine rice, broccoli, cheese, peppadews (if using), eggs, mustard and parsley or coriander in a large bowl.
  2. Season well.
  3. Heat oil in a pan for shallow frying.
  4. Take 2 Tbsp (30ml) of the broccoli mixture and form into a ball using your hands. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  5. Dust each ball lightly with flour and fry in batches for 3-4 minutes, or until browned all over.
  6. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Serve the cheesy brown rice cakes with your favourite dipping sauce and a side salad.