Tag Archives: mint

#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

Freekeh SaladFreekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It is utterly delicious with an earthy, nutty flavour – and has a fantastic bite to it. This salad is salty and sweet with a lovely sweet and sour dressing. You can replace the pomegranate syrup with pomegranate molasses. The fresh cherries are divine with the dish, but figs will also do the thing.

Greenwheat Freekeh can be ordered online at www.thereallyinterestingfoodcompany.com and is available nationwide at various Spars, delis and branches of the Wellness Warehouse.

Freekeh salad with cherries, mint and cashew nuts

200 g freekeh, cooked in salt water as per the packet instruction
2 spring onions, chopped
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
handful of mint, chopped
15 fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
60 ml cashew nuts
Salad dressing
60 ml olive oil
60 ml pomegranate syrup
30 ml grape vinegar
black pepper

Combine all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the salad and tuck in.

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

#cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

#cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

When people hear the word cabbage I often see them cringing – thinking of how they were forced to eat cabbage in school and varsity hostels. Even between kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts it was often seen as the poor cousin of the vegetable. Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble cabbage and turned it into a five star dish.

cabbage pancetta
Cabbage + pancetta with peas and mint

250 g pancetta, cut into small blocks
350 g shredded cabbage
30 g butter
1 cup frozen peas, cooked for 2 minutes
6 mint leaves, chopped
Black pepper

Fry the pancetta in a non-stick pan (no butter or oil) until crispy and golden. Remove the pancetta and add the butter and cabbage to the same pan. Fry until cooked. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper. Add the peas. Taste again for seasoning. Add the mint and serve immediately … with love.

butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

photo new 800

Watch me make this by clicking here.

{build me up buttercup}
“build me up buttercup” is that fabulous pop song from way back in the sixties. Hearing this catchy track the other day gave me the inspiration for this dish – a lettuce cup salad that is light and fresh and just in time for summer. So there I was toes tapping, barefoot in the kitchen, singing out loud to my little wispy cups of butter lettuce.

The simplicity of the dish is amazing yet the taste seems to linger like the last rays of sunshine in your mouth. The ingredients apple, mint, blue cheese, minted mayo and croutons combine into something so appealing to the senses and it will delight the most discerning guests.


{homemade healthy minty-salty croutons}
I opted to make a more healthier version of the crouton (if this is remotely possible… :-)) … healthier as I chose to use olive oil and then rather than deep fry the bread in oil, I dry fried these crispy nibbles.

{crouton technique}
I have to say, the technique in making the croutons is both simple and fantastic. You add some olive oil and flavouring into a plastic bag, add the blocks of bread and shake the bag till all the croutons are coated. You then dry fry them in a non stick pan.

Serve these little cups on individual spoons at a cocktail function or on a big dish for your summer lunch. What is great is the fact that people can fold these “lettuce cups over” to become something of a lettuce wrap. Happy summer everyone!



butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • Salad
  • 1 packet butter lettuce
  • 1 green apple, sliced (you can slice it any which way you like)
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 50g roasted cashew nuts
  • 1 cup homemade croutons
  • Homemade croutons
  • 2 slices of bread, cut into small blocks – keep the crusts on (+/- 2 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 plastic bag
  • Salad dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp water
  1. Croutons - Add the oil, mint and salt to the bag. Then add you croutons. Shake the bag till all the croutons are coated in both mint and olive oil.
  2. Heat up a non-stick frying pan to medium heat. Add the croutons to the pan and dry fry until golden brown. Remember to shake the pan when frying the croutons so that the croutons fry on all sides.
  3. Salad dressing - Mix all ingredients together.
  4. To assemble - Take a lettuce cup, add your ingredients inside the cup and sprinkle with salad dressing. Serve immediately.

chicken burger + beer

chicken burger + beer


Our next client function at dhk architects is a “burgers and beer” evening.  I am not much of a beer drinker (that’s hubby’s department –  I do love my wine way much more :-)) … but being the curious sort that I am I needed to establish what beer might go best with our burgers….

During the course of my tasting expedition, I eventually came upon an ale that seemed to find resonance with me and my palate.  The ale was smooth and lovely and I decided to pair it with a chicken and minted pineapple burger. It was a perfect beer and burger combination.

The pineapple is definitely a good pairing with the chicken, with the mint lifting the whole dish to something that is both fresh and light … the Parmesan cheese gives it that rich salty flavour – without overpowering the chicken or pineapple.

This is really so easy to put together for a Friday evening spent with your besties.  Just make sure the beer is cold… even better pop a few beer glasses in the freezer before serving the beer.

PS: I spoke to Boston Beers and they suggested you drink their Boston Lager with this specific chicken burger.

Cheers mate.

Watch me make these burgers by clicking here.




chicken burger + beer
Chicken burger with minted pineapple salsa and parmesan
  • Skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • Burger buns
  • Olive oil
  • Pineapple
  • Mint, chiffonade
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce, thinly sliced
  • Parmesan Cheese, shaved with potato peeler
  • Baby tomatoes, sliced
  1. Season your chicken with salt and pepper and grill to taste on the braai or on a griddle plan.
  2. Paint some olive oil onto the hamburger buns and grill on the griddle pan.
  3. Cut your pineapple into small blocks and add the mint to make a salsa.
  4. To assemble: Generously add mayonnaise on the bun, add the lettuce, chicken, Parmesan and top it with the fresh pineapple mint salsa.

scooped melon salad with wild rocket + mint + honey mustard vinaigrette

scooped melon salad with wild rocket + mint + honey mustard vinaigrette

melon, rocket, mint and mustard vinaigrette

Melons are just amazing this time of the year and it’s such a versatile fruit that goes with salt, sweet and pepper. They are extremely beneficial to your health so simply make a point to stock up more often on this tasty treats.

Today, I just scooped out a sweet melon with an ice cream scoop and served it with a peppery rocket, a bit of mint and a mustard vinaigrette – these additions just enhance and bring out the already summer fresh flavour of the melon. It is light, easy and absolutely delicious!


Some Yellow and Orange Melon health benefits

1. Yellow and orange melons are packed with vitamins A, B-3, B-6 and C, potassium, dietary fiber and folate.
2. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which aids in healthy eyes, skin and mucous membranes.
3. These melons are Carotenoid-rich foods and may help reduce your risk of macular degeneration, cancer and heart disease.
4. Carotenoids help strengthen the immune system.

source: health24 + livestrong



scooped melon salad with wild rocket + mint + honey mustard vinaigrette
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • Ingredients
  • 350g Melon
  • Wild Rocket
  • 5 Mint leaves – chiffonade
  • Mustard vinaigrette
  • 1T Honey
  • ½ T White wine vinegar
  • 1t Wholegrain mustard
  1. Scoop the melon out with an ice cream scoop. Mix with rocket and mint.
  2. Mix all ingredients of dressing together and drizzle liberally over salad.



mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow

mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow


yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold salad

Marigold Salad – Being the end of year I thought it would be fitting to look back and pay tribute to the fashion colour of 2012 – yellow! Trendsetters and futurists announced some 16 months back that yellow was the new gold…and so it was…rays of sunshine yellow in all manners and forms seemed to permeate many aspects of my life in 2012 – bringing warmth, happiness and vibrancy. It is definitely the colour of life and most undoubtedly changed the fashion scene in 2012.

yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold

About two months ago I attended a garden workshop by Matt Allison at the Secret Festival and he inspired me to relook my herb and veggie garden and to add lovely marigolds to it. It is incredible … these Marigolds have brought dollops of rich hues to my back yard. A few weeks later, I had enough freshly grown salad leaves and aromatic herbs to feed my hubby and my housekeeper’s whole family. What a joy.

I made a summery marigold salad today and to complement the luscious leafy, freshly picked salad I made a pineapple and ginger dressing. Wow, so healthy, so fresh, so yellow and summery. Enjoy!

yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold + corn + sunflower seed

yellow summer salad

# this pretty bug I found in my bed of leaves inspired me to add some pomegranates for fun

marigold salad

# pomegranates for fun

marigold salad

# my herb + veggie garden

mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • Rocket leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Marigold flowers
  • Cos leaves
  • Mango slices
  • Pineapple slice
  • Yellow patty pans sliced
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cooked fresh corn
  • Pineapple + ginger dressing
  • 100g Fresh pineapple
  • 1t Olive oil
  • 62.5ml White vinegar
  • 125ml Honey
  • ½t Freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Mint leave chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Lemon zest of half a small lemon
  1. For Dressing - Fry the pineapple in the oil for about two minutes.
  2. Add the vinegar + honey + ginger + mint + salt and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Lastly add the lemon zest - let it cool down and serve with salad.
  4. For salad - mix ingredients together and serve with dressing.



meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut
spaghetti and meatballs delicious, easy

#spaghetti + meatballs

When I first opened my mystery basket on Dinner Divas and saw the mince the only thing that went through my mind was MEATBALLS!! Nothing else … I never saw the chicken … in fact I did not register any of the other mystery ingredients … but at that moment in time and space, in front of all the cameras your brain just freezes. In retrospect you always end up quizzing yourself … I could have done this or I could of done that … in situations like this hysteria creeps in and disrupt your thoughts but I was resolute and determined to make this dish and prepare it well.

The other thing was that I had made a commitment to myself before I entered the competition … to stick with my gut, make a decision, go with it and not entertain any reservations. When you start doubting or second guessing yourself, this is when things tend to go awry and in a competition there is no time for messing about.

When I saw Kristy making the same dish, I have to admit I was apprehensive and the seeds of doubt were teasing my brain. Fortunately I had the clarity of mind to press on – it was too late to back track – I had to stick to what I believe in and what I know I can do well …

Well the judges did not think so – “oh dear another meatball dish – really” + “the meatballs were just disgusting” … this cut deep at that moment in time – but now I am laughing about it all. I love Caro + Aubrey + Andrew – they have crept deep into my heart and they will have a very special place in my life forever and ever …

So here is my  version of meatballs – something between my mom’s meatballs + what i have tasted in New York + something I have tasted in Italy. I added some mint + pine nuts + loads of veggies and used my fantastic tomato sauce which you can look up here

meatballs and tomato sauce and spaghetti

#spaghetti + meatballs


meatballs with mint + pine nuts = fab grecian fare
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 500g Extra lean mince
  • 4 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1 Potato large - grated
  • 3 Thick butternut rings – grated
  • 1 Carrot - grated
  • 2 Small onions – grated
  • 50g Pine nuts – lightly fried in a non stick pan till golden brown
  • 1 Slice of white bread – soaked in water and excess water squeezed out
  • 1 Egg
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 t Dry mint
  • 1 t Salt
  • ½ t Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put your oven on grill.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Fry a small teaspoon and taste for seasoning – I normally use the microwave.
  3. Make small balls and grill till done - +- 10 minutes. After first 5 minutes turn them around and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Put in pasta sauce and simmer for a minute or two. Serve on spaghetti + parmesan shavings + fresh basil.


Tomato Sauce 

Click here for recipe.

poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

poppy’s roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo

We’re fortunate enough to live in a real suburban neigbourhood – picket fences, children in the streets, we don’t ever lock our doors and then we had this most amazing relationship with our neighbours.  Poppy (fromGreece) and Giuseppe (from Malta) were our neighbours for the past 8 years and they have  really become like a  second set of parents.  Poppy and I have always shared an incredible  love for food while the men shared the same love for their gardens.   When  I woke up in the mornings I would hear Poppy working in her kitchen – cooking and baking away on one of her many Greek creations.  There is no-one  in my eyes that  can cook like Poppy – or better than Poppy for that matter.  She is someone who can  take the simplest of ingredients and transform them  into these most amazing dishes.

At times when I was sad or  lonely when hubby was away I used  to sit in her kitchen in my pajamas, having a cup of coffee and waiting for a fresh bread or croissant coming out of her oven – she nurtured my body and soul. In the evenings I will hear a holler from over the wall….Aaa-néééél – then I rushed to the wall and there Poppy would be with a sample (enough for  Rick and I and another two people) of what she cooked during the day.

One of the dishes that she sent over the wall on several occasions was roasted chicken with orzo. Poppy taught me how to make this dish – yes, I have I added my own twist to it – but it’s still my Poppy’s dish.

Poppy and Giuseppe have since moved and our life is not quite the same without them but they are not too far away and never out of my thoughts.

I love you and miss you, Poppy. I made this specially for you on Dinner Divas.

roasted chicken + herby tomato orzo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • Chicken
  • 6 Chicken thighs
  • 1t Dry oreganum
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Tomato Mix
  • ½ Tin (205g) Rhodes Oreganum and Basil Tomato Mix
  • 1 Tin (410g) Rhodes Whole Peeled Tomatoes – chopped
  • 1t Rhodes Tomato Paste
  • 3 Cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • 200g Cherry tomatoes
  • 125ml Dry white wine
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1t Ground black pepper
  • 1t Sugar

  • Pasta Rice
  • 300g Cooked pasta rice
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 250g Grated Halloumni cheese (if you don’t have Halloumni cheese you can replace this with hard grated feta cheese)
  • 1t Dry mint
  • 2T Fresh parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 T Fresh basil – finely chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C.
  2. Rub some olive oil onto the chicken pieces.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, sprinkle with the oreganum and then set aside.
  4. Add all the ingredients of the tomato mix into an oven roasting pan and stir well.
  5. Then place the chicken pieces on top of the tomato mix.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  7. In the meanwhile cook your pasta rice.
  8. Drain the pasta rice with a sieve (not a colander as the rice drops through) and wash under hot water.
  9. Add the olive oil and mix.
  10. Then add the rest of the pasta rice ingredients and mix well.
  11. After 35 minutes take the chicken dish out of the oven.
  12. Remove the chicken pieces and set these aside for the moment.
  13. Also remove the whole baby tomatoes as we are going to use these for the salad later.
  14. Add the pasta rice to the tomato mixture – mix well then add the chicken and thereafter put the whole dish back in the oven for 10 minutes and bake.
  15. Take out of the oven and taste whether further seasoning if necessary.
  16. Serve hot in individual bowls with the pasta rice serving as a bed on which to rest the roasted chicken breasts.


goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

“It took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I was like a mother hen watching over her hatching eggs! It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold … and something you just have to try once in your life”

Delicious goose egg recipe on pea nest with prosciutto

Sous Vide Goose Egg on a pea and mint nest - prosciutto ham

Sous vide Goose egg on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

Sous vide goose egg - on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

The other day my dear friend Nina Timm surprised me with a gift of two beautiful and bountiful goose eggs. Eggs are a symbol of birth, of life – and these eggs were so fulsome and so perfect. It reminded me of the wonders that surround us but it also reminded me of Aesop’s fable of …

… The goose that laid the golden eggs
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.
“Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.”
“You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.”
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.

So what is the moral of this little tale? Riches do not lie in earthly things nor in the greed for more riches … Our riches are within and in each passing moment we have the opportunity to hold dear the real riches of this world like family, friendships, love and hope. We need to treasure it all …

But now let’s get back to recipe….the sun was out and spring was in the air…what was I going to do with these gorgeous goose eggs?

I went to Sat Bains for inspiration – he was the one who took the classic egg, ham and pea combination to a whole new level by using the sous vide method to cook duck eggs and to serve them with a pea sorbet.

I was determined to sous vide these two golden beauties and serve them on a nest of crushed minted peas and prosciutto with some little toasts. I do not have one of those fancy and very expensive sous vide water baths and I could not find a recipe … so I had to improvise. With a pot of hot water covering my eggs – it took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I added cold water when the temperature went up. It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold …and something you just have to try once in your life. The perfect combination of the sweet peas and then the salty prosciutto and a scoop of the golden yolk on a crispy cut of toast are just absolutely from another planet. Of course, the dish was not complete without a sprinkle of salt and freshly grounded white pepper.

Thank you Nina and thank you Mrs Goose for bringing some rays of golden sunshine to my plate.


goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • For the goose eggs
  • 2 Goose eggs at room temperature
  • Electronic thermometer
  • Big pot filled with water – eggs need to be covered with water
  • For the crushed-minted-pea-and-prosciutto-nest
  • 250g Frozen peas
  • ½t Salt
  • 2t Sugar
  • 20g Butter
  • 1T Freshly chopped mint
  • 4 Slices of prosciutto
  • Little toasts
  • Fresh ciabatta cut thinly and lightly toasted
  • Seasoning
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Salt
  1. For the goose eggs – heat the pot with water to 62°C and then add the eggs. Keep it on the lowest heat level on your stove and try and keep the temperature constant for 2.5 hours. You just have to stand by the stove, check the thermometer and add a bit of cold water to bring the temperature down. When done, put the eggs aside to cool a bit. Then peel very carefully. The shell is very hard and thick and it’s not so easy. The outside of the white is going to fall away and you will sit with this beautiful thin white layer and the golden yolk.
  2. For the peas – cook the peas for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, butter, mint and sugar give it a good stir and then crush.
  3. To assemble - divide the peas in half and divide onto two plates. Add a slice of prosciutto on each nest and then add the egg. Sprinkle with white pepper and some salt - then add another slice of prosciutto and round it off with a little toast.


the simplicity of mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

the simplicity of mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

the simplicity of mince meat + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven

When I arrived at home on Friday night there was a huge red gift on my kitchen table from my loving husband. It was a huge, huge bag of red chillies – do you perhaps think he wanted to tell me something? Anyway, seeing these beautiful chillies took me back to Thailand – and my dear friend Pierre (kitchenbabble.com) in Bangkok. In 2010 I was privileged enough to spend a week in Bangkok where we shared the most wonderful times preparing all sorts of Thai dishes and specialities … but back to the chillies … chillies can be found in nearly every Thai dish or element of Thai cuisine – and rightfully so. I left Bangkok with the most fantastic memories and loads of recipes … but this one –  is my ultimate favourite – I gave the Grapua Moo Sub a bit of a twist.  Its easy to make and soooo tasty! Just so you know though … I added a bit of lemon juice and black pepper to the dish. Its heaven when that yellow of the egg breaks and spills over the cooked mince and rice.

mince meat + eggs + chillies + basil . a thai match made in heaven
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4
  • 500g Extra lean mince meat
  • 2T Oil for frying
  • 8 Cloves of garlic – finely crushed - I love grating my garlic on the smallest side of the grater
  • 2T Fish sauce – I tend to use more – taste and see what your palette says
  • 3 - 4 Red chillies – chopped -I don't take the seeds out - I do like things hot
  • One nice big pinch of freshly grounded black pepper
  • A big squeeze of lemon juice
  • A huge handful of fresh basil leaves - please be generous
  • 3-4 Eggs (1 egg per person)
  • Cooked basmati rice or if you prefer normal rice
  1. Heat your oil + add the mince - loosen the meat with your fork. It must be loose, fine and brown. Fry slowly till the meat is cooked.
  2. Now all you do is add the garlic, fish sauce, chillies and pepper. Stir it and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the lemon juice, taste and correct the seasoning with salt (I prefer fish sauce) and pepper.
  4. Poach or fry the eggs( if you fry your eggs make sure that these are sunny-side up and soft).
  5. To serve: Add the fresh basil to the mince. Scoop some rice into a bowl. Then add some mince to the rice. Top the dish with a soft poached or fried egg - season you egg with salt to taste. Enjoy!