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.