Soup and cuddles

Oh gosh. What a really bad title to a really good post. I’m single so definitely no cuddles for me tonight or any other night for that matter. But I supposed making soup serves as a comforting disposition for now.

Talking about soup. So the other day I had some leftover cauliflower in the freezer and I was contemplating on whether I should make cauliflower mash or cauliflower soup for dinner. Been feeling a bit groggy lately. Possibly due to the change in seasons, my allergies, my insomnia or perhaps a mixture of all three?

So turns out soup was the dish of the day. A lot of people are scared of CAULIFLOWER. I don’t know why. Still trying to figure that one out. I mean I was one of those people, till a cauliflower a size of a baby’s head ended up in my trolley one day. So I did a bit of research.

Cauliflower and caramelized onions go together. So does cauliflower and any form of homemade tahini dressing you can think of. Cauliflower and hummus. Better yet just roast the stuff with a bit of salt and pepper and have that for dinner with your Bolognese sauce instead of having pasta (merde I cannot believe I am telling you guys not to eat pasta, forgive me dear Italian friends).

Okay – back to the soup! The trick to making really bad-shit-crazy-yummy-in-your-mouth soup is to ALWAYS roast your vegetables. Always. It is almost like the oven extracts the delicious flavor out of the vegetables while you sit back on the couch.

And then to elevate the final taste of your soup you can add garlic, spices, fresh herbs, cream, coconut milk, ginger. There is so much you can add. Ooooh and bacon bits!

I am just so stoked that my creative juices are flowing again and that I am able to share some of the yummy eats I make at our apartment with you.

Smiles. Smiles. Smiles. and spoonfuls of cauliflower soup.

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Let me know if you would like for me to share a potato and leek soup that I make every winter. My mum is still asking me for the recipe to this day😂😂 😂!

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Roasted Cauliflower + Coconut Milk Soup 

(serves 4 . as a starter. vegan recipe)

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil
3 sprigs of spring onions, chop off the top green bits
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup water
165ml can coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Lay the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Grind some salt and black pepper over the vegetables. Add the cayenne and mix together.

Roast for 20-30 mins until their smell fills the kitchen and they start getting some color.

In a medium sized pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat.

Add the chopped spring onions and sauté for about 5 minutes stirring often, then add the garlic {p.s. make sure they don’t stick to the pot or burn}.

Next, add the roasted cauliflower to the pot. Mix well, and cook for another couple of minutes.

Now add the cup of water. You can adjust the water based on the consistency you want in the end.

Let the mixture come to a boil slightly and add the coconut milk.

Reduce heat to medium low. Stir to combine.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the flavors meld together and you are happy with the way it tastes.

Grind some salt and pepper to taste. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Just don’t go overboard.

Remove from heat and blend everything together until smooth. The soup should look silky and creamy.

Serve in bowls garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and chunks of french loaf on the side.

Note: I used a high powered blender right after the soup had cooled slightly. Blended on high for a minute and a half. You should trust your instincts and your taste buds when making soup. They won’t steer you wrong. Also I would advise, extending your roasting time to 30 -45 min if you are using frozen cauliflower florets.

I genuinely do hope you enjoy this one. Winter is bound to be shit cold this year! Plus it’s a little something something for vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and 6 year old’s.

Until next time!

Lee. x

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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

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. 

✌🍷