Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bio-Feedback and Cosmic Feedback

I very rarely blog about my symptoms or the pain I experience when eating foods that do not agree with me, but boy this weekend was one weekend that does need to be mentioned. Yes, I did abuse my body in extraordinary ways from a delicious dinner at So Yum in Hyde Park on Thursday, to the Good Food and Wine Show on Friday, a family 50th on Friday evening and an amazing wedding at the Westcliff on Saturday. Occasionally events happen all at once, I try my best to control what I eat, but sometimes it is impossible.

On Saturday evening my stomach began to shudder in agony - the waves of cramps made it impossible to sleep and it felt like a fist was clenched around my insides - squeezing them with evil enjoyment. By Sunday my body was incapable of coping and I spent the day bolted to the bathroom. My body was so weak I didn't even have the energy to move and it was impossible to keep anything down while that fist was still clawing around my battered stomach.

It could very well have been food poisoning as my friend experienced exactly the same thing, or it could have been a stomach bug - something has been going around, but I know cheating did have a little to do with it.

And this is the reason for this blog post - I want to beseech you to take care of your body. If you are not feeling well - if you have recurring stomach cramps, indigestion, bloating, little or no energy, sinus, and are struggling to sleep at night or if you just have not been feeling yourself for quite a while - please go and have it checked out - it could be something more serious than you assume. We only have one body in this life and we must do everything we can to look after it. Please do not ignore what your body is trying to tell you!

A friend of mine has been living in absolute agony for the past year and last week it got to the point where she would rather not eat anything as it hurt too much. I begged her to do something about it - so this weekend she went to see an Iridologist in the Fourways Mall. By looking into her eyes he was able to see what was wrong with her body and he gave her some remedies to take - and in three days she has already felt an amazing difference - she can't believe she waited so long to sort it out! But fear plays a huge role in procrastination. Believe me; it is better to fix yourself than live with the agony. She has discovered that she has intolerances to gluten and yeast and to a lesser extent dairy. Her new journey is just beginning...

The reason for my recent apparent lack of care over my own body is due to the fact that I have been feeling invincible lately - I have even begun to believe that my food allergies have almost disappeared and it is all down to one thing - "Bio-Feedback Therapy" and a lady called Tenielle from Sense-U-Well.

Tenielle has been a godsend in my life - I was introduced to her through a friend and I have been having sessions with her since June - the changes I can see in myself are unbelievable and each time I go to her my food intolerances become less and less significant. In the beginning, my body was plagued with parasites and organs such as my intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder were damaged due to the intolerances, but they have slowly started to fix themselves. Now, this may seem too good to be true and for some people it will be impossible to believe, as impossible as someone looking into your eye and being able to see what is wrong with you - but I am proof that Bio-Feedback Therapy does work.

It is very complicated to explain what it is, but I am going to try my best - with the help of e-mails from Tenielle.

"Sense-u-well is involved with restoring homeostasis (The ability or tendency of an organism to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes) in the body.

A device called a SCIO or INDIGO is connected to your wrists, ankles and head. It then painlessly and energetically scans the body and detects any imbalances (namely vitamin excess or deficiencies, organs that have been damaged or that are not functioning correctly, hormonal or emotional imbalances, old injuries or even possible future problems). This is then analyzed by a practitioner and then it allows one to address the imbalances with suitable therapies, nutrition, exercises, remedies and healing mechanisms all given within the therapy itself.

The great thing about the therapy is that it is completely painless and actually very relaxing.

Many stress imbalances are worked on from: headaches, cellulite and youth preservation right through to more serious ailments and disease such as allergies/ sensitivities, parasites, spinal imbalances, emotional disorders, cancer, auto-immune dysfunction, etc...

Emotions are also important - quite often physical pain does not have a "physical" cause, it could be emotional which is very important to address.

General balancing is also done whereby people just balance their body to keep it in tip top shape."

"You do not have to take any remedies as such but you will be treated with frequencies that are the same as the remedy required and unlike homeopathy where some doctors can incorrectly diagnose, energetic medicine is highly technical and sophisticated so NO MISDIAGNOSIS can occur. You body will “tell” the machine what is wrong with you using response frequencies. This type of healing is operated using state of the art technology that is licenced by the South African Health Council and international Health Councils in Europe in places like the UK and Hungary. It is used daily by Doctors and Health professionals in order to detect stresses in patients accurately, quickly and efficiently."

"Quantum physics has provided a scientific understanding to the electromagnetism at the heart of energetic medicine. It has also discovered that the human system at its most basic level operates according to the laws of quantum physics and energetics. Everything - emotions, thought forms, physical health and illness, has characteristic electromagnetic waveforms. Technology in the form of sensitive sensing and computing power to address the vast mathematics of quantum physics brings the ancient healing arts within the grasp of all."

This is not an advert for Tenielle - I am in no way getting paid for endorsing her or her company. I just believe so deeply in her and the machine's abilities and am so thankful that she has come into my life.

For further information or to make a booking for yourself you can contact Tenielle on She is situated in Bryanston.

I started writing this blog post yesterday during which time I learnt of an amazingly brilliant blogger who had passed away at the age of 28 from stage IV cancer. I am so sad that I didn't get to know her sooner, her writing has touched me in ways that I can't describe - and something she wrote in one of her posts has been playing over and over in my mind; I wonder how things would have turned out if I had seen a doctor three years ago instead of two years ago?

Please do not play with something as important as your health. The reason I started this blog was to help people and I hope that in some small way my blog has helped at least one person change his or her life for the better.

Monday, September 20, 2010

On a Roll

A hamburger is not really a hamburger without a roll. For that reason, I attempted to make my own.

This recipe was adapted from Gluten-Free Goddess.

Having to eliminate yeast when making bread or rolls is a bit of a problem, therefore these buns have more of a savoury muffin texture - I believe that this recipe would work beautifully as a loaf though.

When baking gluten free, expect your dough to be a lot different to an original bread dough - it is more of a batter and for that reason I baked these buns in a muffin tin. These buns are also dairy and egg free.

Hamburger "Buns":
(Makes 5)

Dry Ingredients:

I had these flours on hand - you can experiment with your own flours or follow Gluten-Free Goddess' recipe directly. As long as you use a combination of starch and flour.

1 Cup Buckwheat Flour (Health Connection)
1/2 Cup Potato Flour (Health Connection)
1/2 Cup Maizena
1/4 Cup White Maize Meal (Earth Products)
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flour (Health Connection)
2 Teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1.5 Teaspoons Sea Salt
1tsp Royal Baking Powder
1tsp Royal Bicarbonate of Soda

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/4 Cup Warm Water
3 Tbs Canola Oil
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Orgran Egg Replacer mixed into 2 Tbs Rice Milk

Sesame Seeds


Sieve dry ingredients and set aside
Mix 1tbs honey, lemon juice, baking powder and bicarb together and slowly add the warm water
Stir quickly (it should be frothy at this stage) and add to the dry ingredients
Add the oil, remaining honey and mixed egg replacer
Stir thoroughly until a batter has formed
Spoon the batter into muffin tins and smooth evenly with wet fingers
Top with sesame seeds
Loosely cover the pan with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm spot for 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius
Bake the buns for about 40 - 50 minutes
Remove buns from muffin pan and cool on a wired rack

A Quick Tomato Relish:


1 Onion, Sliced
1 - 2 Tomatoes, Diced
Olive Oil for Frying
Herbal Salt and Pepper
Squeeze Lemon Juice
Basil Leaves


Fry onions until golden, add tomatoes, fructose, herbal salt, pepper and lemon juice
Simmer for a few minutes
Add basil leaves and stir
Serve dripping over the edges of the patty

See my previous post on how to make hamburger patties

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Humble Hamburger

A patty can make or break a burger. It cannot be rubbery or tasteless. It must be moist and somewhat juicy, but still firm. The flavours must compliment the garnish and yet be strong enough to stand out. There is a lot to consider and a lot more to a hamburger than cooking a few store bought patties or buying a burger from your local Steers. Making a burger is an art - there should have been a painting dedicated to this humble handheld meaty morsel or at least an ode, or sonnet or song.

Early memories of homemade hamburgers have been cemented in my mind. Friday nights were always take away nights, but we preferred homemade patties - there was something grossly therapeutic about squishing minced beef between the fingers, adding onions, egg and bread crumbs and playing patty cake until a gorgeous round shape was formed - frying this in a little oil and stacking a roll as high as possible with lettuce, tomato, cheese, gherkins and tomato sauce and somehow maneuvering this monstrosity into the mouth, usually by unlocking the jaw. Dribbles of tomato sauce juices down the chin were the only tell-tale sign of a well enjoyed dinner.

No more cheese, or gherkins or tomato sauce for me. But now, new memories need to be created.

On Friday night, we felt like homemade hamburgers - which rocketed me straight back to childhood. It felt a little like paint by numbers as I recalled the steps from memory - although with tweaks to suit my new lifestyle.

Homemade Hamburger Patties:
(Makes +/- 6 Depending on Size)


500g Lean Beef Mince
1.5 Onions, Finely Diced
A Handful of Fresh Thyme Leaves
A Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
Herbal Salt and Pepper
A Little Olive Oil for Frying

Step 1: Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Step 2: Fry onions until golden
Step 3: Add onions to mince along with thyme, chilli, herbal salt and pepper
Step 4: Squish between your fingers to mix well
Step 5: Shape mince into patties
Step 6: Cook in the oven for about 5 minutes on each side
Step 7: Turn the grill on and grill for about 5 minutes on each side until charred

Serve on a gluten free roll or bread with rocket, avo, tomato and a drizzle of basil oil and homemade chips with lots of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice

The bread in the picture is Mrs Bread Care's rice bread. It is delicious and tastes like ordinary bread! It is made from sourdough and is yeast fresh, dairy free, gluten free and egg free. You can find her at the Bryanston Organic Market and her products are also at Fruits and Roots and Fresh Earth.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Organic "Gift" Box of Veggies and a Roast

I blogged a few days ago about wanting to purchase organic fruit and vegetables directly from a farm - Confuzzled told me about Wensleydale Farm. I immediately went onto their website; it is located 45 kilometers north-west of Joburg and the owners have farmed organically for over 40 years. Wow, it looked so promising! I couldn't wait to get started. It is so easy - you register, order and pay online and your box can either be delivered on a Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday - depending on your area. I asked for my box to be delivered to the Bryanston Organic Market - where they also have a stall.

I was like a kid on Christmas Eve - I was so excited I couldn't sleep. At the crack of dawn I raced to the market to collect my gift - I ordered the standard box, consisting of 12 different items for R125. The box was huge and heavy! After struggling a little to carry it to the car - I raced home again - my heart beating with excitement. I almost flew up the stairs in anticipation. What was going to be in my box?

I lifted the lid, holding my breath, and hoping I would get some good stuff. I exhaled in relief; in my box was a plethora of veggies - spinach, baby potatoes, carrots, baby marrows, broccoli, beetroots, onions, giant leeks, celeriac, avos, sweet potatoes, and radishes. Wow - I felt like a real "chef" - all professional, buying organic veggies. My fridge and cupboards were packed with all this glorious goodness. Now the mission, what was I going to do with all these veggies? Hmmm...

I wanted to make something special for me and Dre, to mark the occasion - I don't usually make roasts - but that is exactly what I was going to make!

I had some deboned chicken thighs in the freezer and thought these would make an interesting roast. I still had half a head of cauliflower left over from last week's challenge - so decided to make a refreshing salad.

Roast Deboned Chicken Thighs with Veggies:
(Serves 2)


4 - 6 Deboned Chicken Thighs
1 - 2 Onions, Cut into Quarters
4 Carrots, Cut into Chunks
2 - 3 Potatoes, Cut into Wedges
Rice, for 2
Corn Starch for dusting
Canola Oil
Herbal Salt and Pepper

Cauliflower Salad:
Half a Head of Cauliflower
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
Squeeze Lemon Juice
A Drizzle of Lemon Infused Olive Oil
Herbal Salt

1 Cup Vegetable Stock
Fresh Thyme
Herbal Salt
1.5 Tsp Corn Starch dissolved in 1/4Cup Water


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Season corn starch with herbal salt and pepper
Lightly dust potato wedges with the seasoned corn starch
Add veggies and potatoes to an oven pan and lightly toss in canola oil, herbal salt and pepper
Add thyme to the pan
Roast in the oven for about half an hour
Put rice onto boil and set aside once cooked and rinsed
Turn veggies and potatoes over in the pan
Lightly dust chicken thighs with the seasoned corn starch and add to the roasting pan
Roast for another half an hour
Cook cauliflower florets until al dente
Toss in the rest of the salad ingredients - set aside

Turn the veggies and chicken over - remove any veggies that are cooked
Turn the grill on and grill the chicken and potatoes
Turn over after 5 minutes
Remove the chicken and the rest of the veggies
You may need to roast the potatoes for a few more minutes until they are crispy
Make the gravy in the roasting pan - on the stove - remove any burnt bits
Deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock
Add in the corn starch and the rest of the ingredients
Stir well until a thick sauce has been created
Strain the gravy through a sieve

The carrots were beautfully sweet and the onions tasted so lovely - I know I am going to enjoy cooking with my organic veggies over the next 2 weeks. Keep a look out for more recipes with my organic veggies.

Monday, September 13, 2010

NoMoo Zucchini and Quinoa Fritters

Don't you just love it when your eyes fall upon a recipe you just have to make - you go through the ingredients and you have all of them already! It's fate.

Last week I found a few minutes to read the Nomu Mailers that I hadn't had time to get to. One mailer in particular caught my eye - it was entitled "NoMOO" as in No Cow - which translates to no meat. For many years Tracy was actually a vegetarian and the name Nomu was loosely based on this. Therefore, I was extremely excited to see what she would come up with. Her Quinoa and Zucchini "Rosti" immediately caught my eye and I knew I had to try it.

This is my gluten free, dairy free and egg free version.

Zucchini and Quinoa Fritters:

Half an Onion, Finely Diced
1/2 Tsp Za'atar Spice
350g Zucchini (Baby Marrow), Grated
1.5 Cups Cooked Quinoa
1/4 Cup Potato Flour (Health Connection)
1 Tbs Rice Flour (Pouyoukas)
1 Tbs Buckwheat Flour (Health Connection)
1/4 Tsp Royal Bicarb of Soda
1/8 Tsp Xanthan Gum
2 Tsp Orgran Egg Replacement in 4 Tbs Warm Water
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste
Canola Oil for Frying


Put the quinoa onto boil, following directions on the packet
Fry onions until translucent and then add the Za'atar spice and fry for a few more minutes
Place the grated marrows, the cooked quinoa, the flours, bicarb, Xanthan Gum and Egg Replacement in a large bowl and mix well
Add the cooked onions to the bowl and stir
Season with salt and pepper
In a large pan, heat enough canola oil to shallow fry
Make sure the oil is super hot before spooning a tablespoon of the mixture into it (it wasn't hot enough for me in the beginning and they stuck to the bottom of the pan)
Flatten fritter gently with the back of the spoon
Fry the fritters for about 30 seconds on each side until they have become crispy
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper
Continue until all the batter has been used

Tracy suggests serving them with a Pistachio and Sumac Creme Fraiche Dip, but for a snack I would serve it with a simple avo dip:

Avo Dip:

1 Avo, Mashed
Squeeze Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/2 Tsp Za'atar Spice

I had these fritters for dinner with a simple piece of crumbled haddock, which I made by cooking in the oven for a few minutes in a piece of tin foil to keep it moist - it cooked in its own juices

My fritters came out a lot darker than Tracy's - I will make them again and report back with any troubleshooting tips

Friday, September 10, 2010

When the Craving Speaks - Eat Pasta!

All this talk of pasta over the last few days on Food24, really got me craving it!

I recently discovered the Orgran range of products and have been using their lasagne sheets for a while and this week I tried the rice and corn penne. The texture was brilliant - just the way I love my al dente pasta. It is the closest I have come to the real thing in a long time - I was overjoyed! Most of Orgran's products are also Gluten, Wheat, Egg, Dairy and Yeast Free! Orgran is approved by Allergen Free International, which means that all of their products are made in a totally gluten free facility - how refreshing! Total peace of mind! A lovely lady, Vivienne, also told me that Pick 'n Pay is now stocking maize pasta as part of the Puccini range - she says that it doesn't go all "gluey" like other makes tend to do. I haven't found it yet, but that's really good news! I have just been told by a really good source that the Pick 'n Pay Pasta says "may contain traces of gluten".  Orgran can be found at Dischem and most health shops.

Pumpkin and Roasted Baby Tomato Penne:
(Serves 2)


Orgran Rice and Corn Penne, For Two
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1 Packet Diced Pumpkin
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Fructose
1/4 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes (Optional)
1 Cup Good Quality Vegetable Stock (I use Woolies Organic Vegetable Stock - Yeast, Gluten & Garlic Free)
1/3 Cup Rice, Soya or Coconut Milk (I used Rice Milk)
Olive Oil for Frying
Herbal Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Half Punnet Baby Tomatoes, Halved
1/2 Teaspoon Fructose
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Herbal Salt and Pepper


Heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius
Season tomatoes with salt, pepper and fructose and drizzle with olive oil
Roast in the oven while everything else is cooking
Put pasta onto boil, drain and set aside when al dente
Fry onion and add pumpkin when translucent
Add cinnamon, fructose and chilli and stir
Add vegetable stock and allow to simmer until stock has reduced
Add rice milk and salt and pepper to taste
When the pumpkin is tender, blend until smooth
Serve over the pasta, sprinkled with roasted baby tomatoes

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Cauliflower Challenge and Ideas from a Steamer

Inspiration's Challenge for this week was to use a regional and seasonal vegetable, namely cauliflower, in a dish. I agree with her that we should try and boost our country's livelihood and buy from local farmers - this is something I am going to be focusing on in my own life. It is more exciting to buy seasonal produce instead of eating the same vegetables all year round, and it is cheaper! It is actually essential for me to have variety in my diet, to prevent more allergies from occurring, therefore I am going to be embracing this concept whole heartedly. I see it as a win win situation :)

Monday night was day two of my dumpling challenge - I had my heart set on steaming them and making perfect see-through wrappers, just like in Chinese restaurants - this didn't quite go to plan, however, but I do feel I am getting ever closer to victory!

Just because the dumpling texture was still not right, didn't mean I had to abandon my whole mission. The filling was still amazingly tasty and moist, which gave me an idea - replace the dumpling casing with something else. I have come to rely a lot on tin foil and I thought it would be the perfect thing to replace the dumpling dough.

Steamed Fish Balls with Cauliflower Puree:
(Serves 2 as a Starter)


Fish Balls:

4 Hake Medallions, Defrosted
1 Teaspoon Smoked Sesame Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes
3 - 4 Baby Salad Onions, Sliced
2 Teaspoons Sesame Seeds (Optional)
Herbal Salt

Cauliflower Puree:

Half a Head Of Cauliflower, Cut into Florets
3 - 4 Tablespoons Soya Cream
1 Teaspoon Paprika
Zest of Half a Lemon
Juice of Half a Lemon
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste

Tin Foil


Blend all fish ball ingredients together
Place a spoonful of fish mixture onto a square of tin foil and make into a lollipop shape
Repeat until all the mixture has been used up
Steam in a steamer for about 5 minutes, until the fish mixture has taken on the shape and has turned translucent
Boil the cauliflower, until soft
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
Serve the fish balls with a dollop of cauliflower puree

The fish balls would also work wonderfully with the Chinese broth in my previous post. With the cauliflower puree, this can be made into a light supper

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pea Dumplings in Chinese Broth

As I mentioned yesterday, I love cooking shows and right now I am hooked on Masterchef Australia!

One of the episodes involved cooking Chinese meals and Julia made an inspiring dumpling recipe in broth.

I was itching to try my hand at some gluten free dumplings. I am sure normal dumplings are hard enough to make because gluten free dumplings did prove to be laughably challenging - luckily I attempted them on Sunday - so I had quite a few hours to play around. The end result was tasty, but I need to work on getting the dough extra thin I think - so this is my challenge to myself for the next while. I will report back on my progress shortly.

Seeing as I was in the spring spirit, I decided to attempt another recipe using peas. I have no idea what went into Julia's broth, so decided to wing it and I used maize flour in my dumplings - so they are more Mexican meets Chinese meets Leaine's Kitchen :)

Pea Dumplings in Chinese Broth:
(Makes 15 - 20 Dumplings and Broth for Two - Increase the broth quantities if you want to cook for more people)


Dumpling Dough:

1 Cup Yellow Maize Flour (*Earth Products)
1 Cup White Rice Flour (*Health Connection)
1 Cup Boiling Water (Add a bit more if it doesn't all stick together the first time)
1 Teaspoon Salt


1 Cup Peas
6 Baby Salad Onions, Sliced
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Mint
4 Teaspoons Soya Cream
1 Teaspoon Soya Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Chinese Broth:

1 Cup Good Vegetable Stock (I used Organic Liquid Vegetable Stock from Woolies)
1 Lemon Grass Stalk, Bruised to Release Oils
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Chilli
2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
5 Salad Onions, Sliced
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Knob Ginger, Sliced
1 Teaspoon Fructose
1 Tablespoon Soya Sauce - Gluten Free and Yeast Free such as *"Bragg Liquid Aminos"
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
1 Cup Water

Canola Oil for Frying

*These products can be found at most health shops


Start with the filling and blend all ingredients together in a blender until they form a paste
Add all the broth ingredients to a pot and put onto boil, after a few minutes reduce heat and allow to simmer
Mix the dough ingredients together and roll out on a floured surface until very thin
Cut circles out of the dough
Put a small amount of the pea filling onto each circle and seal it up into a moon shape
Try and be as quick as you can here as the dough dries out quickly - if this happens, keep brushing with a little water
The dough is also very delicate so you need to be careful when making the pea parcels as it can crack and the dough will ooze out
When you have make all of your dumplings heat a pan of oil and fry very quickly on both sides until the dough turns crispy
Lay on kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil
Serve immediately in the broth, so that the dumplings are still crispy
The dumplings are also delicious on their own and would be great with a dipping sauce instead

Monday, September 6, 2010

Milestone and Nigella Mixing Bowls

I started blogging in February of this year and decided to join the food blogger community on Food24 in March, since then I have been on an incredible journey of discovery... of myself; my boundaries, my character and my passion...And you have all witnessed, and thus, travelled along this journey with me, which I thank you for, from the bottom of my heart! For me, a milestone was reached last week, when I hit 50 000 views on Food24. This is an amazing achievement for me and to have reached it in such a short space of time is brilliant. My target market is a niche one, but I have been welcomed and encouraged with open arms - and I hope I will be able to inspire, help and entertain you on an even greater level for the next 50 000 views - thank you for supporting me in my quest for allergy free eating :)

One of my prized birthday gifts is from my mom - a set of 4 Nigella mixing bowls! My mom has an online gift boutique called Cinnamon Sue. She supplies the most exquisite things: kitchen goodies such as pasta machines, ice cream makers, items from the gorgeous Kitchen Aid range, tagines, and every other kitchen gadget in between; she also stocks amazing hand painted Lolita glasses, pure cotton percale bed linen, Linari room fragrances as well as decorative bowls, platters and vases, just to name a few. If you love all things kitchen and all things beautiful - why not go and have a look for yourself - I'm sure you will be lost for hours?! She even does registries, which is awesome if you love having unique, one of a kind pieces, which your friends can drool over :)

I am obsessed with watching food programmes - I don't actually watch much "normal" tv - I prefer to read books and magazines about food too - you could say that right now, I eat, breathe and sleep food :)

I first saw these mixing bowls on one of Nigella's episodes - and I thought how awesome they were - such a clever design - so easy to pour from, a sieve rests perfectly on top of the second biggest one, they are light weight and the perfect shape to hold in one hand and to beat away at the mixture in the other. They are all different sizes and fit into each other, which makes storage a dream. They don't only have to be used for mixing though - they can be used to serve pasta or a salad or as a decorative bowl for the table.

"I just love this curving, slightly bulging egg-shaped form. These are fabulous for mixing in and pouring from and, held close to you as you beat a batter or whisk some eggs, are gorgeously comforting to cradle. I love them also filled with lemons or limes, or indeed any fruit. And eggs look beautiful in the smaller sized ones". Nigella Lawson.

I have been coveting these bowls for a while, so when my mom gave them to me as a birthday present - I was overjoyed - I couldn't wait to rip open the box and put them to good use! They do everything Nigella says they should, and more! I love, love, love them! And they look so pretty too :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Springtime Lasagne with Chicken and Peas

Wow! Spring is here. Don't you just love that feeling... that light feeling; that joyous feeling; that feeling of endless possibilities; that feeling of rebirth. Huh, don't you? Yeah, I know you do!

Summer is on the way at last!

It's amazing how our bodies are programmed - comfort food that helps with the insulation in winter and uncomplicated, simple and light foods in spring and summer... Yay, I can almost feel those few winter kilograms falling off already - hee hee... Ok, not really... but the thought is there. Those endless possibilities...

Inspiration's Challenge for this week was to make a pasta dish using 5 ingredients, excluding the pasta, oil and seasoning.

I was first going to make a heavier dish with pumpkin and peppers - but my body was saying "Nooooooooooooo, I want spring food!" So I obeyed and gave into its whims :)

Open Lasagne with Chicken, Peas and Lemon:
(Serves 3)


2 Large Chicken Breasts, Skin, Bones and Fat Removed
1 Cup Frozen Peas
4 Baby Leeks, Sliced
Soya Cream
Zest of a Lemon
A Squeeze of Lemon Juice

1/8 Teaspoon of Dried Chilli Flakes per Chicken Breast
Herbal Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Nomu Provencal per Chicken Breast

Sesame Oil
Tin Foil
9 Sheets Gluten Free Lasagne (Or any other lasagne of your choice)


Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Place each chicken breast on a separate square of tin foil
Drizzle a tablespoon of sesame oil over each breast
Add the chilli, Nomu Provencal and herbal salt
Wrap up each chicken breast into a parcel
Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the flesh has changed from pink to white
Cook the lasagne sheets in salted boiling water until al dente and set aside, reserving a ladle-full of the water
Fry the leeks in a little sesame oil until tender
Add the reserved pasta water 
Add the frozen peas and cook on low until the peas have defrosted
Add the lemon zest and lemon juice
Once the chicken is done, remove from the tin foil and allow to rest
Add the juices from the tin foil into the pot of leeks and peas
Slice the chicken and add it to the pot
Stir well so that the chicken is coated in the liquid and so that the flavour from the chicken flavours the sauce
Add a tablespoon or so of soya cream
Stir to combine
Do a final tasting and add more herbal salt and cracked black pepper if needed
Plate up the lasagne: place a sheet in the bottom of a bowl or plate, add some of the chicken, top with two more lasagne sheets and add a final amount of the chicken mixture
Sprinkle with lemon zest if desired

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wrap on the Run

Last week I was in the mood for a savoury wrap filled with mince and packed full of delicious flavours.

I still had some corn and coriander left over from my chicken noodle soup and some kidney beans in the cupboard - this immediately screamed Mexican mince to me. I wanted the wrap to pack some oomph - and chickpea flour seemed to be my best bet.

This is my version of a quick and eclectic Mexican Mince Filled Chickpea Wrap:
(Makes 2 wraps, but enough mince to fill 5 to 6 wraps)


Mexican Mince:

500g Extra Lean Mince
1 Corn on the Cob, with Corn Removed
Half a Red Pepper, Diced
2 Carrots, Grated
2 Stalks Celery, Sliced
1 - 2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
1 - 2 Teaspoons Za'atar Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Tin Kidney Beans, Drained (make sure it doesn't contain vinegar)
1 Tin Diced Tomatoes
2 - 3 Teaspoons Fructose
Handful of Chives, Chopped
Bunch of Coriander, Torn
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste

Chickpea Wraps:

Half Cup Chickpea Flour
Half Cup Warm Water
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Za'atar Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Fructose
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tin Foil


Heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius
Fry the mince in a little grape seed or olive oil until brown
Add the ground coriander, chilli flakes, za'atar spice and turmeric
Add the corn off the cob, red pepper, carrot and celery and fry for a few minutes
Add the tomatoes, fructose, chives, coriander and kidney beans
Add salt and pepper to taste
Cook on low for about 20 minutes

Sieve the chickpea flour and add the baking powder, za'atar spice, fructose, salt and pepper
Slowly add the warm water and mix with a beater until smooth
Pour onto a large baking tray covered in well greased tin foil - so that the mixture covers the tray in a thin layer (you could also use a smaller baking tin and make each wrap individually - but make sure the mixture covers the base in a thin layer)
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool
Gently tear away the wrap from the tin foil
Cut the wrap in half - to make two
Fill each wrap with mince, fold up and enjoy :)