19 November 2010

All About Rye Flour, Rye Nutritional Benefits and Rye Production and Uses

But there's much more to rye than as an ingredient for weight-loss diets. It can be a wholesome, nutritious and attractive part of our meals. Rye breads are delicious and quite easy to make and there are a good many other uses for this versatile ingredient. It is also a good food to consider from a green living perspective, especially if you are close to the major growing regions, because it is easier to grow than wheat in some climates and therefore requires fewer inputs.

What's here?

This page gives some nutritional information on rye and looks at its history and cultivation.

Rye flour - what it is

Rye is a grass (Secale cereale) which is quite closely related to wheat and barley. It grows wild in Turkey and was largely unknown in most of Europe until after the Roman era.

One Roman writer (Pliny the Elder) dismissed it as
"a very poor food (which) only serves to avert starvation".
Nevertheless, it has gradually become a staple food for many European peoples. This is partly because it grows reliably in relatively cold conditions and on poor soils. It is doubtless also because rye breads have a subtle natural sweetness and flavour.

Rye was a popular grain with the Saxons and Vikings. Early methods included sowing both wheat and rye together. Depending upon the weather, one crop would dominate. The mixed flour was known as "maslin" flour.

Russia and Poland remain the world's largest rye grain producers. Organic rye is now being grown in many places, including Finland, Lithuania and North Dakota, USA (where it is used to make vodka).

Germany is noted for its diverse breads and bread-making techniques. Rye bread is one of their favourites (schwarzbrot). In Denmark, too, rye bread (rugbrød) holds an especially esteemed position.

As a flour it has far less gluten than wheat but it has other properties which make it a desirable bread ingredient. Most rye breads are made from a mixture of wheat flour and rye flour, as pure rye bread can be rather heavy and chewy.

It is also difficult to get a good texture with pure rye bread because of the low gluten content. Rye flour is especially well suited to use with a sourdough starter; some of the very best breads are made this way.
There is a very easy recipe for making rye bread here.

Rye and nutrition

Rye is packed with good nutrition. It contains high levels of proteins and fibre. It contains good amounts of iron, calcium and zinc and a whole slew of B vitamins. There's also vitamin E aplenty. Unfortunately by the time it has been refined to "light rye" and mixed with wheat flour, the resultant bread may not hold its own against wheat wholemeal bread. The best rye breads for nutritional value are made from dark rye.

Rye has been the focus of recent research by the Finnish company Fazer which hopes to promote rye more widely as a health food, even for children. They have found rye to be a good source of "prebiotics" and fibre, making it a valuable food for cancer prevention. It is also recommended as having a role in preventing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Rye contains a lot of soluble fibre which slows down the release of carbohydrates and sugars, so that you feel satisfied for longer after eating it compared to wheat bread. The sugars in rye are largely "fructans" - a type of fructose, which accounts for the slightly sweet taste. Fructans allow this plant to thrive in relatively cool conditions.

Many of the benefits of eating rye come from the fact that it ferments in the gut to produce valuable nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids and arabinoxylan. Short-chain fatty acids help the immune system by promoting lymphocyte production and they also lower cholesterol production and stabilise blood sugar levels. Arabinoxylan is thought to act much like beta-glucan from oats. Beta-glucans are responsible for some of the heart-healthy attributes of oats and have a whole bundle of health benefits credited to them.

Ways to use rye flour

Rye flour can be used in a host of products. Rye bread needs no introduction to most people but it's perhaps worth noting that there are many different types of rye bread, from traditional Jewish rye bread with caraway seed flavouring, to the tasty black bread of Russia and Poland.

Rye flour can be used for pancakes, blinnies, muffins and drop scones. Use it just as you would use wheat flour - or mix it 50:50 with wheat flour for a lighter result.

You can also bake your own homemade crackers using rye flour.

Rye is also making a bit of a come back - as beer! Small breweries and home brewers are brewing up delicious new beers using rye as the principal grain ingredient.


Recipe: A simple rye bread recipe

Sieve together equal quantities of strong white flour and rye flour and a good teaspoonful of sea salt.
Add 2 tablespoons of molasses or malt to 1/2 pint of warm water (mix boiled water and filtered cold water together to get water which is tepid).

Add two teaspoonfuls of dried yeast and leave the mixture to bubble up for about 15 minutes.

Put a dip in the centre of the flour and add the molasses or malt mix and add 2 tablespoonfuls of vegetable oil. Work the fluid into the flour gradually. You should get a dough mix which is slightly sticky but not sticky enough to actually stick to your fingers once everything is well mixed. Now knead the mixture thoroughly for a good five minutes, so that the dough becomes more elastic feeling.

Set the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours - long enough that it doubles in size.

Knock the dough down with your fists and give it another really good knead (5 minutes or more). Divide your dough into two loaves and shape them as you like. I find they cook a little more evenly in a bread tin. Let the covered dough rise again until the it is again twice the size.

Pop the loaves into a medium oven (gas mark 6) and bake them for around 40 minutes. You may want to take them out and turn them over after about half an hour, so that the bottom cooks properly. Turn the oven down a notch at this point.

This gives loaves which are slightly sweet with a good texture - not too dense. If you want an even sweeter result add a little more molasses or malt. You can also add caraway seeds to the mix before kneading. Another good variation is to add a little cocoa powder - about 1 tablespoonful.


Recipe: Low GI Banana Bread Recipe


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe, medium bananas, mashed
6 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tbsp lemon juice plus enough skim milk to make 3/4 cup (or use 3/4 cup buttermilk)
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 180 (350) degrees. Spray loaf pan with non-stick spray. Measure 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best) into a measuring cup and pour in skim milk for a total of one cup. Do not stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can simply use 1 cup of buttermilk if you have this ingredient on hand.

In a large bowl, blend flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside.

Beat egg whites and sugar. Add bananas and vanilla and beat lightly.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine until well mixed. Add walnuts and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes.


Recipe: Whole Wheat Bread Recipe


3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 packet dry yeast


Step 1: In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of water ( at a temp. of 110 to 120 degrees F ) with the salt, the honey, the yeast, the oil and the milk and stir until mix.

Step 2: Mix in the flour and stir until the dough starts pull away from the bowl.

Step 3: Place the dough on a lightly flour surface and knead the dough for 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough become smooth.

Step 4: Place a small amount of oil in a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl and flip the dough to cover the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for approx. 1 hour , the dough should double in size. Note: This made take longer if the room is cold.
Step 5 : Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a 8 inches log and place into a lightly grease loaf pan.

Step 6 : Loosely cover the pan with lightly oil plastic wrap and let raise for 30 to 60 minutes until the dought raises approx.1 inch above the pan.

Step 7: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F place in center of oven and cook for about 40 minutes after 20 minutes loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil , test if the wheat bread is done by thumping the bottom of the bread it should sound hollow. Let brad cool on a rack then slice.


16 November 2010

Recipe: Rich Tomato Sugo (for use on pizza as base topping)

For 2 x 25cm (10in) pizzas

2x 400g cans plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly groud black pepper
2teaspoons sugar
1tablespoon mixed dried herbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1. Tip the canned tomatoes into a small, heave-based saucepan. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Stir in the sugar, dried herbs (try oregano, rosemary and thyme) and the garlic. Mix well and bring to the boil.

3. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer, cover the pan and cook over gentle heat for 30 minutes. Take off the lid and simmer for another 15 minutes until really thick. Rub through a sieve if you like.

Source: Best Food Fast, Book 11 - Perfect Pizza & Bread ~ Pg 15

Note: I use a food processor to get it fine

Recipe: Basic Pizza Dough

Makes 1x25cm (10in) base

175g (6ox) strong plain white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon easy-blend (instant) yeast
150ml (1/4pt) warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a warm bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the warm water and olive oil. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix to a soft dough.

2. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. (Kneading is a good exercise - the more vigorous you are, the better the dough!)

3. Return the ball of dough to the bowl, cover with cling film or a clean, damp tea towel, and leave somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. This will take between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C/425 deg F/Gas 7. Lightly oil a baking sheet and put in the oven to heat. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes.

5. Roll out the dough into a 25cm (10in) circle and place on the heated baking sheet. To shape in the Italian way, you can stretch the dough by hand.

6. Crimp the edges of the dough to stop the toppings falling off. Brush with oil and leave somewhere warm for 10 minutes. Cover with toppings and bake for 25 minutes.

Source: Best Food Fast, Book 11 - Perfect Pizza & Bread ~ Pg 12 & 13

Note: I get 2 large thin base pizza bases out of this recipe

Recipe: Basic White Bread

Makes 2x 900g (2lb) loaves

1 teaspoon salt
450ml (16fl oz) warm water
1 tablespoon dried yeast
750g (1lb 10oz) strong plain white flour
3teaspoons salt

1. Dissolve the sugar in 150ml (5fl oz) water. Sprinkle the yeast and whist. Leave for 20-30 minutes until frothy on top. (If using instant yeast, please see the note at the bottom of the recipe)

2. Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeast mix and the rest of the water, mix to a dough.

3. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball, put in a a bowl and cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel, to prevent a skin forming.

4. Sit the dough somewhere warm for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Knock back, cut the dough in half, shape each peace and put into 2 buttered 900g (2lb) loaf tins.

5. Cover and prove for 30-40 minutes until the dough fills the tins. Dust with Flour and bake at 220 Deg C/425 deg F/Gas 7 for 30 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.

Source: Best Food Fast, Book 11 - Perfect Pizza & Bread ~ Pg 8

Note: If you are using instant yeast, do not use sugar and do not dissolve it in the water. Mix the instant yeast in with the other dry ingredients before adding the warm water.

15 November 2010

Recipe: Yummy Peanut Brittle

75 g Margarine
340 ml (1 ⅓ cups) Huletts White Sugar
125 ml ( ½ cup) Huletts Golden Syrup
250 ml (1 cup) Boiling Water
325 ml (1 ½ cups) Salted Peanuts

Over a gentle heat, stir the margarine, sugar, syrup and water together in a pot until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn up the heat and, without stirring, boil the mixture for half an hour. To test if ready, drop a little of the mixture in cold water. If it is ready it will set hard and crack when broken.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the nuts. Pour into a greased tin (roughly 20 cm x 20 cm) and allow to set.
Break into pieces when hard and store in a jar.

Recipe: Ginger Biscuits

2 cups (225 g) 8 oz flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 oz (100 g) margarine
1/2 cup (100 g) 4 oz sugar
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda (Baking soda) dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
2 large tablespoons golden syrup (substitute light corn syrup), warmed

1. Sift the flour, ginger and baking powder into a bowl.

2. Rub in the margarine. Add the sugar, then mix to a dough with the bicarbonate of soda mixture and syrup.

3. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on greased baking sheets.

4. Press down the centre of each ball with your thumb.

5. Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven 200°C (400°F) Gas mark 6 for about 10 minutes.


Recipe: Peanut Butter Biscuits

Using a hand held electric beater or if you prefer a wooden spoon (the wooden spoon just takes a bit longer) beat the following ingredients together:
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
125g butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sticky brown sugar

If you don't have sticky brown sugar then substitue with white sugar. I've done this many times as there is not always money for expensive brown sugar, or it's simply not possible to get to the shop. The biscuits taste pretty much the same.
Still using your beater add:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 large or extra large egg (no need to beat the egg seperately, just plop it into the bowl)

Grab a spoon and mix in the following:
1 and 1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Okay now you have your cookie dough finished, it usually takes about 6 minutes to do so it's pretty quick. Tip it out of the mixing bowl and wrap the dough in plasic cling wrap. Put it in the fridge to stiffen up a bit for 30 minutes.
This gives you 30 minutes in which to clear up the ingredients, and hopefully sit down with a cup of coffee!

Then take your dough out of the fridge and place balls of it, I usually do walnut sized, onto a baking tray. Press down with a fork either dipped in flour or my personal favourite, sugar. I know, so unhealthy, but oh so yummy!Now if you want crispy cookies push down quite hard making a thin biscuit. If you want chewy peanut butter biscuits then push down lightly, thicker peanut butter cookies are more chewy when baked.

Bake in a pre-heated moderate oven, at about 180C or 360F. They'll stay in for about 8 - 12 minutes, just keep checking them. Everyone's oven is different.So times vary. You're looking for a biscuit that is slightly brown along the edges.

Once they come out of the oven put them on a wire rack straight away to cool.I usually get about 36 biscuits out of this recipe.

Allow them to cool, and then go wild! They are absolutely divine!


13 November 2010

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Rough-Tough Puff Pastry

250g strong plain flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
250g butter , at room temperature, but not soft
about 150ml cold water

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
1. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don't overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.

3. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.

Gordon's Tips: Leftover trimmings should be stacked up and chilled or frozen for another use. Don't scrunch them together in a ball or you will lose the layers. To re-roll, allow to come back to room temperature.

09 November 2010

Baking and cooking tips

Did you know that it is the sugar content of biscuits and cookies that gives them that appetising golden brown colour?

When baking, cream your sugar with your butter or margarine VERY WELL, as this incorporates air into the mixture, which contributes to a much lighter baked product.

Sprinkle a little Huletts Castor Sugar over the top of custard to prevent a skin from forming.

Adding a pinch of sugar to dishes containing tomatoes will counteract the acidity of the tomatoes and leave a smoother taste.

Sugar not only lengthens the freshness of baked goods, but is crucial when using a recipe that calls for yeast. Sugar hastens the rising of the dough, and improves both the texture and taste of breads and cakes.

To keep your biscuits fresh, add a sugar cube to the container. It will absorb any moisture in the air before the biscuits do.

Sugar helps to delay the coagulation of protein in eggs, improving the texture of baked goods. For example, it helps to prevent custard from splitting during cooking, and ensures a smooth texture.

Coat your fresh fruit with a layer of sugar before freezing, or freeze them in sugar syrup.

When sugar is stored properly (in a cool, dry place) it will last for years, and is often used as a natural preservative, for example in canned fruit, jams and marmalades.

Sugar should form part of a well-balanced diet and, if eaten in moderation, will not have any harmful effects on health, such as obesity or skin disorders.


Baking Conversions

Metric Conversion Table



¼ teaspoon 2 ml
½ teaspoon 3 ml
1 teaspoon 5 ml
2 teaspoon 10 ml


1 tablespoon 15 ml
2 tablespoons 30 ml
3 tablespoons 45 ml
4 tablespoons 60 ml


¼ cup 60 ml
1/3 cup 80 ml
½ cup 125 ml
¾ cup 200 ml
1 cup 250 ml
1 ½ cup 375 ml
2 cups 500 ml
4 cups 1000 ml (1 litre)

Most regular cake tin sizes

Cake tin (round) 20 cm
Cake tin (square) 24 x 24 cm
Loaf tin 23 cm
Lamington tin 16 x 26 cm
Oven pan 24 x 34 cm
Rectangular tin 20 x 24 cm
Ring tin 22 cm
Swiss Roll tin 23 x 32 cm

Metric Conversions on old recipes


Liquid measures

30 ml 1 fluid oz
60 ml 2 fluid oz
100 ml 3 fluid oz
125 ml 4 fluid oz
150 ml 5 fluid oz (¼ pint / 1 gill)
190 ml 6 fluid oz
250 ml 8 fluid oz
300 ml 10 fluid oz (½ pint)
500 ml 16 fluid oz
600 ml 20 fluid oz (1 pint)
1000 ml (1 litre) 1 ¾ pints

Dry measures

15 g ½ oz
30 g 1 oz
60 g 2 oz
90 g 3 oz
125 g 4 oz ¼ lb)
155 g 5 oz
185 g 6 oz
220 g 7 oz
250 g 8 oz (½ lb)
280 g 9 oz
315 g 10 oz
345 g 11 oz
375 g 12 oz (¾ lb)
410 g 13 oz
440 g 14 oz
470 g 15 oz
500 g 16 oz (1 lb)
750 g 24 oz (1 ½ lb)
1 kg 320 oz (2 lb)


Recipe: Wholenut Fruit Cake

250 g Maraschino Cherries, whole
500 g Whole Dates, pitted
30 ml Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
500 g Whole Brazil Nuts
210 g (375 ml) Flour
2.5 ml Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
30 Eggs
200 g (250 ml) Huletts White Sugar
5 ml Vanilla Essence

Soak the fruit overnight in liqueur. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line a 30 cm loaf pan.
Place the fruit and nuts into a large bowl and sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture.
Beat the eggs with the sugar until thick. Add the vanilla essence. Pour over the fruit mixture. Mix well. Spoon into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove from oven, leave to cool slightly, turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
When cold, extra brandy can be poured over the cake. When serving, cut slices very thinly for a stunning effect.

Hint: Cut into slices, wrap in cellophane and sell as individual slices.


Recipe: Jolly Pastry Bell

1 roll Ready Rolled Puff Pastry, thawed
1 Egg for glazing
12 g (15 ml) Huletts White Sugar
250 ml Fresh Cream
Kiwi Fruit

Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out the pastry and cut out a bell shape. Place the bell on a lightly greased oven tray, brush lightly with water and prick well with a fork. From the remaining puffy pastry, cut out strips (2.5 cm wide), a small circle, and star shapes. Make a border around the bell with the strips, place the circle at the top of the bell, and place the stars at the bottom of the bell for decoration.
Glaze the border, stars and circle with the egg. Sprinkle sugar on the border. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding the filling.
Beat the cream until stiff. Add a little sugar and liqueur. Spoon into cooled pastry shell.
Wash and cut fruit and place on cream. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar before serving to create a snow effect.


Recipe: Easy Fruit Cake

150 g Self-raising Flour
150 g Nutty Flour OR Wholewheat Flour
225 g Butter
225 g Huletts Caramel Sugar
1 Lemon Rind, grated
5 Eggs
450 g Mixed Cake Fruit
125 g Glacé Cherries
25 ml Huletts Golden Syrup

Cream the butter, sugar and grated rind together.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well, after each addition. Add the syrup.
Combine the self-raising flour and the Nutty or wholewheat flour.
Cut the cherries in quarters and add, along with the cake fruit, to the flour.
Add to the creamed mixture. Mix well.
Spoon the mixture into a deep 23 cm round cake tin and bake at 160°C for 2–2 ½ hours.


Recipe: Luxury Fruit Cake

1250 ml (5 cups) Flour, sifted
5 ml (1 tsp) Salt
5 ml (1 tsp) Ground Mixed Spice
5 ml (1 tsp) Ground Cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) Ground Ginger
500 g Butter
500 ml (2 cups) Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
8 Eggs
15 ml (1 tbsp) Grated Lemon Rind
750 ml (3 cups) Sultanas
750 ml (3 cups) Raisins (seedless)
500 ml (2 cups) Currants
500 ml (2 cups) Chopped Almonds
500 ml (2 cups) Chopped Glacé Cherries
375 ml (1 ½ cups) Chopped Candied Peel
3 ml ( ½ tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
60 ml (4 tbsp) Strong Black Coffee
15 ml (1 tbsp) Vinegar
125 ml ( ½ cup) Brandy
Glacé Cherries and Blanched Almonds for the top

Sift the flour, salt and ground spices together.
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon rind.
Combine the fruit.
Coat the fruit with a little of the sifted flour mixture and fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the dry ingredients.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the coffee. Stir in the vinegar, coffee mixture and brandy to form a dropping consistency.
Spoon the mixture into one 28 cm square cake tin which has been lined with a double thickness of foil or brown paper. If using foil, do not grease.
Bake at 150°C for 2 hours. Lower temperature to 120°C and bake for a further 2 hours.

Note: Also makes 1 x 18 cm round tin, 2 x loaf tins (20 cm x 9 cm x 6 cm), or 6 x mini loaves.


Recipe: Festive Fruit Cake

500 ml (2 C) fruit cake mix
125 ml (½ C) glacé cherries, halved
62 ml (¼ C) brandy
125 g butter - room temperature
125 ml (½ C) Huletts sugar
4 extra large eggs
500 ml (2 C) cake flour
5 ml (1 t) baking powder
5 ml (1 t) mixed spice
10 ml (2 t) cinnamon
5 ml (1 t) ginger
10 ml (2 t) bicarbonate of soda
250 ml (1 C) milk
62 ml (¼ C) Huletts molasses

Soak the cake mix and cherries in the brandy overnight.
Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices together and fold into the creamed mixture.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and add to creamed mixture along with the Huletts molasses.
Add the fruit and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into a deep greased and lined 22 cm tin and place into a preheated oven at 160ºC for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
Decorate with blanched almonds and glacé fruit if desired.


Recipe: Gingerbread People

Makes about 20 gingerbread people

125 g Butter OR Margarine
125 ml ( ½ cup) Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 Egg
625 ml (2 ½ cups) Flour
5 ml (1 tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
15 ml (3 tsp) Ground Ginger
40 ml (2 ½ tbsp) Huletts Golden Syrup


125 ml ( ½ cup) Huletts Icing Sugar, mixed with a little boiling water to make a small quantity of glacé icing

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and the syrup, mix well, and knead lightly. Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll out each portion until 3 mm thick.
Cut out gingerbread figures with cookie cutters or cut around cardboard shapes with a sharp knife.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Leave to cool on the trays.
Spoon the icing into a small plastic bag, snip off one corner to make a piping bag. Pipe on features and clothing.


Recipe: Caramel Popcorn

20 ml Butter OR Margarine
375 ml Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
90 ml Cold Water
6 cups Popped Popcorn

Melt the butter and add the sugar and water.
Stir over a moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 minutes or until the steam has washed the sugar crystals down from the sides of the pot.
Boil for about 25–30 minutes or until the soft ball stage has been reached (when a little syrup is dropped into iced water it forms a ball which flattens of its own accord when picked up with the fingers.).
Remove from the heat and pour over the popcorn, stirring gently to coat completely.
When cool enough to handle, mould into balls or lollipops and insert a small stick, if desired.


Recipe: Creamy Fudge

Makes 54 squares

900 g (4 ½ cups) Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
300 ml (1 ¼ cups) Milk
30 ml (2 tbsp) Huletts Golden Syrup
100 g Margarine
397 g can Full Cream Sweetened Condensed Milk
5 ml (1 tsp) Vanilla Essence

In a heavy-based saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the milk over a low heat.
Add the syrup and the margarine. Bring to the boil and boil for 2–3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk. Bring to the boil again and boil steadily for about 25–30 minutes or until it reaches the soft ball stage (when a little syrup is dropped into iced water it forms a ball which flattens of its own accord when picked up with the fingers).
Remove from the stove and add the vanilla essence. Beat continuously until the fudge begins to thicken and is almost at setting point. Pour into a greased 27 cm x 17 cm pan. Cut into squares when almost hard.


Recipe: Neat Nutty Treats

Makes about 20 treats

1 packet Marie Biscuits
100 g Margarine
60 ml ( ¼ cup) Huletts White Sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) Vanilla Essence
2 Egg Whites (keep them separate)
Finely chopped nuts

Put the Marie biscuits in a plastic bag and break into crumbs with a rolling pin.
Mix the crumbs with the margarine, sugar, vanilla essence and 1 egg white.
Shape into balls about 2.5 cm in diameter and dip each ball into the remaining egg white.
Roll the balls in the chopped nuts and refrigerate until hard.
Place into sweet cases if desired.


Recipe: Yummy Peanut Brittle

75 g Margarine
340 ml (1 ⅓ cups) Huletts White Sugar
125 ml ( ½ cup) Huletts Golden Syrup
250 ml (1 cup) Boiling Water
325 ml (1 ½ cups) Salted Peanuts

Over a gentle heat, stir the margarine, sugar, syrup and water together in a pot until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn up the heat and, without stirring, boil the mixture for half an hour. To test if ready, drop a little of the mixture in cold water. If it is ready it will set hard and crack when broken.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the nuts. Pour into a greased tin (roughly 20 cm x 20 cm) and allow to set.
Break into pieces when hard and store in a jar.


23 October 2010

Recipe: Trevor Noah's Moist Cappuccino Cake


250g pack butter , softened
250g light soft brown sugar plus 2-3 tbsp
300g self-raising flour
4 eggs , beaten
50g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (a food processor is easiest), optional
200ml very strong coffee (made fresh or with instant), cooled


500g tub mascarpone
2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
cocoa powder or drinking chocolate to decorate


Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
Beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and creamy.
Add the flour and eggs in one go and keep beating until evenly mixed.
Fold in the walnuts (if using) and half of the coffee.
Spoon the mix into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden and well risen.
Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack.
Sweeten the remaining coffee with the extra sugar and prinkle 4 tbsp over the sponges.
Leave to cool completely.
While the cakes cool, make the frosting.

Tip the mascarpone into a large bowl and beat in the sugar and remaining coffee until smooth and creamy.
Use about half of the frosting to sandwich the sponges together then, using a palette or cutlery knife, spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake.
Decorate with a dusting of cocoa powder or drinking chocolate.
If you're making this cake to eat at home, it will keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2006


18 October 2010

Recipe: Pineapple Chicken

That delicious blend of pineapple sweetness and sourness in a creamy chicken dish, a taste you will surely love!


1 kilo of chicken (you can use whole chicken cut into pieces or choice of our favorite parts)
1 tsp of grated ginger
3 cloves of crushed garlic
one onion sliced
half a cup of pineapple chunks
one red bell pepper cut in cubes
2 laurel leaves (bay leaf)
1 tsp of patis (or 1 tsp of salt)
one carrot peeled and cut into cubes
1 tsp of curry powder
1/4 cup of evaporated milk
2 to 3 tbsps of cooking oil
half a glass of water


1. In a casserole put the cooking oil then sauté the ingredients starting with the garlic, add up the onion as soon as the flavour of garlic comes out.
2. Put the garlic right after the onion, continue sauteeing.
3. Then add the chicken and red bell peppers sauté for about three minutes or until the chicken has changed color on all sides.
4. Add the carrots and the pineapple. Mix well.
5. Put all the spices; pepper, patis, bay leaves, curry and the salt.
6. Put the water and let it simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.
7. When the juice has reduced add the evaporated milk and lower the fire and continue simmering for five more minutes.

Then this dish is ready.


12 October 2010

Recipe: Roly Poly Pudding

I don’t know of any other desert that is as quick, easy or lovely as a Roly Poly. In South Africa we enjoy this great pudding with apricot jam. In England they tend to enjoy everything with strawberry jam. If I can recommend one, it would be the apricot jam. You have to try it at least once.

Ingredients of desert:
1 cup of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 egg
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of butter
Apricot/Strawberry Jam

Ingredients for syrup:
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar


1. Rub the butter in with the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Beat the egg and mix with a little bit of milk. Add to the above.
3. Roll out the dough and spread apricot jam on top.
4. Boil the ingredients for the syrup together and pour into the dish you are going to use to bake the pudding in.
5. Roll up the dough and place in the boiling syrup.
6. Bake the desert in ‘n pre-heated oven at 180 degree celcius for 25 minutes.

Serve the Roly Poly with custard or ice-cream.


06 October 2010

Recipe: Easy Banana Bread

What you need

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice (I didnt have but used 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 ginger)
150g soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (the riper the better)

The process

Oven temp 180 degrees celsius

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until soft, Add the eggs and beat well, add the mashed banana and mix well.

Sift in all the dry igredients and mix to a smooth batter and mix well again.

Pour into a lightly greased loaf tin and pop into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check at 35 minutes with a toothpick and if it comes out clean you’re done.

Remove from tin and let it cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.


23 August 2010

Recipe: Avocado Bread

Avocado Bread

60g butter
125ml sugar
375ml flour, sifted
1 ripe avocado, mashed
2ml baking soda (bicarb)
10ml milk
1 egg, beaten
10ml lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180*C.
Grease bread tin.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the bicarb and milk together in a separate container.
add the mashed avocado and bicarb mixture to the creamed butter/sugar mixture.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the avocado mixture and add the lemon juice.
Place the mixture into the bread tin and bake for 45min or until cooked through.

Recipe: Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt Cake

1 cup yoghurt
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup oil

Mix together and bake at 180*C for an hour or until cooked through.

Recipe: Sweetcorn Tart

Sweetcorn Tart

4 tins creamed sweet corn
600 ml self raising flour
30ml sugar
4 eggs
60ml butter

Preheat oven to 180*C
Mix all the ingredients together and bake for 20min or until cooked through

Recipe: Caramel fridge tart

Caramel fridge tart

1/2 packet nutty crust buscuits, crumbed
5 teespoons melted butter

Mix the ingredients together and press firmly into a 24cm shallow dish

1/2 cup fresh cream
1 box orly whip (2 packets in the box)
1 tin caramel
250g creem cheese (plain)
1 table spoon gelatin
1/2 cup boiled water
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons caramel essence

Bean the fresh cream and Orly whip separately. Beat the caramel and cream cheese to gether. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add to the caramel mixture. Add the caramel essence and caster sugar. Fold the whipped cream and Orly Whip into the caramel mixture. Spoon onto the crust and put it into the fridge. Leave to set and service cold.

Recipe: Mocca Squares

Mocca Squares

2 Eggs
300 ml Sugar
450ml cake flour
5ml baking powder
150ml milk
175ml melted butter
25ml cocoa
5ml Vanilla

Preheat oven on 200*C
Grease a baking tray with butter and powder with flour. Beat eggs and sugar. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the egg sugar mixture with the milk and butter. Mix in the cocoa and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

350ml icing sugar, sifted
100ml melted butter
100ml strong hot coffee
25ml cocoa
5ml vanilla
200ml desiccated coconut

Mix all the ingredients, except the coconut, till smooth. Spread the mixture over the warm cake. Sprinkle with coconut and leave to cool. Cut into blocks.

Recipe: Baked pumpkin

Baked pumpkin

2 kgs pumpkin pieces
250g sugar
1 egg
620ml flour
10 ml baking powder
1ml salt
500ml milk

Preheat the oven at 180*C
Cook the pumpkin pieces and drain. Spoon the punpkin into an oven proof dish.
Cream the butter and suger. An the egg and beat until well blended. Sift the dry ingredients and mix into the mixture. Add the milk and mix until blended. Pour the mixture over the pumpkin and bake for approximately 40 min, untill its cooked through.

Heat 125g butter and 250ml syrup. Poor the syrup over the pumpkin. Leave it to soak into the pumpkin. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Recipe: Condensed milk tart

Condensed milk tart

1 tin condensed milk
3 tins Ideal milk
15 ml butter
1 egg, beaten
37.5ml flour
37.5ml custard powder
1ml salt
5ml vanilla
cinnamon powder

Cook the condensed milk, 2 cans ideal milk and butter over medium heat.
Mix the remaining milk, egg, flour, custard powder and salt.
Add the mixture cooked condensed milk.
Stir for 5 min over medium heat.
Remove from heat and add vaniila.
Pour into a shallow dish and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Let cool.

Recipe: Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

2 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup oil
½ cup milk
½ cup water
3 teaspoons cocoa

Beat eggs & sugar until creamy. Sift all dry ingredients together. Bring water, milk & oil to the boil. Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients, add milk mixture. Mix well & bake @ 180˚c for 25-30mins

Syrup (choc cake)

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
3 teaspoons coffee

Dash of brandy (½ cup if stronger taste of brandy is wanted)
Cook for 5mins & pout over cake, allow to cool.

Topping (choc cake)

2 packets orly whip (1 box)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tin of treat caramel

Whip the cream & sugar till stiff, add caramel & mix well. Spread over cake & decorate with peppermint crisp.

Recipe: Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin muffins

3½ cup cake flour
2 cups plain cooked pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
3 cups sugar

Mix eggs, sugar. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, bicarb, salt, oil and pumpkin. Mix together & then add flour. Bake in muffin pan for 30mins @ 180˚c. (add peacan nuts if prefered

Recipe: 30 Day Muffins

30 Day Muffins

½ cup oil
1½ cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1 cup nutty wheat flour
1½ cup cake flour
2 cups digestive bran
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped nuts (any but i prefer macadamia)

Beat eggs, oil & sugar. Add all the dry ingredience with the milk. Place in a sealed container overnight. Bake in muffin pan for 10-15mins @ 180˚c. This mixture can be stored in a fridge for 30 days before baking.

08 August 2010

Recipe: Savoury Muffins

2 cups self-raising flour 
½ cup finely chopped ham 
½ cup grated cheese 
¼ cup finely chopped mushrooms 
1 small red capsicum, finely chopped 
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
125 g melted butter 
1 cup milk 
1 egg, lightly beaten

1.Pre-heat oven 180°C and grease a muffin tin.
2.Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3.Stir in butter, milk and egg until just combined. Do not over mix.
4.Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked and golden.


28 June 2010

Monsters Steak Pie

This is a pie I make for my family, its my oldest son's favourite meal and asks for it every day :)
1 Roll puff pastry
500g steak (I use cubed stewing steak cut into small pieces)
1 Small onion
1 small sweet potato, cut into small cubes
Quarter cup peas
1 large carrot, sliced
1 packed brown onion soup
Half cup water
1 Egg beaten

Half cup fruit chutney
Half cup coke
Quarter cup tomato sauce
Teaspoon dried sweet basil
Teaspoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper

Mix all the marinate ingredients and coat the meat, let it rest in an airtight container over night for best results, I make mine in the morning and use it that evening.

Preheat oven to 180*C

Roll out puff pastry and line the bottom of a greased oven proof dish. Leave enough pastry to use as a cover once the meat mixture is added.

Saute onions till translucent

Add meat and cook till halfway done

Add vegetables, brown onion soup and water and simmer till the sweet potato starts so soften, but not cooked through

Spoon the mixture into the pastry lined dished and cover with remaining pastry, seal the edges and prick with a fork to allow excess steam to escape

Brush the egg onto the pastry "lid"

Bake for 1 hour

07 June 2010

Food Diary - 7 June

OK, so seeing as I was offline for a LOOONG time I'm not going to update it with 3 weeks worth of updates. I'll start from today again

1 Slice wholewheat bread
1 Fried egg

1 Whole Wheat hamburger bun with ham, cheese and tomato

Spaghetti and ground beef

19 May 2010

Food Diary - 18 May


4 table spoons Wholewheat Pronutro
1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar

1 cracker bread - rye
1 teaspoon plain cottage cheese - fat free

Steamed chicken breast salad with 2 cups crispy lettuce, 1 cup tomato, 1/2 avo, 1 cup cucumber, 1 small granny smith apple (left over from the night before)

15 Vitasnack biscuits

Steamed mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, patty pans, carrots, green beans, courgettes)
1.5 Steamed chicken breasts

# glasses of water: 3 (I know I'm not getting enough water in during the day, I'm trying to change that)

18 May 2010

I started a food diary

To help me with my excessive weight loss, I started a food diary yesterday and *intend* on keeping it updated during the day.


4 Vitasnack Biscuits
4 table spoons Wholewheat Pronutro
1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar
1 cup 5 Roses tea with fat free milk
1 teaspoon Brown sugar

1 cracker bread - rye
1 teaspoon plain cottage cheese - fat free

3 teaspoons plain cottage cheese - fat free
1/2 fruit Avo, pureed with juice from half a lemon, pinch salt and black pepper
11 Vitasnack Biscuits
3 Provita (wholewheat)

Steamed chicken breast salad with 2 cups crispy lettuce, 1 cup tomato, 1/2 avo, 1 cup cucumber, 1 small granny smith apple

# glasses of water: 3

07 May 2010

Recipe: Mixed berry smoothie

Mixed berry smoothie

This creamy, fruity, delicious smoothie is packed with Vitamin C and Calcium. A dash of orange juice and honey makes it soothing and reviving, a great drink to kick start your day.

Serves: 2

Main Ingredients
250 grams PnP frozen mixed berries, frozen
100 ml PnP yoghurt, greek
3 tbsp honey
300 ml PnP milk
1 small banana, frozen and cut into chunks (optional)

Place the frozen berries and yoghurt in a blender.
Blend thoroughly to make a thick puree.
Scrape the mixture down from the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary and continue blending to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add the honey, milk and banana (optional) blend until smooth.
Pour into chilled glasses, decorated with extra fresh berries if desired.


Recipe: Bacon and spinach muffins

Bacon and spinach muffins

They make a fabulous accompaniment to soups and salads, are super-quick to whip up from scratch and so satisfying.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 12

Main Ingredients
125 grams rindless bacon, streaky, chopped
214 grams cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp PnP salt
1 pinch PnP cayenne pepper
1 cup spinach, cooked, chopped
1 cup PnP cheddar cheese, grated
1 PnP egg
80 ml No Name cooking oil
100 ml PnP milk

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Grease a muffin tin.
Fry the bacon in some oil until just cooked and slightly cripsy and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together. Add the bacon, spinach and cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and milk and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until the flour is moistened - the batter should still be lumpy.
Spoon into the greased muffin tins, filling each mould 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter.


Recipe: Crustless asparagus and onion quiche

Crustless asparagus and onion quiche

This recipe can be made with fresh or canned asparagus.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 4 - 5

Main Ingredients
125 ml fresh white breadcrumbs
200 grams asparagus, fresh green
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 ml green onion seasoning
1 tbsp PnP canola oil
1 tbsp PnP butter
3 large PnP eggs
250 ml PnP cream
2 tbsp white sauce powder
187 ml PnP cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Butter a 22-24cm flan dish really well and shake breadcrumbs into dish, so some of the crumbs stick to the bottom and sides. Place dish in the freezer to set crumbs while making the filling.
Steam asparagus for 3 minutes. Toss with olive oil and cool. Cut off tips (about 3cm), then slice the rest of the stems on the diagonal into 2cm lengths. Keep tips for garnish.
Season onions with green onion seasoning. Heat butter and oil and sauté onions until completely soft and beginning to brown slightly. Remove from heat. Add steamed asparagus stems (not the tips). Cool.
Beat eggs and cream. Toss white sauce powder with grated cheese and sprinkle half of this mixture evenly over the base of the prepared dish.
Top with asparagus and onion mixture. Mix remaining cheese mixture into eggs and pour over asparagus.
Bake on the middle shelf for about 35 minutes until set and puffy. Switch off oven, open door slightly, and leave quiche in oven for another 10 minutes.
Cool slightly, top with asparagus tips and serve with salad.


Recipe: Microwave mielie moulds

Microwave mielie moulds

Kids love these!

Less than 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp PnP butter
4 mielies (corn), cut off the cob
125 ml PnP milk
3 ml seasoned salt
3 large PnP eggs, beaten
125 ml PnP cheddar cheese, grated
125 ml fresh white breadcrumbs
1 pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 160C.
Butter 3-4 smallish heat resistant bowls, about 8cm across and 6cm deep. Sprinkle parsley over bases of bowls.
Place in the freezer for a few minutes to allow parsley to set.
Place mielie kernels in a microwave dish and add butter and milk. Cover dish. Microwave for 8 minutes on high (100%).
Spoon mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add seasoned salt, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs and nutmeg and blend well.
Spoon mielie mixture into moulds and smooth the tops.
Place moulds in a roasting pan of boiling hot water, about 3cm deep, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Leave to stand in pan, covered with foil or paper for 10 minutes.
Turn out and serve with tomato and onion smoor (spread).


Recipe: Spinach and ricotta lasagne

Spinach and ricotta lasagne

This delicious lasagne is easy to make, and full of iron thanks to the spinach.

Less than 1.5 hours
Serves: 6

Main Ingredients
200 grams PnP lasagne pasta sheets
2 cups hot water
500 grams spinach, well rinsed, ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp PnP butter, cubed
1 tbsp garlic and herb seasoning
500 grams ricotta cheese, or chunky plain cottage cheese
250 ml PnP cream
1 large PnP egg
400 ml creamy cheese pasta sauces
125 ml pecorino cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C just before you intend to bake the lasagne. Dip lasagne sheets in hot tapwater. This improves the tenderness of the pasta and reduces baking time. Spread wet sheets out on a board or cloth.
Heat a large frying pan. Add spinach and cubed butter. Cover with a lid. Cook over high heat for 2 minutes, until spinach has just wilted. Season with garlic & herb seasoning. Place spinach and liquid from pan in a food processor. Blend until roughly textured. Add ricotta cheese and cream. Set aside.
Spread one third of spinach mixture into a 30cm x 24cm ovenproof dish. Layer with one third of pasta sheets and one third of ricotta mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used. End with a layer of pasta.
Beat egg into pasta sauce and pour over lasagne. Sprinkle with grated pecorino. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, if time permits, before baking. This allows pasta time to soften more and layers to settle. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden. If the lasagne was made in advance and refrigerated or frozen, add an extra 10 minutes cooking time.

Ina’s tip:
To calculate exactly how many sheets of lasagne you’ll need, fit the sheets into the dish, multiply by three for the three layers and you’ll know how many to soak.
If using fresh pasta there’s no need to hydrate before use.


Recipe: Goat's cheese and sage soufflés

Goat's cheese and sage soufflés

Be gentle… they’re well worth the effort.

Less than 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Main Ingredients
80 ml parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp PnP butter, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp PnP Organic flour
400 ml PnP milk, hot
4 large PnP eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
150 grams goat's cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sage, gently fried and crumbled
2 pinches white pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease six 200ml ramekins. Sprinkle with parmesan and gently shake to ensure all edges are coated.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for about a minute.
Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Simmer, while stirring for about 5 minutes, or until a thick sauce has formed. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, cheese, sage, remaining parmesan and seasoning together.
Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon fold a third of the egg whites into cheese mixture. Continue until well combined.
Spoon equal quantities of mixture into ramekins. Run your thumb around the edges, this will help the soufflé rise.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Gently press down on the top, it should be firm to the touch. If not return to oven for an extra 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Good ideas:

Add bite with a pinch of chilli.
Stir through a spoonful of pesto.


Recipe: Vietnamese chicken salad

Vietnamese chicken salad

Deliciously healthy. Leftovers make an excellent work lunch.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
3 free range chicken fillets
125 ml chicken stock
2 pinches white pepper
150 grams bean sprouts
30 grams mint leaves, Vietnamese
300 grams coleslaw mix
30 grams basil leaves
40 grams salad onions, finely sliced

4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp PnP castor sugar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
10 ml knob fresh ginger, grated
1 fresh chilli, finely sliced

Place chicken in a non-stick pan with stock and seasoning.
Simmer over a medium heat until cooked through, adding extra stock if necessary. Set aside to cool.
Shred or slice chicken into strips and place in a large bowl. Add remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.


Pour ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to dissolve sugar.
Pour over salad, toss to combine and serve.


Recipe: Lamb kofte with herbed yoghurt dressing

Lamb kofte with herbed yoghurt dressing

Serve followed with a bowl of freshly cut watermelon.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
800 grams lamb mince
1 medium onion, grated
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp PnP ground coriander
7 ml chilli flakes, crushed
60 ml chopped parsley
60 ml oregano, chopped
1 large PnP egg
2 pinches PnP salt
1 dash milled pepper
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
4 dashes PnP sunflower oil, for brushing

1 cup PnP plain yoghurt
80 grams mint, halved
125 ml PnP lemon juice, and grated peel of half a lemon
2 pinches PnP salt
1 dash milled pepper

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.
Mix the first nine ingredients together in a bowl and season.
Divide mixture into about 8-12 portions.
Mould around bamboo skewers into sausage-like shapes.


Mix ingredients together and set aside.
Heat oil in a griddle pan to a medium heat.
Seal kofte on all sides and cook to your liking.
Serve as mezze with dressing and lemon wedges, or as a main meal with salad and toasted pitas.

Great Idea:

Double the recipe and serve leftover kofte with skewers removed.
Serve tossed through heated Neapoletana sauce with pasta.


Recipe: Citrus, honey and mustard-glazed pork chops

Citrus, honey and mustard-glazed pork chops

A quick and easy-to-prepare midweek meal.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
1 medium orange, juice and grated peel
4 pork loin chops, 200g each
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
1 tbsp tarragon leaf
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
125 ml chicken stock
1 dash salt and milled pepper

Mix half the orange juice and peel in a bowl together with chops.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sear chops on both sides.
Add remaining ingredients, season, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until done.
Serve with creamy mashed potato.


Recipe: Lemon and dill grilled fish with pickled cucumber salad

Lemon and dill grilled fish with pickled cucumber salad

The perfect easy-to-make meal for lazy summer days.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 4

3 tbsp water
80 ml PnP white wine vinegar
3 tbsp PnP castor sugar
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, cut into 'matchsticks'
3 tbsp dill, chopped
1 lemon peel, grated
3 ml sea salt
4 firm white fish fillets, 200g each
1 tbsp PnP olive oil


Whisk ingredients together.


Add cucumber and dill to dressing and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.
Mix lemon peel and salt together and rub onto fish to coat evenly.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and grill fish for about 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness or until cooked through.
Serve with pickled cucumber salad and boiled baby potatoes.


Recipe: Chicken korma

Chicken korma

Chicken Korma is a very popular recipe

Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
1.5 kilograms free range chicken fillets, cut into bite size chunks
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
175 ml PnP yoghurt, thick natural
30 ml No Name cooking oil
1 tbsp PnP ground coriander
1 pinch PnP black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1 can coconut cream
40 grams PnP almonds, ground
1 dash PnP lemon juice
1 pinch PnP salt
1 dash coriander, to garnish

Mix the chicken with the ginger, garlic and yoghurt, cover and marinade for 3-4 hours.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the ground coriander, black pepper, turmeric and garam masala and stir-fry for about 1 minute over a low heat.
Turn up the heat, add the chilli and onion and stir-fry for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and the marinade and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is tender – about half an hour.
Remove from the heat, stir in the ground almonds, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Mix well and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
Serving ideas

Serve with onion bhaji and pilaf rice or rotis.


Recipe: Classic cook’s spice toasted granola

Classic cook’s spice toasted granola

Granola is said to have first been ‘invented’ in New York by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium, a healthspa, in 1894. Granola had a popularity revival in the 1960s in America where it became known as ‘hippie health food’, and more exciting ingredients like dried fruits and nuts were then added.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
625 ml oats
10 ml mixed spice
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp PnP olive oil
100 grams mixed nuts, crushed
120 grams vanilla flavoured seeds

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Pour oats into a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Pour spice, honey and oil into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp (5ml) boiling water and stir to mix.
Add nuts and seeds and toss all the ingredients together.
Return to oven for another 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure the oats don’t stick.
Cool and store in an airtight container, like an old ice cream tub, for a few weeks before use.
Serve with milk, yoghurt and chopped fresh fruit.

Good ideas:

Add chopped, dried fruit like figs, bananas, pears and apricots.
Mix in a couple of spoonfuls of toasted coconut.
Lower the GI by substituting the regular honey with Agave honey.


29 April 2010

Recipe: Avocado Dip

Avocado Dip

Makes about 250 ml of dip

plain low fat yoghurt
3/4 cup 1 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tsp pepper, ground
1 large avocado, mashed
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Drops of jalapeno sauce as desired
Serve with: vegetables, or as a spread on bread, pitas or crackers

Mix all ingredients together
Refrigerate for a few hours
Serve with a mixture of fresh vegetables or use it as a spread.

Recipe: Brown rice, lentil and currant salad

Brown rice, lentil and currant salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 4

300g cooked brown rice
1 can brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium red pepper, very finely chopped
1 medium green pepper, very finely chopped
1/2 cup currants (or raisons)
1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients together
You can use olives instead of currants if you want a more savoury dish
Serve with a dressing of your choice
Try a mixture of soya sauce, water and chutney
For a variation, use different fresh herbs such as basil, mint, Italian parsley, coriander or mint

Tip To up the protein content of this salad, you can add some nuts, such as slivered almonds or cashews.

Recipe: Coleslaw


Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 4

1/2 a large white or red cabbage, sliced
2 large carrots, washed and shredded
2-3 tbsp plain low fat yoghurt
2tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard

Mix the cabbage and carrots in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the yoghurt, vinegar, sugar and mustard and mix well.
Pour the yoghurt over the cabbage and carrots and mix until coated.

Tip: Bulk this up using thinly sliced red pepper or even some broccoli...that way you'll be adding some extra vitamins and minerals too.

Recipe: Cinnamon Oats

Cinnamon Oats

Preparation Time: 15 minutes.
Serves 1

1/2 cup oats
250g water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 small apple, chopped into very small pieces, peel still on
A little bit of milk for serving

Place the oats and water in a pot and cook until the oats are soft and most of the liquid has disappeared. You can also do this using a microwave - follow the instructions printed on the packaging.
Mix in the oats and almonds.
Add the apple and mix well.
Dish into bowls and add some milk if desired.

Tip: Oats is high in fibre which helps to lower your cholesterol levels, and it will also keep you full for quite some time. To decrease the fat content of this meal even more, use skim milk instead of low fat milk, and to up the protein content you can add some sesame seeds or linseeds.

Recipe: Lentils with tomato and onion sauce

Lentils with tomato and onion sauce

Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 2

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup brown tinned lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp vinegar
1 pinch salt
2 handfuls of rocket or spinach
2 pita breads, or 2 slices soft seed loaf (toasted if you wish)

Add some mild curry powder or mild chilli sauce for a different flavour (optional)

Serve with: Chopped coriander and balsamic vinegar or sweet chilli sauce

Place the onion in a pan and sauté in a little water until soft.
Add the lentils, lemon juice, tomatoes, vinegar and salt and stir until warmed through, about 10 minutes, on a medium heat.
Remove from pan and place on the pita or slice of bread.
Place the fresh rocket or spinach on top.

Tip: The curry powder or chilli sauce can be used to give this dish a new taste. Adding some peas also bulks up the recipe and adds more nutrients. To save some time, you could use a can of tomato and onion mix. The ingredients can also be heated in a microwave if you do not have a stove.

Recipe: Parsley and sweetcorn couscous

Parsley and sweetcorn couscous

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Serves 2

Just less than 1 cup couscous
Just less than 1 cup boiling water
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup sweetcorn, un-creamed

Place the couscous in a bowl. Pour the hot boiling water over the couscous. Cover with a lid and allow to stand for about 5-7 minutes. Chop the parsley very finely. It may be easier to place the parsley in a cup and to cut it finely using scissors. Remove the lid from the couscous, and stir gently with a fork until the pieces separate. Mix in the parsley and sweetcorn.

Tip Serve this with your choice of protein to make a healthy meal. For a slightly different taste to the couscous, you can use water flavoured with a small amount of vegetable stock or lemon juice.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Slices

Sweet Potato Slices

Cooking Time: 20-50 minutes.
Serves 4

4 fairly large and thick sweet potatoes
Thyme, bottled version
Rosemary, bottled version
Pepper, ground

Serve as the carbohydrate part of your main course.

Place an oven tray in the oven and heat the oven to 180°
Keeping the skin on, slice the sweet potatoes width ways (forming small circles), making each slice about 1/2 -1 cm thick (the thicker they are, the longer it will take to become crispy)
Take out the tray, spray very lightly with some olive oil, sprinkle the herbs and pepper on the tray, and place the slices on it Sprinkle the herbs and pepper on top of the slices, enough to almost cover them
Place back in the oven
Turn the pieces over after 15 minutes (there shouldn't be any need to add more oil)
Remove from the oven once slightly browned or cooked through. If you want them crispier, leave them in for a bit longer.

Tip Sweet potato is a lower GI food than other potatoes, and so is a good choice if you want more sustained energy and a more gradual effect on your blood sugar levels. The rosemary and thyme add a salty flavour to this meal, so taste it before you add any more salt - you'll find it's not really necessary.

Recipe: Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Cooking Time: 1 Hour.
Serves 4

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stick, roughly chopped
4 whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 large sweet potatoes, skin removed and chopped into chunks
6 cups water
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
Handful of baby spinach for garnish

Sauté the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and dried herbs in a non-stick pan until the onion is translucent and the carrots are starting to get softer.
Remove from the pan and place in a large pot.
Add the sweet potato chunks to the pot.
Add the water and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour until all the vegetables are soft.
If the consistency becomes too thick, add some more water.
Serve this with some low GI seed loaf and baby spinach

Tip To add some protein to this soup, you can add a cup of tinned lentils or chickpeas. Remember to rinse and drain them. If you prefer smooth soups, blend the soup for a couple of minutes in a blender before serving.

Recipe: Warm vegetable and bean salad

Warm vegetable and bean salad

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Serves 4

250g beans (black-eyed, kidney, or butter beans)
250g green string beans, chopped
250g broccoli, chopped
250g yellow patty pans, sliced
1/2 clove garlic, crushed

Serve with: your main course. Add a little bit of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

Lightly sauté the green beans, broccoli and patty pans in a non-stick pan using a little bit of water and the garlic.
Remove from the pan and mix with the other beans.
Serve warm
Once on the plate, drizzle some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar over the salad.

Tip You can prepare the beans from scratch if you like, but if you don't have the time to cook them for hours, use the tinned variety, but be sure to rinse and drain them well. Beans are high in soluble fibre which helps to lower your cholesterol.

Recipe: Toppings for toasted baguette slices

Toppings for toasted baguette slices

Make each topping and present it in a small bowl or platter so that everyone can help themselves to their favourites. Each topping makes about 1 cup.

Topping one:
1 cup just-ripe tomato, diced
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

Topping two:
1/2 cup plain smooth low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup asparagus heads
A pinch of black pepper

Topping three:
1/2 cup hummus
1/2 cup plain fat free yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped olives

Topping four:
1 cup mushrooms sauted in red wine
2 tbps pepperdews, finely chopped
2 large handfuls of baby spinach on the side

Topping five:
1 cup mashed butternut
1/2 a green pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp dried origanum

Tip Slice the baguette into diagonal strips and toast lightly and place on a platter. Chicken strips, or slices of ham or pastrami are also great when placed on the baguette slices along with these toppings.

Recipe: Warm Quinoa

Warm Quinoa

Preparation Time: 15 minutes.
Serves 4

200 - 250g quinoa 250ml low fat milk + extra for serving
250g water
1/2 banana, chopped
1 small apple, chopped (keep peel on)

Serve with: cinnamon for a sweet smell, and honey if you want a sweeter taste.

Add the milk, water and quinoa to a saucepan
Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 -15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Dish into bowls and add some milk if desired.
Add the banana and apple and mix well.
Sprinkle cinnamon over it, or add a drizzle of honey if you wish.

Tip: Quinoa is very low in fat and also a good carbohydrate option for other meals such as dinner. To decrease the fat content of this meal even more, use skim milk instead of low fat milk.

Recipe: Mushroom and broccoli mix

Mushroom and broccoli mix

Preparation Time: 15 minutes.
Serves 4

1 punnet mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped
Ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

Place the broccoli and mushrooms in a non-stick pan with a little bit of water.
Sauté until the mushrooms start getting soft.
Add the pepper, lemon juice and garlic to the pan, and mix to make sure that all the vegetables are coated.
Remove from the pan before the broccoli becomes soft.

Tip: Try adding some different herbs and spices each time for a different flavour. Something like cumin seeds, ground ginger, or coriander seeds add interesting flavours.

Recipe: Lentil salad

Lentil salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 4

1 onion, finely chopped
1.1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, sliced
1 cup baby tomatoes, halved
1 round of feta cheese

Serve with: Chopped coriander and balsamic vinegar or sweet chilli sauce

Mix the onion, lentils, red pepper and tomatoes together in a bowl
Crumble the feta cheese over the mixture
Serve it with some finely chopped fresh coriander, and some balsamic vinegar or sweet chilli sauce

Tip: To add some more bulk and colour to this recipe, mix in some steamed butternut chunks or beetroot. If you wish to serve this warm, heat the onion, lentils and red pepper and add the rest of the ingredients just before serving.

Recipe: Cottage cheese and pesto spread

Cottage cheese and pesto spread

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Makes 1 cup

1 cup smooth plain low fat cottage cheese 1.1/2 tbsp basil pesto 1 pinch pepper

Mix all the ingredients together.
Place in a jar or other airtight container in the fridge.
Eat it within a week.

Tip: This is a great way to eat cottage cheese if you don't particularly like the flavour. Spread it on bread, toast or crackers. You can even add some tomato slices or mashed butternut to make the meal more satisfying and give you extra nutrients.

Recipe: Chickpea mash

Chickpea mash

Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 4

4 medium boiled potatoes
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped chives or coriander
Water (as much as necessary to reach the desired consistency)
1 tbsp plain low fat yoghurt (optional)

Mash the potatoes and chickpeas in a bowl. Add some water if necessary. Mix in the mustard and herbs. If you eat yoghurt, add it to make the texture a bit more creamy

Tip: you can even add some nuts or seeds to this mash. Try something like linseeds which won't change the taste of the dish but are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Recipe: Small yoghurt and melon desserts

Small yoghurt and melon desserts

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Serves 4

6 Tbsp plain low fat yoghurt
2 slices of a just-ripe melon, blended
1 handful slivered almonds

Use 2 small drinking glasses or glass pudding bowls
Add 2 tbsp of yoghurt into each glass
Place an equal amount of the pureed melon on top of the yoghurt in each glass
Add 1 tbsp of yoghurt to each glass, on top of the pureed melon
Sprinkle some of the nuts on the top layer of yoghurt

Tip: Make these before you serve dinner and place in the fridge so that you can serve them cold. You can use berries or paw-paw instead of the melon if you wish

Recipe: Ginger chicken

Ginger chicken

Cooking Time:25 Minutes
Serves 4

4 to 5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
10ml grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
1tsp sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
60ml soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh, finely chopped red onion

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, leaving out the chicken and onion. In a non-stick pan, cook the chicken pieces to the point before browning. Add the liquid mixture, making sure that all the chicken pieces are covered, and cook until the pieces are lightly browned and tender Remove from the pan, and add the onion before serving for a fresh crunchy texture.Serve with rice or couscous

Recipe: Chicken Paella

Chicken Paella

Preparation Time: 30 minutes.
Serves 4

About 500g de-boned chicken breasts
1 cup couscous
1 cup green beans or broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 and a half cups mushrooms, finely sliced
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 small tin non-creamed style sweet corn, rinsed and drained
Use one 1 jar/packet sweet & sour sauce or sweet pepper sauce

Cut the chicken into small pieces and cook in a non-stick pan until slightly brown - add a bit of water to the pan instead of oil or use an oil/water mix.Add the sauce and allow to simmer for 20 mins Place the vegetables in a separate non-stick pan, add some water, and steam them until they're slightly softer, but still a little bit crunchy. (You can add the vegetables to the chicken if your pan is quite large and leave them to soften in the sauce) Prepare the couscous as instructed on the box - usually about 5 mins Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve

Recipe: Moroccan Fish

Moroccan Fish

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
200g chopped canned tomatoes
300ml water (more if necessary)
4 hake fillets, unflavoured, not crumbed
1 tbsp lemon juice
Some fresh chopped coriander to taste
Serve with: Brown rice and steamed vegetables

Add some water to a deep non-stick pan and cook the onion over a low heat until softened. Stirring constantly, add the cinnamon, cumin and turmeric and cook for about 30seconds. Add the tomatoes and water, stirring well.Bring this all to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer partly covered for about 15-20 minutes.Add the hake fillets to this mixture, making sure they're covered by the liquid. If not, add some more water. Simmer until the fish is cooked and soft.Mix in the lemon juice.Add coriander and pepper to your liking.

Serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables such as green beans and carrots.

Tip: to increase the fibre content of the meal, try a mixture of brown and wild rice

Recipe: Tuna toasted sandwiches

Tuna toasted sandwiches

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Serves 4

8 slices soft whole-wheat bread
2 tins tuna in brine, drained
About 16 slices of cucumber
Sweet chilli sauce and light mayonnaise

Turn the snackwich machine on. On four of the slices, spread a thin layer of sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise.Place some tuna on these four slices, and then put the second slice of each sandwich over the tuna. Place these in the snackwich machine and toast until the bread becomes slightly brown. There really isn't much need to spread butter on the outsides of the bread, but if you want to put some on to make the bread go browner and crispier, use a soft margarine and only spread a very little bit on. Before serving, open the sandwiches and place the cucumber pieces inside. Cut the sandwiches into four small triangles and serve.

Tip: Apples and bananas go well with the peanut butter. If you take out the peanut butter, you can replace the fruit with any other fruits or berries that you have available.

Recipe: Boerewors sosaties

Boerewors sosaties

In South Africa we call it sosaties, but in Turkey a skewered dish like this is called "shish kebabs" and the Greeks call it "souvlakia". By any name, this version with boerewors is delicious.

500 g thin or thick boerewors, cut in 3-5 cm pieces
smoked bacon rashers

Marinade for vegetables:
Mix 125 ml (1/2 c) olive oil with 62,5 ml (14 c) chopped, mixed herbs, 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and ground black pepper

Marinate vegetables in season and according to taste e.g. mushrooms, baby marrow and sweetcorn slices, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, eggplant cubes, etc. in herb and olive oil for at least 1 hour.

Wrap pieces of boerewors in bacon and thread, alternating with vegetables onto bamboo or kebab skewers. Grill over medium coals or in preheated oven at 220°. Baste frequently with marinade. Serve hot with bread and salad.

Recipe: Paella with boerewors

Paella with boerewors

Paella is a festive Spanish rice dish enriched with all kinds of delicacies. Chunks of boerewors are quite at home in this flavoursome one-dish meal with which you can feed a crowd with the minimum amount of effort.

250-500 g thick boerewors
4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks
olive oil
375 ml (1,1/2 c) rice, rinsed
10 ml (2 t) turmeric
pinch of salt
1 green and 1 yellow green pepper, cut in 0,5 cm strips
1 large onion, cut in rings
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
375 ml (1,1/2 c) garden peas, fresh or frozen
ground sea salt and black pepper
chopped parsley and chives

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Pan-fry wors over medium heat. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with chicken pieces. Cut wors in pieces of + - 5 cm.
2. Sauté pepper strips, onion rings and garlic until translucent. Mix with rice, turmeric and salt and boil rice as usual until soft, but firm.
3. Turn rice mixture into skillet, add tomatoes, peas, wors chunks and chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat. Sprinkle with parsley and chives and serve hot with crusty bread.

Variation: You can add cooked prawns, mussels, chunks of white fish, olives and piquanté peppers to the paella.

Recipe: Huevos a la Flamenca with boerewors chunks

Huevos a la Flamenca with boerewors (sausage) chunks

This Mediterranean dish with vegetables and eggs is so full of bright colours that it is named after the costumes of flamenco dancers. With chunks of boerewors it becomes a hearty breakfast dish or supper.

500 g thick boerewors, pan-fried and cut in chunks of + - 3 cm
1 red or white onion, cut in rings
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
altogether 6 green, red and yellow green peppers, seeded, membranes removed and cut in strips
a handful of oregano and a whiff of paprika
4 baby marrows, cut in ribbons with a vegetable peeler
6 fresh, jumbo eggs
ground sea salt and black pepper
chopped parsley and chives

If not using an electric frying pan, preheat oven to 190°. Grease an oven-dish.
1. Heat olive oil in a pan or electric frying pan and sauté onion, garlic and green peppers with oregano and paprika until vegetables wilt. Add fried chunks of wors and baby marrow ribbons and simmer for 5 min.
2. Make indentations in layer of vegetables and crack 1 egg into each "hollow". Bake eggs to taste in frying pan or oven. Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Recipe: Italian Roast Lamb with Potatoes (Italian Shepherd's Pie)

Italian Roast Lamb with Potatoes (Italian Shepherd's Pie)

Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes.
Cooking Time: 60-90 minutes.

1kg potatoes, cubed
1kg lean lamb, cubed
50g (1 heaped cup) fresh breadcrumbs
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
50g (2 handfuls) parsley, chopped
Fresh rosemary and oregano
2 sprigs of each, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
180ml extra virgin olive oil
10 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 2 tins All Gold chopped or whole peeled Italian tomatoes
+/-180ml white wine
+/-180ml water

Pre-heat oven to 200c. Mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, rosemary, oregano and black pepper together in bowl. Using 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil, cover the bottom of a large oven dish and add layer of potatoes. Sprinkle half of the herb mixture on top of the potatoes and add a layer of lamb cubes and tomatoes. Follow up with another layer of tomatoes, potatoes and meat, finishing with the herb mixture. Drizzle top layer with remaining olive oil and add enough wine and water to cover the first layer of potatoes.

Season with salt and garnish with rosemary. Bake for 60 - 90 minutes until potatoes are tender. Options: Lean lamb can be replaced with lean beef mince. Half of the potatoes can be replaced with butternut cubes.

Recipe: Navarin de Mouton - Lamb Stew

Navarin de Mouton - Lamb Stew

Preparation Time: 15 minutes.
Cooking Time: 75 minutes.
Serves 4

60ml extra virgin olive oil
125g streaky bacon, diced
1,2kg deboned leg of lamb, cubed
1 onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, chopped
30ml cake flour
5ml sugar
250ml vegetable stock
4 turnips, quartered
60ml tomato paste
Robertsons salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 small pickling onions
12 baby potatoes
125g frozen peas
Chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove the bacon and place in a large casserole. Brown the lamb, a few pieces at a time; remove and place in the casserole. Saute the onion until soft; remove and also place in the casserole.

Remove most of the fat in the pan, add the flour and stir until slightly thickened and smooth. Add the vegetable stock, turnips and tomato paste. Pour over the meat in the casserole dish and cook for 1 hour at 180°. To make the garnish, blanche the baby onions until nearly cooked, then fry in a little olive oil until golden. Add the baby potatoes to the casserole 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time so that they are just cooked before serving. Add the peas to the casserole 10 minutes before serving, garnish with chopped parsley and serve piping hot. Ideally enjoyed with a deliciously fruity Merlot.

Ideally enjoyed with a deliciously fruity Merlot.

Recipe: Lamb Tagine with Honeyed Dates

Lamb Tagine with Honeyed Dates

Named after the traditional ceramic dish in which it is cooked.

Cooking Time: 1 Hour.
Serves 6

250g shoulder lamb, cut into 4cm cubes
1/2 onion, coarsely grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of paprika Black pepper
1 tin tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
6 large dates, pitted
3 teaspoons clear honey
20g almonds, toasted and blanched

Place the lamb in a large bowl and cover with grated onion, crushed garlic, oil, chilli flakes, ginger, cumin, paprika and plenty of ground black pepper. Stir to coat the meat and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight. Heat a frying pan and add the lamb in batches to brown evenly. Transfer to a large tagine or casserole dish. Place the remainder of the marinade into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Once completed, add the marinade to the casserole dish, along with the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and half of the fresh coriander. Mix well, cover and cook in a pre-heated oven at 160° for approximately 45 minutes. Place the dates in a small saucepan with the honey and just enough water to cover. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the contents of the saucepan to the casserole dish and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining fresh coriander leaves on top and serve with couscous, toasted almonds and apricots.

Delicious when accompanied by a Merlot.

Recipe: Roast Leg of Lamb Studded with Garlic and Fresh Rosemary

Roast Leg of Lamb Studded with Garlic and Fresh Rosemary

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 1/2.
Serves 6-8

1 deboned leg of lamb
30ml olive oil
30ml balsamic vinegar Salt and black pepper
6 whole, peeled cloves of garlic
1/2 cup small rosemary sprigs

Drizzle the leg of lamb with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season well. Slice each clove of garlic into 4. Using a small, sharp knife, make 1cm incisions into the flesh of the leg of lamb and place a sprig of rosemary and a slice of garlic into each incision.

Cover lamb with foil (this prevents the rosemary from burning) and roast at 200° until the lamb is done to your liking. Remove the foil 20 min before the end of cooking and allow the lamb to brown.

Serve with mint jelly or festive gravy.

Ask at our Meat Market for the best cuts of meat.

Recipe: Moroccan Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

Moroccan Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

Serves 2

2.5ml sunflower oil
20g mozzarella cheese, finely grated
10ml chutney
9 Certified Natural Lamb meatballs
40ml dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 200°. Lightly oil a roasting dish.Mix the cheese and chutney together in a bowl. Remove some of the mince out of the centre of the meatball, place 2.5ml of cheese and chutney mixture in each meatball and close the hole, ensuring that none of the filling can escape. Roll the meatballs in the dried thyme, place in the roasting dish and cook for 7 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and continue cooking for 7 minutes. Serve immediately.


Recipe: Greek Lamb on a Pita

Greek Lamb on a Pita

Serves 5

340g leg of Certified Natural Lamb, cut into cubes (2cm x 2cm)
30ml Checker Choice olive oil For the sauce
250ml plain Greek yoghurt
5ml ground cumin 10ml ground coriander
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of half a lemon 15ml
Fresh mint
Chopped Cucumber, cut into small cubes (1mmx1mm)
5 pitas
3 roma tomatoes, sliced (2mm thick)
70g salad rocket
90g baby spinach

Fry the lamb in the oil, set aside to cool. Then Whisk together the yoghurt, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, zest, cucumber and mint.Cut the pitas open, toast and spread a little sauce on the inside of each pita.Place the rocket leaves on the bottom half inside the pita, place two slices of tomato on top of the rocket leaves, place the lamb on top of the tomato slices, pour the remaining sauce over the lamb and place the spinach leaves on top of the lamb and sauce. Recommended that you serve immediately.

Recipe: Beef and lentil bobotie

Beef and lentil bobotie

Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 and a half Hours.
Serves 6

1 slice soft brown bread
500g minced beef (you can also use ostrich as a healthier option)
300g tinned lentils, rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, finely chopped
10ml mild chutney
20ml lemon juice
60ml raisins
180ml milk
1 large egg

Heat the oven to 180°
Soak the bread in the milk, remove and squeeze to get rid of excess milk
Mix the bread in with the mince
Then add the lentils, onion, lemon juice, raisons and chutney to the mince
Using a non-stick pan, cook the meat mixture in a little bit of water until lightly brown
Remove and place in a large overproof dish
Beat the eggs and the milk together until light yellow, and pour over the meat
Bake in the oven for about 1hour

Serve with rice, sambals and banana.

Tip: For a stronger flavour, you can add one to two teaspoons curry powder to the mince before cooking it, as well as placing some bay leaves on top of the dish before placing it in the oven. By substituting some of the meat with lentils, the fat content is lowered and fibre is added.

Recipe: Beef and broccoli lasagne

Beef and broccoli lasagne

This lasagne uses mushroom soup to save the time usually spent making a white sauce. We've also sneaked in some nutritious broccoli. Enjoy.

Preparation and Cooking Time: 70 Minutes.
Serves 4

Lasagne sheets - try a low GI or whole-wheat version if available
1 tin onion and tomato mix
400-500g lean beef mince
1/2 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 punnet mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 small whole broccoli, rinsed
1 packet mushroom soup
2 cups of water
Cheddar cheese

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large pot, add the powdered soup and 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer, mixing occasionally to remove any clumps.
Cook the mince in a non-stick pan with the onion and tomato mix until brown.
Add the beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Take the broccoli and, using a knife, cut the very top ends off above all the stalks so that you end up with just the small fine green bits to add to the mushrooms.
In an oven-proof dish, layer the soup, then lasagne sheets, then the mince and then the mushroom and broccoli mix. Repeat until the dish is full, making sure to end with a layer of white sauce.
Grate a little bit of cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the top.
Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes until the lasagne is soft.

Tip: Don't make the mince layers too thick; it should only just cover the lasagne sheets. You can always add some sheets between the mince and vegetable layers if you want more of the pasta. Use extra lean mince or ostrich mince if you want to further reduce the fat content.

Recipe: Prune-stuffed Warthog fillet with a red-port sauce

Prune-stuffed Warthog fillet with a red-port sauce

Serves 4

600 g warthog fillet, butterflied
1 clove crushed garlic
1 chicken breast, finely chopped
12 vanilla-scented pitted prunes
4 whole spring onions
250 g streaky bacon
10 ml olive oilz

Preheat your oven to 200°. Season the meat with black pepper and garlic, and top with chopped chicken, spring onions and prunes. Now bring the whole stuffed fillet together by simply folding the two sides together. Make sure that none of the filling comes out. A bit of pressure might be necessary to ensure that everything stays inside. On a clean working surface, lay the bacon out, so that they overlap each other by about 5 cm. Place the fillet onto the bacon.

Now bring the bacon pieces together, one at a time, left over right and right over left, and pull the pieces towards you as you fold it over. The idea here is to wrap the stuffed fillet tightly with the bacon.
Grind some more black pepper on top of the roll. Heat a large enough non-stick frying pan with 10 ml olive oil.

Place the bacon-wrapped stuffed fillet in the pan with the loose sides at the bottom to seal it. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes without moving it, to make sure the bacon sticks to the fillet. Once the bacon is sealed, lift the meat carefully onto a baking tray, sealed side down. Roast the meat in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for about 20 minutes before carving, or let it cool down completely and serve the sliced meat cold.

Serve on a green pea purée or a bed of steamed beans or asparagus, drizzled with sauce.

Tip: Don't make the mince layers too thick; it should only just cover the lasagne sheets. You can always add some sheets between the mince and vegetable layers if you want more of the pasta. Use extra lean mince or ostrich mince if you want to further reduce the fat content.

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and reduce it by two thirds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve with the warthog.

1 cup red wine
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 cup port
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 tbls cranberry jelly
Salt and pepper to taste

Graphic Credits