Lunch box: Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What a healthy lunch! 4 Bean salad, peach fat free yoghurt and mango, grapes, peaches and blueberries. Incidentally this is my lunch box. I had some serious cravings for Woolworth's 4 Bean salad so I had to go in search of it. It's healthy, lots of protein and an extra dollop of fibre. I do miss my carbs though...

Hungry Hubby is similarly on a health-kick but he made his own 'healthy' lunch: extra lean mince, broccoli and cauliflower with chickpeas. It's not actually that bad but very bland. His idea to spruce it up a bit: lots of Tabasco!


My Lunch Box for the next Week

I've been having too much carbs, too much fat, too much of absolutely everything and then I realized that I don't need to fill the lunch box with absolutly everything I can think of: I can just add the essentials. That and no snacking or eating outside the box (if you excuse the pun) except for breakfast and dinner. And this is what you get:

Yoghurt (100ml fat free) with fruit, 2 Kiri cheeses, 4 wholewheat crackers and some more fruit. It doesn't look like much but I have wholewheat carbs (and not too much), protein from the cheese and yoghurt, fat from the cheese and nuts and finally nutrients from the fruit.

Breakfast will be 1 Wheatbix biscuit, 1/2 cup low fat milk and 1 banana. Dinner will also be something small and healthy. I don't need to eat Hungry Hubby's portion sizes to be satisfied.

Something small and maybe a bit healthier than normal (for us anyway) is chicken fajitas made with 1 chicken breast, slimmer's choice cream cheese, avocado, red and yellow peppers and a coriander tortilla (like our dinner Monday night which incidentally is also Hungry Hubby's lunch).

And to save time (and money) that is what we'll be doing for the rest of the week: make an extra portion that Hungry Hubby can enjoy at work!


Lunchbox: Monday, 25 February 2013

You want to know what we have for supper when no one went shopping? Tuna and sweet corn pasta that's what. Everything is already in your cupboard. So that's also what we are having lunch as the bread's too stale to use and the only spread I have is jam.

So we are having exotic fruit salad (meaning mango, nectarine and grapes)  some left over pizza from Col'cacchia (my favourite the Moghul with butter chicken, crispy onions and coriander, a really good pizza) and the Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta.

I'm having the exact same for a change except I only get the tiny points from the pizza wedges (the best part of any pizza anyway).

Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta

1 packet white sauce or 2 cups homemade white sauce
1 cup cheese, grated
2 cans tuna drained
1 can creamed Sweetcorn
Salt and pepper
1/2 packet of pasta (about 2 cups)

1. Boil a pot of water and add the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions.
2.  Heat the white sauce (or prepare your homemade white sauce). 
3. Add the tuna and stir after each tin is added
4. Add the sweetcorn, stir well and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the cheese and stir through until melted.
6. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and stir through.

Enjoy with extra grated cheese, chopped spring onions or chopped fresh parsley.


Lunch box: Thursday, 21 February 2013

A french coloured lunch box for the wonderful Thursday (wonderful because it means it's almost weekend!). Red, 'white' and blue. Red we have pink grapes, red velvet mini cupcake and hot smoked salmon. Fro the white we have wholewheat crackers, 3 mini pies and a Kiri cheese. And for the blue we have, well, blueberries.

For myself I have replaced the mini pies for carrots and penguin crackers. Enough protein, calsium, decent carbs, fruit and veg. I was therefore confident that I deserved a treat and added a mini red velvet cupcake. The salmon is high fat but good fat and omega 3 and 6 (or so I have been told). I have only recently taken a liking to it and now eat it at least once a week.


Lunch box: Wednesday 20 February 2013

I am craving some serious nibbles in the form of mini pies and mini red velvet cupcakes and unfortunately I know exactly where to find them. So after walking past the shop for more than a week, I finally went in and got them.

With my little treats Hungry Hubby is having whole wheat rolls filled with roasted pork belly, cream cheese and basil pesto. To add some health (contrary to Hungry Hubby's request to fill the holes with more babotie or chicken pies) I decided to add some red fruit in the form of fresh prunes, pink grapes and blueberries.

I on the other hand am having some leftovers: beef meatballs in prego sauce with mash. Hungry Hubby always makes the mash and has become quite an expert using sour cream and garlic butter. I absolutely LOVE mash and would eat it with absolutely anything but my favourite is bangers and mash with brown onion gravy. The meatballs are a new discovery for me as I belatedly realised that not only can you cook them in a sauce but that you can use any sauce you can think of: tomato, curry, prego, barbecue, ratatouille, green curry or anything else. I tend to buy the ready made meatballs from Woolworth's but one day I will make my own. The meatloaf mixture (beef, pork and veal) available in America would be perfect but unfortunately that's not available in South Africa.

Do you have a favourite meatball recipe?


Lunch box: Tuesday, 19 February 2013

After having Friday and Monday off due to a fantastic lunch box on Valentine's Day (on Hungry Hubby's insistence) it's finally back to normal. I did however become lazy over the short break and felt that nothing too fancy is needed for the Tuesday.

So what do I consider non-fancy? Well, hot dogs and I really love hot dogs. But to make it a bit healthier I use brown wholewheat buns with 1 American Hot Dog Sausage from Woolworth's and a small spread of cream cheese and ginger spiced Dijon mustard. I learned from previous mistakes and placed the tomato sauce in a container instead. For snacks Hungry Hubby is having chicken and pineapple kebabs, a Kiri cheese and fruit salad with a wide variety of fruit.

I added another half an American Hot Dog Sausage and extra sweet pink grapes. The total of my lunch box is 13 ProPoints but it does include my snacks and lunch (and in all probability my breakfast as well).

The hot dog is 9 WeightWatchers ProPoints, ketchup 1 ProPoint and the Kiri cheese is 2 ProPoints.


1800 Degrees Bistro

Situated right across from the new Cape Town Stadium at the Cape Royale Hotel and Spa, the 1800 Degrees Bistro is our  go to restaurant for a romantic evening. We tend to rotate our anniversary and Valentine's Day between 1800º and Planet Restaurant. Essentially it's a formal or upmarket steakhouse, great for the man in your life because the steaks really are to die for. We even attend for our birthdays and special occasions. It really is a great place to visit.

For Valentine's Day 1800º had a special evening arranged starting with champagne Kir Royale cocktails and a two-man band playing golden oldies in the background.

Surprisingly Hungry Hubby suggested we start an entrees. This was surprising as we tend to almost never finish our Mains as the meals are quite substantial. I chose the Herb Gnocchi with Butternut, Feta and Sage. I just couldn't resist as so few people do a really good gnocchi. They were good but the surprising star of the entrees was Hungry Hubby's choose: the soup of the day - Cream of Mushroom Soup and all I can say is "wow" and this is from someone who doesn't like mushroom soup!

For mains we always have steak. You're at a steakhouse so what else will you have? Both Hungry Hubby and I had the fillet, mine was 200g and Hungry Hubby had 400g. With his steak he had potato and cheese croquettes and Bearnaise sauce.

While I had creamy garlic mash and Madagascan Pepper Sauce. The steak was done to perfection as it should be because that is exactly what they specialise in. It melts in your mouth and I have mine medium (a tough order to get right).

The photo's are quite dark but it's very difficult to take proper photo's without disturbing your fellow diners (or to look like an idiot while doing so!) But let me tell you about dessert. Usually we have the creme brûlée but this time it wasn't on the menu so we went for something nostalgic...

We both had the selection of 4 macaroons. Now I must admit that the ones we had in Paris was better but that doesn't say much as everything is better in Paris. All I can say is they better return the creme brûlée to the menu or the pastry chef and I will be having words....


Lunch box: Thursday, 14 February 2013

It's finally Valentine's Day and I think I did the day justice. Not too fancy, not too many hearts (I added some stars just to mix it up a bit) so let's see what Hungry Hubby is having for Valentine's Day:

We're starting with my very delicious Chocolate French Toast cut into 3 hearts. I had a practice run on Sunday (a perfect lazy breakfast) and they are just as delicious cold the next day. With it I added a glass flask filled with real maple syrup and I added blackberries, gooseberries and strawberries  cut into heart shapes.

For Hungry Hubby's snacks I made Rosa Tomatoes and baby sausages into heart shapes. To see how it's done click here. I also added little cheese stars. These are really cute and quick to make. I just take one Rosa tomato, cut it at an angle and stick it back together. Same goes for the little sausages. I placed these separate from the sandwiches as I was worried that the little tomato hearts might leak a bit.

Now just to add to the already carb-rich lunch box, I decided to add some savoury sandwiches as well (to balance out the sweetness of the french toast). These beautiful little stars are made from fresh white bread, low fat cream cheese, dijon mustard and shaved ham, cut into star shapes after assembly. I added little cheese hearts just to stay within the Valentine's Day theme.

So this is my way of letting Hungry Hubby know I care. It is by no means healthy but it isn't meant to be: it's a treat. I only get to treat him 3 times a year: Valentine's Day, his Birthday and our Anniversary.

How do you treat your loved one on Valentine's Day?


Lunch box: Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Only one more day until Valentine's Day! Any ideas on what to put in Hungry Hubby's lunch box?

Until then let's see what Hungry Hubby is having for lunch: crushed wheat sandwiches with chicken, spring onion cream cheese, Rosa tomatoes, roasted yellow pepper and rocket sandwich. A mouthful I know but it really works. Roast half a yellow pepper at 220•C for 25 minutes. Allow to cool wrapped in cling-wrap. When cooled, peel the pepper and cut into small strips. It gives a nice sweetness to an otherwise peppery sandwich.

With the sandwiches some naughty bits being: dried mango and Wispers chocolates. For fruit we have the sweetest fresh prunes, strawberries and gooseberries.

My lunchbox is much the same but as usual my portions are just a bit smaller (the sandwich) but not the fruit.

Again I am going to challenge myself by not eating anything outside the lunch box but so far nothing has worked. Come 3pm I eat whatever I can find. Yesterday I had watermelon, banana bread, last nights left over curry and then some more left over curry. Let me just say that after everything I ate I'll be lucky to only pick up 2kg.


Lunch box: Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Only 2 more days until Valentine's Day. What treats are you packing in your loved ones lunch box?

The knotted rolls are sweet and dense (at 4 WeightWatchers ProPoints they pack a might carb punch) but are also quite dry so I decided to make them with cheese spread and salami for some moisture. I also added some mini sausages, Bybel mini cheese and carrots. For fruit I'm sticking to green and dry grapes. 

With my knotted roll I'm having my absolute favourite: chocolate spread (at 7 WeightWatchers ProPoints the sandwich is a real indulgence but I'm thinking I deserve a break every now and then). For breakfast I'm having Tropical low fat yoghurt (3 ProPoints) and muesli (3 ProPoints) as snacks I have one Kiri cheese (2 ProPoints), a bueno chocolate (1 ProPoint) and kiwi, red and green grapes.

Not my healthiest lunch box but then again I haven't been that healthy anyway. So new challenge: I will only eat what is in my lunch box for breakfast, lunch and snacks. No outside snacking (which I'm so guilty of especially at 3pm every afternoon!). How do you curb your snacking?

Valentine's Treats 2013

I've decided instead of making normal sandwiches for Valentines Day I will be making Chocolate French Toast Hearts. 

These little hearts are so easy to make: make 3 Chocolate French Toasts and use a cookie cutter to cut out hearts. How will I pack it: with fresh fruit and a small glass container for the maple syrup.

Other Valentines ideas:

Ham Heart Sandwiches: Cut out 2 big hearts. from the second heart cut out a smaller heart. Spread the first heart with butter and mustard. Cut a big heart out of a slice of ham. Place on top of the first heart. Spread the second heart with butter and place on top of the first heart (the pink ham will be visible through the little heart shaped window in the second heart.

Cake pops: follow my recipe for Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake Balls but add a drop of red food colouring to the white chocolate before dipping. Decorate with red and white balls, hearts or just plain coconut.

Heart mini sausages and Rosa tomatoes with mini Cheese Hearts: cut the top part of 2 mini sausage at a diagonal. place the two cut sides together and it would form a heart. Secure with a toothpick.  The same can be done with Rosa tomatoes

Slice cheese into 0.5 cm slices. Use a smallish cookie cutter to cut heart shapes from the cheese. Serve with the sausage and tomato hearts.


Chocolate French Toast

I've always loved french toast and I usually enjoy it sliced in fingers and with a tiny amount of maple syrup. However I have come to realise that you can add another dimension to french toast by stuffing it with something. You can do sweet or savoury but I tend to stick to sweet (the same with pancakes I just can't have them with savoury fillings! It goes against everything I know!) but try it with different fillings: if you don't like chocolate (what are you an alien?) try it wit sweetened cream cheese, ricotta or even goat's cheese. Add jam or other fruit fillings, even peanut butter works amazingly well.


• 12 slices white bread
• 6 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread or peanut butter
• 5 egges
• salt
• maple syrup and fresh raspberries to serve

1. Spread 6 slices with the spread and top with its partner.

2. Break the 5 eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk well. Season with salt.

3. Heat a big frying pan on medium heat and spray with oil or spay-and-cook. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture (a few seconds on each side) and place in the frying pan. When it has browned slightly turn it over.

4. Place on a plate and cover with a tea towel until all are cooked. Enjoy scattered with raspberries and sprinkling of maple syrup.

Lunch box: Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentines day is only 4 days off so I've been busy planning Hungry Hubby's special Valentines Lunch Box. But before I can focus all my attention on Thursday's lunch box, I had to organise Monday's.

I'm cheating a bit by keeping the rest of the week's lunch boxes a bit boring so that Thursday's one will seem much more exciting and special. As Hungry Hubby is not bored of ham just yet I made ham, cheese and mustard rolls on sweet knotted bread. I love fresh rolls and these ones are called "heat and eat" so they are really fresh. Fro fruit Hungry Hubby is having raspberries and red and green grapes. As I wanted him to have some treats (and preferably not something I'm going to include on Thursday) I added mini marshmallows, penguin crackers and wasabi peanuts.

I'm having yoghurt with muesli and mini marshmallows (usually for elevenses) one knotted roll with ham and cheese and the same fruit. The yoghurt is my treat as it's low fat chocolate yoghurt and the muesli is triple chocolate crunch muesli. The marshmallow might be a bit much as it's already so sweet but they are just adorable.


Lunch box: Friday, 8 February 2013

I felt like something with colour so decided to create the Beetroot, Rocket, Ham and Cheese Sandwich and doesn't it have beautiful selection of colour? Pink, yellow, green and red making for a good saucy beetroot and peppery rocket and creamy sandwich. With 3 meatballs, carrots, Rosa tomatoes, red and green grapes. hummus for dunking and a bran and raisin muffin.

A very good saying: waste not want not! So I'm having some of the yesterday's leftovers: Thai Beef Pasta Salad with meatballs, Rosa tomatoes, carrots and hummus. My fruity selection is red and green grapes and my favourite cheese Kiri.


Beetroot, Rocket, Ham and Cheese Sandwich

A good rounded sandwich with colour, meaty, saucy and crunch.


• 4 slices soy linseed bread
• 2 tsp butter
• 4 slices Gouda cheese
• 4 slices shaved smoked ham
• 1/2 cup rocket
• 2 large tbsp grated beetroot (pickled and drained on paper towel)
• 2 tsp mayonnaise


1.  Spread bread with butter evenly. Top with cheese slices.

2. Top with ham slices and then rocket.

3. Top with beetroot. Spread mayonnaise on the top two slices. Top the sandwiches, cut in half and enjoy.