quinoa & couscous salad

Winter seems to be disappearing quickly so it’s time to start stepping up on delicious, healthy and flavourful summery dishes! Salads scream summer and this is another favourite of mine that is a delightful on its own or served as a side with just about anything.
To make life easier I always cook things like quinoa, lentils, spelt & barley in big quantities, portion and freeze it until I need it. This way I can quickly whip up a beautiful meal without spending hours behind the stove.
Once frozen, thaw the quinoa in the fridge overnight.

Quinoa, with its fluffy texture and subtle flavour is high in protein, B vitamins & dietary fibre, making it a healthy and delicious good for you grain.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
2C cooked quinoa
1C cooked couscous
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
20 small rosa tomatoes, halved
1 tub bocconcini cheese, halved or buffalo mozzarella, torn
5 radish, sliced
1/2 cucumber, deseeded and cut into small blocks
100g mange tout, sliced diagonally
1 ripe avocado, cut into blocks
handful fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4C pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4C sunflower seeds, toasted

for the dressing
4T red wine vinegar
1T dijon mustard
3T lemon juice
1/2C olive oil
1t dried oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed
1T brown sugar
pinch salt
good grind of black pepper

how to
In a glass jar or mixing bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake or whisk well until emulsified. Set aside to infuse for about 30 minutes.
Tip the cooked quinoa & couscous into a large dish.
Add all the salad ingredients to the quinoa mixture and toss well.

Pour about a quarter of the salad dressing over the salad and mix to coat.


zesty anchovy, garlic & chilli linguine

I originally made this delicious dish with tagliatelle and then made it again for lunch yesterday….with linguine. They are both equally moreish and perfectly suited to the ingredients. Spaghetti is another great alternative!
If I was asked what my favourite pasta was I would have to say this one.
Besides anchovies being undeniably fishy, they are also incredibly salty, and I love salt. They add beautiful complexity to any dish or sauce and have a rich, umami flavour.

Served whole, chopped or emulsified into a sauce, this is one ingredient I always have in my kitchen.

This pasta is undeniably a delicious, simple and flavourful meal that you will return to again and again.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
300g-400g linguine, cooked according to package instructions
2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped
12-16 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
zest and juice of 2 medium sized lemons
3t finely chopped garlic
bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
bunch fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
bunch chives, chopped
2T olive oil
2t anchovy oil
1T butter
black pepper
finely grated parmesan, to serve

how to
Heat the olive oil, anchovy oil and butter in a large skillet and cook the garlic on a low heat, while stirring, until cooked. Take care not to burn the garlic.
Turn off the heat and tip the cooked pasta into the garlic and oil mixture. Toss.
Add the remaining ingredients except the parmesan and toss to coat.

Serve with lots of parmesan and more black pepper on the side.


pork sausage & veg tray bake

I do love the simplicity of a tray bake and, admitting, that it is a meal frequently enjoyed around our dinner table.
This is a meal that I return to again and again and will not easily tire of.
A great time saver as you can put it all together, store it in the fridge and then just pop it into the preheated oven come dinner time.

The added bonus, of course, is the clean kitchen after dinner. And this alone gets a very high mark in my book.
A healthy, comforting and nutritious meal that your family will love, without having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Good alternatives to pork sausage are beef / chicken sausage or chicken breast.

Serve with a side of couscous or buckwheat.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
8 pork sausages
300g baby potatoes, halved
400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 red onions, quartered
6 garlic cloves, whole
punnet baby carrots, scrubbed
200g mushrooms
6-8 sweetcorn mini cobs
1/2C olive oil
2t paprika
1t dried oregano
1t dried thyme
1t cumin seeds, crushed
1/2t salt
good grind of black pepper
4 rosemary stalks
150ml white wine

handful fresh parsley, chopped (garnish)

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Put the rosemary stalks onto a large sheet pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, herbs, salt & pepper. Add the vegetables to the herb mixture and toss through to coat well.
Tip the vegetables onto the roasting tray and arrange in an even layer.
Rub the pork sausages with a little more olive oil and nestle them between the vegetables.

Roast in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes until the sausages are golden brown. Carefully remove the tray from the oven, turn the sausages over and toss the vegetables.
Pour the wine into the roasting tray and roast or a further 20 minutes until the sausages are cooked and the potatoes are tender.

Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with your choice of side.


nutella & banana crumpets

Another quick breakfast go-to that I love making early mornings!

Growing up, some Sunday evenings were spent in a more relaxed manner than a sit down Sunday meal. On these evenings my mother would make an old South-African favourite, called ‘Melkkos.” A heritage dish that brings back very fond childhood memories.
Perhaps these crumpets can replace the “melkkos” tradition now and again.

As batters go, this one can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. So save yourself time in the morning by making the batter the night before.
I served these delectable delights with thinly sliced banana, double thick cream and maple syrup. For a bit of a healthier alternative honey and natural yogurt will complement these just wonderfully.
Of course, if you really want to be bold, why not add a good dollop of extra Nutella and a sprinkling of chopped nuts too…?

ingredients | makes about 15 | easy
2C flour
1/2C castor sugar
2t baking powder
3 eggs
1t vanilla essence
1C milk
2 bananas, mashed
3-4 T nutella
pinch salt
olive oil

bananas, to serve
double thick cream, to serve
maple syrup, to serve
cocoa powder / icing sugar to dust

how to
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt in a bowl and stir. Add the milk, eggs & vanilla essence. Mix well using a whisk or electric mixer.
Add the banana & nutella and give it a quick mix to combine.
Grease a non-stick pan with a little olive oil or cooking spray and drop about 1/4 cups full of batter into the pan.
Cook on medium heat until you notice little bubbles on the surface.
Turn and cook for a further minute or so until both sides have a beautiful golden colour.

Serve warm with your choice of topping or extras.

From my morning kitchen to yours, with love x


herby beef fillet with flavoured butter

Rosemary, thyme, garlic &. butter are four key ingredients to a super delicious, flavourful steak and are four ingredients I seldom cook without. Steak is rarely cooked in my kitchen as we prefer to cook it outside, on the ‘braai’ which is customary to our heritage and tradition.
In fact, ‘braai’ is such a big part of South-African tradition there is a day that has been dedicated to it. (Heritage Day.)

Although you can easily cook this recipe on the fire my preferred method is in a griddle pan on the stove.
A griddle pan uses less oil, ensures even cooking and provides those beautiful char marks we all find so very appealing. The compound butter enhanced and complemented the meat beautifully and since you serve the steak topped with extra butter, you don’t need a sauce.

ingredients | serves 4 | a little effort
for the fillet
4 portions beef fillet
8 rosemary stalks
16 thyme sprigs
3T olive oil
salt to taste
black pepper

for the compound butter
130g butter, room temperature
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
1/2t crushed cumin seeds
1/4t red pepper flakes
1/2t onion powder

method
In a bowl, combine the compound butter ingredients and mix well using a wooden spoon. Lie a piece of clingfilm on a work surface and spoon the butter mixture onto the centre of the clingfilm. Roll the butter into a log and twist the ends to seal well.
Place into the freezer for at least one hour.

Tie the rosemary & thyme around the fillet steaks using cooking string.
Drizzle the steaks with the olive oil and gently rub it into the meat, around the herbs. Season with salt & pepper.

Slice the compound butter into rounds using a sharp knife and discard the clingfilm.
Cook the steak in a hot griddle pan, turning as you go. Add about half of the compound butter halfway through cooking to baste the steaks until you have reached the preferred doneness.

Rest the meat for at least ten minutes before serving, topped with a round of compound butter.


I