Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening of Pick 'n Pay on Nicol and a Celebratory Dinner

Hi Friend,

I thought I'd just let you know how impressed I am with the newly opened Pick 'n Pay in Hurlingham – the biggest Pick 'n Pay in South Africa!

As you drive in, the store towers over you like a giant, gleaming glass square of architectural design.

The array of fresh flowers that greet you on arrival instantly brightens your mood - the variety of which will not be out of place at the most successful flower show!

The bakery is the first section of foodie heaven with its scrumptious cupcakes and other baked sweet treats that will make you salivate throughout your visit. The selection of freshly baked breads will have your stomach rumbling - olive and sun dried tomato ciabatta are two tasty examples.

I am lost for words when it comes to the fresh fish section! Crab claws, crayfish, langoustines, prawns, oysters, tuna steaks, several varieties of salmon... in fact, you should be able to find any fish your heart desires.

The meat section is another tempting array of many different kinds of boerewors and marinated kebabs as well as exotics such as rolled pork stuffed with mango and sage, aged to perfection rump steak, kobe beef, venison, ostrich, the list can go on and on.

The jewel of the store no doubt has to be the chilled cheese room with its rows of wax sealed cheese rounds - the tastings are a real treat and you could get lost in thought over what to pair with the many cheeses - South African and imported - from plum preserve to figs in syrup, olive oils infused with garlic or chilli - my mouth is watering at the possibilities.

The wine selection is imposing in its diversity and another walk in chilled room holds many sparkling wine choices.

The fresh produce section is once again astounding. Unusual fruits such as Asian pears are right next to a striking Asian section of every kind of chilli you can think of, podded peas and beans by the dozen and fresh herbs such as mint overflowing in little pots. The mushrooms are impressive in their variety and size and lucky finds such as celeriac are dotted throughout.

Other sections include home-ware and braaiing and it even boasts its own pharmacy and bottle store. The abundantly stocked shelves seem to go on forever, with a smiling, helpful person dedicated to each section.

It is certainly a pleasure to shop here – I am so enthusiastic about it that I am in two minds whether to share my good fortune with the whole of Joburg or keep the treasure to myself. I have decided on the former – happy shopping! :)

Lea xxx

Pictures were taken with my phone - not the best quality!

This post would not be complete without a recipe to celebrate Pick 'n Pay's opening.

Pork Roulade Stuffed with Asian Pear and Lavender:
(Serves 2 - 3)


2 - 3 Pork Loin Chops
1 Large Asian Pear, Finely Diced
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1 - 2 Tbs Dried Lavender*
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Left Over Asian Pear Stuffing
1tsp Corn Starch in a Few Teaspoons Water for Thickening
Dried Lavender to Taste
Soya Cream
Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt and Pepper
1 - 2 Tsp Good Quality Whiskey
A Sprinkle of Fructose to Counterbalance Flavours

Serve with crushed baby potatoes or basmati rice and peas

*The lavender is from my mom's garden


Remove bones and trim off excess fat on pork chops (keeping aside any excess pork)
Bash chops using a rolling pin/ mallet until thin
Season with salt and pepper
Fry onion until translucent
Add any finely diced excess pork
Add the finely diced Asian pear and cook on high for a few minutes
Add lavender to taste (this can be quite strong so start off with a small amount)
Season the stuffing
Stuff the pork chops with the Asian pear mixture and roll up - secure with a few tooth picks if desired
Fry on high for a few minutes, until golden brown
Transfer to an oven dish and roast in the oven until cooked through (about 10 - 15 minutes - Make sure they don't dry out)
Slice the rolled up chops into rounds - so that the stuffing is visible

Fry the left over stuffing
Deglaze the pan with a bit of whiskey and allow to cook out
Add some water to the pan and the corn starch to thicken the sauce - stir continuously so as not to form lumps
Season with herbal salt, pepper, paprika and lavender to taste
Add a sprinkle of fructose
Add a squeeze of lemon juice
Finish off with soya cream

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flopping Fantastic Scone Biscuits

As promised - here is my recipe for Scone Biscuits.

I'm sure you're wondering why I've called them biscuits, well let me tell you a story about eggs...

Eggs are an amazing addition to baking:
They add colour - turning crusts and biscuits a delicious golden brown
They coagulate - which means they turn mixtures from liquid to a semi solid or solid state; also binding ingredients together, which prevents crumbling
They provide a soft, fluffy or light texture - depending on the technique used
And they help baked goods to rise - by incorporating air into the batter

By the sounds of the above you should never, ever leave eggs out of baking right - but what happens if you are allergic - well you improvise of course?!

And over the last year, "Improvise" has certainly become my middle name. But unfortunately, with the absence of eggs - my scones did not rise, they still tasted very good though and they work as biscuits too, in fact they had a very nice shortbread quality - Yum :)

Scone Biscuits:


1 Cup Entice Self Raising Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbs Fructose
1 Tbs Light Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Rice Milk (or 10mls Rice Milk Powder Mixed into 50mls Water)
1 Tsp Egg Replacer Mixed in with the Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Blossom Margarine


Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Sift dry ingredients
Combine wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients
Rub in the margarine
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface
Cut with a cookie cutter
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until they have become lovely and crisp
Serve with homemade jam and soya cream

As I said in my post about the jam, Dre and I ate them all - and they became a very naughty, midweek, childish dinner  - Oh how Sinful :)

The October Cinnamon Sue Competition is in its final week - Enter today the prize is AWESOME - I want one!! :)

Don't miss out on the fantastic December weekend special at Laird's Lodge and my very first Allergy workshop - 5 Star Luxury at 2 Star prices... and you get to meet me!! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Allergy Workshop at Laird's Lodge in Plettenberg Bay

Chef Tjaart Walraven, who trained under Raymond Blanc, and I will be hosting a workshop on 10th December 2010.

The workshop will be an informative yet entertaining four-course gourmet cooking and tasting demonstration, with a complimentary recipe and information booklet being given to each guest.

Although, the focus will be on the main allergens, namely gluten and wheat, dairy, eggs, yeast and nuts (please let me know if there are other allergens you would like to be included), it is not only for people with allergens as the course will also contain information on:

Healthy food habits
Food pairings
Common food myths

Cost: R1435.00 per person sharing (single rate on request)
This includes:
2 x nights accommodation, on bed and breakfast basis
1 x Entertaining Cooking Demonstration with Gourmet Four-Course Dinner
1 x Recipe and Information Booklet

*You may take advantage of this amazing weekend special without eating the allergy focused food - Original four-course gourmet dinners will be on offer
** Please e-mail me your particular dietary requirements for catering purposes
*** Please book directly with Laird’s Lodge and quote “Allergy Workshop” as the reference

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As Sweet As... Strawberry Jam!

Yay, another victory for me - strawberry jam! I actually made the jam before I made the ketchup - that's how my ketchup epiphany occurred as I used exactly the same principles. Life is awesome sometimes :)

Last week, I walked into Woolies and there in front of me, glowing like glorious beacons of fantasticness were punnets and punnets of the most gorgeously plump and juicy strawberries. I was in business!
 Snatching up a bulk punnet, and cradling it protectively towards me, I hurried over to the cashier. "Quickly, quickly", I thought, "I wanna make me some jam!"

At home I googled Jamie Oliver's recipe for strawberry jam and set to work, staring at the red beauties in awe as I went.

Strawberries have many benefits for the body - they are high in vitamin C and K, manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5 and B6, copper, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids.

They are also the only berry to have seeds on the outside and one strawberry has as many as 200 seeds! WOW!

Strawberries even have love connotations as some stories suggest that sharing a strawberry with someone may cause you to fall in love with him or her. Now that's what I call an easy love potion. :)

The strawberry plant belongs to the same family of roses, Fragraria, along with apples and plums. Fragraria comes from the Latin word for fragrant. Strawberries can be quite a common allergen and therefore allergies to apples and plums may occur too.

Strawberry Jam:


400g Strawberries
120mls Fructose
1 Vanilla Pod, Slit in Half


Mush up strawberries, keeping a few largish pieces
Combine with the fructose and vanilla pod in a pot on the stove
Boil on a medium heat for 5 minutes
Remove any scum from the surface
Allow to cool for about half an hour
The jam will thicken on standing

Our dinner on this night consisted of scone biscuits with strawberry jam and soya cream. Naughty but ooohhhh sooooo nice :) Scone biscuit recipe to follow in the next post.

There are 10 days left to enter the Cinnamon Sue Competition. Why not do it today?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homemade Ketchup!

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

I am seriously kicking myself - why oh why didn't I think of this sooner - if I think about all of those sauceless homemade burgers, naked homemade chips, and all other dishes eaten sans sauce that are not quite complete without tomatoey goodness...? Well not anymore I tell you - never again will I be without my stash of tommy sauce and do you know why?

It's cos I am so damn clever that's why! ;-)

Yeastless tomato sauce - I never imagined - sorry I am babbling, but I am just so H-A-P-P-Y! hAPPy, hApPy, HaPpY!

And if you want your very own stash of Homemade Ketchup:

This is what you do:

(Makes about 100mls - double the quantities to make more)

5 Tomatoes
80grams Fructose
Juice Half Lemon
1Tbs Herbal Salt (To Counterbalance Sweetness)
Squeeze of Yeast Free and Gluten Free Soya Sauce, such as Bragg Liquid Aminos (can be found at health shops)
1tsp Dried Oreganum
1tsp Paprika
Crack or Two of Black Pepper


Roughly chop tomatoes
Put all ingredients into a pot and boil on high for 5 - 10 minutes
Strain so that you are just left with the liquid
Boil again for a few more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken
And there you have it - homemade ketchup
So simple and soooooooooooooo yummy! :)

The amount of fructose may seem like a lot, you can try and use less if you like, but I think it is necessary to provide jam-like properties

I served my ketchup with homemade sweet potato chips and meatballs

Remember to enter the October Cinnamon Sue Competition. Entries close on 31 October 2010. Good luck :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roots Revisited

On my previous visit to Roots Restaurant in the Cradle of Humankind, I was slightly disappointed. My yeast allergy was not catered for accurately and my dishes compared to those of my companions, lacked some wow factor as components were left off instead of being replaced with allergy free versions.

I e-mailed my blog through to them and a few days later I received a call from Giles King, the general manager of Forum Homini, apologising that my experience was not of the impeccable standard that Roots has come to be known for.

Giles told me that they would like to be able to cater for everyone with an equally high standard and asked me to come back in a few weeks to see what they had come up with.

Giles set the kitchen staff to work straight away, giving them a tight schedule in order to challenge them, under the guidance of Head Chef Allistaire Lawrence. Giles tasked the pastry chef Samantha to come up with some dishes that were gluten, dairy, egg and yeast free that would provide me with the same experience as guests with no food allergies.

Last night I returned with two of my friends.

Complimentary bread was offered, with gluten free bread being given to me – I found this to be a thoughtful and personal touch.

An amuse-bouche of beetroot soup started us off – this packed a punch with the sweet and sour flavours working in unison – it certainly got the taste buds going.

The first course was an Aubergine, Roasted Pepper and Parma Ham Terrine paired with a tomato sorbet, basil emulsion and balsamic reduction.

The presentation was amazing as was the intricacy of the dish. The contrasting textures of the sorbet with the al dente roasted pepper and the crunchy biscuit streusel dotted around the plate and the zing from the basil emulsion was brilliant. The fact that the balsamic reduction had to be left off of mine, due to it containing yeast, didn’t bother me in the slighted as my eating experience was pleasurable.

Pan Fried Monkfish with braised lentils, confit tomatoes, red wine fumet and crispy potato was next. The monkfish was slightly tough, but the flavour from the lentils and tomatoes was intense and the crispy potato slivers on the top of the monkfish once again added another dimension. The red wine fume was replaced by sumptuous gravy, which complimented the dish well.

The third dish was Confit Pork Belly with caramelised apples, red cabbage and a ginger and honey sabayon. The sabayon was replaced with foam on mine. The pork belly was very tender and topped with what appeared to be pistachio crumbs or dukkah to resemble crackling, which was supremely clever. This dish was sweet, but the apple and cabbage added a needed tartness.

An unusual sweet pea sorbet was our palate cleanser. This gave our taste buds a small break before continuing on the journey.

Herb Gnocchi arrived next with roasted baby onion, chanterells, asparagus, sous vide fennel and truffle veloute. Instead of standard potato gnocchi, I received spinach gnocchi – the colour of which made a bold statement. The gnocchi was light, but had a slight “floury” taste. The crunch of the asparagus and fennel provided great texture and the roasted onion softened the dish. The sauce that replaced the truffle veloute was tasty.

The dish that stood out the most for me was the Herbed Beef Fillet with sweet potato fondant, broad beans, pickled carrots, foie gras and cinnamon jus.

The foie gras was pan seared, which gave it a lovely crust. At first, I was intimidated by the almost pudding like texture, but the taste was exceptional, especially when being paired with the beautifully cooked fillet. Outstanding.

A classic of Peaches and Cream rounded off an amazing taste adventure. My cream was replaced with dairy free vanilla ice cream, which was lovely and creamy and the vanilla stood out. The gluten free biscuit pieces adding the contrast to the dish were extremely light and delicious.

 Finally, complimentary rose water and almond Turkish delight and caramelised popcorn were the perfect finish to an amazing dinner.

This marathon of gourmet eating took about four and a half hours, but it was an enjoyment that made time fly. The lovely low lighting and warmth from the heaters provided the setting for an evening of pure escapism and magical wonder. The wait-staff were very knowledgeable and have perfected the art of making the diners feel unhurried and supremely well looked after.

I feel so privileged to have been able to partake in such an experience and to know that my blog has triggered off the need to cater for people with dietary requirements as complex as mine. Roots started implementing their amazing, revisited allergy free dishes shortly after receiving my blog. Just the fact that six other diners required dietary requirements on the same night as mine, goes to show that although the market is extremely niche it cannot be overlooked.

Thank you Giles, Allistaire and Samantha, you have certainly set the bar high – hopefully other restaurants will follow in your giant footsteps.

Apologies for the picture quality - it was at night and I used my phone

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Calamari Rings Fit for a King

This salad is a bit unusual - you would probably think the ingredients shouldn't go together, but oh they do!

Sichuan pepper, is not related to black pepper or chilli peppers - it takes its name from the Sichuan region of China and is the outer pod of a tiny fruit. It is known in Chinese as "flower pepper", but it is not hot or pungent like black or white pepper or chilli peppers, instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates and tingly numbness in the mouth.


Calamari Salad with Warm Pear and Sichuan Pepper:
(Serves 2)


100 - 150g Calamari Rings (I bought mine frozen from Pick 'n Pay)
2/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 Cup Sparkling Water
1 - 2 Tsp Cumin
2 - 3 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Pear, Sliced (with skin on) for Frying
1 Pear, Sliced and Kept Raw
1 - 2 Tsp Sichuan Pepper
Canola Oil for Frying
Salad Leaves such as Rocket and Corn Salad/ Lamb's Lettuce
Half Punnet Baby Tomatoes, Halved
Handful Chives, Snipped
Handful Almond Slivers
Sliced Avo (Optional)
Parmesan Infused Olive Oil (such as Willowcreek) or any other oil of your choice - Light Sesame or Grape would work well
A Squeeze Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt to Taste


Make a batter using the tapioca flour, sparkling water, cumin and sea salt (you may add Sichuan Pepper to the batter) The batter should not be too runny
Heat the canola oil
Dip the defrosted calamari rings into the batter and when the oil has reached boiling point, gently drop the rings into it, a few at a time - be careful as the oil splatters
Fry the rings for about 20 to 30 seconds - until the batter has become golden
Take out and lay onto paper toweling
Set the calamari rings aside
Drizzle some parmesan olive oil or any other oil of your choice into a pan
Sprinkle some Sichuan pepper over the pear slices and fry them in the oil for a few seconds on each side, until they have browned, but are still crunchy
Assemble the salad by layering the salad leaves, cooked pear and cook pear, chives, tomatoes, avo and almonds
Dress with a little lemon juice and herbal salt if you like
Dip the calamari rings in the batter again and quickly fry in the canola oil for a few seconds so that the batter becomes extra crispy
Top the salad with the crispy calamari rings

Remember to enter the October Cinnamon Sue Competition. Entries Close on 31 October 2010. Good luck :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunshine Salad

With this super amazingly hot weather, my body has given me strict orders to eat salad, salad and more salad. Over the next few days, I will be sharing these salads with you.

The first salad makes use of broccoli. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which refers to the flowering top of a cabbage.

Broccoli is high in vitamins C, K and A as well as dietary fiber and also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer and has also shown to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease.


Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds:
(Serves 1 as a main and 2 as a side)


1 Head of Broccoli, Florets removed
Handful Sunflower Seeds
Handful Fresh Mint, Roughly Torn
Handful Dill, Roughly Torn
5 - 6 Radishes, Sliced
Lemon Infused Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper


Cook the broccoli florets in boiling salted water for a few minutes
Refresh in ice cold water, to retain their colour
Make the dressing with the olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper
Tumble the broccoli into a bowl and sprinkle over the sunflower seeds, mint, dill and radish
Toss in the dressing

This salad would be scrumptious with a simply cooked piece of fish or chicken or could even work as a braai side.

Remember to enter the October Cinnamon Sue Competition. Entries close on 31 October 2010. Good luck :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pomegranate Power

Some time ago, I walked into Pick n' Pay and spotted pomegranates - I immediately bought them; they cost R30 for two, which is quite hefty for a fruit - but these little babies contain soooo many seeds, it's actually unbelievable. The name "pomegranate" derives from the Latin words pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded").

Pomegranate juice is a good source of vitamin C and Vitamin B5, while pomegranate seeds are high in fibre and unsaturated fats.


The seeds are really versatile and can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.

I have put them on my oats in the morning

And in fruit salads such as apple, orange and pomegranate or orange, strawberry and pomegranate

And yesterday I made the most gorgeous salad for lunch

Pomegranate, Beetroot and Avo Salad
(Serves 1)


Handful Cos Lettuce, Torn
Handful Corn Salad*, Torn
A Few Sugar Snap Peas
1 Cooked Beetroot, Sliced
Half an Avo, Sliced
A Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
Squeeze Lemon Juice
Olive Oil*
Salt and Pepper

*The corn salad was in my organic veggie box - it is also known as Lamb's Lettuce
* If you can have it, a parmesan infused olive oil, would work really well in this salad


Make a dressing using the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
I dressed each of the ingredients individually so as to prevent the beetroot colour from running
Layer the dressed leaves at the bottom of a bowl or plate
Layer the beetroot, avo and sugar snap peas over the lettuce
Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds
Season again with salt and pepper and any left over dressing

Remember to enter the October Cinnamon Sue Competition. Entries close on 31 October 2010. Good luck :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Cinnamon Sue Competition

We are feeling generous, and because it's nearly Christmas and simply, just because... I will be running a monthly competition in conjunction with Cinnamon Sue Online Gift Boutique. I have blogged about one of the gorgeous products before - the Nigella Mixing Bowls and told you how much I love them and how versatile they are, but I not only love the bowls, I also love sharing and I want to share some amazing Cinnamon Sue products with you!

The competition is simple - all you need to do is read the poem below and figure out what product is being described by going onto the Cinnamon Sue website and investigating. You will then need to e-mail me your answer by the 31st October 2010 and then guess what? You can win the product that is being described! How cool is that?? So what are you waiting for - get reading and good luck! :)

I am so versatile,
I just love to file.
With teeth like a primate’s,
I just love to grate.
Lemons and oranges are nice,
But, I just love spice.
Ginger and garlic are fab,
And boy do I love a chocolate slab.
Coconut strands are really pretty,
But, I love hard cheese from an Italian city.

All names will go into a draw and the first correct entry picked will be the winner. The winner will be announced on my blog on the 1st November 2010. Judges decision is final and prize may not be exchanged for cash. Competition is only open to residents of South Africa. You may enter as many times as you wish.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Asparagus Challenged

Inspiration's challenge for this week was to create a dish using asparagus.

Last week, I met Rob from Harrewyn Organics and he introduced me to King Soba noodles. I have seen them in Dischem before, but the price always put me off buying them - about R50 for 250g, which is much more than I would pay for noodles - but Rob convinced me to try them and I am so glad I did - they are definitely worth every cent! These noodles are wheat and gluten free and produced in a dedicated wheat free facility.

The noodles cook in about 3 - 5 minutes for al dente, which is awesome if you are rushed for time, but would still like a substantial meal.

Most gluten free noodles seem to break up once cooked and have a grainy texture, but these noodles have a nice bite and retain their shape. The wonderful thing is that the noodles come in many different flavours, which helps to keep meals exciting.

For this recipe I used the black rice noodles, "these unusual noodles are made with black rice, which turns deep purple on cooking. Also known as 'forbidden rice' it has a sticky texture and nutty flavour. Black rice is particularly nutritious containing five times more protein and minerals than ordinary white rice and are rich in iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium and B vitamins."

Click here to find a stockist closest to you.

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus with Black Noodles:
(Serves 2 - 3)


1 Onion, Sliced
1Tin Coconut Milk
1 - 2 tsp Paprika
Sprinkle Chilli Flakes
A Few Sprigs Dill
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 - 3 Chicken Breasts, Sliced
100 - 150g Fresh Asparagus Spears, Chopped in Half or Threes
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil for Frying
1 - 2 Bundles King Soba Black Rice Noodles


Fry onion until golden
Add coconut milk, paprika, chilli flakes, dill and lemon zest and bring to a gentle boil
Add chicken and allow to simmer for 5 - 10 mins
Add in the asparagus
Cook the noodles in boiling, salted water for 3 - 5 minutes, until al dente
Drain and set aside
Just before serving, add the lemon juice to the sauce
Season with herbal salt and black pepper
Serve over the black rice noodles

Friday, October 8, 2010

Organic Veggie Box Series - Part 4

I was getting a bit worried about posting this recipe because it is more of an autumn/winter dish and we have been having scorching weather - but the rain has finally started - hip hip hooray! (You can all stop doing your rain dances - Murphy's law it might never stop raining... hee hee)

So this recipe sort of works for now :) As I said before I made this 3 weeks ago... and it was a brilliant way to use up some left over organic veggies - would be perfect for kiddies too - as they won't really even taste the veggies :) Dre seemed to like it a lot and he's a big kid (I also have to hide the veggies for him) - ha ha :)

Beef and Vegetable Lasagne:
(Serves 4 - 6)


500g Extra Lean Beef Mince
1 Onion, Diced
2 Carrots, Grated
1 Green Pepper, Diced
Bunch of Thyme
1 Tin of Tomatoes
2 tsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Fructose
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste

White Sauce:
1/4 Cup Maizena
1 Tsp Macadamia Nut Oil/ Olive Oil
2 Cups Rice Milk (You can use the powdered one and mix it up with water or use ready-made)
Sea Salt and Pepper

6 - 8 Oregran Lasagne Sheets
2 Small Potatoes Sliced
Spinach Leaves
4 - 5 Sliced Baby Marrows


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Fry onion until translucent
Add mince and spices and fry for a few mins
Add carrots, green pepper and thyme and keep frying
Add tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and fructose and bring to the boil
Season with herbal salt and pepper
Simmer for about 15 mins
For the white sauce mix the maizena and the oil together in a pot and cook out a little on a low heat
Slowly add the milk, adding more once the previous amount has been absorbed
Stir hard and fast as maizena gets lumpy very quickly
This should take about 10 - 15 mins
Season with salt and pepper
In an oven proof dish, place a small amount of the mince on the bottom and then layer the lasagne sheets (this is to stop the lasagne from sticking to the dish)
Add a layer of mince and a layer of white sauce on top
Add a layer of potatoes and a layer of spinach
Add another layer of mince and another of white sauce
Add a layer of baby marrow and the last layer of mince and a last layer of white sauce
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes on 180 and on 200 for the last 10 minutes to get the top delicious and bubbling and golden - yum!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Organic Veggie Box Series - Part 3

Wow, the chicken in this recipe still amazes me - the flavour was insane! I guess I was just super lucky with the flavour combination and plus chicken thighs have way more flavour than chicken breasts!

Chicken Thighs Stuffed with Leeks and Cashew Nuts:
(Serves 2 - 4)


4 - 6 Deboned Chicken Thighs
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Leeks
1/2 Cup Cashew Nuts
Basil Leaves
1/8 Tsp Dried Mint
Light Sesame Oil (I buy mine from Dischem)
Herbal Salt and Pepper
Tin Foil


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Fry leeks in sesame oil
Add to blender with cashew nuts
Drizzle sesame oil over, add a few torn basil leaves, herbal salt and pepper and dried mint
Whizz together until a paste has formed
Stuff deboned thighs with the mixture and top with a basil leaf
For each chicken thigh, drizzle a piece of tin foil with sesame oil and herbal salt
Lay thigh on top of tin foil and fold over onto itself to close in the stuffing
Wrap up the tin foil parcels
Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes
I served mine with sweet potato mash (seasoned with cinnamon and herbal salt) and broccoli flavoured with a little almond essence - beautiful!

Apologies for the poor photo quality - I was very eager to eat this! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Organic Veggie Box Series - Part 2

I enjoyed getting creative with spinach in this recipe. The flavours worked really well. I know haddock is an acquired taste, but for some reason, I just love it - I think it is another food that takes me back to childhood - we used to have fish pie often and maybe it helps me feel like a kid again - hee hee :)

Haddock and Spinach Pasta:
(Serves 1 - 2)


3 Haddock Fillets
1 Onion, Diced
2 Cups Finely Chopped Spinach
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange)
1 Cup Rice Milk
1 Tbs Corn Starch
1 tsp Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper
Grapeseed Oil
6 - 8 Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets


Fry onion in grapeseed oil until translucent
Add one cup spinach and fry for a few minutes
Add corn starch and stir
Add rice milk a little at a time until a thickish sauce has been created
Add the cinnamon, salt and pepper
Add the sweet peppers and the rest of the spinach and stir into the sauce
Add in the haddock fillets and break them up gently with the wooden spoon 
Simmer for about 10 minutes
While the sauce is simmering, put the lasagne sheets onto boil and cook until al dente
Once the pasta is cooked and drained, spoon the haddock mixture over and enjoy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Organic Veggie Box Series - Part 1

About 3 weeks ago, I promised to share the recipes I created from my organic box of veggies. I don't know where the time went - it definitely got the better of me and I am already onto another box of veggies and some more recipes...

Without further ado - here is the first recipe in the "Organic Veggie Box Series".

Beetroot Risotto:
(Serves 2 - 3)


4 - 5 Beetroot, Quartered
Juice of 1 Orange
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Cumin
Herbal Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tsp Fructose
2 Cups Water
1 Large Leek, Sliced
1 Cup Risotto Rice
Olive Oil for Frying


Combine beetroot, orange juice, cinnamon stick, cumin, herbal salt and pepper, fructose and water into a pot and put onto boil - this is your stock
Strain liquid once beetroot is tender - cook for about 10 minutes - you should have at least 3 cups of stock
Reserve the beetroot for later
Fry the leek in olive oil until tender
Add the rice and fry for a further few minutes
Ladle one spoon of beetroot liquid at a time into the rice until it has been absorbed - stirring continuously
Continue until all the liquid has been absorbed
Chop up about 2 cooked beetroots and add to the pot
Your risotto should be ready after 20 minutes
Serve with beetroot crisps and rocket

To make the beetroot crisps - thinly slice a beetroot, brush each slice with olive oil, chilli flakes, herbal salt, a little ground cinnamon and bake in the oven until crispy

With any leftover cooked beetroot - make a simple beetroot salad. Combine beetroot with a few spring onions, lemon, olive oil, herbs of your choice such as mint or basil, salt and pepper

I just love the colour on this - don't you? What a statement! I think this would go wonderfully with a tender chicken breast, calamari tubes or a simple piece of fish. It was wonderful on its own though - a perfect summer dish, eaten in the garden - heaven!