Thursday, November 26, 2015

My version Crustless Quiche, salmon, broccoli and a crunchy salad

The other day I entered a competition on Instagram through one of our local foodies, Sarah Graham, and I won! Sarah asked what our favorite ingredient to take on a safari would be and my answer was "lemons" they tenderise, flavour, add freshness, can be used as a marinade and a decoration for the table. My prize was 3 of Sarah's books all signed, her books are filled with quick and easy recipes, just what I needed on this off day with limited stock in the kitchen.

I decided to try the Crustless spinach and trout quiche which is gluten and wheat free due to having no crust but I also made it dairy free and changed the filling slightly to suit what I had at home, the name of the book I chose first " Home".

My version Crustless Quiche with salmon, broccoli and a crunchy salad
Makes 4

1/4 head of broccoli, roughly chopped and rinsed
1 tin salmon flaked, drained of its brine
few sprigs celery leaves chopped
15ml lemon juice
salt and pepper
sprinkle of paprika

3 eggs
200ml - 220ml almond milk, unsweetened
pinch of salt

2 small tomatoes, cubed
piece of cucumber, cubed
fresh soft herbs (dill, parsley, coriander)
20ml extra virgin olive oil
5ml apple cider vinegar

Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
filling: microwave the broccoli for 2 minutes covered in a bowl.
mix with the other ingredients. spay 4 holes of a muffin tin and share the mix between the hollows.
Custard: mix together and pour over the filling, bake for 20-25 minutes
Salad: mix together and season.

Pictures and recipe copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Monday, September 14, 2015

Green Eggs and Ham

It's been a while since my last post, I have been in a triathlon / work / social whirlwind having finished Ironman 70.3 Durban Yay yay... and the race nerves are over... until the next one.. I can get back into some blogging.

Lately I have been struggling with breakfast, every morning hungry from training and the night time fast, ready for something delicious but trying to cut out sugar, bread and always dairy doesn't leave many options and end up not being very filling. I made this dish the other day and it was delicious, may be made with dairy or lactose free and on toast if you like.

Green Eggs and Ham
Serves 2

4 slices Gypsy ham ( full round slice, not too thick)
4 eggs
4tbsp soya milk or any other milk, almond, rice, oat..
20ml pesto princess lactose free pesto
20ml napolitana sauce (or a tomato chutney or relish)
1 leaf of spinach, chiffonade finely.
salt and pepper
spray and cook

Heat your oven to about 170 degrees Celsius.
Spray 4 dariole molds or muffin cups with spray and cook.
Lay one piece of ham in each cup, place a bit of spinach and the tomato relish in the bottom.
Crack an egg in each cup, teaspoon of pesto and a bit of salt and pepper, pour over the milk.
Bake for about 6-8 minutes unless you want well done eggs then it will be about 10 minutes.
Serve with toast or a gluten free bread, may be eaten as a lunch with a salad.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chickpea and Coconut Rusks

I designed this recipe since a friend of mine brought great tasting Chickpea rusks with on our Knysna Marathon holiday recently but they were so hard they had to soak in our coffee before we could eat them. Having a bit of chickpea flour at home I decided to test out a recipe of my own and they came out great!

I added a spoon of raw honey but I am sure they would work just as well without it if you want a sugar free version. The bought version had ginger in it which was a tasty addition but I did not have any at home but feel free to add any flavouring you prefer, lemon zest, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, spices...

Chickpea and Coconut Rusks
Makes 8

1 cup chickpea flour
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 pipped dates
1 ml salt
2ml bicarb
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1tbsp sunflower seeds
1 ml caraway seeds
2ml cinnamon ground
2tbsp water

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for a few minutes until the dates are roughly chopped up.
Spray and cook an oven proof dish. Place the rusk mixture in the dish and pat it out until 2cm thick (it does not need to fill the base of the dish) Bake on 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, tip onto a board and gently break into chunks. Place back in the oven on 100 degrees Celsius for 1,5 hours then leave in the oven until cool. Keep in an airtight container.
Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ultimate seed mix bread

Quick and easy to make, I sliced it up and wrapped the slices individually in cling wrap and toasted as needed.

7 eggs
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 Tbsp ground ultimate seed mix
1 Tbsp potato flour/ coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2ml oregano
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a liquidiser and blits for a minute, place in a 15x15 cm square deep dish, lined the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Pour the bread mix in the tin and bake on 170 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ultimate seed mix recipes continued

I was worried when I bought the packet of these seeds thinking how long it will take me to eat all these, I now find I put it in almost everything. Since cutting most bread from my diet, I like that the seeds are still adding the necessary fibre and it adds a nutty flavour to my food plus I am finding new uses for them!

Ultimate Porridge
Makes 1 bowl

2 tbsp blended ultimate seed mix (to a dust) (or equal parts pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and flaxseed)
130ml coconut milk
piece of vanilla pod
5ml raw honey
fresh and dried fruit of your choice (I used fig, dry cranberry, sliced banana and fresh berries)
toasted almonds
toasted coconut flakes

Cook the blended seeds with the coconut milk, dash of water and vanilla pod for 10 minutes.
Add the other ingredients and eat as a hot porridge.

Ultimate Hummus
Makes 350ml

1 tin (400g) chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 garlic clove
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp ultimate seed mix blended to a dust
80ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml water
10ml lemon juice
salt and pepper
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of smoked paprika

Place all ingredients into a liquidiser and blend until smooth, add a little more water or oil if its too thick to blend, adjust the seasoning.
Eat with anything, my favorite is brown rice crackers.

Ultimate souffle'
Makes 1 

3 tbsp blended ultimate seed mix
130ml coconut milk
35ml honey
1 egg
Cook the coconut milk, honey and seed mix until thickened. 
Separate the eggs and add the yolk to the cooked seed mix off the heat.
Whip the egg white until thick and fluffy, fold into the seed mix.
Grease a ramekin with coconut oil. Place the mix in the dish.
Bake on 190 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Dust with cinnamon.

Ultimate Omelet's
makes 2 small or 1 bigger

130ml coconut milk
30ml ultimate seed mix blended
30 ml coconut flour
15ml psyllium husk
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 small banana mashed with a fork
3ml baking powder
coconut oil

Mix all ingredients except the coconut oil and allow to stand for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
Spray and cook a non stick pan and place a little coconut oil in. Once the pan is hot pout the omelet mix in and cook until golden, place under a grill and grill the top until it is set.
Place on your plate and fill with fillings of your choice, I used peanut butter, banana and fig, drizzled with raw honey.

Recipes and pictures Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ultimate Seed Mix Cracker

Flaxseed contain Omega 3 and fibre, sunflower seeds contain folate, selenium, vitamin E and copper, Pumpkin seeds have antioxidants, Omega 3 and zinc and sesame seeds, calcium, magnesium, zinc, fibre, iron and B1. Basically everything you take in a multi vitamin is found in this ultimate seed mix and its really tasty too.

This is the second recipe in my Ultimate collection, the seed cracker is not really a new thing at all, I just really needed a toast substitute for the mornings and designed this recipe, I like that it has the added carrot and baby marrow making it a little less dry and even more nutritious.

The Ultimate cracker
Makes 4 large toast size pieces or 8 small

100ml ultimate seed mix, blended to a dust
100ml flaxseed
100ml sunflower seed
100ml pumpkin seed
1 small finely grated baby marrow
1/2 small finely grated carrot
2tbsp tahini paste
10ml psyllium husk
2ml cajun spice
1 ml onion powder
pinch of salt

Mix all together , spray and cook a 20cm by 15cm pan or line with greaseproof paper.
Press the cracker mix into the tin and bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 15 - 20 minutes.

Top with any sandwich topping.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Dim Sum Broth

This recipe is just added to my collection of quick broths and of course goes really well with my favorite Dim Sum!

Dim Sum Broth
serves 4

1/2 onion sliced
1 tbsp ginger, julienne
2 tsp sesame oil
30ml sake
30ml sherry
60ml soy sauce
2 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
2 tsp palm sugar
squeeze of lemon

Fry the onion and ginger in the sesame oil.
add the other ingredients and bring to the boil, adjust seasoning.
Steam the dim sum and serve in the broth with fresh coriander.

Add chilli if you want a bit of spice.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quick Chicken Bone Broth

Most food trends that hit our shores originate from New York City even though we are top of the culinary list. Bone broth is by no means a new food item, it is the base of all cuisines from french to even Vietnamese but made into a new food trend by a chef who opened an eatery called Brodo in New York, specialising in beef, chicken and turkey broths with new style additions like fresh ginger, roasted garlic and pickled chillies. The main attraction in bone broth is the collagen know to plump skin and improve hair quality while boosting the immune.

I made a quick one with chicken legs in the hope the high vitamin, collagen and mineral content in the soup cures my flu. I added fresh grated ginger, parsley, coriander and a squeeze of lime at the end to freshen it up and cut the richness but it may be used in your gravy, risotto's, Ramen noodles, and as a base for an even more flavourful soup.

Quick Chicken Bone broth
serves 2

1 pk free range chicken legs 500g
1/2 onion, chopped
15ml olive oil blend
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 carrots, cut in 4 longways then cut into cubes
3 baby marrow, cut the same as the carrot
2 sprigs thyme
squeeze of lemon
few sprigs flat leaf parsley
few sprigs coriander
squeeze of lime
thumb size piece of ginger

Fry the chicken, onion and garlic in a pot until the onions are softened, the chicken does not need any colour, just to release some of the fat.

add the carrots, celery and baby marrow and the thyme leaves, fry for 2 minutes and then top up with a litre of cold water. Add 5ml salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes, skim the top every 10 minutes.

Remove the legs from the soup and shred the meat, ad back into the pot and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with a lime wedge, fresh grated ginger and chopped parsley and coriander.

Recipe and pictures by Tamsyn Wells

Friday, April 10, 2015

Broccoli Orecchiette

I have made this dish many times using the bought version of the pasta always wanting to try make them myself, easier than I thought and as always freshly made totally outshone the bought variety.

Orecchiette meaning small ears are flat rounds of pasta with a slight curve to cup the sauce/filling you are going to  serve with it, the recipe uses no egg which is why I was worried it would possibly come out tough but these were of the lightest I have ever tasted, almost dumpling in texture.

The most traditional topping is this broccoli and anchovy version I made but they would be really amazing with tiny meatballs and ragu or a basic tomato sauce.

My Home Made Orecchiette
Step By Step Recipe

1.5 cups cake flour
warm water to form a dough
Pinch of salt

1/3 pk of broccoli
1 garlic
1/2 red chili
5 anchovy fillets
lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper

Place the flour in the centre of a wooden board and make a well, add the warm water slowly stirring in the centre, incorporating the flour as you stir.

Once you have all the flour incorporated and the dough is not sticky, knead until it is smooth for about 5 minutes. If you added too much water just add extra flour.

Cut the dough into 2 or 3 pieces and roll into a log about the thickness of your thumb then cut discs 0.5cm max. Using your thumb and flour if necessary, squash each disc as flat as you can with your thumb and then peel it off allowing it to curve.

Spread them out on the board, you may now allow them to dry out if you wish or use them immediately. Prepare the filling by putting a pot of water on to boil. Using about 1/3 of a pack of broccoli, place it in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes. While its blanching get a clove of garlic and cut into chunks that you can remove later unless you want strong garlic then chop it. 1/2 chili chopped, 5 anchovy fillets and a squeeze of lemon.

Remove the broccoli from the boiling water and place in ice water to keep the green colour then finely chop it up with the stalks. Add your Orecchiette to the pot of water with some salt and boil for 5-6 minutes, they will rise to the surface, then strain.
Place the pot back on the heat with a little oil and fry the garlic, chili and anchovy fillets. Remove the garlic now if you wish.

Add the finely chopped broccoli, allow to heat through, add the pasta, some salt, pepper, lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Eat and enjoy topped with parmesan shavings.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Carrot Muffins with a crunchy almond topping

The pastry kitchen at the hotel where I work makes this muffin, it's my occasional treat when I need a boost so I decided to make them for my 90k cycle the other day just changing the recipe by adding the topping and removing some sugar. They are loaded with carrot of course, a vegetable high in carbs and oil for energy.
They held together well and would work great with a cream cheese frosting as a cupcake.

Carrot Muffins with crunchy almond topping
Makes 10 - 12

180g flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
180g light brown sugar
140g canola oil
1/2 vanilla pod
80g eggs (2)
220g grated carrot, grate on the fine side

Mix the dry ingredients, flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Mix the wet ingredients, sugar, canola oil, vanilla pod seeds, and eggs.
Mix the wet ingredients in a cake mixer, add the dry ingredients then lastly add the carrot, mix until smooth.
Place in muffin cups in a muffin tray, top with topping and bake on 190 degrees Celsius for 20 - 30 minutes or when bouncy to touch.

3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp flaked almonds crushed
1 tbsp butter

mix with your fingers to a crumble, place on top of each muffin.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beijing Opera

Dim Sum is easily one of my favorite foods, the soft, melting slightly sticky outer layer and the salty soy is pure addiction so it made me happy to hear of Beijing Opera, a new Dim Sum bar right on my doorstep.

An intimate interior with two communal tables and some window seats, sit where you can and mingle with the locals, they don't take bookings. 

The menu has pan fried Potstickers, dim sum which has been crisp fried one one side, Bao which are the steam buns and steamed dim sum with assorted fillings for all as well as a specials menu which comprised of a dumpling soup and a rice dish this evening.

My brother and I tried a few of each, all of them beautifully made, it is delivered as they are ready in a constant flow.

The owner was friendly and attentive, make sure you get some of her "secret sauce" which was A really delicious addition to our feast. The prices are between R40 and R60 for 4 dim sum and R15 for a steam bun, just remember to bring cash or use Snapscan as there is no credit facility yet but they have recently received their alcohol licence.

I will definitely be there again soon!

Beijing Opera
7 Rose Street
De Waterkant, Cape Town

Pictures and article Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peanut Butter, coconut and date balls

Part two of the natural, home-made cycle food challenge, after my muffins , which were delicious but a bit too crumbly to eat while on the move, the girls who all got one ended up saving them for Chapman's Peak as a treat.

The cycle fuel challenge is to take along foods that can feed you on the long rides,  taking up the least space, being handy and easy to eat and a flavour you can tolerate while suffering up hill after hill.

My balance not being at the best, these were nice and easy to grab out of a zip lock bag and can fit in your back pocket without crushing.

Not just for cycling or sports in general, serve them as an after dinner treat dipped in chocolate, with coffee and for breakfast. Really quick to make and they freeze well too.

Peanut Butter, coconut and date balls
Makes 20

240g Mejool dates, pitted
120g salted peanuts and raisins
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp raw honey
50ml oats
80g toasted coconut

Blits all ingredients except the coconut in a blender until a paste has formed.
Roll into balls and then roll in the coconut.
Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Izakaya Matsuri

I really can't take credit for finding this little Japanese gem, luckily invited by somebody who knows me very well, especially to know this is my kind of place.
As much as I would love to keep it a secret, it really deserves a mention on my blog!
Interestingly, while researching I came across the meaning of an Izakaya, is a fun vibey place found all over Japan, catering to locals, friendly and social specialising in beers and small Japanese tapas style dishes which pairs with the beers. Pretty much sums up the place.

Reminding me of my travels, sourcing hidden restaurants, this one is found down a little side alley off Green Point main road, decorated with beautiful lights almost like a festival creating a great ambiance. The chef / Owner is in full view behind the bar, the ex Head Chef of the well known Tank Restaurant.

There is a board of daily specials as well as a selection of artisan beers and sake, don't miss the Bento box specials for lunch daily.
We opted for the starter platter of 5 tasting dishes to share, Edamame beans, seared tuna, calamari, Yakitori and tempura chicken, everything was delicious.

I had my usual sushi craving so I opted for my favorite tempura prawn roll and because I was already getting full, the Rock&Roll, no rice, both were really well made and crispy, a variety of dipping sauces and a good size to eat in one mouthful. My friend had his favorite the Agedashi Tofu, a fried tofu in a soy broth and a salmon and avocado salad, washed down with Saporo beer and some warm Sake made for a delectable meal. I will go back for sure!

Izakaya Matsuri
Shop 6
The Rockwell,
32 Prestwich street.
Green Point, Cape Town

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I train just to eat Spaghetti Bolognaise

This is very possibly one of my favorite meals to eat, comfort to the max it can be enjoyed dark and rich in winter and light and fresh in summer. I always jazz up each mouthful with Parmesan, chili,  loads of torn fresh basil and the best extra virgin olive oil I can find, this all makes a big difference to this fairly simple dish.

I say I train just to eat Bolognaise not because its bad but because I will just over indulge especially after smelling the pot simmer for hours and not to mention it is packed full of white carbs. It can definitely be made wheat free / carb free by making julienne ribbons of carrot and baby marrow, saute lightly then place the sauce on top and easily dairy free by omitting the Parmesan.

I am pretty sure my recipe is the standard Italian way, I just add grated baby marrow for extra health benefits.

Spaghetti Bolognaise
serves 4

1 pk spaghetti ( I like De Cecco)
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, peeled and finely chopped
1 whole chili (I leave it whole and remove at the end)
1 pk lean beef mince about 350-400g
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 large baby marrow, grated
80ml tomato paste
1 tub 400g  crushed tomatoes ( I used the pronto brand)
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh basil, marjoram and thyme, 1 sprig each
cornflour to thicken if necessary

In a medium saucepan, lightly fry the onion, garlic and celery.
Add the mince and fry until liquid evaporates then fry until it gets a bit of colour.
Add the chili, tomato paste and tomato chopped, 1 fill of the chopped tomato tin with water and bring to the boil.
Add other ingredients except cornflour and allow to simmer for an hour or two, the longer the better.
When almost done bring the pot of water to the boil for the pasta.
adjust seasoning for the sauce and thicken with cornflour mixed with water if you like a thicker sauce.
Boil the pasta in salted water for about 8-10 minutes. Strain and coat in a little olive oil.
Serve with a side of chili, Parmesan and basil leaves.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Apple, banana and peanut butter Muffins

It is just a few weeks until I do my 70.3 Ironman race, we have been training for a year now and I am excited to have the big day arrive. For the last few months we have been testing training fuels to take along on our 4 hour long rides. This weekend I made these muffins, apples add a bit of carbohydrate, egg for protein, banana for potassium, almonds for fat and energy, coconut for energy and electrolytes and finally peanut butter for protein, they definitely kept me going on this long training session.
This recipe may be made dairy free if you omit the butter in the topping and replace with coconut oil.

Apple, banana and peanut butter Muffins
makes 18

2 tbsp butter or coconut oil if you are dairy intolerant
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed almonds
125ml peanut butter

Mix together.

1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 orange zested, just keep the zest
1 egg
1 cup coconut milk or buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 3/4 cups fruit, I used a grated green apple and a mashed banana

Put the oven on 200 degrees Celsius.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cups.
Mix the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
In another bowl mix the wet ingredients, oil, brown sugar, zest, egg, coconut milk, fruit.
Mix the two together, wet and dry.
Spoon into the muffin cups, place a dollop of the topping on each muffin and bake for 15 minutes on 200 then turn it down to 170 degrees Celsius for 8 minutes. They ready when spongy and bounce back on top.
They freeze well.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells