Sweet corn polenta with crispy bacon

Sweet corn polenta with crispy bacon

I've been playing around with a few unique takes on breakfast. I've been wanting to mix things up and keep it fresh whilst still keeping it on the healthier side. I've used polenta as it reminds me of porridge. Maize is packed with energy and the parmesan and bacon topping will leave you in taste heaven! It's quick and easy to make and a wonderful recipe with this cooler weather as it is a very comforting dish! If you want to adapt it to vegan skip the cheese and bacon and add avocado and some crunchy greens like rocket! Start to play with the flavours and trust your palette and body when it comes to food. Life is too short to not enjoy flavours or feel bad after food. Some people enjoy meat for example where as others feel sluggish after eating it. For what ever the reason, make it yours! -Enjoy! 


*Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 200g streaky bacon
  • 1 sweetcorn
  • ½ cup polenta
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large spring onion
  • parmesan

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

In a roasting tray lay the streaky bacon flat except for three pieces.

Pop your bacon into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Keep and eye on it and make it as crispy as you like. 

Finely dice your remaining bacon pieces.

In a small frying pan over a medium heat add your bacon bits and fry until crispy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, remove the sweet corn kernels off the cob.

In a medium pot, over a medium heat add two cups of vegetable stock and teaspoon of salt.

Bring the water to a boil, turn down temperature and reduce to a simmer.

Slowly add your polenta while whisking continuously.

Whisk the polenta until it is all incorporated and there are no lumps. About five minutes. Add the sweetcorn to the polenta and continue whisking.

If your polenta gets a little dry, feed it with a small amount of hot water.

Your total cook time for the polenta is ten minutes.

Finely slice the spring onions.

For the last two minutes of the bacon being in the oven, turn the grill on to crisp it up.

Add the polenta to a serving bowl. Top with bacon, spring onion and parmesan shavings.

Option to add rocket if you are wanting to add more greens or top it with a poached egg! 

-Melissa 

Thai Meat Balls with noodles

thai meatballs with noodles

I long for warmer days at the moment. 

Cape Town is experiencing uncharacteristically bone-chillingly-cold weather. 
It’s freezing (there must be snow somewhere) and I find myself attached to the heater. So much so; it might as well be a life support system. 

All I want is to be on holiday in a balmy location that has an ocean the temperature of a bathtub.

If I could pick a place to go right now it would be Thailand. I am obsessed with the food and flavours, the people, the smiles and the friendly atmosphere.

Don't even get me started on how gorgeous the ocean is along with its exciting troupe of tropical inhabitants. Watchmen Gobi’s and their little shrimpy friends, triggerfish and sea turtles!

Since we can’t magically teleport ourselves to island life at the drop of a hat, a good hearty meal will have to do.

This recipe is quick and easy to make and has all the right yumminess that you need to cure the winter blues! 

Plus I have loaded mine with extra chilli for that little kick of spice. You know the kick that leaves you sniffing and happy at the same time because you’ve just ninja chopped any form of bacteria residing in your body? Yip – that one.

The noodles are always a treat as slurping is fully allowed in my house! 

In fact, it's encouraged.

If you don’t slurp - You can’t sit with us.


*Serves 5

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:
1 small onion, diced
coconut oil
2 garlic cloves
3cm piece of ginger, grated
1 lemon grass
1 red chili
500g pork mince
1 handful fresh coriander leaves
1 medium spring onion, chopped
1 tablespoon tamari  
1 lime, zest, and juice
salt and pepper

For the noodle bowl:
300g egg noodles
coconut oil
150g pak choi
½ cup red cabbage, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 handful fresh coriander leaves

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ red chili, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper 


Instructions:

To start with the meatballs, fry the onions with a teaspoon of coconut oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Once translucent add the garlic and fry for a further five minutes until fragrant. 

Place the onion mix, ginger, lemon grass and chili in a food processor. Process until everything is finely chopped. 

In a large bowl add the pork mince, the chili paste from the processor and the remaining meatball ingredients, the coriander, spring onion, tamari, lime zest and juice and season to taste. Mix until well combined. Using a tablespoon measure out the meatballs, about one per ball. Roll them into small golf balls using the palms of your hands and place them on a roasting tray.  

In a medium frying pan over a medium heat add a tablespoon of coconut oil. Fry the meatballs in total of five minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. 

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water cook the noodles as per packet instructions and strain. Fold through the pak choi and red cabbage while the noodles are hot. 

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Assemble starting with the noodles, then the meatballs. Top with sesame seeds and drizzle with dressing. Serve with fresh coriander and feast!

-Melissa

Fish tacos with grilled nectarine salsa

Fish and grilled nectarine tacos

I'm baaaaaaack!

Hi, guys! I am so sorry I have been so quiet around here. Things have been really crazy my side and I have been shooting up a storm. Unfortunately, that has meant that I haven't been able to hang around here with you guys and share all things delicious with you. I thought now would be a good time to make it up to you by celebrating Taco Tuesday. This is a gorgeous recipe that I am obsessed with. It is a wack of sweet, salty and of course my favourite texture, crunch.

Hopefully, you will celebrate Taco Tuesday in style with some tequila and after two or three (because who has one?), you wouldn't have noticed that I have been M.I.A.

I promise to be better and share more recipes with you guys as soon as my schedule slows down.


Makes 10 Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 nectarines
  • 500g white Fish
  • coconut oil
  • 1 box taco shells
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 green pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • ½ red chili, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper 
  • 2 fresh lime to serve 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180⁰C

Set a Grill pan on medium to high heat.

Cut nectarines into twelve segments and toss in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Grill them on each side until beautiful and tasty griddle lines appear. Set aside to cool.

Trick: the nectarines are easier and less fussy to turn if grill pan is very hot and the charred lines are well formed. This goes for anything made in a grill pan!

For the salsa:

Chop up avocados, red onion, green pepper and a few slices of the nectarine into the same size cubes and mix together.

Add coriander, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.

Cut fish into one inch thick fingers, toss in a little coconut oil, season and fry until golden on each side. About two to three minutes on each side.

Pop the taco shells on an oven tray and into the oven for eight to ten minutes. This will make them nice and crunchy!

Building the Taco:

Layer slices of grilled nectarines, the fish, salsa and lastly top with a sprig of coriander and a good squeeze of lime

-Melissa .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer steamed mussel pot

Beer steamed mussels pot

Living in a world of social media really has its ups and downs. It is so hard to not compare myself to others (a huge mistake) and it is all too easy to fall into a space of dissatisfaction with my own life after viewing someone else's best day on Instagram. However, I constantly remind myself it is just that. Someone's best day. They are working hard to create top class content (as do I) that although beautiful, is not a true reflection of the reality we live in.

I find it inspiring to see people travelling the world in a (seemingly) real life re-enactment of Gulliver’s travels filled with adventure and wanderlust. 
I find myself going down these rabbit holes and ending up pouring over these beautiful locations for hours on my phone. 

Possibly not an ideal habit for a busy woman. Or her partner.

Recently, my obsession has been centred over island vacations. I mean, who’s imagination isn’t captivated by the thought of unspoiled paradise? 
Picture it; Soft beach sand between your toes, a warm sun kissing your shoulders with a fabulous cocktail in hand.

Sigh. 

In an effort to cure my island blues, I decided to come up with an easy-to-make, simply delicious seafood recipe. 
The mussels are a taste of the ocean and the beer offers a signature hop bitterness to contrast the honey in the recipe. The chilli adds a well placed kick and voila - you have yourself a mini vacation in your mouth! 

So if you find yourself dreaming of a magnificent blue ocean somewhere, sitting on a beach sipping on a coconut - I hope this will help you in adding some texture to those imaginings.


Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • ½ brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ red pepper sliced
  • 2 red chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 500g of the best quality mussels you can find
  • a handful of coriander
  • 330ml beer
  • 1 small baguette
  • herb butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Defrost the mussels and put them in the fridge until you are ready to work with them.

Slice the baguette and butter both sides. 

Take a medium frying pan over a medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and the onions. 

Fry the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, red pepper and chili and fry for a further 5 minutes. 

Add 1 teaspoon of honey and fry for a further minute. 

Add your mussels to a cast iron pot, if you don’t have one any oven-proof dish with a lid will do.

Add the onion and red pepper mix on top of your mussels

Once everything has been added to the pot top with 330 ml of beer and seal the pot.

Pop the mussels into the oven for 20 minutes to steam, or until the shells begin to pop open.

For the last five minutes add the baguette to the oven until toasted. 

Serve hot and enjoy with even more beer! 

-Melissa

 

The Mojo Market - Sea Point

The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point

There is a new foodie hotspot in town and it's called The Mojo Market. A dazzling little space filled with food and design vendors serving up all things delicious. (Yes – even the leather handbags) 

With a large variety of cuisine, this is the new place for inducing food comas! 
You can find traditional South African cuisine such as bunny chows, bobotie and potjie along with international treats such as Mexican, Cuban and Hawaiian (my personal favourite - Hokey Poke - A fresh bowl food concept that I am in love with.)

If you are anything like me and find cheese something of a spiritual experience; be sure to visit raclette store. 
For those that don’t know; raclette is a Swiss cheese that is melted and served with baby potatoes along with pickles and pickled onions. 
This could very well be their greatest claim to fame (along with wartime neutrality and the Large Hadron Collider in Cern)

If you have visited Switzerland, Germany or Austria the smell will fill you with European nostalgia in a nano second! 

Whether you are looking for sushi, burgers, nourish bowls, tacos or pizza you will find it at the market. There is even an artisanal tea stand selling exquisite teas. 

It also houses stands of local designer wear that showcase some pretty amazing homegrown talent. 
You’ll find handcrafted leather bags, beautifully handmade clothing, jewellery, accessories - All with a truly local flare.

In hindsight, I must say it would have been a great discovery before my journey out to the desert for AfrikaBurn. The craftsmanship of some of the items I stumbled on at Mojo would have found a perfect juxtaposition in Tankwa. I love supporting local and with such great designs, it’s really a bit of a no-brainer. 

If you find yourself there in the evening why not visit the fresh oyster and champagne bar? A glass of crisp bubbles paired with sunset views of the Sea Point promenade is a pretty great end to the day. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the sunset with a perfect glass of bubbly and raclette.
The seating area has more of a cafeteria/food-hall feel to it, great for relaxed, laid back missions but perhaps not the right fit for a couple looking for a bit more ambience and privacy.

My sweet tooth kicked in like the demon it is while I was perusing the goods and I had to hunt for something to satisfy the craving immediately. 

I tried Baskin Robbins (because of the sugar content) and of course the novelty of trying the only American brand in the market. Its inclusion does seem a bit off amongst the craftier food stalls but judging from the queues – it’s clear that my perception is lost on the regular market goer and family units where the kids are screaming for the brightest fare on offer. Their neon pink signage certainly does the trick.

After my cotton candy ice cream, I popped in to try the brownies at the local sweet store - which was a wise choice in my opinion. (The wise choice here being a second dessert...obviously) 

I love the fact that there is also a small local butcher, bakery and vegetable store. All organic and fresh. 
It's a great spot to pop into if you are needing to fill up the pantry with odds and ends. The selection is small and considered, so don’t expect sprawling aisles. You have a local woollies or checkers for that.

The market is attached to the Mojo Hotel. Offering private rooms and dorms. This space has a quirky interior that falls in line with the design element of the whole experience. I must say that if I was passing by Cape Town I would stay at the hotel just to experience the market and the food. In fact, they have created a little oasis that means one might never leave! 

The market is walking distance from my house which means the temptation to hardly cook and pretty much move in is strong. 

-Melissa