Refreshing Summer Salad

After seeing a salad posted in the Pick n Pay freshliving magazine I was really inspired to make a similar salad, it looked amazing. This Honeyed Peach and Pesto Salad is heavenly. The original recipe used goat’s cheese and I am not a fan of goat’s cheese. I changed the recipe to suit my tastebuds and it is the best salad ever. And I thought nothing could beat the roasted-brocolli-and-haloumi-salad.

I was definitely mistaken, this Honeyed Peach and Pesto salad has now become my favourite summer salad.

The peach that I used in this salad was perfectly sweet so I didn’t need too much honey. I also didn’t load it with tons of basil pesto, I used a little pesto but wow, I never knew peaches and pesto could taste so good together. My hubby was amazed at how delicious this salad turned out.

We always have feta in our fridge and feta goes well with almost any salad as far as I’m concerned. It tied in perfectly with the other ingredients in this salad, a little bit of sweetness, some saltiness and some crunch. What more can you ask for.

I’m usually not the adventurous type when it comes to food but today I was in a different mood obviously. Just let me say I’m glad I tried something new.

This salad is definitely a keeper and I can’t wait to try making it for some guests soon.

If you are a goddess in the kitchen do try making your own pesto but if you are like me, looking for easy ways to make a meal, just use some store bought pesto. Woolworths makes delicious pesto and I often use it in my dishes, we can’t always make everything from scratch!

Please do try this recipe, you won’t be disappointed, even if you not the adventurous type you will still love it, trust me on this one.

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Honeyed Peach and Pesto Salad
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Instructions
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan and fry pumpkin seeds until golden
  2. Add honey and remove from heat
  3. Arrange the peach on a platter. Scatter the feta, lettuce/ rocket leaves and pumkin seeds
  4. Thin the pesto with the tablespoon of olive oil, add more if you want a more runny consistency and drizzle over the salad before serving
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Refreshing Indian drink with Cardamom and Saffron

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold drink in summer and this Simple Mango Lassi Recipe is the perfect summer drink. I love mango and I love yogurt so these 2 ingredients make a killer combination, with just a hint of cardamom and saffron.

I first drank a mango lassi at an Indian restaurant, it was super-delicious and I was hooked. So whenever I have extra mango in my kitchen I try and use them for this Simple Mango Lassi Recipe. We don’t often have mangoes lying around because my kids love mangoes and they get eaten up quite quickly. It is summer so we have mangoes in abundance, I think I’m going to have to freeze some before they are out of season again.

I’m really lazy about eating fruit so I prefer to add them to my drinks, it’s why I love smoothies so much too. This mango lassi makes a great breakfast smoothie or works great as a cooling accompaniment to spicy meals.

Making a mango lassi is super easy, all you need is mango and yogurt, You can then add cardamom, saffron and I’ve seen recipes with pistachios, nutmeg, cinnamon. I don’t think I want to add too many flavours to mine. For me it’s just perfect with these simple ingredients.

Mango Lassi has a thick consistency so it’s why I add loads of ice when blending mine. I want it to be drinkable, I suppose you can also add milk to thin it out. I prefer not to add sugar to my drink, I think the mango is already sweet enough so I just a add a little honey. You can add more honey if you prefer it sweeter.

Ripe, sweet mangoes work best for this drink, just ensure you don’t use those stringy mangoes. If you don’t have fresh mangoes you can use frozen ones. I don’t often see frozen mangoes in our stores, they always mixed up with some other fruit so I stick to fresh mangoes.

If you are hooked on mangoes like I am, you will love this refreshing Simple Mango Lassi Recipe.

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Simple Mango Lassi Recipe
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Instructions
  1. Add the mango, yogurt, cardamom and honey together with the ice-cubes to a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with saffron
  3. You can refrigerate until you ready to serve
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This Grilled Nectarine and Fig Salad is the perfect summer salad. When you still feeling fatigued from the night before then it’s time to make the easy stuff. Last night was my son’s Valedictory, it did take a good chunk off our evening and we got to bed really late so I was famished this morning. Last night brought back memories of my own matric year and what an exciting year I had and how happy I was at school, although that was a gazillion years ago. I can’t believe Mikaylin is spending his final days at school, how time flies. My son is not an A student but I know that he has always tried hard, he never gave me a days problem whilst attending school, there are so many moms that are dealing with teenage issues and my heart goes out to those moms, my older so was a little bit of a Rebel but he’s mellowed a bit with age. Mikaylin is by no means perfect, he has his moods, like all teenagers but I won’t call him a problem child, he is quite level-headed and calm and sometimes he gives me a little lip but he’s never disrespectful to others and I’ve never once been called in to school for homework not being done or misbehaviour, it’s all a mum wants. A well-behaved, happy child with good values. I hope I’ve taught him enough to stick to those values even as he grows up.

I don’t have the perfect family by any means but I have a content family, after being on such a rocky road most of my life it feels great not to stress but just go with the flow and enjoy the family I have. It’s good to enjoy each new stress-free day without having to worry about tomorrow, it’s what I’m trying to live by and it feels great. Although some days I do go astray, that’s only because I can sometimes be a basket case.

Seeing I was looking for easy I made this salad with nectarines, fig, rocket and feta. The other reason is that I had a whole lot of nectarines and figs that were about to get overripe soon.  It was the yummiest salad I’ve had, well apart from that Roasted Brocolli and Haloumi Salad I had not so long ago. I grilled the nectarines and fig before adding it to the salad, what can be more amazing than grilled fruit. I grilled mine on a hot griddle pan, ensure that your pan is hot as you just need to sear the fruit fairly quickly, you don’t want mushy fruit. I did not make a salad dressing for this, I drizzled some honey and balsamic over my salad, I’m in love with balsamic, I don’t need anything else for my salads.

 

 

 


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Grilled Nectarine and Fig Salad

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1-2 servings


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MAIN COURSES VEGETARIAN

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1-2 servings


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Instructions
  1. Cut the nectarines into pieces. Cut the figs in halves or quarters. Set aside

  2. Heat a griddle pan on high heat. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the nectarines and figs and sear them until brown grill marks form on them. Do not grill it for too long or it will turn mushy

  3. Mix the rocket leaves, nectarine and figs together. Crumble the feta over or add in cubes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and honey


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This warm broccoli and haloumi salad is absolutely delicious. I am not a salad lover but this I could eat all on its own, it’s that amazing! I guess I am a cheese lover so anything that has cheese in it goes down well. Steamed veggies is ok as a side dish but I prefer my vegetable roasted so that’s exactly what I did with  the broccoli. I roasted them in the oven until it was slightly brown and crisp around the edges. Broccoli is healthy too which is an added bonus, it is a great source of vitamin K and C, good source of folate acid, provides potassium, fibre, vitamin C and has numerous other health benefits, that’s enough reasons to convince you to eat more broccoli.

The salad had a bit of crunch from the almonds, saltiness from the cheese, a hint  of chilli and just the right amount of acidity from the dressing, I just popped a few ingredients into a jar and shook it  up, wasn’t even sure it will work but that dressing paired perfectly with the other ingredients. I used about 50 grams of haloumi but you can use as much or as little according to your preference. If you don’t want to make a dressing balsamic vinegar is also a great alternative.

I’m all about fuss free cooking, well most of the time, so to speed up the cooking process I added a few drops of water to the broccoli and steamed it in the microwave for 3 minutes and then popped it into the oven for 10 minutes. If you are desperate to get a meal in a hurry then this broccoli and haloumi salad is perfect. It’s great as a main or side dish and you can double the recipe if you are feeding a family.

 

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Roasted Brocolli and Haloumi Salad
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 degree celcius. Add a few drops of water to the broccoli and steam in the microwave for 3 minutes or you can cook it for a few minutes on the stovetop, do not overcook
  2. For the dressing, in a small jar mix the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and honey. Shake well and set aside
  3. Mix the olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic together and add it to the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the parmesan over and roast in the oven, in a parchment lined baking tray, until brown and slightly crisp around the edges, for 10-15 minutes
  4. Sear the halloumi in a hot pan until it forms a deep brown crust, chop into cubes and add to the broccoli together with the chopped onion and almonds.
  5. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve warm.
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I woke up this morning not feeling so great, ask women that have thyroid issues and they will tell you what it’s like too be affected by this “making your hormones crazy” disease. Somedays I feel down for no particular reason, I will wake up just feeling deflated and those are the days I wish I could stay in bed all day. But as I said cooking always gives me that “pick me up” that I need so today I had my few hours of kitchen therapy and I must admit I do feel a little better already. As a mum I don’t think you can have those “do nothing” kinda days, whether you like it or not you have to keep going or your kids won’t have a chauffeur, homework won’t get done, there will be no food to eat, the house will not be cleaned amongst a million other things mums have to do.

Some days when I am totally not in the mood to cook I do cheat and use store-bought stuff, especially when I’m short on time. Most days I love making things from scratch, it’s really rewarding when you make dishes from scratch and it’s a success, then it makes all your effort seem worth it. This is a sauce I make mostly when I make pizzas and seeing I need to make pizza during the week I thought I will make some today so I can use some for another dish I made and refrigerate what’s leftover for my pizzas. It’s a great sauce to make ahead and you can freeze it for later use. It’s also very simple to make and you can double the recipe if you want to make extra for later use. You can also keep it chunky or you can use a stick blender to make a smooth sauce, it’s a matter of personal preference. You should be able to use this sauce for at least 3 large pizzas.

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Pizza sauce
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Cuisine Italian
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil. Add onion and fry until translucent. Add garlic and chilli and fry for a minute
  2. Add the dried herbs and mix well. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the honey or sugar if required. Season with salt
  3. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until oil surfaces to the top. Add fresh, chopped basil
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