Duck and Pumpkin Bowl

Duck and Pumpkin Bowl

Duck is a beautifully rich meat that is packed with flavour. If you enhance that with other complimentary ingredients then you can create a real showstopper. Play around with citrus and chili or keep things simple and fresh like this recipe! 


Ingredients:

For the Bowl:

  • 1 small butternut, quartered and seeds removed
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 80g pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • ½ cup red cabbage, sliced

For the dressing:

  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped (discard the seeds if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the butternut and onion in a roasting tray with 1 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix together the chili flakes, coriander, and cinnamon and sprinkle over the vegetables, tossing together with the oil until evenly covered. Season to taste.

Pop the roasting tray into the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the onions, crispy bits are delicious but burnt is never tasty.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the duck breast, skin side down, into a large frying pan. Place the pan over medium heat. You want the pan to be cold and heat up with the duck in it. (Cooking tip: when you are cooking a high-fat meat, cook it without adding oil as it will cook in its own fat). Cook for ten minutes. The duck skin will slowly render and crisp, cooking out the fat. Once the skin is a golden colour and looks crispy, turn the breasts over and cook for a further three minutes. When done, remove the breasts and place on a wooden board. Cover with foil and let rest for five minutes.  Once rested, slice into half centimeter pieces.

In a large bowl, toss together the mint and spinach.

In a separate cup mix together all the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the mint and spinach leaves to make a salad base for your bowl.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven when done. Roughly chop the butternut and add the onions to the salad base and toss together. I like to add my butternut on top later separately for presentation, otherwise, you can just roughly chop it up and add in with the onions.

Finish off with the duck, red cabbage, coriander, and pistachios and enjoy.  

Health fact:

Pistachios have fewer calories than any other nut and they are a rich source of potassium and vitamin K. Potassium works to regulate fluid balance in the cells and body. Remember that raw and unsalted is always the best.

-Melissa 

Buckwheat porridge with caramelized banana

Buckwheat porridge with caramelized banana

*Serves 1

This is a really great meal if you are bored with your usual, mundane breakfast. It is easy, delicious and different. Banana is decadent and sweet paired with the crunch of the almonds this breakfast is enough to satisfy any cravings! 


Ingredients:

  • 300g buckwheat
  • coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon agave or raw honey
  • 1 banana, sliced to your liking
  • 1 handful raw almonds

Instructions:

Soak the buckwheat in water overnight, then drain and rinse.

In a medium frying pan over a medium heat add a teaspoon of coconut oil and fry the buckwheat until golden brown, about five minutes.

Add the almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, and honey. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Dish the porridge into a bowl and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and the banana and fry on a medium heat until sticky and caramelized, roughly five minutes. Once caramelized, add the banana to the porridge. Top with almonds and serve.

Health fact:

Buckwheat is high in fiber and gluten-free. Combined with the turmeric which is anti-inflammatory, this breakfast will pack a punch, and what is breakfast for if not for energy!

-Melissa 

 

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

*Serves 2

Ostrich is a meat that can be commonly found in most South African supermarkets. It has a rich, gamey taste to it and you can pair it with sweeter accents such as fresh fruits or a berry sauce for some great combinations.


Ingredients:

  • 230g ostrich fillet
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • salt and pepper 
  • coconut oil
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1 generous handful rocket
  • 80g raw almonds, toasted
  • olive oil

Instructions:

Add the ostrich, along with the orange zest, juice, garlic, and tamari, to a bowl. Toss together and cover the bowl. Pop it into the fridge for an hour or overnight if you have time.

Remove the marinated ostrich from the fridge. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium pan over a high heat. Add the ostrich fillet and sear on each side for two minutes. Once ready, remove from the heat and let rest for a further five minutes. You can cover it with a piece of foil so it doesn’t get too cold. Once rested, slice the ostrich and season to taste.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, remove the membranes of the orange segments.  In a medium bowl, layer the rocket and fresh oranges along with the sliced ostrich fillet. Top with the toasted almonds and drizzle with olive oil to serve.


Health Fact:

Ostrich is a lean meat and a great alternative to beef. It is also readily available in South African supermarkets.

20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit the South African bush!

20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!
20 Photographs that will inspire you to visit African bush!

South Africa is a magical place of wonder that I am lucky enough to call home. The safari options are endless and the magnificent wildlife is in abundance. The bush beauty will capture your heart. If you visit, you are sure to leave with your soul shining a little brighter for it. Few things compare to the rush of viewing game on the back of an open vehicle that allows you to get right in on the action of the wild or the relaxing silence at night listening to the sounds of nature.   

Whether you visit game reserves such as the phenomenal Thanda in Northern Natal or conservation forerunners Shamwari in the Eastern Cape you will not be disappointed as it truly is a once in a lifetime bucket list experience! Have you viewed the Big Five before? 
If you find yourself in the historic Kruger National park then I highly recommend the breathtaking OutPost Lodge or if you don't have a lot of time to travel then fly into Johannesburg and take a short three-hour drive to the magnificent Ekuthuleni where luxury awaits you. 

No matter which destination you choose you will be left forever changed. The only question is, why haven't you booked your flight? Africa awaits! 

-Melissa 

Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

IMG_5554.jpg
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
IMG_5612.jpgStaying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park
Staying at The Outpost, Kruger National Park

Meet The Outpost Lodge. This magnificent property has 12 luxury spaces cantilevered on a hill giving you a bird's eye view of the Luvuvhu River. The private, freestanding spaces are interconnected to each other and the central lodge area by 500 meters of Zimbabwean teak walkway. The contemporary architecture makes use of concrete and steel and with state-of-the-art retractable, remote-controlled screens offering 180º of uninterrupted views, you will never want to leave! 

The Outpost is situated in the Northern Kruger National Park. It is a six-hour drive from Johannesburg and a beautiful one at that. It is best to drive in the daytime as you pass local communities and pass several roadblocks that consist of goats and wild donkeys. You also don't want to miss the magnificent baobabs that are scattered across the land. 

Tucked away and blending into the environment is the gorgeous Outpost Lodge. As you enter the lodge you see that it is situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the breathtaking landscape of the Northern Kruger. The lodge accommodates 24 guests so it is intimate and exclusive. The beauty of it is that not only are you engulfed by the bush, but you are elevated with this crows nest position to experience the bush from this incredibly unique vantage point.

The rooms are simply magnificent. I could have moved in full time! The walls are screens that roll up and blur the boundary between yourself and the bush. If you sleep with them down then you still experience all the sounds of nature whilst sleeping under your romantic mosquito net.  With uninterrupted views, you can enjoy a luxurious bubble bath overlooking the Kruger National park or enjoy an outside shower at sunset! The design of the room is clever and spacious and the large king size beds will ensure the perfect night's sleep! 

The food was inspired to say the least. With dinner on the deck under the stars surrounded by lanterns you will be in heaven. The food was delicious and included dishes such as Salmon with lemon jam paired with the perfect crisp white wine and decadent chocolate desserts. 
Before your game drive in the morning, you are invited to enjoy a light breakfast of fruit and baked treats before you head out. Once back at the lodge post-game drive you are treated to platters of gorgeous mouthfuls and I made sure to try both the vegetarian and meat selection! Neither disappointed! 

If going on amazing game drives twice a day to spot the wild animals isn't your thing you can enjoy the day at the glorious pool relaxing or go for a wild walking safari along the Luvuvhu river. I loved being barefoot and feeling the African earth between my toes and the cool water flowing water over my skin. Something I would recommend! The bird life is phenomenal in the area and there are over 350 species. A bird watchers paradise! If you close your eyes and just listen, the whoel bush is singing! 

The staff is friendly and enthusiastic to share stories of their land. Most of the staff are Shangan and like generations, before them, they have grown up in the area. It is wonderful to see an establishment that works together with the people in the area creating work and educating them to become Chefs and Rangers! 

This part of the world is truly spectacular and is something to behold in this lifetime. I can't wait to return and hear the birds sing at sunrise and to walk barefoot on the rich African soil! 

***COMPETITION TIME*** 

Would you like to win 2 nights for 2 people at this magnificent establishment? Then all you need to do is find me on Instagram to enter! You can click here. The instructions will be on the post on The Out Post Lodge. Prize valued at R29 600.00 excluding transfers to the lodge. T's & C's apply. 
*Values are as per above (for 2017 they increase for 2018)
Competition closes Monday 20th November at 9am. 

-Melissa 

-Melissa