28/04/2013

Lunch box: Monday, 29 April 2013




We really are into our wraps lately and Monday is no different: a coriander wrap with kiri spread cheese, cheese slices, avo, ham and Rosa tomatoes (all the moisture squeezed out). With that I felt like something salty in the form of gherkins and olives, with some pastrami to wrap the gherkins in. And then the last of my lovely sweet red grapes. 

My orange craving was slightly disappointed with the latest offerings: since when is an orange yellow? It should be orange! And not just taste of water! So I'm waiting for more of the thick skinned juicy oranges.

What are you having for lunch?



26/04/2013

Rys, Vleis en Aartappels (Rice, Meat and Potatoes)

The English have meat and two veg, the Americans have their version thereof and this is the South African version. It's a one-pot dinner that is quick and easy. And although most won't see it as very healthy (the only veg included is potatoes!) you make it healthier with either steamed veggies or a side salad for a well rounded meal.


In the winter this is comparable to hot curries, steamy stews: something hot and very comforting. This IS South African comfort food. Give it a try that's all I ask. This recipe is how my mum taught me any years ago. I've tried to make. Changes but always go back to the original.

1 kg lamb chops (cut into thirds if too big)
4 potatoes chopped into quarters
2 white onions cut into quarters and sliced
2 cups rice
1 packet brown onion gravy
5 cups hot water
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp olive oil


1. Heat the oil and brown the meat. This is the basis of the flavour so get them as brown as possible without burning. Remove and set aside.

2. Next brown the onions. The same goes for the onions as the meat. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes. If it starts to catch add 2 cups of water.

3. Add the sauce packet to the mix and stir well.

4. Add the meat back to the pot, add the potatoes and the other 3 cups water.

5. Season with salt and a lot of pepper. I used white pepper instead almost a whole teaspoon.

5. Return to boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30-45minutes. Check regularly to ensure that the rice don't stick to the bottom.

If the mixture gets too dry too quickly add more water. The meal is ready when the rice is cooked, the meat is tender and the potatoes are soft. This isn't always the prettiest of meals but it sure as hell is one of the best tasting!

24/04/2013

Lunch box: Wednesday, 24 April 2013 / Castello's



Some times I don't have time to pack a lunch, sometimes I don't have anything to pack but sometimes (like last night) I just don't have the energy. But I have to eat so what do I do? Well I turn to my trusty Castello's on the corner of Keerom Street and Leeuwen Street.

It used to be just burgers, chips and toasted sandwiches but they have updated their menu (though not so much the premises) and have included brilliant wraps and healthy fresh sandwiches like what I'm having today: smoke chicken, ago, cucumber, tomato and lettuce on a dark seed loaf that is fresh and extremely tasty. It's also huge and I can only eat half of the sandwich.

22/04/2013

Deeghuys

Are you still struggling to bake the perfect French loaf? What about real brotchen? What about bagel, custard or chocolate Danish? Then I have only 1 question: Why? Because you don't have to. I introduce the Deeghuys where you can buys any type of roll, bread, bagel, Danish that is frozen and all you do it defrost and bake!



You need to see this place, it even has three different types of croissants! I bought 5 French loafs, 30 brotchens, 20 bagels, 10 custard Danishes, 10 chocolate Danishes all for under R400! And they are good. Really good. But they also do fancier eats like smoked angel fish samosas. 



Lunch box: Monday, 22 April 2013

Hungry Hubby has been very busy in the kitchen lately as his diet is currently dictating what we eat (and I have such a craving from a bacon and cheese burger!). 


We are therefore having a wrap made form: 1 coriander flour tortilla, lettuce, spinach and rocket, left-over rump steak, hummus and 1 slice cheese. It looks delicious and much healthier than what I usually make. With his lunch Hungry Hubby is having his own snacks, which can be a yoghurt, biltong or a banana smoothie.

I am having my constant, and only healthy craving: oranges! I also added some of these beautiful sweet red grapes. A quick and healthy lunch.

19/04/2013

Lunch box: Friday, 19 April 2013

As you might think, lunches were the last thing on my mind this week, with the big announcement and all, but you can't keep a hungry pregnant lady away from food too long.


For lunch we are having homemade spaghetti bolognese made with extra lean mince, canned tomatoes,  mushrooms, onion and wholewheat pasta. As this is one of Hungry Hubby's diet meals, I cheated and added some cheese to mine. With that we are also having a green salad with lettuce, rosa tomatoes, grated carrot and yellow peppers. I have one of Woolworth's mini salad dressing sachets in light Greek and a big, juicy orange that I just couldn't resist.

17/04/2013

We have an announcement!


Yes, you read correct! We are having a baby in about 6 months time. This is the reason why there has been some days without any posts  because I sometimes couldn't stand a packed lunch or was too tired to care. We don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet but we should soon. We won't be morphing the lunchbox blog into a baby blog but we will keep you included in all the little steps along the way.

We're excited but worried. There are so many things to think about....

14/04/2013

Lunch box: Monday, 15 April 2013

My, time flies. It's almost middle of the year already! Made a few discoveries such as the new apple from Woolworth's called 'Honey Crunch'. It's between a golden delicious and a Granny Smith apple and utterly scrumptious.



Secondly, don't you hate it when you have sliced tomato on a sandwich and when you bite into it, but not all the way through it, you end up pulling the tomato and half the filling with it? Well, my solution is to use baby Rosa tomatoes, cut into quarters. You loose at least half of the juice and pits (that tend to make the sandwich soggy) and you immediately have bite-sized tomatoes sweetness to enjoy with every bite.



With the tomatoes I have whole wheat rolls, spread with butter and mayo, cheese slices and salami. To ensure that the bread doesn't get soggy I added another salami slice on top before closing the roll. I also have some of the tasty apple slices and red grapes and to add both protein and calcium I added double cream, stewed fruit and custard yoghurt. It seems to be a decent well rounded lunch box, even if it isn't low fat.

Sandwich selection

A quick lunch needs to be a couple of things: substantial, tasty, pleasing to the eye and, most importantly, quick.


These open sandwiches really fit the bill. Made from Portuguese rolls that needs to be very fresh, cut open and liberally buttered. We have three toppings so with the easiest and quickest one we have a nice dollop of liver spread. It really is a great option with the fresh roll and creamy butter. If that is not an option for you, use fish spread that taste just as good in the combination.

The second option is the usual tomato and cheese: add thin slices crispy cucumber on the bottom, top with thin slices of cheese then fresh ripe tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and that's it.

The last option is an interesting option: real Italian salami top with sweet and sour gherkins. It has a great texture combination (meaty and crunchy) as well as flavour (salty, sweet and sour) and always loved by the guys.

And there you have a quick solution that will feed at least 4 people for a light lunch.

11/04/2013

Lunch box: Thursday 11 April 2013

Today's lunch is a very simple, very humble lunch, but seriously satisfying to my needs. A fresh seed roll spread heavenly with medium fat butter and sparingly with liver spread  (despite my overwhelming need to splatter it on). This is not a taste that a child naturally embraces but mine comes with a story. 



My uncle is a Czech, a beautiful old country with the enticing city of Prague. I town I visited once and always dream of going back. But back to my story. As a child my uncle would come to visit and the first thing he wants is a decent 'bretchen', a white bread roll that is soft in the centre but slight crunchy, slightly tough on the outside and all German-y heaven. I would always go with him on the hunt for these elusive rolls (so readily available in Namibia but scare in Cape Town). When we find our treasure he would always buy liver spread (for the grown-ups) and fish press for the kids. But one day he said I have earned my spread of liver spread, just like the grown-ups! How could I resist? I tried it and was immediately hooked. Now with his current visit I could not resist one second longer!

To temper the unhealthy little roll, I'm having two huge slices of fresh watermelon, before the coming winter takes them all beyond my reach!

10/04/2013

Lunch box Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Today's lunch box is a reminder of old school lunches: French polony sandwiches on brown bread with lots of light butter and mayo. An absolute favourite of mine that is always so easily forgotten. Luckily I get cravings for this sandwich when absolutely nothing else will do. I don't really mind using white or brown bread or even low GI or wholewheat bread, as long as it is really fresh - that is the secret to this sandwich being so great.



I really enjoyed the fresh, juicy orange, which I have to admit is not usually one of my favourite fruits. Maybe because in the winter months all we get is oranges and apples. It so quickly becomes boring. I had a craving for fresh oranges though and decided to buy some oranges to make the juice myself (I don't trust shops who sell 'fresh' juice unless they press it right in front of me) but after cutting into the first orange, it looked so juicy and delicious, I just had to try one bite. Four oranges later I still did not have my juice but I was hooked. Only problem was Woolworth's have run out if oranges! 



I'm also having 3 small little figs and some left-overs from my creamed Sweetcorn that I enjoy with a Kiri cheese square. Now with every food group nicely covered I think I'm going to have brunch instead of lunch because I can't wait to tuck in.

08/04/2013

Lunch box: Tuesday, 9 April 2013

As I said before, Hungry Hubby is still on his health kick (damn but the guy has discipline!) which includes these green soupy smoothies (bananas, yoghurt, mango, oats and spinach). It doesn't look good but then again he lost 4kg so maybe it works.
 



I on the other hand am having what I would normally pack for Hungry Hubby. The salad is one of my favourite: pesto, mayo and cream with pasta, rosa tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. One day I'll sit down a do a proper recipe however we can just buy Woolworth's one that is just as good. Then I have one of my quirky snacks: Kiri cheese enjoyed with creamed corn. I know it's weird but it works with salty and sweet taste and because both has a creamy consistency it tastes great. I'm also having some of Hungry Hubby's peri-peri chicken breasts and an orange.

05/04/2013

Bread Milk & Honey Restaurant

A scrumptious treasure in the middle of Cape Town CBD was unearthed on Tuesday, and what a find it was. I was with clients though so couldn't get trigger happy with the camera but I didn't need to. So many people on so many blogs have raved about this little treasure that I have taken some liberties with their photos instead (please see the credits of the photos and please visit the blogs for their own reviews and please excuse my lack of imagery).


For starters you have to take note that everything in this little shop is FRESH. And yes, the capitals are justified! We just had sandwiches there (they have some pre-made ready to be snatched up in a second or freshly made to order) and it was the best ciabatta bread I have had in a long time: not too stringy, not to tough but still with some of the famous bit. I had the pastrami, gherkins and mustard, which was delicious. They don't have the biggest selection (think chicken/tuna/egg mayo but also some interesting ones such as the chicken and pesto sandwich) but with such freshness you really don't need that many choices.

Photo from Pretty Things

They also serve a buffet for R14/100g (so you only pay for what you take) and the selection was amazing: 2 different little quiches, chicken stew, a beef stew, at least 4 different salads and everything looked appetizing, colourful and (goodness forbid) healthy.

Photo from We Love

But not too healthy for when you get to the dessert section. OMG. Cliché But really. Fresh milk tarts, cakes, mini cheesecakes and cupcakes that will make you mouth water. If you don't have space for one of these (and you don't feel like schlepping all the way back to the office with a small box containing you treasure) then by all means grab some of the freshly baked cookies, brownie pieces or fudges.

Photo from Cape Chameleon





The place is small and always busy (even early mornings for breakfast!) and really not that much parking in front of the shop but its 2 minutes from the company gardens, 10 minutes from the High Court and 10 minutes from the police station at 10 Spin Street. (You like that? 10:10:10)




Photo from Merchants on Long

And lastly, before you leave, ignore the large selection of juices and cool drinks and have a cup of coffee. It doesn't even have to be something fancy like a latte, I don't care but just have 1 cup. It really is that good. 

04/04/2013

April fools day breakfast!

 How cute is this? It looks like a piece of toast with a fried egg and orange juice but in actual fact its poundcake with yoghurt and an apricot halve with orange jelly!! Wouldn't it be fun to watch the confusion on

03/04/2013

7 layer no bowl slice

I've made some changes to my No Bowl White Almond Slice to ensure the cookie crust does not crumble before you get to enjoy it.


I mixed the cookie crumbs with the melted butter (and I increased the butter to 100g - if the crumbs are too wet add more crumbs) and pressed it into the tin evenly. This way all the crumbs are coated and they should stick together. Don't crush the crumbs too small as they will struggle to stick together. I also added the coconut last which gives a nicer top.

Then I added some more goodies: I added peanuts chopped finely and mixed with the almonds, and chopped soft caramel sweets so now we have 7 layers-

1. Tennis biscuit crumbs
2. Almonds chopped
3. Peanuts chopped
4. Dark chocolate chips
5. Soft caramel sweets
6. Condensed milk
7.  Desiccated coconut

Follow these layers and then bake in 180ÂșC for 30 minutes. For the full recipe see the Original Recipe. Play around with it, add whatever you feel like starting with the cookies and ending with the condensed milk.

Let me know what is your favourite combinations!