Curly Kale and Salpico Salad

Curly kale and salpico salad

This nice autumny salad is a bit of a variation on the traditional Waldorf salad and it somehow suits this time of the year perfectly. It’s packed full of stuff that’s good for you – kale, apples and celery, with a dash of extra flavour in the form of salpico, nuts and raisins.

You can’t really go wrong with any green, leafy veg but kale is a kind of superfood in its own class. It’s full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and it even contains some protein and healthy fats. It helps to lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of cancer and supports the body’s detox processes. All that in a delicious salad, and if you can get your hands on organic kale, even better! And yes, you can cook it but it’s used raw here.

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Date, Fig and Nut Bites

Date, fig and nut bites

These bites are both delicious and good for you – always a winning combo!

Although I’ve seen many variations of this recipe, after much playing with different combinations and quantities of the ingredients, this one is my favourite. Feel free to change up whatever you like though to suit your own tastes.

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Olives Two Ways – Part 1: Brined

Who doesn’t love olives? Actually I know some people who don’t but I can’t understand that at all. When I was growing up, we used to count them out on to everyone’s plate when serving up salad with dinner, to make sure no-one got more than their fair share. A sad but true story.

A happier story is that not only are olives delicious, but they’re also really good for you, being high in healthy fats as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals, not to mention anti-oxidants. For more on their health benefits, see here, here and here, just for starters.

The thing with olives though is that they’re very more-ish and a bottle really doesn’t last very long, plus they’re expensive (here in South Africa anyway). So years ago when a friend told me she could get fresh olives direct from an olive farm, I jumped at the chance to make my own and ordered 5kg.

Since then, I’ve made a batch every year I’ve been able to get my hands on some, which sadly hasn’t been every year but certainly many of them. Those years I enjoy eating them till they’re coming out my ears and they also make great gifts to give away.

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Baked Chicken, Tomato and Yoghurt Casserole with Broccoli Rice

Chicken, tomato and yoghurt bake with broccoli rice

This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes to make when you only have a few minutes to spend on preparing dinner. It’s fresh, tasty and healthy, and only takes 5 minutes to put together. Then it cooks for about 45 minutes, while you go off and do other things, before needing another 5 minutes at the end to finish up and serve.

It’s also versatile in that you can serve it with many different options of “starch”. If you’re going low-carb, it works really well with cauliflower or broccoli rice, as I’ve served it here, or cauliflower or broccoli mash. You can also go more traditional and serve it with mashed potato or sweet potato, or rice of any description and/or lightly steamed green beans.

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Potato Rosti

Potato rosti with roasted fennel and smoked trout

Rosti go by many names – rösti, potato pancakes, hash browns and latkes, to name just a few – and come in many variations. At heart though, they are simply grated potato mixed with a little salt, and whatever other flavourings you choose to add, like onion, herbs and/or cheese. I’ve been wanting to try them for ages and when a friend bought round some smoked trout, I decided it was the perfect opportunity.

After doing some fairly extensive research on Pinterest (there are quite a few methods out there, believe me), I decided to keep the base very simple and rather go wild on the toppings.

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Créme Caramel

Demolished creme caramel

This recipe is great to make ahead for a party, and the mixture of creamy custard and caramel sauce is a winner every time – and I’ve made it many, many times. People love the taste and texture (as you can see from how it’s been demolished in the picture) and are always impressed by it, although it’s really not that difficult to make.

By the way, this is not the same thing as crème brûlée, which is far richer as it’s made with cream instead of milk, and which requires very careful handling to create the sugar crust on top. Crème caramel is the easier and, in my opinion, equally delicious version.

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Healthy chocolate mousse

This is a really easy and healthy recipe that tastes very decadent, and if nobody told you, you would never guess the ingredients!

I first had a version of it on a raw food course I did several years ago, and it’s something I make often when avocados are in season (they’re just coming back here in South Africa now).

It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare but some pre-planning is needed as it’s best to use ripe bananas and avocados. It also takes a couple of hours to set so you need to allow for that too, although you can try to speed the process by putting it in the freezer for a while.

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