These Comforting Winter Veggie Staples Are Anything But Boring

Affordable, delicious and endlessly adaptable: fresh vegetables are your secret super power in the kitchen.

Australia is a bountiful country, producing flavoursome seasonal produce all year round. While the tropical north is ensuring our supplies of avocados and mangoes stay strong, right now you’ll start to see cooler weather fruits from southern climes, like mandarins, custard apples and incredibly sweet and creamy pumpkins flooding into the grocery aisles of your local supermarket. It also means that vegetarian cooking is a snack when you’ve got quality fresh produce on hand.

Zucchini Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce. Image: Coles

The great thing about keeping vegetables front and centre in the kitchen is that it’s an affordable, healthy and colourful way to eat that’s kind on your health and the environment. And thanks to the beautiful flavours available in our fruit and veg, simple recipes don’t have to feel lacking.

Try Courtney Roulston’s Classic Sweet Potato Rosti

Take for example a sweet potato rosti. Nothing could be easier than two big sweet potatoes grated together with a brown onion and baked into a crispy potato cake for brunch. The secret lies in squeezing out any excess moisture or juice from the grated vegetables (use a colander or a sieve or even some cheesecloth). Then you can season the mix, lay it loosely in a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Thirty minutes in the oven turns it into a tasty base for you to serve with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado and rocket. It’s a café quality dish you can make with only five ingredients.

Make The Most Of These Super-Veg Staples

You can then get creative, using more grated sweet potato as a base for zucchini fritters with cheese and egg, served with a little side salad, or these kid-friendly fritters with peas and haloumi. Cauliflower is a super veg in any vegetarian repertoire, able to sub in for rice, pizza bases, and even steak when called on. You could even serve them with cheesy parsnip fries for a healthy take on a pub classic. The best thing about cooking with vegetables is that they are endlessly adaptable. No matter what you choose in your weekly shop you’ll be able to add it to a fritter, a curry, a salad or a roast.

Haloumi Quinoa Salad. Image: Coles

How To Boost Your Veggies With Protein

Hot tip: eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and provide that protein hit you often crave from meat, which is what makes a frittata so satisfying. Or to rich up a salad and make it feel like a special occasion dish, don’t neglect the cheese, like golden fried haloumi in this spiced lentil and vegetable salad.