Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Liquid Gold

By now, I'm sure you're aware of the huge role that oils play in my diet. Because I am allergic to dairy, butter and margarine have now become a no no. A simple thing like mashed potato has to be reinvented to suit my diet.

That is why I LOVE Willow Creek Oils!! Just because my lifestyle has changed, I refuse to sacrifice on flavour. Food is still my passion no matter what my limitations are - therefore I need to enjoy it - otherwise there is actually no point in living - I might as well pack up now and go home...

"Willow Creek Estate lies in the Nuy Valley, in the Western Cape. Overlooked by the Rabie Mountain which forms part of the Langeberg Mountain range, the farm has been in the Rabie family since the late 1700s when it was first cultivated by Johannes Stephanus Rabie. His descendant, Andries Rabie, planted the first olive trees in 1999 and in 2002 the first oil was pressed.

In November 2002, with the goal of facilitating large scale expansion, Cape Town entrepreneur and owners of Alomzicht Olive Estate, Johan Pretorius, and his wife Mariette, became partners in the Willow Creek brand – forging a partnership with global potential and aspirations." http://www.willowcreek.co.za/

The Lemon-Infused Olive Oil is made by infusing the Willow Creek Extra Virgin Olive Oil with natural oils extracted from lemon rind. The lemon flavour zings and bursts on the tongue and is yet smooth and subtle at the same time. I love it with fresh asparagus, in dips such as hummus and butterbean, on warm crushed baby potatoes, as a marinade with fish, lamb chops, chicken, on salads, in fact I could go on and on. This olive oil in my opinion goes pretty much with anything.

The Basil-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil is equally as versatile and delicious. It has a fresh, summery flavour with an intense punch of basil - it cries out to be sloshed lovingly onto Mediterranean foods such as a caprese salad, used as a base in pestos, to finish off risottos and in marinades for fish, chicken, lamb and beef.

These oils can be bought from most supermarkets such as Checkers, Pick 'n Pay and Woolies.

My entire supply of oils has grown dramatically since I began my collection with one bottle of avo oil back in October last year; each one is as valuable to me as any precious metal. Healthy oils such as these are essential fatty acids and are important for the body, ironically enough in the right quantity, they even boost fat-burning.

Polyunsaturated fats found in seeds, their oils or fatty fish, are used by the brain and nerves, boost immunity, balance hormones and promote healthy skin. In fact, these fats are far better for you than butter and margarine and even when I am able to eat them again, I will still leave them out of my diet - as I do not miss them one bit. The reason for this is that because our bodies need these essential fats to perform functions, we have fat receptors in our mouths, which register if we have eaten what we need or not. We crave fats in the same way we crave sugar, but only when we eat the right fats do our bodies stop craving them. That is why you might get a craving for slap chips or a burger - but once eaten, you will still crave the fats, until you give your body what it really needs - healthy fats.

Omega-3 fats are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines as well as pumpkin seeds and walnuts and their oils - these help to control metabolism and fat-burning. Omega-6 fats are found in sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds and their oils and are especially good for healthy skin and hormonal balance. Omega-9 fats are found in olive oil, almonds and walnuts and they help to stabilise blood sugar levels. It is best to use these oils in their natural state where ever possible. (Taken from The Holford Low-GL Diet).

Dischem has a good selection of oils, but you can also buy them from most supermarkets or health shops.

Pork Chops with Butterbean and Potato Mash:

    • Pork Chops
    • Willow Creek Lemon-Infused Olive Oil
    • Herbal Salt
    • Dried Rosemary
    • Dried Chilli
    • Tin of Butterbeans
    • 4 medium sized Potatoes
    • Brush the chops lightly with the olive oil
    • Sprinkle with herbal salt, rosemary and chilli
    • Grill in the oven until the rind is crispy (15 to 20 mins)
For The Mash:
    • Peel and cut potatoes into rough cubes and boil until soft
    • Drain liquid
    • Blend a tin of butter beans with the boiled potatoes in a blender
    • Add a generous amount of lemon infused olive oil to the mixture
    • Season with herbal salt and chilli
    • The butterbeans create a creamy texture, therefore the use of milk is totally unnecessary
Serve with tender stem broccoli


  1. Well done Leaine on another gourmazing recipe! I absolutely love mash but never have it as I have always made it with butter and milk. The mash was light and fluffy and very filling! I loved the touch of lemon in it. Then for the best part - pork chops. I didnt have the lemon infused oil so I brushed it with olive oil and then squeezed the juice of a lemon onto the chops, I also changed the herbal salt for Sweet Basil. Just amazing. I had a good dinner, thanks L.

  2. Thanks for trying the recipe Elaine! (and letting me know your feedback) - always great to hear things from someone else's perspective - and nice improvisations :). I'm so happy you had a good dinner :)

  3. Oh I wanted to tell you that tonight I replaced the chilli with ginger and it was really nice...different but very nice!!