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Nuts about Ottolenghi

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Featured, My thoughts | 0 comments

Nuts about Ottolenghi

When preparing a meal for either family or friends or even when just cooking for one, there is nothing more exciting than opening up a good cookbook and being overwhelmed by all the stunning recipes to choose from. One Jerusalem-born, British chef, cookery writer, and restaurant owner, in particular, Yotam Ottolenghi never fails to cause complete havoc when making the nail-biting decision of which recipes to tackle. The problem is no longer not knowing what to cook but rather what not to cook.

His recipe books are packed with mouth-watering recipes with the turn of every page. Turning even the unexpected- those who use ovens as storage space- into believers. Two books in particular that get my heart racing are Jerusalem and Plenty more. The imagery is vibrant and incredible and every recipe is creative as well as inspiring.

 

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ottolenghi 4

Thai red lentil soup with aromatic chilli oil

 

ottolenghi 5

Set ‘cheesecake’ with plum compote

 

ottolenghi 3

Stuffed artichokes with peas and dill

 

ottolenghi 2

Roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar

Herb oil

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Featured, My thoughts, Recipes, Special diet, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Herb oil

“Delicious, healthy meals on the go”, has been our motto for this week. So to get everyone really excited for the weekend, we have the perfect recipe to turn any bland, boring meal into something finger-lickingly fabulous!

Always having this herb oil on hand makes flavoring up food quick and convenient – It is just the most satisfying flavor and makes making a quick snack or meal just that much tastier. A definite fridge staple!

Examples of what to use it for include – marinade, salad dressing, a chicken breast, rice, baked potatoes,  flavoring a sauce, drizzling it on bread, or even just as a quick dip. The possibilities are endless!

Click here to see the recipe.

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Herb oil recipe

The new fast food

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Featured, Mains, My thoughts, Recipes, Salads, Special diet, Vegetarian | 0 comments

The new fast food

The Domestic Goddesses are reinventing the term “fast food”. We are giving it a new, healthier meaning. Just because food can be prepared quickly and still taste delicious should not simultaneously mean that it necessarily has to be bad for you or bought at your nearest Mc Donalds or KFC. By following this simple process there is no longer an excuse for letting time constraints have a negative effect on your diet.

This is not a recipe but rather more a principle and consists of four elements. Starch, veg, protein and dressing. The outcome varies all the time depending on the ingredients at hand, your mood and the amount of time you have. Because of this, I never grow tired of it. There is something perfect about the balanced nature of the ingredients. The fact that it is largely low fat, low GI, high in veggies and fibre but never the less so tasty and satisfying making this a perfect ‘fast’ food.


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The starch

This is traditionally steamed basmati rice or a microwave, baked or boiled potato. To the rice, I usually add either lentils or quinoa. I have also used barley and couscous before.

 

The veg

I use mostly salad type veggies as I like their crisp texture. The staples would be tomato, cucumber and grated carrot but you could add any number of other veggies like courgette, butternut, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Preserved veggies are also great like gherkins, olives, capers, marinated sundried tomatoes. I rarely use tinned or frozen veggies but frozen corn is a great addition. Of course salad leaves and sprouts are also great.

 

The protein

The protein is usually a simple no cook protein like tuna, smoked chicken, feta cheese, cottage cheese, and grated soft cheese, soy products, tinned beans and chickpeas, nuts or seeds. The lentils and quinoa which I cook with the rice are also high in protein. Leftover cooked chicken, fish or steak are also great.

 

The dressing

This is also a quick fix dressing of whatever is handy, ranging from a knob of butter, salt and pepper; mayo; left over dressings from other salads; chutney, relishes, hot sauce or lemon juice and olive oil. I have been crazy about coconut milk, soy, sesame oil and sushi ginger juice lately.

 

fast fuel 1

 

 

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When you’ve had a little too much fun…

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Beverages, Breakfast, Featured, Mains, My thoughts, Recipes, Special diet, Vegetarian | 0 comments

When you’ve had a little too much fun…

It’s Monday morning and the Domestic Goddesses are feeling a bit bleary from a weekend filled with fun and giggles (perhaps a smattering too much fun). This got us thinking about healthy hangover remedies that can help make the morning after slightly more bearable. So we decided to do some research into the matter. All theoretical of course because domestic goddesses know when to stop 😉

While experiencing a hangover your body is going through both alcohol withdrawal and getting rid of toxins. This means you’re going to be feeling nauseous, bloated, tender as well as dehydrated and headachey. Not fun, but we found a few healthy remedies which will help ease the symptoms and get your body on the road to recovery quick quick.

We’ve made a list of easy 3 easy remedies you can whip up at home. If you need a quicker fix than that or the fridge is a bit bare, pop in at your nearest Kauai or Osumo rather than McDonald’s  which is seriously just adding insult to injury.

 

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Steamed veg with pesto

Buy a bag of mixed veg for steaming and a jar of pesto from your local supermarket. Lightly steam or boil the veg, drain and top with the generous serving of pesto and enjoy! This is a great healthy, low-carb meal which will satisfy the comfort food cravings while still replenishing lost vitamins minerals and healthy oils you body needs as well as leveling out your blood sugar.

 

Juices 1

 

Veg and fruit juices

It is essential to get hydrated; stabilise your blood sugar and to alkalise the body. An alkalising green juice is just the ticket for this.

If you have a juicer at home select the veggies you want to juice. Wash the fruit, veggies and herbs and trim off any bitter bits like stalks, leaves and skins; as well as any bruised or ugly bits. Cut up into pieces which will fit into the juicer and juice away. You may want to dilute this with a bit of water and keep drinking as much of this as you can gradually during the day until you feel fully hydrated again.

Green juice suggestions – apple, mint, cucumber, lemon and spinach or kale

Orange juice suggestions – oranges, carrots, tomato and ginger

Red juice suggestions – apple, cucumber, lemon and beetroot

Smoothie

 

Berry Smoothie

Smoothies are very soothing to the inflamed tummy; full of the essential vitamins and minerals you need and an easy way to get brain food if you are feeling a bit nauseous and can’t face a proper meal.

Blend fresh of frozen berries and banana; oats or almonds; ice and coconut milk or yogurt and the sweetener of your choice, i.e stevia, xylitol, or honey. Water it down if it’s too think – you want to get hydration from this too.

 

Frozen fruit

Written by Gabi 

Crazy for brittle..

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Desserts, Featured, Recipes, Snacks, Special diet, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Crazy for brittle..

Keeping a variety of brittles in the fridge at all times is perfect for people trying to stick to a clean, healthy eating plan. I completely understand those days, when there’s a giant hole inside of you that only something sweet and comforting can fill, but rather that reaching for a bar of chocolate or a bag of jelly babies, munch on a few wedges of your favorite brittle bars. I guarantee they’ll do the trick, without the morning after self-loathing.

Also perfect for adding on top of your breakfast yougart or for sprinkling over ice cream.

 

Seed and Almond Brittle

 

Seed and Almond brittle

makes about 10-12
small bars

 

1/2 cup seed mix

1/2 cup almonds

4 tbsp honey

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

 

Toast seeds and almonds in a pan on medium-low heat until lightly golden. Then add honey and cinnamon and stir into the mixture making sure that the honey does not burn. Take the pan off the heat if you see the honey begin to bubble.

Place in a lightly greased baking tin and place in the fridge to set.

 

ice cream and brittle 1

 

Caramel Ice cream with brittle chunks

Makes two litres

 

Seed and Almond brittle bars (broken into pieces)

1 can caramel treat

2 litres vanilla ice cream

 

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Leave Ice cream out for around 20 min or until soft. Then stir in your caramel treat and brittle pieces and freeze until firm.

 

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Written by Gabi 

Salads aren’t your enemy

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Featured, Mains, Recipes, Salads, Special diet, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Salads aren’t your enemy

I’m that friend who can be counted on to order the salad option on the menu pretty much every time I go out to a restaurant. Not necessarily because I’m trying to lose weight or because it is usually the healthier option, which for me are just added bonuses. But rather because I genuinely LOVE salads.

I think that a lot of people are stuck in the mindset where they see salads as the boring bland option. That is about to change. There are so many different kinds of salads that saying ‘you don’t like salad’ is like saying that you don’t like vegetables. That simply can’t be true if you are doing it right.

For the next while we are going to be posting a salad recipe a week to help inspire all the salad-haters to love salads almost as much as we do!

To kick off this next salad is simply lip licking good and just as satisfying as your average comfort food meal.

 

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Caramelized baby onion and lentil salad

Serves 4

 

8 baby onions or shallots, trimmed, peeled and quartered lengthways

1 Tbsp of olive oil

¼ tsp of salt

1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

1 cup of lentils, cooked until tender but not soft

1 tsp of lemon zest

2 Tbsp of lemon juice

2 Tbsp of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oreganum, parsley, basil)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of sugar

¼ tsp of salt (or to taste)

125g of baby rosa tomatoes, halved (keep some for garnish)

2 handfuls of baby spinach, well washed

1 cup of crumbled feta

Reserve tomatoes and herbs for garnish

 

Toss the onions with the seasoning and grill on a lined baking sheet in the oven turning from time to time until caramelized and blackening a little in places. Allow them to cool and refrigerate until ready for use.

While roasting the onions, combine all the lentil ingredients and refrigerate until ready for use.

When ready to serve, arrange the spinach on a platter, scatter with the lentil mixture, then the onions, then the baby tomatoes and feta. Garnish with the herbs and sliced baby tomatoes.

 

Written by Gabi 

My favourite healthy food blogs at the moment

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Featured, My thoughts | 3 comments

My favourite healthy food blogs at the moment

Recently I have been making myself familiar with food blogging society. What’s trending, what’s not, future trends and that sort of thing. Almost like the Do’s and the Dont’s of the food blogging industry. Drawing inspiration from the best.

Though I do have to admit to being completely surprised at how many gorgeous food blogs are so easily available and I couldn’t help myself but share a few of them with you guys. I know browsing through all three is a bit time consuming but do yourselves a favour and just take a look at Minimalist Baker. Her recipes are quick, easy, healthy and she’s come up with the most inventive and creative twists to many old classics. All that aside the way she styles and photographs her food is an art in itself.

 

My top 3 International healthy food blogs 

The roasted root

smitten kitchen

Minimalist Baker

 

I have combined a little list of my current favourite healthy food blogs which inspire me daily to eat better and cook more.

http://minimalistbaker.com/

 

Written by Gabi 

Moroccan Chicken

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016 in Chicken, Featured, Mains, Recipes | 2 comments

Moroccan Chicken

There is nothing nicer than a simple dish done to perfection Just good, honest food where what you see is what you get. Letting the flavours of the ingredients speak for themselves.

This Moroccan chicken dish is light, easy, healthy and packed with rich flavours. Perfect for when you need to cook up a quick weekday meal or to prepare the day before you have guests. It’s flavour gets better with time. Just re-heat and serve. Pair it with rice, couscous, steamed green veg or a side salad.

 

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Moroccan chicken tagine

Serves 4

8 chicken thighs (with skin and bone)

3 Tbsp of Nomu Moroccan spice rub*

1 Tbsp of olive oil

½ a cup of strong chicken stock

4 Tbsp of olive brine (the water the olives come in)

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

3 pieces of pickled lime skin, fruit removed from the skin and cut into thin slices

24 pitted green olives

2 tsp brown sugar (or to taste)

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

*  1 Tbsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste),1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp mixed spice.

Pre heat your oven on grill and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Mix the spices with the oil and rub onto the chicken thighs. Lie them skin side up into your tagine base on top of the chopped onions. Grill the chicken for about 15 minutes until the skin has browned. Remove the tagine and add the remaining ingredients and cover with the lid.

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Place the rack at the bottom of the oven, return the tagine to the oven and reduce the temperature to 160˚C on all-round heat. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool with the lid on for a further 30 minutes before serving with saffron and almond couscous.

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Written by Gabi 

Quick and almost painless sponge cake recipe

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in Baking, Desserts, Featured, Recipes, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Quick and almost painless sponge cake recipe

After reading through hundreds of recipes and trying out a few of them I finally baked an almost perfect sponge cake today. I adjusted a recipe I found online by Red Brolly. This recipe is so yummy and super easy.

Some key tips when baking your sponge cake are firstly to have all your ingredients measured and ready to go before you start baking. Make sure your oven is at the exact temperature when you pop your cake into it. Work quickly as this cake does not do well when left to long. And lastly when beating your egg whites, make sure they are the perfect consistency before mixing them into the cake mixture, and don’t forget to alternate between the flour and the egg whites when combining the two into the batter.

The cool thing about these cakes is that they have a huge varieties of filling options, so be creative!

 

sponge cake step 2

 

Super easy sponge cake recipe

Serves 8

 

170g caster sugar

170g butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 large eggs at room temperature

170g self-raising flour

1 tbsp milk

 

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Then grease your cake tin and layer the bottom with wax paper. Make sure all your ingredients are weighed and ready to go.

Separate your eggs and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.

Then beat together your butter, sugar and vanilla essence until the mixture is pale and white and then start adding in your egg yolks one at a time and keep beating until a mousse like consistency forms.

Add the milk and stir into your mixture.

Then bit by bit pour in your flour and egg white mixture and fold gently into the batter, leaving no flour pockets.

Pour straight into your cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is golden brown and well risen. Take it out the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool.

Then slice it through the middle and fill it with your favourite choice of filling, close it up sprinkle with icing sugar/your choice of deco.

 

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sponge cake step 1

 

Written by Gabi 

Cheat-meal Chicks

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Chicken, Featured, Mains, Recipes, Salads | 1 comment

Cheat-meal Chicks


I’m a firm believer in at least one cheat-meal per week. Occasionally two if I’m having one of “those” weeks. One cheat meal isn’t going to mess up your entire clean eating regime, as long as you go straight back to it and don’t fall off the wagon completely. It helps me to satisfy my cravings, which I feel only become stronger if I ban something completely.

A cheat-meal however, does not mean binging on donuts and Mac Donalds all day, leaving you feeling disappointed and unmotivated the next day. Rather allow yourself ONE of those chocolate brownies you’ve been craving the whole week or your favourite pizza from that restaurant down the road. This approach will satisfy your craving but still keep your body and mind in a healthy routine rather than confusing it with yo-yo eating.

On the topic of cheat meals this chicken recipe is definitely that but it’s also a HUGE crowd pleaser. Covered in so many delicious, guilty pleasures how could it not be. We chose to pair it with slightly healthier but still comfort food sides. Thinly sliced, baked sweet potato and a carrot and beetroot salad, with a tangy lemon and honey dressing.

 

5 chicken

 


Barbeque chicken

Serves 4

½ cup of tomato sauce (ketchup)

½ cup of peach (or other) chutney

½ cup of mayonnaise (I like helmans light)

1 tsp of salt

½ tsp of black pepper (or to taste)

8 chicken pieces (I like thighs)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

In a large casserole dish combine the sauce ingredients. Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the sauce leaving them skin side up. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour. Until the sauce is sticky and browning on top. Rebased the meat if needed while cooking.

After removing the chicken from the oven, cover it with the lid or tin foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving and serve with your favourite veggies and starch.

For the sweet potato chips

1 – 2 kg of sweet potatoes (they cook down a lot)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 tbsp salt (or to taste)

This is my absolute favourite way of cooking sweet potatoes. They come out sticky, crispy and chewy in consistency. So delicious!!

1 sweet potato

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Thinly slice up sweet potatoes and place on a large oven tray. Add your olive oil and salt and rub them all over, being careful not to miss any.

Place into the oven and bake for 45-50min.

For the raw carrot and beetroot salad

6 carrots, match sticked

3 beetroot, match sticked*

*To see how to matchstick veg, click here

 Mix together.

 For the dressing

3 tbsp olive oli

1 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)

1 tsp salt

1 – 2 tsp honey (or to taste)

1/2 tsp of garlic, crushed

1/3 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour over your salad and and garnish with some spring onion and sprigs of thyme.

3 chicken

4 chicken

Written by Gabi 

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