Spinach and feta empanadas with red pepper sauce

Spinach empanadas with roasted red pepper sauce

 

Capetonians will be pleased to read that this post has nothing to do with the water crisis… argh, I said it! We are all a little bit obsessed right now you see, (one’s Facebook feed is enough to induce a severe case of hysteria!), and in uncertain times like these we could all do with a little comfort food. Like a golden pastry pocket that fits snugly in your hand, filled with a delicious cheesy spinach stuffing and dipped in a warming roasted red pepper sauce. I’ll take one! Or three…

 

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Easy beetroot crisps

Homemade beetroot crisps
I have been making an effort to buy more organic vegetables lately. Besides being good for the family I like the idea of supporting smaller, local farmers… and their produce is fantastic! To make life easier I order a weekly veggie bag which I collect from a nearby organic shop every Wednesday and the kids love unpacking it to see what goodies we have for the week ahead.

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Minute Steak with Sun Dried Tomato Butter and Teresa’s favourite Quick Fry Veggies

 

Minute steak with sun dried tomato butter and pan fried vegetables.
Whoa, that recipe title is a bit of a mouthful! Fortunately the name is probably the most complicated part of this dish which is very quick and easy to prepare (ready in under thirty minutes), not to mention low carb. So we are ticking a lot of good boxes here today folks!

Creamy butternut soup

Creamy butternut soup with cinnamon.

I don’t think I could have chosen a better day to share this recipe. The rain is (finally) coming down in buckets outside as Cape Town gets pummelled by a monster storm and right now I can think of no better lunch than a steaming bowl of delicious soup. Preferably followed by a nap. Local schools have been closed for the day due to the storm so there is not much chance of the latter but I will settle for soup!

Aerial shot of butternut soup with cream.

I enjoy all kinds of soups, but I tend to favour the classics – for me nothing beats good old tomato soup or a creamy butternut soup. I have kept this recipe fairly simple with a touch of warming spice to complement the veggies. This is an easy soup to throw together and the best part is that you can make a big batch and freeze it, ready for those cold winter days.

For more soup inspiration please check out these recipes for french onion soup, mushroom soup with chevin and thyme toasts, and carrot and coriander soup. What is your favourite soup when the weather turns chilly?

Butternut soup with spices and cream.

Serving suggestion – top the soup with toasted flaked almonds, flat leaf parsley, a swirl of cream and some freshly ground black pepper. Add a few slices of toasted ciabatta and you are good to go!

Make ahead tip – make a batch of soup and freeze in single portions for soup anytime you feel like it.

 

CREAMY BUTTERNUT SOUP

  • Servings: 6 (Makes 6 cups)
  • Print
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 baby leeks, sliced
  • 4 celery sticks (about 10cm), sliced
  • 500g peeled and cubed butternut
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • large pinch of sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150ml cream
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • cream / parsley / black pepper / flaked almonds to garnish (optional)
  • toasted ciabatta to serve (optional)

1.) Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over a low heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, butternut and potatoes. Cover the pot and leave the vegetables to sweat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

2.) Increase the heat to medium. Add the salt, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and stir for a minute or two. Add the stock and stir well. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

3.) Set the pot aside to cool for a few minutes. Use a food processor or stick blender to puree the soup until smooth.

4.) Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream and sherry. Heat through over a low heat. Check the seasoning and serve.

 

Low carb chilli beef and vegetable stir fry

 Low carb beef and vegetable stir fry

It is time for another “dinner in a flash” recipe  – we love those right? And this one will also, I think, be met with nods of approval from the banting crowd. This beef and veggie stir fry is a very simple but delicious meal that works well for supper or lunch. (Or both if you have leftovers.) I say simple because I usually prepare my stir fries with a homemade sauce, or at the very least a splash of soy sauce but in this recipe I have simply used a couple of aromatics to give the dish its tasty flavour with the added bonus of making it sugar free.

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Beef sliders (with hidden veggies!)

Easy, healthy recipes for kids.
I hope you are all settling into the the new year year nicely. I for one am enjoying getting back into the regular routine, but of course that means we have had to pick up the pace at home (extra murals, social events and, very soon, school runs – you know the drill) and that means that I need delicious and healthy meals that can be prepared on the double!

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Spring vegetable and red pesto tart

A slice of vegetable and tomato pesto tart.

I do enjoy a cooking challenge, and when I was contacted by the team at Faithful to Nature and invited to participate in their recent blogger competition I was immediately interested. The challenge was this – to create one seasonal, organic, vegetarian family meal using pantry products from Faithful to Nature as well as fresh organic produce. Each blogger received a voucher to purchase their choice of products from the thousands and thousands of products on the Faithful to Nature website, ordered their goodies online and then used them to create a delicious dish.

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Creamy tomato penne with pesto

 Quick pasta dishes
We love a good pasta dish in our house, and this is one of my go-to recipes for a quick and delicious week night meal. The sauce is ready in under thirty minutes and can even be made ahead of time and reheated. And I have to say it again – it is so tasty!

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