quinoa, pumpkin, capsicum, parsley salad

I just made this salad up with what ingredients I had at home…..This was enough for 2 people (or in my case for me only for lunch & dinner!)

1/2 cup quinoa (I used tricoloured but any type is fine)
1 medium red capsicum/pepper
1 cup pumpkin
1 large Dutch (purple) carrot
1 cup parsley
1/2 tbspn sunflower seeds
1/2 tbspn parmesan

1. Roast the capsicum: 180 degrees Celsius. Most people just wrap in foil w olive oil but I don’t like foil touching my food (weirdo?!) so I lay a piece of foil in a baking tin, then lay a piece of baking paper on top, throw the capsicum in & then squeeze up so it’s wrapped like an untidy present. Cook for 45 mins.
2. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes, line a tray w baking paper & cook for 45 mins @ 180 degrees Celsius.
3. While capsicum & pumpkin are in the oven, cook your quinoa. I did 1/2 cup quinoa + 1.5 cups water, simmered for 15 mins then take off the stove & put straight in a bowl so it stops cooking.
4. If you’ve still got some time to kill w veg in the oven, chop the parsley & peel & slice the Dutch carrot
5. Stir parsley into quinoa. It will almost look like tabbouleh.
6. When pumpkin cooked, take out of oven & throw straight into the bowl
7. Capsicum can cool a bit then be sliced into strips & thrown into the bowl.
8. Throw in the sliced purple carrot
9. Grate some parmesan over the top – (the saltiness is needed as capsicum & pumpkin are so sweet.)
10. Scatter some sunflower seeds on top for a great crunchy texture



Rainbow bowls

When I first saw pictures of salad bowls full of colour, I knew it was something I would be trying.

It sounds clichéd & I’m not going to pretend to be the first to say it but preparing a meal full of nature’s colours – green, red, orange, yellow, purple, really does leave you feeling more satisfied than a monomeal, or even a meal w 2 main elements. Maybe it’s the different textures & tastes that help, as well as the aesthetics.

I’m not going to tell you how to combine your veggies but I would recommend in each bowl a combination of textures & flavours (or sweet, savoury, spicy).

A tip on cooking veg: steaming is better than boiling, so nutrients don’t get lost in the water. If you are boiling, when you turn off the stove, drain the water immediately. This stops the veg cooking & no more nutrients escape into the water.

Here are some winning combinations –

Dutch (purple) carrots
Pumpkin (roasted)
Goats Cheese

Cauliflower, steamed 2 minutes
Broccoli, steamed 2 minutes
Squash, steamed 1 minute

Sweet potato
Red cabbage
Carrot w coriander
Cos lettuce

Peppers / Capsicum
Watercress & Rocket

Sweet Potato, roasted in ginger
Carrot & basil
Mushroom & parsley
Broccoli, steamed 2 minutes
Purple cabbage
Hummus as a dressing



rainbow bowl 5 alicegruzman.jpg

rainbow bowl 5 @alicegruzman

baby spinach radicchio sweet potato.jpg

baby spinach radicchio sweet potato @alicegruzman





Parmesan polenta slice, pumpkin, parsley, chilli

This dish is a creation of my own however the idea of doing a big piece of polenta came from one of my biggest food idols – Ottolenghi (from ‘Plenty’):
1/2 cup polenta
1 cup of pumpkin – I always have some in the fridge as it is such a versatile vegetable so cook a cup or so.
1/4 cup parmesan or grana padano, finely grated
1/4 cup parsley, chopped or just w stem off
1/2 small red chilli – or more if you like it hot
Olive oil

1. Roast or bake pumpkin
2. Wash & chop parsley. Set aside
3. When cooked, let the pumpkin cool
4. Grate parmesan (or any cheese; or just omit this step if you want a vegan version)
5. Cook polenta as per packet instructions, making sure to stir in parmesan. This photo is half a cup of polenta.
6. Cut a piece of baking paper & put on a flat surface (a plate or chopping board).
7. Spread the polenta quickly & quite thin on the baking paper (polenta is quite dense so the dish is too heavy if not spread thin), then too w pumpkin, parsley, chilli or whatever toppings you like.
8. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over the top & put under grill at 180-200 degrees Celsius for 15 or so minutes. Every oven is different so please be careful to look at it regularly! It’s ready when it starts to look a bit crispy on the edges & starts to become golden


stuffed roast sweet potato w cauliflower, radicchio, parmesan

I would be lying if I said there was anything I ate for dinner more than sweet potato. Our household must go through 1-2 kilos of sweet potato per week. We went to a friend’s house for lunch last weekend who pointed to a potato – my 3 year old didn’t know what it was but could pick a sweet potato from a mile off!

1 sweet potato – whatever size you feel hungry enough to eat!
1 handful cauliflower, steamed for 2-3 minutes
1 handful radicchio, chopped into fine strips
1 tablespoon parmesan or grana padano, finely grated
½ small red chilli
¼ cup parsley


  1. heat oven to 180-200 degrees Celsius. You know your oven better than me!
  2. I tend to cut the bottom of the sweet potato flat so it doesn’t keel over once you have put the toppings on. Also cut out a lengthways ‘V’ that you can put the other veggies into
  3. Set the timer for 1 hour, put the sweet potato in the oven
  4. While the sweet potato is in the oven, steam the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes, chop the radicchio & parsley & grate the parmesan
  5. When cooked, turn the oven to grill – around 200 degrees Celsius
  6. Pop the cauliflower, radicchio, parsley & chilli in the sweet potato & top with parmesan
  7. Pop under the grill for about 5 minutes & then it’s ready to eat.