COHEN DIET: Ricotta and Asparagus Tarts

These little tarts are quick to make: Take 1 cup ricotta and mix until smooth. Fry 1 cup chopped mushrooms and ½ a chopped red onion until brown. Mix well with the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper and pour into tins, smooth the surface. Top with the asparagus and ½ a cup grated mozzarella. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and started to brown.

I Quit Sugar Week 6

We are on week 6 of quitting sugar and, even though I failed miserably last weekend by going on a macaroon binge, it has become easier again. It seems that the addiction to sugar becomes easier to overcome the longer you abstain, even when you have a lapse. It has everything to do with willpower. And my willpower is so pathetically low, that if I can do it, then anyone can.

the only problem at the moment is that I crave salty foods and not the good kind. But that is an issue to address next not simultaneously. I have been following my Cohen Diet 3 out of every 5 days and try not to go heavy on the sugar any time I fall of the Cohen wagon. Luckily my bathroom scale is on the fritz so i can't tell you if I lost any weight but I do feel thinner (which is probably even better than being thinner!) but then again after being pregnant I feel a lot thinner than I really am anyway (no belly anymore!).

But I digress... This week I can start incorporating fruit again. I have been eating some fruit (as I hate any diet or change in diet that forbids fruit) but I have been sticking to the low carb and less sweet fruit like apples. I had some pineapple last night and is was so amazingly sweet, I am just unsure whether I perceive it to be sweet due to my sugar cutback or whether I just had a very sweet pineapple. But if it is the former then I can't wait to try some other fruit!


COHEN DIET | Chicken in Mustard Sauce with Cauliflower Rice

This is definitely my new favourite dinner to have. I made the rice by accident: I intended to make cauliflower mash but was too impatient to wait until it was cooked soft (as the chicken took only 10 minutes!) so I removed it too quickly and when I mashed it I ended up with perfect rice! I was never I mustard fan until we spend a week in Paris for our honeymoon. There everything comes with mustard so I finally developed a taste for it and since you can eat only curry and mustard powder on the Cohen Diet I didn't have much of a choice but to start experimenting.

For best results I marinate my chicken in the sauce for 30 minutes before I cook it.

Serves 1

  • 1 chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp diet sprite
  • ½ a cauliflower head, broken into florets 
  1. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and garlic powder in a bowl until smooth. Pour over the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Place the florets into a steamer and start steaming until it can be pierced with a fork.
  3. Heat a frying pan to medium heat, spray with a little bit of oil.
  4. Add the chicken and cover with a lid for 5 minutes, allowing to steam. If the sauce begins to dry, add some sprite.
  5. When the chicken is almost cooked through, turn the heat up to fry the chicken strips a bit. The sauce will become thick quite quickly so add the sprite. When the sauce reaches a nice consistency, turn the heat off, cover the pan with the lid and make the rice.
  6. To make the rice, remove the florets to a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until it resembles rice. Season with salt.
  7. Serve the chicken on top of the rice and sprinkle with a few snips of spring onion.
  8. Enjoy!


COHEN DIET: Lunch box Tuesday, 25 June 2014

A quick and easy lunch box with half cottage cheese and half mozzarella, some cucumber sticks, a kiwi and a naartjie. Probably not the best lunch box but was quick to prepare!


Chicken Penne Pesto Pasta | COHEN DIET: Pesto Chicken and Zucchini Pasta

While I had chicken in a pesto sauce, Hubby had exactly the same but transformed into a pasta! This was so quick, the only thing I had to wait for (which took the longest!) was the pasta. I had it with zucchini 'pasta' and no milk to create a Cohen recipe.

  • Chicken breast, cut into strips
  • spring onion
  • ¼ tsp fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp fresh garlic
  • Green beans, diced
  • penne pasta
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp milk
  1. Heat a pot of water and cook penne according to packet instructions.
  2. Heat a frying pan. Fry the chicken until almost cooked. Add the spring onions, ginger and garlic.
  3. Add the green beans and stir. 
  4. When the green beans are almost cooked, mix pesto, mayonnaise and milk to form a thick sauce. 
  5. Add sauce to chicken, turn down the heat and simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. If it cooks dry, add more milk.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the chicken. Stir well.
  7. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese! 

I Quit Sugar Week 5

Everything has been going so well. Not only was I not craving sugar but I could walk past a chocolate bar without drooling. Then IT happened. I had booked a macaroon class months earlier and it was scheduled for this past weekend (more on the class later). I wasn't too concerned: I will try one or two and that's it. Then I ended up going without breakfast so I was starving by the time the first batch came out. That coupled with a few glasses of champagne and I was screwed. I lost count by the 15th macaroon. I ended up with one hell of a migraine and one hell of a relapse. Now all I can think about is the chocolate buttercream icing we made (it really was that good!). Then Hubby bought me this:

A chocolate filled, chocolate covered doughnut...


COHEN DIET: Thai 7 Spice Beef Strips

I just discover Thai 7 Spices, which include ginger and garlic. Since there are no carbs I can use it to spice my meat! I buy stir-fry steak strips which is just so much easier than to cut my own steaks into strips (I know I am lazy!) and I steamed mini cabbages, which I served with just salt and pepper.

To make the steaks you just sprinkle (with a heavy hand) the spices on top of the beef strips, heat a frying pan, spray with a little oil and fry until brown and cooked.


COHEN DIET: Coffee Ricotta Cheesecakes

This is for when you need something sweet even though you are on the Cohen Diet. Though with me quiting sugar, this ended up being too sweet! I added ground espresso granules as well to get a big coffee kick but you can leave it out. This will replace a cheese meal so have a salad first then enjoy some cheesecake afterwards!

makes 1 medium cheesecake or 3 small versions (as in the photo).

  • 2 provitas
  • lemonade (sugar free)
  • 100g ricotta
  • ¼ -½ cup cold coffee
  • 2 sweeteners
  • 1 tbsp coffee granules (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Crush the provitas until fine. Wet with a little sprite and press into moulds. Refrigerate while mixing the ricotta.
  3. Whisk ricotta until smooth with no lumps. 
  4. Add enough coffee to make a smooth mousse like consistency. Add the coffee granules and sweetener. 
  5. Mix well until everything is smooth.
  6. Spoon on top of the provitas.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Cool and enjoy!


Cheese and Jalapeño Stuffed Prego Chicken

Hubby was so impressed with his own creation that he even took the pictures himself so I can add it to the blog! I could not join him in his culinary triumph as I couldn't eat the same dish on my Cohen Diet but it did smell wonderful!

  • 2 chicken breast marinated in prego sauce for at least 24 hours
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp jalapeño slices
  • toothpicks
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Fold the jalapeno slices in between the two cheese slices.
  3. Place the cheese pocket between the two chicken breasts (you can flatten them but Hubby used them as is, remember to adjust the cooking time if flattening the breast)
  4. Use the toothpicks to keep the chicken in place.
  5. Place in a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Serve with some fresh vegetables and enjoy!


COHEN DIET: Beef/Ostrich Mince Curry | Lunchbox: 17 June 2014

Thank goodness for curry. I would not be able to do this if I could not have curry. I do miss my Lamb Korma with garlic and cheese naan though.... but I digress. I also had cottage cheese and cucmbers for breakfast (cucumbers I added after the photo was taken) with some basil pesto. I also had some juicy mango, wich was a surprise treat as the fruit was sweet enough to satisfy my sweet cravings. I know I should eat fruit while I am resetting my sugar-clock but I need my vitamins! I only eat 1 or 2 fruits a day so as not to overdo it.

I have discovered the joy of ostrich mince. It is extra low fat and tasty while behaving just like beef. I mad a double batch so I would have for  lunch as well.

Beef/Ostrich Mince Curry

  • 350g mince
  • 350g vegetables (I used mushrooms, patty pans, zucchini and red cabbage), diced
  • 1 tbls curry powder
  • 2 tsp mayonaisse
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper

  1. Heat a frying pan on high heat, spray some olive oil and fry the mushrooms.
  2. When almost done, add the mince and fry until brown, breaking up the big clumps.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook further.
  4. While the mince and vegetables are cooking, prepare the curry sauce: mix the mayonnaise, vinegar and curry powder together until well combined.
  5. Pour he sauce over the meat mixture and stir well. Add a tablespoon of water, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. If it becomes dry add more water.
  6. When vegetables are soft and the mince is cooked well, remove from heat and enjoy!

WEEK 4: I quit sugar

So here I am on Week 4 of quitting sugar and I haven't dropped dead from lack of sugar in my tea, or the occassional (who am I kidding?!?) chocolate biscuit. In fact I thing my tastes are slowly adapting after going cold turkey. Coffee without sugar is no longer repulsive. I do think it help that I used 2 weeks to cut down before going cold turkey. And without all that additional hassle I also find it easier to stick to my Cohen Diet, which by itself is a weird notion. So let us see what Week 4 has in store for us? 


Father's Day Breakfast | Cherry and White Chocolate Pancakes

With Hubby spoiling me for Mother's Day and almost being a single parent while I was in Johannesburg (and Em being sick while I was gone) I decided to spoil him with a decent breakfast. It's always very difficult to spoil him with breakfast in bed (or breakfast at all) as he gets up at 6am in the mornings (even weekends) and by the time I am awake and capable enough to be near a hot stove (or even a kettle) he has already eaten. So I made him brunch instead.

I made cherry and white chocolate chip American-style pancakes (the thick fluffy kind), with crispy bacon. I wanted to make it with creamy scrambled eggs and real maple syrup but dropped the eggs and syrup and added a quick caramel sauce as we had lots to do.

Recipe  adapted from Good Food magazine, March 2004


  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml ideal milk
  • 100ml fat free milk
  • knob butter
  • 100g pack cherries, stoned and chopped
  • 50g white chocolate chips
  • a little butter for cooking
  • Caramel sauce (see below)


  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. 
  2. Beat the egg with the milk, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter. 
  3. Beat in the melted butter, and gently stir in the cherries and chocolate chips.
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. 
  5. Drop a ¼ cup of the batter per pancake into the pan. I use a measuring cup for this.
  6. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden. 
  7. Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. Stir befor each pancake as all the goodies drop to the bottom.
  8. Serve with caramel sauce and a couple of whole cherries.

Caramel Sauce

Add ¼ can caramel treat with ¼ cup milk to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk well and gradually add another ¼ cup milk to get to the desired consistency. Microwave again and whisk until smooth.


COHEN DIET: easy dinners

This has been my standard for lunches or dinners. Green pepper, red onion, tomato and mushrooms are the basis and I add either beef or chicken. It is so quick and easy and if I don't feel like meat I use it as a basis for a pizza by mixing it with cheese. Add some Pesto or pesto dressing for a really fragrant and creamy meal that is Cohen approved.

COHEN DIET: Basil Pesto

As a child I was never a fan of fresh herbs especially basil and coriander. They tasted too strong for me, but after having basil in Italy on a fresh pizza and coriander in a Thai cooking class, I was hooked. Pesto has become such an important part of my every day life. Hubby and I usually by Princess Pesto as they tend to be the best and freshly made. They also freeze well. For dressing or everyday use I add my mayo as a lot of oil is lacking as well as the creaminess of the cheese and pine nuts. 

Basil Pesto
  • 100g fresh basil
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 30ml vinegar 
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • Slap and pepper
Blend everything together until smooth. Add more vinegar if the mixture is too dry.

Basil Pesto Salad dressing or dip
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • 1 tsp vinegar
Mix well and enjoy


COHEN DIET: Ricotta and Spinach Quiche

This is so simple and quick. And I make it double so 2 of these little quiches are a meal with a salad or veggies. They will also taste grate on a crackerbread. Next time I will steam the spinach and remove all excess water so it comes out much firmer.


  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup diced spinach (⅓ of allowance)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 clove of garlic minced finely
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Press into 4 muffin holes.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven of 180*C for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Cool in the muffin pan.
  5. Enjoy with salad (⅔ of allowance).

Cohen diet lunchbox: Thursday, 9 June 2012

A real Cohen lunch today. I made 2 batches 'quiches' which was surprisingly tasty (just a shame they were so small). I also made my own basil pesto which I then mixed with mayo and vinegar and used it as a dipping sauce for my cucumber spears. And my fruit portion was Honeydew melon.

So this is week 3 of my sugar free diet and by cutting down the last 2 weeks (for most of the time anyway) I'm now able to go cold turkey. And since I'm doing proper portion sizes I might actually have the added benefit of losing some weight!


Lunchbox: Wednesday, 4 June 2014

I haven't packed a PlanetBox lunch in ages! This one is so simple: salad with steak, cheddar and feta cheese and mango on lettuce, sliced apples and homemade honey and mustard dressing (2 tsps honey, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 3-4 tsps fat free Bulgarian yoghurt). I added a packet of almond and white chocolate yoghurt topping from Woolworth's to add to the breakfast yoghurt or to eat just as is is.


Lunchbox: Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Hubby is having a real Mediterranean inspired salad with feta and cheddar cheese, avocado, peppadews and black olives on a bed of lettuce and cucumber. Again no salad dressing, wish I could do that but I need my sauces and butters.

Lunchbox: Monday, 2 June 2014

I failed miserably when I allowed Hubby to make lunch: he added chutney which is basically just fruit and sugar! It stilll tasted good though....