29/11/2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

Hungry Hubby is getting a bit of a treat on Friday to make up for this weeks neglect. He is having Steak Sandwiches with creamy shallots which consist of ciabatta rolls, steak, rocket & shallots in a mustard cream sauce. As his something sweet we have our almond chocolate "olives" we bought in Nice on our honeymoon, a dried fruit & nuts snack and fresh pineapple & honeydew melon.


I'm away from the office tomorrow so not only can't I take lunch with me, I will be missing our weekly tea with all the naughty treats! Might be for a good thing...

Steak Sandwiches with creamy shallots



From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food we get this amazing sandwich. To view the video of how to make the just point you little mouse to here

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless New York strip steaks (3/4 inch thick; 1 1/2 pounds total), excess fat trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 sandwich rolls, split and toasted
  • 2 cups baby arugula

 

Directions

  1. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over high. Cook steaks until medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, add shallots, and cook until softened, 8 minutes.
  4. Add cream and 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Stir in mustard and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice steak against the grain. Make sandwiches with rolls, shallots, steak, and arugula.

Cook's Note

Feel free to try this recipe with chicken cutlets; turkey cutlets, halved horizontally; or pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch slices and pounded 1/4 inch thick.

The Guilt Free Gourmet


My new (not-so) guilty pleasure at the moment is this wonderful cookbook by a brother and sister team: Jordan & Jessica Bourke. He's a chef and she's a nutritionist and together they make diary-free, sugar-free and wheat-free recipes that are so eye catching that you start to drool!

They also have a Website with more amazing recipes.

Obviously the recipe that attracted my attention are these extremely chocolatey brownies and I just couldn't believe that they were sugar-, wheat- and diary free. Now wheat and diary isn't an issue for me and sugar is a diet disaster for most people, but a reduction in all three should obviously also affect the bloat-factor. 

They have wonderful light breakfast ideas like the "new York avocado toast" or the "super smoothies" to "pancakes with fried bananas" so don't think for one second their food are 'diet' and therefore bland.

For lunch or a light dinner there's "butternut squash falafel a with fig, chioggia beetroot & chilli oil", which sounds exotic and difficult but really isn't. They also have sections on "food from afar" and "comfort food" with "sausages 'n mash with red onion gravy" and a healthy "lasagna". My favourite sections are the "home baking" with a gorgeous carrot cake and "sweet treats" with a lovely cheesecake.

Some of the ingredients aren't readily available in South Africa like the coconut palm sugar and the diary-free cream cheese called Tofutti. I found "coconut blossom sugar" at the wellness centre but xylitol or brown sugar can be substituted. For the Tofutti I substitute low fat cream cheese

I suggest you give their ideas a try!

The book is available from Kalahari.com

28/11/2012

Baked Caramel Coconut Oats


Okay, so not really something for the lunch box but it's something I make on a Sunday morning and keep in the fridge for the whole week thereby providing a nice cooked breakfast that can be heated in the microwave with a little milk. I tweaked the recipe by adding a few ingredients I wouldn't normally have associated with our traditional baked oats after being inspired by Family Fresh Cooking's colourful blueberry coconut baked oats.

 The caramel coconut oats then to puff up after the cooking time and is so good you might mistake it for dessert instead of breakfast!


[The BEFORE and AFTER] You can bake it longer or reduce the milk ratio if you want a less milky oats. I prefer it slightly gooey.


1 & 1/2 cups oats
1 can light coconut milk (400ml)
3 cups low fat milk
1/2 cup treacle or dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup pecans

Mix everything together in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil (so the top wouldn't brown too quickly) and bake in a 180 degrees C for 1 hour. Let stand before eating or cool down completely, cover in foil and place it in the fridge.

27/11/2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

For Wednesday we have a 5 minute lunch thrown together with some croissants fresh from the oven (by that I mean Woolworths croissants baked for 5 minutes) with French polony and mayo. Snack is a cream cheese single serving, provitas and carrots. For elevenses we have a raisin and bran muffin and cherries. No greens and not enough protein...maybe I can get Hungry Hubby to have a yoghurt or eggs for breakfast?


I again don't have a packed lunch as I'm still busy with clients. Things should normalize by the end of next week.

Six Layer Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake


Oh. My. Gosh. Wait till you see this thing!! This Salted Caramel Six Layer Chocolate Cake is huge and extremely impressive. Again from my favourite bake Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake

    • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    • 3 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1 tablepoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Coarse salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower oil
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the Caramel

    • 4 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • Coarse salt
    • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • For the Frosting

    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted, and cooled
    • Garnish: flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter three 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons course salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

  2. Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

  3. Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is dark amber, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream (mixture will spatter); stir until smooth. Return to heat, and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees, about 2 minutes. Pour caramel into a medium bowl, stir in 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Let cool completely.

  4. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Whisk together cocoa and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl until cocoa dissolves. Beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and a generous pinch of coarse salt in a clean bowl with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate and then cocoa mixture until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes before using.

  5. Trim tops of cakes using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Cut each in half horizontally to form 2 layers. Transfer 1 layer to a serving platter, and spread 3/4 cup caramel over top. Top with another cake layer, and repeat with remaining caramel and cake layers, leaving top uncovered. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

  6. Frost top and sides of cake in a swirling motion. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Cook's Note

To make this cake ahead of time: The caramel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using. Cake layers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days (they actually taste better when refrigerated and have a better texture for stacking). When finished, the frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

26/11/2012

Annapurna Indian Cuisine






This restaurant features at least once a month on our to-do list. Hungry Hubby has spent some time in India and fell in love with the food. That love has been transmitted to me via "date-night" and now I feel slightly week at the end of a month without my trusty Lamb Korma and Cheese and Garlic Naan!

Hungry Hubby is much more adventurous and tries something new each time we go from lamb shank, lamb chops to his latest favourite Chicken Saagwala, which is chicken and spinach in a cashew curry sauce. (I would never admit it but with it's slightly sweeter taste, it might even be better than my Korma!)

I say try as much as you like until you find your favourite. All meals are made to order so you decide between mild, medium and hot. But start at mild if you are unsure about what heat you can take (I think I can start to think about upgrading to medium).


The place is very small so be sure to phone ahead for reservations, especially on a Friday night. They do take always as well (no delivery though) and it does take a while for the food to be finished but it really is worth the wait.

website

25/11/2012

Monday, 26 November 2012

I love honey mustard sauce so I decided to make my own! I took some left-over smooth fat free cottage cheese (1/4 cup) some Dijon mustard (1 tsp) and some honey (1 tsp) mix it all together and voilà! Home made honey mustard cottage cheese!


So I serve the home-made honey mustard cottage cheese with lean shaved ham and parsley on omega 3 rich rolls, a oat bran and raisin muffin, blueberries and green grapes, a Kiri cheese and a Woolworth's dip with honey dukha, cream cheese and hummus with carrot sticks.

My lunch box is more a breakfast and a snack as I'm going to be busy for the next two weeks (lunch with clients). So I have a muffin that I eat topped with a Kiri cheese (don't knock it until you try it!) some dip and carrots and some fresh fruit. 
 
It's going to be a long day....

The Next Two Weeks

For the next 2 weeks I will be either working late or I will be away from home and my lunch box preparation will be sporadic to say the least. So not to leave you hanging, I will be sharing some recipes or restaurant reviews with you throughout the week and some other titbits.

The Diet Disaster Experiment will be put into effect from 10 December 2012 so you will have some more time to vote until 7 December 2012.

What will we be doing this holiday (if the world doesn't end 12-12-12)? I've already mentioned my cravings for fresh cherries, which we pick in Ceres but there are some good things happening around the Western Cape:

8 to 17 December 2012

One I see over and over is the "Summer in Stellenbosch Valley" which offer market (my personal addiction), braais and entertainment especially the Asara's Pure Food Christmas Market on 17 December (www.wineroute.co.za 021-886-8275)Or see here

30 November to 2 December

 What more do you need than a glass of bubbly - how about a whole festival dedicated to the art of the drink! There will be "Local Cap Classique producers, and their French counterparts from the Champagne region in France, will present their best bubblies over three fun-filled, festive days in a grand marquee situated on the manicured lawns surrounding Franschhoek’s famous Huguenot Monument."

For more details see here



What are you doing this holiday? Any festivals, events or markets? Let us know about them too!

Royale Eatery






When it comes to burgers, this is the place to beat. I love their sweet potato fries and milkshakes that makes this as close to a Diner we in South Africa can have!

I love this place (close enough to my office that I have to resist going there every day) and the portions are huge.
To see their selection of almost 50 burgers, check out their  Website 

(Ps try the peanut butter whiskey milkshake!)




[Photo courtesy of SafariNow.com]

24/11/2012

Strawberry, Mozzarella and Rocket Salad

I had a selection of the most juicy strawberries ever and decided to add it to my salad. They were slightly sweet, slightly tart and just perfect. I added creamy mozzarella and spicy rocket and it ended up being a dream come true. Enjoy it quickly though as the balsamic vinegar tends to make the mozzarella slightly rubbery if you wait to long.

• 1 packet fresh rocket
• 1 small punnet strawberries sliced into rings
• 70 g fresh mozzarella cubed
• 1 red onion sliced
• 1/2 tsp sugar
• salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Layer the rocket leaves, strawberries, mozzarella and onion on a plate. In a bowl wmix the sugar and vinegar and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad just before serving.

Enjoy

22/11/2012

What do I eat at work if I don't have lunch?

There are somedays where I just couldn't be bothered to pack a lunch. Some times neither Hungry Hubby or I get lunch, some times I pack only for Hungry Hubby (because I don't particularly feel like eating whatever I ended up packing, you know that feeling?)

Well I usually end up not eating anything, having loads of cappuccinos and get home starving late afternoon to eat what ever is in the fridge (or chocolates, chips, etc.) But some time I just need something greasy to fill me up until the next consultation. We have this small Muslim shop on the Loop Street in Cape Town called Mountain View that makes the most amazing Chicken Marsala and Chips Toasted Sandwich.

It is a combination of chicken breast cooked with marsala spices, tomato, lettuce, mayo and french fries (or as they are known here "slap chips" - they have a softer texture, not as crunchy as normal fries and perfect on this sandwich). Marsala is and indian spice mixture giving the sandwich an small spicy kick. The sandwich is then toasted in a sandwich press.

Not healthy by ANY means necessary but it soo hits the spot when you have nothing to eat and you're starving. [This should also be a brilliant hangover cure!]

Thanksgiving Treats

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

An American Holiday I know, but I see it as an excuse for adorable edible treats much like Halloween. Many of the ideas I found like these adorable Turkeys for Our Best Bites are made with sweets that we don't find in South Africa (like the candy corn and peanut butter cups) but it does serve as inspiration.

What is your treats that you make for Thanksgiving?

21/11/2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

No lunch box for Thursday. Why? because I'm just too tired and couldn't be bothered. Bad wife. Bad. But luckily Hungry Hubby can buy some lunch (he's been doing it for years) so nothing so bad. Once in a while it's good that he has to buy lunch so he can compare it to what I give him and (hopefully) appreciate the effort.

As always, even when I don't have an exciting lunch to share, I share some of my new finds or recipes (sometimes I have enough time and energy to do all three!), so here is some new snacks that I've discovered:


"On the Go Fusion Fruit Snack" available from Pick 'n Pay stores are a real treat with a selection of nuts, dried fruit and chocolate or coconut. One flavour not shown here is the tropical selection with pineapple, coconut and banana that was in Wednesday's lunch box.





20/11/2012

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

You would not believe how difficult it is to make sandwiches using pita breads! If they don't break then they get squashed. But they do taste great. So what are we having? Smoked chicken breast, avo and cottage cheese spread, lettuce and raspberries for some sweetness.


With some sweet apricots, green grapes and mini chocolate muffins. Hungry Hubby has some salty biscuits and pretzels. I have a tropical dried fruit and nuts mix.


As you can see there's a little bit less in the lunch boxes. I noticed that my lunch box kept come homing without eating everything. I ended up sharing yesterday's lunch with someone at work, it was just too much. So then I started thinking maybe the portion sizes are too big (because my appetite certainly didn't shrink! I wish...) so let's see how it goes and if Hungry Hubby comes home starving...

19/11/2012

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

So as I opened the lunch boxes I struggled with what to put into it (the usual struggle of any person facing an empty lunch box) and I decided on tuna mayonnaise sandwiches.



But not the usual tuna mayo. Instead I concocted a Herb & Cheese Tuna Mayonnaise that I paired with whole wheat seeded hotdog rolls.For snacks we have a hotdog cut up, carrot sticks and Rosa tomatoes to dip into a sour cream and chive dip. As treat we have cherries, blueberries and white chocolate chips.


Not much green is included this time as I think I added enough herbs to compensate for the lack of colour.

Remember to VOTE in the proposed experiment for the Diet Disaster! So far it's 100% in favour of Hungry Hubby being in charge of the diet for one week.

Herb and Cheese Tuna Mayonnaise

I didn't want to make just an ordinary tuna mayo sandwich so I played around with adding herbs.


My inspiration was taken from a sour cream and basil pesto pasta salad of mine. So I wanted to just add pesto to the tuna and mayo but didn't feel like doing that as I felt it might not look that appealing and be  a bit over powering for the tuna.


So I added a combination of fresh herbs instead. As I opened the refrigerator door I saw some fresh Parmesan cheese and decided to give it a try. We ended up having a real flavourful combination brilliant enough to turn any ordinary tuna mayo sandwich into something amazing.

Ingredients:
bunch of coriander leaves
bunch of chives
bunch of Italian parsley
2 cans tuna
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp fat free cottage cheese
1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

1. Chop the fresh herbs finely.

2. Add chopped herbs with the tuna, mayonnaise, cottage cheese and mix well.

3. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.  


18/11/2012

Monday 19 November 2012

With the Diet Disaster pending, I'm once again in charge of lunch box. As always I wonder how healthy it really is? I know it contains white bread (with, oh my gosh, cheese on top!) but the majority is fruit. But fruit also contains sugar. I think I should add more protein as protein is the fundamental building blocks of any diet.



What Hungry Hubby is having is 2 cheese rolls with lettuce, ham, salami and mustard, carrots with hummus and a selection of fruit: green and black grapes, cherries, blueberries and raspberries.


As always my lunch box also has my breakfast. With it I also have a small tub of Greek Yoghurt. One roll is dedicated for my breakfast and includes the apparently not-so-naughty chocolate spread and cherries, for lunch a cheese roll with ham, lettuce and mustard, grapes (green and black) and blueberries and as late afternoon snack I have fresh raspberries and a nut and dried fruit mix.

So to help me in my experiment with our Diet Disaster, VOTE now in the poll located on the side panel right at the top.

15/11/2012

Diet Disaster!

{no lunch box on the Friday! But vote now!}

Lets call it an experiment: vote now in the side panel (top tab) - should Hungry Hubby be in control of the diet for one week? VOTE NOW!

So obviously a structured diet doesn't work for us. The lunch boxes is difficult to pack when you only have a few options to choose from. So to if you are hungry and in a hurry it's ever going to work. But what is worst? Snacking while packing the lunch boxes! I just caught myself snacking on the left-overs that doesn't fit into the lunch box. How do you 'catch' yourself? Mindless eating that's how. Just putting stuff into my mouth without thinking. 
It doesn't help I plan my lunches and dinners and then snack in between. It doesn't help if a then snack on whatever is lying around (like my addictive macadamia nougat!) just before dinner. Then eating dinner, not because I'm hungry because it was there.

Mindless eating. You would think with all the intention going into the lunch boxes I would actually spend some time on what I put in my mouth! So what do I need to do? Portion control? Only salads? Rabbit food? High protein diet?

I need a better way of dieting. Oh how I hate that word! But if I don't watch it I might be rolling to work instead of driving! You know the worst part? The mere mention of a diet and all willpower  goes out of the window. Maybe I should leave it in Hungry Hubby's hands? Men seem to have more willpower than women do. He goes on the same diet ant the same time as me and then lose double the weight. Maybe he should do the lunch boxes and dinners for a week and let's see if it makes a difference?

But Hungry Hubby will never do it unless you tell him to! So vote now!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

So guess what? I had 5 minutes to spare as business ended early and I felt bad so I organised a quick lunch for Hungry Hubby. Okay, I lie: I was starving today because I didn't take lunch! We were supposed to work through lunch but didn't and there I was without anything to eat. So being selfish I organized lunch so I can have something to eat too!


Hungry is having my a fresh croissant with salami, sour cream & chive low fat cream cheese and lettuce, carrots with 2 different tipes of hummus (plain and red pepper hummus) and fruit: cherries, blueberries and green grapes.


I have only one croissant and some fruit for either lunch or as a late afternoon snack. So for selfish reasons I'm sorted! ;)

14/11/2012

How do I decide what to pack?

I don't plan. I don't have a beautiful organized grocery list. 

I don't even think about it before I pull out the lunch box and look at the empty spaces longingly trying to be creative (or at least not put in the exact same thing as yesterday!) 

So what do I do? Well the lunch box itself helps quite a lot. PlanetBox has three departments and I try to do the following: the big compartment I use for carbs and protein (sandwiches etc), the medium compartment for fruit and/or veggies and the small compartment for fruit and/or sweets (if the medium compartment has only veggies and dip I add fruit to the small compartment).

I use a lot of fruit because it is currently summer in South Africa (okay summery at the very least) so I'm making up for winter. In winter we have more baked goodies because the only fruit in winter is apples, oranges and bananas and just about nothing else. Baked goods are also easier in the winter as we tend to be home more (I have a very active social live in summer...not! I just don't feel like it when you have a beautiful day outside). Bread is becomming a bit redundant but salad is not substantial enough unless you use pasta and Hungry Hubby isn't that fond of pasta. So I need to work on that a bit. 

But it is just a lunch box not rocket science so my secret: colour! I try to have a little bit of colour from green to red and that makes it more attractive and you eat with your eyes first!

PS the photo above is deep fried Mexican Cheesecake from our Mexican Cooking Class!

13/11/2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I feel guilty. I'm going to be real busy until Friday and Hungry Hubby will have to fend for himself. Poor husband! So while I had 5 minutes to spare (yes really just 5 minutes) I threw together a lunch box for him for tomorrow. He already has to make supper tonight so I included some treats.


So we have Hotdog buns filled with shaved lean ham, crunch butter lettuce and lovely ripe avocado dosed with lemon juice to stop discolouration, red pepper hummus with carrot and yellow pepper batons, a Kiri cheese (with a little message just to remind him I love him), some natural jelly beans and spiral cookies.

I'll make it up to him over the weekend by making something nice as a belated Thanksgiving treat.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why is it that as soon as you even think the word diet you get so hungry that any thought you have is anti-diet? So all thoughts of our diet are left aside for the moment (but not forgotten it is almost summer after all) and made Short Cut Curry Meatballs that are quick and easy to make with lots of sauce left over.

To enjoy these saucy meatballs I've added mini pita breads and for some greenery I've added cucumber sticks, green grapes, blueberries and cherries.


At this time I'm dependant on Woolworth's supply of cherries (one of my favourite fruits) but this December we'll make a visit to Ceres and go fresh cherry picking. I'll have bags full to play with and may try a cherry pie for Christmas?

12/11/2012

Short-cut Curry Meatballs


When all else fails make meatballs! But I don't want to make meatballs from scratch so what I do is I cheat. As simple as that. You can enjoy it as is or as a curry meatball sub using hotdog buns.




• 1 packet (600g) lamb or beef sausage (or use Woolworth's ready-made beef meatballs)
• 1 bottle Pataks Korma Cook-in Sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.

2. Remove the meat from the sausage casings and form into balls. Form into 12 meatballs.

3. Place in a pan prepared with a little olive oil. Pour over the cook-in sauce.

4. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes turning halfway through.

Enjoy with Naan bread and rice or on their own with a coleslaw.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Monday again. Why do weekdays have to start with the Monday blues? Well, I'm changing it to Green! We're having Green Goddess Burgers with the most beautiful green grapes & blueberries and hummus with carrot batons and celery sticks.



I get a little less (only one burger) with some yoghurt (Greek yoghurt with fruit topping) and some more fruit. A little bit less hummus and some carrot batons and celery.



Now for the next three weeks I'm going to be extremely busy, working late at night and being away from home for some nights. So poor Hungry Hubby will not only have to be incharge of the dinners (luckely I've already done the shopping and planning!) but he might have to prepare some of his own lunches. OMG this might be an experience. I expect some really unhealthy choices (if he prepare a lunch box at all!)

But I will keep you updated! What do you do if you just don't have the time?

11/11/2012

The Green Goddes Burger


These burgers are creamy due to the lovely avo but lower in fat due to the extra lean thin burger patties. It's a nice change from bacon and cheese burgers topped with smoor or tomato.

• 4 thin burger patties (I used Woolworths)
• 4 whole-wheat seeded buns
• low fat spread
• 1/2 cup micro leave salad (any small salad leaves)
• vinegar onions (recipe below)
• guacamole & cream cheese dip (recipe below)

1. In a pan dry fry the patties until done. Prepare the onions & guacamole.

2. To assemble the burgers: slice and butter the rolls, add some of the micro salad leaves, top with onions, burger patties, guacamole and then top with the bun. And enjoy!

Vinegar Onions

• 2 onions sliced thinly
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• olive oil

Heat olive oil in a pan, add onions and cook until brown. Add vinegar and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. If the onions aren't sweet enough add 1 tsp sugar.

 

Guacamole & Cream Cheese Dip

• 1 small avocado
• 2 tbsp low fat cream cheese (I used Slimmers Choice)
• lemon juice
• green Tabasco Sauce
• salt & pepper

Add the avocado and cream cheese and blend well. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp lemon juice to stop the avocado from discolouring. Season with salt & pepper and Tabasco to taste.

Oxtail Potjie

Hungry Hubby's triumph!


Oxtail Potjie is a traditional South African dish and every family has their own recipe but secret to make it absolutely excellent is time. This does take a long time especially if you want the the meat so soft you can eat it with a spoon! What is really good about the Potjie is you start it, once in a while either add something or give it a stir but most of the time it looks after itself. You have time to relax and have a good time and by dinner time you have a great dish that can serve 8-10 people. All you need is a big pot of cooked rice and nothing else!

TIP we usually buy 3 packets and remove all the small bones which doesn't have that much meat on it giving everyone a decent size bone.

Ingredients:

• 2 x packets oxtail (I use Woolworths as theirs are already prepared)
• 2 x oxtail soup packets
• 2 x stock pots (I used Knorr)
• 1 x small can tomato paste
• 1 x can butter beans rinsed
• 3 x onions chopped
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp mixed herbs
• 1 tbsp chilli flakes
• 3x garlic cloves finely chopped
• 4 x potatoes chopped into big cubes
• 3 x carrots chopped into big rings
• 3 x sweet potatoes chopped into big cubes
• 3 tsp maize meal/mazina/thickening agent
• Butter or oil

Method:

1. Get the coals ready for a steady heat. In a big black 'poitjie kos'-pot (a cast iron pot) add enough butter/oil to brown the meat. (If not using Woolworths then clean the meat by quickly rinsing it under water and removing the fattiest sections. Pat dry before browning).

2. When the meat is starting to brown add the onions, mixed herbs, bay leaves, garlic and chilli flakes.

3. Keep stirring until everything is browned.

4. In a measuring jug, add the soup packets, stock pots and hot water. Stir until everything is dissolved. Take another measuring jug filled with hot water and keep it next to the pot.

5. Add the sauce first, stirring up all the bits that might have caught on the bottom of the pot.

6. Add enough of the water to almost cover the meat. Allow it to simmer for about 4 hours (you can reduce the cooking time to 2 hours but the meat might be tough by the end of the cooking proces).

7. Stir occasionally and ensure that the pot doesn't cook dry.

8. After about 4 hours of simmering, add the potato, sweet potato, carrots and beans to the pot.

9. Continue to simmer for about and 1 to 1 and a 1/2 hours until the potatoes are cooked through.

10. Mix the mazina/thickening agent with a little water and stir until smooth.

11. Slowly add it to the pot while stirring continuously in small circles. Stir through the whole pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with white rice and nothing else!