Exotic Dishes Made From Pantry Staples

Pierogi

This Polish classic turns the humble potato into a mouthwatering masterpiece. It is rather labour intensive to make, but the final result is definitely worth it.

Ingredients: 

For the dough:

For the filling: 

To finish:

Method: 

  1. To make the dough: Mix the flour and salt. Add the egg and combine.
  2. Work in the sour cream and butter until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead the dough without adding extra flour until the dough is less sticky.
  4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
  5. To make the filling: Combine the potato and cheese.
  6. To assemble: Roll out half the dough until it is about 30mm thick. Use a round 5cm cutter to cut circles out of the dough. Continue until you've used all the dough.
  7. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling in the dough and fold over, creating a pocket. Pinch the edges of the pierogi to seal.
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook about 10 pierogi at a time until they begin to float. Drain the pierogi.
  9. Saute the onion in the butter in a large pan until it begins to brown. Add the drained pierogi and fry until browned and crisp.
  10. Serve with additional sour cream.

*Recipe sourced from King Arthur Flour.

Pierogi

Image sourced from King Arthur Flour

Milho Frito

Milho Frito is a Portuguese dish made from frying cooked maize meal. By adding just a few simple ingredients, you can turn the traditional South African staple into a Portuguese favourite.

Ingredients: 

Method:

  1. Add oil, water, garlic and salt to a large pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in the maize meal in a steady stream. Once the maize meal is added, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Keep stirring for about 20 minutes until the maize meal starts to thicken and pull away from the sides of the pot.
  4. Add the herbs and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the maize meal into a greased baking dish and allow to cool until it firms up.
  6. Cut the maize meal into cubes or into chips and fry in batches for about 3-5 minutes a side, until golden brown and crispy.
  7. Allow the cubes to drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with some salt.

Recipe sourced from My Portuguese Kitchen.

Milho Frito

Image sourced from www.pixabay.com

Paella

Traditionally, paella is a rich and hearty dish made with colourful vegetables, fresh seafood and golden saffron. This recipe is made lighter on the pocket by using turmeric in place of saffron and chicken rather than seafood.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Stir together the lemon juice, rind and turmeric and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a paella pan or large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, for about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, thyme and garlic to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the lemon mixture, stock and remaining salt.
  7. Nestle chicken into rice, skin side up, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook for 18 minutes.
  8. Add the peas and pepper, increase heat to medium and cook until rice begins to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and serve scattered with parsley.

Recipe sourced from Cooking Light.

Paella

Image sourced from Cooking Light

Cassoulet

Last but not least on our list is cassoulet - a rich southern French stew made from sausages and beans. Hearty, rich and filling, this is the perfect comfort food during cold nights.

Ingredients: 

Method:

  1. Cook the sausages in oil over a moderate heat until browned on all sides and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Cook onion and garlic until browned and add herbs, parsley and tomatoes. Season to taste and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut sausages into slices and add to the tomato mixture, along with the beans.
  4. Discard the bay leaf and heat through.
  5. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking and saute the bread. Stir in garlic and parsley and season. Then scatter over cassoulet.

*Recipe sourced from Epicurious.

Cassoulet

Image sourced from Epicurious

Do you have any recipes for exotic dishes using pantry staples? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Budget Recipes To Try At Home During Lockdown

Spicy Boerewors Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 600 g spicy sausage or boerewors
  • 30 ml (2 T) sunflower oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 medium aubergine, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 baby marrows, chopped
  • 2 x 410 g can Rhodes Tomato Italian Style
  • 4 x 250 ml (4 C) cooked penne pasta
  • To serve: 3 T ( ¼ C) fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Remove the sausage or boerewors from its casing.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the sausage meat until almost cooked.
  3. Remove the sausage meat from the pan and set aside.
  4. Discard excess fat in the pan.
  5. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes until softened.
  6. Add the aubergine, pepper and baby marrows and fry, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes more.
  7. Add the cans of tomatoes.
  8. Bring the sauce to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
  9. Return the sausage meat to the pan.
  10. Continue to simmer the sauce for a further 5 minutes or until the sausage meat is cooked through.
  11. Add the cooked penne pasta to the sauce and toss well to mix.
  12. Serve immediately with the fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese.

20 Minute Chicken & Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Season the chicken and brown on both sides. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper. Cover partially with a lid and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain but reserve 1 cup cooking water for later.
  3. Fold the baby spinach into the pasta sauce and allow to wilt down. This should take only a minute or two. Empty the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Add some of the cooking water to thin the sauce down as the pasta will continue to absorb liquid when mixed into the chicken.
  4. Add a generous handful of basil and half of the Parmesan cheese. Fold through to combine with the sauce.
  5. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

Adapted from: https://www.food24.com

Paprika Chicken & Fried Rice Bake

Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 ml (2 t) paprika
  • 45 ml (3 T) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 packet rindless bacon, chopped
  • 300 g uncooked white rice
  • 1 x 410 g can Rhodes Tomato Italian Style
  • 60 g Rhodes Tomato Paste
  • 250 ml (1 C) red wine
  • 500 ml (2 C) prepared chicken stock

Method:

  1. Season the chicken to taste with salt, pepper and paprika.
  2. Heat the oil in a shallow oven proof casserole dish and brown the chicken in batches.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add the onion and leek and fry until softened.
  5. Add the garlic and bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and stir briefly.
  7. Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, placing them on top of the rice mixture.
  8. Spoon the Rhodes Tomato Italian Style over the chicken.
  9. Place the Rhodes Tomato Paste, wine and stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  10. Pour the wine mixture over the chicken in the casserole dish and cover with a lid or tin foil.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ºC for an hour or until the rice is fluffy and soft and the chicken cooked through.
  12. Remove from the oven and serve with a crisp green salad.

Adapted from: https://www.rhodesquality.com

The Classic Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 240 g macaroni
  • 250 g (1 packet) bacon, chopped
  • 1 x 410 g Rhodes Tomato Italian Style
  • 65 ml (¼ C) butter
  • 5 ml (1 t) Dijon Mustard
  • 45 ml (3 T) flour
  • 500 ml (2 C) milk, warm
  • 1 handful mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 handful cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • 125 ml (½ C) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 45 ml (4 T) Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni as per the packet instructions.
  2. Drain well and set aside.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add the bacon bits to the hot pan and fry until crispy.
  4. Pour off any excess oil and then add the Rhodes Tomato Italian Style.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes to heat through.
  6. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
  7. Add the mustard.
  8. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  9. Using a whisk, whisk in the hot milk and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and thick.
  10. Cook over low heat for a few minutes to cook out the flour.
  11. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese.
  12. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  13. Pour the tomato sauce over the cooked macaroni and mix.
  14. Spoon the macaroni into a baking dish and pour over the cheese sauce.
  15. Mix the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle this mixture over the top of the pasta.
  16. Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 20 minutes until heated through.
  17. Serve immediately.

Adapted from: https://www.rhodesquality.com

Jalapeño Atchar Malay Chicken With Tagliatelle

Ingredients:

  • 500g Woolworths dried tagliatelle
  • 100g butter
  • 100g Woolworths jalapeño atchar
  • 280g Woolworths oven-roasted sliced chicken breast
  • Torn coriander, for serving

Method:

  1. Cook the Woolworths dried tagliatelle in salted boiling water until al dente, then drain.
  2. Melt the butter until foamy and just brown, add the Woolworths jalapeño atchar to the butter and toss through the sliced chicken breast.
  3. Fold through the pasta.
  4. Serve at room temperature with torn coriander and season to taste.

Adapted from: https://taste.co.za

Lockdown Meals: Prep These Freezer-Friendly Dinners

Cottage Pie 

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and fry 1¼ kg beef mince until browned – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns.
  2. Put the other 2 tbsp olive oil into the pan, add 2 finely chopped onions, 3 chopped carrots and 3 chopped celery sticks and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 3 tbsp plain flour and 1 tbsp tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few minutes, then return the beef to the pan.
  4. Pour over a large glass of red wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the 850ml beef stock, 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, a few thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 minutes – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
  6. Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the 1.8kg potatoes, which you've peeled and chopped, in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
  7. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few minutes. Mash well with the 225ml milk, 25g butter and three-quarters of the 200g strong cheddar cheese, then season with freshly grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon the meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  9. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220°C and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden.
  10. If you want to use a slow cooker, brown your mince in batches then tip into your slow cooker and stir in the vegetables, flour, purée, wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs with some seasoning. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Make the mash following the previous steps, and then oven cook in the same way to finish.

Place the leftovers into a freezable container and put in the freezer.

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com

cottage pie

Freezer Classic Lasagne

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. To make the meat sauce, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and cook 750g lean beef mince in two batches for about 10 mins until browned all over.
  2. Finely chop 4 slices of prosciutto from a 90g pack, then stir through the meat mixture.
  3. Pour over 800g of the tomato sauce and 200ml hot beef stock. Add a little grated nutmeg, then season.
  4. Bring up to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins until the sauce looks rich.
  5. Heat oven to 180°C and lightly oil an ovenproof dish (about 30 x 20cm).
  6. Spoon one third of the meat sauce into the dish, then cover with some fresh lasagne sheets from a 300g pack. Drizzle over roughly 130g ready-made or homemade white sauce.
  7. Repeat until you have 3 layers of pasta. Cover with the remaining 390g white sauce, making sure you can’t see any pasta poking through.
  8. Scatter 125g torn mozzarella over the top.
  9. Arrange the rest of the prosciutto on top. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is bubbling and lightly browned.

Place the leftovers into a freezable container and put in the freezer.

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com

classic-lasagne

Bake-From-The-Freezer Pizzas

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Make the bread dough following pack instructions, and transfer to an oiled bowl to rise for about 1 hour.
  2. Knock back in the bowl by squashing all the air out of the dough with your fist. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each one into a circle of about 18cm in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Put dough you’re not using under a damp tea towel to stop it drying out.
  3. Put the pizza bases on large oiled baking sheets – you may need 2 or 3. Spread 1 tbsp sauce or passata on each base, then scatter on the basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan (or whatever you fancy). You can freeze the pizzas now, if you like, on the baking sheet, wrapped in cling film. Or if eating straight away, heat oven to 240°C. Cook for 8-12 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  4. To cook from frozen, remove the cling film and heat oven to 220°C. Bake for 10-14 minutes until crisp and golden.

Place the leftovers into a freezable container and put in the freezer.

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com

bake from freezer pizza

Red Lentil, Chickpea & Chilli Soup

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry 2 tsp cumin seeds and a large pinch of chilli flakes for 1 minute, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas.
  2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 chopped red onion, and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in 140g red split lentils, 850ml vegetable stock or water and a 400g can tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.
  4. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add 200g drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  5. Heat gently, season well and stir in a small bunch of chopped coriander, reserving a few leaves to serve. Finish with 4 tbsp of Greek yogurt and extra coriander leaves.

Place the leftovers into a freezable container and put in the freezer.

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com

red lentil chickpea and chilli soup

Smoky Sausage Casserole

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Put the oil in a large, heatproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add the onion, cooking for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Tip in the garlic, celery and peppers, and give everything a good stir. Cook for 5 minutes more.
  2. Turn the heat to high and add the sausages. Cook for a few minutes until browned all over, then reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle in the spices and season well. Pour over the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering gently for 40 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  3. Heat the grill to high and uncover the casserole. Add the beans and spinach, and stir to warm through. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and grill for 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp.

Place the leftovers into a freezable container and put in the freezer.

Source: www.bbcgoodfood.com

Smoky Sausage Casserole

Bountiful Brunch At Sugacube Cafe

Located in the heart of Bartlett, is a quaint little L-shaped shopping centre called Elridge Corner. Right in the corner of that L lies a delightful coffee shop and eatery. We have walked past this coffee shop again and again, always saying how we would like to try it one day. Well, one day we finally did.

The nuances of sky blue and crisp white accentuate a feeling of freshness. One feels brightened up and more alive simply being seated. A more relaxing spot for brunch would be hard to come by. One instantly wants to whet the palate with something refreshing and perhaps even healthy. That is until one sees the menu...

Sugacube Cafe serves up a wide selection of food and drink, from freshly prepared coffee to delicate sandwiches and everything in between. They also serve up ample choices of breads and pastries. One may be tempted to stock up on their varieties of scones, breads, croissants, cakes, biscuits and cupcakes instead of ordering a meal. This would be a mistake. Rather take the safe option and do both, trust us.

Baked Goods

For drinks, we tried the Lemon Not So Gourmet Milkshake and the filter coffee. At the first sip, the milkshake tasted just like a luscious lemon meringue pie. With each sip, the flavour got more and more lemon-infused. This certainly was refreshing and the ultimate choice for lemon lovers. We will admit that our hearts sank a little when it arrived with a straw. But to our delight, the straw, which looked and felt like plastic, was actually made out of cornstarch and is fully eco-friendly. The coffee was strong and good as any connoisseur would like, the perfect choice to accompany a late brunch after a night out.

For the main event we went with the Avo Wrap and the Sugacube Special Roll. What could be more brunch-esque than a wrap and a sandwich roll? The Avo Wrap was filled to the brim with avocado, halloumi and feta. The Sugacube Special on the other hand, was stuffed with chicken, bacon, blue cheese and rocket. Both were finished off with a side of chips in a yummy house-made spice. Yes, it was as scrumptious as it sounds. In fact, my tummy is grumbling for more.

Brunch is the perfect excuse to have dessert for breakfast, so we couldn't very well leave without something to tantalize the sweet tooth. But what to choose between the fluffy pancakes filled with bar one sauce or the checkered waffles smothered in milky bar? We actually chose the Peppermint Crisp drenched waffle, but now we have a reason to go back again - not that we needed another one!

Next time, we'll definitely be ordering the Toffee Apple milkshake and the Chicken Schnitzel, topped with bacon and cheese sauce. And we'll finish this off with the Nutella Pancakes or maybe a cupcake... or a custard slice... or maybe a cookie...

Find more information here.

schnitzel

Dinner On The Deck

What Is It?

This is a great spot to be at this November, promising to leave you begging for more, you sure will get excited and will want your friends to join you on this one. We know we all love us some food, so another exciting about this event is that you will get to feast on a four-course meal conceptualised by the forum company and enjoy live entertainment on the deck. The perfect gathering for a group of friends, celebrating before the Silly Season arrives.

When Is It?

Friday, 09 November 2018 at 06:30 - 23:00. 

Where Is It?

Turbine Hall, 65 Ntemi Piliso, Newtown, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Tickets are R495 per person, get yours here!

For More Information

Visit this Facebook page or this website for more information.

Don't Miss The Melrose Arch More Than Soccer Fan Zone!

What Is It?

With 2018 FIFA Mania at fever pitch, make sure you catch the quarter-, semi-, third-place playoff and finals at the Melrose Arch More Than Soccer Fan Zone between 01 - 15 July 2018. Here, you will be able to watch the games live on their big screen in the Piazza while enjoying delicious meals and drinks from your favourite restaurants, such as JB’s Corner, Jamie’s Italian, RocoMamas, Piza ē Vino, Tasha’s, Paul Patisserie, Roast Café, Sushi Burrito & Co or The Grillhouse. There will also be live bands and entertainment lined up, as well as spot prizes to be won on Final Day!

Please note:  The Fan Zone on the Square is only running from 01 - 07 July 2018.

When Is It?

You can catch all the nail-biting FIFA action on the following dates:

Where Is It?

The Piazza at Melrose Arch, Whiteley Road, Melrose North, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Depending on where you park, you’ll pay for parking and meals and refreshments at your favourite restaurant, but, other than that, the FIFA entertainment is FREE.

For More Information

For more information about this exciting event, visit www.melrosearch.co.za or call them on 011 684 0002.

Melrose Arch Trading Hours:

Also, check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Montecasino's Night Out For 2 Is Back With A Bang!

Night Out For 2 Is Back

Back by popular demand, Montecasino’s Night Out For 2 gives you meals, drinks, movies AND entertainment for TWO people for just R450 (value R800)! Featuring some of the best restaurants and super-fun entertainment, this is the perfect excuse to enjoy a night out at Gauteng’s Number 1 Entertainment Destination at a fraction of the cost.

Your NIGHT OUT FOR 2 vouchers can either be redeemed on one particular day OR spread over a number of days – it’s entirely up to you. Plus, they're valid for redemption 7 days a week until 30 November 2018. Whether you buy one book of vouchers or a number of vouchers so that you can enjoy this offer more than once, Montecasino is looking forward to giving you and your special someone a night out to remember!

Voucher booklets can be purchased from 10 September until 10 November 2018 and redeemed until 30 November 2018.

How Does It Work?

Night Out For 2 is super easy and amazing – all you have to do is the following:

Montecasino

Here Are Your Options!

Make your restaurant booking early to get the best table:

Sip on drinks for two at these spots: 

Movies for two at:

For a little bit of fun, entertainment for two includes the choice of:

For More Information

For more information about Night Out For 2 or Montecasino, visit www.tsogosun.com. You can also contact them on 011 510 7000.

Also, check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Culinary Tours That Will Take You On A Journey In South Africa

Going on a journey of food hopping is the best thing you can do for yourself. Even better if you travel and explore a whole new world of bursting flavours and culture.

Food Routes

Food Routes is an online foodie holiday and tours specialist. They offer epicurean travelers culinary adventures around the country, including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Choose from their line-up of five-star accommodation venues also renowned for their gastronomic cuisine. Or, you can select culinary experiences instead, such as food and wine festivals, farmers markets, visits to cheese farms, delis, bakeries and more. There are ample choices here. You might even end up thinking of taking up quite a few of their amazing experience filled tours. Its all about being part of an unforgettable journey and making memories to keep forever.

Visit their website for more information.

Dlala Nje, Taste Of Yeoville Tour

Dlala Nje is an adventures and cultural company situated in Ponte City, in the heart of Hillbrow. They offer a Taste of Yeoville tour, where you’ll get to experience life in Joburg’s inner city, the cultures and culinary experiences. A showcase of some of Joburg's most amazing hidden gems, you are bound to enjoy the atmosphere of this tour.  As a bonus, you will be around very warm people to welcome you and create memories with. Prepare your tummy and taste buds for all the comfort food and cuisines you will be exploring. These awesome experiences come tailor made for the individual, as well as businesses. So, you can be certain that its about more than just going to cool places and eating drool worthy food.

Click here for more information.

Cape Fusion Tours

Cape Fusion Tours founder Pamela McOnie started the business simply because she wanted to share her passion for Cape Town and food with the world. Pamela runs a number of tours. However, we recommend that you book the Cape Town Eats City Tour, Cape Town Cooking Tours and Cape Wine Tours. Each one focuses on highlighting the magnificent restaurants, farms and producers in and around the Mother City. Take a look, choose your favourite and arrive hungry. Most importantly, come ready to explore!

Visit their website for more information.
 

Bites & Sites Cultural Food Tours

This local tour company gives you the chance to discover the Cape’s unique fare, wine, diverse cultures and vibrant history. They offer four tours: Classic Cape Cuisine Walk, Dine and Vine Tour, Foodies on Foot, and the Kayamandi Township Tour and Xhosa Lunch. The philosophy at the heart of every Bites & Sites food tour is to have a local invite you into their culture and show you the hidden gems of the area. On the various tours, you’ll get to eat a meal at an eatery where the locals hang out, learn to cook traditional dishes or explore local food markets.

Visit their website for more information 

Restaurants With Views

The Westcliff: Four Seasons Hotel

If you want to dine somewhere suburban and modern, then The Westcliff might just be the perfect venue for you. The hotel boasts five modern restaurants, bars and lounges but the special places with magnificent views are Flames and View. View serves contemporary dishes, while the urban-casual menu at Flames features upscale fare with fresh regional and seasonal ingredients.

The San Deck: Sandton Sun

Loved by many Sandton residents, The San Deck is the perfect rooftop spot for summer and winter. Summer is best for enjoying the warm sun with cocktails under the umbrellas, while winter is great with the outdoor heaters and glorious firepits to keep you warm in the evening. Either way, you’ll be mesmerised by the Sandton skyline while you tuck into food prepared by Executive Chef Garth Shiner.

views

The Living Room

Take a drive down to the Maboneng Precinct and enjoy the sunset and hipster buzz with a cocktail in hand at The Living Room. This nature-inspired and vibrant rooftop venue is perfect for sundowners, indulging in a meal with friends and sharing some good laughs while enjoying the panoramic vista of the city. The food is delicious and includes homemade deli-style meals, eclectic tapas and weekly specials, so arrive hungry!

Marble Restaurant

Carnivores and flame-grilled enthusiasts this one's for you. Marble Restaurant on Keyes Avenue in Rosebank offers fine dining that features eating around an open flame with meat, seafood, and veg on the grill. You can look forward to quality food that's authentically South African but different at the same time. The dishes are to die for, and don’t even get us started on the dessert and cheeses. Marble Restaurant is situated at the top of the Trumpet building, so you can expect one of the best views of the city.

Higher Ground Restaurant

Situated on the St Stithians College grounds in Bryanston, Higher Ground Restaurant is the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy the stunning vistas of the city while sipping cocktails or feasting on delicious Meditteranean food. And as they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can appreciate the views at all hours of the day.

views

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

The 411 On Banting – A Beginner’s Guide

First things first!

To get on your way with Banting, there are a few rules that you need to know. Now, some of the things I’m going to tell you might make you feel a little emotional (bye bye, baked delights!), but life without sugar and carbs is possible! I’ve been through it myself and promise that everything is going to be okay. It's easier to miss cake when you're two sizes down, right? Right.

On your Banting journey, you’re going to have to remember these simple rules:

  1. There are three lists of food that you will live by – the green list, the orange list, and the red list. How I thought of these lists was to think of them as a traffic robot, green is for go, orange is for caution or yield, and red is stop. You must only eat foods from the green list, and if you are looking to treat yourself (in moderation, of course), then eat some things from the orange list. The red list are foods that you must avoid as much as possible, as these are the no-no foods! Check out Auntie Banting for the full lists.
  2. You need to keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates you take in daily. The rule is that you need to ensure that you eat less than 50g of carbs a day. If you stick to the green list, your daily intake should be correct.
  3. Plan your meals ahead of time! Taking time to prepare your meals will give you the opportunity to put more thought into what you are eating, and help you stick to your Banting goals. To help keep yourself motivated, write out your Banting goals and stick them somewhere where you will see them to help reduce temptation of snacking on the bad (but oh-so good) stuff.
  4. Last but not least, you’re going to have to practice self-control and willpower. It’s pretty hard giving up carb and sugar ‘addictions’, but in the long run, it will definitely benefit you and your health. The first week will be one of the hardest weeks to conquer, but after that, the ride gets a little smoother. Also, expect to experience a ‘carb flu’ while your body is adjusting to the Banting way of life. Don’t worry though; they don’t last long and will only give you mild flu-like symptoms.

Now that the basics are over and done with, it’s time to take on your first challenge.

Clean Out Your Fridge and Cupboards

For me, this was one of the most difficult parts of joining the Banting wagon. Cleaning out my cupboard and ditching all of the snacks and goodies was quite a bittersweet experience. Not only did it mark the beginning of a healthier lifestyle, but it also marked the moment I gave up on delicious goodness (soft sob). But, before you start chucking, make sure you go over the three different lists of the Banting diet to clean out your cupboards accordingly, and do not lie to yourself and hide some stash! All the no-no red list foods must go! Once this is done, it’s time to draw up a shopping list to stock your fridge and cupboards with the good stuff.

Clean Out Fridge

Plan Your Meals

As mentioned in the basic rules of Banting, you will now need to plan your meals in advance. You may think that your meals will be bland or limited owing to the green list, but believe me, there are PLENTY of Banting recipes out there! Browse the internet and print out some recipes to keep your meals exciting. The spice of life is variety, so make sure you find plenty of options to add to your recipe collection. Just make sure that the recipes are Banting friendly, and that the ingredients fall under the green and orange lists. If there are red list foods in the ingredients for a certain meal, try replace those ingredients with Banting friendly options.

Meal Plan

Do Some Exercise!

It takes more than a good diet to lead a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to get active! You don’t have to go all out to get active. If heading to the gym sounds more like too much effort, then try walking! You can walk anywhere and you don’t need to pay a membership fee to do it. Other good alternatives that you can do in the comfort of your own home include Zumba, yoga, and even swimming if you have a pool. Cardio is one of the best ways to burn off energy. And since your body will be fueled by the good fats you will be consuming on the Banting Diet, the more energy you use, the more fat you will burn off.

Exercise & gym

All About Your Food

From now on, you will not be allowed to have ANY sugar or carbs. These foods are BAD! Repeat after me – BAD! You’ll be munching on lots of natural fats, from butter and cream, to animal fat. Vegetables will be your best friends, and despite what they say about fruits being good for you, they are actually your enemy due to being high in fructose (AKA sugar). So, rather act as though fruits as ‘treats’ and refer to the orange food list to see which fruits you can eat in moderation. Also, make sure you are keeping tabs on the amount of carbs you’re eating daily (carbs can be found in various vegetables). You cannot go over 50g of carbs a day. Lastly, drink lots of water!

Vegetables

Don't Eat Too Little Or Too Much

During your first week of Banting, you will feel hungry while your body adjusts to your new diet. This happens because your body was relying on carbs as fuel. The sad reality of carbs though, is that they will make you feel full, but leave you feeling hungry a short while later. Now that you have replaced carbs with natural fats, you will feel fuller for longer. Keep everything at medium portions on your plate, from your low-carb veggies to the good fats and protein. A simple trick to avoid eating too much is to pick a smaller plate over a large one. Larger plates tend to make you eat more food while smaller plates make you take smaller portions.

 

No Snacking!

This is something I definitely battled with. Some people say that it’s okay to snack in between meals, while others say you shouldn’t, but in all honesty, find what works for you. During your first week, you will feel hungrier than normal, so you may need to nibble on something every now and then, but make sure that the snacks at hand are Banting friendly! No sneaky treats or cheating. But, if you are still suffering from hunger pangs in between meals after your first week, then you need to up your natural fat intake, as these fats are supposed to be making you feel fuller for longer.

 

From my experience, those are all the basics you need to know to get started on the Banting way of life! If you have other tips for fellow Banters or if I have left something out, leave a comment below!

Good luck and happy Banting!

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For More Information

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