Lekker Vegan – Gourmet Junk Food

 

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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.

 

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Trout Chowder at Two Dam Sustainable Trout Farm

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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!

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Ingredients

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

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Recipe

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.

 

 

Gluten Free Veggie Flatbread

 

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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.

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Ingredients:

4 cups of “vegetable rice” either broccoli or carrot
1 cup almond flour
4 eggs
salt and pepper
pinch of dried herbs like basil or origanum

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Recipe:

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.

Healthy Golden Rooibos Milk

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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.

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Almond Milk:

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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.

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Golden Milk:

Ingredients:

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

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Recipe:

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.

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Good night

Spring Quinoa Porridge

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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.

Ingredients:

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

Recipe:

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.

Healthy Granola Clusters

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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.

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I came up with this little Seeded Granola Cluster recipe and would 100% make this even after my eating plan is over.

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Ingredients:

1tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla powder
1/4tsp salt
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
3tbsp honey
blue berries

Recipe:

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.

Shakshuka with Potato Pesto Focaccia from Woodstock Bakery

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Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish served in a cast iron pan or tajine, accompanied by bread to mop up the sauce. I first had it in Turkey and they make it with a garlic sausage. You could easily adapt this recipe to your liking by adding chorizo or making it vegetarian and adding mushrooms instead. The options are endless. This doesn’t have to be served as a breakfast, it could easily be a quick budget friendly dinner too. This is a great way to feed a family or a group of friends coming over for Sunday brunch.

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Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic
1 red chill, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tin chopped tomato
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup water
thyme
1 bay leave
4 eggs
smoked pork cocktail sausages

 

Recipe

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the garlic and chilli, fry for about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and finely sliced red pepper as well as the cumin and smoked paprika. Cook for a few minutes until onions and peppers are soft. Now add the tinned tomato, tomato paste and sugar and give it a good stir. Add the bay leave, thyme and water and turn the heat down to a low simmer with the lid on. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the sauce is on a simmer, cook the smoked pork sausages in another pan or you can grill them in the oven.

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Give the sauce a stir and turn the heat up to medium, break 4 eggs in the sauce and put the lid back on. Cook until the desired softness for the eggs. Lastly, scatter the cocktail sausages over the cooked eggs. This dish must be served with a lovely crusty bread to mop up all the sauce.
Enjoy!!

 

Slowcooker Pork Belly Ramen

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Broth Ingredients

1 onion halved
1 carrot roughly chopped
big thumb size ginger sliced
2 big garlic cloves
8 tbsp sake
8 tbsp soy sauce
1L beef stock
4 tbsp fish sauce
300g shitake mushrooms stems removed
pork belly about 1,3kg
water, about 2L

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Reduced dipping broth for sliced pork

soy sauce 6 tbsp
ginger thumb size sliced
garlic 1 clove sliced
water 6 tbsp
5 spice powder 1 tsp or 1 tbsp hoisin sauce

Topping Ingredients

ramen noodles 1 packet per person
soft boiled egg 1 per person
bok choy
spring onions
sprouts
thai basil or coriander
red chilli
black sesame seeds and sesame oil

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Recipe

I would recommend you make this recipe over the weekend. It is not difficult at all, but  it is time consuming. Make your broth friday night and do the final touches on saturday, that way it doesnt feel like such a monumental task.

Day 1

Add onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, shitake, soy sauce, fishsauce, sake and beef stock to the slow cooker and set it to cook for 6 hours. While this is heating up, take the skin off the pork belly, keep the skin aside and place the whole pork belly in the slow cooker. Fill the pot with boiling water right to the top. I crisp the skin in a nonstick pan with salt and a bit of 5 spice powder until crispy and you can crumble it over your ramen at the end. Unfortunately we ate the crackling before the ramen was done because it was just too irresistible.

After 6 hours take the pork belly out of the slow cooker with tongs and set aside too cool. Take out the shiitake mushrooms and set aside. Discard the ginger, garlic, onion and carrot by straining the broth. Put the pork, shiitake mushrooms and broth in separate containers in the fridge until the next day.

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Day 2

Slowly start to warm the broth.
In another pan add the ingredients for the dipping broth and bring it to a low simmer. Now slice your pork belly in 1cm slices and put it in this dipping broth, this way you warm it and give it an extra kick of flavor.
In another pan, boil the eggs, cut in half and set aside.
Also slice the mushrooms that was boiled in the broth the night before and set aside.
Wash and slice the bok choy, spring onion, chili and sprouts and set aside.
Now get your bowls ready, because ramen must be served piping hot. Pour a bit of boiling water in each bowl to keep it warm.
Boil the noodles and while the noodles boil make sure the pork in the dipping broth and the ramen broth is hot hot hot!!!

When the noodles are ready, empty the bowls of the boiling water, drain the noodles and spoon noodles into the bowls. Assemble the bok choy, sprouts, spring onion, shiitake mushrooms, boiled egg, chili, thai basil and sliced pork belly on top of the noddles.
Lastly spoon over the boiling broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil.
Devour immediately!!!

 

 

Brandy Bread and Butter Pudding

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This recipe is from Gourmet Traveler and when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for Fathers Day Lunch. I have made this bread and butter pudding before and I let it rest overnight and then bake it in the oven the next day. I found the pudding to be much fluffier and it makes a big difference. This pudding is bound to make Fathers Day special.

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Ingredients

2 tbsp brandy
1/2 cup raisins
5 eggs
300ml cream
300ml milk
1/4 cup castor sugar
rind of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
8-10 slices of day old bread, cut in 1cm slices
60g butter
1 tbsp damera sugar

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Recipe

Combine the raisins with the warmed brandy in a bowl and set aside.
Slice the bread and spread both sides of the bread with butter. Also butter the overproof dish, it should have a 1 litre capacity. Arrange the slices of bread in the oven proof dish and sprinkle the raisins over and under bread slices. Set aside.
Combine milk, cream and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add castor sugar, orange rind, ground cinnamon and vanilla powder to the mixture and whisk again
Pour this mixture over the bread, sprinkle demura sugar over and let it rest for an hour, so the bread can soak up all the liquid.
Warm the oven to 180C. and bake for 30-40 minutes until the liquid has set.
Server with ice-cream.

Green Papaya Salad with Prawns and G&T

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Yes, I know its winter in Cape Town and we just had one of the biggest storms to hit the Mother City in years. You might be thinking; who in their right mind would want to eat crunchy, limey green papaya salad with Gin and Tonics, this while its 14 degrees outside and raining. This is not comfort winter food, not at all. But I can tell you it was darn delicious. Come summer time, I would eat this everyday. I just had to try this green papaya salad, as green papayas are not readily available in supermarkets here and it was only because of a tip from Sam Lindsels’ blog Drizzle and Dip that I was so lucky to get hold of a green papaya.

I must admit , I have never been a fan of Gin and Tonics but after tasting Wilderer Gin at Spice Route I am a changed woman. It seems like Cape Town has an array of amazing Gin distilleries and therefore we have our very own Gin and Tonic festival.  I see Hope on Hopkins is right here in my backyard and that will be the next distillery to visit.

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Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup of lime juice
1 tbsp of fishsauce
2 tsp of honey
1 red birds eye chilli
1 clove of garlic

Salad Ingredients

1/2 green Papaya
1 big carrot
2 spring onions
1/2 red pepper
hand full cherry tomato
100 grams peeled, cooked and deveined prawns
1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts
Basil micro greens or coriander

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Recipe

Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a blender and give it a good whizz, keep it aside.

Peel and deseed 1/2 a papaya and shred finely with a Julienne Peeler, do the same with the carrot. Combine the 2 in a mixing bowl. Cut tomatoes in halves or quarters and thinly slice spring onions, add this to the mixing bowl. Thinly slice 1/2 a red pepper  and add this to the mixing bowl too. The salted peanut can be crushed in a mortar and pestle before being added to the mixing bowl too. Pour the dressing over and give it a good mix before transferring it to a serving dish. Lastly scatter with prawns and micro basil greens.