Low Carb Lunchbox | Ham Rolls 2 Ways

Doing low carb actually requires the exact same amount of effort as your normal diet is you were trying to live healthy. You still have to plan because going to the closest take-away is not a healthy option no matter how you look at it.


I am a snacker. I love to eat all the time. All. The. Time. Yes I know this can be unhealthy. Especially if you are snacking in between your normal 3 meals (which is exactly what I tend to do). So I prepared a lunch box that allows me to snack the whole day. I made ham and cheese roll ups, added a pepper, some cream cheese and gherkins to dip into the cream cheese, 2 beef meatballs and 2 strawberries sliced into 4 to make them feel more.

These roll-ups are so easy:

Take a ham slice and add a cheese slice on top. And about 1 tsp cream cheese to on half. On the other half spread about 1 tsp grated cheese. Add a gherkin, halved in length to the grated cheese. Start rolling from the gherkin towards the cream cheese. The cream cheese actually seals the roll. And there you go.

To make the bottom rolls:

Take a cheese slice, top with a ham slice. Spread some cream cheese on one side. Add a gherkin, halved in lenght to to side without the cream cheese, then roll towards the cream cheese. Enjoy!

The Little One had the same rolls with 2 meatballs (they have a hidden chutney centre), some carrots and fruit: strawberries and pineapple.


Grown Up Lunch Box

Leftovers. If you haven't seen the use of making a little extra at dinner then you must be one of "those" perfect people that love slaving away in the kitchen while everyone is sitting in front of the TV and relaxing. There is nothing I hate more than being in the kitchen for longer than I absolutely have to be. Ironic for someone with a food blog I know. But I also know there are so many people that feel exactly like I do.

We had chicken schnitzels for dinner (not low carb but I added a salad for a lower carb dinner). I eat it with lemon and nothing else cut into strips. Hubby loves pepper sauce with his.

I added some cream cheese to be eaten with the carrots and cucumber and a 25g portion of cheddar.

I also added 2 beef meatballs and 2 strawberries. A perfect snack box for the whole day.

The Little One had her schnitzel strips and 2 meatballs, some leftover broccoli and green beans. A 25g portion of cheese, cucumber and carrot sticks and 2 strawberries. Ready for the day.


Low Carb Cauliflower and Bolognese

One of the big things about trying low carb is the fact that you have to stop eating pasta. For the Little One (who doesn't eat that much to begin with) it can be a real challenge! So I end up making 2 dinners. I know I said I never want to do that but this one is really making 2 dinners. I still make my spaghetti bolognese as usual, but I split the mince sauce into two before adding the pasta. I then steam some cauliflower for myself and while Hubby and the Little One enjoys their spag-bol, I enjoy my mince, topped with cheese on some soft steamed cauliflower. By steaming the cauliflower just until it is fork-tender you get the same consistancy as with pasta.

Once you realise that pasta is just a filler and doesn't really add to the taste, then you can add anything. By adding a vegetable you are getting some extra nutrients as well as excluding carbs - Double Bonus!


Gibsons Gourmet Burgers and Ribs

I love burgers. I must have mentioned this before. I am almots certain I mentioned them a few times... Anyway these burgers are no exception. Gibson's Gourmet Burger and Ribs recently opened at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and we decided to go for a visit. While Gibson's aren't cheap, they are big and filling!
Beirut Vegetarian Burger R110
The only one that complained was the person who had the salad. It was small compared to the burgers but costs the same as a classic beef burger. The Vegetarian was very happy as they 3 selections and tasted great.
 The Banting Burger R125
Well I thought I was going to be in trouble as I am following the low-carb lifestyle but was pleasantly surprised with the Banting Burger. It's the classic beef burger patty served with cheese, topped with bacon, feta and avocado. It is served with coleslaw, tomato and onion salsa and cauliflower mash. It was so good!

 The Ultimate Mex-Tex R140

Hubby had the Ultimate Mex-Tex. This is the beef burger topped with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and guacamole and served with nachos, salsa and sour cream on the side. You get a selection of baked potato, thick cut fries or sweet potato fries. Hubby chose the latter.

This looked amazing! And I loved all the estras. Hubby added the crunchy nachos on top of the burger and loved it.

Gibson's Famous Onion Blossom R45

An honourable mention must be made to the starter. A Gibson's Famous Onion Blossom with a spicy mayo sauce. I had some of this (not low-carb but I had to try it) and loved it! This is defenitly something to make at home.


Grande Roche Paarl - Day 2 continued

As we said, after doing tours and tastings, we weren't ready to go home. So what to do? Why not go and visit the Bergriver Brewery?

We were met by a friendly young gentleman who took us through the tasting menu and brewery process.

How cute are these? The beer is good and the bottles have these beautiful steam punk labels. So modern. I was getting a bit cold so bought this cute purple top from the shop. A nice memento together with 24 beers...

So we finally returned to the Hotel. Drank more wine (I had a massage) and waited for dinner. This time we ate from the Bistro Menu. Lighter but still fantastic!

Hubby started off with a Marinated Lolo Bionda Salad. Basically a salad with home cured duck breast, sweet roasted butternut, blue cheese dressing and a cranberry gel. It was served with a lot of Parmesan. So good.

I had the Pumpkin Cream served with slow braised lamb shoulder raviolo and red onion salad.

We both had the same main meal: Slow Braised Veal Osso Bucco served with baked polenta praline, sauteed baby marrow and garden cocktail tomatoes. The veal was so soft you could eat it with a spoon.

For dessert Hubby had what was called a "Lukewarm Ofenschlupfer" which is this beautiful cake like pudding, served with slow braised pear compote and homemade bourbon-vanilla ice cream.
I had the Vanilla Creme Brulee with roasted garden strawberries and homemade strawberry sorbet.
A good ending to a wonderful weekend. All that was left was to fall into bed, completely satisfied with a rosy (wine tinted) glow and sleep off all the indulgence.


Quick and Easy Biscuits

The Little One loves to 'bake'. In other words loves to make a big mess in the kitchen! But because she is only 2, I always end up having to do the baking so she can ice the cupcakes or cookies. Sometimes she even looses interest halfway in the middle of icing the cookies which means I then have to finish the job.

Now I am not always in the mood to bake and having all the ingredients aren't always possible either. And that's what makes these cookies so fantastic! To make the cookies themselves you need marshmallows and Marie Biscuits or any biscuits you buy at the shop!

You can adjust the filling according to your likes: half a marshmallow will give you a thin filling like above, a full marshmallow will give double the filling like below. I like half the filling as you also add icing to the top and don't want these too sweet.

What do you need:
  • 1 packet biscuits (use Marie Biscuits, Tennis Biscuits or any thin biscuit you buy at the shop)
  • 1 packet marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp milk (more if needed)
  • decorations (We used smarties and sprinkles)
What to do:
  1. Cut the marshmallow in half and place on top of 2 biscuits. Repeat until 1/2 the packet of biscuits are used.
  2. Place 4 on a place (more and the marshmallows would cool too quickly).
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds until the marshmallow puffs up.
  4. Remove quickly and press another biscuit on top until it is even.
  5. Repeat the process with the other biscuits.
To make the icing:
  1. Mic the icing sugar and cocoa powder with the butter until smooth.
  2. Add the milk to reach a spreadable consistency. Not too much as you want the icing to make a 'crust'.
  3. Spread on a biscuit and decorate as you wish.
  4. Enjoy!


Grande Roche Hotel Paarl - Day 2

Our second day in Paarl started out a bit chilly but with a beautiful sunny morning. We got up and had a buffet breakfast with fresh pastries and bacon and eggs and whatever else you could think off. Hubby as always was set to be in a brilliant mood due to the hot breakfast.

So easy to please that man of mine.

Then it was time to enjoy the Estate Package. This was part of the extras given by the Hotel. The package starts of with a trip down memory lane at the Motor Museum. Wow but this is even exciting for a girl like me (and something the guys will love). They have some of the very first cars in South Africa, to some of the most expensive. They even have one of Nelson Mandela's cars there!

Can you believe we went from the red car to the white car in less than 30 years? Innovation like never before...

The next stop is at the Anthonij Rupert Manor house for our first tasting. You get to drive through all the winelands in the very cute tram that comes and gets you whenever you are ready. Meaning you don't have to drive anywhere. You just get to sit in the sun and watch the beautiful surroundings.

They actually kept some of the rooms authentic and you get to go and look at them. I loved the copper beds in what must be either a guest room or a children's room.

The master bedroom had this huge four-poster bed with beautiful views of the garden and a mini sitting room. The floors are all wooden with thick carpets.

But the on-suite bathroom that was very modern with 2 toilets (as big as most peoples houses) was what I loved the most. Just imagine having a bath in that! Topped high with bubbles while having a glass of their beautiful bubbly!

The wines were great as well. You actually get to choose a wine selection from all 4 wine farms. We sat in the lounge with the massive big fireplace and beautiful high ceilings and big windows.

Hubby chose to try the white wines and I tried the bubbly. We each bought 2 bottles and were happy to go to the next stop as we were getting hungry.

Then we were ushered by tram to the Terra del Capo Wine Estate for another wine tasting and antipasti lunch. We tasted the red wines (Italian style) and had so much good food (too much if you ask me!).

We started with cold platters (it was so much food we didn't realise there was more coming...) Bread (freshly baked), crackers and a selection of cheeses.

A cold meat platter with great salami, these amazing pickled onions (bought 2 bottles of those, finished them both within a week) and olives.

And this amazing cold mushroom salad with fresh and fried mushrooms. I am not a big raw mushroom fan but this was amazing.

The deep fried zucchini sticks and fried calamari (some of the best I have had in a long time!) with home-made mayonnaise.

Wish I could get the recipe. Even though this was served after the cold platters, I couldn't stop eating!

Braised Lamb Arancini which is a slow roasted lamb and risotto stuff ball, deep fried and served with a tomato sauce.
After all that eating and drinking, we were escorted back to our car. But wait, we can't go back to the Hotel, it is just after lunch. So we went to do some more tastings...

But more on this later.