When I grow up, I want to be Jamie Oliver
His website has everything you could ever want in good, easy, healthy food! From vegan recipes to the most indulgent chocolate desserts (and these blueberry pancakes). One of the first cooking shows that I watched was his, years ago and I have always identified with his food philosophy which is essentially about good, simple, healthy food and balanced meals.
My philosophy to food and healthy eating has always been about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life’s greatest joys yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we’re turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.
A MammaChef Jozi FAQ
One thing I am asked very frequently, especially when people see me for the first time, is how I eat the foods I cook and stay slim and healthy looking. They always use one example in particular – pasta! Everyone knows how much I love my pasta!
The simple answer is, yes I do eat everything I cook! The key here is balance, lots of variety, fresh and seasonal vegetables full of nutrients and all that wonderful stuff. I limit myself to one serving, I eat sensibly during the day and we have treats occasionally – we don’t have dessert with every meal.
Now that I have cleared that up, I will give you the wonderful, light and fluffy, super duper easy recipe for these beautiful blueberry pancakes!
The Easiest Blueberry Pancakes
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 extra large free range egg
- blueberries – as many as you like
Mix together the egg and milk, then combine with the flour. Whisk until you have a smooth consistency and no (or just a few little) lumps.
Add blueberries directly into the batter if you like. I added mine afterwards.
Use a small measuring cup to pour batter into a pan, over medium heat. Leave enough space in between so that your little pancakes can spread out without running into eachother.
Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side, until bubbles have formed on the top of the pancake. Flip over and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until just nicely golden.
Great for a Sunday morning breakfast!
Inspiration from everywhere
Has Summer forgotten about us? Wherever you go lately, people are discussing how strange the weather has been. Of course we won’t complain about the rain, we just wish we could send some of ours down to Cape Town to alleviate the drought… which reminds me of the campaigns I’ve seen all over Social Media, making travellers aware of the restrictions in place. If you are heading to Cape Town this December, one of the campaigns you can follow on Twitter is #waterwisetourismCT with very helpful tips and updates for conscious water usage.
The inspiration for this particular week’s meals therefore came from everywhere but the weather! My eldest son came back from a holiday with his father on Monday and got to choose dinner… and so it became Pizza Monday! In my opinion, any week that starts with pizza can only be a great week!
The Meal Planner
Download your meal planner here and click on the recipe name below for the printable recipe card.
Tuesday’s recipe came from the lovely people at Pauli’s Food Co. I often rave about their sauces but this is the first time that I decided to try one of their recipes. There are so many delicious ideas on their blog as well and I was fortunate enough to be given quite a few of their recipe cards on my last visit to them. This Pauli’s Tomali Marinaded Chicken Pieces was one of them.
My Low Carb Cottage Pie has somewhat celebrity status in our house. It’s completely flop proof (I promise) and I have a few different variations of the same recipe. I have done a vegan cottage pie using lentils and sweet potato, of course there’s the regular potato mash version which is the perfect comfort food and when looking for some low carb inspiration I just added a little twist and topped it with sweet potato mash instead.
Thursday’s dinner popped into my mind as I was walking through the isles of the grocery shop, listening to a very chirpy rendition of Jingle Bells.
This Chicken & Red Pepper Pesto Pasta includes some spinach to add some healthy greenery to your gut. I used Ina Paarman’s Red Pepper Pesto and this is a dish you can literally serve up in 15 minutes!
There are so many options for pasta now and you can find just about anything to suit your dietary preference. Use some wholewheat pasta, gluten free pasta or even butternut spaghetti to change it up.
I shall call this one Fridge Friday, as the inspiration really came from the fridge. I had cooked some beetroot that was waiting to be roasted, had some carrots and hey presto! Kassler Chops & Roast Carrot, Beetroot and Lentil Salad
On the day, I ended up using Canellini beans instead of lentils, which were still tasty but I would have preferred lentils I think.
Over the next few weeks I will be trying out some “Festive” recipes. To help me with some inspiration for those, let me know what makes a festive recipe for you? Is it something that takes hours to cook like a turkey with all the sides? Is it summery and light (if you’re in a Summer Christmas zone like us, of course)?
Drop me a little note in the comments below or give me a shout on any of my social media! Love hearing from you as always!
Start counting sleeps
Nevermind cooking for this week… it’s just about time to start looking forward to Christmas! I’m not really ready to start looking back on the year just yet, save to say that it has been a rollercoaster, eventful, surprising, stressful but wonderful one!
We have just come back from a lovely, week long family holiday in Mpumalanga. I had time to relax, catch a few rays of sun on my nearly translucent winter skin and think up lots of ideas for the blog (and of course for business). The mind never actually stops working on something or other!
See what’s cooking this week
Those early birds who have subscribed over the past few weeks would have received the brand spanking new and gorgeously colourful Meal Planner in a new email format today! Yay for you!
In case you haven’t signed up just yet, you can do so *right now* on the home page in the “sign up” bar… and of course, you can get this week’s planner right here!
It’s all free because I want to help everyone eat better, cook better and feel better! The only thing I ask is for you to keep giving me all your feedback, photos and ideas to make this little idea be the best that it possibly can!
Last week’s meal planner was introduced with fanfare as we were featured on one of my absolute favourite blogs, Mom of Two Little Girls! It’s such an honour to be featured in this brilliant series by someone I completely admire and adore! Link to her post here.
You can also download last week’s printable meal planner on my post here!
The fun thing is that this week, we will be cooking together (if you choose to start on Monday) and you will see my photos pop up as we go along! Hopefully I can stick to my own recipes! Please don’t be shy to post your photos in the comments on Facebook and also share any tasty changes or additions you have made. I love, love, love all your yummy ideas too.
Our recipe cards are all ready to go too! Subscribers can download and print them now, stick up on your fridge or whatever works!
If you are not subscribed I am sad to say you will have to wait until the week’s roundup to get the recipe cards. On the menu this week is:
Seafood Rice & Chorizo (the easy version)
Speaking of imminent holidays, I have decided that my little layer of winter blubber also needs to disappear before beach time. Yes, my guys love me just the way I am but I like to be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t have a whole lot to lose, but I don’t have much time either! First step is lots of water.
More on that later though, for now I need to go shopping! Wishing you a beautiful week!
The last few weeks have really been a bit rough, exhilarating and amazing, but rough. So much so that I have neglected my beloved blog (although I have been able to keep our Facebook page and Instagram going full steam with all our dinner ideas – so please check in there whenever you want to!)
I will post a piece soon with all the news, save to say that it has been challenging, exciting, painful and there may be steam coming out of my ears at this very moment, as my brain is working at the speed of light!
Snapshot of this week’s dinner ideas
1 Butternut, cut into pieces, with skin (or without)
Pack of Broccoli,
A pack of thin sweet carrots
1 Red onion, sliced
Crushed garlic to taste (I used garlic flakes)
Salt & Pepper
A few tablespoons of double thick Cream
I cheat a little bit by steaming my veggies in the mic, before I put it in the oven. Put the Butternut, Broccoli and Carrots in a microwave safe bowl and add a little bit of water. Cover tightly with cling film or a roasting bag. Make sure there’s a little hole in the film or bag to release some of the steam – you don’t want the veggies to go ‘BOOM’!! Microwave on high for about 3 – 4 minutes.
Drain the excess water. Add all the veggies into an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven on 180° for about 30 – 45 minutes. After the first 20 minutes or so, add a few tablespoons of double thick cream and mix about. Crumble Feta cheese over and put back in the oven.
You can use your own discretion when it comes to when you want to take it out of the oven.
Tuesday – SuperDad cooks Lamb Chops
Succulent, grilled lamb chops with mashed potato, mixed corn and peas and a side of butter beans dressed with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Wednesday – Spicy Beef & Vegetable Curry
Brown 800g beef cubes in a large pot with some olive oil over high heat, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Sauté 2 chopped onions until soft, then add 1/4 cup of korma curry paste and mix. Add 6 diced potatoes, 2 cups cauliflower, 2 tins chopped tomatoes and a cup of beef stock.
Add the beef and juices into the mix. Season with salt and pepper. I also added about 2tsp each of turmeric and paprika, just because. Add in a cup of frozen peas.
Cook in normal pot for at least an hour, in low cooker for 8hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
Serve with Basmati rice and some plain yoghurt.
Gluten free, high in protein!
Thursday – Caldo Verde (Green soup with Kale)
We have made this one before! Link here
That was the week’s roundup! Followed by a busy and beautiful weekend with family!
Good grief, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t posted a summary of last week yet! Where does the time go?! Or should I say… time flies when you’re having fun! This is definitely the truth!
Monday: (Meat Free) Zucchini & Mushrooms
Tuesday: Flop Proof Cottage Pie
Wednesday: Chicken, Chickpea & Spinach Curry
Thursday: Pan Seared Fish with Tomato, Basil & White Wine Sauce
Friday: Easy Peasy Gluten Free Chorizo Pasta
Please have a look at my gallery of Sunday’s incredible buffet lunch at Aurelia’s, The D’Oreale Grande Hotel at Emperor’s Palace
The family came together to celebrate my Sister- and Brother-in-Law’s 30th wedding anniversary! A very special occasion celebrating two extremely special people, their exemplary marriage and the beautiful family and memories that they have created. So much love (and so much food)!
Yesterday’s dinner is a classic… Not your average Cottage Pie!
I think it was the first dish I really made “from scratch” donkeys years ago and now it has become one of my family’s favourites. Made with a super special mashed potato topping. This is a must to make and totally flop proof!
Cut 8 potatoes into quarters and place in a pot of cold water with salt. Bring to boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until soft.
Fry 1 chopped onion and 1-2 tsp crushed garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add 2 tbsp flour and fry together, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add 300ml beef stock, stirring it in little by little until you have a smooth consistency.
Add 1kg beef mince, season with ground salt & black pepper, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the mince is evenly browned. Add 1-2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (diced carrots, peas and corn), lower heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Set oven to grill.
When the potatoes have cooked, drain well and place them back in the pot. Add a splash of milk, 1 tsp dijon mustard, salt to taste, 200g finely grated cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of paprika and mash until combined and smooth.
Empty the cooked mince into a large, deep oven dish. Spoon the mash on top and spread out evenly. Sprinkle some more cheese if you like and some paprika as well. Pop in the oven and grill for 5-10 minutes just until the topping has a lovely golden colour.
Feeds 4-6 with leftovers for lunch!