Category Archives: Fruit

Nobody cares about your protein intake until they find out you are vegan

As a chef, one has to keep up with food trends and how food evolves and most importantly, special diets, whether it be for health, religious or ethical reasons. Living in Cape Town, this was in my face all the time, no one wanted to offend the vegan by not having a vegan friendly option on the menu, the pescaterian had to have a vegetarian option as well as fish available because on that day, they just never knew what they feel like, or dare have a Tim Noaks superfan and not have Banting friendly water available that has not been infused with fresh fruit because, God forbid, there would be too much sugar coming too close to their lips.

I will never understand the whole sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, low protein, calorie free diet. What do you eat then? Let’s take a moment to appreciate the humorous side of this…

Just to be clear, I am not a vegan, I believe eating a balanced diet. right portions and exercise for a healthy lifestyle, but I can really get behind some well thought out vegan food. Artichoke at the Midlands Kitchen (KZN Midlands) is a local authentic vegan restaurant with a small menu, which suits the environment and caters for the diners whom normally end up having fruit salad as a meal because a chef couldn’t be bothered to put a balanced vegan friendly meal together.

Kolleru Bowl – R65
Couscous, sweet corn, mushrooms, spinach, cannilini beans, carrots, beetroot and hummus, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sunflower seeds.

This is served hot, which I was lucky enough to get a few mouthfuls of, but having been out with my Misters, they kept me preoccupied which resulted in my food getting cold, it was just as delicious.

On a side note, this is not a review of the restaurant, I went exploring with my little dudes and we ended up here, which inspired this post.

Back to special diets. Having worked in a hospital environment for a while last year, realizing how extremely important it is to follow certain dietary requirements is life or death. Having said that, I also never realized how ‘hotel like’ a hospital is and that those menus that you tick when you are laying in bed with your bum airing, really is more of a guideline than an actual menu. Wait until I have to have a hospital stay!

There is research that says we should be eating a plan based diet, and then there is research that says meat is a must for humans to consume. So I get you are asking yourself, what exactly is this rant about?

The bottom line: for the love of all that is holy, stop being a dick about other peoples food choices. No one cares about your opinion.

Love and bubbles



Tropical Chia Seed Smoothie

I bought Chia seeds a few weeks ago from Rawlicious, after it was suggested to me by a fellow chef. It is part of the Raw Foods / Superfoods / Juicing trend that is currently happening. Now having discussed this with a few people, I have a few thoughts on this topic.

I am all for using the best quality product available and affordable to you, organic or not.

I believe to claim you are truly organic, it is a full lifestyle choice and something you live everyday.
Superfoods are available freely, rather pricey and if you can afford it, rather use natural products than chemical substitutes.

Juicing your food can be dangerous if you do not do your research properly, your body requires certain nutrients to function properly, do not make the mistake of starving your body.
Going raw / juicing for certain meals, only if you have a balanced properly worked out juice combination, is a good idea, and can be a great way to an alternative way to get your 3 balanced meals daily or use as a detox program, but be careful of doing it wrong. I have seen this go wrong where the person doing it ended up in hospital.

So what are Superfoods? In a nutshell, superfoods are the most concentrated mineral and nutrient dense organic foods with nutrients in their natural forms easily absorbable and usable by the body. They are high vibration foods revered by ancient cultures around the world which provide maximum energy and healing.
I started the my exploration with Chia Seeds and experimenting with smoothies. I find smoothies can be a great snack, or even a wonderful breakfast, when done right.

Tropical Chai Seed Smoothie

1 banana
½ cup pineapple
½ cup mango
1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp honey
lime juice
1 tbsp chai seeds

Put chai seeds into your soy milk and set aside for 20 minutes. The seeds will expand.
Cut your fruit into chunks, and place in blender. Blitz, slowly adding the soy milk until you have a smooth consistency. Add you honey and lime juice
To take this one step further, and make a healthy breakfast out of it, add 1 cup of granola to the mix.
Drink this right away as the addition of the chia seeds makes your smoothie very thick.

Chia Seeds are gluten free and the highest plant based source of omega 3, it is a high source of protein and calcium and support proper brain function. When inside your body, the seeds help you stay hydrated longer, and retain electrolytes in your bodily fluids. Easily digestible, the shells are easily broken down, even when swallowed whole. The flavor is very mild, the mild taste makes it easy to put in sauces, smoothies, breads, puddings, and whatever you want. They won’t really change the taste, but will add to your nutrition.

Chia seeds are energy enhancing, enhance stamina and endurance and very versatile. The seeds can be used to replace less-healthy fat in just about any recipe. You can use them uncooked in salad dressings, spreads, fruit shakes, ice cream, and just about anything you want. You can also add them to cookies, cakes, muffins, and other baked goods. Chai seeds will help you lose weight, for two reasons. The first reason is that they are so filling that you will eat less of other foods. The second reason is that they actually bulk up and cleanse your body of old “junk” in your intestines.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

I tend to stay away from the kitchen when I am sad. Nobody wants to be given a plate of sadness. Any other emotion I will happily cook with, however sadness, I withdraw. My “Ouma” passed away on Saturday, after a short battle with cancer.

If it was not for my wonderful husband, who knows his way very well around the kitchen, I would live off fruit and tea. So opening the fridge I saw this wonderful watermelon that I got last week. My husband doesn’t eat fruit, so I have to find creative ways to use the fruit to make it interesting. Seeing the water melon reminded me of a recipe I gave a friend the other day who shared her ice cold watermelon with me over some paper work, and I thought I might as well make something small to nibble on.

I love watermelon, especially when its ice cold and ripe, the juices are wonderful, and often is just used as a fun fruit that one eats by the hose pipe. I love this summery salad, so quick, so easy, and before you say no, just try it!

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Watermelon, cubed
Feta, use Danish if you can get, or goats cheese would be just as delicious.
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Balsamic reduction, I used Black Gold Malagassy
Mix all the ingredients & drizzle with balsamic reduction. Place in the fridge for the watermelon to get really chilled, and enjoy. Very refreshing!

Wikipedia had the following to say about watermelon…
Watermelon is thought to have originated in southern Africa, where it is found growing wild, because it reaches maximum genetic diversity there, resulting in sweet, bland and bitter forms. Alphonse de Candolle, in 1882, already considered the evidence sufficient to prove that watermelon was indigenous to tropical Africa.

In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle.[6] The square shape was originally designed to make the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones, and much of their appeal to consumers is in their novelty. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed and any polyhedral shape may potentially also be used.

A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight.[7] As with many other fruits, it is a source of vitamin C.
The amino-acid citrulline was first extracted from watermelon and analyzed.[8] Watermelons contain a significant amount of citrulline and after consumption of several kg, an elevated concentration is measured in the blood plasma; this could be mistaken for citrullinaemia or other urea cycle disorders.

Watermelon rinds, usually a light green or white color, are also edible and contain many hidden nutrients, but most people avoid eating them due to their unappealing flavor. They are sometimes used as a vegetable. In China, they are stir-fried, stewed or more often pickled. When stir-fried, the de-skinned and de-fruited rind is cooked with olive oil, garlic, chili peppers, scallions, sugar and rum. Pickled watermelon rind is also commonly consumed in the Southern US. Watermelon juice can be made into wine. Watermelon is mildly diuretic and contains large amounts of beta carotene. Watermelon with red flesh is a significant source of lycopene.

In Vietnamese culture, watermelon seeds are consumed during the Vietnamese New Year’s holiday, Tết, as a snack.
It is the symbol of the Turkish city, Diyarbakır.