Friday, April 17, 2015

Wheat-Free Vegan Super Salad

Getting bored of the usual cucumber and lettuce, but trying to get enough greens? Salads don’t need to be boring. Liven yours up by swapping iceberg lettuce for baby spinach or rocket and kale. This will also boost your nutrient count! Don’t want to lose the protein? You don’t have to. Swap out that smoked chicken or bacon for a few tablespoons of quinoa. It’s healthier too.
When I’m on deadline, I need easy-to-make desk lunches that can keep me feeling energised throughout the afternoon. I mostly stick to salads because they’re light – so I don’t get that 2:30pm lethargy – and I can cram in extra veg.

What You Need
1 handful kale
1 handful rocket
1 handful baby spinach
3 to 4 tbsp quinoa
2 tbsp mixed sprouts
2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
2 tbsp thinly sliced carrot
2 tbsp shredded cabbage
A few Kalamata olives
1 tsp goji berries
1 tsp dried cranberries
A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Toss all the ingredients together and serve. If you’re packing it for the office, don’t dress the salad until you’re just about to eat.

Gluten-free, dairy-free dark-chocolate tart

This recipe is a classic that I make regularly for dinner parties. 

It doesn’t require any oven time and your vegan buddies will love it too! But this recipe does come with a disclaimer: warning, very rich! You can leave the sugar out, I only add it in to take the edge off the bitter chocolate. Alternatively, you can use 75% Lindt instead of the 85% or 90%. You can add extra raspberries as desired. 

What You Need
1 cup desiccated coconut
3 tbsp coconut oil, plus a little extra
1 tin coconut cream 
2 large slabs 85% or 90% Lindt chocolate (Lindt 70% and above does not contain dairy)
2 tbsp icing sugar or two sticks of sweetener, plus extra for sprinkling over afterwards (optional)
1 tub (125g to 150g) raspberries

1/ Mix the desiccated coconut with the coconut oil. Press firmly onto the bottom of a springform tart tin. It should just be enough to cover the bottom so that you cannot see the base of the tin. Depending on the size of your tin you may need to add some more desiccated coconut. Grease the sides of the tart tin with coconut oil too. Place the tin in the freezer while you prepare the mixture, so it firms up and hardens instantly.
2/ Place the coconut cream in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until warm. Break the chocolate into pieces and add them to the coconut mixture. Stir until the chocolate has melted and a ganache-style mixture forms. Add your icing sugar or sweetener and stir to combine. Pour mixture into the chilled tart tin and leave in the fridge to set over night (or for at least 4 hours).
3/ Remove the tart from the fridge and gently remove the sides of the tart casing. Slide a spatula under the tart to remove the bottom from the base and place the tart on a serving tray. Sprinkle fresh raspberries over with a dusting of icing sugar and serve.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New JC Le Roux Packaging

JC Le Roux have updated their packaging for winter! In the name of the Winter Solstice, which takes places on 21 June (shortest day of the year), JC Le Roux have created packaging inspired by the night sky. Please note: the limited-edition bottles will only be available from the beginning of June.

Who says you can't pop some sparkling wine in winter? Make a yummy punch to get the party going by mixing two bottles of JC Le Roux Le Domaine with 1 cup fresh pomegranate juice. Slice up two oranges and add pomegranate arils for garnishing. Serve over ice!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Winter Food & Wine Pairing Evenings at the Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has launched its Winter Food & Wine Pairing Evenings. I attended one of these wine-and-food pairing evenings in 2013 with De Wetshof and it was fantastic. It's really worth the spend and the opportunity to chat to the winemakers.

The first one is taking place next week, so get your bookings in now!
The dinners are R545 per person, which includes a four-course dinner with wine, water and gratuity.

Here are the dates:

Friday 24 April: Stellenzicht Wine Estate

Friday 29 May: Morgenster Wine & Olive Estate

Friday 26 June: Simonsig Estate

Friday 31 July: The Drift Wines

Friday 28 August: Rudera Wines

Friday 25 September: Shannon Vineyards & Wines

To book, call The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa on 021 437 9255 or email them at

New Restaurant on Bree Street: IYO Burgers

Last night I was invited to the launch of a brand new burger bar on Bree Street (yet another cool and quirky addition to the #Breestreet food scene), which boasts locally sourced organic ingredients. 
They cook with coconut oil, have herb planters in the centre of their tables and they use recycled glasses and tins. Even their takeaway boxes are biodegradable and, if you return the used boxes to the eatery, they will gladly dispose of them in the correct way, for you. 

But the first question on everyone's lips was: "What does IYO stand for?" It's an acronym for their full name: Inside & You're Out. The entrance to the restaurant is right next to La Parada. You enter through two large red doors, up a stairwell and straight into a environmentally-friendly designed restaurant space.

The entrance to IYO Burgers on Bree Street
IYO burgers on Bree Street
The ordering system, once you get the hang of it, is quite simple. You grab a pencil (made with recycled paper) and a menu card and tick off the orders you'd like to place. You hand these in at the kitchen and then await the arrival of a variety of starters, burgers, desserts and drinks.

They have a cool wine selection too, with options like Waverley Hills Rosé and SMV (both organic), Quando Mourvèdre Rosé, wines from Hartenberg's Alchemy Range and Miss Molly Bubbly – all of which I love! They also have four craft beers on tap. I drank the Woodstock IPA last night and it was awesome!

Woodtsock IPA at IYO Burgers

Herb planters sent in the tables at IYO burgers

The space at IYO Burgers
The food philosophy is built on four pillars:Delicious Food, Local Community, Enviro-Impact and Ethical Accessibility. And I can attest to all of these principals, based on the delicious meals I ate last night.

But I bet you're all wondering what I ate last night, so let me give you a taste...
For starters my husband and I shared the pulled pork served with gluten-free crumpets and a whisky-honey sauce and the pork belly cubes. Everyone at the table actually had a taste of my pork crumpets and decided they were the bomb! I would go back just to eat multiple portions of this starter!

pulled pork on gluten-free crumpets at IYO burgers

Pork belly cubes at IYO burgers
Options for mains consist of burgers. There is a vegan burger and a vegetarian burger among the other beef, pork and chicken burgers. I chose the Whisky Braai-Q burger sans the cheese and I wnet bunless too. Now, most burger places that offer a bunless or naked burger in Cape Town present you with a patty and some a few scatterings of lettuce or rocket. Here, the serve bunless up in style: sprouts, rocket, lettuce... it was delicious!! And, even though my hubby had the same burger bun-and-all, he actually preferred my combo. I got sweet-potato chips on the side, which which excellent and overall, the meal was quite filling.

bunless burger and sweet-potato fries at IYO burgers
For pudding I went with the vegan cheesecake! Vegans out there can do a happy dance: this cake is so goooooood! A little too sweet to finish the whole slice on my own, but really yum! The flavours will change up regularly. My cheesecake contained pomegranates and radish – an interesting combination, which created this vibrant colour!

vegan cheesecake at IYO burgers

Me and Seth at the IYO Burgers entrance on Bree Street

The restaurant is open for lunch 12-3pm and dinner 5-10pm. They are planning on getting Wi-Fi for the worker bees to make the most of this setting

For more info on IYO burgers, visit

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The History of the Finalyson Winemaking Family

 Here is a story I wrote for Gourmet magazine just before I left. It was one of the most interesting articles to research and write about, firstly, because I'm a big fan of the wines from all these different farms and, secondly, because I love history! I was very privileged to speak to these great winemakers who have made their mark on the South African wine industry. Cheers!

Wine pouches perfect for music festivals

One thing I always struggle with: taking bottles of wine to music festivals. Glass is usually not allowed on the festival grounds, so I end up filling plastic bottles and mugs with vino to take down to the festival area.

Van Loveren have created a brand new product called Unplugged62, which consists of two wines which come in 1.5-litre pouches. The first is a crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc and the second is a fruity Merlot. Pouches sell from R70 per pouch.

Green peeps will delight: the carbon footprint is up to 80 percent lighter than two glass bottles. As no outer box is used, the reduced packaging material further shrinks the impact this range has on the environment.

For more info, visit