Beetroot hummus with warm baby pitas

March 25, 2012 in Healthy eating, Vegetable garden

Hello everyone,
Pink is the best feeling to have… or to eat. Try some of this magical stuff for a fun and different starter or tapas. Easy and made in minutes :-) With love….

4.5 from 2 reviews
Beetroot hummus with warm baby pitas
Recipe type: Picky dip, starter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Earthy beetroot married with garlic and chickpeas to make a silky hummus. A beautiful and tasty addition to your table for a starter or tapas meal.
  • 6 medium beetroot
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • ½ wheel feta cheese
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 2 large basil leaves
  • 1 t tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 t sugar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon (to taste)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • 10 baby pita breads
  1. Pull the stems off the beetroot in a twisting motion – cutting them makes them bleed.
  2. Boil them in water until soft.
  3. Cool and peel carefully.
  4. Cut them roughly and place them in a bowl.
  5. Peel the garlic clove and add to the bowl along with the chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, sugar, mint, lemon and seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  6. Blitz it until smooth. Crumble the feta over the beautiful pink hummus.
  7. Warm the pitas in a hot oven for 3-5 mins and serve when warm.




How to oven-dry tomatoes

March 7, 2012 in Easy dinners, Healthy eating, Vegetable garden

Hello foodie folk,

Our beautiful tomatoes have been so good to us this year, bursting onto their vines and blushing redder than red. We’ve picked them in basket fulls and one of the easiest and most versatile way to preserve them is to dry them out in the oven.

4.0 from 2 reviews
Oven-dried tomatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
How to oven-dry tomatoes and preserve them.
  • 1 large basket of tomatoes
  • 500ml olive oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  1. Preheat your oven to 150 C.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a baking tray.
  3. Depending on how dry you like them, cook slowly for 1-2 hours.
  4. Let them cool when they are done to your liking.
  5. Peel and cut the garlic into thin slices.
  6. Wash the basil and remove leaves from the stalks.
  7. Place in serilised jars (2 mins in microwave) with the garlic and basil interspersed and fill with the olive oil.
  8. It will last for about a month, but I guarantee it will be gone by then.
These can be used on fish, chicken, chopped into pastas and on their own on toast!

That’s it!!! It depends on how plump or dried-out you like them, I personally prefer juicy-ish one’s, not the chewy, un-cuttable ones.
*Quickie pasta – boil pasta and chop in some of these babies, crumble on goats cheese and some crispy bacon – heaven.

Or try this previously blogged recipe – Chicken pasta with oven-dried tomatoes and pesto.

Enjoy everyone!

Here’s a latest piccie of my little monsters – are they growing up or what?

Homegrown beetroot salad

February 26, 2012 in Healthy eating, Vegetable garden

Hi people-who-adore-food,

We’ve been exceptionally wafty and pure by growing our own beetroot. It came out be-yoo-tifully and a welcome addition to the fountains of tomatoes, gems and beans.

I threw in some peppery baby rocket that I have sprouting like the magic porridge pot behind the kitchen door, crumbled over some of my fave garlic goats cheese and WHOOP-LA, uber sexy salad.

I dressed it up with a light lemony dressing with a droppette of truffle oil in it and it really brought out those earthy beetroot flavours.

3.7 from 3 reviews
Homegrown beetroot salad with goats cheese
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Earthy beetroot salad with creamy avocado, goats cheese and peppery rocket.
  • 6 small beetroot
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • 1 roll garlic goats cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Mixed salad leaves
  • 1 handful fresh rocket
  • 2 T Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 2 drops truffle infused oil (or leave out if you don't like it)
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Beetroot:
  2. Tip - break the tops off the beetroot instead of cutting it, it won't bleed.
  3. Place in a pot and simmer until soft.
  4. Drain and cool.
  5. When cooled, peel them carefully (the skins come off quite easily).
  6. Cut them into even wedges and place in a large pan. Toss over a medium heat with the 2 T Balsamic, honey and sugar for a few minutes until glossy. Season and set aside to cool.
  7. Make the salad:
  8. Lay your salad leaves on a platter, peel and cut the avo and lay at intervals around the platter with the beetroot.
  9. Crumble over the goats cheese and top with the rocket. Season with black pepper.
  10. Dressing:
  11. Whisk the oils and lemon together and season.

Enjoy fair peoples.

Caro xxx



Spicy calamari salad

February 22, 2012 in Easy dinners, Healthy eating

This recipe is a new favourite of mine. It kicks ass. Spicy, Cajun-ey, chilli ass with peppery salad leaves wilted into it just before serving.

It’s a winner as a starter or fatten it up with fresh, popping baby tomatoes, colourful peppers and perhaps some baba potatoes. You can also use all sorts of leaves for this. Butter lettuce would be lovely and soft, rocket would pack a punch or you could Asian things up with some lovely fresh bok choi (Chinese scabbage).

4.0 from 3 reviews
Spicy calamari salad
Recipe type: Starter or main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Warm Cajun calamari salad with fresh chilli and wilted greens.
  • 500g baby calamari tubes and tentacles
  • 3 T Cajun spice
  • 1 t smoked paprika (you can use normal if you like, then make it 2 t)
  • 2 fresh chillis (depending on hot you like it)
  • 1 pinch saffron (if you have it hanging around)
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 packet Italian salad leaves
  • Vegetable/canola oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Place the calamari into a colander and run fresh water over it to get rid of any sliminess from being in packaging. Shake it to remove as much water as possible.
  2. Place all the spices, garlic and calamari in a bowl and marinade from 10 mins - 1 day. A few hours will do just fine.
  3. Heat a pan until very hot, add some oil and pan-fry the calamari in batches until just cooked. +- 3-5 mins per batch.
  4. Place it all back into the pan with the leaves and turn for literally 30 seconds until everything is mixed and coated and the leaves are starting to wilt. You don't want them to shrink to nothingness.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. TIP: I always cook the little heads for longer until they are starting to get crispy.


Couldn’t you just DIG in right now…?

Enjoy lovely people,

Caro xx

Tomato chilli jam recipe

February 16, 2012 in Vegetable garden

Hi y’all,

Whoops I forgot to post the actual recipe last night… here we go:

Tomato chilli jam recipe
Recipe type: Chunky jam
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A rustic relish-style jam with a sassy kick.
  • 1kg large tomatoes, halved
  • 3 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1cm ginger, grated
  • 3T balsamic vinegar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 150 C.
  2. Place tomatoes on a baking tray and add the onion, chilli, ginger, garlic, vinegar and sugar and then a nice glug of olive oil.
  3. Salt and black pepper and mix well with your hands.
  4. Roast for about 1½ - 2hrs or until browning and caramelised.
  5. Cool and place in sterilised jars.


Tomato chilli jam and RSG radio

February 15, 2012 in Vegetable garden

Hi everyone,

We have had a fantastic crop of love apples again from our veggie garden – it’s quite daunting really, about half a beer box a day – and one of the recipes I make in this, should we say… bloody hard working abundant time, is tomato chilli jam.

It’s a rustic, chunky relish-style jam with a sassy chilli kick and a great savoury feel to it. I love it with crusty ciabatta and wedges of mature cheddar, goats cheese or any strong cheese really.

I am chatting to Nina from My Easy Cooking tomorrow on RSG (9am) and I’m going to take them some of this to munch on whilst we wag our chins.
I made a humongous batch last night – how perfect is that timing? And please, don’t choke on your cappuccino’s at my Afrikaans, I am an in-getroude de Waal!

Happy, shiny tomatoes,

Caro xx

Plum lollies… and some chickens

January 31, 2012 in Healthy eating, Kids food

Hi everyone,

Deep purple plums whizzed up with a touch of pressed apple juice and frozen in minutes in the magical ZOKU – an awesome instant lolly maker… ohhhh yea!  (More on that to come :-)) Just look at that colour…

It is one of the healthiest snacks your kiddy could have and my boys just love them – they have been a complete hit! I’m going to try all sorts of flavours and have a large watermelon just begging to be blitzed into gorgeous lollies.

I’m thinking pineapple and pear, watermelon and ginger, banana and honey, peach and apple, ooooooo the flavours are endless.

I’m sure you’re wondering who this beautiful lady is? Her name is Sam (named after soss’ new teacher by him) and is 1 of our 2 new laying hens! How urban farmery cool? We’ve had about 1 egg a day between the 2 of them and they are the most beautiful large yellow yolks I’ve ever seen! Ok maybe I’m a bit biased but they are really amazing and I am feeling decidedly down to earth and wafty at the moment with my natural plum lollies and my chickens. ;-P

I had to include my little rabbit too – how cute is that hair? Ok maybe I’m the only person who thinks so but I can’t bring myself to cut it – he looks so mad-scientist ne?

Love life people,

Caro xx


Aubergine and broccoli salad

January 19, 2012 in Easy dinners, Healthy eating

Aubergine and broccoli salad
Recipe Type: Warm salad
Author: Caro de Waal
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 2-4
Roasted aubergine slices with honey and cumin and broccoli trees tossed in ginger and garlic.
  • 10 baby aubergines
  • 1/2 broccoli
  • Roll of goats cheese
  • 1 plum
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 t cumin
  • Vegetable oil
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 220 C.
  2. Slice the aubergine about 1/2 cm thick.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cumin, honey, salt and pepper and about 2 T vegetable oil together.
  4. Toss the aubergine slices into the mixture and make sure they are all coated.
  5. Lay them out on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 10-15 mins or until just starting to brown.
  6. Cut the broccoli florets into flat trees (the same thickness as the aubergine).
  7. Great the garlic and peel and grate the ginger on the small (not smallest) eye of the grater.
  8. Toss the broccoli in a pan with a little vegetable oil and the ginger and garlic, season well until just done.
  9. Skin and dice the plum into small blocks.
  10. Lay the aubergines and the broccoli onto a platter and crumble over the goats cheese.
  11. Garnish with the diced plum.




Vegetable garden

December 22, 2011 in Healthy eating, Vegetable garden

Baby basil

Just LOOK at these babies. Aren’t they so sweet peeking their fresh little heads out of the soil?

We’ve started a huuuge veggie garden and everything is going great guns at the moment.

We planted all sorts of tomatoes (after great success the last 2 years), aubergines (my best), gem squash, butternut and our virgin crops of broccoli, beans, fennel, spinach, watermelon (I promise Potjie, these ARE watermelon ;-) and mielies!

How darn cool is that? I have to admit they are quite far along now so will post next with their current progress, I just had to show off the little-lies.

Baby broccoli

I got husband a chicken PALACE for his birthday and I must say I’m finding it hard to find some point of lay chickens to come and live with us! If anyone has any contacts, please do let me know – I was hoping to give them to husband for Christmas but alas I have not found any yet.

Baby beans
Chicken PALACE

How urban farmer-ey are we?

The blogs are shiny again!

December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Please go forth and conquer your blogs guys, there was a little tiny bolt that got stuck in the main cog. :-)