All I seem to want to cook and eat at the moment is pots and pots of warm soup, but some days I’m just too lazy for all the chop, chop, chopping. So when I see Justin Bonello on the TV telling me it’s OK to get a little help from Woolworths who am I to argue? I picked up a pack of mixed bean and vegetable soup mix, followed the on-pack instructions and added a smoked chicken breast from the Aphrodisiac Shack and in a few minutes had a lovely pot of yummy soup.
- Mixed bean, vegetable and smoked chicken soup,
- rye bread and
- a satsuma.
I often see okra in my local Checkers but, not knowing how to cook it and having read tales of how slimy it can be, have usually avoided buying it. After a little internet research I discovered cooking okra with tomatoes reduces the slime factor. With this knowledge I took the plunge, bought some okra and devised this lentil and okra curry.
- Lentil and Okra curry,
- brown rice with sun dried tomatoes,
- coriander yoghurt,
- dried mango and
- some grapes.
Here is my recipe for Lentil and Okra Curry.
- 1 cup of black lentils
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 1 cup water
- 300g okra topped and tailed then cut into 1cm rounds
- 1 green pepper cut into strips
- Cover lentils with water and leave to soak (overnight is best, but I only soaked them for four hours and this was sufficient).
- Fry onions and garlic in olive oil till the onions are translucent.
- Add curry powder and stir to coat.
- Add lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and water and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
- Add okra and green pepper then cook for a further 5 minutes.
Service over rice with coriander yoghurt.
Makes 4-6 servings.
I bought some porcini butter from the Funki Fungi stand at the Neighbourgoods Market awhile ago. I’ve been using it for all sorts of dishes, but my favourite way to use it is in a simple sandwich where it’s subtle flavour really gets to shine.
- Sliced silverside, watercress and porcini butter sandwich on rye bread,
- baby tomatoes,
- baby corn,
- orange, radish. mint and toasted almond salad and
- some grapes
Posted in Packed Lunches
Tagged almond, beef, corn, grapes, mint, orange, porcini butter, radish, rye bread, sandwich, tomato, watercress
This pasta sauce is a great pantry staple creation: a box of passata, a tin of tuna and a handful of salty capers cooked together for a few minutes and then spooned over pasta. You can completely change the flavour by adding (think chilli, olives and anchovies) or subtracting an ingredient or two.
- Wholewheat penne topped with a tuna, caper and tomato sauce and
- some grated Parmesan style cheese.
Have you noticed the seasonal change in the weather recently? In Cape Town the evenings have a slight chill to them signalling the onset of Autumn and I think that is the perfect excuse to create giant pots of warm and comforting soup. Like this Thai flavoured butternut soup I made last night.
- Thai butternut soup and
- two slices of muesli loaf from Knead.
Here is my recipe for Thai flavoured butternut soup.
- 1Tbsp coconut oil (I used the Kapruka brand that we received in our goodies bags at the SA Food Bloggers Conference)
- 2 medium sized onions (roughly chopped)
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1.5kg butternut (peeled, seeds removed and cut into large chunks)
- 1.5ℓ vegetable stock
- 1 stalk of lemongrass (split in half lengthways)
- 3 dried limes leaves
- 200ml coconut milk
- 1tsp fish sauce
- a large handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
- the juice of half a lime
- Sauté the onions and garlic in the coconut oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the butternut and stir-fry for a minute or two to coat with the coconut oil and brown slightly.
- Add the vegetable stock, lemongrass and lime leaves and cook for half an hour (or until the butternut is tender)
- Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves and then blend to a smooth consistency.
- Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, coriander and lime juice, bring to the boil and serve.
Makes approximately 9-10 servings
Posted in Packed Lunches, Recipes
Tagged bread, butternut soup, coconut milk, coconut oil, coriander, garlic, kapruka, Knead, lemongrass, lime juice, lime leaves, onion, soup, thai butternut soup
I received a bottle of lemon olive oil cranberry balsamic reduction pomegranate splash made by Verlaque in my goodie bag from the SA Food Bloggers Conference. For something a little different I used the splash to marinate a few pork chops before adding some freshly ground black pepper and grilling in the oven. The lemon and other fruit flavours lend a tangy punch to the chops, definitely a meal I’ll repeat in the near future.
- Grilled pork chop (deboned and cut into strips),
- roasted butternut,
- cucumber and radish salad,
- broccoli and
- some pineapple.
I have plenty of leftovers from this month’s daring cooks challenge, so you know some inevitably land up in my lunch box. Both versions seemed more tasty after sitting over night letting all the flavours mingle.
- Mushroom risotto,
- sausage, pea and red pepper risotto and
- a salad with lettuce, cucumber, baby tomatoes, red pepper and spring onions.
Posted in Packed Lunches
Tagged cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, pea, red pepper, rice, risotto, salad, sausage, spring onion, tomato
I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since my last blog post. I’m quite upset with myself for allowing this to happen, but I won’t go into all my reasons and excuses for not posting. Instead I’d like to share with you my submission for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge.
The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
I have made risotto many times before so for me (and I hate to admit this) the real challenge was making the requisite stock from scratch. I used the chicken stock recipe supplied with our challenge and must say was really impressed with the end result. Once I had the risotto base completed I divided it into two and flavoured one half with a combination of sautéed portabellini and oyster mushrooms and a little Geo Watkins Mushroom Ketchup. The other half I flavoured with spicy sausage (debreziner), red pepper and peas. They both came our really well and there where lots of leftovers, some of which found it’s way into my lunch box the next day.
You can find all the recipes for this month’s challenge here.
This salad started out as my attempt to recreate Primi Piatti‘s hot beef salad, I didn’t quite manage the recreation but the salad was still very tasty.
- Salad with lettuce,baby tomatoes, baby marrow ribbons, red pepper, cubes of beef and potato slices sautéed with smoked paprika and
- yoghurt and smoked paprika dressing.
Most of my lunches consist of leftovers from supper the night before, but sometimes there are no leftovers. That’s when a sandwich comes to the rescue, you can fill them with anything you can think of and they are really easy to eat (well so long as you don’t stuff them with too many fillings).
- Multigrain brown bread sandwich filled with lettuce, chicken mayonnaise and pickled zucchini (that was included in this week’s CSA bag),
- red and green cabbage and sesame seed salad and
- some grapes.