Category Archives: vegan

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



Soup & Quesadillas, a revamp on a classic

Soup & Sandwich, if you know me well enough, you will know that I absolutely love this concept.  I have slightly adapted it to something even better…in my opinion.

With the cooler weather that is surrounding us, we tend to crave warmth and comfort in our food, and why not just add a little “pazaaz” to our boring old winter food.

Soup & Quesadillas

I used my Rooibos infused  Butternut Soup recipe that you can find here. With that, I made the quesadillas. Now you can go wild and crazy with what fillings you wish desire, be creative and mix some flavours.  My quesadillas consisted of bacon, feta, cheddar and fresh basil, and let me tell you, the creamy freshness complimented the butternut soup beautifully.

What you will need to make your quesadillas…as easy as this…

Tortilla wraps
Your desired fillings

Heat a pan and place the tortilla wrap in the pan to heat, turn over as if flipping a pancake, place your filling on the one side and close the tortilla in half.  Let the bottom heat up and crisp a little before flipping over again.  You want the filling to be warm and the cheese all gooey and stringy, with the crispness on the outside…makes for that perfect bite!


This is such a great light lunch, or the perfect easy quick dinner.  And so versatile, use your favourite soup and choose whatever filling you wish!  Tortilla wraps are a great substitute for bread, it is perfect for gluten intolerant people, and of course for anyone who is watching their weight.

Right now, I am busy cooking a delicious meat soup…recipe to follow soon!

The start of exploring organic and natural products…

One of the first few blogs that I started reading was Lavender & Lime, I love how Tandy uses natural, organic produce, and keeps things natural, unfortunately in the professional kitchen environments I have been in, and am currently in, this has not always been an easy task, we try where we can, however, due to costs and of “feet”, being 100% organic is simply impossible. So being inspired, I have decided to explore the world of organics, and natural products.

I have mentioned my great love for Green Tea Latte’s – I use to have my rhyme set…Green Tea Latte, Venti, extra hot, one pump… finding it really hard to obtain Matcha Powder, I have recently found Chai Tea Powder, which is just as fantastic and so healthy. However, there is this slight issue of the amount of milk one consumes when drinking 2 or three of these, Venti of course, how else?

Soya Milk is my answer. I know a lot of you are going…eeeeeewwwwwwww! And yes, I agree that soya milk is definitely an acquired taste, and not something one will order easily. I have gone one step further, and bought the soy milk powder. And started playing around with my Chai Tea Soy Latte.

With the Chai Tea Powder, and my Soya Milk Powder, I made my latte…
60ml Soya Milk Powder
310ml Water
2 tbsp Chai Tea Powder
Mix soya milk powder and water together until smooth. Heat until boiling, Using a cuppachino frother, froth your milk.
Put chai tea powder in a cup, fill halfway with the milk, and mix until all incorporated. Add rest of milk and serve.

Chai tea is Masala chai (literally “mixed-spice tea”) is a beverage from the Indian subcontinent made by brewing tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. The traditional masala chai is a spiced beverage brewed with different proportions of so-called “warm” spices. The spice mixture, called Karha, uses a base of ground ginger and green cardamom pods. Chai tea has great benefits, its a wonderful antioxidant, works as a digestion aid and an anti inflammatory.

The soya milk tastes nothing like whole milk, however, the nutty undertones are delicious, and I really enjoy it. If Chai Tea is not your cup of tea, try it with hot chocolate.

Now some interesting facts about soya milk powder:

A quarter-cup serving of soy milk powder contains 95 calories. Reconstituting this powder with water does not add any calories, although if you add this powder to a recipe, such as a casserole or soup, your total caloric intake will be much greater. One serving of this milk powder adds 5 g of fat to your daily diet, and 1 g of that fat is saturated; the recommended maximum intake of saturated fat stands at 16 to 22 mg per day. An article published in the May 2011 issue of the journal “Neuroscience” indicates that eating too much saturated fat regularly can make brain injuries worse, so monitor your meal plan carefully when consuming soy milk powder if you have one of these injuries to ensure you do not get more saturated fat than advised.

One serving of soy milk powder contributes 7 g of carbohydrates to your diet. You need far more carbs than this; the quantity of carbohydrates in this milk powder satisfies very little of the 225 to 325 g your body requires each day if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. Consider serving reconstituted soy milk powder with cereal to increase your intake of this critical macronutrient. Soy milk powder also provides you with 3 g of fiber per serving. This amount accounts for 8.8 to 13.6 percent of the fiber you should consume each day.

Consume a serving of soy milk powder, and you take in 8 g of protein. Despite deriving from a plant source, the protein in this powder is considered complete — soy beans provide all the essential amino acids you require for your bodily function. You need 50 to 175 g of protein each day. Some people suffer reactions to the protein in regular milk, making them lactose-intolerant, but soy milk is lactose-free.

Soy milk powder is a source of iron. Each serving provides 6 percent of the daily recommended intake of this mineral. While the iron in milk powder may help ward off anemia, it may also have an impact on the incidence of breast cancers. Evidence published in the April 2011 edition of “Free Radical Biology and Medicine” reveals a connection between iron deficiency and breast cancer. More studies are needed to confirm these findings. You also take in 4 percent of the calcium you need each day in a serving of soy milk powder.

The Nutrition and Benefits

The soy milk which is sold in powder form on the market contains particular nutrients and the amount between a brand and the other brands are not the same. The good quality soy powder (milk powder) comes with lower sugar, higher calcium than the fresh soy juice and also zero trans-fat. The content of fat (saturated fat) is very low, therefore it can be called as healthy drink to complete someone’s diet program.
In fact, some brands add the cane sugar into the powder to give sweet taste too and some people cannot stand with such thing at all. Absolutely, the soy milk powder with very low (or even zero) sugar will be healthier and helpful indeed (particularly for people with diabetes symptoms.

Anyway, some people also debate about the process of such milk powder production. They often ask about the quality of spray-dried powder. The technical matter is involved into their consideration since the process will affect the nutrition fact as well. Keep in mind that the evaporation or the concentration of soymilk prior to spray drying is commonly less than the typical cow milk.

During spray drying process, the traditional equipment is still used. However, the modern equipment is still essential to spray dry the soymilk. After that, the process is continued to the agglomeration process to allow the powder dissolved in water. The right suitable process will not reduce or decrease the content of some beneficial substances which soy milk can possibly provide, such as protein, fibre, unsaturated fat, Isoflavon, Lecitin, Vitamins (A, C, E) and also the 8 types of Amino acid.

Besides the good benefits for healthy body, soy milk powder helps women to provide good nutrition during the early period of menopause. This kind of beverage can prevent Osteoporosis, keep theheart health, supply the good nutrition for people who live with diabetes and kidney diseases, and support the eye health through its genistein content. In short, you can start to live a healthy live much better by taking such powder milk to be a part of your daily life

Now having read that, you need to keep in mind that you are cutting out certain important nutrients which you need to substitute with either vitamin tablets, or balance out with your meals for the day. Not having your recommended daily intake of nutrients will cause more harm than good.

Soya milk can be used as a substitute for many things, its a great way to add “dairy” to a kosher dish, or if you are vegan, also can be used in baking to reduce the fat content, the possibilities are endless! My next challenge, along with the few that has been set out by bloggers is to use soya milk powder in a dish.