This vegetarian dish is so fulfilling and perfect for winter. It’s hearty, flavoursome and full of goodness from the vegetables; and the colour is gorgeous too! I used sweet potatoes, onion, asparagus and leeks; but other vegetables such as pumpkin, potato, zucchini, carrot can also be used.

Combined with pasta, it makes a complete dish for dinner. The cheese sauce is very delicate and does not overpower the vegetables. The vegetables when roasted give a nice caramelisation; the sweetness from the vegetables really match the cheese sauce.

The dish is very easy to make and you can keep the leftover in the fridge for the next day. Just need to heat it up in the microwave for the next day’s meal. It’s so great! ­čÖé

Roasted vegetable and pasta bake

(recipe from ‘Cook smart for a healthy heart’, Reader’s Digest, 2004)

(serve 4 – 6)

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, cut into large chunks. I used 1 red and 1 brown onion.
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 large leeks, thickly sliced
  • 170 gr asparagus spears, cut across in half
  • 300 gr rigatoni

Cheese sauce

  • 600 ml low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 70 gr cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • pepper to taste

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 220┬░C. Place the sweet potato and onions in a roasting pan and scatter oven the garlic. Drizzle with the oil and season with pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with the oil, then place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Step 2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the leeks and asparagus. Toss gently to mix with the other vegetables, then return to the oven. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.

Step 3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 – 12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.

Step 4. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, measure 4 tablespoons milk into a jug, add the cornflour and stir to make a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan until almost boiling. Stir the hot milk into the cornflour mixture, then return to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and add two-thirds of the cheese and the mustard. Season with pepper.

Step 5. Remove the vegetables from the oven. Drain the pasta well then tip over the vegetables and stir to combine. Stir in the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.



It’s Saturday and I have the day off :). So I planned to spend more time in the kitchen and cook something more fancy that requires longer time to prepare. The dish I chose is a vegetarian dish by Anna Gare from The Best in Australia. I was thinking this dish would be perfect for a warm night as it is such a light and refreshing meal. It turned out it was pouring rain in Melbourne. It was not that cold; but we had a very heavy down pour and also hail storms!! So lucky we stayed home tonight!

The dish is Dukkah eggplant with roasted tomato and chickpea salad. It’s not only a healthy vegetarian dish, but also very tasty :). The crunchy dukkah has a gorgeous texture and matches well with the delicate eggplant. The roasted tomato and onions are caramelised and that really brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and onions. The chickpea is a nice addition to the dish and the coriander really brings out the freshness to the dish. The yoghurt gives the acidity to the dish and balances the sweetness from the tomato salad.

I am very happy with how the dish turned out. I will definitely make this again ­čÖé

Dukkah eggplant with roasted tomato & chickpea salad

(adapted from recipe by Anna Gare, The Best in Australia)

(serves 4)


  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 60 gr hazelnuts
  • 60 gr almonds
  • salt

Dukkah eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants sliced in ┬Żcm rounds
  • Dukkah spice mix (above)

Roasted tomato and chickpea salad

  • 8 roma tomatoes, each cut into quarters
  • 2 medium red onions cut into 8’s
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 gr canned chick peas, drained
  • 1 cup freshly chopped coriander


  • ┬Ż cup yoghurt
  • juice from 1 lemon

Step 1. Roasted tomato and chickpea salad. Cut tomatoes, onions & garlic and place on baking tray.┬áSprinkle sugar, salt, balsamic & oil over and bake in slow 140┬░C oven for 1┬Ż┬áhours.┬áRemove from oven and toss through fresh coriander & chickpeas.

Step 2. Dukkah. While the tomatoes are cooking, dry fry all spices separately in a heavy based pan. Roast nuts all together on a tray in the oven. Crush the nuts and spices in mortar & pestle and add salt to taste.

Step 3. Dukkah Eggplant. Slice eggplants thin. Fry on hot pan or grill (with olive oil) until brown & just cooked. Remove from pan and whilst still warm coat each side of eggplant with dukkah spice. Reheat in oven when ready to serve.

Step 4. Dressing. Prepare the dressing by mixing the yogurt and lemon juice.

Step 5. To serve, cover base of platter or plate with spiced eggplant slices and top with warm salad & drizzle with dressing.

Dukkah eggplant with roasted tomato and chickpea salad


I dedicated my first post to a healthy drink that my husband and I have enjoyed almost every day. Thanks to my mom who showed me and made this every day when I spent my last visit in Indonesia (May 2009)┬á – We love you, MOM :).┬á Now we have this first thing in the morning during weekends, and in weekdays we normally have it after work or badminton.

We can be creative with the ingredients. We can use celery, tomato, cucumber, apple, orange, kiwi, pear, blueberries, rapsberries, etc. For the berries, I use the frozen ones. Not only that I can always keep them in the freezer, but they will also make the juice cold, there is no need for ice cubes. I normally use more vege than the fruit as I try to increase the vegetable intake in daily basis. Remember, it’s 5 serves of vege and 2 serve of fruits every day.

Here are the ingredients for the healthy juice I made this morning.

Healthy juice

(serves 2)

  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 handfull of frozen mixed berries
  • 3/4 cup of apple juice (store-bought)

Chop the celery and tomato, put them in the blender together with frozen berries and apple juice. Blend them for about 30 seconds and enjoy!!

Healthy juice ingredients Ready to blend Healthy juice ready - Enjoy!!