Monthly Archives: February 2012
So when last did you eat maize rice?
After realizing that I haven’t actually ever cooked maize rice I thought I should google it. Ha! surprise there were no instructions to be found. So I went with my gut feeling and cooked it like I would cook rice, just a little longer.
To spice it up I made a lamb curry dressed over butternut pure’. Now that is just a fancy way of having your meat on top of your butternut. Would have been the same thing if you plate it next to the meat but I like to play with my food.
600 g stewing lamb cuts
1 garlic glove finely chopped
1 onion chopped
5 ml Garam masala
5 ml Turmeric
5 ml chilli powder
5 ml salt
5 ml Jeera (cumin seeds)
1 x Cinnamon stick / 2.5 ml cinnamon powder
1 x star anise
2 red chillies (whole)
3 x tomatoes diced
2 potatoes cubed
2 carrots peeled and cut into slices
60 g tomato pure’
Olive oil for frying
Rub the lamb with the spices (masala, turmeric, chilli powder, salt). Fry your onions and garlic with the cumin seeds in a little olive oil until soft. Add the lamb and braise until the lamb is browned. Add the carrots, Cinnamon stick, star anise and the whole chillies to the pot and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes and enough water to cover the meat, cook for +- 30 – 45 minutes on a low heat until the meat is soft. Make sure to check on your curry regularly and add more water if needed. Add the tomato paste and potatoes to your curry and cook until the potatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced to a sauce. Season to taste.
For the butternut puree’
preferably steam your butternut until soft. Whiz in a food processor seasoning with a few teaspoons of sugar and salt to taste.
I love cooking but sometimes I’m just too tired and too lazy to cook.
On days like these I make my cous-cous beef strip salad. Not only is it packed with goodness it is also quick and easy to make, and by quick I mean 30 minutes.
So what is your “too tired to cook recipe”?
10 ml olive oil
400 g steak cut into thin strips
1 tsp Robertson’s steak and chop spices
1 punnet of mushrooms sliced
I red bell pepper cubed
1 onion sliced
1 green chilli chopped
1 tsp Roberson’s veggie spices (optional)
1 garlic glove chopped
1 cup Cous-Cous (cooked to instructions)
60 g of cheese (Cheddar or Gouda) cubed
50 g black olives (pitted and sliced)
1 tomato cubed
1 /2 cucumber cubed
2 gherkins sliced
1 tbs salad dressing of your choice.
Ground black pepper to taste
Cook the Cous-cous as per instruction on the box and allow to cool.
Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and gherkins and mix together. (put everything in a sieve that is over a bowl to allow the extra water and juices to drain while you are busy with the rest of the salad. This will prevent the salad from being soggy once mixed).
Heat your oil in a pan. Fry the onions until soft, add the mushrooms frying for another few minutes. Add the beef strips, garlic, chilli, red pepper and spices and fry until the beef are cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down a bit.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a large salad bowl and add the salad dressing, the Cheese and Olives. Add the beef mixture and the Cous-Cous and mix with a fork.
Season with ground black pepper.
The salad can be made a day in advance and taste really good if left overnight giving the cous-cous the opportunity to just suck up all the lovely juices from the meat and mushrooms. However if you want to make it before hand don’t add the tomatoes, cucumber and gherkins, rather mix this in just before serving.
I’m absolutely in love in th the whole range of Eating for Sustained energy Cook books from Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp. These woman know how to develop good home-made food recipes, while keeping it interesting, healthy and quick to make. When ever there is a new recipe book on the shelves I don’t even flip through it any more I just buy it! The recipes are based on the low GI low GL principles, low in fat and best of all low in carbohydrates as well.
The recipes are delicious and the photos are absolute taste bud teasers.
I’ve decided to make individual pies instead and to incorporate more veggies into my meal I’ve added a Portobello mushroom on the bottom of the pie pots which was a lovely surprise as no one expected it.
5 ml Olive oil
1/2 tsp dry/fresh thyme leaves
1 medium onion chopped
6 x Portobello mushrooms
garlic butter to fry the mushrooms with
400 g topside mince
5 ml chilli powder
4 tomatoes chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
40 g tomato puree
5 ml brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 410 g tin butter beans (drained)
100 ml low-fat milk
60 ml water
250 ml cake flour
10 ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
Fry the Portobello mushrooms in a pan with the garlic butter. Place a mushroom at the bottom of each pot pie.
Heat the oil and fry the onions until soft. Ad the meat, thyme chilli powder and fry until brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and the brown sugar. Add just enough water to make a rich sauce and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Season to taste.
For the topping; Mash the beans together with milk water and egg, or process in a food processor.Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt onto the beans. Mix well. Spoon the meat mixture into the pots.
Spread the pie topping over the meat with a spoon.
Bake for 20-25 minute in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.
Serve hot with roasted veggies or a large salad
Do you have any idea how good home-made tomato ketchup can be!
I’m an advent fan of Jamie Oliver’s cooking. I mean what is not the like, the bloke is funny, charming, good-looking and he can cook! (I still love Gordon Ramsay more but that’s mainly for my weird obsession with the man…I find him strangely attractive).
Jamie always impress with his home-made recipes and this Tomato ketchup is one of them.
The only ingredient I couldn’t find was a fennel bulb (countryside, do I need to explain!). Off course it is virtually impossible for me to follow a recipe so I did add 40 g of tomato puree right at the end where you cook the sauce before pouring it into your bottles, use it don’t use it.
Make sure you have two hours to spend in the kitchen.
Don’t skip the part where you have the sieve the sauce twice, you will be amazed how many tomato seeds are still left in the sauce.
What is summer without a potjie?
Slowly but surely the weather is changing and one of these days it will be winter again, my favorite season! Now don’t get me wrong I like summer especially when it comes to the vegetable garden, or just relaxing next to the pool, what I don’t enjoy is all the mosquitos.
My husband is actually the Potjie King but since he was to busy installing the laminated flooring for me I decided to make a Chicken pineapple potjie to reward him with.
If you don’t have a potjie don’t be discouraged to try the recipe, even on the stove the interesting flavor from the pineapple and Ideal milk with the chicken will leave you craving for a second helping.
1 Kg Chicken pieces
500 g baby potatoes
300 g baby carrots
200 g baby corn
200 g courgettes
200 g patty pans
200 g butternut
250 g mushrooms
200 g shallots
1 tbs Robertson veggie spices ( optional)
1 tsp Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
2 tbs Chicken spices
1 tin Ideal milk
2 tbs Bisto powder / Flour to thicken the sauce
1 tin pineapple pieces in syrup
250 ml water
Get your coals ready before preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Prepare all veggies by rinsing and cutting into smaller pieces, keep aside. Rinse your chicken pieces and rub with the chicken spices, set aside. Slice the onion, remove skin from the shallots keeping them whole and add with the mushrooms.
Assemble your potjie over the hot coals and allow to heat through.
As soon as your pot is hot enough fry the sliced onions, whole shallots and the mushrooms in a little oil.
Remove mushrooms and onions and set aside.
Add the Chicken pieces to the pot and fry for a few minutes until brown.
Add the mushrooms and onion mixture. Add the vegetables, salt and pepper and the 250 ml water to the pot. Cook for +- 30 – 50 minutes with the lid on until the potatoes are soft.
check often and lift the pieces from the bottom with spoon allowing the liquid to flow back to the bottom of the pot, but don’t stir. You could add a little more water if need be to ensure that pot don’t cook dry.
As soon as the vegetables are done (and the neighbours are in comatic state of the lovely smell escaping from your yard) add the tin ideal milk keeping about 1/3 tin aside to mix with the bisto / flour.
Mix the bisto / flour with the remaining ideal milk to form a smooth paste, add to the pot. Add the Pineapple pieces + the juice to the pot. Gently stir your pot and cook for another 15 minutes without the lid until the sauce have reduced.
Enjoy with rice.
I don’t know if this is an age thing, but somehow Valentine’s day is getting more enjoyable as the years go by….Somebody should have told me years ago that being in your 30′s is far better than being in your 20′s. Let’s hope the 40′s is even better!
Well since I’m sharing my son’s Valentine chocolates tonight I should make up for it with a healthy salad tomorrow, you know, just to balance things out.
If you love beans you will love this salad.
400 g green beans
1 x tin mixed beans
1/3 cup rice vinegar
5 tbs sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 wheel of feta cheese
Cook the green beans in salt water till soft, strain, cut in half and set aside.
Strain all the water from the tin of beans and add to salad bowl.
Add the green beans to the mix beans and season with salt and pepper.
Mix the sugar with the vinegar in a sauce pan and simmer for a few minutes, making sure that all the sugar have dissolve.
pour hot vinegar mixture over your salad.
Assemble salad in glass containers also adding some of the vinaigrette in each container. Divide the feta cheese amongst the containers and add last.
refriderate and enjoy later.
Who can remember the peanut butter scene in Meet Joe black?
In our house I don’t buy any cookies, chocolates or chips, because I will develop a craving just because I know it’s in the cupboard.
Taking away all temptation certainly helps the hips, but sometimes I develop a genuine craving and that’s when I grab a teaspoon and the peanut butter jar. And then I eat it Joe Black style, slowly, savoring every lick of that spoon.
I have this lovely healthy low GI recipe for Banana bread that I most often use to make muffins. The peanut butter inside is a lovely surprise but you could bake it without the peanut butter if you choose to.
30 ml Canola oil
190 ml brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract / essance
60 ml low fat milk
1 apple grated (with or without skin)
3 medium bananas
295 ml Cake flour
2,5 ml salt
125 ml oat bran
125 ml Wholewheat pronutro (Original or apple bake)
1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix the oil and sugar together in a mixing bowl
3. Add the eggs, vanilla and the milk with the sugar mixture and mix well.
4. Add the grated apple and mashed bananas with the oil and sugar mixture.
5. Sift the flour the baking powder and the salt together. Add the oatbran and the pronutro with the flour mixture and mix.
6. Add the dry ingredients with the oil and sugar mixture and mix thorougly but not too much.
7. Spoon one tablespoon of the mixture into the paper cups.
8. Spoon half a teaspoon of peanut butter into every paper cup and refil the rest of the papercup with the remaining mixture.
9. Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until tests skewer comes out clean.
Bake a lovely banana bread with this recipe instead.
Each muffin or slice equals 1 x carbohydrate, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat.
Have you ever made Biriyani before? If not I dare you to try this recipe. Biriyani seems complicated and the list of ingredients could be overwhelming but boy oh boy the taste you will experience is worth the all the effort!
My mother never made Biriyani and I was not at all familiar with the dish. If not for my Tastic rice recipe book and the lip smacking picture in it I probably wouldn’t have tried it either. I just love the creamy spicy sauce and I even when all the Chicken have been eaten, that last tiny bit of rice and potatoes that’s left in the pot is still my favorite lunchbox treat for the next day.
As you can see I love my spices
Serves 6 – 8
1.5 kg Chicken
3 ml Turmeric
5 ml Ginger powder / fresh ginger
5 ml ginger (minced)
250 ml plain yogurt
2 tomatoes (grated or processed to a pulp)
2 cinnamon sticks
4 Cardamom seeds
20 ml Masala
10 ml Cumin
10 ml Coriander powder
15 ml chopped mint
45 ml Lemon juice
125 ml black lentils
500 ml raw white rice / Basmati
10 ml salt
oil for frying
2 onions in rings
6 small potatoes peeled and halved
50 g butter
pinch of saffron
125 ml cold water
1. Place the Chicken in a bowl and rub with the Turmeric, ginger and garlic.
2. Add the yogurt, tomatoes, 1 Cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom seeds, Masala, Coriander powder, mint and lemon juice. Marinate for an hour.
3. Cook the lentils in salt water, strain and put aside.
4. Place the rice, water, salt, 2 x cardamom seeds and 1 x Cinnamon stick in a pot and parboil the rice, strain and set aside.
5. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onions with the cumin seeds until soft. Add the potatoes and fry for another 2 minutes stirring if necessary.
6. Add the butter to the pot add the Chicken without the marinade to the pot and fry for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add some of the lentils on top of the Chicken and the potatoes.
7. Layer the parboiled rice and the rest of the lentils on top and add the rest of the marinade and a pinch of saffron. Lastly add the cold water over the mixture in the pot and cook for 10 minutes on a high heat.
8. Place lid on the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 -60 minutes. The potatoes should be soft and most of the liquid should have reduced.
Make sure you have at least 2 hours to spend before attempting the recipe.
I LOVE Chicken and mushroom pies, the type you buy at the filling stations. Yes that one’s! you know for a fact that you will have heartburn from eating them and still you end up buying one.
Well unfortunately my hips don’t lie and I had to make a healthy Chicken pie, so we ditch the puff pastry swap it for filo pastry, ditch the cream and use low-fat milk and just to add some flavour and fibre we add some courgettes, served with roasted butternuts on the side…yum.
Chicken Mushroom Pie
500 g Chicken breast, cut into small cubes
2 slices of ham / 125g bacon cubed (optional)
5 ml olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic glove chopped
250 g mushrooms chopped
4 courgettes ( grated)
1.25 ml salt
5 ml freshly ground pepper
15 g flour
350 ml low-fat milk
60 ml flour
2 filo sheets
Preheat oven to 220 degrees
Cut chicken into small chunks.
Add oil to your pot and fry onions , garlic, mushrooms and ham / bacon (optional). Add the Chicken and for another 2 minutes.
Add courgettes with the salt and pepper to the pot and fry until mushrooms are just about soft.
Mix the flour with the milk in a cup. Add the flour mixture to the chicken in the pot. Cook for a minute allowing the sauce to thicken while continuing to stir.
Grease an oven dish and pour the chicken filling in it.
Top the chicken filling with the filo sheets. Place the filo sheets roughly onto the pie it don’t need to be neat. Brush with a little beaten egg. Reduce your oven heat to 180 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes until the filo pastry is browned.
Rule is if you stay in the countryside don’t expect to find exotic ingredients, by sticking to this rule, ALWAYS, you won’t be disappointed.
Now you might think that I’m over exaggerating, I mean how is it possible not to find something here, yet we only stay a 2 hours drive from Johannesburg. Let me give you few examples: Blueberries in a tin, vanilla pods, hazelnuts, and don’t forget fresh whole-wheat bread rolls. Seriously??? Yes seriously!
Until now I couldn’t explain it myself and the only logical reason is that the people in my area got so used to not having the huge variation on the shop shelves that we simply drive all the way to Johannesburg to buy it.
You see, you can normally spot us a mile away in the City. We are the people who stops in EVERY row at EVERY Shelve and stare at the products, normally with a dazed and confused expression slowly turning into a thrilled look with a lot of smiles once we’ve read the label and know what the product is all about. We will probably also end up using it the wrong way as well, until we are educated by the next cooking show on the food network.
This cupcakes is a good example of baking from scratch. I was actually dreaming up a blueberry cupcake with Vanilla butter icing….nevermind!
The Rooibos infused cupcakes was not a bad idea after all and turned out to be lovely.
Ingredients for the cupcakes
200 g Cake Flour
150 g Castor Sugar
125 g butter
125 ml Strong Rooibos tea, cooled
1 tbs Honey, mix with Rooibos tea
5 ml salt
2 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, cream the butter and sugar, add eggs one by one. Sift the Flour and salt and add alternatively with the Rooibos to the butter mixture. Spoon into 12 paper cups and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Allow to completely cool down.
For the Rooibos tea Icing
125 g soft butter
300 g Icing Sugar
6 Rooibos tea teabags
100 ml Cream
3 tbs Honey
1 tin Caramel condensed milk
(Make sure there is children around because you won’t use all of it)
Place the teabags into a pot with the cream and the honey, bring to boil. Reduce the heat and allow the syrup to simmer until the mixture has thickened and darkened in colour. Allow to cool completely.
Add the butter to the mixture and beat on high-speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift the icing sugar and add to the mixture beating until creamy.
Spread a thick layer of the caramel over the cupcakes and decorate with the Rooibos tea Icing.