Coastal foraging and why Wrack is my new favourite ingredient.

foraged*Firstly- I would like to apologize for the quality of some of the pictures in this post, but I felt that I still wanted to still share them with you, flaws and all.

What a wonderful world!

I was extremely fortunate to attend a Coastal Foraging course arranged by Veld and Sea this weekend.

This indescribable experience reminded me once again:

  • that nature provides us with everything we need
  • what a glorious place we live in and
  • exactly HOW MUCH we need to do anything possible to stay connected.

The day was hosted by foodie-forager, Roushanna Gray, who is in my mind part fynbos forest fairy and part mermaid.

She freely shared her extensive knowledge on the sustainable collecting methods, applications and cooking techniques of Sea lettuce; Wrack; Nori; Tongue weed; Spotted mazella; different species of  mussels; sea urchin and loads of other aquatic creatures on the rock pools of the breathtaking conservation village of Scarborough.

Collected treasures in hand, we set off to the classroom at their Good Hope Gardens Nursery where more demonstrations, tips, hands-on cooking and a leisurely alfresco lunch followed.

Get inspired and find out how you can impact your life and the environment & live healthier and happier @








Have your (GLUTEN- & SUGAR FREE) cake and eat it too. Dressing up is optional.

gluten-fSome like it hot, some like it not…

Whether you dress up this sweet little thing or have it au naturale, you are sure to fall in love with this easy,  GLUTEN FREE, REFINED SUGAR FREE vanilla loaf cake recipe. You are welcome to substitute the Xylitol for castor sugar if you feel like sweetening things up.

Plain, just out of the oven this cake is ás inviting as dressed up with some pretty little extras and crowned with a shard of gold leaf.

Have some fun in the kitchen this weekend! Play around with toppings, sides and accessories and please share the pics of your version of this versatile jane cake – I would LOVE to see it!

Her are some ideas to get you in the mood (including a few not-so-sugar-free options).

Adorn her with some berries, Turkish delight, creme fraiche and toasted pistachio nuts.


Treat him to a spread of grapefruit- or lemon curd, passion fruit, clotted cream and meringues.gluten19

Keep it sugar free with only strawberries and cream (OR Chantilly cream and a berry coulis if you feel opulent)


Take it to the next level with a little Chocolate Hazelnut spread, fresh cream and toasted hazelnuts with a swirl of Frangelico on the side.

What you need:

  • 200g butter
  • 170g Xilytol (or castor sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 65g almond flour
  • 130g rice flour
  • 1½ tsp (gluten free) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / paste

How to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. The fluffier and paler, the softer and finer your end-result would be- so give it a good go.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.
  4. Mix in the almond flour; rice flour;  baking powder; salt and vanilla until just incorporated.
  5. Pour into a prepared loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
  6. Cool down for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on a cooling rack.



“Raw butternut?” you ask. What makes you a happy camper?



What is that ONE thing you can not go camping without?

You can ask this question to 100 people (even non-campers..ha-ha) and get 102 different answers.

I am quite a late bloomer when it comes to camping. Well, rather a really, really late bloomer. Growing up we did lots of wonderful things, but camping was simply not one of them.

Was I in for a ride when I met my then-soon-to-be husband!  It was more like “in for an expedition”. He came as the proprietor of a handsome 4×4, a well kitted camper-van (‘n karavaan)  and an equally handsome sense of adventure. Can you feel that something huge is about to happen?

He swayed me softly, introduced me to my first real camping holiday and got me hooked. Enough said. It was more glamping than camping that first holiday, but who’s counting? Lots and lots more of adventures followed and I am very proud to say that you can definitely take me to the proverbial “anywhere”,  except for meat- & fish markets or a slave museum- I do not fare very well at those .

Back to beautiful things – on one of these blissful trips I made a butternut slaw that soon became a camping staple. It simply goes with ..everything. It sits happily as a side for the carnivores at a braai and brightens up any vegetarian main. It travels well if you want to make it at home beforehand and lasts for as long as nobody finds out that it’s in the fridge.

This slaw is now a close second to THAT ONE THING that I cannot go camping without. It might just become yours too. Try it out.

Oh  – and PLEASE  DO go on that adventure – I promise you that it is worth it  ;- )


What you need:

  • 1 small red onion – peeled and sliced very thinly
  • 3 Tbl vinegar (I use white wine vinegar)
  • 2 Tbl sugar / sugar replacement like Xilytol
  • 1 small butternut
  • 3 Tbl olive oil
  • About 20 fresh curry leaves
  • A thumbsize of fresh ginger – grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste

How you do it:

  1. Combine the sliced onion, vinegar and sugar. Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the butternut.
  2. Peel and grate the butternut. (or julienne with that nifty little julienne cutter if you have one)
  3. Warm the olive oil in a small pot until very hot.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the curry leaves. They will splatter for a few seconds and release their heavenly aroma.
  5. Pour the hot oil and leaves over the butternut, mix in the fresh ginger and set aside.
  6. Once the butternut have cooled down, mix in the onions and all of the marinating juices, add the salt and season with black pepper to taste.

That’s it!

The slaw makes a great filling for a wrap / toasted pita bread. I like to combine it with some toasted & spiced chickpeas; avo (obviously :- ); soft lettuce and thick yogurt.











Retro date ball revival – (ditching the sugar and NOT hitting the wall).

dateballs8Bonk” is a cycling term , also known as “hitting the wall“. It means you’ve run out of energy due to glycogen depletion (glycogen is the fuel that’s stored in your muscles).

Endurance athletes who skimp on food or hydration often bonk and need rest, H²O and high-carb foods to recover. Side effects vary but can mean serious muscle cramping and mental fogginess.*

Snacking on these super crunchy date balls are just the thing to curb the risk as they are crammed full of protein; vitamins; iron; potassium and magnesium as well as loads of other nutritional goodies and are low in sodium and cholesterol.

Sounds good already, hey? On top of that and they are also gluten- and refined sugar free. Did I mention super yummy, chewy, crunchy, and sweet all in one bite?

PLEASE NOTE: I am aware that  my method of toasting the millet might seem a little unorthodox, but after LOTS of experimenting, I find it the best way to achieve a super crunch, while still half-cooking the millet in the shortest time possible.

date 14.jpg

What you need:

  • 2 cups soft dates – pitted
  • ½ cup strong rooibos tea / boiling water
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil
  • ½ cup millet
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped dried fruit  (I use a mix of dried apricot and apple)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  •  To coat: coconut shards / raw cacao powder / crushed nuts / seeds.

Here is how:

  1. Pour the tea / boiling water over the dates and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbl coconut oil in a large pan until VERY HOT.
  3. Pour the millet into the pan and turn down the heat to medium.
  4. Shake and stir and swirl the millet around until they start changing colour – about 5 minutes. Keep them moving, as they burn very easily. (The pretty little groups they form while toasting reminds me very much of the kaleidoscopes we had as kids. Do you see that? If you don’t see pictures forming or even remotely understand what I am talking about or where born after 1975, don’t worry about it..just keep swirling)
  5. Once they are lightly toasted, pour ¼ cup boiling water into the pan. Immediately cover with a lid and listen. As soon as the sizzling stop, remove the lid and stir and shake once again until the grains are completely dry. You will start getting that toasty smell..hmm..If you think they are dry enough, shake and stir for another two minutes just to be sure ;- ). They have to be completely dry to remain crunchy.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Place the dates with their soaking liquid and 1 Tbl coconut oil in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  8. Mix together the date puree, coconut, chopped dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and cooled millet.
  9. Refrigerate / freeze for 30 minutes to firm up.
  10.  Remove from the freezer / fridge and roll into truffle sized balls
  11. Roll around in raw cacao powder / coconut shards / coating of your choice.
  12. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Keeps up to 5 days in the fridge

-makes 24 amazing little balls-

Quickie veggie bake for 2


You need the following FOR every 2 PEOPLE, simply double- of triple up to make more.

  • 3 zucchini (courgette,  baby marrow)
  • 1 fat carrot
  • ½ cup of chopped canned tomatoes
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • ½tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbl water
  • Fresh / dried herbs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 round Feta cheese
  • Basil pesto to serve

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C
  2. Evenly spread the chopped tomatoes on the bottom of individual ramekins or one large roasting tin.
  3. Slice the vegetables with a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons. Roll up and arrange on top of the tomatoes. (A tight fit does a good job in this case).
  4. Sprinkle with water, oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until soft.
  6. Top with crumbled Feta cheese and loads of basil pesto.
  7. Optional: garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serve warm with couscous as a main or as a side dish to roasted chicken, sausages or fish .











(Don’t wait for a) Rainy Day Noodle bowls – nurture and nourish.


Like most things in life I like best, the recipe for a noodle bowl is very forgiving and adaptable.

Play around with the easy, meat free basics and add what your body is asking for!

Try: Your favourite greens; grated root vegetables; tofu; fish or seafood; shredded chicken; soft boiled eggs; scallions.

Here is how:

1. Place in a large pot:

  • 2 cups COLD water
  • 2 cups chicken OR vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic – unpeeled & bruised
  • 1 onion – unpeeled and halved
  • star anise
  • 3 stems lemongrass – bruised
  • ¼ cup soy sauce –low sodium soy sauce is the better choice
  • ½ thumb size fresh ginger – bruised
  • ½ dried red chilli

2. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes.

3. Strain through a sieve / fine colander, reserving the stock.

4. Pour the strained stock back into a pot.

Congratulations! You have just made your first Chinese Master Stock without even thinking about it.


5. Bring the stock back to a soft simmer.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the noodles.

  • 100g egg noodles
  • 1 cup baby corn
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any small variety- sliced or whole)
  • ½ cup snap peas
  • 4 baby pak choi OR baby cabbages – halved

7. Simmer for another 6 minutes.

8. Add a large handful of fresh basil leaves.

Serve with more fresh basil and coriander leaves.

-Serves 4-