Understand Asian Ingredients and Properly Stock your Asian Pantry

Is there a more intimidating place than an international supermarket? With foreign languages, unusual and intriguing ingredients and little clue how to use them, it’s no wonder that people often stick to what they know. However, just venturing into an Asian supermarket is a culinary journey and there is a wealth of fantastic Asian ingredients that should become staples in your pantry. We translate and demystify the best Asian ingredients you’ll find at your nearest Asian supermarket.

Bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

Well, here comes bonito, or katsuobushi, which is skipjack tuna that is dried, fermented and smoked. It is sold either in one large piece, looking much like a piece of wood, or already shaved into flakes. If you’re into making any type of broth, you’ll need bonito along with kombu to make the dashi base. The same goes for miso soups, as the bonito adds an earthy umami flavour that really can’t be replaced.

Fish sauce (nam pla)

We are longtime lovers of fish sauce, as seen in our favourite stir-fries found here. It somehow manages to find its way into the hearts (and dishes) of even devoted fishy-haters. Made from anchovies and salt, which are then fermented, fish sauce adds so much more than fishiness to food. It adds depth, saltiness and umami. If a recipe calls for fish sauce, make sure that you use fish sauce – there really is no substitute for this powerhouse ingredient. If you’re still not convinced, try out these Asian-style Fish Burgers, you’ll only need a dash or two of fish sauce to see its flavour come through.

Gochujang

Weird sounding, yes. Weird tasting? Most definitely not. Gochujang (pronounced GO-CHOO-jong) is a spicy, fermented, pepper paste which can be incorporated into nearly any recipe that requires a little bit of heat. Its flavour is a layered mix of spice, funkiness, and umami. The next time you’re making a marinade, swap out the chilli sauce you usually use with some gochujang – it will take it to the next level. Just watch out for the heat and add sparingly as you go, the spice is not playing around.

Hoisin sauce

Hoisin is not too unfamiliar an Asian ingredient, as anyone who’s eaten Peking duck will know it. It really is a delicious condiment to have around, made from soy beans, ketchup, maple syrup, red chillies, garlic, vinegar and Chinese 5 spice. It has a wonderful mix of sweet and salty flavours, and can be used in marinades and sauces or just as it is!

Mirin

Mirin, very similar to sake, is a rice wine (or rice beer depending on how you see it) that is lower in alcohol but higher in sugar content. It also adds a rounded sweetness but is really wonderful when used to finish soups and sauces. This is one of those Asian ingredients that is used in a lot of different recipes and should definitely be a staple.

Miso Paste

Let’s start with something familiar, shall we? Miso paste is no longer the exotic and unknown Asian ingredient it used to be, and in all honesty, you could probably find it at your regular grocery store. Miso paste is a seasoning produced from fermented soybeans, a little salt and a fermenting agent. What can you cook with it? The question should be what can’t you cook with it? It works wonderfully whisked into dressings, light marinades and even mixed into a butter. In this Miso Roasted Pork Belly, it forms part of the glaze, giving the meat a much-loved hit of umami. Experiment with it in all your cooking, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes one of your go-to staples.

Oyster sauce

Not a fan of oysters? Don’t worry, you’ll still love this condiment. Oyster sauce is made from sugar, salt and cornstarch-thickened water, with only oyster essence or extract added. No actual oysters involved! Its thick and glossy nature makes it an excellent addition to stir-fries and marinades. It adds a deep sweetness, with a briny flavour rather than an oyster-y one.

Asian-ingredients-

Kewpie Mayonaise

Kewpie mayo is an absolute favourite when it comes to Asian ingredients. It’s made with rice vinegar rather than distilled vinegar and egg yolks rather than the whole egg, so it has a smoother and creamier texture. It’s the delicious, creamy blob on top of a lot of sushi and is a favourite in Japan as a dressing and more. If you’re wondering about the name, it was chosen to help create a brand that everyone would love, and what’s not to love about the big eyed Kewpie doll? We’re not sure how they got around the copyright infringements there but the fact remains it’s a super popular Asian pantry staple.

Kombu

Kombu is basically dried kelp, cultivated on the shores of Japan and Korea. It has immense flavour and really only has fine salt lightly packed on it when packaged. As with bonito, if you’re looking to make any kind of Asian broth, you’ll need a dashi and only kombu can give you that. Kombu is also an important ingredient for any vegetarian pantry, as it adds meatiness to soups, stews and broths without any of the meat!

Nori

Nori is a form of edible seaweed and its popular in plenty of Asian cuisines, specifically Japanese. You’ll most commonly know it for being the tie that binds sushi rolls together (that familiar, dark green, almost black wrapping). It has a mild flavour and can be used in a variety of dishes and snacks.

Palm sugar

Made from the sap of a number of different palm tree varieties, which is boiled down and allowed to crystallise, palm sugar is for all intents and purposes, the same as regular sugar. However, the flavour of palm sugar is extraordinary, like a rich butterscotch. If you’re making any sort of Thai curry, palm sugar is best to counteract any acidity while still building complex flavours. It lasts very well, so one or two little rounds will keep for a while.

Panko

Before you even mutter “But they’re just breadcrumbs”, hear us out. Panko is a breadcrumb product, but it’s not exactly the same as every breadcrumb available. Panko is only made from white bread or labelled panko tan, it is made from the whole loaf of bread. What sets panko apart is that it’s processed into large flakes, rather than little crumbs. This allows for maximum surface area meaning extra crispiness on each little panko morsel. You could certainly swap panko for breadcrumbs in any recipe that called for breadcrumbs, but we wouldn’t suggest using regular breadcrumbs where panko are required. Try out this delicious Beetroot and Baby Spinach Salad with Panko Crumbed Brie and you’ll see just how superior panko is. It’s definately one of our best Asian ingredients.

Ponzu

You may hear people refer to ponzu as a soy and yuzu mix, but it really is so much more than that. It’s made by gently cooking soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, bonito fish flakes and seaweed together, as well as a little chilli and mirin. It’s used mostly as a dipping sauce but can also add flavour to other sauces and marinades. It’s also a refreshing change from soy sauce (if you eat a lot of soy) or even Worcestershire sauce if you’re the ballsy person who drizzles that over everything. Try this recipe for Deep Fried Samurai Mussels with Deadly Ponzu Dipping Sauce.

Rice Wine

Rice wine, while called rice wine, is not the same as sake and mirin, which we know now are technically closer to rice beers. Rice wine is more like a wine as we know it, made from fermented glutinous rice in a process where yeast transforms the sugars to alcohol. Weirdly though, it can be used in a similar way to mirin and sake for tenderising meat and adding depth to sauces and soups. Just for comparison, if you’re really in a pinch and need to substitute rice wine, your best bet is pale dry sherry – which gives you an idea of the flavour of rice wine.

Sake (ryorishu)

Before you rush out and buy the first bottle of sake you see, you need to make sure you’re picking up the cooking sake, called ryorishu. Not only is there a price difference between drinking and cooking sake, but you want to make sure that you’re using the cooking option due to the salt and vinegar added to it. Sake, while often referred to as rice wine, is actually closer to a flat rice beer because of the brewing process it follows. What does it add to your cooking? Well for one, a delicate sweetness from the rice and it acts as a tenderiser for meat and fish. Use it the way you would white wine, it goes particularly well with seafood.

Sesame Oil

A little bottle of sesame oil will take your food to places it has never been before. Made from, obviously, the oil of toasted sesame seeds, this little ingredient will add a punch of roasted nuttiness to any dish. Use it as part of a dressing or a stir fry sauce, but also toss it through cooked noodles to harness its full, delicious flavour.

Shiitake Mushrooms (dried)

If you see a pack of these gnarly looking things, be sure to pick it up. Dried shiitakes are one of the ultimate Asian ingredients, whether you’re cooking Asian food or not. All you need to do is soak them in a little warm water to rehydrate them and then you’re left with a rich flavoured mushroom stock to add to your cooking. These are also great additions to a pantry used for vegetarian cooking, as the deep meaty flavour of a shiitake is irresistible. See our list of different kinds of edible mushrooms here.

Shrimp Paste

Provided you don’t have a shellfish allergy, shrimp paste should be a staple in your kitchen. It may sound scary, as it’s made from fermented and ground shrimp, but the flavour is a wonderfully-rich shellfish one, with a little bit of funkiness thrown in for interest. It forms the base of lots of Thai curries, but is also great mixed well into a marinade or salad dressing.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a by-product of fermented soybeans and wheat that have been mixed with brine. Moulds are then added and left to grow for three days after which it’s combined with salt water in vats where another bacteria, that breaks down sugars into lactic acids, is added. The resulting mixture is then left to ferment for a further six months, at least, before being strained, pasteurised and bottled to be sold as the delicious salty condiment we know and love.

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar, is a vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine and is not to be confused with actual rice wine. It’s possibly already hanging out at the back of your cupboard and if it’s not, it should be. When used in marinades and dressings, it adds more sweetness and less acidity than the rest of its vinegary cousins and works especially well with fried foods, cleaning up any lingering fattiness in your mouth. Try it out in this Sweet and Sour Stir Fry.

Togarashi (also called call shichimi togarashi)

Also known as Japanese 7-spice, this aromatic spice mix is used in many dishes to add incredibly complex flavour. It’s a blend of different kinds of chillies with other aromatics and it can be used on meat, fish or noodle dishes.

Yuzu

Imagine lemons, oranges and grapefruit had a baby. There, you’ve basically imagined the flavour of yuzu to some extent. In appearance, depending on ripeness, it looks like a smaller, more wrinkly grapefruit. Unfortunately, the actual fruit is pretty impossible to get hold of but the juice is readily available at any well-stocked Asian ingredients store. Use for marinades and sauces, such as homemade ponzu.

Now that you have your pantry stocked with a range of Asian ingredients, check out these recipes where you can use your new purchases.

Asian Ingredients - udon noodles
Asian Ingredients - noodles and vegetable broth

Asian Ingredients - Deep fried Vegetables and Chicken dumplings
Asian Ingredients - vegetable spring rolls

Experience Self Care & Positive Energy at Angala

The world, and all of us in it, have been through the wringer of late, so any type of getaway that encourages self care and offers quality relaxation feels like something that should be prioritised. If that’s the kind of break you’re after, then put Angala Boutique Hotel at the top of your list. Set against a backdrop of the Simonsberg Nature Reserve, Angala is a secluded getaway with a unique ‘self-spa’ element that encourages recuperation and wellness from the get-go.

Angala from front

On Heavenly Ground

A winding road that goes past Vrede en Lust Wine Estate takes you up to the heavenly grounds of Angala. That old adage that first impressions last really resonates here – the lush gardens and 360º views give that immediate feeling of gratitude for nature.

Every corner of the property is beautifully landscaped, from the immaculate carpet-like lawns to the beds that are populated with white, pink and purple flowers. There is an overall sense of serenity and peacefulness that provides absolute respite from the city.

From its position perched up on the hills Angala benefits from views over the valley and vineyards below, as well as being surrounded by mountains and reserve. No matter which direction you’re looking in, there’s something pretty to be entranced by.

Breathtaking views from every angle.

The Rooms

Angala has 10 rooms and a garden cottage and sleeps 22 in total; rooms are situated at the front and back of the property, with the communal pools and relaxation areas in the middle. We were met as we arrived at the doorstep and were swiftly checked in, observing Covid protocols, and shown to our room.room at angalabathroom angalaOur luxurious suite had a lounge area, king-sized bed (the kind you immediately want to flop right onto), a stoep overlooking the gardens, a roomy bathroom with tub, double shower, plus a gorgeous outdoor shower. What bliss.

Take Your Time

Self care at Angala is key and is really encouraged. The idea is to arrive, settle in and take some time for yourself, which is a directive that we were fully onboard with. The hotel offers several options for hydrotherapy – an eco pool that is completely filtered by the aquatic plants that surround it. With no added chemicals, it is a beautiful example of the natural ecosystems that occur in nature.There is also a jacuzzi, an ozonated pool and steam and sauna rooms that overlook the pools. The set up allows you to use all the facilities as you like, no bookings needed and no separate male/female areas, which for a couple makes a nice change. You can take a relaxed steam or sauna, enjoy the pools and spend quality time together.

If you want to enjoy more me-time, you can arrange for additional spa services, this will be booked for you and mobile therapists will come to your room to do the treatments. This even further enhances the experience as there is no pressure to be anywhere – the relaxation basically comes to you.

Private yoga tutoring is also an optional extra, in fact the venue would be a blissful space for a full retreat.

In these stunning surroundings a moment of mindful meditation in a corner of the garden is also just as special.

Wine Tasting and Exploring the Winelands

Angala is well-positioned to explore the Winelands, but you may find it a challenge to ‘exit the bubble’ as I termed it. Our stay included wine tasting at both Rupert & Rothschild (next door) and Vrede en Lust (on the way in). Considering that we hadn’t been to either in a while, we decided that we should pop out and do some wine tasting.

Being that both are so close (with many others literally a stone’s throw away) you are spoilt for choice really. Of course, there is no judgment if you choose to stay ensconced in nature with a good book and plenty of fresh air.

While it was lovely to visit the farms, I felt an invisible tug back to the comfort of Angala and, admittedly, did find myself giving a gentle exhale when we were back poolside again.

Dining at Angala

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered at Angala and the service is exclusively for staying guests. Meals are served in the dining area, which has both inside and outside seating set up above the pool area, with the sounds of the fountains below.

Breakfast included yoghurt with a jar of delicious nutty granola, freshly prepared fruit and then a cooked breakfast as well.Anagla-restaurant

For dinner that evening the chef had prepared a stunning smoked salmon and avocado dish with a divine tomato oil dressing (that I would have snuck out of the kitchen and taken home with me if I could have found it). For mains, a perfectly cooked springbok loin with veggies, and for dessert and oozy, melty chocolate fondant (always a winner) with a lovely tart berry coulis for balance.

Given that the restaurant only caters for guests, it is a peaceful and attentive experience; there is a great wine list, with several excellent wines offered by the glass.

A Sense of Family

Angala is family-owned and there is a definite familial sense – the venue is set up in a way that feels like a home built with entertaining in mind. In fact, it would be a perfect venue for a group booking, as the communal facilities are central to the property, while the rooms offer privacy.

Plenty of indoor and outdoor lounging areas and a stunning (huge) fireplace, also with plenty of seating, will make it absolutely ideal for a group traveling together, especially for a celebration.

Why You Should Visit

To sum it up succinctly, Angala is hard to leave. Living a fast-paced modern life is difficult enough as it is, without a global pandemic thrown into the mix. Even though we are all hyper aware of our health currently, always looking for signs of a cough and panicking at the onset of what could be a Covid symptom, are we actually taking time to be well? Are we paying heed to our hearts and our heads, as well as our physical health?

There are so many aspects of Angala that encourage you to really wind down – sitting on the stoep watching birds twittering at the birdbath, taking a cool shower outdoors in the dappled light of the overhanging trees, relaxing by the pool nose-deep in a great novel or simply napping in your room, taking respite from the Winelands heat… all of which we did.

How ever it is that you choose to spend your time, there is absolutely no doubt that you will leave feeling hugely restored and ready to face life’s busy schedule again. Angala offers heavenly escapism and a space to actually stop, to breathe, to decompress and just exist…

angala.co.za | Facebook | Instagram

Guide to the Best Markets in Cape Town

There’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning than at your local market. Whether it’s perfunctory and you’re doing grocery shopping or it’s for a casual stroll to browse what locals are making, it’s always fun. A lot of really great markets have popped up recently and in case you’re finding it hard to keep up, here are the best markets in Cape Town.

Markets in Cape Town & Surroundings

BAY HARBOUR MARKET

Markets in cape town bay harbourThe Bay Harbour Market is a great place for the whole family on a Saturday morning. Well laid out in a repurposed fish factory, the weekly market offers more than 100 stalls that vary from food to quirky crafts and clothes. (Check out our Hout Bay restaurant recommendations.)

Location: 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay
Hours: Fri 17h00-21h00, Sat-Sun, 09h30-16h00

bayharbour.co.za


BLUE BIRD GARAGE MARKET

Markets in Cape Town Blue Bird garage marketSet up in an old aeroplane hangar, the Blue Bird seems to attract the perfect mix of young, cool kids and families. You can expect to find all the usual market suspects there, but we always make a beeline for Yoffi’s Falafels.

Location: 39 Albertyn Road, Muizenberg
Hours: Fri: 16h00-22h00
Contact: 084 405 3544

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CAPE POINT VINEYARDS COMMUNITY MARKET

Markets in Cape TownThis weekly market takes place at the picturesque Cape Point Vineyards Restaurant and Function Venue and easily has the best view of any market in Cape Town. There are so many delicious things on offer such as Kitchen Cowboys and the Lamb Man. There are loads of vegan vendors too, like Sunshine Food’s Vegan burgers and Something Simple’s Vegan Sushi.

Location: Cape Point Vineyards; Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
Hours: Thur: 16h30-20h30
Contact: 021 789 0900

cpv.co.za


EARTH FAIR FOOD MARKET

Markets in Cape TownAs the name suggests, this market aims to make as little an impact on the environment as possible. All the packaging used is recyclable and the waste levels of the vendors are monitored. The food on offer, though, is always hearty and exciting and exceedingly good value for money. There is a market held twice a week in Tokai (at the South Palms Centre) and once a week at St George’s Mall.

Location: Timour Hall Villa Estate, Constantia
Hours: Sat 10h00 – 15h00

earthfairmarket.co.za


MOJO MARKET

Markets in Cape townEasily one of the coolest openings this year, the Mojo Market will have you spoilt for choice. It seems like anyone who’s anyone has a stall here, including Beet Box, Holy Macaroni, Noa Hummus Bar, The Mussel Monger and Tao’s Chinese Kitchen.

Location: 30 Regent Road, Sea Point
Hours: Mon–Sun: 10h00–23h00
Contact: 087 940 7474

mojomarket.co.za


THE NEIGHBOURGOODS MARKET

Markets in Cape townThe iconic Neighbourgoods needs no introduction and is one of the most well-known and loved markets in Cape Town. Set up in The Old Biscuit Mill, this market was probably the one that made markets cool in Cape Town. There’s a dedicated food hall as well as an area for local designers to sell clothes and art. It’s still one of the best, really.

Location: Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock
Hours: Sat: 09h00–15h00
Contact: 021 448 1438

neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za


THE ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM

Markets in Cape townThe OZCF is certainly not a new market by any measure, having been started at the original Oranjezicht farm. It’s only ever grown in popularity and after a brief period in Helen Zille’s garden, it’s found a permanent home in Granger Bay. You can pick up organic veggies, delicious food and bread but most importantly, Hog House’s pasteis de nata. Definitely one of our favourite markets in Cape Town. (Photo courtesy of Claire Gunn Photography)

Location: Granger Bay Boulevard, V & A Waterfront
Hours: Sat: 09h00–14h00
Contact: 083 628 3426

ozcf.co.za


Country and Winelands Markets in Cape Town

While not technically markets in Cape Town, these are still worthy additions. If you’re up for a drive out to the Winelands try any one of these awesome markets.

BLAAUWKLIPPEN

Markets in Cape townSet up on the Blaauwklippen farm in Stellenbosch, the market is centred around food, but an added bonus is that you have unlimited access to the estate’s fantastic wine.

Location: R44, Strand Road, Stellenbosch
Hours: Sun: 10h00–16h00
Contact: 084 608 6325

blaauwklippenfamilymarket.co.za


FRANSCHHOEK VILLAGE MARKET

Markets in Cape townThe Franschhoek Village market is held every Saturday and features local producers from the Winelands region. If you’re spending the weekend in Franschhoek, make sure you pop past here to pick up some breakfast while you peruse.

Location: 29 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek
Hours: Sat: 09h00-15h00
Contact: 082 786 7927

franschhoekvillagemarket.co.za


GROOTE POST

markets in cape townIf you’re taking a drive and Darling is the destination, then The Groote Post market is where you should stop off. A celebration of all things Darling means you’ll find great small producers with delicious food, great beer and wine.

Location: Darling Hills Road, Darling
Hours: Last Sunday of the month (only in summer): 10h00-15h00
Contact: 076 834 8085

grootepost.co.za


LOURENSFORD

Markets in Cape townSeemingly, there’s nothing that Lourensford can’t do and visiting the farm is always a great way to spend a day. Everything on offer at The Lourensford market is top notch, they’re dog-friendly and they make some of the best coffee around. (Photo courtesy of Aldus Smith Photography)

Location: Lourensford Road, Somerset West
Hours: Fri: 17h00-21h00, Sun: 10h00-15h00
Contact: 072 284 1654

ifhm.co.za


ROOT 44

Root44-marketHoused under sturdy marquees and surrounded by gorgeous vineyards and trees, the Root 44 market offers a wide selection of edible and drinkable treats. There’s also always live entertainment, craft and homeware stalls perfect for leisurely browsing.

Location: Audacia Wines, Corner of R44 & Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Hours: Saturday-Sunday: 10h00-18h00
Contact: 021 881 3052

root44.co.za


Koringberg Market

Koringberg is situated in the Swartland District, about an hour outside of Cape Town on the N7. Once a month, farmers, bakers and artisans gather and share local produce, eats entertainment. Expect to see handmade pottery and ceramics, knitted items and plenty of delicious homemade goods.

Location: Pelgrim Street, Koringberg
Hours: First Saturday of the Month | 09h00
Contact: 063 498 0025

koringberg.com


Piket-Bo-Berg Farmer’s Market

Piket-Bo-Berg is a beautiful oasis situated on the top of the Piketberg mountains in the Swartland region. An hour and a half outside Cape Town, this beautiful farming community is host to fruit orchards, mountain biking and hiking trails and many guest farm accomodation. On the last Saturday of every month, the local farmers come together and sell their fresh produce, handmade products, homebaked goods and more. It’s truly worth the drive and the perfect way to unwind.

Location: Kruistementvlei, Piket-Bo-Berg, Piketberg
Hours: Last Saturday of the Month | 09h00 – 12h00
Contact: 083 208 6873

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Deep Dish Coconut Condensed Milk Tart

When it comes to South African desserts, the milk tart reigns supreme. It’s deceptively simple to make but it takes a little finesse to get right. This version is based on mom’s recipe but with a few twists and turns to kick things up a notch. We’ve added condensed milk because who doesn’t like condensed milk? Plus we’ve sprinkled the top with toasted coconut for a little crunch (this is optional of course if you’re a purist). It’s a twist on a classic but it’s still most definitely a good ol’ milk tart.

COCONUT CONDENSED MILK TART RECIPE

Serves: 6-8
Difficulty: medium
Prep time: 45 minutes (plus overnight setting time)
Cooking time: 45 minutes

You’ll need a 26 cm springform cake tin.

The Biscuit Base

2 packets (400 g) Tennis biscuits
2 tsp (10 ml) cinnamon
200 g butter, melted

The Egg Mix

2 C (500 ml) fresh full cream milk
6 heaped Tbsp cake flour
6 heaped Tbsp Maizena (cornflour)
2 tsp (10 ml) good quality vanilla essence
6 large eggs

The Filling

2 x (385 g) tins condensed milk
4 C (1 litre)  full cream milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter

To Serve 

cinnamon, for sprinkling
½ C (125 g) coconut flakes, toasted (optional)

The Biscuit Base

Using a food processor or hand blender, blitz the biscuits to a fine crumb. Add the cinnamon and melted butter and mix with a spoon until combined. Place half of the biscuit crumbs onto the base of a 26 cm springform pan and evenly cover the base of the pan. Use a tumbler glass to press and compact the crumbs into place. Then use the other half of the mix around the side of the tin to create an even wall around the pan. Cover the entire wall of the pan. Place the pan into the fridge for 30 minutes to set. Blind bake the base for 8 minutes at 180 °C then remove and allow to cool completely. (Note: you can use a smaller springform tin – you may just have a little extra filling at the end – the easy solution is to set it in a separate dish and eat when no-ones looking).

The Egg Mix

Place the milk, cake flour, cornflour and vanilla essence (i.e. everything except the eggs), into a large bowl. Blitz with a hand blender until well combined. Make sure that there are no lumps or you will have lumpy milk tart. The eggs will be added just before the mixture is added to the filling mixture. For now, set aside until needed.

The Filling

Place the condensed milk, milk and butter for the filling into a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture very slowly while stirring, until it reaches boiling point. The easiest way to monitor the temperature is with a digital thermometer if you have one. As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove the saucepan from the heat.

Now add the eggs to the mix of flour and milk (the egg mix above) and whisk well to combine.

Remove from the heat and slowly add the egg mix to the filling milk, constantly whisking to combine. Once all of the egg mix is incorporated, return the saucepan to the heat. Whisk the mixture constantly as it heats up. The mixture will start to slowly thicken from the 70 º C mark. Cook the mixture until you have a semi-thick but still pourable custard. Do not let the temperature go above 80 º C or the custard will scramble – cook it slowly, it’s really important to take your time. 

Immediately pour the custard into the biscuit base and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Dust with cinnamon and leave to cool completely before lightly covering with foil and placing in the fridge. Allow the tart to set overnight. Note: You may find that there is a little extra filling, especially if your springform tin is a little smaller  – our advice is to simply set the balance of the filling in a separate dish and tuck in… for quality control purposes of course.

To Serve

Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.

Check out our other Heritage classics here: Vetkoek Steak Sliders | Peri Peri Chicken Livers | Old School Coke Ribs

miele.co.za | Facebook

Making Bacon and BLTs

Ah bacon, how I love thee… but I’m not the only one. It seems the whole world has been in a bacon frenzy for the last few years, and it doesn’t seem to be dying down. I, for one, am very happy about that because let’s be honest, bacon is really awesome. It’s the sweetest treat of all the porky meats, the top of the piggy mountain, and if there was such a place as Shang-pig-ra-La, it would be paved with streaky bacon bricks. In this edition of Meet the Meat we’re heading to Bill Riley Meat to learn how to make homemade bacon with my mate, Dave Riley Jnr.

Before we dive into the bacon, let’s chat about the ins and outs of store-bought bacon. Have you noticed when you cook store-bought bacon it leaks out a watery substance everywhere? That’s because they inject the bacon with water or brine to bulk up the weight, sneaky buggers. The bacon also shrivels up to half its size and who wants that?

The beauty about homemade bacon is that the curing process draws moisture out of the pork and firms it up. When you cook it you’ll see how it retains its size and crisps up to perfection, minus the water.

There is also a big debate in the bacon world on nitrates that exist in curing salts. Nitrate is a preserving agent that stops the growth of bacteria like botulism in cured meats. It’s controversial because they say in high quantities it’s really bad for you, but then again so is botulism. If you’d rather use curing salt be my guest, but just read up on it beforehand. Using nitrates comes down to personal preference. In this recipe, I’m going with Dave’s advice and keeping it old school, the way his grandfather taught him, without curing salt.

meet the meat

Once the belly is removed from the carcass it’s skinned, halved and then squared off. From here we apply the rub all over, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. Next we pop the meat into a container with a lid and stick it in the fridge, simple hey? Now the waiting starts and it will continue for the next five days. What the cure does is pull the moisture out the meat and flavour it at the same time. Every day you’ll need to drain the liquid out of the container and every second day you will need to apply a little more rub. For food safety sake, make sure that your fridge is running cold (1.6 ºC).

On day five, all you have to do is to remove the belly from the fridge and rinse it off to remove any excess rub and salt. Congratulations, you’ve now got ‘green’ bacon, it’s called green because it’s unsmoked. Now comes the most important step, so listen up my porky pioneer. Cut the end off the belly then slice off another piece and fry it up nice and slow so that the fat renders out. Taste the bacon to check the salt content. If it’s way too salty, submerge the meat in a big bowl of water for 1-2 hours to draw out some of the salt, then test it again. Once you’re happy, it’s time to smoke the bacon.

I smoked mine on a Big Green Egg, but any Weber will do with the right set up. The details for that are in the recipe, so take a look if you want to take that green bacon to porky nirvana. If the idea of smoking seems like hard work, then leave it as green bacon – it will still be delicious.

Making bacon really is a rewarding endeavor and the best part about it, besides eating it, is that you get to cut it as thick as you like. I am partial to a thick slab myself and I’ve decided to use my bacon to create one of my favourite sarmies of all time – the BLT or Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato.

I first discovered the BLT when I was working in America and it was love at first bite, second bite and every bite thereafter. It’s so simple, yet the combination is so epic… toasted white bread with mayo, thick cut tomato, a handful of crunchy lettuce and an obscene amount of crispy bacon. What’s not to love? For my BLT I’ve amped things up a bit with a homemade roasted garlic aioli, a touch of chutney and of course, homemade bacon. Rather than using any old bread, try find a good farm-style white loaf. I got mine from the fine folks at Cape Town’s Bread & Butter who funnily enough, make one of my favourite sarmies ever. Check it out HERE. Until we meat again, cheers!

meet the meat

Homemade Bacon
1 kg whole (boneless) pork belly
150 g sea salt
15 g sugar
5 bay leaves, crushed
10 juniper berries, crushed
1 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly ground black pepper

smoking chips

Roasted Garlic Aioli
2 heads of garlic
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp (15 m) Dijon mustard
400 ml canola oil
a squeeze of lemon juice
a small handful of chives, chopped
salt and pepper

The BLT
a loaf of good quality farm bread, sliced
a knob of melted butter
as much homemade bacon as you want on your BLTs (thick cut)
chutney
4 large ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bag butter lettuce
roasted garlic mayo

The Curing Process

Start by pouring some boiling water into a container big enough to fit the belly. The boiling water will sterilise the containers before the curing process.

Place the salt, sugar, bay leaves, juniper berries and pepper into a spice container and shake to mix. Apply a good amount of rub to the belly and then place into the sterilised container and seal with a lid. Place into the fridge for 5 days. Check the belly every day; drain off the moisture and then apply a little more of the rub. Be careful and don’t add too much or you will end up with salty bacon. On the fifth day take the belly out the fridge and give it a good wash to remove the excess rub.

meet the meat bacon
meet the meat bacon
meet the meat bacon
meet the meat bacon

You have what is known as ‘green’ bacon, cured but unsmoked.

NB! Slice off one end and then slice a second piece off to test fry. Cook the bacon slowly in a frying pan, ensuring that the fat renders and that it crisps. Taste it to check the salt content. If it’s too salty then submerge the pork meat in a bowl of water for 1-2 hours. Cut off another piece and try again. When you are satisfied with the flavour, the meat is ready for smoking.

The Smoking Process

Smoking may seem like a complicated process but it really isn’t. Use a Weber or a Big Green Egg smoker to smoke the meat. Both will have instructions for setting up to smoke with indirect heat, which is basically a delicate heat source that allows thicker cuts of meat to cook through slowly, without burning.

Use your choice of smoking chips (I used hickory) and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 65 ºC. Use a meat thermometer to check. Once the bacon is done, take it out of the smoker and let it cool. Congratulations, you now have smoked bacon! If you are not going to eat it all in one go, you can wrap it in plastic and keep it in the fridge for a week. Alternatively, freeze it for up to 2 months… (like it’s gonna last that long). If you’ve chosen to keep your bacon green, then freeze it immediately.

When ready to use, slice to the desired thickness.

Roasted Garlic Aioli
Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.

Separate the garlic into unpeeled cloves. Toss in a little olive oil then wrap in a foil to form a parcel. Roast the garlic on a baking tray for 30-40 minutes until soft.

Whisk the egg yolks with the Dijon mustard to combine; add the oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking all the while. The mixture will start to emulsify as you whisk and will become a silky, thick mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the mayo, add the chives and give it a good whisk to combine. Leave in the fridge to chill until needed.

The BLT
Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.

Lay the thick-cut strips of bacon on a baking tray and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is golden brown. Remove from the oven and drain on kitchen towel. (Alternatively, can be pan-fried slowly to render the fat and achieve the same effect).

Paint the bread with melted butter on one side only. Fry the buttered side in a frying pan over a medium heat until you have a golden brown crust. This is the outside of your sarmie.

Spread the inside pieces of bread with a generous amount of chutney. Add the tomato and season with a little salt (depending on the saltiness of your bacon) and freshly ground black pepper. Add the crispy bacon and lettuce. Drizzle with aioli and top your sarmie with the final slice of fried bread. Cut in half and smash it!

Road Trip with Kids: A Survival Guide – How to Plan and What to Pack

Holiday season is here and inevitably (hopefully) with that comes travelling away somewhere. Anyone with kids knows that that is easier said than done, however. A road trip with kids can be a wonderful way to spend a holiday but it can also become tedious and testing for everyone when youngsters are tired, irritable and otherwise. In order to make your holiday road trip with kids a seamless and happy adventure for all, try planning your vacay with these tips and tricks, all of which come from moms in the know.

PLANNING A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

Most of the planning will be done before you leave and how and what you pack and have at hand will make all the difference.

Probably the two most important things of all are snacks and entertainment. Without these two things, a road trip can become a hazardous experience for everyone but there are a few other things to consider.

SNACKS FOR A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

It goes without saying that snacks are critical and we’re for healthy ones where possible. Back in the day, homemade egg mayo or ham and cheese sandwiches and a wet face cloth to clean up afterwards were road trip staples. Fortunately, though, we’ve come a fair way since then, with lots of healthy, pre-packed snacks available for kids and the miracle of disposable wipes. Loads of sugar will make little beings over-energised, and in a confined space that’s not ideal. Also, sugar means stickiness and no one needs that where it can be avoided.

To make it interesting, pack each kid a mini cooler bag each with a couple of different things. We’ve found that pretzels, cereal, crackers, dried fruit and nuts are always winners.

When it comes to drinks, juice boxes with straws seem like an easy go-to but can be a hazard – one squeeze and you can have a fountain of sticky apple juice everywhere. We prefer their own water or juice bottles with a sports style lid that can be opened and sealed back closed. These can also be refilled as you go.

ENTERTAINMENT FOR A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

road trip with kids

It’s easy to default to watching an iPad or a DVD player and while this could give you at least 90 mins to 2 hours of straight peace, the likelihood is that they will eventually get bored with watching a screen.

Be sure to pack in some of their favourite toys and books for company as well. If you are travelling with more than one child it is usually safer to make sure that they each have one of the same thing to avoid drama.

Most kids these days are up to speed with popular music, so a good selection of tunes and a family sing-along can be a great way to pass time for everyone.

KEEPING ORGANISED ON A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

Getting to your destination with a car that looks like a dump site inside will probably add a level of undue stress, so organisation (as far as is realistic) is always good. Packing each child a backpack or small storage box of his or her own things, with the promise of a reward at the end for keeping their own belongings in check can help.

Keeping a packet or a box for trash in an easily accessible place (hung over a headrest) can also help with keeping things tidy.

Clearing this out at each pit stop will also help keep things in check.

TAKING REGULAR BREAKS ON A ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

road trip with kids

Again, this might seem obvious but remember that the attention span of kids versus yours will be different. Even though you are itching to push through to your destination, letting kids run around a bit and stretch their legs keeps everyone sane.

A lot of rest stops and petrol stations on South African roads have been equipped with play areas for kids for this reason. This is not only for them though, they are also for the sanity of the person driving too. Whining and crying little ones can stress a driver out and on a long trip, concentration on the road is key.

Stop, take a break, let the kids play and burn off some energy. Also, toilet breaks… enough said. No one wants to be deep into the Karoo and hear “Mommy I neeeed the toileeet”.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

If you have time before you go, prepare your own version of a road trip lucky packet with pre-printed activities, or give your kids each a blank book that can become a travel journal. Kids who are old enough to colour, write and count can be encouraged to learn something along the way about the places they are visiting. Writing down the names of the places they have been to, how far they were from your starting point, what they noticed etc. One way to make this easier is to pack in a small tray (a new baking tray works well) which can be used on their laps as a surface for colouring or writing.

COMFORT IS KEY

Make sure kids are travelling in comfy, stretchy clothes with shoes that are easy to put on. Taking shoes off when you get back in the car and storing in the door of the car also help when you come to a stop. Having to haul everything out to find them will only cause tension.

Keep a spare set of clothes for each kid in a bag that is separate to your suitcases and keep it in an easily accessible place. You never know when you may need to change due to an unavoidable spill or mess.

Also, a pillow each and a small blanket each will make having a snooze more pleasant.

A SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A HAPPY ROAD TRIP WITH KIDS

  • Pack healthy, tasty snacks which can be doled out at regular intervals.
  • Use a juice bottle with a sports style lid that can be refilled to avoid sticky messes and unnecessary and expensive roadside purchases.
  • Pack smart entertainment that is not just digital. Toys, books and a travel journal are all good ideas. Use a small tray to provide a surface to work on.
  • Comfy kids are happy kids. Make sure their clothing is comfy and that they have a pillow and a blanket each for when they want to snooze, those will be the golden hours.
  • Take regular breaks and see the journey as part of the holiday, not just a means to an end.

Planning a road trip? Check out these padkos ideas and recipes.

Easy Summer Lollies

Summer is well and truly upon us and what better way is there than to cool down with a refreshing ice lolly? We certainly can’t think of a better one. We all have memories of holidays spent in the sunshine, licking an ice lolly and having it melt down your arm. It’s just the best. However, store-bought lollies aren’t necessarily the healthiest things available, they’re packed with sugars and preservatives and who knows what else. Here are some ridiculously easy recipes to make your own lollies this summer, all you really need is a blender of some description and the lolly moulds, which you can often find at well-stocked kitchen stores or even plastic stores such as Mambo’s. Get your daily fruit in, the fun way this summer.

Easy Summer Fruit Lollies

TRIPLE BERRY BLASTER LOLLIES

Berry crazy? Then this popsicle is right up your alley. With layers of strawberries, cherries and blueberries, this screams summer and looks fun and enticing too.

Recipe for Triple Berry Blaster Lollies

WATERMELON REFRESHER LOLLIES

It just wouldn’t be summer without some watermelon and this lolly is super refreshing. Made only with watermelon, coconut cream and a mix of kiwi, spinach and mint, these are not only delicious, but they’re pretty healthy.

Recipe for Watermelon Refresher Lollies

Easy Summer Lollies

LUSCIOUS GRANADILLA AND VODKA SORBET LOLLIES

The perfect summer dessert, with a bit of added adult fun! If you’re feeling like a non-boozy version, just take out the vodka!

Recipe for Granadilla Ice lollies

FRESH LEMONADE & MINT POPSICLE

Fresh and minty and oh-so-yum!

Recipe for Lemonade & Mint Popsicle

Chocolatey Ice Lollies

Easy Summer Lollies
Easy Summer Lollies

CHOCOLATE LOLLIES WITH CANDY

These are so easy to make and kids will love them.

Recipe for Chocolate Lollies with Candy

CHOCOLATE COATED PINE COLADA POPSICLES

A summery treat full of tropical flavour! Who knew that chocolate and pineapple go together so harmoniously.

Recipe for Chocolate Coated Pine Colada Popsicles

Easy Summer Lollies
Easy Summer Lollies

FUDGY CHOCOLATE ICE LOLLIES

If you’re more of a chocolate fan, then this one is for you. This rich fudgesicle is so simple to put together and only requires a handful of ingredients. Coconut cream and cocoa powder make up the lolly itself and you have the option to dip them into white chocolate to make them a little more fun.

Recipe for Fudgy Ice Lollies

BANANA, DATE AND ALMOND PARFAIT LOLLIES WITH ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEYCOMB

A fun yet adult take on an ice cream lolly. This takes it to the next level with contrasting flavours and textures.

Recipe for Parfait Lollies 

YOGHURT ICE LOLLIES

Easy Summer Lollies
Easy Summer Lollies

MANGO POPSICLES WITH VANILLA FROZEN YOGHURT

We love the summery local flavour of these lollies.

Recipe for Mango Popsicles with Vanilla Frozen Yoghurt

FROZEN YOGHURT & NUT BUTTER POPS

These are LCHF/Banting friendly and are a fabulous sweet treat that’s healthy too.

Recipe for Frozen Yoghurt & Nut Butter Pops

Easy and Tasty Protein Alternatives for Vegans

There are plenty of reasons why people are increasingly becoming vegan, and to each person who has chosen this path, we salute you! It’s no easy feat, but with time and a little knowledge about plant-based proteins, it’s really a lot more vibrant and exciting than people think. Many people mistakingly think that vegans suffer from a lack of protein but this is just simply not the case – we debunk that theory here. Plenty of high-level athletes are vegans and they manage just fine. Below we’ll show you how you can get in plenty of plant-based proteins with this list of protein alternatives for vegans.

Easy Protein Alternatives for Vegans

We list some easy protein alternatives for vegans, what they are and how you can cook with them.

Meat-Cheats

Tofu

Tofu is probably one of the most common protein alternatives for vegans and vegetarians. Its ability to be cooked in various forms, styles and textures that resemble meat make it a favourable choice, alongside its ability to take on the flavour of almost anything.

Tofu is derived from fresh soy milk, which is curdled and then pressed into solid blocks and cooled – pretty much the same mechanism as making cheese with milk. The whey is washed off and what is left behind is tasty tofu, the versatile little blocks that we have come to know and love. Try this recipe for Grilled Tofu with Caponata.

Cooking tip: To make perfectly crispy fried tofu, make sure you drain your tofu first on paper towel and press for at least an hour, then toss in cornstarch and fry in a high temperature oil like sesame or coconut oil.

Protein per 100g: 8g

Tempeh

Tempeh is also a soy product, but different from tofu in that it is made from the soybeans themselves as opposed to pressed soy milk. The soybeans go through a fermentation process that binds the whole beans into a cake form. This binding of the whole beans retains a much higher protein content than tofu – more than double the amount! This is another one of the more popular protein alternatives for vegans and vegetarians.

Cooking tip: Marinate your tempeh in soy sauce, vinegar, citrus or natural sweeteners like honey or agave to significantly heighten the flavour.

Protein per 100g: 20g

Seitan/Vital Wheat Gluten

Seitan (pronounced satan) is another meat alternative and is probably the closest thing you’re going to get to the taste and texture of meat. Originating in Japan, and a popular ingredient in many Asian and Buddhist communities, seitan roughly translated means ‘made of proteins’.

This snazzy little snack is comprised of vital wheat gluten, a flour made by removing the starches from wheat, leaving behind only the primary protein gluten. Unfortunately, if you have a sensitivity to gluten, then this protein alternative aint for you. For those who can eat gluten, this is a great source of protein and is also one of the only meat-style protein alternatives for vegans that doesn’t contain soy.

Make your own seitan using store bought vital wheat gluten which you can find online.

Cooking tip: Seitan is beautiful in stir frys or made into steaks

Protein per 100 grams: 24g


Beans & Legumes

Beans

Beans have long-since been acknowledged as a staple protein for vegans and vegetarians around the world. There are numerous types of beans that offer high levels of protein and healthy-for-your-heart vitamins and minerals. In addition to protein, beans are also a good source of fiber, iron and potassium.

protein alternatives for vegans

The beans with the highest protein levels are edamame beans, black beans and kidney beans, but you’ll find plenty protein in broad beans, haricot beans and soybeans as well.

Cooking tip: Try our Refried Black Bean Tacos

Protein per 100g: Roughly 7 to 9 grams of protein depending on the bean

Peanuts

If you ever needed an excuse to tuck into some more peanut butter now you have one! Peanuts are part of the legume family and pack a whopping 25 grams of protein per 100 g. The downfall? Peanuts also have a high-fat content, so don’t eat too many. Try this recipe for Leafy Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Cooking tip: Make your own healthy peanut butter by roasting unsalted peanuts in the oven at 180 º degrees for 4-6 minutes, then blend them in a food processor to reach your desired consistency.

Protein per 100g: 25g

protein alternatives for vegans

Lentils

Lentils are also part of the legume family and these little guys pack tons of protein in small portions. What’s nice about lentils compared to other legumes and beans is that they’re relatively quick to prepare and soak up whatever flavour you make them with. Try this recipe for Herby Lentil Salad.

Cooking tip: Simmer your lentils gently in vegetable stock on a low heat to avoid splitting and for extra flavour.

Protein per 100g: 9g

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are the best. You can roast them, soak them, steam them and even cream them into one of the best foods in the world – hummus. Chickpeas are a major source of protein and are honestly so delicious in everything from salads to spreads. You can even make vegan mayo with the drained brine from the can of chickpeas, known as Aquafaba. Check out our Vegan Aquafaba Mayonnaise recipe

Cooking tip: If you are removing the skins/shells of your chickpeas, roast them in the oven instead of throwing them away for an added crispy crunch that you can throw on salads or avo toast.

Protein per 100 grams: 10g

easy protein alternatives for vegans

Peas

These little guys that we used to push around our plates as kids are another small member of the legume family that contain a good amount of protein and fibre. Pea protein powder is also a very popular protein shake alternative for vegan and lactose intolerant individuals that can’t use whey.

Cooking tip: Sauté your peas with onions and garlic instead of boiling them for better flavour.

Protein per 100 grams: 5.4g

easy protein alternatives for vegans


Green Veggies

Spinach

I mean, have you seen Popeye’s guns? Spinach is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Although spinach has protein, it isn’t a complete protein, which means that it doesn’t contain all the necessary amino acids necessary for muscle building, so be sure to eat a combination of veggies, legumes and beans to ensure that you get all the necessary inputs.

Cooking tip: Eat that baby spinach raw! The best thing about baby spinach is that you can easily chuck it in a salad like this one.

Protein per 100g: 2g

benefits-of-spinach

Broccoli

Broccoli is another popular green veg eaten for its protein properties, and like spinach and kale, it can be eaten raw (broccoli florets are delicious in salads). The protein in broccoli contains all the amino acids necessary for muscle growth, which is why it’s one of the more popular protein alternatives for vegans looking to pack on some extra meat.

Cooking tip: We love our broccoli with long stems and steamed to perfection with a slight crunch. Check out our delicious Chilli-Ginger Broccoli

Protein per 100g: 3g

Kale

Kale has become the popular kid on the veggie block for its concentrated levels of proteins and minerals compared to its other green leafy counterpart, spinach. It has twice the amount of protein and calcium than spinach, and almost four times the amount of vitamin C. It’s also got about four times the amount of chlorophyll-ish bitter taste.

Cooking tip: Make your own kale chips as a quick and healthy snack. Simply chop up your kale leaves and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Protein per 100g: 4.3g

protein alternatives for vegans


Grains

Quinoa

Quinoa is a fabulous little grain that you’ll find on many restaurant menus in salads and even porridges. Quinoa is another one of the few plants out there that contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for muscular development. Apart from its favourable content of protein, it’s also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Cooking tip: Mix your quinoa with a selection of veg, nuts and seeds for optimal protein intake. Try this delicious Roast Butternut & Quinoa Salad with Nuts & Seeds and swap out the yoghurt for vegan coconut yoghurt.

Protein per 100g: 4.4g

Wild Rice

This super-grain is packed with all the good stuff and almost double the amount of protein than brown rice. Wild rice is not in fact rice at all as the name suggests, however it grows in the same way as rice and has a similar consistency and texture to rice – with an added nutty flavour. One of the lesser-know protein alternatives for vegans.

Cooking tip: Try your wild rice with this Vegan Saffron and Veggie Biryani with Onion Salsa

Protein per 100g: 4.2g

Oats

Who doesn’t love a good bowl of creamy oats for brekkie? Oats are naturally gluten-free and can provide up to 20% of your required daily protein intake. They are loaded with good vitamins and minerals too, which make them the ideal breakfast option.

Cooking tip: Simmer your oats in water and cinnamon until cooked, then add slices of banana, a tablespoon of our favourite nut butter and a splash of almond milk.

Protein per 100g: 14g (raw oats)


Seeds

Chia Seeds

These little bad boys are packed with complete proteins and all sorts of vital goodness! These little miracle seeds are widely known for all their healing properties and nutrients. Apart from being packed with protein, they also have more omega-3’s than salmon, more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk! You’re welcome. Read more about these little nutrient powerhouses here.

Protein per 100g: 16.5g

protein alternatives for vegans

Hemp Seeds

Hemp really is a miracle plant. Not to be confused with its cousin marijuana, hemp is an incredibly fast-growing plant that can provide the means for textile material, oils, biodegradable plastic and glass, as well as food! Hemp seeds have a mild nutty flavour and are another source of complete vegan protein – about 13 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons! They are also rich in vitamins, iron, magnesium and chlorophyll – making them one of the best protein alternatives for vegans.

Other seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds also contain plenty of protein, however, aren’t complete sources of protein like chia and hemp seeds.

Cooking tip: Hemp seeds are great raw sprinkled over salads and smoothies – try our Get Up and Go smoothie

Protein per 100g: 32g

It’s easy to see that there is a huge variety of protein alternatives for vegans out there that don’t contain any animal by-products. To read more, see how we debunk vegan myths.

Making Rooibos Kombucha

Rooibos Kombucha the ultimate refreshing health drink with a South African twist!

History Behind Kombucha

Kombucha is a rising star in health circles of the Western World, but it has in fact, been around for thousands of centuries in the east. This fermented, live drink with a flavour reminiscent of apple cider, is said to first appear in records dating back to 221 BC in China and was known as ‘The Tea of Immortality’. A Korean doctor by the name of ‘Kombu’ treated an ailing Emperor with this ‘cha’ (tea), hence where it derives it’s name.

The use of the drink spread to Russia, puzzling researchers as to what it was that kept people in certain areas of the country healthy, and more specifically, cancer-free. Further investigation showed that a common link in these areas was that residents consumed what was called ‘tea kvass’, a powerhouse, fermented tea packed with nutrients. From here its usage spread to Germany and only around the 90s did it make its way to the US and other parts of the world.

SCOBY in Making Kombucha

A SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) is a rather odd looking, almost translucent and kind of slippery ‘being’ that almost resembles a jellyfish… for lack of a better description. It may look and feel rather odd, but this relationship of bacteria and yeasts is a veritable powerhouse! Once placed into sweetened tea, the SCOBY uses the sugar and converts what was once just tea, into a drink packed with minerals, vitamins (B and C), enzymes and acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid – all of which sound really scary, but are in fact super healthy! The probiotic microorganisms that effect this change, are in themselves, great for gut health. The biochemical activity of the SCOBY causes it to grow and form a new SCOBY through each batch that is brewed, which can be used as starters for future batches.

Rooibos Kombucha Is Easier To Make Than You Think

The brew, which is really easy to make at home, has many powerful benefits, namely detoxification, joint and gut health, to name just a few. For those who suffer with arthritis, drinking kombucha is said to help make symptoms more manageable – the brew contains glucosamines, which increase synovial (joint) hyaluronic acid, relieving arthritic pain. Many athletes also swear by it for helping the body rebuild tissue (in the knees specifically) and others find its detoxification properties essential to their training. It is full of hardworking probiotics that are great for the gut, intestines and the rest of the body and those living a healthy, clean and natural lifestyle drink use it as a mainstay in their overall dietary health.

Kombucha is easy and inexpensive to make, and therefore the commercial interest in researching its many benefits has been limited. Those who drink Kombucha swear by its powerful benefits, and certainly thousands of years worth of continued usage must count for something. Now Imagine the combination of Rooibos to get Rooibos Kombucah, the proof is really in the pudding so to speak, and you won’t really know until you try it for yourself – so get brewing.

Recipe: Making Rooibos Kombucha Tea

Makes 2 litres

2 l boiling water
4 rooibos teabags
½ C (125 ml) unrefined cane sugar
1 C (250 ml) kombucha tea from previous batch
kombucha SCOBY (buy or ask a friend who is also brewing)

optional flavourings (will only be needed when bottling)
– slices of fresh apple, vanilla pod, freshly picked mint leaves, fresh ginger, cloves, star anise.

You will also need glass mason jars to brew in (enough to hold 2l of liquid, as well as muslin or cheesecloth to cover and string or a rubber band to seal to make your rooibos kombucha
Ingredients-Kombucha
Put the water into a saucepan, add the tea bags and bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, switch off the heat and let the tea bags steep for about 15 mins. Stir occasionally. Allow the tea to cool down slightly and then add the sugar. Stir until it is all dissolved
Making Rooibos KombuchaKombucha-Adding-Sugar-2
Making rooibos kombucha
Pour the tea into your brewing container/s – preferably clean, glass mason jars with wide necks. (Note: do not wash containers with cleaning products that may kill the SCOBY, instead clean with boiled water or distilled vinegar and allow to dry naturally).

Allow the tea to cool to room temperature and then add the tea from the previous kombucha batch and stir. Lastly, place the SCOBY into the tea. (Note: also keep your hands free from chemicals, such as cleaning products, when handling the SCOBY. It is very delicate!)
Kombucha-adding-old-mixKombucha-Adding-SCOBY-
Scoby-in-kombucha
Sealing-Kombucha
Cover the top of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, ensuring that it does not come into contact with the SCOBY. Leave sealed in a warm spot, but away from direct sunlight for 7-10 days.

Brewing kombucha will require some trial and error to get the right flavour profile. Brewing speed will also be dependent on weather conditions, the hotter the temperature, the faster the fermentation will happen and conversely the cooler, the slower. If the tea tastes too sweet, it may be that it has not fermented enough, as most of the sugar should have been converted – the resulting flavour should be slightly tangy with a mild fizz. A vinegary, or very sour brew may have gone past the correct stage.

Once you feel your brew has reached the correct flavour profile, scoop the SCOBY out and place into a clean jar along with enough brew to keep it covered. Decant the remaining tea into smaller mason jars and add flavourings if using. Flavourings can be added in quantities depending on the strength of flavour you prefer.   Kombucha-flavourings
Rough Guidelines 
For apple, add 2-3 slices per jar.
For vanilla, split the pods lengthways and add the whole pod (1-2).
For ginger, slice ginger and add a few slices depending on the strength preferred.
For mint, add a small handful of freshly picked, washed mint leaves.
For a spicy flavour, add a combination of cloves, star anise, 2-3 per jar. Vanilla can be added as well.
Kombucha-vanilla
Kombucha-bottles-flavour
Kombucha-finished
Seal with a proper lid, label with the flavour and the date of brewing and then refrigerate so that the flavours infuse. Drink and enjoy all the healthy benefits that Rooibos Kombucha has to offer!

With thanks to our friend and neighbour Misha O’Dale from Greenpop for showing us how.

Winter Comfort Food Favourites

Many will moan and groan about the miserable winter weather, but as a food lover, it’s one of the best times of the year. During the cold months, the braai takes a backseat and it’s time for the Dutch ovens and crockpots to shine. Hearty, slow-cooked meals take centre stage here. Fragrant curries bubble away for hours while delicate flavours develop, and of course, who doesn’t love a wintery pud?  The cold weather and necessary layers of clothing is also a great excuse for indulging – after all, we must be burning calories to keep warm, right?

These four recipes are our picks for winter comfort food – they’re belly-warming hits that may take a bit of time to create, but will be worth it in every bite.

4 Winter Comfort Food Recipes

Slow-cooked Beef Ragú with Tagliatelle

Slow cooked Meat Ragu

A real ragú is a total labour of love. There is a reason that Italians learn the art of making it from their nonnas, and that’s because nonnas have years of experience and plenty of patience. They are from an era without modern conveniences and the need for immediacy, and they appreciate that good things take time.

The other thing that nonnas know, is that putting love into your food makes all the difference. This ragú is going to take a little time to produce, but after tasting it, you won’t be able to look an average meat sauce in the eye again. It’s packed with meaty flavour, plus a punch of Parmesan and truthfully you’ll probably be spoilt for life after this experience.

It’s that good. Take our advice, double the recipe, set yourself up on a lazy Sunday to prepare it, and then use it in various dishes throughout the week. That’s smart cooking – just as nonna would expect.

Recipe for Slow-cooked Beef Ragú with Tagliatelle


Lamb Shank Rogan Josh

Lamb Shank Rogan Josh

The smell of an aromatic curry is pretty special, add lamb shanks into the mix and you have a mouth-watering combo. Rogan Josh is of Persian origin, and is now a popular dish on Kashmiri menus; most often made with lamb, this fragrant curry is fairly mild but full of bold flavour.

This version deviates slightly from the traditional one with the addition of a little cream, but the base of yoghurt marinade with a combination of spices and aromatics remains the same. Serve with buttery rotis to mop up all the tasty sauce.

Recipe for Lamb Shank Rogan Josh


Short Rib Pies with Potato Topping

winter comfort food

Forget commercial pies, these homemade ones are wall-to-wall with meaty filling. Don’t be scared off by the thought of making your own pastry either – this is a simple shortcrust that is super easy to make and to work with. Because this pie filing is quite rich, we opted to top with a layer of crispy, butter-brushed potato slices, taking inspiration from a traditional Lancashire Hot Pot.

You could always seal completely with pastry if preferred. The slow-cooked beef short rib filling can also be a base for other dishes. The ultimate winter comfort food.

Recipe for Short Rib Pies with Potato Topping


Country Pumpkin Pie

winter comfort food

Pumpkin Pie is to Americans what Milk Tart is to us – a revered national treasure. We decided to make a ‘deep dish’ version using this winter veg and used a buttery crumbled biscuit base.

The addition of cinnamon and allspice brings home the wintery flavour and the crispy bacon topping… well why not? If it’s too cold for ice cream this pie will be equally delicious with a blob of whipped cream sweetened with a splash of real maple syrup.

Recipe for Country Pumpkin Pie

Check out these recipes for the most delicious soups.

 

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag: How to Make a Happy Sakkie

You’re going to need to keep yourself warm in the cold winter, so instead of buying another hot water bottle or a boring beanbag, get a little crafty this weekend and make your own personalised DIY microwaveable beanbag.

HappySakkieDIY_1000x560

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag

What you’ll need:

– 1 – 2 packets of pearl barley per beanbag

– 2 pieces (26 cm x 24 cm) fun fabric for the outside cover (we used this beautiful from our friends at Zana)

– 2 pieces (24 cm x 22 cm) plain calico or something similar for the inner cover

– sewing materials

What to do:

To make your ‘happy sakkie’, start by measuring and cutting your material to the right size. Because we had such awesome fabric from the team at Zana, we chose two different prints to use on either side.

Once your inner material is cut and you have your 2 sides, put the right sides together facing inwards and sew along 3 of the sides, as if making a pillowcase; make sure you leave one side open where you can fill.

Turn your ‘pillowcase’ outside in, so the sewing edge is tucked inside. You can now fill your bag with pearl barley, don’t pack it too full, a good test is to hold the open edge closed and lay on a flat surface to see that the contents spread and the bag is not overfull. You can then sew the inside cover shut completely.

You are then going to repeat the steps above with the selected outside print material, again creating a pillowcase and sewing along 3 edges. Turn the pillowcase outside in and slip your already sealed beanbag inside the cover. Turn the open edges of the material inwards to create a neat edge and seal with a final row of stitching.

And there you have it, a homemade DIY microwaveable beanbag that can be heated for 2 – 3 minutes at a time and if under a blanket, will stay warm for hours.

We love putting ours at the bottom of the bed, under the cover, so it’s nice and toasty when its time to jump in!

Love this DIY Microwaveable BeanbagMore Weekend Project inspiration? Click HERE.

HappySakkie_1000x560_main

DIY Microwaveable Beanbag

Our Top Wellness Retreats in South Africa

 

Day-to-day life can take its toll on the body, mind and soul. Sometimes, all we need is a little break from the mundane or chaotic stresses that come with balancing a career and everyday life. Fear not though – we have a comprehensive list of wellness retreats far and wide across South Africa for you to unbend your busy body at.

Wellness Retreats South Africa

Cape Town

TEMENOS RETREAT & WELLNESS CENTRE

wellness retreats

Meaning a sacred, peaceful space – Temenos Retreat and Wellness Centre offers an idyllic oasis for visitors to enjoy a truly wellness-oriented retreat away from the city. Situated in the beautiful and quaint town of McGregor, it’s a short drive and a well-deserved escape from the busy hustle and bustle in Cape Town.

The fairytale setting of Temenos allows you to fully relax and unwind. The centre holds beautiful prayer and reflection areas, as well as extensive green gardens, dotted with colourful flowers, trees and wildlife. The centre offers a full range of treatments, as well as numerous structured wellness retreats which run all throughout the year. These include meditation and mindfulness, yoga, inner growth and silent retreats which you can find in their diary.

Location: Bree St, McGregor
Contact: 023 625 1871

temenos.org.za


BODHI KHAYA

wellness retreats

Bodhi Khaya sits snugly at the foot of the Witkransberg in the beautiful Overberg region, a short 2-hour drive from Cape Town. This welcoming spiritual oasis is home to over 200-hectares of indigenous fynbos and milkwood forest, an opportune space to connect with nature, loved ones, and most importantly, yourself.

Owner, Georgina Hamilton, has nurtured this space into a sanctuary for those who wish to escape for awhile and foster their hearts and minds. Bodhi Khaya encapsulates a blend of Buddhism with South African culture, ‘Bodhi” meaning ‘awareness’, and ‘khaya’ holding the very essence of the definition ‘home’. The expansive space and welcoming atmosphere allow for calm reflection amongst the ample forestry. Bodhi Khaya offers a wide variety of wellness retreats and workshops to book in for, so it is advised to browse their website and secure your spot.

NOTE: Bodhi Khaya is undergoing some refurbishments and will be open again for retreats in October 2018. The self-catering cottages, however, are still available.

Location: R43 towards Gaansbaai
Contact: 028 388 0156

bodhi-khaya.co.za


THE HYDRO

wellness retreats

Less than an hour outside Cape Town, the Hydro can be found nestled in the most beautiful part of Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the most spectacular array of views, from the jagged Simonsberg mountains to expansive lawns and rolling hills into orchards and vineyards, this place has it all. Perfect for escaping the stresses and chaos of day-to-day life.

Whether you intend on addressing health issues, need to rejuvenate or simply want to temporarily run away from real life for a short while – the Hydro has something for everyone. Indulge in their numerous detoxification therapies and usual spa treatments, or opt to include yourself in one of their famous retreats.

Location: Lelie St, Idas Valley, Stellenbosch
Contact: 021 809 3800

thehydro.co.za


DHAMMA PATAKA VIPASSANA CENTRE

wellness retreats

This is not akin to the other luxurious wellness retreats mentioned here. This wellness journey is a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Worcester – and not for the faint-hearted.

Vipassana means “to see things as they really are”. It is a process of self-purification by self-observation. This retreat is designed for those who want to delve into the depths of their minds, and really challenge themselves to redesign their thought patterns and practice inner peace. The 10-day stay is a very humbling experience, consisting predominantly of meditation and reflection, with no verbal communication allowed during the course. It is not a five-star luxury accommodation and spa with treatments and fine dining like many other retreats, but rather a stay within the grounds with simple provided vegetarian meals during the 10-day course. The courses are solely run on a donation basis, and therefore no costs are involved partaking in this wellness retreat.

Location: Brandwacht Farm, Worcester
Contact: 023 004 0147

dhamma.org


CAPE TOWN RETREATS

wellness retreats

Only a 90 minute drive from Cape Town will bring you to the beautiful Cape Town Retreats local centre. The new venture is under the management of Annie Wyatt, a Cape Town based detoxing specialist and yoga teacher. The retreat focuses on cleansing practices through juice fasting and light daily activities that promise to enhance your overall wellbeing. These include morning yoga classes, beginner and advanced Pilates sessions to strengthen and support the physical changes, as well as daily walks. 

In addition to Cape Town Retreats, Annie has also recently launched Namaste Retreats India in partnership with Veechi Shahi, to be held in Gokarna, in the Southern region of India and in Rishikesh up North near the Himalayas. Veechi  is a Transformational Life and Wellness Coach based in Mumbai. Their respective cultural backgrounds, skills and professional experience complement each other to offer retreat travellers the best of both world.

Location: Guinevere Guest Farm, Portion 1 of Farm 402, Main Road, Tulbagh
Contact: 084 297 5736

capetownretreats.co.za


Garden Route

TROGON HOUSE

wellness retreats

Enter Trogon House – an intimate wilderness wonderland, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This untouched stretch of dense forest envelopes Trogon House in all its green glory. All you can see outside of the glass walls is an entanglement of vines, branches and brilliantly green leaves releasing streaks of sunshine and rainfall.

The lodge is comprised of a mere 5 suites, so the experience is guaranteed to be as peaceful and uninterrupted as possible. Stroll over wooden walkways above the dense forest and breathe in the deliciously fresh air produced by all the beautiful trees. The lodge has a restaurant, communal lounge, and elevated deck with a swimming pool and views over the dense, wild forest and valley. The forest spa is available at an extra cost,and accommodates only one couple at a time to ensure a truly relaxing experience. Kitted out with a sauna, fireplace, massage tables, a daybed and jacuzzi. Bubbly included too!

Location: Animal Alley, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
Contact: 044 534 8191

trogonhouse.co.za


Johannesburg

FAIRLAWNS

wellness retreats

Forget escaping the city – this spot in Johannesburg will transport you to the revamped homestead of Marie Antoinette. Drawing from French provincial inspiration, the boutique hotel boasts amazing attention to detail, beautiful architecture, and an awe-inspiring setting to de-stress and disconnect.

The whole venue just spills over with opulence and luxury, with numerous suites and private villas to choose from. Step away from your provincial French experience and into the Balinese-style outdoor spa. A bamboo-inspired forest available to guests, offering a range of signature Asian-inspired treatments and therapies sure to knead and manicure all of your problems away.

Location: 1 Alma Road, Morningside, Gallo Manor, Sandton
Contact: 011 808 7300

fairlawnshotel.co.za


KZN

KARKLOOF SAFARI SPA

wellness retreats

Sink into this luxurious bush experience renowned for being one of the best wellness retreats in the country. The landscape, buzzing with grazing game and wonderful wildlife, stretches across the rolling hills and mountainous setting of the KZN region.

The Safari Spa at Karkloof is exceptional and as a guest, you don’t need to book an appointment here. Simply stroll over the wooden boardwalks to the spa and pick from the enormous list of treatments on offer, all of which are included in the daily rate. Have a dip in one of their bubbling Roman baths or flotation pools while you wait for your therapist to call you, and enjoy your peaceful treatment amongst the trees. If massages and plunge pools aren’t your ideal stress-relievers – guided meditation, yoga classes and executive wellness classes are also on offer. Day trips are also available to those who are not staying at the lodge.

Location: Ottos Bluff Rd, Chase Valley, Pietermaritzburg
Contact: 033 569 1324

karkloofsafarispa.com


Eastern Cape

UMNGAZI RIVER BUNGALOWS AND SPA

wellness retreats

Hidden in the foothills of the Transkei, far away from modern civilization, Umngazi River Bungalows sits at the meeting point between the Indian ocean and river, offering the most beautiful views of the Wild Coast and complete serenity.

The vast surrounding landscape encapsulates an outstretching ocean and rolling hills untouched by civilization. Go for a relaxing walk/jog along one of the trails on the hills overlooking the shoreline, or kayak to dunes and beaches that stretch over kilometres – you may even receive a visit from wild cows and animal life that share the space. The Umngazi River Spa has beautiful treatment rooms with wooden balconies that overlook the lagoon and sea. Enjoy a number of treatments on offer or a hydro bath in one of the little bungalows along the ridge, and finish off with a beautiful outdoor shower found along the wooden walkways. Finally, you can end the day on a sunset boat ride and trawl along the lagoon, kitted out with drinks and snacks – bliss!

Location: Mgazi, Port St Johns
Contact: 047 564 1115

umngazi.co.za


Mpumalanga

SUMMERFIELDS RETREAT AND SPA

wellness retreats

Feel at one with nature in this ultimate glamping experience. Summerfields exudes a raw and rustic feel, designed to truly immerse you in the basics of nature, without foregoing the luxury of five-star accommodation and service.

Situated amongst thick green bushveld beside the Sabie River, and orchards holding 100-acres of macadamia and litchi trees, Summerfields holds a truly magical presence. The tents are more like luxury canvassed lodges that include everything that you would find in a top hotel – only you feel as though you are living in the trees. In our opinion – these kinds of wellness retreats are far better than any high rise hotel in the city! The gorgeous Rose Spa can be accessed over wooden boardwalks, and with only two wooden walls on either side and a roof, you can marvel at the views and enjoy the sounds of the river while receiving your treatments.

Location: R536 Hazyview – Sabie Road Hazyview
Contact: 013 737 6500

summerfields.co.za

The Amazing Health Benefits of Spinach

There’s a reason Popeye loved spinach so much. This mean, green vegetable is packed with nutrients that would get anyone fighting fit. But just how good is spinach for you? Well, we’ll tell you about the amazing health benefits of spinach right here.

WHAT IS SPINACH?

Spinach is technically defined as an edible flowering plant and its leaves are eaten as a vegetable. It’s a pretty hard-working leaf, as nearly every cuisine makes use of spinach in some way or another, as it can be eaten cooked or raw.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR SPINACH?

Well, spinach is available throughout the year but technically it comes into season in South Africa in the late spring, early summer time of the year.

benefits-of-spinach

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPINACH?

Looking at spinach, the first thing you’ll notice the dark green colour of the leaves. This indicates high levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

These powerful phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-cancerous ones and are especially important for healthy eyesight, as they help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that causes vision loss. So, if you have a particular interest in your eyesight, the spinach aisle should be your first port of call.

Salmon and Spinach poke bowl

As we know, Popeye cracked open his can of spinach to harness all its iron power. And while spinach does contain good levels of iron, it doesn’t contain quite as much as originally believed. Spinach contains non-haem iron, which can be slightly harder for the human body to absorb, as opposed to haem iron, found in animal products, which is the most efficiently absorbed form of iron. Having said that, vegetarians are always encouraged to include lots of spinach in their diets.

The rest of spinach’s nutritional value is made up of Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folic acid and calcium.

Get the recipe for this Green Mamba Spinach Smoothie.

BENEFITS OF BABY SPINACH?

Baby spinach is exactly what it says on the packet. Baby spinach is harvested earlier than regular spinach – obviously – there is about days between them. In the debate of which spinach is better for you, the results are inconclusive and vary.

Generally speaking though, the nutrients are much the same in both, but the benefit of picking baby spinach over regular is that it’s nicer to eat raw. This means you can simply throw it into a salad or a smoothie, making it easier to eat a lot of it.

Delicious recipes using Spinach

Try this Spinach and Smoked Mozzarella Tarte Flambée for a quick and nutritious alternative to pizza.  These Mediterannean-inspired Stuffed Chicken Breasts will take a midweek meal from boring to fabulous.

Spinach Flambe recipe
Spinach stuffed chicken breasts

Cooking and Baking Classic British Recipes with Miele

Miele Article BannerThe ongoing Royal family hype has given us a hankering for classic, homely recipes from the land of bangers and mash. Ever looked at the queen in her snazzy get-up and developed a craving for jam and cream-smothered scones? Us too. We’ve selected some of the most iconic British recipes out there to honour the birth of the newest addition to the royal family. Try your hand at these classic English dishes to celebrate the Harry-Meghan baby, and, when reading the recipes, please do so in your best British accent.

Classic British Recipes fit for the royal family

Classic Tea Scones

British recipes

There really isn’t anything more British than tea and scones is there? It’s quite impossible to not feel incredibly snazzy when sipping on English tea and eating scones.

All hail the scone: Scones are thought to have originated in Scotland in the early 1500s. As is often the case with food though, the exact origins can be muddy. Some say the name “scone” comes from the Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’, meaning beautiful bread. Another school of thought is that it comes from the Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned.

This teatime classic is baked to golden perfection, smothered in sweet strawberry jam and topped with whipped Chantilly cream. An impossibly delicious combination that will make you smitten for scones.

Recipe for Classic Tea Scones


Beef Wellington

British recipes

Beef wellie is a seemingly simple looking dish but this guy takes a bit of effort to perfect. The results, however, are 100% worthwhile. A beef Wellington is pretty much everything you want in a comforting dinner dish – juicy meat and umami mushroom flavour encased inside crispy puff pastry.

What’s in a name? Beef Wellington is said to have been named after soldier, Arthur Wellesley, who is famous for defeating Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. He was made the first Duke of Wellington in honour of this.

Our fillet is seared in a cast iron pan until caramelised, slathered with an English mustard paste and a mushroom duxelle, rolled in parma ham and housed inside golden puff pastry.

Recipe for Beef Wellington


Yorkshire Puddings

British recipes

Yorkshire puddings are the perfect vessels for housing all the delish gravy made with your Sunday roast. Another classic British recipe that is, in fact, savoury and not a pudding at all.

Catch the fat: Yorkshire puddings apparently came about when cooks in the 1700s placed trays of batter under meat cooking over a fire in order to make use of the drippings. These puffed up fat breads were often served with gravy as a starter as an inexpensive way to fill up diners before more expensive meat courses. Clever!

There are two secrets to making perfect Yorkies – the first is to wait for your muffin tin to be smoking hot in the oven before pouring your batter in. This results in the bowl-shaped effect of the puds, which is necessary for holding all that gorgeous gravy. The second is  to leave the batter left in the fridge overnight – no one knows exactly why, but this seems to yield the best and fluffiest pastries you can get.

Recipe for Yorkshire Puddings 


Eton Mess

British recipes

This classic British dessert is the epitome of ‘less is more’. The best thing about an Eton Mess is that there’s really no right way of doing it, you basically throw it all together and it tastes amazing.

Getting schooled: Eton Mess, as you’ve probably guessed, is linked to Eton College, the school most famous for its history of royal scholars. The dish is said to have been served from the school tuck shop and other stories have it as a traditional dish served at an annual cricket match between the school and rivals, Harrow. Some say the original dish was dropped and what was served was the scraped up version. Since no stories can be proved we’re content to live with the legend as is.

We layer sweet strawberry compote, chewy meringue, chantilly cream and fresh fruit to form one of the simplest and tastiest desserts.

Recipe for Eton Mess

Love entertaining? Check out these delicious braai sides and our favourite recipes for dining al fresco.

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A Glorious Easter Feast with Miele

Miele Article BannerEaster is another smashing holiday in our calendar where food takes centre stage. It’s a time where families come together to celebrate the simple pleasures of Easter egg hunts, entertaining the kids and most importantly: the Easter Feast. We have four courses of Easter deliciousness that you can make for your day of celebrations.

A Glorious Easter Feast with Miele

Cream Cheese and Pancetta Surprise Devilled Eggs

easter feasting

Devilled eggs are a party favourite, yes, they’re a legacy from the 70s party scene but they’ve stood the test of time for a reason – they’re delicious. This Easter we’re giving our devilled eggs a Kinder Egg kind of surprise by popping a sneaky piece of crispy pancetta in the bottom before adding the filling, yum!

Recipe for Cream Cheese and Pancetta Surprise Devilled Eggs


Honey and Chilli Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Cashews

Easter Feasting

An Easter meal wouldn’t be complete without a carrot side. These honey and chilli carrots are roasted to charry perfection and then topped with crispy bacon and cashew nuts for crunch. They are the perfect accompaniment for your Porchetta main.

Our carrots are golden-roasted in a mix of honey, chilli, lemon and olive oil and served with toasted cashew nuts.

Recipe for Honey and Chilli Roasted Carrots with Bacon and Cashews


Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion

Easter Feasting

Leave it to the Italians to take roast pork, which is already amazing, and bump it up to legendary status with the Porchetta. It’s everything that’s good about food all rolled into one crispy, herby, succulent flavour bomb. If you’re looking for an Easter showstopper centrepiece then look no further.

Our pork belly is butterflied and smeared with a delicious spread of herby goodness, rolled up nice and snug and popped into the fridge overnight. Once rested and at room temperature, the pork is roasted to juicy, crispy perfection together with our onions, fennel and pears.

Recipe for Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion


No-Bake Hot Cross Crème Brûlée

Easter Feasting

Baked crème brûlées are notoriously troublesome. If you’re catering an Easter meal and don’t want the hassle, try this easier-to-master no-bake version. We make the custard stove-top and set in the fridge before bruléeing.

We’ve combined two of our fav treats by infusing the custard of the crème brûlée with the flavour of Hot Cross Buns, with the added surprise of currents hidden at the bottom. Delish!

Recipe for No-Bake Hot Cross Bun Crème Brûlée

For more inspiration for your Easter feast, check out our list of delish holiday food including a stunning Beef Wellington and Classic Tea Scones for Easter brunch.

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Redefining ‘Cool’ with Miele’s MasterCool Refrigeration

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Designed to exceed your expectations, the Miele MasterCool range comprises fridges, freezers and a wine storage unit that offers best-in-market functionality, style and efficiency.

Says Miele’s Liam Gawne: “Simply put – you know you have really arrived if your kitchen features Miele’s absolutely stunning range of MasterCool refrigeration appliances. Designed to last for a minimum of 20 years, the state-of-the-art MasterCool range is made of the highest quality materials, and features cutting-edge cooling technology and German engineering precision.

In every aspect, Miele’s legendary reliability is apparent – giving you peace of mind that your quality of food and valuable wines are protected.”

MasterCool

Miele’s Mastercool refrigeration appliances take cool to the next level

All Mastercool appliances offer only the best features that money can buy. They are super energy efficient, boasting A+ energy rating, and they feature SoftClose technology, which ensures that at an angle of 30 degrees or less, the self-closing doors close automatically in a soft and gentle manner.

BrilliantLight is another top-end feature ensuring that every corner of the interior cabinet is illuminated on each level to achieve maximum exposure of all contents, using uniquely engineered halogen lamps that cascade light from the top and sides of the appliance, eliminating blind or dark areas.

All Mastercool appliances feature the innovative Drop and Lock technology, which guarantees infinitely height-adjustable internal containers, notes Liam: “The containers located on the interior side of the doors are infinitely adjustable and easy to lock into place for maximum storage efficiency.” He says that maximum capacity is another convenient feature of Miele’s MasterCool range:

“MasterCool is well known for its large proportions, with refrigeration compartments as big as 675-litres, and its freezers of up to 495 litres – ensuring that there is enough space for all your refrigeration needs.”

MasterCool

Custom Compartments

Perhaps one of the most innovative features in the MasterCool range of fridges and freezers is the revolutionary food-driven menu system that is touch-based, easy to operate and has four independent cooling zones, adds Liam: “MasterCool offers an easy solution for the difficult task of choosing the proper settings for everything from fruit and vegetables, through to salmon and exotic cheeses, by automatically optimising the humidity levels and temperature in the individual storage drawers.

“In the humidity-controlled MasterFresh drawers, your food is stored in individual microclimates.”

“The temperature is kept at an appropriate constant level, and the humidity is perfectly adapted to suit the type of food being stored in each drawer. In this way, MasterFresh ensures that your food, especially fruit and vegetables, stay fresh for much longer. To operate, simply select the drawer location and the type of food from the Menu, and it will adjust the humidity accordingly.”

MasterCool

DynaCool is featured in all MasterCool fridges. It ensures an even temperature throughout the entire cooling cabinet, notes Liam: “It no longer matters on which level your food is stored because conditions are the same throughout the entire refrigeration cabinet. The familiar levels of ‘warmer at the top, cooler at the bottom’ in conventional refrigerators are finally a thing of the past with DynaCool.”

Standout features

The MasterCool freezers include a built-in ice maker and NoFrost technology, notes Liam: “With the IceMaker, your fridge-freezer produces up to 100 fresh ice cubes a day, fully automatically. With a mains water connection, ice cubes are constantly produced until the ice cube container is full.

This gives you more time to enjoy iced drinks. With the NoFrost system, you never have to defrost your Miele refrigeration appliance again.

The NoFrost system distributes cold, dry air evenly so that ice cannot form in the interior cabinet. Furthermore, ice deposits do not form on your frozen food and, without layers of ice on the interior, drawers can always be opened and closed easily. NoFrost offers maximum convenience for freezing food and saves you the hassle of defrosting – forever.”

MasterCool

When it comes to MasterCool wine conditioning units, temperature is ultimately the most important factor, says Liam: “The optimum temperature for storing wine is between 10°C and 12°C. Any change in temperature on a daily or weekly basis can have a detrimental effect and cause it to age prematurely.

The MasterCool makes certain that temperature fluctuations will not occur, and they are fitted with up to three temperature zones that can be controlled separately. Up to three different types of wine such as red wine, white wine, champagne or sparkling wine, can be stored at the same time and under perfect conditions.”

UV rays can cause chemical reactions in wines, which is why Miele’s MasterCool wine unit boasts glass doors that are made of tinted safety glass with integrated UV filter – protecting your wines from harmful UV rays.

Miele’s Active AirClean Filter ensures odourless storage conditions for your wine, Liam explains: “The innovative combination of active charcoal and chitosan, a natural product, eliminates virtually all odours in the refrigerator section. The filter is quick and easy to fit and is ready to be used straight away.”

MasterCool

Liam concludes that if you would like the best refrigeration that money can buy, then you need to look no further than Miele’s MasterCool range:

“MasterCool appliances offer the best in terms of convenience each and every day, such as ideal food storage conditions, dispensing of ice and water, and fast and convenient handling.”

Try your hand at this delish White Chocolate Semifreddo with Pistachios and Rose Syrup that you can set in your MasterCool Miele fridge

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Ashlee Lloyd Design Studio: Looping in Luminescence

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The Cape Town creative space is unequivocally beaming with young, unique and talented individuals. Ashlee Lloyd is one such creative who is pushing the boundaries of traditional lighting design by combining her love for artisanal crochet and industrial design.

Ashlee speaks to us about growth and struggle, as well as her journey of self-discovery through using her hands and her medium of crochet and lighting.

Ashlee Lloyd

Bolts, Nuts and Necklaces

From the moment Ashlee Lloyd was introduced into this world, her environment has been a creative catalyst, laying the foundations that she has built her career upon. Her mother, a creative art director in the film industry, and father, a quirky mechanical engineer, brought Ashlee up in a slightly unconventional way.

Her childhood was less about Barbie dolls and more about absorbing the ongoings of her parents’ projects in the family garage – a pivotal location for learning in her life. Her dad would be spontaneously disassembling machinery with no intention of putting it back together and her mom would be immersed in the intricacies of her creative restoration projects.

“I was one of those kids playing in the garage with nuts and bolts making necklaces,” says Ashlee.

Through the processes of her parents’ respective passion projects, Ashlee started to pick up on the things she loved about textures, design and practical mechanics. She began adopting a beautiful combination of feminine creativity and masculine practicality, which are both evident in her work today.

Going Against the Grain

From her early school days, Ashlee knew she wanted to follow her own direction and create using her own unique form of expression. She took design as a subject in high school and used the crochet skills she had learned from her mother to design various forms of furniture for her school projects. Her work, however, wasn’t always well-received.

“I wasn’t always the most liked student in school by my teachers. They would always tell me that my work wasn’t practical or that it wouldn’t work out or that it was going to get dirty, but I just did it anyways,” Ashlee says.

She continued to defy her teachers’ sense of practicality and created pieces that resonated with her own aesthetic. In lieu of receiving top-marks in her class, she was able to express her own creative direction that best suited her style and it eventually paid off.

Ashlee Lloyd

Ashlee went on to complete her Btech Honours in 3D Design at CPUT and focused on lighting in her third year. This, she told us, was due to her infatuation with light, electricity and how things are wired together.

Her final year presented similar challenges in producing work that wasn’t sufficiently tactile, creative, nor that she found synergy with. Disconnected from her thesis project, she decided to submit some of her personal work to the Southern Guild and their positive response sparked a turning point in her career.

“They loved my style and the work that I submitted but they wanted something completely different. That’s when I realised I wanted to go big and that’s where Molecular was born.” says Ashlee.

Enlightenment

With the money she’d saved, Ashlee purchased the materials to create her Molecular chandelier and returned to her family garage where it all began.

For three months, Ashlee faced the trials and tribulations of taking on a new creative process. After multiple changes, one broken structure due to the unexpected material weight, and countless hours of crocheting, Molecular was ready to be revealed in A New Wave, a Southern Guild art exhibition.

Ashlee Lloyd

The entrancing piece spanned 2,8 metres in width and hung just over three metres in length, supported by a copper-plated mild steel frame that was designed and hand-crafted by Ashlee. The hand-wrought creation was crocheted with over a kilometre of various blackened materials and textures with both intricate and elaborate loops.

The piece, although seemingly dark and eerie, was designed to provide a sense of warmth and nostalgia for the viewer and to play with the light and refraction with the shadows on the walls.

“I wanted to create a tactile experience for the viewer as the pieces themselves always draw the viewer in to have an immersive experience by touching them,” says Ashlee. “It’s a really personal form of self-expression so not everyone is going to like it, and I’m okay with that.”

Ashlee Lloyd

Looping and Learning

Expressing one’s creativity can be a way of healing and growth and crocheting has taught Ashlee more than just the art of weaving. It’s a process of reflection that’s been significant throughout all of her projects; it has that’s taught her to keep moving and that something greater is always waiting for her.

“There’s a lot of emotion that I’ve poured into my pieces. With Molecular, it was going through that phase of trying to find out who I was and most recently, working through my new pieces, I was dealing with the loss of somebody and not able to do anything about it,” says Ashlee.

Ashlee Lloyd

This healing, moving and reflection process has evolved the amelioration of Ashlee’s skill and talent, which is reflected in her work. Sometimes she gets lost in crocheting for up to 10 hours straight, captivated by the result of her work which motivates her to continue moving.

“The pieces really have a life of their own in some ways, there is no pattern or template that I follow and that’s what is so special about the process. I give into what the material is doing and almost work in its favour,” she says.

Ashlee’s latest chandelier can be found hanging above diners in The Skotness Restaurant at the Norval Foundation. The crocheting of this incredible piece took Ashlee a mere two weeks to create. Like most of her pieces, this uses an array of polypropylene multifilament rope of various thicknesses, flat tape and beads.

The Future of Ashlee Lloyd Design Studio

For the next while, Ashlee will be working on her new structured range of chandelier pod designs for restaurants, stores and game lodges, as well as a range of oval, circular and elongated pieces that reflect elegance and timelessness.

“I’m only 25 and everything is pretty exciting, but it’s not growing quick enough for me. My goal is to do 100 more large feature lighting installations in the next five years,” says Ashlee.

She’ll also be tapping into more accessible and budget-friendly designs for residential spaces. Whatever the direction, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this incredible young woman.

Quickfire Questions for Ashlee Lloyd

Fav restaurant: Hesheng, Sea Point
Summer or winter: Winter
One food you could never live without: Fresh tuna
If you could teleport anywhere in the world just for a day, where would you go? My grandmother’s house in Holland
Something small that makes you really happy: My miniature golden retriever.
Even smaller? Staples in a stapler – they soothe my OCD.

ashleelloyd.com | Instagram

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Cook A Romantic Dinner Together This Valentine’s Day

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This year, skip the hoo-ha of Valentine’s day and stay in, and make the night special by cooking your own romantic dinner together. We’ve put together a simple menu that features some delicious dishes that are easy to prepare together as a team and will keep you both busy in the kitchen. This menu is fun and easy enough to ensure that no plates end up being thrown – we hope!

ROMANTIC DINNER MENU FOR TWO

LET’S START WITH A DRINK SHALL WE?

romantic dinner recipe pink french 75

It is, after all, a celebration of your love and no celebration would be complete without something bubbly. The French 75 is a classic cocktail, made traditionally with gin and champagne but we’ve reworked this one slightly to better reflect the loved-up mood of the evening.

This version features pink gin from Hope on Hopkins and grapefruit juice in place of lemon (check out these other local craft gin options). The result is a rose-coloured drink that is tart, sweet and sparkly in all the right places. Be warned, though, this drink is rather potent, so maybe don’t drink more than two if you plan on cooking the rest of this meal successfully.

Recipe for Pink French 75


TO START… SHARING IS CARING

romantic dinner recipe labneh with dukkah and flatbreads

Right, now you’re all loosened up, it’s time to move on to making some food. This dish of Labneh with Dukkah and Flatbreads is the perfect way to kick off a meal for two. It’s also cleverly prepared in that you’ll need to start hanging your yoghurt a couple of days before you wish to serve it.

This means on the night of Valentine’s you can just prepare your dukkah and make your bread. Easy peasy.

Recipe for Labneh with Dukkah & Flatbreads


THE MAIN EVENT…

romantic dinner recipe harissa marinated lamb lion chops

For mains, you’ll be cooking these gorgeous Harissa-marinated Lamb Loin Chops and serving them alongside this refreshing Grilled Peach Salad. The marinade itself is easy to throw together so you and your significant other can make it on the night.

But, if you’re looking to streamline your evening, make it the night before and pop the chops in it for a couple of hours before you want to serve them. The salad will require a little bit of prep but will take you no time at all if your paramour helps you.

Recipe for Harissa-Marinated Lamb Loin Chops


ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END…

romantic dinner recipe white chocolate semifreddo

This veritable feast that you’ve put on will have to eventually end. Luckily, though, the ending will be a sweet one with this White Chocolate Semifreddo with Pistachios and Rose SyrupThis is also a cinch to prepare, it just needs overnight freezing time, so you’ll be able to pull it out of the freezer once you’re ready for it.

By this stage of the evening, we imagine that you will be quite full and wouldn’t have listened to our advice on the Pink French 75 (we told you not to drink more than two!) so you’ll be able to relax and simply enjoy your dessert, without any work necessary.

Recipe for White Chocolate Semifreddo

Need some bubbly to go with your meal? Check out our top MCC and Champagne picks for 2019.

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