Roasted Butternut Gnocchi with Parmesan Cream

Roasted Butternut Gnocchi with Parmesan Cream

This is a great choice for a starter. It’s rich so you don’t need a lot, and the flavour is so yummy. You can make your own gnocchi or buy it, up to you! 🙂

500g butternut, peeled and cut into wedges

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

30ml (2Tbsp) honey

30ml (2Tbsp) Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve

1 Cup (250ml) sourdough, breadcrumbs

30ml (2 Tbsp) butter, melted


Parmesan Cream 

60ml (1/4 C) Parmesan, freshly grated

250ml (1Cup) fresh cream

10 fresh sage leaves


1 x 500g packet gnocchi

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve

Fresh sage leaves to serve


– Preheat the oven to 180 C

– Place the butternut in an oven tray and sprinkle over the lemon juice, honey and oil. Season and bake until cooked and caramelized, about 30 mins. Set aside

– Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking tray, pour over the butter and season. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

– For the parmesan cream, heat the parmesan, cream and sage in a sauce pan over medium heat until the cheese has melted.

– Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water until the float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.

– Toss the gnocchi with the butternut and Parmesan cream, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, season and serve garnished with the sage.




Litchi and Duck Breast Thai Red Curry

Litchi and Duck Breast Thai Red Curry

So when I made this, I honestly thought my husband was going to lick the plate. Its a super easy dish and just the most divine taste! You just HAVE to try it! This one is from the PNP Fresh Living Mag.  These flavours are outstanding together! This is such an easy recipe and so simple, yet you could get away with this at a dinner party as you could really make the presentation look amazing. And Duck is always quite ooo-la-la!

4 duck breasts

Salt and milled pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4cm knob fresh ginger, chopped

1 sachet (about 45ml) thai red curry paste

Juice of 1 lime (2tbsp)

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 can (400g) coconut milk

1 packet sugar snap peas

1 packet baby corn

1 packet baby pak choi

12 litchis, peeled, de-pipped and diced

coriander for topping

Steamed basmati rice for serving.

– Score duck breast skin with a sharp knife, be careful not to cut through to the flesh below and season

– Place duck breasts in a cold, deep pan and bring pan to a medium heat and cook duck fat-side down until most of the fat has been rendered and the skin is golden and crispy (about 10 minutes)

– Flip and cook on the flesh side until done to your liking. Remove from the pan and cook garlic and ginger for a few seconds in all the pan juices

– Add the paste, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut milk and mix well. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.

– Toss in vegetables and litchis and cook for 5 – 8 minutes or until just tender.

– Ladle into bowls and top with sliced duck and coriander.

– I served this in a Tagine dish with white basmati rice in separate bowls which made everything look so stunning and I just let the tagine on the table and we just tucked in at our leisure.

Serves 4

Crispy duck with rasberry relish in rice-noodle wrap

Crispy duck with rasberry relish in rice-noodle wrap

Let’s face it, duck is pretty expensive. 2 breasts at woolies cost approximately R80. This is a great recipe to stretch that duck and make a fantastic starter that will no doubt impress and it tastes amazing too! When I prepared these, I made a little (simple) side salad with spinach and micro greens and yellow, purple and orange carrots and I sprinkled a few pomegranate seeds on the plate which looked so pretty! I put 2 on each plate with the salad and it was a great starter.

5ml (1tsp) muscovado sugar

1ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon

2 duck breasts

250g (1 punnet) rasberries

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

30ml (2 Tbsp) castor sugar

6 sheets of asian rice-noodle paper

16 fresh basil leaves or spinach leaves, or a combination of both (I prefer the combination)

– Score the duck skin with a sharp knife, careful not to slice into the flesh. Rub ground sea salt and pepper onto the skin side.

– Rub the muscovado sugar and cinnamon into the duck flesh and set aside to infuse for about 10 minutes. Don’t rub the sugar mixture onto the skin side as it will burn.

– Heat a griddle pan to very hot and fry the duck, skin side down, until crispy. Turn over and fry the other side until brown and cooked through.

– Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, then slice into thin strips

– Combine the raspberries, chili, black pepper and caster sugar in a pot and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. (you can add 1 tbsp of water in the beginning if you like)

– Soak the rice-noodle sheets in a bowl of hot water until softened. do this individually so they are easier to handle. They only need about a minute each.

– Lay the sheets on a clean kitchen towel and lay the slices of duck across the middle of each sheet.

– Spoon the relish over the duck and lay basil leaves over this.

– Roll the sheets up tightly . Slice into portions and serve

Serves 6

Chocolate Amarula Mud Cake

Chocolate Amarula Mud Cake

Saw this one in the Taste Mag. a recipe by Michelle Theron 🙂

Amarula and chocolate? YES PLEASE!

180g treacle sugar

180g caramel sugar

6 free range eggs

1 C fresh cream

360g Dark Chocolate (70%)

460g unsalted butter

4 T Amarula liqueur

200g digestive biscuits

1 T cocoa powder

Fresh gooseberries for serving

– Preheat the oven to 160 C. Beat the sugars and eggs until airy. Slowly add the cream.

– Melt the chocolate and 360g butter in heat proof bowl over a gently boiling pot of water. Once melted, add to the egg mixture and stir in the Amarula.

– Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and pulse to form a powder. Melt the remaining butter and pour onto the biscuit powder, mix and press into the base of a 20cm springform cake tin.

– Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and press down again.

– Pour over the chocolate mixture and bake for 40 minutes – it will look raw but take it out!

– Chill overnight and serve dusted with cocoa and the gooseberries.

Serves 8 – 10

Vanilla and Strawberry layered Panna Cotta

Vanilla and Strawberry Layered Panna Cotta pic

This is AMAZING! So easy and its great for dinner parties because you can make it the day before. I made mine in individual ramekins and they looked so great. I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo of the individual ones – but i will definitely be making this again, so I will remember then! 🙂

2 Cups Cream

1 vanilla pod, split

2 and a half Tbsps caster sugar

8 gelatine leaves

1 and a half cups berry juice

6 – 8 strawberries, plus extra for serving

sliced mulberries for serving

– Place a saucepan over a low heat. Add the cream, vanilla seeds and pod and caster sugar and simmer gently until the sugar dissolves.

– Meanwhile soften 4 gelatine leaves in cool water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the excess water before adding to the saucepan.

– Remove from the heat and allow the gelatine to dissolve before pouring the creamy mixture into a 10 x 15cm terrine or loaf tin.

*I lightly greased small individual ramekins and poured the mixtures evenly into them.

– Chill for 6 hours or overnight to set.

– In a sauce pan over a low heat, gently heat the berry juice until just warm, then repeat the process of dissolving the gelatine with the 4 remaining leaves.

– Slice 6 – 8 strawberries and layer on top of the panna cotta before pouring over the berry juice. Chill for a further 4 hours or until set.

– When you are ready to serve, briefly submerge the base of the tin in hot water, then run the blade of a palette knife along the insides of the tin to gently loosen the panna cotta.

– Carefully flip over onto a serving platter, top with fresh berries and serve.

Serves 6

Boozy-Baked Lamb Meatballs

Boozy Meatballs

This is the way meatballs should be done! Lots of flavour and lots of love! Don’t let the anchovies scare you off. They literally melt away and add such an incredible flavour (not fishy!). I have discovered with some lamb shanks that I do with anchovies too that they (lamb and anchovies) are GOOD friends!

1 Red onion, finely chopped

4 anchovies, chopped

500g lamb mince

50g fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg

Bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

700 mls Passata

1 large glass of red wine

2 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp caster sugar

50g parmesan, grated

–  Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the red onion and gently fry for 5 minutes until softened.

– Add the anchovies and cook for a further minute – they will melt into the oil. Set pan aside and allow the onion mixture to cool

– Put the mince in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, egg, chopped parsley (reserve some for garnich) and the cooked onion mixture. Season and mix together with your hands. Shape into small meatballs and chill until needed.

– Heat 1 tbsp of the oil and gently fry the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the passata and red wine and bring to a simmer. Add the oregano, vinegar and sugar, then season well and simmer for around 10 minutes.

– Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in another pan and fry the meatballs for 5 minutes, until they are brown all over. Remove, add to the tomato sauce and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes.

– Serve sprinkled with the Parmesan, remaining parsley and pasta.

Its important to brown the meatballs before adding them to the sauce so that they get a crust on them, which will stop them from going soggy.

Sticky Chicken Thighs with Avocado and Cucumber-and-dill Tzatziki

Sticky Chicken Thighs with Avo and cucumber and dill tzatziki pic

I made this last night and it worked so well! It’s also so easy to make it look pretty! The Cucumber ribbons are different and make such lovely garnish. The Tzatziki is such a lovely compliment to the chicken and avo. Very delish!

4 Chicken Thighs (skin still on)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp Worcester sauce

1/4 C Honey

Juice of 1 lemon

2 ripe Avocados, halved, peeled and pitted

1/2 cucumber, cut into thin noodles

For the cucumber-and-dill tzatziki, mix:

1/2 cucumber cut into thin ribbons

1 C Greek yoghurt

1 bunch fresh dill, chopped

sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste

– Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with foil. Combine the olive oil, mustard, worcester sauce and honey.

– Marinate the chicken thighs in the mixture for 2 hours (or overnight)

– Season the Chicken pieces with salt and pepper and roast for 20 – 25 minutes, basting occasionally.

– Serve with lemon-drizzled avocado halves, cucumber ribbons and a good dollop of tzatziki.

* I roasted a few little baby potato halves and placed them around the chicken and avo cause my boys need their carbs! It didn’t take away from the presentation either. So if you are serving this to boys, its a nice idea…

Pan-fried Salmon with beetroot quinoa salad

Pan Fried Salmon with beetroot quinoa salad pic

I’ve been on a few diets where they recommend that you substitute whole grains such as quinoa for processed carbs. They state it like its an easy thing to do…. but have you ever tasted plain quinoa? BLEAGH! However, i found this recipe and the beetroot really does add a bit of magic to the dish and you are able to enjoy the quinoa and feel healthy! Its also such a pretty dish! Very different to your usual colours. I really love this dish!

12 Baby Beetroot (cleaned)

4 Tbsp Avocado Oil

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

1 C cooked quinoa (cooked according to the package instructions)

4 x 200g salmon fillets

Fresh mint for serving

– Preheat the oven to 180 C.

– Toss the beetroot in 1 tbsp avocado oil and then arrange on a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and top with thyme leaves. Roast for 35 – 40 minutes or until tender and caramelised.

– Remove the skins from the beetroot, then puree the flesh with 1Tbsp avocado oil

– Fold the beetroot puree, lemon juice and parsley and 1 tbsp avocado oil into the cooked quinoa. Season to taste and set aside.

– Cut the salmon fillets into bite-sized cubes then rub with the remaining avocado oil and season to taste. Sear in a pan over a high heat for 30 seconds or until deep golden in colour but still pink inside

– Serve immediately with the beetroot quinoa salad and shredded fresh mint.

Serves 4

Sage and Orange Ostrich Fillets

orange ostrich

This recipe comes from a recipe book that I have that was written by a dietician. I really love the recipes in there. They are full of flavour and healthy! WIN WIN!! 🙂

Ostrich also loves fruity partners and this combo works so well.

400 – 600g ostrich steaks

Salt and pepper

15 ml olive oil

150 ml dry sherry

150 ml chicken stock

15 ml crushed garlic

Grated rind of 1 orange

3 or 4 sage leaves finely chopped

15 ml cornflour

75 ml orange juice

Orange wedges and sage leaves to garnish

– Season the ostrich lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a casserole pot, add the meat and cook for 5 – 6 minutes turning to brown all sides evenly

– Add the sherry, boil for about 1 minute, then add the stock, garlic, orange rind and sage. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to low.

– Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning once. The meat is cooked when the juices run clear.

– Transfer the ostrich to a warmed platter and cover to keep warm

– Bring sauce to the boil. Blend the cornflour and orange juice and stir into the sauce.

– Boil gently over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Strain into a gravy boat or serving jug.

– This dish looks so pretty with yellow rice.


Serves 4 – 6

Recipe from the “The Ultimate Diet Solution Cookbook”


Roast Butternut and Couscous Salad – Donna Hay


OOOH! this is one of my favourites! It is an amazing side dish to just about any kind of protein. I have not yet found preserved lemon rind. Every time I have made this it has been without it and is still fantastic. But I am still hunting for that rind!!

Serves 2

16 thin slices of butternut (keep the skin on!)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Cup (200g) Couscous

310 mls hot chicken stock

1 Tbsp shredded preserved lemon rind

1/4 C shredded mint leaves

200g firm feta, sliced

Honey-Cumin Dressing 

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

– Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the butternut on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and brush with oil.

– Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

– Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the stock. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 5 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed.

– Stir the rind and mint through the couscous.

– To make the dressing, whisk together the honey, cumin, oil and vinegar.

– To serve, place the pumpkin, feta and couscous on serving plates and spoon over the dressing.

I have experimented with this one a bit and i have grilled the feta rounds for a few minutes until they are a little bit soft and I actually stack the sliced feta rounds in with the butternut and couscous. Really works well. Or you can ignore me and just stick to the recipe! 🙂