Category Archives: Vegetarian

Aubergine, Eggplant, Brinjal, Melanzani, What’s in a name

I got another cookbook which is a vegetarian one. I love non-meat food and I love Italian and Greek cooking, amongst all the others. When going through the book earlier today I found some quirky things from mosquito repellent to face packs as well some great recipes for food. One that caught my eye in particular was Aubergine Steaks done three ways. Now I love the idea of aubergines but I must admit one of the things I hate is baba ganoush. I just don’t enjoy the texture. But I quite like the idea of these.

Aubergine Steaks Mellissa Bushby Fresh from the Vegetarian Kitchen

They look good and I like the idea that there is Italian inspired, Thai Inspired and then South African inspired. Now in South Africa we love the slab of meat thrown on the fire. So being vegetarian is not difficult but it does require a bit more effort.

I remember when I was on the SPCA committee in Benoni and we attended the annual conference for the National body and the highlight of the food at the luncheon was a potato bake. No meat allowed. But really there was nothing to inspire one. Now, in our cooking more and more people are asking for carb conscious and healthy food. Which really is great but it is amazing to see the change happening in our country. Many South Africans cannot afford meat everyday.

Anyway I hope Mellissa Bushby won’t object if I share the South African inspired one.  It is basically making your own Braai or Barbecue sauce and for that you need:

1 cup of tomato sauce, 1TBSp brown sugar, 1TBSP soy sauce, 2Tbsp worcestershire sauce, 2Tbsp grape vinegar, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1tsp paprika. Put everything in a saucepan bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes and remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Cut 4 medium aubergines and cut into 2cm steaks, across the aubergine, then put in shallow dish and marinate with sauce for an hour or so. Aubergines act like sponges and will soak up the flavour. Then braai them over the coals just checking that they don’t burn, but get a nice crust on them . I would serve with a salad and maybe even some sambals. I think aubergines go really well with tomatoes.

I hope you try this and enjoy them.




Dutch Butter Tart and Thermomix

Ok so I love my thermomix as it makes life so much easier. I get a new recipe every month and this month I received one for a great tart/cake. The minute I told my husband it was a butter cake he was extremely excited. He loves butter

here are the few ingredients required

220 g flour
1 pinch of salt
200 g butter cold from fridge
200 g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla or lemon rind
1 egg, beaten
30 g slivered almonds


Now how simple is that. Here is what you do if you have Thermomix

Mill sugar into caster sugar 3-4 sec/speed 10.
Add cubed butter 10 sec/speed 5.
Add flour and vanilla or lemon zest, and half the beaten egg, mix 20 sec/speed 5.
Press into aluminium tart tray or pie dish (buttered).
Smooth surface with wet spoon or spatula.
Sprinkle almonds over the top.
Glaze with remainder of egg wash.
Bake at 180°C for 25-30 min.

If you don’t have a thermomix then you can just use caster sugar and a mixer for beating and mixing.

So now get out there and try it. A lovely buttery tart what is very rich but very delicious.

Thanks to Wanda Molteno for giving us her recipe.

Tuesday Quick Food

Yesterday I had some snacks to make and they asked for healthy. Now I am trying to stick to vegetarian or even vegan on a Monday following the Green Movement. So we made lovely rice paper rolls with stir fried veg and courgette rolls with home made Maas Kaas.

rice paper rolls and courgette rolls

So simple to make and quick. Especially as I used the induction plate which just goes so fast. We topped the courgette rounds with a cherry tomato and hey presto. So when you have friends over for a glass of wine try these. The rice paper rolls were topped with pickled ginger – my favourite – and sesame seeds, the chives and their flower from the garden.


Have a great Tuesday


February Bugs

Well February is here and the family and I have been hit with a virus. Feeling very dizzy and exhausted by it and even spent most of yesterday in bed sleeping. Where does the saying as week as kitten come from/ Not sure but it is how I feel. However the crafting and cooking must go on no matter what.

I am super excited with this fairy jar and have been trying out other ideas such as hearts, butterflies and I think they look quite gorgeous but then I did make them. Are we not always to critical of our own creations, our kids even when other people find them quite charming.

Normally I plan and prep very well but with this bug I just can’t think straight. Todays food though is for a lunch for vegetarians and meat eaters so it will be spinach and butter nut phyllo pies and stuffed chicken with baby potatoes and green salad. Followed by milk tarts. Easy simple lunch but it does make good eating.


January 16th

Do you ever just Google to find out what happened on this day in history etc. Well today is Martin Luther King day and January is Oatmeal month. The 16th is also  National Nothing Day and appreciate a Dragon Day. Check them out here.

Anyway I digress today is a lesson on Potato Scones or as the Scots call them tat tie scones. I grew up near to the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow and there was a bakers there called Oliphants and they are situated on The High Street across from a great butcher Anderson’s.

Tattie scones are not hard to make you just need to have a ratio of 75% mash to a maximum of 25% flour and a nob of butter. I even use potato flour if I have any in. That is the recipe, its not difficult to make, just mix together. Here is the Lofty Peak recipe for them.

I always make mine into triangles and just cook by frying in a lightly buttered fry pan or a girdle pan. Above is a traditional one but I often use my crepe pan for making them.

One of my childhood memories though is when we got an electric stove it had a rectangular double hot-plate on one side and here we would make pancakes and tattie scones straight on the plate.

Anyway here are the finished tattie scones which go great with Clootie dumpling and bacon and eggs. The round one has just started to cook.  My husband ate three of them with supper (and not the small ones).

Enjoy and watch out for Clootie Dumpling.


The humble spud, tattie or potato is a great favourite in Scotland and it can come in many different shapes forms etc, but one of my all time favourites is new potatoes with butter and oats. It  may sound strange but it is delicious. The oats add fibre and bulk it out. Actually just thinking a great favourite in Italy is spaghetti with potato so they obviously understand the need for cheep food to feed many people.

Rabbie Burns had 12 children from 4 women and many were illegitimate but the mouth and the belly don’t care about legitimacy just where is the food.

It is very simple to make as you take the baby potatoes and in Scotland Ayrshire Potatoes are favourite. They are the first new potatoes on the shelves as Ayrshire has a much warmer climate due to the Gulf Stream.  A soft, smooth, creamy flavour makes them irresistible and you never peel them as they just need a wash and then either boiled or as I prefer steamed until soft when stabbed with a fork or Sgian Dhu.

visit this web site for a lot more info

Then comes the magic bit. Take your potatoes and add plenty of butter and salt and pepper. Take a good handful of oats or enough to coat the potatoes but not to overpower them. Eat with whatever you want but of course this month it has to be with a good Haggis which has either been boiled or roasted. Just mind it does not burst and of course when cooked make an incision in the top preferably with a Sgian Dhu a traditional knife worn in the right stocking with a kilt if the man is right handed or in the left hand if left handed.  Here is my tartan and clan crest as I was born Sutherland and I am sure some of my ancestors were moved and replaced by sheep. Oh how the Highlands suffered.

The Sutherland Crest

Ancient Hunting Sutherland