Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar

Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar
Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar
Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar
Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar
Chia, acai and strawberry smoothie jar

I always laugh at myself come this time of year. The time of year when I go into a flat panic that I am not “summer” ready.

My tan is non-existent and I look more like a translucent desert gecko than a living, breathing human being.

Oh, and of course, the beach “bod” is never where I want it to be.

Winter has been good to me this year… almost too good.

If winter were a philanthropist, it might be first in line for a Nobel Prize or two.

The truth is I am very far from having the quintessential sun kissed, beach body complete with bespoke bikini.

I have however, taken up a new regime in order to get there.

The first step is to be kind and remind myself that there is no such thing as perfection.

The second step is to incorporate exercise into this daily mantra.  I have begun taking Pilates 3 times a week.

The third (and perhaps most effective catalyst of this new regime) is trying to eat healthier.

It all comes down to making better choices.

Rather than reaching for a packet of crisps - I reach for some fresh carrots and tasty hummus, which I whip up myself.

I have replaced the oh-so-indulgent milky latte’s with peppermint tea and a slice of lemon and to be honest? I’m enjoying the changes.

Naturally I haven’t mastered them but that’s okay, I can only take one step at a time anyway and the plan is to evolve into a healthier version of myself over time.

It’s more sustainable that way.

So, to all the women out there beating themselves up because they don’t look like a supernova in a two-piece, be kind to yourself.
Health is a journey, not a destination.

Of course any journey begins with a simple step, so get off the couch. Take a walk, go for a swim or get to that yoga class you have been promising yourself you were going to do.

This recipe is part of my healthy changes. Rather than toast and cheese for breakfast I include things like chia pudding. I make it with unsweetened almond milk and protein powder from a local super food brand called Wazoogles. Chia seeds are high in fibre, good for digestion and offer omega 3’s. Give it a whirl and try starting your day with this! 


Serves: 2, cook time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients:

Chia Pudding:

  • 4 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoon protein powder (I used Wazoogles)
  • ½ teaspoon honey

Acai Smoothie Layer:

  • 1 tablespoon acai powder (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoons almond butter (I used buttanut)
  • 2 teaspoon unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup almond milk

Fruit Layer:

  • Sliced strawberries and toasted coconut
  • To Garnish: fresh berries, toasted coconut and mint leaves

Instructions:

Add the chia seeds, almond milk and protein powder into a bowl, mix to combine and set aside for 20 minutes, until the seeds absorb all the liquid. Then add the honey and stir through. If you need to feed them with a little more almond milk do so. 

Add the smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the jars add a layer of chia pudding, a layer of sliced strawberries and coconut and top with acai smoothie. Top the jar with fresh blueberries, raspberries and toasted coconut.

You can close the lids of the jar and set aside in the fridge over night or simply eat and enjoy right away! 

-Melissa 

Waterblommetjie bredie

Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede

Capetonians can experience four seasons in one day. In fact, if Cape Town is in the mood, possibly five. 
There is a local saying that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” 

The up side of a moody city is that, although it is spring, you can easily end up with a cloudy cool day that demands a hearty meal that oozes comfort. (and offers the perfect excuse to laze on the couch, guilt-free). The down side; well… hapless, underprepared tourists caught in a quick-as-a-flash temperature plummet.

This recipe is exactly what the (cape) doctor ordered on days like this. It is a traditional South African dish made from flowers that grow around this time of the year in the lakes and dams. The flower is called the waterblommetjie (Afrikaans) with the direct translation meaning ‘little water flower’. It grows similar to a water lily and can be found at any good local farmers market. 

This dish combines a rich lamb stew and vegetables with the crowning ‘waterblommetjie’ as a fragrant element that ties all the flavors together beautifully. 

I am in love with it not only because it is insanely good, but is a great comfort food, and of course, who doesn’t love eating flowers? I mean you might as well be a unicorn! 

This dish is consciously seasonal and well worth the effort.

I must admit it was my first attempt at playing with a traditional South African recipe and I was blown away with the results.

In Afrikaans there is a perfect phrase to end off a perfect meal…magies vol en oogies toe.
Tummy is full and eyes are closing...

I couldn’t have said it better if I tried.


Serves 6, cook time: 1 ½ hours
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg lamb(knuckle or neck)
  • Cake flour to dust meat.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups lamb stock
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1.5 kg waterblommetjies
  • 500 grams baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ tins of apricots (save the rest for dessert!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested 


Instructions:

Dust meat with flour. Add a glug of olive oil to your casserole dish and bring to a high heat.

Brown the meat in batches until golden brown. Do not add it all at the same time as you wont get that perfect golden colour!

Add the onions and fry until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further five minutes.

Add the coriander, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and fry for a further two minutes.

Add the lamb stock and make sure you deglaze the bottom of the pot to get all the flavour.  Add the soya sauce.

Close the lid and reduce the heat to a medium heat and let cook for 40 minutes.

Mix in half of the waterblommetjies and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes, apricots and the remaining waterblommetjies and cook for a further 30 minutes on a low-medium heat.

Add the lemon zest five minutes before serving.

Enjoy! 

Spring Salad

Spring Salad
Spring Salad
Spring Salad
Spring Salad

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month! What's even better is that it's the first of spring! I had to celebrate with something fresh and delicious! The blossoms are out and the sun is shining which means it is time to start having long boozy outdoor lunches with friends while enjoying gorgeous platters of food! (Not that winter stopped me) This salad is perfect for the occasion and has a fresh crunch that is oh-so-perfect with a crisp Sauvignon blanc! 


Serves 6, cook time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams asparagus, halved 
  • Olive oil
  • 50 grams toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
  • ½ cup Edamame beans
  • 6 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler 
  • 30 grams of rocket 
  • A handful of baby leaves chopped bite size
  • 80 grams Chevin Goats cheese
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • Half a cup of toasted walnuts 

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • 2 teaspoons tahini 
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic 
  • Salt and pepper 

Instructions:

Add a dash of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the asparagus for 2-3 minutes until the raw flavour is gone but they still have some crunch. Remove from heat and set aside. In the same frying pan turn up the heat to a medium/high heat and toast the walnuts for 5 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. 

Add the peas and edamame beans to individual bowls. Top up with boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Remove the water and set aside the peas and beans. 

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. 

On a large salad plate start to assemble the salad. This salad is great in layers then topped with the dressing. 

Start with the lettuce, zucchini, rocket, beans, peas and asparagus then add the radishes, goats cheese, lemon zest and walnuts! 

Top the salad with the dressing and serve! 

-Melissa

 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/spring-salad