Meat Free Monday

Creamy Vegetarian Casserole in Less than 30 Minutes

Creamy and delicious, filling and nutritious, this vegetarian casserole is fast as flash to the table. Gluten free and perfect for a Meat Free Monday dinner when you just want to pop a dish in the oven and have it come out steaming and ready to please the whole family.

Creamy Vegetarian Casserole in Less than 30 Minutes

Category: Meat Free Mondays

Cuisine: Vegetarian


Creamy Vegetarian Casserole in Less than 30 Minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 g butter, chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed & sliced
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 800 g baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 400 g broccoli, trimmed & cut into small florets
  • 150 g sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated mature cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven grill to medium.
  • Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Cook leek and garlic for 2 minutes or until leek softens. Add potato. Stir well. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to med-low & simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Stir in broccoli, sugar snaps, asparagus, cream and parsley. Bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Transfer vegetable mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheese over vegetable mixture. Grill for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve.

Photo and original recipe from

Fabulously Fast Vegetable Egg Fried Rice

Finished in a flash, this vegetable egg fried rice is so fuss free it’s an absolute life saver. If you know you’re going to be pressed for time, cook the rice on a Sunday afternoon and keep cold in the fridge. All you need to do is fry up the veggies, crack open an egg and pour a glass of wine!

Fabulously Fast Vegetable Egg Fried Rice

Category: Meat Free Mondays

Cuisine: Asian


Fabulously Fast Vegetable Egg Fried Rice


  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 1-2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • sprinkle dried chilli flakes
  • 3 green onions, diced


  • Add oil to a large pan over med-high heat and saute onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes and cook for half a minute.
  • Add in the vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring.
  • Move the veggies to one half of the pan. Add egg and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scramble it with a fork or spatula and stir in with veggies.
  • Add rice to pan. Add soy sauce and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.


Gluten free, Sugar free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Meat Free Monday


The Most Extraordinary Macaroni and Cheese Ever!

Yes it is the best ever Macaroni & Cheese

Being a recipe by Nigella Lawson, you just know it’s going to be something you can’t get enough of! She proclaimed it to be the best ever Macaroni and Cheese and you know what? She really was telling the truth!


Furthermore, you might expect a ton of cheese and unhealthy ingredients but there’s only half a cup of cheddar and a third of a cup of feta. I used wholewheat macaroni to add some extra fibre to the mix. Plus hidden sweet potato for the kids! It’s a very sneaky and absolutely amazing trick.

This is our Meat Free Monday dish, not quite vegan but vegetarian. For any other day I think it would also be great with some added crispy bacon bits.


Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese

Category: Meat Free Mondays

Cuisine: Vegetarian


Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese


  • 500 g sweet potatoes
  • 300 g wholewheat macaroni
  • 4 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 500 ml full fat milk
  • 1 tsp english mustard
  • ¼ tsp paprika (plus another quarter tsp to sprinkle on top)
  • 75 g feta cheese
  • 125 g mature cheddar (plus 25g to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • salt & pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil, with the lid on to speed up the process (and save electricity).
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them roughly into 2–3 cm pieces. When the water is boiling, add salt to taste, then the sweet potato pieces, and cook them for about 10 minutes or until soft. Scoop them out of the water into a bowl using a slotted spoon. Lightly mash with a fork, without turning them into a purée. Keep the water in the pot to cook the pasta later on.
  • In another saucepan, gently melt the butter and add the flour over medium heat, whisking until smooth. Take the pan off the heat, slowly whisk in the milk. When it’s all combined and smooth, put back on the heat. Using a wooden spoon, continue to stir while simmering gently until the sauce has lost any floury taste and has thickened.
  • Add mustard and ¼ teaspoon of paprika. Season lightly to taste, keeping in mind that you will be adding Cheddar and salty feta later.
  • Cook the macaroni in the sweet potato water, checking 2 minutes earlier than packet instructions state, as you want to make sure it doesn’t overcook. Reserve about half a cup of the pasta water and then drain.
  • Add the macaroni to the mashed sweet potato, folding in to combine.
  • Crumble the feta cheese into the sweet potato and pasta mixture. Fold in the white sauce, adding the 125g grated Cheddar as you go. Add some of the pasta cooking water, should you feel it needs more moisture.
  • Check for seasoning again, then, when you’re happy, spoon the macaroni cheese into a large rectangular oven dish. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar over the top, dust with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of paprika, then sprinkle the sage leaves over the top as well.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes, until piping hot and bubbling.

Find the original recipe by Nigella here.

Pauli’s Anytime Brinjal & Peppers Veggies & my Brinjal Blooper

Pauli’s Anytime Brinjal & Peppers Veggies

I must honestly tell you that Pauli’s sauces and veggies have become an absolute staple in Mamma’s house! Literally from breakfast to dinner, midnight snack and daytime snack, there is nothing you can’t do with their range. If you have followed me for a while, you would have noticed them pop up every now and then in my recipes.

There’s only one thing I really dislike eating and that is brinjal. As a child, the silly things grew in my back yard. Every day when I got home from school I had to water them (and the tomatoes and the rest of the veggie patch). I didn’t grow up in a house of cooks at all and the brinjal (silly eggplant) would be basically boiled and plopped on a plate for dinner. It actually made that exact sound… plop. It was awful!

Pauli’s Kitchen

Enter Pauli’s sauces! One lovely, sunny day in Jozi, I was fortunate enough to go over to the place where it all happens. The kitchen at Pauli’s is warm and inviting, your senses tingle with the smells of spices and freshly chopped chillies and brightly coloured vegetables. The place has a glow about it – not only from the heat of the chillies, mind you!

A whole spread was laid out and we chatted over breads and cheese, the whole range of sauces and veggies. Inevitably I was reintroduced to the brinjal in a few different forms. At first, not wanting to say I can’t stand the offensive little eggplant, I took a teeny weeny little forkful… hang on a minute… I had to go back for another little forkful!

pauli's sauces

Happily, I could then tell them about my brinjal issues and how I never ever would have picked up that bottle before! I could honestly declare myself converted! The only disclaimer is that I will only eat brinjals if they come in a Pauli’s bottle. I’m still nervous of brinjals in their natural form.

Since then, Pauli’s have become a MammaChef Jozi blog sponsor, an HR business client and more importantly a friend and an inspiration. Every so often, I will be featuring some dinner inspiration with Pauli’s sauces. You can find their stockists here and also have a peek at their fantastic website, gifts, recipes etc. Of course you can drop me an email with your order and I’ll make sure that the good stuff gets to you asap!

Here’s the Meat Free Monday recipe from their very own recipe book, featuring Pauli’s delicious (and I really mean that) brinjal & peppers!

Pauli’s Anytime Brinjal & Peppers Veggies

10 minutes

25 minutes

35 minutes

Category: Meat Free Mondays

Cuisine: Vegetarian


Pauli’s Anytime Brinjal & Peppers Veggies

A quick, healthy Meat Free Monday meal packed with nutritious vegetables. Pauli's Anytime Brinjal & Peppers is a fantastic taste addition! Find stockists at

Pauli's Food is a proud sponsor of MammaChef Jozi recipes.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 260g broccoli
  • 200g yellow patty pans
  • 260g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 260g mushrooms
  • 8 forkfuls Pauli's Anytime Brinjal & Peppers
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  • Roughly chop all the veggies into chunks.
  • Add the butter & 2 tbsp olive oil into a flat oven dish.
  • Place the dish into the oven for about 30 seconds to melt the butter.
  • Remove from the oven & add all the vegetables to the dish.
  • Add the Anytime Brinjal & Peppers & mix together.
  • Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the veggie mixture.
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
  • Ideal as a meat free main with ciabatta bread, or as a side with meat of your choice.

Spinach & Ricotta Canneloni

Nothing says “comfort food” like a warm, creamy baked canneloni. Loaded with lots of good, green spinach to make it healthy too!

This will definitely become a firm family favourite.

Spinach & Ricotta Canneloni


Spinach & Ricotta Canneloni


  • Olive oil spray, to grease
  • 500 g frozen spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 300g ricotta
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Cannelloni
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
    Tomato Salsa
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley


  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray an ovenproof baking dish with olive oil spray to lightly grease. Place spinach in a bowl. Add the ricotta, garlic, cream and nutmeg, stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon spinach mixture into the dry canneloni tubes using a tespoon. Place all into the prepared dish.
  • To make the salsa, combine tomato, garlic, olives, and parsley in a bowl. Spoon over cannelloni and sprinkle with parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Serve and enjoy!

Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas that Your Family Will Love

Where to find inspiration?

Our quick and easy meal plan for last week was really made up by the scruff of it’s pants! It did still come out very well but I have to say that with the weather being as odd as it has been the last few weeks, I found it quite hard to come up with inspiration. When it’s hot and sunny I would think of fresh and summery ideas. When it’s cold I would go for warm comfort food. I pushed through though and went mostly on what I had around the house already.

It was also SuperDad’s birthday and the guest of honour gets to choose whatever they want for dinner. He gave his vote to Blake, who decided on chicken leg and potatoes. Mamma played with the idea and waved my little wand (spoon) to come up with the week’s most popular recipe, which was grilled chicken and smashed potato salad. It received a big thumbs up from this adorable little boy, whose mommy sent me these gorgeous pictures of him absolutely loving his meal.

I have to add that we are all raving about his awesome Lego eating set! If you want to rush out and get yourself one, head over to Makro. I couldn’t find it online, but they can be found in store. Certain items also available at TakeAlot. The range is from Placematix and comes with cutlery as well.

Easy as Pie… so to speak

I find pie quite daunting to make, actually. In any case, my recipes must always be easy and quick to make so that’s where I start when looking for ideas. It does narrow things down.

Onwards and upwards to the yummy business!

Quick & Easy Meal Planner

Quick Easy Meal Planner_Mexican Veggie EnchiladasMeat Free Monday – Mexican Veggie Enchiladas

Quick Easy Meal Planner_Prawn Egg Fried RicePrawn & Egg Fried Rice

Quick Easy Meal Planner_Grilled Chicken Salad Smashed Potato OlivesGrilled Chicken Salad with Smashed Potatoes & Olives

Quick Easy Meal Planner_Baked Fish Rice VegetablesBaked Fish with Rice & Vegetables

Fish, rice and veg is plain, simple, the easiest thing ever and you can add any vegetables of your choice. I have a few rice lovers around so plain rice with anything is always a winner. Gluten free of course and adding the chickpeas gives an extra protein boost.

Mamma’s MomentHappy People Build Their Inner WorldTime seems to be absolutely spinning past us and these past weeks have gone by in a blur. I have been so super busy between business and blog (definitely not complaining) that when I find a spare moment it’s gold, it’s so precious and I wouldn’t waste it on negativity.Yet, I see people who still manage to complain about anything and everything. Do they not see that by focusing on all the negativity, they are creating more negativity in their own lives? Try, for just one day, not to complain and instead find something positive to focus on. See how it changes your perspective and even your reality.

Stay light!

MammaChef Jozi

Cheesy Mexican Rice & Meat Free Mondays

Meat Free Monday

You may have noticed that MammaChef Jozi is an avid supporter of Meat Free Mondays (see the South African Facebook page here). So what’s the big deal?

You don’t have to go vegan, but even one day of not eating meat has so many benefits.

Lowering your carbon footprint – this includes greenhouse gasses which are produced by livestock, farming, transportation and the masses of water it takes to produce meat.

Think of the animals – commercial farming methods have lead to unimaginable treatment of animals and going one step further than Meat Free Monday, it would be a good idea to be conscious of where your food comes from.

Your health – Reducing intake of meat has been proven to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even cancers. When planning a meat free meal, we tend to focus on adding even more nutrition to our plant based meals, thereby including foods with more polyunsaturated fats, plant protein, fibre and vitamins.

Why Monday? Well, Monday just seems like a good day, doesn’t it?

So… if not, why not?

Cheesy Mexican Rice

I ended up making an enormous wok type pot of this and after dinner, there was only enough left for one of us to take for lunch. It was so, so very yummy and I really just chucked a lot of stuff in a pot and waited for it to cook (while having my little glass of wine)….

Cheesy Mexican Rice
Cook 1,5 cups rice (white long grain or any of your choice) according to packet instructions.

While the rice is cooking, saute 1 chopped onion and 1 tsp chopped garlic in a large oven proof wok or pot/pan for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and paprika and stir well.

Add in a tin of brown lentils, 3/4 tin chopped tomatoes, 3/4 tin of red kidney beans, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot and 1/2 cup water.

Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down.

Set the oven to grill.

Add the cooked rice to the veg mixture, top with 200g finely grated mature cheddar cheese and pop the whole pan in the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Sprinkle chopped spring onion over the top and add as many optional extras as you wish – we added fresh chopped chilli and extra cheese (I love cheese). You could also add avo, sour cream, tacos for crunch, etc.

Featured Friend – Zucchini Mushrooms

Christel‘s Creative Cooking recipe is our Meat Free Monday meal (for yesterday)…
This recipe could be a side with so many things! So yummy looking, yummy tasting and cleverly carb conscious too!

Zucchini Mushrooms

1 small packet of Zucchini. Cut into thickish slices.

1 small packet of mushrooms (you can also use brown mushrooms for a more earthy taste). Cut in half.

One pan/pot for the Zucchini’s, one pan/pot for the mushrooms. You can use one pot but mushrooms tend to become very watery and the Zucchini don’t like to swim 😉.

Pan fry lightly in butter until al dente (You don’t want it to get soggy). Add a bit of salt & pepper and oregano flakes while frying.

Remove from pan and let cool for a bit in a glass bowl.

Once cooled, crumble some Feta cheese and sprinkle with a little bit of WOOLWORTHS SA Nut & Seed Sprinkles. You can use any other nuts as well.

You can also drizzle with olive oil if you want.

You can eat it as is, on a #meatfree day or have it as a side dish.

Last week’s dinner ideas roundup 

Last week’s dinner ideas roundup…

Monday – homemade tomato soup / pasta sauce

Tuesday – pork schnitzel with spicy rice and veg

Wednesday – SuperDad’s pulled chicken wraps

Thursday – lamb chops and roast vegetables

#PizzaFriday – no need to elaborate!

All from WOOLWORTHS SA – even the pizza!

This week’s meal plan is still a secret… even from me, to be quite honest! I just haven’t had time to sit down and do the planning. Although I do have a few ideas bubbling in my brain.

Homemade tomato soup 

Due to a massive power failure on Monday and soccer training etc., we had an easy backup dinner in the form of roast Woolies chicken. Our #MeatFreeMonday recipe therefore is a fabulous friend feature by Christél Schutte.
Homemade Tomato Soup which also doubles as a pasta sauce if you prefer!

Salt and Black Pepper.

1 Red onion chopped up with garlic, sautéed in a pot with olive oil or butter for a few minutes.

Add about 8 chopped up Roma tomatoes. Roma tomatoes from WOOLWORTHS SA are the best for soups and sauces.

Add a bit of your favourite white wine.

Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.

Secret ingredient is tomato paste – it gives it the beautiful red colour.

At the end, add a bit of pouring/cooking cream for thickness.
At this stage you have the best pasta sauce. Add some chopped up olives. Snip up chives or coriander or both. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Homemade tomato soup
To make soup:

Take tomato mix off the stove and blend with a stick blender until soupy.

Sprinkle with chives and/or coriander. Crumble some Feta. Eat with croutons or ciabatta bread.
If you find the tomato too acidic, adding a teaspoon or two of sugar will relieve this.
Beautiful, warm, delicious!

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