Category: recipes

Pantry item #7……..Pantry staples from scratch



I have previously posted an article about making vegetable stock concentrate at home. Vegetable stock concentrate is an item I use in a lot of my dishes to give it an extra boost of flavour. Especially in soups and casseroles it is a welcome addition. Previously I bought vegetable stock cubes, which were not too bad, since I always suss out the best and least chemically laden ones available. But as we all know, this comes with a rather large price tag. Instead of buying expensive stock cubes now, I make my own.

There are all sorts of different recipe combinations possible to make these. Therefore it is a brilliant way to use up fresh produce which has nearly died in the fridge. I am sure the celery really appreciates it that you did not throw her out into the trash, but instead put her to good use ūüėČ

If you click here you will be able to read the recipe and start making your own stock. It is very rewarding, I promise.


Pantry item #5……….. So simple salad dressing.

Okay, here is another one. Really simple to make at home is salad dressing. Cheap too. And all these ingredients are already inside your cupboards. if not, there is something wrong with you ūüėČ

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • a dash of vinegar, kombucha or juice of 1 lemon
  • garlic clove crushed

This is the basic recipe I start with and is delicious without anything added to it. However, you can add stuff, for example

  • mustard
  • orange juice instead of lemon or vinegar
  • herbs such as parsley or chives
  • Mayonnaise to make it creamy
  • Yoghurt for zing and creaminess
  • Pureed cranberries or strawberries

All you do is get a glass jar and pour all ingredients in. Give it a good shake and Bob’s your uncle!



Pantry item#4…………Pantry staples from scratch



C’mon! Do we really have to buy pancake mix in one of those unsustainable plastic bottles. Have we really gone down the hill that far, that we are not even able anymore to make a humble pancake!?

When I go shopping it astounds me how many different types of pancake mixes are available these days, not to mentions how many weird ingredients are in there. Here is one ingredient list of a shake and pour pre-fabricated pancake batter:

Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Baking Soda, Defatted Soy Flour, Salt, Dried Egg Whites, Dextrose, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Buttermilk, Tricalcium Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Aluminum Sulfate.

Looking at this list of ingredients, I certainly have a few questions.

  1. Why is there sugar added to the mix?
  2. What’s wrong with butter? Why use partially hydrogenated oil? This is trans fat and kills you, just like cigarettes are KNOWN to give you cancer, trans fats are KNOWN to raise your bad cholesterol (1) High cholesterol causes heart disease. Certainly not something I would like to have as a side to my pancakes!¬†¬†
  3. Dried egg whites? What is wrong with using the whole egg? In fact it is the yolk that has the most nutrition and vitamins such as, vitamin D as well as all the other fat soluble vitamins A, E & K and also essential fatty acids. Nutritional bomb, my friend!
  4. Sodium aluminium phosphate¬†(SALP) is a chemical used in food processing. It is synthetically produced from aluminium, phosphoric acid¬†and sodium hydroxide. As a food additive¬†it has the number¬†541.( ref wikipedia) Doesn’t sound very appetizing to me….
  5. Tricalcium phosphate is a calcium salt of phosphoric acid with the chemical formula Ca3(PO4)2. It is also known as tribasic calcium phosphate and bone phosphate of lime, BPL. Calcium phosphate is one of the main combustion products of bone, see bone ash. In general cases, calcium phosphate is also commonly derived from inorganic sources such as mineral rock.[2] (Ref. wikipedia)

And then there are the other laboratory made chemicals at the end of the list, that in my opinion have no place in the human body. Did it grow on a tree, bush or plant? Maybe originally, before it was altered and processed……?

Well, my pancake mix takes less time to make than the ‘shake and pour’ ¬†version of the supermarket. My pancake mix doesn’t come with heart disease, diabetes or obesity, I hope you don’t mind ;-).

  • 200 grams flour
  • 500 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together and bake in your frying pan.

These pancakes are crepe like, if you prefer them thicker add less milk as well as a teaspoon of bicarb of soda.

If you are very time poor , I would like to suggest you mix together the dry elements of this mix and store them in plastic containers, ready for use. The only thing to add are the eggs and milk when you are ready to bake!

bon apetit!




Pantry Item #2….Here is a money saving tip.



I have been itching to make this for ages and yesterday, when our very first Co-op order arrived, I finally had the chance to do it. I get so excited about real food, it is almost sickening. And when I find a way to make things myself without going to the supermarket, I get even more excited.

I love coconut milk and I buy lots of it in evil BPA lined tin cans from the Aldi. I have found the Aldi one contains the least crap and has the most yummy layer of cream on the top. In fact I use that layer to make whipped coconut cream and even chocolate filling to put in between a macaron or a cake. Oh yeah, I can taste it right now and I am salivating. However, it is not organic and it is in a tin can, lined with BPA and as we all know by now this is toxic, as are many other things……and it is 0.89 cents per 400ml tin. Being Dutch, I like to save money wherever I can. I know ya’ll think the Dutch are tight as anything, I would like to suggest I am frugal. It has a much better ring to it, don’t you agree?

So, when my 10kg bag of the most beautiful organic shredded coconut arrived, I headed to work and made myself some nice coconut milk. And it was quick and it was easy and it was also money saving!

I boiled 1 liter of water and poured it over 2 cups of organic shredded coconut.

I let it sit for 2 hours to cool down and then whizzed it in a high speed blender.

Then it was ready to be strained through a nut bag. The pulp sits in my dehydrator at this very moment and later tonight I will store it in a glass jar. And guess what, it is now coconut flour! Tada! You can of course put the pulp on a tray and chuck in the oven to dry it, if you don’t have a dehydrator. Or you can leave the pulp in the milk, this will create that yummy creamy layer on the top.

Of course I would like to share the math with you:

400ml of home made certified organic coconut milk = 0.53 cents!

If you dry the pulp you have “free” flour as well, which is especially exciting for those who are gluten intolerant and grain free. I remember paying $18.95 a kilo for coconut flour before I started the Organic Whole food Co-op. Thank goodness, those days are over!

To join our co-op, please click here.





Pantry staples from scratch…..Food Item #1


I promised to show you how to make food,  generally bought ready-made, at home from basic ingredients.

I thought it would be appropriate to start of with breakfast. A recipe I heard of a few years ago revolutionised my life. I know……sounds dramatic, BUT it just created a zing for me in the mornings. And best of all everyone in my household liked it as well, which is always a bonus for mummy.

It’s ¬†a granola recipe created by Cindy O’meara. She is such a gifted lady and has a website called¬†¬†¬†Absolutely brilliant, so please check out her wisdom as well.

Anyway, back to the recipe. There are only 4 ingredients:

  • Coconut
  • Almond
  • Date
  • Apple (1 whole)

That is it, CADA. All you do is, cut up the apple, dates and the almonds and mix it together with the shredded coconut. If you have a blender or food processor or even better a thermomix, you can use that to do the chopping.

If you feel a little adventurous, you could add some rolled oats as well and roast it for a short time in the oven. You might want to drizzle a mixture of water and honey over the top of it to make the oats crunchy. You can eat this granola with yoghurt.

For me, I eat it as is, for breakfast or a snack. Yum, yum.


Slow cooked Beef Bolognese Sauce

By now, I hope you have fallen in love with your slow cooker too. The following recipe is most loved by my daughter who happily scoops up seconds and thirds and she’s only 5!

This is my way of making the humble Bolognese sauce, which I use in 3 ways. 1 night for pasta, 1 night for lasagna and 1 night for soup! If you want to cook enough to do that too, please double or even triple the recipe.

Beef Bolognese

  • 1 kilo of grass fed beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tsp of your favourite combination of Italian herbs
  • 1 capsicum, any colour, diced
  • 3 carrots or so, diced or grated
  • a zucchini if you have one, grated
  • any other vegetable you want to hide, grated
  • 200ml red wine/white wine
  • 500ml beef/chicken stock
  • 1 can of tomato puree (or home made see recipe pizza sauce)
  • salt/pepper

If you feel like it, feel free to saute the mince, onion, garlic, and Italian herbs. Once sauteed place them into the slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients.

Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Serve with pasta or quinoa.

Sometimes I just chuck everything into the slow cooker without sauteing and browning the meat first. It turns out fine and it is a real time saver if you are in a rush.

Chai latte in your slow cooker

Here is a Chai Latte recipe for in your slow cooker!!  I make this around Christmas time, but you could make any time of the year, of course. Many people adore a lushious Chai Latte and when they order one at the coffee shop I am always surprised that it is made from some dubious dried and sickly sweet powder. Probably full of additives not so healthy for our bodies?? Here is a wholesome recipe.


Chai Latte

  • 8 cups of water
  • 8 black tea bags
  • 1/2 cup of rapadura sugar (this is unrefined and unprocessed sugar) feel free to use xylitol or stevia or any other type of wholesome sweetener adjust amount accordingly.
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 16 cardamom seeds
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Combine water, tea bags, sweetener, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and ginger in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 2-2 1/2 hours.
  2. Strain the mixture and discard the solids. At this point you can keep the tea refrigerated for 3 days.
  3. Stir in the milk just before serving.




Slow Cooked Beef Roast

When I make a roast I prefer to do it the slow cooker. It minimises the change of me burning it and it stays incredibly moist. Win, win!

Beef roast

  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 kg roasting beef
  • 1/2 cup of water or beef stock, or white or red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • any herbs you might desire
  1. Cut the veggies into slices and place at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Season beef with salt and pepper, then place on top of the veggies.
  3. Add water or stock, red or white wine and extra seasoning to taste.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours for well done meat, 6-7 hours for medium. or on high for 5-6 hours.