Tag Archives: vegetarian

asparagus #carbonara

asparagus #carbonara

This is an easy and delicious mid-week meal. I omitted the bacon and made a vegetarian carbonara. Enjoy.

Asparagus carbonara
Serves 4
500 g spaghetti
3 eggs, beaten
70 g parmesan, finely grated
100 ml cream
a large bunch of asparagus, cut in half and blanched
peas fresh or frozen, blanched
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
half a lemon

Cook the pasta in salted water following the packet instructions. Drain pasta and return to pot – place the stove on very low heat. Mix the eggs, parmesan and cream together and add to pasta, tossing quickly over a low heat. Add the asparagus, peas and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.

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warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley

warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley

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My mom used to make this side dish for us for years back in our days in the Free State…to help stave off the winter chill and provide some good nourishment to accompany a meat dish as opposed to just the ‘vleis, rys en aartapples” (meat, rice & potatoes) staple. We were fortunate enough to have a large vegetable garden in which my brothers and I had to do our time in turning the soil and tendering to the veg patch. I remember there were always these long green beans – and delicious ones too. While in matric (Grade 12) I had to lose a kilo or two so that I could fit into my matric dance dress – I was a size 10 in those days! I lived for weeks on beans and tomatoes – just cooked up, plain and simple … and fitted in my dress! The flavours have stayed with me to this day. The big secret to this simple fare is not to overcook the beans…. They still need to have a bit of a bite.

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Filled with nostalgia, I made this dish once again and served it as a warm bean salad – I added some freshly ground black pepper a drizzle of the best olive oil and to complete the dish a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some twigs of parsely. The olive oil, lemon juice and parsley renders the dish into a modern veggie serving that I absolutely love. If you like, you can always eat this as a main meal with a slice or two of freshly baked bread. Just paddle the bread through some of the lovely juices….just plain delicious is what it is…unadulterated veg at its best.

Three more ideas with green beans:
Steam or boil the beans until just cooked – add some bacon and a knob of butter.
Steam or boil the beans – add salt, black pepper, a bit of garlic and a knob of butter.
Cook beans with potato and onions and flavour with salt, white pepper and a knob of butter.

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warm bean salad with olive oil + lemon + parsley
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 400g Green beans (ends and strings removed)
  • 300g Tomatoes, sliced
  • 200g Onions, sliced
  • 125 ml Water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Freshly chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients into a pot with the water. Cook on medium heat for +- 5-10 minutes until all is soft and cooked - but not overcooked.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and give a generous squirt of olive oil. Mix the lemon juice and chopped parsley through and serve immediately as hot as you can.

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banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana 1 800

Ever since I started writing my blog my husband has been pestering me to bake a banana bread. He is just crazy about the flavour, sweetness and cake like texture. It’s such an easy thing to bake and we always have a few overripe bananas loitering in our fruit bowl. What I do like about banana bread is that it is a no fuss thing – and very easy to put together. Once you have the basic recipe you can always add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips – actually just about anything you fancy to make it your own.

Watch me make this by clicking here.
banana bread

The way I made this a lifeisazoobsicuit banana flan bread was by:
#1 changing the shape – I decided to bake it in a flan pan and serve it in a tart of sorts instead of a loaf and then
#2 I added three components that work extremely well together with bananas – white chocolate buttons, amaretto biscuits and almond flakes
#3 I was not keen to serve it with the traditional icing – so I opted to serve it with the crème fraiche instead.

My hubby, Rick had three helpings … Need I say more?

banana 3 800

A few banana facts or fiction I found on the www 🙂

1. Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.
2. More than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year in the world, making them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
3. A cluster of bananas is called a hand, and a single banana is called a finger. Each banana hand has about 10 to 20 fingers.
4. Thanks to its oil, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite – will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
5. To whiten teeth naturally, rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every night. If you gargle with salt water, this will heighten the effect. Expect results in about two weeks. It works because of the effect of the potassium, magnesium, and manganese in the banana peel.
6. If you peel a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle), you will avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
7. Bananas are low in calories and have no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
8. More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
9. Bananas are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They help your body produce serotonin—a natural substance that alleviates depression.
10. If you put a banana in the refrigerator, the peel will turn dark brown or black, but it won’t affect the fruit inside.

source: thebananapolice.com

banana bread

 

 

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 60ml Butter at room temperature
  • 125ml Castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Bananas smashed
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • ¼t Salt
  • 50g White chocolate buttons
  • 50g Amaretto biscuits – broken into pieces
  • 40g Almond flakes
  • Crème Fraiche for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Butter a medium loose bottom flan pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and mix it in with the butter and sugar mix.
  3. Mix the bananas and vanilla essence into the mixture.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients gently – be careful not to over mix – and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a few dollops of crème fraiche

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mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

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This one is quick + easy and been a firm family favourite through the years. I remember sitting around the kitchen table, the radio playing in the background (there was no TV in those days)… My dad saying grace and thereafter mom bringing in this big baking tray full of steaming mac + cheese.

We did not have the fancy or posh mac and cheese – there was no bacon, no mushrooms, no cream etc … our mac and cheese came straight out of the Kook and Geniet and straight out of the oven. The basic ingredients are milk, eggs, macaroni and cheese. It’s the baked version that you can cut in blocks. We used to just get these blocks on our plates and in the middle of the table was a bottle of tomato sauce – and that was it for us … heaven.

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So today I took the same recipe my mom used and tweaked the ingredients to suit my adult taste buds. When it came to the tomato sauce I had to make a few changes – I fried some plump delicious rosa tomatoes in olive oil, added tomato sauce and fresh basil. Its still my  mom’s mac + cheese + tomato sauce – with a little twist. Life seemed much more simpler then. At least I can say that this recipe has remained simple and easy … give it a go.

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mac and cheese

 

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1L Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3t Mustard powder
  • 1t Salt
  • ½t Black pepper
  • 3 Cups of grated cheese
  • 4 Cups of cooked macaroni
  • Tomato sauce
  • 250g Rosa tomatoes - cut in half
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 80 ml Water
  • 1t Sugar
  • 250ml Tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves – shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Mix the milk, eggs, mustard powder, salt and pepper all together. Then add the cheese and cooked macaroni.
  3. Butter a baking dish well and add the mixture and bake for 1 hour.
  4. For tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil and fry tomatoes till the pan is quite dry. Add the water and cook again till quite dry.Then add the sugar + tomato sauce – heat through. Finally add the fresh basil + season to taste + serve with your mac + cheese.

 

 

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shades of night – the alluring aubergine

shades of night – the alluring aubergine

Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate – anel

aubergine and tomato pasta

I always had a deep love for aubergines – something more than the usual obsession … when I see aubergines I want to design and create. I want to take out a canvas and start painting all its deep and alluring hues. The aubergine is just so mysterious and captivating, I don’t know if it is the beautiful shape with the green crown or that dark purple colour – or when you cut them they are full of these beautiful seeds and flesh – something dark, almost sinister yet enticing.

My mom used to sprinkle it with salt, then just roll it into some flour and fry then in a pan of oil. She then gave it a little sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce – and I was in heaven. Soft, delicious and packed with flavour.

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So with this all said, I decided to keep this recipe simple using only tomatoes and some red peppers however, my creativity got the better of me after I took the pics. Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate. Enjoy.

aubergine and tomato pasta

 

aubergine + tomato pasta
 
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Author:
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 500g Aubergines – cut into 1 cm circles - leave the skin on
  • 500g Rosa tomatoes
  • One whole garlic bulb – cut in half (do not peel or break into smaller cloves)
  • 1 Red pepper sliced thinly
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • 500g Pasta – cooked as per packet instructions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 C°. Sprinkle the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic generously with olive oil and paint both sides of the aubergine with the olive oil. Place everything on a baking tray sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. In the mean time cook your pasta until al dente.
  3. When done squeeze some of the roasted tomatoes with your hands into a pulp over the pasta – mix into the pasta. It forms a tomato sauce for the pasta.
  4. Tear the aubergines and add the red peppers. Squeeze the garlic out of the shells and add to the dish.
  5. Season liberally with Maldon salt and some pepper and a good sprinkle with olive oil.
  6. Finish the dish off by adding parmesan shavings and freshly chopped parsley and some basil leaves.

 

 

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longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

Watch me make braaibroodjies by clicking here

Braaibroodjies

Will the real Braaibroodjies please stand up? Everyone in South Africa loves braaibroodjies. They are just one of those “must haves” at any braai. However, despite the boastings of the braaimaster ( usually male with lager in hand) … these normally end up being:

A: burnt
B: soggy
C: tomato + onion = not cooked
D: cheese = not melted
E: all of the above.

So how do we ensure that these traditional toasties are:
A: not burnt
B: crispy
C: cooked tomato + onion
D: with melted cheese
E: all of the above?

Well I have a few sneaky tricks up my sleeve – use them or lose them as they say but do so at your own peril … but I can assure you that if you follow these tips you will have the perfect braaibroodjies every single time … And put any gloating braaimaster in awe of you for life …

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjie Tips

1. Butter one side very lightly (not both sides).
2. Cut the onion into thin big round slices – keep the circles whole and pack on the one buttered side of one slice.
3. Then add the thinly sliced tomato circles – sprinkle with salt and pepper. You will note that I place the tomatoes in the centre of the sandwich filling – this prevents the broodtjie from becoming soggy.
4. Grate strong cheddar and generously sprinkle over the tomato and cover with the other slice of bread. Make sure you cover all of the tomato slices with cheese.
5. Put a griddle rack on a baking tray and put the sandwiches on top of that – then while the rest of the braai is on the go place the sandwiches in the oven at 100°C to bake for +- 1 hour – it will crisp the bread up and it will cook everything slowly.
6. Then after everyone has braaied and the coals are low – pop them onto a braai grid and allow to toast until they are browned on both sides! Depending on how hot your fire or coals are you will need to watch these carefully as they can toast quickly enough.

Some people like to add all sorts of other condiments like chutney etc to their broodjies … for me some things need to be kept simple like it was in the old days of braaivleis, sunny skies and Chevrolets.

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjies

Ingredients
Sliced bread
Butter
Onion
Tomato
Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Method
As above

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samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation

samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation

Respect. You are in our thoughts Tata – get well soon.

Samp Curry

Click here to watch me make this.

Samptuous samp curry – Within our democracy is a technicoloured blanket of a diverse society; of young of old, of traditional and the unconventional, there is beauty and richness in our diversity and too often we fail to see the real rainbow behind our nation. Our often tainted spectacles prevent us from celebrating the bounty of our diverse heritage. Take a simple ingredient such as samp for instance…

For years, samp in its multitude of forms has fed and sustained the poorest of our nation. I grew up with samp in the Free State {yes with pap too :-)} but we normally had it with warm milk and sugar for breakfast. The traditional Xhosa dish is umngqusho, made with samp and cowpeas – this dish is said to be former South African president Nelson Mandela’s favorite meal of his childhood.

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Samp lends itself very well to absorbing flavours so to curry it for me is just a no brainer. It’s like an African chick pea that is curried. I cooked it beforehand to al dente (it still needs a bite) – and with fresh chopped coriander it’s a perfect vegetarian dish served with a roti. And it is extremely economical too!

It is a simple thing but it is often the unusual, the unsuspecting ingredients however plain they may seem that is the very dye that brings the colour to our lives and our life. We just have to look a little deeper , beyond the mirage of our own perceptions to live our lives in true colour …

Postscript – I was most fortunate to meet Mandiba once in the 90’s at a memorial function for the late Samora Machel. You see I am good friends with his granddaughter Ndileka and was very privileged to sit at one of the family tables back then. What did he say to me … this humble man? His words to me were – “Hi, so good to meet you Anél. Oh I have heard so much about you (me? – really Madiba!) and thank you for being such a good friend to my granddaughter” – well, I nearly fainted … To this day these words remain etched as a very special and lasting memory. Respect. You are in our thoughts Tata – get well soon.

Samp Curry

samp curry + mandela + humanity + humility = the true colours of our rainbow nation
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of cooked samp – the samp must not be all soft – it needs to be slightly al dente and still have a bit of biting texture.
  • 2 Large onions finely chopped
  • 3T Cooking oil
  • Spices
  • 3 Cardamom pods
  • 3t Mustard seeds (yellow)
  • 1t Fennel seeds
  • 1t Cumin seeds
  • ½t Coriander fine
  • 4t Curry powder (I use medium for this dish)
  • 1t Turmeric powder
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1t Chillie flakes
  • Other
  • 4 Large garlic cloves – grated
  • 2 Thumbs fresh ginger – grated
  • 6 Medium tomatoes – grated
  • Salt and pepper.
Instructions
  1. Fry onion till translucent in the oil.
  2. Then add all the spices as well as the grated garlic and ginger and fry slowly for about 5 minutes until all the flavours are released.
  3. Add the grated tomato and let it simmer till thick – +- 10 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add ½ cup of water and let it simmer again till thick. This way you are really creating this delicious tomato chutney.
  5. Then add the samp and heat through for about five minutes - season to taste.
  6. Serve with fresh coriander and a roti.

 

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summer soiree + hangovers + the deconstructed bloody mary

summer soiree + hangovers + the deconstructed bloody mary

A hangover is the wrath of grapes. ~Author Unknown

deconstructed bloody mary, tapas

They say that a Bloody Mary cocktail can cure hangovers – I think we all need to know this before the silly season gets underway…. But does it work? Is it fact or mere fiction?  I decided to try this one out myself – so just last week with a very hectic social schedule filling my outlook calendar I decided it was a good time to plan a good hangover and test this myth or truth.  So I attended a social function where the wine was literally on tap…  (I booked  a driver to ensure that I made it home safely), went home and decided to finish off my little experiment by rounding the evening off with a few more whiskeys – just a couple of night caps you know.  I felt fabulous that evening – did a few dances for the hubby and went to bed.  The next morning not so fabulous … what on earth was I thinking?  I am no scientist…on cue though Rick woke me up with a Bloody Mary in bed! Thankfully it was Saturday morning, but whichever way you look at it … facing a cocktail concoction that that time of the morning can scare even a full-time professional drinker!   For some crazy reason, I had to finish what I started, so with eyes wide shut, I tilted the head and knocked-back the Bloody Mary thingy.   I lay about curiously waiting for this healing elixir to do its curative work.  An hour later, no change, I still felt 10 000 hammers in my head.  This Bloody Mary was clearly nursing somewhere else – or had taken the day off.  It was – and is in my opinion a myth.    I do know that  scientific experiments are verified by a series of tests, so to be fair I decided to take this test to the next level.

If the Bloody Mary did not do its work in a cocktail glass perhaps the sum of its ingredients would be a better tonic if they were deconstructed. I took a cherry tomato injected it with a few drops of green tobasco, then I took a short shot glass of vodka and placed it adjacent to a bowl of salt.

deconstructed Bloody Mary , tapas

The regimen is then to dip the tabasco infused tomato into the vodka and then douse it in the salt and pop it in your mouth.  I added a bean for some protein and then a celery stick for the more traditional version.  It is just so fab.

Did this cure my hangover? I reckon that you will have to go through quite a few kilos of   tomatoes before this deconstructed Bloody Mary will make some sort of dent on a decent hangover.

So my deconstructed Bloody Mary may not be the cure for hangovers but try it – it will definitely be the showstopper at your next summer soiree or cocktail party!

Roll on summer!

the deconstructed bloody mary
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Vodka
  • Maldon salt
  • Green tobasco
  • Butter beans or celery sticks cut into 2.5cm pieces (optional)
  • Injection needle
  • Tooth pics
Instructions
  1. Inject a few drops of green tobasco into each tomato.
  2. String a tomato and a butter bean onto a toothpick. Repeat (depending on how many you want to ingest).
  3. Pour some vodka into a bowl and salt into a separate bowl.
  4. Now dip the tabasco infused tomato into the vodka and then douse it in the salt and pop it in your mouth.

 

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leaf salad with roasted tomatoes + parmesan shavings + passion fruit dressing

leaf salad with roasted tomatoes + parmesan shavings + passion fruit dressing

Easy Summer Salad with Passion Fruit Dressing

Summer is salad time. This is the most easiest salad but so packed with flavour because of the passion fruit dressing.  I find the passion fruit lifts everything and the combination with the balsamic does wonders to the simplest salad.

Easy Summer Salade with Passion Fruit Dressing

leaf salad with roasted tomatoes + parmesan shavings + passion fruit dressing
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For Salad
  • 1 Large packet of mixed salad leaves
  • 30g Parmesan shavings
  • For Roasted Tomatoes
  • 200g Baby tomatoes
  • 2T Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • For Dressing
  • 115g Passion Fruit Pulp
  • 1T Balsamic vinegar
  • ½T Olive oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. First preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Coat all the tomatoes in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. For the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl and drizzle liberally with the passion fruit and balsamic dressing.

 

 

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chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars=hot + easy … the way I like things

I like some things in life hot and easy – like my husband 🙂 and then these easy to make hot chilli poppers! The ever popular chilli + cheese has to be up there as one of the best combinations that goes well with a cold beer or two …

But chilli poppers on the whole are quite messy and tricky things to make as they tend to ooze out of their casings – so I decided to put all the ingredients in a spring roll wrapper and roll it up snuggly into a chilli cheroot of sorts. To make it even easier I used already cut chillies – you know the ones with that sour, tangy taste – and some white cheddar cheese. This is easy, no fuss and you can put this on a plate in no time … hot + easy + yummy …

Watch me make this by clicking here.

chilli popper cigars=hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars

jalapeño poppers

 

chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Spring roll wrappers – you can buy these at any Chinese supermarket
  • White cheddar cheese – cut into 1.5cm x 1.5cm x 7 cm oblong lengths or chunks
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers – the sliced up ones – drained and dried on a paper towel
  • Cake flour mixed with a bit of water into a paste
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Take one wrapper and add a chunk of cheese to the wrapper, add a few chillies and roll-up (see diagram below). Use the flour paste on the seams of the wrapper when you fold it up. It will keep the popper together and it will also prevent the cheese from escaping or oozing out.
  2. Fry in oil at 185°C for 4-5 minutes till golden brown.
  3. Let it cool down, poor yourself a cold beer, a cider or champers if you wish and tuck in.

 

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green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous

green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous

easy green salad, maklike groen slaai, vegetarian salad

After a brief but blitzy gastronomic tour through Johannesburg this past weekend I returned home in need of something healthy – something green. So I made this delicious + scrumptious + sumptuous salad. It’s fresh and easy – just add all the ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle with some salt and drizzle with lemon infused olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I like to serve the baby marrows still warm from the oven and then all the other ingredients at room temperature. It’s crunchy, creamy, tangy and really splashy in flavours. Enjoy.

My favourite shades of green:
+ Irish colour green – I am married to a wonderful man of Irish descent … where everything from the Emerald Isle seems to be green;
+ The green of an olive;
+ The green colour of growing grass;
+ Lime green;
+ … and then the US Dollar green. 🙂

green salad with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, goats cheese

 

green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For baking the baby marrow
  • 400 g Baby Marrows
  • 2T Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • For the broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast
  • Melba toast – decide how many you want – I like plenty
  • Handful of green olives - chopped
  • 100g Peppery Chevin goats cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Other salad ingredients
  • 250g Asparagus (I only had tinned asparagus but fresh asparagus will be first-class)
  • 1 Handful pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Handful pistachios
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • Few sprigs of parsley – torn
  • Lettuce of your choice – I like to use the frilly lettuce for this salad – it looks pretty
  • Lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Baking the baby marrow: Preheat oven to 180 °C. Coat each baby marrow with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and cut length ways.
  2. The broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast: Break the Melba toasts up into pieces. Mix the goats cheese, green olives and the lemon juice together and smear on each piece of toast.
  3. Making the salad: Mix all the ingredients together. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with some salt.
  4. Serve with love.

 

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passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

easy passion fruit cups

My husband, Rick, buys our weekly veggies on a Friday – yes, he does ladies … and there is always a surprise or two in the veggie basket for me … some exotic or peculiar addition to tickle my culinary brain. It’s kinda like a mystery box that I get to explore over the weekends. Last week, he walked in with a punnet of passion fruit. Passion fruit or granadilla as they are more commonly referred to in these parts is one of the most flavoursome of fruits and it takes something really simply to migrate it to an extraordinary level.

Curiosity got the better of me and did a little research on the World Wide Web… to my shock and horror it took me straight to a few porn sites! Clearly, these purveyors of porn were taking liberal interpretations of this innocently delicious fruit. I immediately closed my computer and ran to my fridge to cool down! As it would then happen, I had some Ricotta cheese in the fridge so I decided to mix the two – it set my taste buds racing. I loved it.

I dished it up in in the empty granadilla cups. Be tempted with these forbidden fruits, it is after all food porn – with no age restrictions.

passion fruit cups easy and quick

 

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • 20g Icing sugar
  • 125ml Fresh Granadilla pulp from about 3 to 4 large-sized granadillas
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the granadilla pulp, mix all the ingredients together…and put back into the granadilla shells. Put in fridge – serve cold…with a sultry smile.

 

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10 tips to poach the perfect egg

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

My favourite Saturday morning breakfast is a soft poached egg on whole wheat toast with a bit of wild rocket out of my garden and a pinch of Maldon salt. When you cut into that egg and the yellow slowly ooze onto the bread … it is like early morning sunshine on my plate! What I want to share with you today is not a specific recipe on how to poach the perfect egg but a few interesting facts and tips that might help you along the way. I am sure you will know most of them but one or two of these pointers are quite interesting.the perfect mother's day breakfast - 10 tips to poach the perfect egg
1. The fresher the egg, the easier the poach – fresh eggs hold together better when slipped into the simmering water.
2. To test to see whether an egg is fresh – put the egg into a bowl of water. A very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side – an old egg will float.
3. The eggs must preferably be room temperature.
4. Remember to add a bit of vinegar to the simmering water – it helps hold the egg together.
5. The water must be simmering not boiling.
6. Now, my best tip is to slowly submerse the whole egg with shell and all in the hot simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
7. Before breaking the egg into your simmering pot of water, use a spoon and give the water a stir so that it forms a little bit of a whirlpool…the centrifugal motion will pull the egg together when you slide it into the water.
8. When you break the egg break it into a saucer or cup first – be careful not to break the yolk and then simply slide the egg off the saucer or cup into the centre of the whirling water.
9. How long to poach the egg? Here’s a quirky snippet I read…when you put your bread in to toast put your egg in to poach…when your toast pops out of the toaster…your poached egg should be ready to be removed from the pot. Otherwise poach it for 3-5 minutes until cooked.
10. When done scoop out with slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to dry excess water from the now poached egg.

It’s quick but fabulous when poached to perfection… decadent and yummy all at the same time!

Don’t forget too that a poached egg on top of a rocket + bacon salad makes for a wonderful salad option just ever so slightly out of the ordinary.

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12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

On Spring Day I found myself reading an article posted on the Independent Traveler site written by Lori Sussle – “12 International Foods to try before you die” – it’s kind of like a “food bucket list” for us ordinary people [see the full list below].

The first item on the list was Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls are normally associated with the freshness and vitality that comes with the onset of Springtime and are versatile, healthy and easy to make.

You can prepare either vegetarian Spring Rolls or add seafood or even meat and eggs, whatever your heart delights – but the most important thing for me when serving a fresh spring roll … is the dipping sauce. The sauce needs to compliment the ingredients inside the roll – you can make peanut sauce, soy based sauce or sweet and sour sauce etc. I decided to make spring rolls with ricotta cheese and my own dipping sauce – yip – I think the foodies will tell you that it is somewhat of a no-no to fuse Italian with Eastern cuisine. Well it worked – East meets West … its delicious and the ricotta adds a lovely creaminess to the roll.

In my recipe I cannot specify the quantity of ingredients you will need as this depends on how many Spring Rolls you would like to make or how “fat” you would like to make them…but I have included a list of suggested ingredients with a link to a YouTube video which shows you how to make your own fresh spring rolls. Try my dipping sauce – its fresh, salty, sour and sweet all at once and adds just another dimension to eating this Eastern treat.

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” — Anthony Bourdain

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – fresh spring rolls is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on the region, spring rolls are made in different manners with different ingredients.
2. Gnocchi – come in various shapes and guises and are soft dumplings made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato and egg.
3. Meze – is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans as either a breakfast, lunch or even dinner – with or without drinks (I prefer it with drinks… ). In Levantine cuisines and in the Caucasus region, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meals.
4. Lobster Roll – a traditional lobster roll that contains the fresh cooked meat of a lobster, tossed with mayonnaise and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
5. Churros and Chocolate – a churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, it is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux-based snack. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
6. Kangaroo meat – is a meat from any of the species of kangaroo. It is produced in Australia from wild animals.
7. Saag Paneer– is an Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach.
8. Ćevapčići – is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe.
9. Poutine – is a French Canadian dish, made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese.
10. Completo – is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, which, is usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. It is normally a lot larger than the American type of hot dog we have come to know.
11. Queso Helado – is reminiscent of frozen rice pudding flavored with cinnamon. Some say it’s like creamy shaved ice. It’s made from sweet milk with a touch of coconut or cinnamon.
12. Ktefa – traditional Moroccan dessert made by layering fried or baked warqa pastry with sweetened fried almonds and custard sauce flavored with orange flower water.

Source: Info from various internet web pages

 

asian fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 60ml Sweet chillie sauce
  • 2t Fish sauce
  • 1t White vinegar
  • 1t Chillie flakes or one fresh green chillie chopped
  • 3T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 80ml Water
  • Spring Roll
  • Rice paper wrappers – soaked in luke warm to warm water until soft. Don’t soak for too long as it will break easily
  • Vermicelli – soaked in boiling water till soft
  • Carrots – julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Cucumber - julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Spring onion – finely sliced in +- 6cm length
  • Avocado slices - +- 6cm lengths
  • Bean sprouts
  • Ricotto cheese
Instructions
  1. Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spring Rolls: Youtube video

 

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wheat + mushroom + thyme = delizioso risotto

wheat + mushroom + thyme = delizioso risotto

easy vegetarian spring roll recipe, easy vegetarian spring roll, easy vegetarian recipe, vegetaries, maklike vegetariese resep

I love wheat….and I love Italians. I am fascinated by the way Italians eat and the way they cook – it is the simplicity and the flavours, their history and the la famiglia. I grew up with wheat on our table and have always loved the earthy crunchiness of wheat, its healthy and nutritious in so many forms, its cheap and then of course it is also grown just around the corner from us in Malmesbury. What got me thinking about Italians and wheat was a fabulous foodie get-together with #chicksthatchow (see below)* at the Italian restaurant, Zibaldone. It was a spectacular feast of Italian cuisine and the kind of atmosphere that makes a South African like me feel part of the greater La Famiglia…

What stole my heart and took my gastronomic spirit on a wheat journey was the lamb tortellini with creamed pearl barley. Out of my endless curiosity when it comes to food, I had to explore wheat as a risotto ingredient. I went back to Jamie’s basic risotto recipe that I use every time I make risotto and tweaked it somewhat by replacing the risotto rice with wheat and added some martini and mascarpone cheese. It is so delicious and crunchy. It has such a proud and distinctive nutty undertone of flavour and can be enjoyed as a main meal or accompany any beef or lamb dish.

*About #chicksthatchow: we are a group of “taste, tipple and tweet” women who celebrate life, happiness and all things good over a serving of fabulous food and a glass or two of the best pressed grapes whenever or wherever the mood or the menu may take us. #chicksthatchow was founded by the inspiring and enchanting Errieda du Toit, aka @huiskok and now the presiding President of #chicksthatchow.

Divertiti…!

easy vegetarian spring roll recipe, easy vegetarian spring roll, easy vegetarian recipe, vegetaries, maklike vegetariese resep

 

wheat + mushroom + thyme risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup of wheat – pre-cooked for 25 minutes without salt in the water
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 T Butter
  • 1 Medium onion – finely chopped
  • 1 Celery stick – finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • 60ml Martini Bianco
  • 450 ml Stock of your choice
  • 40g Grated parmesan
  • 2 Generous tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
  • For mushrooms
  • 500g Mushrooms – any sort – thinly sliced
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2T Butter
  • 2T Fresh thyme –leaves picked
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Big squeeze of lemon juice
  • 30g Chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Prepare the mushrooms first: Cook the mushrooms, thyme and garlic in the olive oil and butter in batches in a very hot pan – season each batch with salt and black pepper. Do not let the mushrooms become soggy; they should be a beautiful nutty and brown colour.
  2. When cooked add the chilli powder, a squeeze of lemon juice and the chopped parsley and then set aside.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a pot and add the olive oil.
  4. Add the onion and celery and fry for about 5 minutes till translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and let it fry for another few minutes then add the cooked wheat. Slowly fry the wheat for a minute or two.
  6. Add the Martini – and stir till the martini has evapourated.
  7. Now start adding the stock ladle by ladle – allow each ladle to be absorbed by your ingredients in the pot before you add the next one.
  8. Continue until all stock has been added to the saucepan. Remember… your wheat needs to stay moist and creamy.
  9. Now add the mushrooms – give it a good stir.
  10. Then add the parmesan and mascarpone.
  11. Taste for seasoning – it is not normally necessary to add salt – but I always give it an extra pinch of black pepper.
  12. Serve with beautiful fresh Italian bread and a glass of good red wine.

 

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