Delicious Green Soup

Delicious Green Soup
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When my husband travels, it’s hard to make dinner for one.  Hence, my recent curiosity into soups. I have never been big on soups but the occasional french onion soup has piqued my interest. Yet I don’t think I’m ready to make my own! The last couple weeks I have made several soups and was surprised to find that they are actually really easy to make and a great to just have in the fridge. It’s also a nice warm treat during these cold Joburg winter days. My favorite so far has been this Alkalizing Green Detox Soup. Surprisingly, its filling and good for you! It’s absolutely delicious and if it’s not enough, a nice warm baguette would make this a complete meal!
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 bunch fresh kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1&1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • Toasted nuts and seeds, to garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic, asparagus, fennel and celery stalks and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.
  2. Add the vegetable stock, bring to boil and simmer over low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the kale leaves and spinach, and remove from the heat.
  4. Transfer into the blender, add lime juice and process to obtain a smooth cream. Add more vegetable stock to adjust the texture.
  5. Serve warm, topped with toasted nuts and seeds or in my case some garlic croutons.

Almond Flour Banana Bread 

Almond Flour Banana Bread 

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I am always on the lookout for the perfect healthy banana bread recipe. I have tried dozens as it’s a favorite for the whole family. I have found tons of banana bread recipes that are good but none that I could deem 100% healthy and good till now! Almond flour has always been tricky and most of the recipes I tried, the bread would either come out too dry or tasting like cardboard. I found this one last week and made muffins instead of a loaf but today decided to make it as a loaf and it’s absolutely delicious and moist. I usually change a little something in a recipe but with this one I didn’t change a thing. When making muffins though, I found they were ready within 20 minutes. Today the loaf did take almost an hour, I think it varies depending on our oven. I prefer this one with walnuts but when I made them for the kids last week I omitted them. I also used raw honey vs. honey and used Greek yogurt vs. plain yogurt. Again I think these are preferences. Give this one a try and I am sure it will become a family favorite! Would taste divine with ice cream! Lol

Almond Flour Banana Bread

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used GREEK yogurt)

3 bananas ripe, mashed

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease a large bread pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in the honey, yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Pour the batter into a large bread pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until the center is firm.

Allow to cool. Remove from pan.

 

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

I’m always up for a night out as these days it’s rare and what a treat La Boqueria was. Newly renovated in Wombles’ old haunt, La Boqueria, welcomes people in with their open and airy industrial boho decor. I could totally see this place buzzing in the warmer months as their steel doors open out to a large patio. The bar is situated on the far left and is very inviting. It also helps that they have great drinks! The place is grand and even when it’s packed you won’t feel like you’re on top of each other. For me, this is key as the last thing I want after a long day with the kids is someone breathing over me or in my personal space! Since we were situated in the private room, there were no complaints. It’s upstairs and gives a great view of the whole restaurant.

The restaurant is suppose to be an ode to their favorite food markets around the world and surely they do. Yet, I have to say some dishes were better than others. For me, the serrano and asiago croquettes were the star of the evening. Our party ended up ordering quite a few of these as they were that good. For my entree, I made the mistake of ordering the Wonder Bowl which was a hot ramen noodle bowl with miso broth, grilled pork belly, soba noodles, Asian greens, dried chili, pickled cabbage, sprouts and poached egg. Now if you ever had a ramen bowl, you would know that it doesn’t contain soba noodles! I should of known better but I thought the rest of the bowl could make up for the noodles. Boy was I wrong, it was a disappointment. The rest of the party was divided…some had steak, kebabs, paella, poke bowl and the reviews were mixed. The desserts on the other hand were all crowd pleasers. Sorry no pics as they were gone in a flash! I would of been perfectly happy with my Miss. Demeanor cocktail, croquettes and dessert!

Place: La Boqueria

Where: 17 3rd Avenue Parktown North

My Take: Love the ambience, great food and drink. I would stick to the more traditional tapas as that seems to be their forte. The more adventurous dishes definitely need more tweaking but this won’t stop me from visiting it again. For a mom’s night out, this is  worth a try!

Never knew Kale could be this good…

shaved brussels sprouts and kale salad

I have always had a love hate relationship with kale especially when it first appeared in all the NY trendy health restaurants. I just couldn’t get myself to love it. Maybe hate is a strong word but it wasn’t exactly a must have at my meals nor something I would actually look for on a menu.

Until I saw somewhere on Instagram that I could just sauté it with some olive oil and garlic…then it became a instant favorite of mine. How simple. Then I thought maybe I just like it cooked vs raw until I came across this salad, Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Kale Salad. I love brussels sprouts so decided to give it a try. It’s so so simple….maybe what makes it so darn good is the sweet basil dressing. I’m not convinced it’s just the dressing though. I think it’s the whole combination of the kale, sprouts, dates and hazelnuts. Again, hazelnuts isn’t exactly the kind of nut I would put in my salads. It was a nice surprise.  This is just a quick easy side and easily a meal once you add some protein. I’ve had it with chicken and salmon. I love the fact that I can just throw it together in minutes if you shave the brussels sprouts ahead of time. For me, this is going to be a great summer salad.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 pitted dates, chopped (I like to add more)
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 4-6 tablespoons SWEET BASIL DRESSING

Instructions

  • Slice the bottoms of the brussels sprouts off and then put them in a food processor.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can slice them thinly with a knife or buy pre packaged shaved brussels sprouts.
  • Remove stems from kale then slice the kale into thin strips. I buy the pre packaged kale from Woolworth’s.
  • Add kale into a large bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Basil Dressing on top and massage it into the kale with your hands.
  • Then add in the shaved brussels sprouts and add in 3-4 more tablespoons of dressing and stir to coat.
  • Top with chopped dates and hazelnuts!

Sweet Basil Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loose
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water to soften
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until dates are broken down and it is smooth and creamy!  Drizzle over a salad or chicken!

 

I decided to list the recipes on my blog as it seems to be easier for people to follow but you can always click on the links to the original recipes above too.

Homemade Mayo & Curried Mayo Chicken

Homemade Mayo & Curried Mayo Chicken

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Who doesn’t like mayo!!! I love tuna with mayo, chicken with mayo, french fries with mayo, and almost every sandwich that has mayo. Mayo just adds that certain sweet and tangy taste that you can’t get from anything else. So after checking and trying out a few recipes, I basically came up with my own. There are so many adjustments you can make according to your tastebuds.

Here are a few substitutions/suggestions to consider while making your mayo and of course, taste it while you make it. You can sub the avocado oil for macadamia oil. You can use less 1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and you can add a touch more honey. I try to use everything organic and sometimes that alone changes the taste. I feel organic apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard have stronger flavors so you can always use less and add more as make and taste it.

Mayo Recipe:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 180 ml extra virgin olive oil (don’t use one that’s too heavy)
  • 180 ml avocado oil

So I like to make things as easy as possible. I made my mayo in my NutriBullet but you can use a hand blender if that’s what you have. Add all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and start blending and slowly add the oils. For me, I added the ingredients into the Nutribullet cup and whisked them then I added the oils and gave it a whirl in the Nutribullet. I had no issues at all. If it’s too thick then add a little warm water.

With this recipe, I was able to make the two 250 gram glass jars in the pic. I just took half the mayo out and added the curried mayo ingredients to the other half. Again, I gave it a quick spin in the NutriBullet. The mayo should last about two weeks.

Curried Mayo (just add the following after)

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • dash of lemon juice

 

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I love making use of leftovers and this is how the curried chicken mayo came about today!

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 4 fresh medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup baby fennel
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 3-4 tablespoons of the curried mayo (personal preference)

If you give these recipes a try, please let me know how it turns out as it’s my “first recipes”.

**Disclaimer: I’m all about eyeing my ingredients. If I feel like a recipe doesn’t have enough of something I just add or if I feel it’s too much, I add less. These kind of recipes, fall into this category. It’s all about tasting as you go. It’s usually the baking ones that you have to be more accurate.

 

The best chicken sausage…

The best chicken sausage…

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I am that person who orders the lumberjack breakfast, the breakfast sampler, the classic..whatever you want to call it but it’s all the same! It has a little bit of everything…eggs, bacon, pork sausage, potatoes, hash browns, pancakes, mushrooms, tomatoes. I love it all…I won’t discriminate as every combo has sausage.

Yet, we all know that pork sausages aren’t really healthy so when I came across this healthy chicken sausage recipe, I had to try it. Sorry the pics aren’t great and yes, I burned a few. They got better along the way and this was already the second batch in two weeks. That’s how good they are. I love keeping them in the fridge so I can just reheat them in the morning while I make my eggs. This has been my go to breakfast…eggs, chicken sausage, sautéed kale and sriracha. Heavenly and it keeps me full…it’s a great post workout breakfast! Trust me, you won’t miss the pork sausages. Enjoy!

Recipe:
Caramelized Fennel & Date Chicken Sausage

Tips: the first time I made this I didn’t have fennel so I used fennel seeds but I put them in my nutribullet to get the fennel in powder form. I also added green onions/scallions. Either way it was just as good. The fennel powder did give it more of that anise flavor but it would also depend how much you put in. It’s just a good alternative if you don’t have fresh fennel.

Everything is better with strawberries…

Everything is better with strawberries…

 

I’m always in search of a good salad that’s easy to make and great for dinner parties. So when a good friend sent me a pic of this salad, I knew I had to find it.  Sure enough after a quick Pinterest search, I found it….Creamy Strawberry Feta Pasta Salad!

The salad was a huge hit at dinner that night. I forgot to add the avocado but it was still a great salad. The strawberries and the poppy dressing were what made the salad! I have to say though that the recipe calls for a lot of pasta and the dressing yields quite a bit. I halved the pasta and the dressing. It still fed 4 people easily with leftovers for one. Give this one a try….it tastes even better the day after! For a complete meal, you can always add whatever protein that suits you!