Month: May 2018

Healthy Prawn Curry by Life’s a Treat

I had been craving a really good prawn curry for a while when, one fine day on Instagram, my friend Puveshree from the blog Life’s a Treat posted this recipe on her stories. She has such skill with combining the different spices and she also posted each step with a video and made it all look so easy. As she does with all her amazing bowls and healthy recipes.

Luxury prawns on a budget

The perfect opportunity to use her wonderful recipe presented itself when I had to select a guest recipe for the One Grand Family Challenge. It was a no brainer! There are quite a few spices involved and thankfully with clever meal planning, I had the room available in my budget for a bit of a luxury meal. Thankfully, Food Lover’s Market also has an enormous selection of spices and there was not one item on the list that I couldn’t find there. Their seafood section often has great value for money offers and I wasn’t cutting anything else out to be able to afford the prawns.

I decided at the last minute to make some roti to go with the curry, because you simply can’t have curry without roti, and the recipe is also included for those who have been asking for it. The boys went absolutely mad for the roti and mopped up all that delicious curry with it in a flash. Not being a curry fundi, I did use a little less chili powder in the recipe as I was worried that it might be too spicy for the boys. It ended up being just perfect.

Healthy Prawn Curry by Life’s a Treat

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Indian


Healthy Prawn Curry by Life’s a Treat


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed
  • fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dhania powder
  • 1 tsp garum masala
  • 1 tsp jeera powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tomatoes, blended
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger and garlic
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk
  • himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 350 g prawns


healthy prawn curry puveshree life's a treat

Making the Roti

You will need the following:

  • 400g cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • half cup flour for dusting the work surface
  • 250ml hot water

1. Add 350g flour into a bowl. Add the oil. Add the hot water. Mix with a tablespoon since the dough will be quite hot.

2. Take some of the remaining flour and dust the worktop. Remove the dough from your dish then place on the work top.

If it is sticky then add a little flour until it is soft and manageable. Knead the dough until a soft pliable dough is formed.This could take up to 5 minutes…keep kneading the dough until a soft dough forms.
3. Once a soft dough is achieved, cover the dough with a dishcloth or with your mixing bowl turned over it.
Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes while you prepare the butter and heat the pan.4.Melt the butter then return to the dough. Break off a small piece of about 8cm diameter then roll into a large circle shape. Spread some melted butter over the circle shaped dough.
5. Then roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Roll inward toward you. Once you have formed a snake-like shape then cut into even pieces.
6. Take one of the cut pieces, stand upright then press down with your hand this will create a circle when flattened. Dust your hands with flour, work this small circle into a round shape then place onto work top and roll into a flat, round disc. Make sure the roti is rolled as flat as possible.
7. To cook your soft roti simply place on the hot preheated pan (the pan should be hot). The cooking process for each roti should be 1 minute. Allow the roti to cook for 5-10 seconds before turning it over. On the second side allow to cook for a little longer, pressing the sides with your fingers to ensure that it cooks. Turn the roti once you see bubbles forming.
8. Allow it to start rising on this side and then turn again. Once you can see golden brown spots, the roti is cooked. Repeat with the rest of the rolled roti. Once all have been cooked, cover with a piece of paper towel, this will keep the moisture in and keep the roti soft until you are ready to serve.

Red Pepper & Chicken Pasta

All you need to cook this delicious red pepper and chicken pasta is 30 minutes and one pot! Couldn’t be much easier than that! I found this recipe on the Kitchen Stories app.

Red Pepper & Chicken Pasta

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Pasta


Red Pepper & Chicken Pasta


  • 350 g chicken breasts
  • 100 g bacon
  • 2 red peppers
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 500 ml tomato puree
  • 300 g wholewheat pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • basil


  • Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and finely chop bacon. SLice pepper into thin strips and halve the cherry tomatoes. Finely chop the onion.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over med high heat and fry chicken for about 5 minutes.
  • Add bacon, onion and pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, oregano and cherry tomatoes. Cook for approximately 3 more minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.
  • Deglase the pan with white wine, chicken stock and tomato puree, making sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the sauce.
  • Bring to a boil, then add the uncooked pasta.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes until pasta is cooked but still firm.
  • Garnish with basil and Parmesan and serve steaming hot!

Tuscan Beans & Vegetable Soup

The perfect winter warmer

A thick and oh so flavourful beans and vegetable soup that cooks in 30 minutes. With winter starting to nibble at our fingertips in the mornings and evenings, we’re almost automatically looking for some warm comfort food. This soup is perfect for a busy week night because it won’t take years to cook! It has all the healthy nourishment you want for your family and… wait for it… it’s topped with cheese!


Now, usually I wouldn’t mind doing the chopping as it is a bit of stress release. This time, however, I opted for the prepared soup veggie mix from Food Lover’s Market because it was so affordable, the bright colours just looked gorgeous sitting there on their shelf and I actually can’t bring myself to buy celery on it’s own.

Save the celery!

I like the odd little bit of celery in soup, it does make a valuable contribution to the overall soupy flavour. However, in it’s fresh form I just can’t stand the stuff! Sadly for celery and eggplant, they will probably never be welcomed into my kitchen with open arms.  Sneaking them in so that I could hardly notice them myself worked out just great. I saved time by not having to chop all the ingredients, I saved celery from ultimately ending up in the dustbin and saved my nose the trauma.

Soup is one of my absolute favourites! I could easily make a soup at least twice a week. The boys are hesitant about butternut soup (maybe it’s butternut in general) but they adore their green soup and a good few cups of kale in this soup helped it to get the stamp of approval.

Served with some crusty, toasted sourdough bread to dip in and scoop up all the tasty goodness! Then bask in the glow of that lovely warm and fuzzy feeling in your tummy.

Tuscan Beans & Vegetable Soup

40 minutes

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Meat Free Monday


Tuscan Beans & Vegetable Soup

Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Family Friendly


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 butternut, diced
  • or substitute all the above with prepared soup mix
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • shaved Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the soup mix or chopped vegetables and saute for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, red chili flakes, thyme and rosemary. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the stock, beans and tomatoes. Bring the contents to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and add the chopped kale. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Use a hand blender stick to partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of beans and vegetables for texture.
  • Add the salt, pepper and vinegar to taste and adjust as needed.
  • Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and toasted bread on the side.

tuscan-beans-vegetable-soupRecipe for Meat Free Monday in Week 2 of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge.

Week 1 of the OneGrandFamilyChallenge – The MammaChef Jozi Recap

“How is the challenge going?”

These are the heavily loaded words I heard when speaking to just about every person I encountered last week. You might imagine a scene from a survival reality show, with me huddled under a shoddy little shelter in the pouring rain… I am happy to report that this is not at all the case and this recap is for you!

In fact, the sun is shining and the children are happily gobbling up all their delicious and nutritious food. SuperDad, who was the first one to doubt that we would have enough food for the week, was happily surprised himself! We are carrying over quite a bit to Week 2 and so… obviously I am using the saving for a super luxurious meal which you can see in the next meal plan… watch this space!

Week 1 Meal Recap

Tuesday – Caldo Verde

You may have seen this one before as it is a family favourite. Since we’re shopping at Food Lover’s Market, there’s also always beautiful green kale available. It’s a Portuguese recipe which I only managed to coax out of my sister in law after we were legally wed. Just kidding! Made with potato, kale, chorizo, garlic and onion. The recipe is already on the blog and you can find it here.

Wednesday – Mediterranean Fish Shakshuka

As you know, I am always looking for new ways to include fish and I love a good shakshuka. The fragrant spices in this recipe accentuate the fish so well and cooking it in the tomato ensures that it’s juicy and almost melts into the sauce. (Disclaimer: if you’re not a fan of fish, there’s no hiding this one with mayo!)

I thought this might be slightly tart for the kids, but the rice took care of that and there was not a peep to be heard from them while they tucked in to their meal. Get the recipe here.

Thursday – Le Grand Cheat

Okay, not cheating at all. Rather clever use of yummy leftover tomato sauce. I know there may be some readers who are averse to leftovers, but I am not, and this was sooooooo tasty! The sauce was practically begging to go on some French Toast… wait, maybe that was SuperDad talking. No recipe required.

Friday – Wholegrain Flatbreads with Various Toppings

Since it was #PizzaFriday, I decided that it was time to make these flatbreads I had been craving. Of course, I put a healthy spin on it by using some wholegrain stoneground flour that I had in the pantry and a whole lot of wonderful toppings. We had enough that each person in the family had their own choice, or two, or three. We polished these in no time! They really were amazing. No more waiting for the recipe… get it right HERE!

Saturday – SuperDad’s Tuna Rice Salad


Weekends are always busy. On Saturday Mamma was out for most of the day, spending time with some amazing people at a couple of blogger’s meetups. It really was soul food for me! SuperDad and Blake went off to the zoo and in the evening, Dad made his go-to quick and easy dish, the Famous Fabulously Fast Tuna Rice Salad.

Sunday Lunch – Roast Pork Belly


We love to chill over a long Sunday lunch. Put on some music, open the kitchen door and do some cooking while the kids play outside. This Sunday lunch was a tender, slow roasted pork belly. To get the recipe, click here.

Closing thoughts

To end off the recap, I don’t plan specifically for breakfasts and lunches. I personally follow an intermittent fasting routine and don’t have breakfast. The boys will have either toast, cereals or eggs in the morning. SuperDad packs lunches, which usually have a sandwich, a couple of fruits or veggie sticks and an extra protein snack like biltong or cheese. We did have more than enough of all these included in our budget.

It’s not easy, it takes quite a bit of planning and maybe even willpower to not buy the extra treats and really unnecessary items. However, I feel that it’s definitely something worthwhile trying. Food Lover’s Market provides us with everything we could possibly need, plus a fantastic selection of fresh produce, excellent butchery and seafood, bakery (to die for) and all the herbs and spices a home cook’s heart could desire. Just a little time spent browsing and the inspiration will certainly find you!

Remember to read all about The Non Adventures of a Stay at Home Mum’s first week recap as well! Her recipes were mouthwatering!

One of my followers told me this week that she has realised that her oven is not just a place to store her jerseys, and that she has become inspired to enjoy cooking for her family! Music to my ears!

Look out for the Week 2 Meal Plan tomorrow.

Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Since it was #PizzaFriday, I decided that it was time to make this flatbread I had been craving. Of course, I put a healthy spin on it by using some wholegrain stoneground flour that I had in the pantry and a whole lot of wonderful toppings. Choosing toppings had everyone involved and discussing their options. This is my favourite way of eating, getting everyone around the table and actively engaging with the food and eachother. Happiness on a plate!

Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Mediterranean


Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Mediterranean Diet, Sugar Free, Family Friendly


  • 4 cups whole grain, stoneground flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups ice water


  • Combine the ingredients in the order given, one at a time, stirring well in between to combine. Knead a bit by hand for the final mixture, adding a little water depending on the flour used. Work fast to keep the dough tender.
  • The dough should be soft but easily rolled out.
  • Cut into 10-12 equal pieces. Roll out thin on a lightly oiled surface.
  • Prick the top of the bread with a fork, then add your toppings and place under a grill for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked.


I started with a tomato puree base, then added a selection of toppings from salami, anchovies, olives, basil pesto, tomato, sun dried tomato, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese and red onion. Would also work well with roast vegetables or grilled plain and served with humus and olive tapenade.

This recipe is from Week 1 Meal Plan of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge with Food Lover’s Market and the #LoveFoodMovement.


Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

As you know, I am always looking for new ways to include fish and I love a good shakshuka. The fragrant spices in this recipe accentuate the fish so well and cooking it in the tomato ensures that it’s juicy and almost melts into the sauce. (Disclaimer: if you’re not a fan of fish, there’s no hiding this one with mayo!)

This recipe features on Week 1 Meal Plan of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge with Food Lover’s Market and the #LoveFoodMovement.

Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Mediterranean


Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Family Friendly, Mediterranean Diet


  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 3-4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 500 g hake fillets
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • In a small bowl, combine the sumac, cumin and turmeric to make the spice mix. Set aside.
  • In a large, deep pan (with a lid) heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Saute onions for 2 minutes then add the garlic. Cook on medium-high, stirring often, until fragrant and golden in colour, about 2 more minutes.
  • Now add the tomatoes and half of the spice mix (keeping the remainder of the spice mix until later).
  • Add tomato paste, lime juice, water, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a high simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook the tomato mixture for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, season the fish fillets lightly with salt and pepper and coat on both sides with the remaining half of the spice mix.
  • Gently add the fish fillets to the tomato mixture, nestling the fish pieces nicely in it. Cook on medium-high briefly, then reduce heat to medium.
  • Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through (flakes easily).
  • Serve with your choice of rice, or crispy bread and garnish with fresh parsley.


Recipe inspired by The Mediterranean Dish

Embark on the First Leg of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge

1. The Concept

I always seem to be shocked at the amount of money we spend on groceries. It often is a theme that comes up in general conversation and people will recall their horrifying tales of blows to the bank account, which is met with sympathetic nods and shrugs.

Generally I do try to keep my spend low-ish and I don’t necessarily splurge on prawns and caviar, however I have never actually put a solid limit to my food shopping.

Therefore, when my brilliant friend and blogging buddy Nadia (from The Non Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom), announced that she wanted to attempt to spend no more than R1,000.00 per week on food I immediately jumped on board! I was not going to let my friend walk the plank by herself!

Embark on the First Leg of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge-Planning the adventure

We chatted and brainstormed and before you could say “one thousand” we had all engines on full steam ahead for an exciting journey.

2. The Plan

If you missed our first live chat, this is what you can expect to see on the journey:

  • 3 meals per day
  • Plus snacks
  • For two families of four (plus one or two occasion)
  • On Sundays we will each publish a blog post including our meal plan for the week ahead (7 days)
  • Shopping list
  • Each day, we will post photos on Instagram/Facebook stories of daytime meals and
  • Every evening we will post our dinner
  • Friday night at 20h30 it’s a live chat to catch up!

3. Travel Log – Week 1


Have we steered ourselves into rough waters?

So we have partnered with Food Lovers Market for a super campaign, which requires an entirely separate article. Be on the lookout for more details!

Having been away for the long weekend, I have joined this week fashionably late but I was confident when I walked into my local Food Lovers Market to dive into the shopping.

My confidence took a nosedive about halfway through the isles when I realised that I hadn’t gotten to the more costly items yet and was already over half of my budget!

I reckoned I would ensure that the dinners were taken care of and if my kids wanted snacks at school, well, they would have to start grazing. Maybe there are some class birthdays coming up?

4. The Meal Plan

Our navigation plan is transparent and I am just going to say upfront that we’re winging it for breakfast and lunch. Don’t tell SuperDad.

This is what’s for dinner:

  • Caldo Verde (Green Soup)
  • Fish shakshuka
  • Chicken skewers
  • Pasta
  • Flatbreads
  • Roast chicken

Of course you will see the details along the way. Make sure you are following along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates! I’m on Pinterest too and I love following and sharing ideas there…

5. Foghorn

So I have spent a huge chunk of time in Food Lovers Market, walking the isles awkwardly trying to push my trolley, mark off on my shopping list and calculate as I go along…

Embark on the First Leg of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge-shopping

Could I have ditched the sumac? Possibly… but it adds just the perfect flavour! Could I have passed by the imported tomato and basil bruschetta that wasn’t marked with a price so I had to guesstimate? Maybe… but it was perfect for my soup and I knew that SuperDad would love it!

Those were really the only extravagant items I had, in my opinion. Must add that pre-shopping trip, SuperDad was as confident as I was, if not more, about how doable this challenge would be.

Post shopping trip when he unpacked bags and evaluated my receipt, he actually said “I don’t think we have enough.” Momentarily the lights on the SS MammaChefJozi dimmed BUT this ship ain’t sunk yet!

Embark on the First Leg of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge-shopping list

So the bottom line is, after subtracting a couple of cleaning products that don’t count for the food challenge, I was R5.39 over the R1,000.00. Which is totally negligible.

If you haven’t heard from me by Saturday, please send food?!

Feel free to send in your cost effective tips and recipes to help us along and remember to share, share, share with friends and family!

%d bloggers like this: