Sweet corn and zucchini coleslaw

Before an exam, my favourite meal is a big invigorating salad. Given that I’ve got to be all sharp and alert for the next 2-3 hours, with 100% focus, the worst would be to eat something greasy and heavy.

Have you ever had a ‘food coma’? The sleepy-after-Christmas-dinner kind of feeling? That’s your body crying out in protest as it strains to digest what you’ve put in it, sapping all of your energy in doing so. Your brain usually feels sluggish too. Moral of the story – eat vegetables before an exam, preferably raw vegetables, and you’ll be brighter.

So this was what I packed on Wednesday to take to uni for lunch. Shaved cabbage, shredded zucchini, fresh sweet corn and sliced shallots, dressed with tahini and lemon. Yum. Filling. Brain food. The sweet corn balances out the tart tahini dressing, shallot adds some bite and the rest makes for a satisfying crunch.

Now I just need to wait for my results!

pretty salad bowls are non-existent in my kitchen… this will change

Sweet corn and zucchini coleslaw (serves one hungry student)


  • 1/8-1/4 head of white cabbage, shredded as finely as possible (get nasty with that knife)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded with either a mandoline or a grater
  • 1 cob of corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1 shallot, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1-1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  1. Toss the cabbage, zucchini, corn and shallot in a big bowl.
  2. Whisk the tahini with lemon juice and enough water to make a fairly thick dressing.
  3. Toss the dressing through the salad until it’s all well-coated.
  4. Serve, or pack in a container for lunch. The dressing may pool a little if you pack it away (because it’s water-based not oil-based, it doesn’t ‘stick’ as well), so just stir a bit before eating.

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