It’s a lot harder for me to write recipes because of how much I actually freestyle my meals but I try. The day I made this was cloudy and cold. For me that’s an excuse to make some soup. That is what gloomy days are made for well for me. A lot of the food I make is heavily influenced by my mood at the time. The more colorful and vibrant a meal is the more happy I am. When I’m sad there is very little inspiration to create beautiful meals. This why I try my absolute best to make myself happy.
1 cup Red lentils
Rinse the lentils well and bring to boil. Use a 1:3 ratio , one part lentils and 3 parts water. You can drain excess water or add water if necessary. Boil the lentils until they split and are soft this should take 10-15 minutes. Chop the onion and tomatoes into small cubes. In another pot heat up cooking oil (choose according to preference) enough to sauté the onion. Slow cooking does the trick for this meal use medium heat so that the onion can sauté slowly. Once the onion is soft and transparent add salt to taste and add the garlic flakes. Add the chopped tomatoes and this point turn up the heat and add another pinch of salt and let the tomatoes cook. Add the cooked lentils and lower the heat. Add a teaspoon of the Cajun rub and a teaspoon of paprika to the soup. I have a young trick to add more body to the flavour of the soup. I mix a tablespoon of my Cajun seasoning with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a small cup then add it to the soup. This enhances the flavour and the texture of the soup. Lastly finely chop the sage and add to the soup. Serve the red lentil soup with some bread or on its own ✨
Believe it or not, its oats! Growing up I had a love/hate relationship with oats which mainly stemmed from eating it the same way each time. Soon I realized that I’m not a fan of cereal with milk. I know it’s odd but on this blog a lot of things are odd. So for many years I didn’t have oats. Gladly it made its way back to me but this time just a bit better. Changing things up really does do the trick to keeping things fun. The chocolate was inspired by my PMS cravings. I had an uncontrollable craving for chocolate and I live by the principal of satisfying my cravings. I knew I had to make something chocolatey. I know that chocolate can be overly sweet but here it’s definitely not the case. How sweet the oats is, is totally up to preference. The oats is made from cocoa powder and not actual chocolate. I feel connected to these bowls they look too pretty for me to eat but I do!
There is no ingredientslist… it’s just oats
I figured I should just write it the way I made it to show how simple it was to make it. Cook the oats to preference. I cook my oats with just water and I let it cook until it’s soft. For this recipe I had to make the oats a bit runny but obviouslynot watery and also not stiff. There is still a lot that’s going to go on top of the oats so the texture at the beginning is vital. Add water if it’s too thick and let it cook a bit longer if it’s too watery. Keep in mind that when oats cools it gets more stiff. When your oats is ready, dish out into a bowl. Add a teaspoon and half of cocoa powder and sugar to taste then mix and mix well! The sugar actually makes the oats look glossy which is a nice effect for the esthetic. The mixing can get a bit messy because the cocoa powder is very powdery so be careful. I did all my mixing in the very same bowl I shot with therefore it will not get too messy. Ingredients for topping: •crushed Oreos •coconut flakes •seasonal mixture of nuts and dried fruit. Before I crush the Oreos I twist them open and scrape out the the cream so that I’m left with just the biscuit. I crushed the biscuit using a plastic and rolling pin , it’s much easier than what it seems. The bowl has to look pretty so you can follow any pattern you like. Here is what I did. I started with the crushed Oreo and made a circle leaving enough space for the coconut flakes. Fill the circle with coconut flakes and lastly add a mixture of nuts and dried fruit.
The nice surprise that comes with topping your oats with nuts and fruit is that it fills it with all the good stuff! It keeps you full and powered! It’s like getting your body fully charged for the day ahead. I know that eating oats can get one hungry very quickly so this right here is the solution. After eating this your body becomes happy because it just gained a variety of nutrients that it looks forward to using.
Pineapples are undeniably delicious. They have a vibrant sweet flavour and they are juicy which makes them a perfect snack for hot summer days. I topped my chickpea curry, https://cruciferousvegetables.food.blog/2019/11/20/diced-pineapple-topped-chickpea-curry/ , with diced pineapple and it made the dish more flavourful. Pineapples are definitely a summer favourite for me. I somehow like adding fruit to my savoury dishes it keeps things fun.
Buuuuuuuut, pineapples have one huge but, they are difficult to peel! I sometimes want to eat a pineapple but when I think about the process of peeling it then I’m like …. nah maybe later.
Here is a quick how to video to solve this problem.
Start by rinsing the peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes. Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas. Dice the onions and peppers more or less the same size. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Heat up a skillet using moderate heat. Oil the skillet up once oil is hot add in the diced onions. Lower the heat if necessary because the onions need to slowly fry for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the onions to develop deep flavour. Add your cumin, salt, black pepper, bay leaves and garlic flakes half way through the 10 minutes. Keeping the heat moderate to low. When the 10 minutes is up add chickpeas and the cherry tomatoes, at this stage increase the heat. Gently press down the chickpeas and cherry tomatoes and let them fry for 1 minute. Add the peppers and let them fry for a minute or so. Add a pinch of salt to taste then add the coconut milk let this cook for one more minute. Take the skillet off the heat and add the handful of Swiss chard.
In a bowl add the curry to a bed of rice. Top with the diced pineapple. Finish the bowl off with a lemon squeeze ✨
As the days get warmer it’s only right for meals to get lighter and cooler but still filling. I had to make this recipe twice just to make sure it was real. It was absolutely delicious both times. It had me throwing my hands in the air type of delicious. I’m probably going to say that every recipe is absolutely delicious but you really have to believe me and try it out. Oh yes I’m putting you on the spot. I sometimes think to myself that maybe my tastebuds are altered to like everything , well almost everything, I make. So it is very wise to let someone else try it. This Summer Roti is packed with summer inspired flavours. The best part is, it tastes amazing. Enjoy!
No Knead Roti
Ingredients for the Roti
2 cups All purpose Flour
In a bowl mix the dry ingredients with a fork or a whisk to make sure that the mixture is light with no lumps. Lumps do not only show up when you add a liquid, the mixture has to be soft from the beginning. Add the cold water to the mixture. With the water you have to eye-it-out until you get the desired texture. Working with dough requires a bit of technique. What I’ve learned is to be very gentle throughout the entire process of mixing the dry mixture with water. I mixed mine gently with a spoon until the dough was mixed properly. The dough should not be too wet and also should not be stiff and dry. There’s no need to knead as soon as the dough looks like bellow, then cover it with a clean kitchen cloth and set aside to rest. This should be the first thing you do to give the dough enough time to rest. This mixture made 5 rotis
Time to rinse!
In the rinse we have:
2 sweet potatoes
1/4 green pepper
Make me proud and rinse well! The only veggies that need to be peeled is the onion , ginger and carrots. Chop the carrots into sticks and boil them until soft.
Battered Sweet Potato Fries
Chopped sweet potato
2 portions of all purpose flour
Cajun Rub ( you can alternate for any flavourful seasoning )
Salt to taste
Sunflower oil for shallow fry
You are going to need to trust yourself again and eye-it-out. The sweet potatoes look few here but they were actually so many luckily leftover dinner gets to be lunch. Make sure not to make the fries too thick as they will take longer to cook. In the smaller bowl there is a 1:3 ratio of all purpose flour to the Cajun Rub mix. In the larger bowl mix flour with water. The mixture should not be too thick, it should be thin but not too watery, it should resemble the consistency of cream. It is important for the batter to not be too thick it will overpower the sweet potato. We want to enhance the natural sweet flavour of the sweet potato and also add some crunch. Heat a non-stick pan or well seasoned cast iron. Add oil enough for a very shallow fry. Double dip the sweet potato fries first in the dry bowl, coat well, and then dip them in the wet bowl and fry. It’s going to be a very messy so try to clean up your fingers as you go. Use moderate heat to allow enough time for the sweet potato fries to cook. Poke with a fork to check if it has cooked right through. Once all the fries are fried set aside on a paper towel to catch excess oil. While working on the sweet potato fries do check on those carrots. The carrots should be done cooking before finishing with the fries.
Chop up the tomatoes, onion, green pepper and ginger as shown above. Add to a bowl to mix. Add a teaspoon of crushed garlic for flavour. I ended up adding a handful of diced cucumber. Cover it up and set aside.
Let’s roll this baby out!
The dough should be well rested by now. First dust those fingers and the dough well. It should be soft, even and elastic. Dust the surface and rolling pin you are using. Dust dust away , all the way.
This is how it should look rolled out. Roll it out as thin as you can and roll evenly by turning the dough and dusting as you go.
In a non-stick pan with a few drops of oil, enough to form a thin layer on the pan, bring to medium heat. When the oil is hot toast the roti on each side. This should be ready within a minute or so. Above is how it should look when it’s cooked.
Let’s finally get together
Put everything together on top of the roti. I started with the salsa salad, then the carrots then the sweet potato fries, then the chard. I also pasted vegan mayo on the roti. It’s much more visible in the next picture. The art of rolling this up together is the tuck and this requires two tucks the first one being from the bottom, wherever you want your bottom to be. The second one is on the side,which will be after the first roll, tucking in everything tight also pushing back to make more space for the last roll. It doesn’t need to be perfect, everything is going to mix up in the stomach either way.
Ever time I look at this picture I feel a bit warm inside and then I give it another look and notice that the oyster mushrooms do look a bit creepy. I remember the joy I had eating this meal. I sometimes ask myself if I’m supposed to be having all this fun all by myself?… nah! ‘I need to share this’. I’ve learnt to keep things simple and from this I’ve made the most amazing meals. I’m vegan but most importantly ke mo Sotho so some things speak to the heart a bit different, not everything has to change. Everyone knows how to cook pap, it’s a staple in most people’s diet in South Africa. No one is allowed to come at me about eating pap, too many black people survive off it for me to EVER deem it bad. I find eating grains to be essential, a large variety that is. Eating different kinds of grains well spread out through daily eating can be favourable to the gut. Some grains could be rice , there is white , brown and wild rice if you on the wild side. The list to grains is long, the more whole the grain is the better. I like to eat a mixture of whole and not-so-whole grains, my gut seems to respond better to the mixture of both. The tomato gravy was amazing it was cooked by my mom and she cooks it to perfection all the time. This gravy was the glue here, it was warm , juicy and flavourful. I always try to explore with ingredients and flavours, it keeps things fun. That’s why I have tried out so many different kinds of mushrooms. My favourite right now seems to be oyster mushrooms. Now they don’t have the name oyster for nothing, the texture of them is oyster like. I remember offering my grandmother some to eat and she was freaked out. The best thing about these mushrooms is that they are easy to cook and they can be cooked in many different ways under just a few minutes literally. Here I fried them, I added a bit of oil to aid the frying and also added some seasoning and that was it. Comfort is a theme that shows in my food. It is important for me to eat what brings comfort to me. It makes it easy not to crave unnecessary things and also prevents me from feeling like I am restricted. Obviously I ate this meal with my hands which made the experience of it thaaat much better!
‘When in doubt eat the rainbow’ that’s my approach to most of my meals and the result in the end is amazing, well most of the time. When I cook I don’t strive for perfection , the process is messy itself, the end meal might also be messy but my logic is that the food will mix up in the stomach either way. Today was an interesting day in the kitchen. Firstly I had limited fresh produce, I literally cleaned out the fridge! I ended up with:
• 1 pack of baby marrows • 1 red onion • 2 beets • 2 cloves of garlic • some ginger • 1/2 of each red, yellow and green peppers from the pantry: •1 can of baked beans. • 1 stock cube • white rice • brown lentils
I always say that the most difficult part of eating so many vegetables is the prep, there is no shortcut to it and it can be tedious. The most important thing is to clean vegetables properly, the best way is to rinse them is using a mixture of water and vinegar this will remove harmful bacteria from the skin of the vegetables. From there comes the peeling and chopping.
I use a cast iron to do most of my cooking. I find that it brings value to the whole cooking process and its aesthetically pleasing. If I could I would do all of my cooking with a cast iron. Cooking with a cast iron can be intimidating and difficult if the cast iron is not seasoned well and maintained. If the cast iron is seasoned then cooking with it is beautiful. With a sufficient amount of oil I fry my veggies I add in from the one that takes the longest to cook to the one that takes the least amount of time to cook.This translates to starting with the boiled beets to ending off with the ginger and garlic. I season as I add. Seasoning most steps of the way creates depth in flavour. The only vegetable I’ve not put in the pot is the red onions. I like to put them aside slice them up nicely to top my bowl with. Do not kill the colour of the veggies! It is important not to overcook veggies we want to still keep them delightful.