Mushrooms on griddled polenta with pecorino

Grilled polenta squares with mushrooms and pecorino.

 

So here’s the story, and I wonder how many of you can relate?  I love breakfast, and I always make sure the cupboard is stocked with one of my favourite healthy home made granolas (like this chocolate granola) so I never have think about what I am going to eat. Easy. Dinner is also not too much of a bother as I have a bunch of great recipes that I make regularly and I tend to have all of the ingredients on hand. But then there’s lunch… this is where my inspiration (and motivation) seems to wane and I never quite know what I feel like making. So I am always excited when I come across new and interesting ideas, like today’s recipe for mushrooms on griddled polenta with pecorino cheese.

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Cheesy roasted vegetable quiche (with video)

Crustless quiche recipe

 

Another Easter holiday has come and gone and I hope you had a lovely one! We managed to escape up the coast for a few days of beach bliss but it’s back to business now and the never ending lunch boxes, laundry and loaded inbox. (Take me back to the beach!) This is a wonderful, easy recipe if, like me, you are craving veggies and healthier meals after enjoying all of those Easter holiday treats! May I present my crustless roasted vegetable quiche.

 

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Easter lamb and vegetable platter

Easy Easter lamb recipe

 

This incredible lamb recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, “Jamie’s 30 minute meals” by Jamie Oliver. It was a Christmas present from my lovely sister many years ago and I have used it often when I need week night supper inspiration. All of the recipes I have tried so far have worked really well but this easy lamb and vegetable platter really impressed me. It’s a simple recipe when you look it but it tastes incredible, and best of all you can have this gorgeous platter of food (it’s a feast, let’s be honest) in no time at all!

 

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Coconut Thai curry with chickpeas (vegan)

Thai vegetable curry with butternut

 

A few posts back I mentioned a fantastic new recipe book I had bought for myself. “Deliciously Ella” by Ella Woodward is a must have for your collection if you are following a vegan diet or simply looking for more plant-based inspiration when it comes to your meals. The book is filled with tons of tasty ideas and her recipes are simple and easy to follow  Although I have only had a chance to try a handful of her recipes this simple vegan Thai curry with chickpeas is definitely my favourite so far!

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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)
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  • 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.