Blueberry Flapjacks with Creme Fraiche and Honey

October 16, 2014 in Breakfast, cakes, desserts, Snacks

blueberry flapjacks, creme fraiche and honeyFlapjacks or crumpets remind me of school holidays. My gran used to make a huge batch of flapjacks in the morning and we would tuck into them with butter, cinnamon and sugar while watching “KTV”.  So whenever I bite into a flapjack, I have this fond memory.  When I spotted lush blueberries at Woolies, I just had to make a batch of Blueberry Flapjacks served with creme fraiche and honey. It was a craving I needed to satiate.  If you don’t have creme fraiche, use thick Greek-style yoghurt. This will surely bring smiles to the breakfast table.

Blueberry flap jacks Copyright Bits of CareyBlueBerry Flapjacks
Makes: 16
1/2 c (125 ml) milk
1/2 c (125 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 c (125 ml) castor sugar
3 eggs
1/2 t (2.5 ml) vanilla essence
1 1/2 c (375 ml) cake flour
2 t (10 ml) baking powder
a good pinch of salt
125 g fresh blueberries
To serve:
100 g extra fresh blueberries
1 c (250 ml) Creme fraiche or Greek Yoghurt
Honey for drizzling

For the method or full recipe print out, hop over to my website,

amc frying panThis recipe was developed for AMC Cookware.

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Courgette Spaghetti & Meatballs in Napolitana Sauce

October 14, 2014 in Meat, vegetables

courgette spaghetti and meatballs

You may think you’ve stumbled upon the wrong blog since I usually share carbolicious meals and other “naughtiness” but sometimes my body just needs a break from fat and carb laden dishes and with the warmer weather I tend to crave a lot more veggies and lighter meals. Courgettes are one of my favourite veggies: roasted, sauteed, crumbed or simply marinated in a punchy vinaigrette. What I do admire about the Real Meal Revolution is the fact that people are eating more vegetables by using them in fun and interesting ways. Like this courgette “spaghetti” for instance. Absolutely love this idea – what a super way to include more veggies into your diet. This “spaghetti” is so easy to make,  I use my nifty little Shogun julienne slicer (I can’t go anywhere without it) to prepare the courgettes and then it’s just a matter of sauteeing these strands in a hot pan with some olive oil for a few seconds. Done.

So here’s my “summery” version of Spaghetti & Meatballs.  This is such a feel good meal – refreshing and delicious but still comforting.
{Please note that this is not a “banting” meal – I use a bit of oats or bread in the meatballs and some sugar in the sauce to taste. For the banters, to reduce carbs, replace the oats/bread with 15 ml psyllium husks and exclude the sugar.}

Courgette spaghetti and meatballs
Courgette Spaghetti & Meatballs
Serves: 4
500 g lean beef or ostrich mince
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T (45 ml) oats or 1 slice of bread
2 T (30 ml) water
1/4 c (60 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
2 t (10 ml)dried mixed herbs
1/4 c (60 ml) grated parmesan cheese
1 T (15 ml) worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 t (5 ml) freshly ground salt
1 t (5 ml) freshly ground pepper
For frying: 2 T (30 ml) cooking oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t (5 ml) olive oil
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
3 T (45 ml) tomato paste
1/4 c (60 ml) beef stock
1 t (5 ml) dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar to taste (optional)
1/2 c (125 ml) chopped basil
Courgette spaghetti:
700 g courgettes, washed and julienned
2 t (10 ml) olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
To serve:
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Soak the oats or bread in the water until softened. Squash any excess water out of the oats or bread.
Add the cooled onion and garlic to a large mixing bowl together with all the remaining meatball ingredients including the softened oats or bread.
Mix until well combined. Shape into +- 14 meatballs – make sure they are nice and compact.
Pop into the fridge while preparing the sauce. This allows the meatballs to rest before frying.
In a medium pot, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, paste, stock and mixed herbs and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for +- 25 minutes or until flavourful and reduced slightly.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the basil and heat through for another 5 minutes.
Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan. Brown the meatballs evenly – don’t fiddle with them too much. When they are browned and slightly crispy on the outside. Remove. Don’t cook them through. Remove excess oil from the pan. Place meatballs back into the pan and pour the sauce over them, simmer gently over moderate heat until meatballs are cooked through.
Courgette spaghetti:
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute for +- 30 seconds or until they are wilted. Season to taste.
To serve:
Serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of “spaghetti”. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
Tip: To make this dish even more delish, stuff a 2 x 2 cm cube of mozzarella or feta into each meatball!

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Cranberry, Seed & Oat Crunchies

October 9, 2014 in Baking, Snacks, Sweet treats

Cranberry , seed and oat crunchiesEverybody needs a good recipe for crunchies (also known as flapjacks to UK folks).  This is a recipe I have been using for years and it has never failed me. These are the good old fashioned kind – sugar, butter, oats, coconut, flour and bicarb. Crunchies generally have a high sugar content like all biscuits but it has the good stuff too, low GI oats ( I love using really coarse rolled oats) and I replace plain flour with nutty wheat or whole wheat flour. In addition, I add cranberries and mixed seeds for extra nutrients and texture but these can be left out if you prefer plain ones. For extra decadence, why not melt some dark chocolate and spread onto the crunchies before slicing? Crunchies are a great on-the-go breakfast or snack. Crumble them up and add to your yoghurt for brekkers in the mornings. They are a wonderful addition to the lunchbox too. This recipe makes 32 little squares (the perfect snack size), simply keep in an airtight container or cookie jar, it can last up to a month – if you don’t gobble them all up by then :-)


Cranberry, Seed & Oat Crunchies
1 c (250 ml) coarse rolled oats
1 c (250 ml) coarse dessicated coconut
1 c (250 ml) nutty wheat or whole wheat flour
1 c (250 ml) brown sugar
100 g dried cranberries (or other chopped dried fruit of your choice)
1/2 c (125 ml) mixed seeds (pumpkin, linseed, sunflower and sesame)
125 g salted butter
1 T ( 15 ml) honey
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence
1 t (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
2 T ( 30 ml) boiling water

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Linguine with Roasted Cauliflower, Parmesan Crumbs & Truffle Infused Olive Oil

October 9, 2014 in Meatless meals, Pasta, vegetables

Linguini with roasted cauliflower, parmesan crumbs and truffle oil
This is a nifty little supper. So quick and easy with minimal ingredients and BIG on flavour. I tend to enjoy linguini in a simple napolitana sauce and fresh basil or simply dressed in olive oil and lemon juice and tossed with copious amounts of parmesan shavings. Especially as we head into the warmer months, I enjoy a “lighter” pasta. This dish is another lovely example. Cauliflower has such a earthy sweet flavour when its roasted so when the flavour is so damn delicious, you want to do something simple with it. For this pasta, I roast the cauliflower tossed in a little truffle infused olive oil and grated parmesan until golden and crispy. This combo is just heavenly. For extra texture (and insane flavour), I do some parmesan crumbs which is basically breadcrumbs and grated parmesan (or try gruyere) roasted in the oven until golden and crispy. Then it’s just a matter of combining al dente linguine with the roasted cauliflower and breadcrumbs. To serve, drizzle with a little more truffle infused oil or punchy olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. For a bacon fix, roast some bacon until crispy, then bash into crumbs and add to the pasta – this adds a divine smokiness (fried pancetta lardons are awesome too). Note: if you don’t have truffle infused olive oil, replace with parmesan infused olive oil. Yum, yum, yum!

Linguini with roasted cauliflower, parmesan crumbs and truffle oil

Linguine with Roasted Cauliflower, Parmesan Crumbs and Truffle Infused Oil
Serves: 2 – 4

250 g linguine
1 medium cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 c (250 ml) finely grated parmesan, gruyere or pecorino cheese
2 T (30 ml) truffle infused olive oil
1  1/2 c (375 ml) freshly made bread crumbs of a ciabatta
2 T (30 ml) olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil or truffle infused olive oil or parmesan infused olive oil for drizzling
Juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional)
Extra grated parmesan (optional)

Preheat the oven to 220 Deg C.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Boil the linguine until al dente. Drain and toss in some olive oil.
Place the cauliflower florets, truffle infused oil and half of the parmesan into a greased baking tray. Shake the ingredients around until cauliflower is well coated. Spread the cauliflower out.
Place the bread crumbs, remaining cheese and olive oil in another greased baking tray and mix everything until well combined and evenly spread out.
Place both trays into the oven and roast for +- 15 minutes – checking every 5 minutes or so and stir the crumbs around to prevent catching. The crumbs should be golden and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside. Continue roasting the cauliflower until golden and starts to char at the edges. Remove.
Toss the linguini, roasted cauliflower and parmesan crumbs together until evenly combined.
Season to taste and drizzle with olive oil of your choice.
When ready to serve, finish off with some lemon juice and extra parmesan cheese.
This pasta can be served hot or at room temperature.

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Pumpkin Fritters with Bacon, Blue Cheese & Sage Butter

September 25, 2014 in Snacks

Pumpkin Fritters with bacon, blue cheese and sage butterIn the spirit of Heritage month, I thought I’d share my recipe for perfectly light and fluffy pumpkin fritters – with a twist of course.  I enjoy serving them with crispy bacon, crumbled blue cheese and sage butter! Sweet pumpkin deep fried deliciousness with crispy smoky bacon, creamy sharp blue cheese and earthy nutty sage butter. Serve as a starter with rocket leaves or as an impressive braai side dish. And wouldn’t these be lovely nibbles at your next book or wine club get together? And if you have a sweet tooth, simply coat them generously in cinnamon sugar and eat them the traditional way.

The trick to a perfect pumpkin fritter is to steam the pumpkin or in my case, I cook mine in a medium AMC Cookware pot with no water, nada! The result is flavourful pumpkin that is not watered-down and mushy – boiling in water you will have soggy tasteless fritters. I also find that by deep frying spoonfuls in deep oil rather than shallow frying in a pan results in free form”doughnut balls” that are evenly cooked. And it’s way easier than flipping them around in a pan! Make sure the oil is hot enough and stays a constant moderately hot temperature when frying – if the oil is too cold, the batter absorbs the oil and you get oily icky fritters. For deep frying, I simply use a solid heavy based pot or my AMC Cookware electric frying pan (it’s nice and deep). If you have a deep fryer, use that. Go on, make these today!

pumpkinf fritter with bacon, blue cheese and sage butter

Basic Pumpkin Fritter Recipe
(Makes +- 24 bite size balls)
500 g diced Pumpkin, steamed until tender
1 c (250 ml) self-raising flour
1 t (5 ml) baking powder
1/4 t (1.25 ml) fine salt
3 T ( 45 ml) castor sugar
3 T (45 ml) milk , plain yoghurt or buttermilk
1 extra large egg, beaten
Cooking oil for deep frying


In a medium bowl, puree or mash the pumpkin until smooth.
Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl.
Add the milk and egg. Mix all the ingredients until well combined and resembles a thick cake batter consistency.
Heat the oil. When hot enough, spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of batter into the oil.
Fry in batches until they float to the top and become golden, moving them around a bit for even cooking (this will take about 2 minutes).
Place on a rack or paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Eat immediately!
TIP: If you don’t have self-raising flour, replace with cake flour and add an extra 1 t (5 ml).

The Bacon, Blue Cheese and Sage Butter Topping:
250 g streaky bacon
125 g creamy blue cheese, goat’s cheese or feta – crumbled
12 sage leaves
50 g butter
Coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C
Lay the bacon onto a roasting rack and pop into the oven for +- 20 minutes or until crispy. Break into pieces.
Heat the butter and sage in a small saucepan until slightly golden and bubbling.
Serve the fritters on a platter sprinkled with bacon bits and cheese. Drizzle with the sage butter. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.
Eat immediately!
TIP: replace bacon with sliced biltong for an extra South African experience!

Pumpkin fritters with blue cheese, bacon and sage butter

This recipe was developed for AMC Cookware amc logo

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Creamy Exotic Mushroom Soup

September 18, 2014 in Soups

Creamy exotic mushroom soup
I decided to make a luxurious mushroom soup for dinner last night with earthy, flavour packed Nouvelle Exotic Mushrooms. Since these mushrooms are rather special, using homemade chicken stock in this recipe is a must*. The majority of the sauteed mushrooms are blended with the addition of homemade flavourful stock and cream. When serving, I quite like topping the soup with some sauteed enoki mushrooms and a good drizzle of truffle infused olive oil.  Be sure to enjoy with warm brioche rolls – pure mushroom heaven!

nouvelle exotic mushrooms
Creamy Exotic Mushroom Soup

Serves: 4-6

500 g assorted exotic mushrooms (shiitake, enoki and king oyster)
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
50 g salted butter
A good pinch of salt and pepper
2 T (30 ml) Old brown sherry
10 g dried porcini mushrooms
+- 1/2 c (125 ml) fresh cream
Truffle infused oil for drizzling

In a large heavy based pot, saute the mushrooms and garlic in butter until browned and fragrant.  Remove and set aside a few enoki mushrooms for serving. Season well.
Add the sherry and dried mushrooms – allow to simmer for 5 minutes, then add the hot stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes . Use a stick blender and blitz until smooth, add the cream and blend once more. Heat through for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve soup topped with some sauteed enoki mushrooms and a good drizzle of truffle infused olive oil.
Enjoy with warm brioche rolls.

Creamed exotic mushroom soup

*Chicken stock: Saute a mirepoix of onion, carrot, celery and baby leaves in some olive oil until fragrant, then add a chicken carcass(I freeze mine for such purposes) or a few chicken wings and fry until browned. Add 1.5 L water and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Strain (discard chicken bones and veg) and season to taste.

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Smoked Pork, Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet

September 17, 2014 in Crush mag recipes, grains and pulses, Meat, Soups

smoked pork, bean and veg cassoulet, Crush magazine online, Carey Boucher Erasmus
We’re in for some cold and wet weather in Cape Town for the next couple of days and I’ve got just the dish to keep you snug as a bug. My smoky pork, bean and vegetable cassoulet. I use smoked pork rashers, they add such a wonderful flavour to soups and stews. I love this type of cooking, a few simple ingredients that simply work so well together to make an utterly humble yet mouthwatering meal. I particularly enjoy the use of fennel bulb in my recipe, it works a treat with pork and of course, a cassoulet ain’t a cassoulet if it doesn’t have wine and beans added to the mix. Pure heaven and cooked within 35 minutes, yay! Enjoy with garlic bruschetta to soak up all every bit of goodness. Keep warm and hold onto those soup pots, winter’s not over yet! *Carey does a little happy dance*.

smoked pork, bean and veg cassoulet, Crush magazine online, Carey Boucher Erasmus
Smoky Pork, Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet

Serves: 6

500 g smoked pork rashers, diced
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
3 fat cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 baby cabbage, shredded
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 c (250 ml) dry white wine
1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 c (500 ml) chicken stock
1 x 400 g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
1 x 400 g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Heat half the oil and half the butter in a large heavy based pot.
Fry the pork until the fat until slightly crispy and fragrant.
Add the remaining butter and saute the onion, herbs, garlic, celery and carrots until softened. Add the cabbage and fennel and saute until wilted.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced by ½. Now add the tomatoes and stock and gently simmer for +- 40 minutes. Add the beans and heat through for another 10 minutes.
Season to taste.
Serve immediately with garlic bruschetta or crusty bread.
TIP: Add kale or spinach at the last few minutes of the cooking time.

Smoked pork, bean and vegetable cassoulet, Crush mag online, Carey Boucher Erasmus

 This recipe was published in Crush issue 42.

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Tagliatelle with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil

September 15, 2014 in Pasta, vegetables

pasta with roasted tomato sauce, mozzarella and basilI developed, styled and photographed a series of recipes for ZZ2′s speciality tomatoes some time ago for their #ZZ2LittleRascals campaign. These recipes were utilized in recipe leaflets and shared on ZZ2 social media platforms. The quality of these tomatoes are so good, always perfectly ripe, fiery red, sweet and juicy. They’ve been my go-to tomatoes for years, especially the “romanita” varietal. You can find them at Checkers, Spar and some Pick ‘n Pay Family stores.

Recently, I had some ZZ2 tomatoes left over post shoot and thought, a roasted tomato pasta sauce would be rather delish. I roasted +- 1kg assorted baby tomatoes (bacio, rigoletto and romanita) with garlic, red onion, dried oregano and olive oil. Then it’s just a matter of blending in the food processor with fresh basil while adding a dash of red wine vinegar for some oomph and delish grassy olive oil until the right consistency is reached. Simply season to taste and it’s ready to use or even bottle in sterilised glass jars. Makes +- 1 L, so I filled 2 gorgeous 500 ml Consol jars. No sugar added, just pure natural goodness. This sauce can even be made into a flavour packed tomato soup by simply adding hot stock and a good glug of cream. Happy days. Need more inspiration as to what to make with this sauce? Try my simple pasta recipe out. For best results, use fresh pasta (you’ll find at most good supermarkets, I used Woolworths) and toss with heated sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil. Done.
tomato pasta sauce

Tagliatelle with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

Serves: 6

1 kg assorted baby tomatoes
2 T ( 30 ml) olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
6 cloves garlic
2 t (10 ml) dried oregano
Freshly ground salt and pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves
2 T (30 ml) red wine vinegar
+- 3 T (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil

500 g fresh tagliatelle or pasta of your choice
+- 500 g bocconcini or burrata broken into bite size pieces
Fresh Basil leaves
Parmesan infused olive for drizzling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C.
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and herbs onto a large greased baking tray. Season and toss in olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes until blistered and softened.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Place the roasted tomatoes etc including the cooking juices into a food processor. Add the basil and red wine vinegar and blitz until smooth, now add olive oil and blend until well combined. Season to taste.
Boil the fresh pasta for just a few minutes, drain and reserve some pasta water. Place pasta back into the empty pot and add as much sauce as you like together with a splash of pasta water to just mesh everything together nicely. If you have any sauce left over, bottle it, or use it for eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, lasagna or even a soup in the days to come.
Gently toss mozzarella and fresh basil leaves into the pasta.
Season once more.
Serve immediately drizzled with parmesan infused oil.
pasta with roasted tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil
pasta with roasted tomato sauce, mozzarella and basilFor more recipes or more info on my recipe development and food styling services, visit my website

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Baked Haddock and Eggs

August 28, 2014 in Eggs, Fish, LCHF

Baked Haddock and Eggs

In need of an easy one pot wonder that is done within 25 minutes? I have just the thing.  Smoked haddock, wilted baby spinach, mini asparagus spears (or whatever you can get –  tenderstem broccoli or fine green beans are perfect too), spring onion all popped into an oven proof pot (I used AMC’s 16 cm gourmet low) topped with cream and lemon zest. Then you simply break 4 eggs carefully in between the ingredients and finish off with a generous grating of parmesan cheese. And in the oven it goes for +- 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling and the egg yolks are just set. This dish can be enjoyed for breakfast or brunch with lots of buttered seed bread or for the banters out there, isn’t this the perfect LCHF meal paired with a crisp salad?

Baked Haddock & Eggs

Serves: 2-4

2 T (30 ml) butter
80 g baby spinach
1/2 c (125 ml) finely grated parmesan cheese
250 g haddock/smoked hake portions (bones and skin removed)
100 g mini asparagus spears (or fine green beans or tenderstem broccoli) – blanched for 2 minutes
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c (125 ml) double thick cream
zest of 1 lemon
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
Extra lemon zest and chopped chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C.
In an oven proof pot(16 cm), heat the butter and add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove pot from heat.  Sprinkle the spinach with half of the cheese.
Cut the raw haddock into bite size pieces and place on top of the spinach in a single layer.
Arrange the blanched asparagus between the fish and sprinkle with spring onions.
Whisk the cream, zest and seasoning together and pour over the fish and veg.
Gently crack the eggs one by one into the crevices between the ingredients. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan making sure you cover the eggs.
Season once more.
Bake uncovered for +- 20 minutes or until golden and the eggs are just set.
Sprinkle with some extra lemon zest and chopped chives.
Serve immediately!
Serves 2 hungry peeps or 4 light eaters.
Baked Haddock and EggsThis recipe was developed for AMC Cookware . Visit my website to see more recipes!

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Chinese-style Beef & Exotic Mushroom Stir-Fry

August 26, 2014 in Asian flavours, Meat, vegetables

beef and mushroom stir fryI’m all about simple suppers and this Chinese-style stir fry is so incredibly easy. It only takes 15 minutes *happy dance*! The combination of beef, exotic mushrooms and a sweet salty dark sauce is an absolute winner. With the addition of crunchy greens like tenderstem broccoli, mangetout and baby pak choy – you have one awesome meal.  The perfect midweek pick- me- up!

exotic mushrooms and pak choy

Chinese style Beef & Exotic Mushroom Stir-Fry

Serves: 4

250 g beef steak, thinly sliced
1 T (15 ml) cooking oil
200 g exotic mushrooms (enoki, shitake and king oyster), sliced
6 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
+- 100 g Tenderstem™ broccoli (blanched for 2 minutes)
+- 100 g mange tout or sugar snap peas (blanched for 2 minutes)
4 baby pak choy (Chinese cabbage), broken into leaves
2 T ( 30 ml) sesame seeds
1 T (15 ml) grated ginger
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
½ t (2.5 ml) chilli paste
3 T (45 ml) sweet soy sauce
3 T (45 ml) black bean sauce
3 T (45 ml) soy sauce
¼ c (60 ml) oyster sauce
1 t ( 5 ml) sesame oil
½ t (2.5 ml) corn flour

Heat cooking oil in a large wok. Add the sliced steak and fry until browned and almost cooked through. Remove and set aside.
Add the mushrooms and fry over high heat until browned and fragrant. Add the spring onions and fry for a minute.
Add the blanched broccoli and mange tout/sugar snap peas and fry for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile mix the sauce ingredients together until well combined.
Add the pak choy leaves and fry until wilted. Add the meat and it’s juices back into the wok and slowly add the sauce, tossing all the while over the high heat until sauce has heated though and thickened slightly. Make sure all the ingredients are well coated in the sauce.
Lastly toss in the sesame seeds.
Serve immediately and enjoy as a low carb meal or serve with sticky jasmine rice.

Beef and mushroom stirfry
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