Month: March 2018

Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry with Pak Choi & Rice Noodles

I love a big stirfry with lots of colour and all the Asian flavours I can possibly fit in. The brightness of the vegetables always seems to cheer me up! Stirfry is also a great way to pack in a variety of veggies and possibly sneak some in that the boys wouldn’t usually eat.

Having been craving Chinese food for some time, I stumbled across this recipe from FitLikeMummy’s blog – an inspiring view into her journey to better health and fitness. Anything with Cashew Nuts instantly grabs my attention and it looked so absolutely delicious, I had to cook it!

Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry with Pak Choi & Rice Noodles

I just added some red cabbage for colour (and forgot that I wanted to add carrots). Hoisin Sauce was not to be found anywhere in the regular shops so I did without. On contemplation, I realised afterwards that I am literally five minutes from an entire selection of Chinese supermarkets. Notes for the future!

Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry with Pak Choi & Rice Noodles

Category: Weekday Meals

Cuisine: Asian

4-6

Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry with Pak Choi & Rice Noodles

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Family Friendly

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 pak choi, roughly chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped, green and white parts separated
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 packet rice noodles

Instructions

  • In a small bowl mix the stock with the oyster and hoisin/soy sauces, and the garlic. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over high heat.
  • Add the chicken and cook until golden brown. When cooked, remove from the pan set aside.
  • Lower heat to med-high.
  • Add the pak choi, white part of the spring onions and vegetables to the same pan. Cook until the veggies are tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes.
  • Return cooked chicken to skillet along with the sauce, the green onion tops, red chilli (if using) and the cashews.
  • Cook until sauce has reduced a bit, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve with rice noodles.
https://mammachefjozi.com/chicken-cashew-stir-fry-pak-choi-rice-noodles/

Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry with Pak Choi & Rice Noodles

Original recipe by FitLikeMummy

 

Pink Salmon & Corn Cakes with Mixed Vegetables

I have been trying to not only include more fish into our diet, but also to do so economically. For that purpose I have been experimenting more with tinned tuna recipes. I do know a few people who aren’t very fond of tuna though and decided to use tinned salmon as well.

Salmon is very high in Omega oils and having fresh salmon every week would be fantastic, but very expensive. I cook fresh salmon once in a while as a treat, otherwise I try to use different kinds of fish for our normal weekday meals.

These salmon and corn fish cakes were quite full of flavour and the kids definitely wouldn’t mind having them again – test passed with flying colours!

Pink Salmon & Corn Cakes with Mixed Vegetables

Category: Weekday Meals

Cuisine: Fish

4

Pink Salmon & Corn Cakes with Mixed Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 475g mashed potato
  • 1/2 tin corn kernels
  • 210g can red salmon, medium, drained, flaked
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 90g purchased dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • sweet chilli sauce, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • 300g cubed butternut
  • 2 cups frozen peas

Instructions

  • Line an oven tray with baking paper and place 300 g butternut on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper, then roast in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes or until butternut is tender.
  • Boil cubed potato in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes or until soft, then drain and mash.
  • Place the mashed potato, corn, salmon, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Shape 1/4 cup of the mixture into a patty. Put on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (if time permits).
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the salmon and corn cakes in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  • Meanwhile, boil the frozen peas in a small saucepan with salted water for 5 minutes.
  • Serve
https://mammachefjozi.com/pink-salmon-corn-cakes-mixed-vegetables/

Recipe adapted from Taste.com.au

Letter to my Firstborn – our story of birth, life and beyond

I remember the first time I saw you…

Standing next to a NICU bed, looking down at letter to my fofirstborn - sonar photoyour tiny little body… I felt in that moment, that I was such a minute part of the incredible, magnificently infinite perfection of the Universe.

You came from pure love. Things were not perfect, far from it, but the Plan for you and I was laid out long before. If I’m being honest, things weren’t perfect even on the day I walked down the isle four years before that and I knew it, but chose to have faith.

Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing because every step I took, led me to where I am.

Complications

I was 13 weeks pregnant when I started having terrible pain all around my hips and down my legs. Within a week it became unbearable and the doctor sent me for an MRI. We were admitted directly from the MRI to the maternity ward as they discovered that I had a couple of slipped discs in my lower back.

We spent a good week in the hospital, in “light” traction and on whatever medication they could give to help the pain. During that time I got to focus intently on this little ball that would push up against the traction belt and I was privileged to hear your heartbeat every day when most mommies at this stage would hardly notice the little flutters in their bellies.

The doctor advised that it would become more difficult and that bed rest would probably be the best option. I had to resign from my job eventually as I was in debilitating pain that was only going to worsen with the growing pressure on my body.

Over the next few months there was a lot of reading, music, loneliness and that never ending big giant pain. I mostly shuffled to the bathroom and back to bed. Whilst there were some days when I could be up and about a little, I would suffer that activity for weeks afterwards. I was fortunate though, to notice nearly all the movements you made and truly appreciate the time that you spent growing inside my body.

You were constantly moving! Even when you were asleep, a hand or a foot would be moving and watching you sleep as a little person I could recognise the same movements.

It’s going to be okay

I remember the day when the marriage came crashing down. As if it was yesterday. We were 6 months along and it was December. The pain and the heat were excruciating and relentless.

JR2113As the events unfolded in the middle of the night I instinctively placed my arms around my belly as if to shield you. Then there was a calm that came to me. A sense of peace. No matter what happened, we would be okay. We were together. You were my strength and I was your protector.

Many things transpired over the next couple of months but there was really only one important thing. I remember shuffling along the passages to the doctor’s rooms for checkups in tears, hoping to manage a few more weeks to keep you safe. Stubbornly refused to sit in a wheelchair, but anyway…

 

Eventually the C-section was scheduled for 36 weeks. It was becoming risky for both of us to keep you on the inside they said… but we know that the outside was a different story altogether.

Birth

Birth day

On the morning of the 6th of March 2009, you must have known that the day had come because it felt like you were trying to climb in under my ribs. We arrived at the hospital and went through the motions, got prepared. Your grandparents were all there, waiting excitedly as they pushed us to the operating room.

I knew that there was no way I could have a natural birth but what I didn’t know was that I couldn’t have a spinal block at that time either. It was only once inside the theatre that the Gynaecologist told me that I would actually be knocked out completely and miss the whole birth! I remember being extremely nervous. I told you it was all going to be okay and I would see you in a little while. There’s a video of your dad filming himself in the theatre mirror, lol! Oi… anyway…

I remember waking up in the recovery room feeling this awful emptiness… the only person there was the nurse telling me to rest and that everything was okay. The little wiggle in my tummy was no longer there and the feeling of absence was overwhelming. So much confusion… funnily enough I remember everything, even many years later.

They rolled the bed back to the room. You had gone to NICU and I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t see you…

Other new mommies in my room either had their baby with them or had a spinal block and were all chatty. I was in pain, I was groggy from anaesthetic and I couldn’t see my baby. Your dad was up and down between NICU and my room. He only showed me the first photo of you once there weren’t so many wires and tubes hooked up. I felt like I should have been able to be with you through that. I didn’t see your first breath. I missed your first day and your first battle.

wade birth day

You were a superstar even then and by the evening of your first day, they had taken off the oxygen.

Day 2

The second the nurse walked in the next morning I told her to pull out and take off whatever needed to be taken off me, I wanted to get up and go!

Then there I was, tiny little speck in an infinite universe, looking at this little miracle that came from my body… Wow…

11 Days in NICU and finally we got to take you home! Up to that point the nurses had done pretty much everything except feed and I felt a small panic at being fully responsible for this little person now. It was certainly an adventure but you were always the best sleeper, sleeping through at 10 weeks old already and never looked back.

JJ-014

Wheels of change in motion

You were four months old when I packed a suitcase for you and I and we came to Joburg to visit a friend. From that moment on, the same big Universe was set in motion to create a life I had never imagined and things started to fall into place one by one.

My friend said to me at the time, “Just come and stay whether it’s for a week or a month or a year, dImage may contain: one or more people and people sittingoesn’t matter.”, nobody knew. I hadn’t been working, in fact I didn’t even have my own bank account but hey, eight months later we moved into our own little place.

It was an interesting time. I grew, I learned, I watched things happen almost as if it was a movie… and you grew and learned and you were this amazing light in my life. We were going to be okay.

JJ-045

We built our new home on rock

Throughout every moment of this new life, we had such incredible support from friends and family. People who were there for us, come what may, new people who came into our lives and have added to our adventure in the best ways. We have been blessed with love beyond measure and my heart runs over with gratitude every day.

Family

You weren’t even walking yet when we met SuperDad and Caroline and for the two of you it was love at first sight! For us grownups it took a while longer and it was three years later when we took the big step to moving into one home together.

At four years young when your little world was shaken to its core again. Blake was born and you had a new sibling in your home, which is hard enough to deal with for most children. Two months to the day after that, your grandfather passed away after years of suffering. The two of you were like soulmates, as close as I had ever seen and for the last four years of his life, you were the light in his life too.

wade blue

Living through that grief, that heart shattering period with you was possibly the most intense emotional experience I have ever had. Having lost my grandfather at six years old, I knew that you would need as much love and support as you could get but I couldn’t even begin to imagine that a four year old child had the capacity to grieve a person’s loss so intensely. To this day he’s often on your mind and always in your heart. We talk about it and we think it through and it is okay.

My Wadie

Nine years later we are much, much more than just okay.

wade zebula

You are the most beautiful soul. An endless well of energy, a constantly enquiring mind always looking to understand more, a gentle and kind spirit with a laugh that comes straight from the core of your being. You’re sensitive, without taking life too seriously. Intelligent, with a sharp sense of humour.

The best, most patient and understanding big brother.

Practically born with a ball in hand, you could easily keep yourself occupied all day with a ball and a patch of grass. Outside as much as possible whether hiking, animal spotting, playing, running, swimming or just lying on the grass making up cloud shapes. Your favourite place on earth is the beach and my favourite place on earth is watching you play and laugh in the waves.

IMG_2982

Music lover, day dreamer, loser of things and capturer of hearts… you never give up and you shine so brightly. Whatever comes, we’ll never give up and it will always be okay.

Thank you for choosing me, for teaching me, for being my light. I love you.

For Wade, 9 years young on 06 March 2018.

family

Boerewors and Vegetable Pot with Pearl Barley

I must say that I was very happy with this meal as it came together out of literally nothing.

It was one of those days where I hadn’t planned anything and walked into the house having no clue what I was going to do for dinner. I knew I had boerewors in the freezer, but what does one do with boerewors other than pap/maize meal? We need something healthy and I don’t feel like going to the shop… My brain having been given a challenge, I started raiding the fridge for random veggies to chop up.

When I saw the packet of barley I knew I was onto something yummy and so it became the most fantastic, full of veggies, boerewors stew pot. Not a bad carb in sight! The sausage does contain gluten, so if you were totally gluten free I would suggest finding a gluten free sausage or changing your meat. The veggies are just fresh, beautifully healthy and barely need any flavouring.

This is a must to try for your family! Let me know when you make it and remember to tag @mammachefjozi when you do 🙂

Boerewors and Vegetable Pot with Pearl Barley

Category: Weekday Meals

Cuisine: Meat Dishes

4

Boerewors and Vegetable Pot with Pearl Barley

Ingredients

  • 700 g boerewors, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1/4 cabbage, finely sliced
  • 4 small sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin water
  • seasoning

Instructions

  • Cook the barley according to packet instructions.
  • Fry boerewors in a shallow pan until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté the onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini and cabbage until slightly browned. Add the tin of tomato and half a tin of water and stir well.
  • Add back the boerewors.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender and the other vegetables still firm. Serve with the barley.
https://mammachefjozi.com/boerewors-and-vegetable-pot-with-pearl-barley/

boerewors and vegetable pot with barley and chickpeas

Bacon Roasted Butternut & Spinach with Gluten Free Pasta

This recipe truly is as delicious as it sounds! The butternut gives it such a lovely sweetness that makes it warm and comforting, the crispy bacon adds a little crunch. The kids got in on the action and the whole family just loved this meal. Definitely one that will be showing up in future!

Bacon Roasted Butternut & Spinach with Gluten Free Pasta

Category: Weekday Meals

Cuisine: Pasta

4

Bacon Roasted Butternut & Spinach with Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients

  • 1 packet bacon strips
  • 2 cups small butternut cubes
  • dried thyme
  • 300 g gluten free/wholewheat pasta
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Roast the bacon on a roasting pan in the oven at 200 C for a few minutes until crispy and the fats have rendered off, then remove the bacon, leaving the juices in the pan.
  • Add small butternut cubes to the pan, spacing them out, season with salt, pepper and thyme then toss to coat with the juices.
  • Roast at 220 C for 20 minutes.
  • Cook pasta and add spinach to pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking. Drain water.
  • Mix all together in a serving bowl and serve with the bacon roughly chopped and sprinkle with Parmesan.
https://mammachefjozi.com/bacon-roasted-butternut-spinach-with-gluten-free-pasta/

bacon roasted butternut and spinach with gluten free pasta

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