A quick side-note on the side-dish: it’s not automatically the healthier option. However, these are…

1 Spicy Asian Coleslaw

477kJ, 2g protein, 13g carbs, 4g fibre, 7g fat, 63mg sodium

Combine the vegetables:
1 head cabbage, thinly sliced; 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced; 1 large carrot, grated; 2 tbsp grated ginger; and a few pinches of salt. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

Make the dressing:
Whisk together ¼ cup of rice-wine vinegar, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of red-pepper flakes and some chopped coriander.

Finish the coleslaw:
Toss the vegetables and dressing to combine.
Makes 6 servings

2 Bow Tie Pasta with Courgette, Lemon and Pine Nuts

1 208kJ, 9g protein, 46g carbs, 3g fibre, 8g fat, 11mg sodium

Boil the pasta:
Boil 1½ cups of bow tie (offically called farfalle) pasta in plenty of salted water until it’s al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.

Cook the vegetables:
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium high. Add 3 thinly sliced courgettes and a pinch of salt. Sauté until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves and cook until the courgette browns slightly, another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat.

Make the dressing:
Whisk together 3 tbsp of olive oil and the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad:
Mix the pasta, dressing, 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts and a small handful of julienned (cut into strips) basil leaves. Let the salad stand for 20 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings

3 Potato Salad with Rocket and Bacon

1 166kJ, 5g protein, 15g carbs, 3g fibre, 22g fat, 283mg sodium

Cook the potatoes:
Place 500g of preferably asparges potatoes (their yellow shiny skin and prominent eyes are very distinctive compared to the normal, matt look of most potatoes) in a medium pot with a dash of salt. Asparges are known as “gourmet” potatoes because they’re difficult to grow. Their waxy flesh makes them excellent boilers and ideal for salads with a distinctive chestnut flavour that’s enhanced when eaten cold. Cover with cold water, bring to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they’re fork tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and let cool, then halve each potato lengthwise; place in a large bowl.

Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk ½ tbsp Dijon mustard and 2 tbsp each of red-wine vinegar and sherry vinegar. Gradually whisk in ½ cup of olive oil. Stir in 1 tbsp of chopped tarragon.

Assemble the salad:
Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes along with 4 crumbled slices of cooked, thick-cut bacon; ½ stalk of celery cut into matchsticks; and ⅓ cup of thinly sliced onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Before serving, toss with 2 cups of rocket.
Makes 6 servings