Beetroot Salad with Wasabi Mayo



It’s New Year’s Eve and my girlfriend is organising brunch. Kallie is re-known for her parties, so every year if it’s not a Xmas party then we surely know there’s going to be a treat around New Years. This year the party was spurred on by an excessive slurped on smoked salmon so I knocked up a quick beetroot and wasabi mayo salad to go with her theme. When you combine fresh beetroot with wasabi and smoked salmon, the flavour combination just explodes in your mouth!!! It was a hit at this years party and I think I’ll be making it more often!

Estimated Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Ingredients;

  • 1 medium beetroot (150g)
  • 1 medium kohl rabi (150g) you can also use parsnip or radish if you can’t find kohl rabi
  • 2 wedges of grapefruit (or another sour citrus substitute)
  • 2 Tbs of toasted white and black sesame combined
  • 1 Tbsp of Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp of Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp of light soy
  • 1 Tbs of Wasabi (less if you prefer it milder)

Method;

  1. Grate or finely cut the beetroot and kohl rabi into thin slices about 3 mm thick.
  2. Break up the grapefruit pieces gently into 1 cm pieces. Add the grapefruit and gently fold into in the vegetables, taking care not to bruise the grapefruit too much. You want the juices to be contained in the grapefruit and not drain into the salad.
  3. In a small bowl combine the ranch dressing, vinegar, light soy  and wasabi and whisk till you get a smooth consistency.
  4. Drizzle the dressing on the salad and sprinkle the salad with the sesame seeds.
  5. Best served with smoked fish, a grilled white fish or seafood. For vegetarians, this goes really well with plain rice crackers also.

Grab yourself a nice glass of chardonnay, a mouthful of this salad and sit back and watch people at awe at your salad… it’s a real crowd pleaser!



San Choi Bao


After the festivities, hubby the kids and I rounded up the holiday spirits by having a couple of friends over and tucking into a light pork mince and ginger salad (otherwise known as San Choi Bao). Traditionally, the salad doesn’t have beans, but  after a test taste, I realized that the mince needed a bit more crunch and bite… thank goodness I still had a pack of frozen soya beans in the freezer!

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients;

  • 200g of lean pork mince
  • 1/2 cup of frozen soya beans (if you can’t find soya beans, chickpeas or peanuts will do the trick)
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 1 sprig of Spring Onions/Scallions finely sliced
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp pf Salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 Tsp of Ketchup Manis or Sweet Soy
  • 1 /4 cup of chopped coriander and mint leaves mixed together
  • Lettuce Leaves (butter lettuce will give  milder richer taste, while Icebergs will give you a more sweeter crunch)

Method;

  1. Drizzle the oil over a hot fry pan and add the red onions and ginger and stir occasionally.
  2. Once the onions have sweated, add the pork mince, salt,sugar, ketchup manis, pepper and frozen soya beans and stirfry till the liquid evaporates from the pan.
  3. Take the pan of the heat and add in the spring onions, coriander and mint leaves.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and scoop the mince mixture onto lettuce leaves.
  5. Garnish with dried chillies (optional) and additional mint/coriander leaves before serving.




Moroccan Salad


Christmas lunch at my house is always loud and filled with the sound of pork crackling in the oven and the aroma of apple and brandy sauce simmering throughout the house. This year however, we decided to go all out with a seafood feast. With the amount of  dishes  we had consumed by 2pm Xmas day, I couldn’t help but feel like we all had a piece of the ocean floor swimming around in our swelling bellies.  After lunch, everyone went for a power nap and woke up to the dish above …the Moroccan Salad was the perfect dish to restore the culinary balance and prep everyone up again for the Xmas dinner!

Estimated Cooking Time – 1 hour

Serves 10 -12

Ingredients;

  • 1 Large Kumera/sweet potato (300g)
  • 3 Large Beetroot (300g)
  • 2 sticks of Spring Onions or Scallions
  • 3 Tbsp of good quality Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 2 Tsp of Honey
  • Sprig of Coriander
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 18 C or 350F.
  2. Peel and cut the Beetroot and Kumera into the same bite size pieces and place evenly onto a baking dish.
  3. To the vegetables, slice the spring onions into 3cm pieces and sprinkle on top.
  4. Combine the ginger, tumeric, coriander and cumin spices together and sprinkle over the vegetables.
  5. Drizzle the honey and oil over the top of the spiced vegetables and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  6. Once combined, please the tray in the oven and cook for about 35 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of your vegetable pieces).
  7. The vegetables are ready when the Kumera is soft and creamy in the middle, although the beetroot will still have a slight crunch. As beetroot takes longer to cook than the Kumera, it was important to cut the vegetables the same size.This way you will achieve the right texture of a sweet crunch followed by a velvet feel of the Kumera as you go through the dish.
  8. Once cooked, take the vegetables out and allow to cool to a luke warm feel before folding in the coriander,sesame seeds and adding the salt and pepper to taste.
  9. I like to serve this with a flat bread and mint yogurt dip, on it’s own or even with a white fish.

Show of your middle eastern flare and impress your guest with this simple, colorful and delicious salad!




Lychee Champagne


With the arrival of my baby boy, it’s been a challenge to make it to events and social gatherings. I love my new role as a mum and have learned to be creative when it comes to special get-togethers and catch ups. One such event was my close friend’s hens. The girls headed to a dance studio to learn the art of cheer leading. While they were mastering their sexy pouts, roaring chants and flirty hip rolls, I took to the kitchen for some fun of my own! When you can’t come to the party, Lychee Champagnes are a sure way to lure the party to you! Congratulations Annie and I can’t wait to see you walk down the isle!

Estimated Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients;

  • 1 bottle of sparking wine (preferably pink, I used Yellow Glen Pink)
  • 1 can of Lychee
  • Mint Leaves and Strawberries for Garnish

Method;

  1. Place the wine bottle and can of Lychee in the Freeze for approximately 2 – 3 hours. As each fridge will be at a different setting, check on both the wine and lychee regularly. You want both to set slightly to form a slushy. To test this, all you need to do is shake the can and bottle to hear a light slushy sound.
  2. Once the slushy consistency appears in both, empty the lychee can into a bowl and transfer the lychee flesh into a cocktail/wine glasses leaving the slushy lychee liquid in the bowl.
  3. Garnish the cups with mint leaves and cut strawberries. The strawberries can hang to the sides as above, otherwise be cut up and thrown in the glasses with the lychee flesh.
  4. Pour the lychee liquid into a jug, followed by the wine and pour the mixture into the cocktail/wine glasses as pictured above.
  5. Serve immediately as the effects of this cocktail relies on the fizz of the wine.

For those who prefer not to be on constant watch, you can just blend the two liquid together in a blender with some ice. Either way, you’ll be happily tipsy before you know it hehehe.

Enjoy the heavenly sweetness, but do be careful as they are delectably addictive!