The current mantra ‘eat more vegetables’ can also be applied to fruits. And summer is the season of bountiful fruitfulness.

A lunchtime favourite at our house is crisp lettuce, topped with fresh juicy sliced peaches, canned salmon and a little dressing. How simple and delicious is that!

Sandwiches with sliced apple and a tasty cheese, or the Japanese-inspired strawberries and cream cheese combo, make excellent lunch takeaways.

But it is the mains where an assortment of fruits and vegetables can be loaded into casseroles, curries, bakes and burgers.

Fruits and veg provide a variety of health benefits, including losing weight. Health professionals suggest that at least half of your dinner main should be vegetables (or fruits). Add a salad if it isn’t.

And although it might be appealing to live on fruit alone — ie become a fruitarian like Apple’s founder Steve Jobs — eating different coloured fruits and veg is a must to benefit from the variety of goodies each has to offer. And adding a few nuts and seeds, or a little tofu, egg, meat or fish on the side contributes to a balanced diet and a healthy body.


Refreshing and flavoursome.

2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium onion, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 (750g) skinned and boned chicken thighs
100ml balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
3 peaches, stoned, peeled and quartered
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup small basil leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Sauté the onion until softened. Push to one side. Season the chicken. Pan-fry on both sides until browned. Remove to a plate.

Add the balsamic vinegar and boil for a minute then stir in the honey. Add the peaches and tomatoes. Tuck the chicken between the fruit together with the basil leaves. Cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until cooked. Great served with mash or rice. Serves 4.


‘The best burger I’ve ever had.’ Quote from husband. I halved the burger buns and toasted the cut sides in a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan.

Sauce: 1 cup blueberries
dash salt
2 tablespoons each: sugar, lemon juice, cornflour
1/4 cup water
Burgers: 500g minced venison
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper for coating
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Extras: 4 burger buns, toasted
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1 cup small basil leaves
2 large middle rashers bacon, halved and cooked 
1 medium onion, thinly sliced and crisped in iced water

Place the blueberries, salt, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Combine the cornflour and the water and stir into the blueberry mixture. Stir over low heat until thick.

Combine the venison, oregano and seasonings and form into 4 patties about the diameter of the burger buns. Sprinkle both sides generously with freshly ground black pepper.

Heat the olive oil and pan-fry the patties for about 4 minutes each side, until medium inside.

Spread the cut side of the toasted buns with mayo. Top the base buns with half the basil leaves. Top with the venison patties, 2-3 tablespoons of the blueberry sauce, then the bacon, onion and more basil. Cover with the bun tops. Serves 4.


2 red onions, cut into 8 wedges
6 red plums, halved and stoned  
2 cloves garlic 
8 pork and fennel sausages
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the onions, plums and garlic into a large roasting tray. Arrange the sausages on top.

Drizzle with the olive oil and season. Pour the wine over. Roast for 30 minutes turning the sausages over halfway through.

Combine the hoisin sauce and water. Spoon over the sausages. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until sticky. 

Great garnished with chopped parsley or coriander. Serves 4.


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