Dinner at our House 🙌

Hi guys,

Clean out your fridge and your pantry and feed your friends. Just make sure they bring the wine though! As promised in the previous post the recipes are down below. Print them. Save them. Do what you will. This is a 3 course meal that you can make for a dinner party or to impress mates. I just hope you give one or two of the recipes a try and let me know how you like them. Better yet tag me on instagram: @thegrubbyeater and twitter: @LeeLebotsa.

I’m not much of a fan of dinner parties, unless I have been invited and I’m not the host for the evening. Then I get to sit back and enjoy myself. Cooking a meal for people (other than family) is rather risky…You need to consider other people’s allergies and their likes and dislikes and how your fake “vegan” friend chows down Big Macs on weekends. I’m honestly just glad that everyone enjoyed themselves and their meal. Especially since they are both guys and they both love their ‘vleis’. So here goes: my vegetarian  fool-poof meal that your boyfriend wouldn’t believe you made yourself!


Smoked paprika wedges and jalapeno hummus

Author: Lee Lebotsa. Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large waxy potatoes

1 Tub Mediterranean Delicacies jalapeno hummus

smoked paprika

2 tbs Prince Albert extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt & black pepper

METHOD:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and bake at 200 Degrees Celsius for 30-45 minutes.

Serve warm with the tub of hummus.

I promise you you’ve never had carbs like this before.

NoteI buy the Prince Albert extra-virgin olive oil at Woolworths or Saucisse Boutique Deli. It’s local and it’s a much cheaper (high quality) olive oil on the market at about R90 for 500ml.

Lentils and Jasmine Rice

Author: Lee Lebotsa. Serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 

1 can lentils

2 tbps tomato paste

5 spring onions, chopped

handful rosa tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

can of chopped tomatoes

2 tbps brown sugar

2 tbps tomato sauce

handful chilli flakes

lemon wedge

fresh basil

1 cup jasmine rice

2 cups warm water

salt & pepper

METHOD:

Put on the rice with the 2 cups of water and let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.

For the sauce:

  • Chop up your spring onions and garlic and set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium sized pan and switch on the stove.
  • Sweat the onions + garlic for a few minutes and add the rosa tomatoes.
  • Keep stirring and add your tomato paste after  about 8 minutes.
  • Add the can of tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar {don’t worry your dish won’t taste like dessert; it’s just necessary to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes}
  • Let the sauce reduce to about half its size – checking on it every few minutes.
  • Add the lentils and squeeze in the lemon
  • simmer for about 15 minutes and add the tomato sauce {sounds weird I know but tomato sauce has a sweetness to it that is concentrated in bottles and that you quite frankly can’t get in canned tomatoes or fresh ones}
  • Finish by adding the chopped basil and serve.

Spoon  the lentil sauce over the rice in large individual bowl.

Top with the leftover spring onions.

Vegan nana + granadilla ice cream (with Pistachio Halva)

Author: Lee Lebotsa. Serves 4 
Vegan protein • Dairy free • No added sugars • Yum

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INGREDIENTS: 

1 cup frozen bananas

store-bought granadilla pulp

3/4 cup plant milk (used rice milk in this recipe)

 serve with Mediterranean Delicacies pistachio halva

METHOD:

Blend the frozen nanas and dairy free milk on high for 2 minutes or until you achieve the required consistency.

Spoon the ice cream into a freezable container and mix in the granadilla pulp. Swirling the two mixtures so you can see both colors.

Freeze in the refrigerator  for 4 hours or overnight.

Soften on the counter/refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving (or better yet put the container over warm tap water, that should do the trick!)

Serve with halva for an epic taste explosion that you’ve never had before!

Note: make sure your bananas are spotty and ripe before you freeze them. That’s how you get the sweetness of the fruit. No need to add processed sugar!


Let me know in the comments below or on my social media pages if you try out any of the recipes. Or better yet what kind of vegetarian dishes do you like to eat.

Chat later.

☺ x ☺

Lee

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Birthdays and shenanigans

This past week was my flatmate’s birthday…Imagine this, 5 friends lots of Bombay Gin + Oude Meester Brandy and a couple of mixers (not forgetting the ice) to get the party going. Guess what we ate at the end of the night though – Butler’s pizza man! Sorry but I’m generally not a fan of theirs especially not of their bacon, pineapple and banana pizza. Yuck!

But that evening (#wackywednesday evening), I didn’t care much. We smoked too much and drank too much to the point where my brain was LITERALLY screaming for food. Pizza never tasted so good I tell you!

Anyway the gist of the matter is how for the past 2 weeks I’ve wreaked havoc to my digestive system and quite frankly to my eating plan. I had been eating so well for weeks. Excuse me while I shed a tear. . . Anyway yeah, green smoothies, low carbs, hummus (lots of it!), salads and a shit ton of fruits have been apart of my diet since mid-January this year. I’ve never felt so good in my life. I followed a more plant based and diary free diet; I still ate honey, free-range eggs sometimes and a bit of fish from time to time. I was eating clean. Enjoying it and felt so great all day everyday. I had too much energy I tell you. Shit look at me now – lethargic and dreaming about slap chips and snoek fish.

I need to do better. I’ve managed to cut back my coffee to one cup a day. The problem now is planning my meals again and getting rid of all the junk food and liquor in our kitchen.

I’ll let you know where I buy my produce in my next post…You can actually get a whole bunch of groceries to last you a month or so for less than R 1000. I’ll show you how!

Okay, this is a long enough post for the day. Check out my post tomorrow and read up on a Middle Eastern/Asian inspired meal I prepared for my flatmates last night. (Recipes will be included folks).

Thanks for reading.

Let’s do it again soon!  😛

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x Lee

How the Greeks lunch

Most people that know me, know that I’m quite the lazy cook. I need to make something quick and I need to make it fast to feed my craving! This is where Mediterranean Delicacies comes in. Most of their products are fuss-free and are packaged for your convenience (#readytoeat 😉 ). The entire brand is built around the culture of celebrating food, family and fresh produce – a culture synonymous to the Greek way of life.

Last month I got to spend an afternoon at the Greek Club Restaurant situated in Bay Road, Mouille Point as a guest of the #Medideli family. Oh what a day it was. I wish I had two separate bodies so I could eat as much as I wanted. I have been to feasts before … at braais, restaurants and family affairs but never like this. The Greeks sure do know how to have a good time. Feta cheese, hummus, olive tapenade, fish, steak, the works. I wish you had been there with me. Did I mention that there was a lady on hand who kept filling my champagne glass…BLISS

Without a doubt, my favorite of the Mediterranean Delicacies food products  is their smoked humus. Reminds me of summer days, the smell of wood chips burning and the scent of a barbecue!

Life is meant to be enjoyed – with family, newly found acquaintances and friends of course! Just do me a favor. Make sure that you have a laid out Medi Deli spread (and some toasted pita bread) to feed everyone!

Slurps and kisses,

Lee


Before I forget. . . Kate Liquorish (writer of undomestikated.blogspot.com) did a cooking presentation for us at the media luncheon using Mediterranean Delicacies products. You’ll note that you probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge or pantry. The rest can be bought at your local supermarket.

Here is one of the recipes below: definitely something the entire family will enjoy (just don’t add the chillies for the kiddies). Enjoy!

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Cumin Chicken with Pomegranate Couscous 

Author: Kate Liquorish. Serves 6

INGREDIENTS: 

4 Chicken breasts (flattened/cut into even thickness)

Marinade

30ml Lemon Juice

60ml Mediterranean Delicacies Olive oil

30ml Honey

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Oreganum

Salt and Pepper

Couscous salad 

1 cup Couscous

Approx. 400ml Warm Chicken Stock

Lemon zest from 2 lemons

1 Head fennel (sliced and washed)

1 Pomegranate (de-seeded)

20 Mediterranean Delicacies Calamata-Style Olives (de-pipped and sliced)

Handful of Fresh Mint (chopped)

8 Spring onions (Sliced)

2 Squares Mediterranean Delicacies Greek Feta

2 Mild Red Chillies (sliced) 

Dressing 

(Add enough water to emulsify it and dilute the thickness)

1 Tbsp Mediterranean Delicacies Tahina

60ml Olive Oil 

Juice of 1 lemon 

Pinch salt

+ Mediterranean Delicacies Tzatziki to serve

METHOD:

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, toss through the chicken breasts and marinade for 3 hours or overnight.

Take the chicken breasts out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp for 20 minutes before frying.

For the couscous:

  • Mix the zest into the warm chicken stock.
  • Pour the couscous into a bowl and pour enough stock over the couscous to cover it completely and then add a dash more.
  • Cover and leave for 10/15 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork, add the remaining couscous salad ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Spoon over a large platter.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and spoon a little over the couscous just before serving.

Fry the chicken breasts in a non-stick pan until browned and almost cooked through. 

Finish by pouring the marinade over the chicken and reducing to a thick syrupy sauce.

Slice up the breasts and scatter over the couscous salad. 

Spoon over sauce. 

Serve with Tzatziki. 

✌🍷

I’ll just be over here thinking about my next meal . . .

I’ve been conflicted lately about my passions and where I see myself in the next 5 years. I am hoping that most people go through something like this in their early twenties. Never mind the panic attacks and the sunken feeling that you are already failing as an adult 😟. In the same breath I have been having trouble introducing myself at social gatherings especially when asked the gory question ” So what do you do exactly “?

What I do want to say is “Oh well I spend most days lying on my bed thinking about what to have for lunch”. But of course this is not what I say. I opt for the simple explanation, “I am a food writer”.

For some reason I don’t feel like I’ve earned the title of food writer. Not yet anyway. When I think of established food writers I think of people like Simon Majumdar, Matt Preston and even Andy Fenner. Charming individuals with a food philosophy and a train record of success in the business. Am I too hard on myself?

It’s in our job description, as food writers, to bare our souls in our writing; to rave about diners and explosive food experiences we’ve had the privilege of being invited to. As much as it’s a right of passage to have blissful debates about burger joints that aren’t quite up to standard. Which is all quite amusing to tell the truth.

However there are countless set backs as a writer. It’s a truth universally known that you are probably going to struggle making ends meet most months #youvebeenwarned. You are never quite sure where your next paycheck is going to come from (and your constantly trying to find new content to entertain your passive online audience)! Add a dose of sleepless nights to the list, the I’m hanging on six cups of coffee kind of nights. The long hours of editing and re-editing… yep that definitely rounds up my life.

Don’t get me wrong food is what I love. It has been the only consistent thing in my life for a very long time. But damn it’s an uphill battle!

On the account of sounding rather bleak and negative I will say that there are amazing aspects to this job – this whimsical freelancing job. You get to meet the guys who work tirelessly in the kitchen; you get to attend some of the most exclusive events each year and get to eat some of the best food of your life. And every once in a while you find utter bliss in stumbling across Cara Cara oranges at the grocery store or fresh figs at the market. On those days you will find that your life as a poor “food writer” becomes somewhat tolerable…at least on that day!

x

Lee