Thursday, May 5, 2016

Autumn harvest salad with crunchy freekeh, roasted cauliflower, persimmons and pine nuts

Were in the last month of autumn – winter is, indeed, coming – and I wanted to make the most of this seasons spectacular harvest. Many people tend to associate autumn with soup, butternut, brown foods In fact autumns ingredients are some of my favourites: avocados (filled with good fats), sweet, crunchy pears (high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties), persimmons (packed with Vitamins A and E – great for skin and eye health) and pomegranates (rich in vitamin C – great for fighting off those change-of-season germs).

This hearty vegan salad is packed with nutrients, crunch and flavour. Although this recipe makes enough for two, you might not want to share! Even my husband didnt miss the meat! Perfect for Meat-free Mondays!


½ head of cauliflower, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Smoked Paprika
½ cup wholegrain freekeh, cooked according to package instructions
3 persimmons, finely sliced into rings
2 pears Bosc pears, finely sliced
2 large avocados, roughly chopped
Arils of ½ pomegranate
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Zest of ½ naartjie
Mint, for garnishing

For the dressing
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a naartjie
Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1.     Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place sliced cauliflower in a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and shake to coat. Sprinkle half the cauliflower with turmeric and half with smoked paprika. Bake until coked through, turning cauliflower slices half way. Gently set aside on a paper towel.
2.     Place cooked freekeh into a griddle pan with a touch of olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until freekeh starts popping and gets crunchy. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
3.     Combine the persimmon, pear and avo slices on a platter. Layer on the cauliflower. Sprinkle the freekeh, pomegranate arils and pine nuts over the top with the zest.
4.     Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and season to taste. Add a little more vinegar or olive oil, to balance acidity. Drizzle over the salad. Garnish with mint and serve.

So excited that you can finally get FREEKEH in #SouthAfrica thanks to The Really Interesting Food Company.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wheat-free, dairy-free butternut pancakes

Such a nutritious breakfast, these pancakes are great with savoury toppings like avo and smoked salmon plus a little goat's cheese (optional). It's also a great way to use leftover butternut.

This recipe of mine was featured in the September issue of Women's Health South Africa magazine.
Make them the night before!

Photo credit: Sean Calitz


2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla pod, deseeded
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
150g roasted butternut
¾ cup almond milk,
plus 1 cup extra
4 large free-
range eggs
Olive oil, for frying

80g smoked salmon
1 avocado, sliced
½ log soft creamy
goat’s cheese
50g pumpkin seeds, chopped
1 lemon, quartered

1/ Perfect for Sunday brunch, start making the batter the night before, so that the oats have time to soak up all the flavours. Place oats, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor and blitz to combine.
2/ Mash the butternut
in a bowl, then, using
a hand-blender, blend
¾ cup almond milk with the butternut to form a purée. Add to oat mixture.
3/ Crack the eggs into
the oat mixture and
blend again until well combined. Place the
batter in a bowl, cover
with cling film and place
in the fridge overnight.
4/ Come morning,
the batter would have thickened quite a bit. Mix in the remaining cup almond milk to loosen the mixture.
5/ Heat a non-stick frying pan and drizzle in a little
oil if necessary. Cook the pancakes in batches until golden. Set aside in the oven to keep warm. Don’t pile on top of one another
as the pancakes may stick. You should get 12 thick pancakes out of the mixture (about 10
to 15cm in diameter).
6/ Divide the pancakes among four plates. Divide the toppings over the pancakes and squeeze
a little lemon juice on top.

Serves 4. Per serving (322g): 2 131kJ, 26g fat (5g sat), 39g carbs, 470mg sodium, 10g fibre, 32g protein

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's Me on TV! Making gluten-free granola for HecticNine9

I cooked a batch of my gluten-free granola on SABC2 TV show HecticNine9 this week. Check out the videos here:

And the second part of the segment here:

It was such fun and I loved meeting all the wonderful people that make this cool TV show possible. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gluten-free Granola

I love making a batch of this on the weekends. You can eat it for brekky or as a 'trail mix' snack. It's full of amazing energy-boosting nutrients. It was also published in the September issue of Women's Health magazine. Photo: Sean Calitz.

2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup macadamia, chopped
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dates, chopped
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup coconut oil

1/ Preheat oven to 180°C.
2/ Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure that the coconut oil coats evenly.
3/ Spread the mixture onto a baking-paper-lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Pop this mixture into a large sealable container, or divide it into five zip-lock bags. Breakfast sorted for the week? Hell yeah!

Hope on Hopkins new Cape Town Distillery

I went for a gin tasting at Hope on Hopkins – it's the mother city's first gin distillery, based in Salt River. Gin is certainly very trendy at the moment and I'm a massive fan of a good G&T, so I'm more than happy to see all these artisan products popping up. I also frequent Mother's Ruin ( on Bree Street and the secret gin bar behind Honest Chocolate ( on Wale Street – both of these gin bars stock a variety of SA products and some intriguing international options.

While you can currently only buy the  London Dry-style gin, the SA-style (with Buchu) is super-delicious and aromatic and will be available soon. It's called the Salt River Gin. What a great Christmas present idea!!!

For more information, visit their website:
Tours and tastings can be arranged by appointment on late afternoons, from Wednesday to Saturday for groups of up to 12 people.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wheat-free, dairy-free dark-chocolate brownie recipe

Craving something sweet, but trying to avoid wheat and dairy? Whip up a batch of these super-easy, deadly delicious dark-chocolate brownies. You’ll actually have to convince people that there’s no butter – they’re that rich.
The good news is that they’re also packed with nutrients: antioxidants (thanks to the good-quality dark chocolate), they’ll improve your skin and hair (thanks to the coconut oil) and they’ll help to reduce blood pressure, strengthen your bones and may even help fight cancer (thanks to the ground almonds).

What You Need
160g good-quality dark chocolate (Lindt 70% and above does not contain dairy)
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup almond flour
1 cup dark demerara sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1Tbsp good-quality cocoa powder (I use Nomu)
2 extra-large free-range eggs
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped


1/Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm ovenproof baking pan or ceramic dish.
2/ Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and well-combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the well. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture.
3/ Mix the batter together with an electric mixer. It will appear thin at first, but will soon thicken up and become smooth and glossy. Pour mixture into prepared tin and spread out evenly with a spatula. Add almonds and press in gently with a spatula.
4/ Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes (or until set). I like it when the edges are slightly crunchier. Rest tray on a wire rack and allow to cool a bit before slicing. 

Gluten-free Dairy-free breakfast bars

I make a batch of these on the weekend and I'm sorted for brekky-on-the-go during a busy deadline week! My recipe was also published in the September issue of Women's Health magazine (below).

What You Need

1 tsp coconut oil, for greasing tray
2½ cups rolled oats
¼ cup raw cacao nibs
100g pistachios, shelled and chopped
50g almonds, chopped
50g pumpkin seeds
50g goji berries
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut flakes
1½ cups almond milk (or coconut milk), divided
5 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 ripe bananas


1/ Preheat oven to 120°C and grease a large ovenproof deep-dish tray.
2/ Place the oats, cacao nibs, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, coconut flour and flakes into a large bowl. Mix to combine and form a well in the centre.
3/ Place 1 cup almond milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the dates and stir occasionally until the milk is bubbling and the dates start to break down, forming a syrup. Pour into the oat mixture and stir to combine.
4/ Mash the ripe bananas and, using a hand blender, blend in the remaining half cup of milk to form a thick liquid. Mix this into the oat mixture until everything is evenly covered.
5/ Press the mixture into the dish and bake for one hour, then turn the temperature up to 150°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the edges are nice and golden, but the mixture is still chewy. Remove and allow to cool slightly before slicing into 12 bars.