Hot Chocolatey Delight

Girls, you will love and hate me at the same time for putting this idea in your mind.

Dark Hot Chocolate with Citrus

Anti-oxidising blood sugar stabilising raw cacao, low GI agave, and a delicious citrusy smell

  • Raw cacoa powder
  • Agave syrup or sugar
  • Hot water
  • Slice of orange rind

Creamy, chocolatey wonder

Throw away your low-cal dreams and pour in some coconut milk for the creamiest chocolate drink ever!

  • Raw cacao powder
  • Honey
  • 1/3 coconut milk to 2/3 water

 

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Scarborough sardines

It was a hot Sunday and everyone’s heads needed a cold dunk in the Atlantic Ocean to revive from the night before. We ambled towards the sea and threw ourselves into the water.

We then noticed that there were large numbers of seals jumping in the water, and noticed the big ball of sardines just knee deep in the water.  The sardine run.

The boys fetched a net and just one throw filled a big bucket with the shiny blue fish. Soon we were covered to our elbows in sardine scales, as we sat in the shade of the garden, scaling and gutting the fish.  I’ve always said that I agree with eating meat straight from the source whether it’s a chicken you raised, or a rabbit, or fish, but haven’t actually been the one to ever do the dirty work. I hate blood and guts – I still have scar tissue from when I dramatically feinted face down on the school desk during dissections – but I didn’t think too much and it was actually quite easy.

Then I went inside to trawl the food blogs to find out what to do with our fish.  The general consensus was that sardines have to be fresh and eaten immediately.

We decided to simply roll the fish in flour and salt and fry them in the pan. They barely took a minute and we ate them hot out the pan, crispy and delicious.

We also filled big casserole dishes with fried fish and covered them in a marinade of onion, garlic, origanum, cinnamon, wine, vinegar and pepper so they’d last into the next days.

We took more to a braai that evening and cooked the fish over the fire with just olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

We now have had Omega 3 in absolute abundance and I am all the more convinced I want to live off the land. Magic happens when food moves straight from the land/ocean to our plates. (Well, the fish barely touched plates, we scoffed them right out the pan!)

The next day, in my opinion, they had lost the fresh-out-the-ocean magic. They were now just, well, fish. I decided to make seed, potato and fish patties with green thai sauce.

Fish cakes and thai green curry

 

  1. Start with the laborious de-boning process. 
  2. Blend sunflower seeds into a flour.  Put in a big bowl.
  3. Put onion, chilli and garlic into the blender.  Add that to the bowl too.
  4. Grate a potato and add. 
  5. Blend the fish and add to the bowl. 
  6. Roll into balls and roll those in flax seeds.
  7. Fry in coconut oil. 
  8. In a separate pan, cook green pepper and baby marrow with yoghurt, teriyaki sauce and green thai paste. 
  9. Pour the sauce over the fish cakes. 

 

 

Homemade peanut butter

Making your own peanut butter is just far too easy! In return for 5 minutes of blending (read: standing holding a button) you have delicious homemade peanut butter.

  1. No added preservatives, refined sugars etc
  2. No unneccessarily bad oils added
  3. No plastic packaging
  4. No trip to the shops

Homemade peanut butter

  • Put some unsalted peanuts into a handheld blender and blend them into a paste.
  • Add salt and honey to your taste.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of peanut oil (or coconut/olive oil) to make it smoother.
  • Store in a glass jar.

Simple tomato pasta

When there was a glut of baby tomatoes and there were more than we could pick each day in the garden at Mdumbi Backpackers, this became one of my favourites.

Simple Tomato Pasta/lentils (or soup)

  • baby tomatoes
  • clove of garlic
  • sprig of rosemary
  • tsp of honey or sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of milk (optional)
  • tbsp of flour of your choice (my current favourite is to make buckwheat flour by putting the seeds through a coffee grinder)
  • splash of red wine if there is a glass in your hand
  1. Put the tomatoes in a covered pot with a glass of water on low heat. 
  2. Add the honey, garlic clove, rosemary leaves and wine.
  3. Mix the milk and flour into a paste in a cup before stirring into the sauce.
  4. Keep stirring until it all thickens.

You can serve this on top of pasta or lentils. Another option is to serve it as a soup. One day I took thick slices of Xhosa bread, toasted them, rubbed them with a halved garlic clove and drizzled a bit of olive oil over the slices and dipped those in the soup. Not LimeGreen approved but so tasty the refined flour was worth it!

rivers and roads

In the little village of Tshani, next to the winding Mdumbi River, overlooking the warm Indian Ocean, I would wake up in the little hut I called home for the last two months.

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Waking up early rewarded me with the sun rising over the sea and slowly casting its warmth over the sleepy village.

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I’d have a quick, cold shower to wake up before walking down to a little deck in the forest, overlooking the ocean where I would do yoga. Very often a school of dolphins would swim past, distracting me from the pose I was in.

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Summer is the rainy season, and all the gardens grew with such fervour. Spargs, the old man who owned the backpackers I was helping at, would be in the garden before I even started yoga.

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Nothing gave me quite as much joy as cooking with the produce freshly picked from the garden.

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If one has a spectrum where at one extreme each individual produces everything they need, and at the other end each individual only produces one highly specialised product for use in society, I believe city society has moved too far to the one extreme.  If only we could all work a little less and have the time to avoid pre-packaged foods, the time to fix a broken item or make something new, the time to grow some of our own food, the time to care for our hearts and souls and those of the people around us.

Time moves in a different way in the village. There is always time to greet someone you pass in the road. There is time to cook with love and intention. Time to breathe slowly. Time for gentleness, time for patience. Time for the small things that bring us joy and make our hearts sing.

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current adventures and future plans

In January this year I began giving much more thought to the relationship we have with our earth when we live in a city. We rely on the earth to sustain and feed us, and yet we have become more inclined to think that we take care of ourselves, using the earth as a mere resource.

This thought pushed me towards making more conscious decisions about the way I feed myself, in order to consider my own nutrition while at the same time making my habits as sustainable as possible.

The start of this journey was through talking to people, and this blog is a project in which I hope to grow awareness about the implications of our everyday habits and the importance of re-establishing a connection between our habits, our bodies’ needs and the earth that sustains those bodies.

My plan is to grow this blog as a resource that people can use. In the new year I’m planning some new aspects to it:

  • Blog posts by other contributors, to expand this beyond my personal point of view
  • An index of the ingredients I use commonly with nutritional information, cost and where one can buy it, how to prepare/ use it and a description of how it is processed, packaged and transported in order to describe its ‘greenness’.
  • More practical information about eating with l.o.v.e (Local, Organic, Vegetarian and Ethically) – how it affects your body, the earth and your pocket.

In the mean time, I’m off to the Transkei for 2 months with a rucksack of clothes, my other bag stuffed full of seeds, sprouts and books and my hula hoop and yoga mat attached.

Much love

Make your own vegan or vegetarian burger patties

I’m vegetarian but I don’t eat those boxes of frozen “Veggie Burgers”. Or the “Vegetarian Chicken morsels”. Or McDonalds chips.

Since I am vegetarian for environmental reasons as opposed to animal rights reasons, substituting meat for processed, packaged, frozen patties makes little sense to me. Additionally, I am unconvinced of their nutritional value. I believe in eating good nutritious food that gives my body the goodness it needs so that I don’t crave packets of chips and chocolates and quick-fix nutrition that needs so much energy to process and package and market. ‘Eat better, eat less, share the world’s resources more fairly’ kinda thing.

With that said, I bring to you a veggie burger that I WILL eat! I have listed substitutions that you can make to cater for vegan/other preferences. You can also use this recipe to make “Meatballs” which are great for when I don’t want a burger on a roll (or for the gluten free guys).

Vegetarian Burgers (Vegetarian/Vegan)

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • crushed garlic
  • 2 eggs (substitute with 2.5 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1/2 cup warm water)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or other flour)
  • 1.5 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated carrot or butternut
  • 1 cup red kidney beans or sprouted lentils (or half and half)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (or other herb of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
  • tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • chili as you like it
  • tsp cumin
  • tsp oreganum
  • salt and pepper

Toppings: Roasted tomatoes, guacamole

  1. Blend the beans/lentils, seeds, grated carrot and herbs together.
  2. Stir everything together in a bowl.
  3. Roll into balls. I don’t make these too big so that they have a nice consistency.
  4. Roll in bread crumbs.
  5. Put into a pan on low-medium heat and press flat with a fork.
  6. Cook slowly with the lid on and flip over once golden.

**Credit goes to Angela at http://www.ohsheglows.com for the inspiration