I am counting the days to our departure to Vietnam. Every day I can just taste and smell all the amazing street food just a little bit clearer. I have been making endless lists of foods and restaurants to try. I am hoping to pick up a few cooking secrets at Luke Nguyen’s cooking class called Grain. I will be sure to post something about that experience.
Today I am making this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup and wondering how the real thing would compare.
3 star anise
2 black cardamon
1 cinnamon stick
5-7cm fresh ginger cut lengthways
1 yellow onion cut in half
1 tsp sugar or rock sugar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp Vietnamese fishsauce
1 whole chicken
Enough water to cover the chicken, at least 2-3 liters
Asian bean sprouts
Fresh red chili
Asian mushrooms panfried
Lime wedges and fish sauce to serve
Start by toasting the dried herbs in a pan for a minute or 2 to unleash their aromas and set aside. Cut onion and ginger in half, lengthways and blacken under the grill, this takes about 10-15 minutes. Take off the first black burnt layer of the onion and the charred skin of the ginger.
Bring 2-3 liters of water to the boil in a big pot and add the whole chicken in the boiling water. Add the whole onion and ginger and the roasted spices to the pot. You could put the dried spices in a tea ball or just fish them out one by one at the end.
Turn the boiling stock down to a simmer and keep on taking off any foam that floats to the top, with a spoon. Simmer the chicken for an hour.
After an hour take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool down. Also take out the spices and the garlic and onion.
The chicken broth needs to simmer for another 30 minutes and this is also the time to add the salt, sugar and fishsfauce. While the broth is simmering its time to boil the rice noddles according to cooking instructions. Also get all the fresh herbs washed and ready. Panfry the asian mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. Debone the chicken and keep it aside.
Assembling Pho is very easy, add noodles to the bottom of the bowl and top with chicken, fresh herbs and chili, then ladle spoons of broth to the top of the bowl. Lastly squeeze a lime wedge and a drop or 2 of fishsfauce on top.
Attention all you vegans in Cape Town!!! Harrington street has a new kid on the block, Lekker Vegan. This family business is run by James Knaap ,originally from Amsterdam.
Now, don’t expect boring old quinoa salads or tasteless tofu. This is Gourmet Junk Food at its best and good enough to cure any hangover. We tried the 2 burgers from their menu and I feel that it’s a good start to judge the rest of any menu. Lekker Crispy Burger is topped with a crispy patty, melted vegan cheddar, OG sauce, fried onion rings, topped with sour cream and onion crisps. Lekker Spicy Burger is topped with a crispy fried patty, Lekker spicy sauce, asian pickled cucumbers, fresh jalapeño and sweet chilli nacho crisps.
Lekker Vegan will be sure to see me again, to try out their Lekker Beefy Gatsby in true South African style.
I know this post is so late since we visited Two Dam Trout Farm in Montagu during the winter months. The visit there was everything I needed at that moment ; inspiring people, amazing produce, solitude and nature.
The accommodation, Kingfisher Cottage is on a working Trout Farm. Situated next to the main farmhouse where Marco and Vivian Harms lives. Still private enough, the cottage is small and cosy with a fireplace and all you will need.
The farm offers a few hiking trails and even though the Western Cape is in an extreme drought the landscape is still one of the most beautiful in the world.
Marco took us on a tour of the Rainbow Trout Farm. It was inspiring to hear what Marco and Vivian were achieving. They are extremely focussed on responsible farming and production and are 100% off the grid.
Before we arrived we ordered an array of products that were waiting for us at our cottage. From Gravlax to Whole Fresh Trouts ready to be grilled on an open fire. I highly recommend you plan your weekend and menu around these lovely Trout products. Order some Gravlax or cold smoked trout slivers and all you have to do is bring some bagels and cream cheese! Breakfast sorted!
1 chopped onion
3 chopped baby leeks
2-3 chopped medium carrots
4 chopped rashers of pancetta or smokey bacon
1 clove garlic
4 medium potatoes cubed
2-3 chopped baby fennel
100g chopped in half baby asparagus
100g-150g flaked hot smoked trout from Two Dam Sustainable
3 heaped tbs crème fraîche or sour cream
500 ml boiling water
1 tbs chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper
On medium heat sweat the onions and leeks for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and pancetta and stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks. Add the carrots and fennel and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Now add the flaked trout, potatoes and boiling water, salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes are soft add the crème fraîche, dill and asparagus. Do not overcook the asparagus. Check your seasoning before serving and top with a few fresh dill leaves.
I love imperfection and I don’t think there has ever been an ugly galette in the history of galettes. The more rustic, the better. I am hosting a High Tea for my girl friends next week and I think this galette will be a winner.
Galettes can be savory too, 2 years ago I made a couple a savory galettes as part of a birthday picnic. They are just perfect eating at room temperature. The fillings are endless.
1,5 cups all purpose flour
170g ice cold unsalted butter cubed
83 ml ice cold water
pinch of salt
Egg wash to brush on pasty before going into oven
5-6 peaches, skin on and sliced
1/2 cup blue berries
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp corn flower
2 tbsp sugar (optional)
This pastry can be made in a food processor, but it is just so much better by hand. It looks more rustic and I think the pastry is flakier.
Its very important to not overwork this pastry and to keep your butter and water as cold as possible for this proses.
Take butter out of the freezer and cut it in 1 cm blocks as soon as it has softened a bit. Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and add the cold cubed butter. Using your fingers rub the butter into the flour until it resembles grainy sand and leave some bigger pieces. Now add the ice cold water a bit at a time and press the dough until it forms a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed.
Slice the peaches and combine all the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and let the peaches marinate in the fridge for 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Take 2 sheets of baking paper and put your pastry in the middle. It makes it much easier to roll it out this way. Roll the pastry in a round shape to about 30cm wide. Take the top layer op baking paper off and transfer the pastry with the bottom piece of baking paper onto a baking sheet. Pile the fruit in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 5 cm boarder, fold the rim over the fruit. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden.
Serve with a drizzle of honey and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or greek yogurt for the more health conscious.
This is such an easy healthy side dish. It goes well with grilled chicken kebabs. Give it a try at your next family gathering.
350g baby butternut
1/4 cup home-made basil pesto
shavings of pecorino
handful of toasted pine nuts
thinly sliced lemons
Wash and cut baby butternuts in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the butternuts in a 220 degree Celsius oven for about 20-25 minutes until lightly charred. Toss the warm butternut in basil pesto and add some extra olive oil if needed. Arrange the baby butternut on a serving platter and scatter with thinly sliced lemon, pecorino shavings and some toasted pine nuts.
Serve with chicken kebabs for a summer lunch.
You can definitely feel that spring is here in Cape Town, gym memberships are being renewed and the the cravings for crisp salads and fresh juices are setting in. The recipe for these flatbreads are from Green Kitchen Stories. They are an inspiration for anyone looking for healthy vegetarian recipes, go check it out.
4 cups of “vegetable rice” either broccoli or carrot
1 cup almond flour
salt and pepper
pinch of dried herbs like basil or origanum
Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Blend a whole head of broccoli until it is a rice-like consistency. Measure 4 cups of the broccoli rice and place it in a mixing bowl. Add 4 eggs and 1 cup of almond flour and add the herbs and the salt and pepper. Mix well with clean hands. Transfer the broccoli dough onto the baking paper and flatten the dough with your hands in a rectangular shape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until you can see it is firm. Place flat bread on a cooling rack and only peal the baking paper off one it has completely cooled down. Cut into squares and store on the fridge. The toppings are endless but think hummus, pestos or even an aubergine spread, rocket, sprouts or pickles.
You can make carrot flatbreads too, just use 4 cups of carrots instead of broccoli.
Once you have this Golden Milk you will never want to have those sugar laden, fake tasting powdered hot drinks, you buy from the supermarket again!!!
AKA turmeric milk, it is a fragrant hot drink made from alternative milk like almond milk, soy milk, rice milk or hemp milk. I like to make my own almond milk so thats what I use but I think rice milk would work well too.
This milk is extremely healthy for you and initially I started drinking it for a good nights sleep and to help with digestion. Upon further inspection I learn that there are numerous benefits like anti-inflammatory, detoxify the body, levels out blood sugar and eases joint and muscle pain, just to mention a few.
First I will give you the recipe for almond milk.
1 cup of raw organic almonds
2 cups filtered water for soaking
4 cups filtered water to make the milk
2 pitted date or 2 tsp honey
pinch of salt
Soak almonds in water for 8-48 hours. When you are ready to make the milk drain the almonds. Place the soaked almonds in a blender and pour 4 cups of fresh filtered water in. Add a pinch of salt and one pitted almond. Blend for at least 4 minutes. Put a sieve over a jug that is big enough to keep 4 cups of liquid and muslin cloth inside the sieve. Pour the liquid though the muslin and sieve. Squeeze out any left over liquid in the pulp. Pour the liquid into an airtight glass container and it will last 2-3 days in the fridge. You could also freeze almond milk, read here the correct way to unfreeze it.
2 cups almond milk
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 thumb size ginger sliced
1 tbsp honey or to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 cardamon pods cracked to release aromas
pinch of white pepper optional
1 teabag of rooibos tea optional
1 star anise optional
Place all the ingredients in a medium size pot over medium heat and let all the spices infuse slowly for about 5-8 minutes. Do not boil it. Serve in big mugs and drink before bedtime. I add Rooibos teabags to my Golden Milk as I had a brain wave one night to do so and now it just doesn’t taste complete without it. Rooibos tea is also famous for its health benefits. By adding rooibos you are only making it healthier and tastier.
This recipe serves 2 can be doubled easily.
This is a great little recipe for the 1st day of Spring. So easy and super healthy and sure to help us on the way to our beach bodies!!! Suitable for diabetics and vegans and for all of us looking for a low GI breakfast.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup almond milk or coconut milk
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
berries, nuts and seeds of your choice
If you are you are using leftover cooked quinoa you can just warm it over the stovetop with a bit of milk, add honey and cinnamon. And add nuts, seeds and berries.
Making it from scratch you should first rinse the quinoa under cold running water . Bring almond milk and quinoa to a boil over low heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. When done, add the honey and cinnamon, cover the pan and let the quinoa rest and absorb all the milk
Serve in bowls and garnish with blue berries and pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of extra cinnamon.
I have been avoiding my blog and my Instagram page for the last couple of weeks. I have been struggling with digestive disorders for the last three years. Battling with stomach ulcers and the removal of my gallbladder. Daily struggles with symptoms like bloating and stomach cramps. I believed that I was managing it well with medication and a healthy diet. I became accustomed with the way I felt; tired, always worring how food will affect me afterwards, in short it was just creating havoc in my life.
I decided to see a Nutritional Therapist and was put on a Elimination Diet. A short term eating plan, eliminating all foods that might cause allergies or digestive problems. None of the following: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Refined and added Sugar, Peanuts, Corn, Alcohol, Eggs in some cases and Fast Foods.
If you know me or are familiar with my blog you will know; man, oh man, I love ALL kinds of food!! And needless to say its been a difficult 10 days so far, with only another 20 days to go before hopefully reintroducing some of these foods back into my diet.
I came up with this little Seeded Granola Cluster recipe and would 100% make this even after my eating plan is over.
1tsp vanilla powder
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 coconut shavings
5 date sliced
3tbsp coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Combine all the nuts and seeds in a mixing bowl and add the honey and coconut oil, mix well. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spread the mixture evenly. Put it in the oven for a bout 20 minutes. Stir it every couple of minutes and watch it carefully so it does not burn.
After it is golden and crispy let it cool down before you put it in a airtight container.
I recommend you double this recipe as it was so so good…. oh and serve with berries and almond milk.
This is a super easy recipe with only 5 ingredients including the olive oil. I usually make this with Broccoli instead of Brussel Sprouts but thought that they are both a bitter, earthy vegetable and that it could work for both vegetables.
300g brussel sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red birds eye chilli
1 big garlic clove
3-4 anchovy fillets in oil
Wash and slice the Brussel sprouts in half, leave a few whole. Bring salted water to a boil and add the Brussel Sprouts and leave it to boil for about 4 minutes. Drain the Brussel Sprouts and immediately submerge it into ice water to stop the cooking process and to retain the green colour, we don’t want grey mushy Brussel Sprouts!
Add olive oil, chilli, garlic and anchovy fillets to a pan over medium to high heat. Once the anchovy fillets has been resolved add the drained Brussel Sprouts and sauté for a few minutes. Serve as a side dish.