Friday Stoep Visits

Time spent together with family and friends is so treasured. I love nothing more that sitting around a table with my nearest and dearest; chatting; eating and listening to the kids play in the garden. My friends and I have a very special tradition, that we started a few years ago. It’s called a ‘Stoep Sit‘ (stoep meaning patio/veranda in Afrikaans). We started our Friday Stoep Sit Group while our kids were all still very little and because us Moms needed to get together; chat about the week that was; have a glass of wine; eat some good food; and let the kids just play! It is a Friday tradition that has lasted. We each have a turn to host and our kids have created the most fabulous bond. They look forward to these Friday visits as much as the adults!

And then the best part of all…. for our Year End Stoep Sit – the Moms spend a night away! We usually book accommodation at a lovely AirBnB in Johannesburg, the city we live in. Even though it is close to home…. it’s a chance to really relax, put our feet up, stay up late and chat the night away.

I cherish this group of girls who are my confidants, friends and Soul Sisters! When one of our kids get sick; have a birthday; or when anyone is going through a tough time – these are the women we turn to for support and love. And best of all… our partners all get on well too and often join in the Friday get-togethers, as they often go on much longer than expected, late into the night.

One of the things I miss so much during COVID-19 lockdown, is not being able to have our Stoep Visits – we keep in touch via our WhatsApp group and Zoom calls – it’s just not the same though! Nothing beats human contact and just being with your friends. Something so many of us miss. Thank you to these amazing women! Love you all dearly.

Yours in Good Food,

Dianne @ Pauli’s Food Co

Pauli’s Brinjali Butter Chicken Curry Recipe

Wishing everyone a safe, prosperous and healthy 2021. As the COVID-19 pandemic surges in our country and the rest of the world, we face a very different outlook to the new year. I honour the HEROES; the health care and essential workers who bravely step up to the mammoth task of keeping everything going, each day.

I love making my take on a delicious, wholesome chicken butter curry recipe with our Spicy Brinjali Sauce. Our kids always say, ‘Please make it again Mom!’

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Pauli’s Brinjali
3 tablespoons Crème Fraiche
Coconut oil or olive oil
8 pieces of chicken thighs
½ leek, diced
½ tin of butter beans (or any beans that you have)
200g diced pumpkin or butternut
Dash of Paprika
½ cup of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of Butter Chicken Curry spice, or mild curry spice
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 can of coconut cream
Splash of white wine (not necessary, but you can add for flavour)
Serve with Basmati Rice, or Cauliflower rice

Method:
I cook this in the pressure cooker: sauté the chicken pieces with the Brinjali – if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can brown the chicken and Brinjali in a heavy based pot with the coconut/olive oil; add the leeks, pumpkin, spices and salt & pepper and leave to brown for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the beans; tomato paste; chicken stock and stir together for another 2 minutes. Then add the coconut cream and splash of wine. If using a pressure cooker, change the setting to ‘Curry’, close the lid and let it cook. If using a pot, stir together and leave to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Serve with rice or cauliflower rice. Add another tablespoon of Brinjali and crème fraiche to each bowl before serving. Serves 4. Enjoy!

My favourite Soul Food recipe

There are times I wish I had more time to prepare dinner (don’t we all!) and especially during this very interesting time of lockdown…. I think that I have so much time in the day to prepare a wholesome dinner for the family. Then the hours just pass by… with homeschooling, tidying up, running a business… I know that we are all feeling overwhelmed by lockdown, so we have to just do what we can.

Today I felt like a warm, home-cooked dinner… time was not on my side and I still had a long list of ‘To-Do’s’ to finish. I remembered my easy recipe of what our family calls Sausage Italian – loaded with vegetables, protein and our super versatile Pauli’s Tomali Relish (a slow cooked Italian style tomato relish). You can add any vegetables that you have in the fridge like broccoli, spinach, peppers, cauliflower, butternut.

Recipe:

800 g sausage (lamb, beef or pork), cut into 4 cm pieces

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

4 cabbage leaves, shredded

3 baby marrow, diced

A handful of frozen peas

1 can of brown lentils

1 can Italian chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons of Pauli’s Tomali Relish

Smoked paprka

A splash of olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Serve with rice, mash or cauliflower rice

Method:

In a wok or heavy based pan/pot – heat the oil and add the onion and carrots and other vegetables. Stir and cook together to brown the veggies on medium heat for about 3 minutes. I love the smell of onions cooking – and this is when the kids know that something good is coming their way.

Add the sausages and stir together. Brown the sausages and cook all the ingredients together for another 3 minutes. Add the Pauli’s Tomali (if you have it available) and then add the lentils, stir again, add the can of tomatoes, salt, pepper and paprika. Give it one more stir to blend all the ingredients together and then put the lid on. Leave to simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 25 minutes.

The Pauli’s Tomali adds a rich, robust flavour – like a flavoursome tomato gravy. This meal is so satisfying – there are never any leftovers.

Enjoy and stay safe!

Yours in Good Food, Dianne

I have just added the sausages and about to start browning them together with the other ingredients.

Kimchi Anyone?

A friend made a great suggestion during one of our online book club chats…. She challenged us to share some recipes on using ‘leftover / waste’ food. For example, a potato skin recipe. In this way, we could repurpose our food when we need it most…. during lockdown…. to ensure minimum waste in our kitchens. While we haven’t gotten around to making something with our potato skins (I love this idea, I am definitely going to try something here… suggestions welcome) – we did make a homemade Kimchi using vegetables from our fridge, especially those veggies that weren’t planning on hanging around for much longer.

A quick search on Google will offer many health benefits of Kimchi, to list a few:

  • It is nutrient dense while low in calories
  • Contains probiotics which are good for boosting your immune system
  • May reduce inflammation
  • May slow ageing (bring it on!)
  • May prevent yeast infections
  • Source: www.healthline.com

We have a simple way to make Kimchi in your own kitchen – using whatever vegetables and fruit you have available. Here goes… from the pen of Pauli:

Pauli’s Easy Stay At Home Kimchi

The really fun part of this recipe is that this is a guide, you can crank up whatever parts you want to make it for your own palate. 

I have used various greens with the cabbage, to preserve wilting greens in the fridge. Apples also really add to the flavour, and you can substitute sugar for honey. 

Have fun and reduce the waste, by making something tasty and really good for your health too. 

Please let me know how it worked out for you. 

Stay Home Stay Safe – yours in Good Food, Pauli and Di.

IngredientAmountNotes
Stage 1:
Cabbage200gThinly sliced (Have fun and mix them up)
Carrots80gJulienne the carrots
Salt1 *Tbsp*Tbsp = Tablespoon **tsp = teaspoon
Sugar/Honey1 **tspIf you want it sweeter then add more.
Method:
Add the sugar and salt into the cabbage and macerate (soften together); add the carrots in a bowl until the cabbage starts to wilt.
Stage 2:
Chopped Chilies2-4 chiliesDepending on how hot you want it
Red Pepper40gChop or julienne the peppers
Herbs10gAdd any herbs that you have
Ginger10gFinely sliced or chopped, you can even used picked Ginger (ginger used for Sushi)
Chilli Flakes1 Tbsp
Fish Sauce1 tsp
Soy Sauce1 tsp
Sesame Seed Oil1/4 tsp
Rice Vinegar1 tspYou can use pretty much any vinegar you like
Thai Lime Juice1 tspOr fresh lemon juice, whatever citrus you have
Method:
Mix it all together put it into a storage container and leave out overnight, this will ensure a great flavour, then refrigerate and eat with everything!

Family Gatherings

I have a very big family. My Mom is one of 7 children, my Dad is one of 6. My late maternal Grandmother. Rita, is one of 11 children! I have cousins, aunts and uncles all over the world – and I am close to all 18 of my first cousins. I feel very lucky to be part of my family, and it is a family that continues to grow – as weddings and births are celebrated.

My sister gave birth to my precious nephew during lockdown. We live in the same city but I can’t visit them – meet my little Godson; and make my sister a cup of tea and give her love. This is very hard – for us all. My Mom isn’t able to meet him either. I remember that when I gave birth to my two children, the most comforting feeling was having my mom stay with us for a week – because Moms know best!

Today, would have been Rita’s 90th birthday. We have celebrated so many birthdays together as a family; everyone traveling from their various cities and countries to be together in one place. When I was a child, we would all get together on a Sunday and have lunch at Rita’s house. The adults would sit under the big, shady Mulberry tree, someone swaying in the hammock; while the children ran around the garden or played in the tree house. You can imagine Christmas lunches together! Lots of people, an abundance of food, presents, multiple conversations, laughter and of course the obligatory paper fight across the table. Every few years, a new addition would be added to the celebration.

These memories will forever be etched in my mind as great ones! And we have been lucky to carry on this tradition with our own children, the new generation. I remember Rita’s 80th birthday like it was yesterday. My son was only 4 months old, and Rita got to meet her first great-grandchild, Max.

Today, many of the family got together via the Zoom App to celebrate Rita’s birthday. It was great to ‘see’ everyone and it was just like a family gathering – talking over each other, tea drinking and laughter.

But when we were finished – I felt an immense sadness. I had always just taken these gatherings for granted. They just happened. And now they can’t happen in person, for a while I think, while the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us in lockdown. I am grateful for technology, but there is nothing quite like the happy noise of a big family gathering. Happy Birthday Rita!

Yours in good food and lots of love, Dianne

dianne@paulisfood.com

A different kind of Easter

This Easter, we are in LockDown in South Africa, like so many others in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives and we are all navigating a new kind of normal. Instead of spending Easter with family and friends as we normally do (and I suppose we took this for granted), this Easter will be a quiet one. However, I feel blessed to be able to spend it with our beautiful children, Max and Lua, and my husband Paul. This is probably the most amount of time we have all been together in one place, and we are all finding new ways of keeping busy.

We are cooking 3 meals a day, eating healthily and trying new recipes. We are very lucky to have our Pauli’s Sauces on hand to add robust and rich flavours to our dishes. Visit http://www.paulisfood.com if you would like to place an order.

Our supper for Good Friday was a beautiful fish and prawn dish that was so good – we all licked our bowls clean and there was nothing left over.

Ingredients:

700 g de-shelled prawn tails

200 g hake (filleted and cut into thick cubes)

4 large size baby marrow (julienned)

1 stick of lemon grass

1 can of coconut milk or cream

4 small baby leeks

150 g thinly sliced butternut or pumpkin

Splash of soya and fish sauce

2 forkfuls of Pauli’s Something Hotter

10 ml Thai Lime Juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Stir-fried cauliflower and cabbage (in place of rice)

Method:

Heat some olive oil in a heavy based wok; fry the leeks, butternut/pumpkin and add the lemon grass on a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the baby marrow and prawns. In a separate pan; fry the hake in butter, skin side down on a medium heat (we added some chilli flakes) until the fish is nearly cooked through and the skin is crisp and then turn to get colour on the other side.

In a blender or NutriBullet – blend the coconut milk/cream, Pauli’s Something Hotter, Lime Juice, Soya and Fish sauce together.

Add this liquid to the prawn dish; stir together and then add the cooked hake on the side of the wok. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer together for about 5 minutes on a low heat with the lid on the wok.

Cook the diced cauliflower and sliced cabbage in butter in a separate pan for about 5 minutes. We served this with our homemade French Bread – the best way to soak up all the juices and flavours.

Your meal is ready to serve! Simple, delicious and healthy. And also very low in carbs.

To those celebrating Easter – we wish you a blessed and safe one!

Yours in Good Food, Dianne – please share any ideas to dianne@paulisfood.com

Day 4 of #lockdown – a different kind of Monday

This Monday morning feels very different to my usual Mondays. It’s filled with uncertainty and concern for all the people in our world during this COVID-19 pandemic. I know that we will overcome this and life will return to normal if we can all obey the government’s call to stay home and flatten the curve of infections.

We are very lucky to have a baker in our home – Pauli bakes the most delicious bread that is made from stoneground flour – and he uses his own sourdough culture.

To curb the risk of constant unhealthy snacking – we are eating real food and making the kids proper breakfasts, lunches and dinners. This is a time to get back to basics and use what we have in our fridges, our gardens and our pantry. I am so grateful that we have everything that we need.

Here is a healthy snack to make for brunch or lunch – made on Pauli’s homemade Focaccia bread:

Ingredients and method:

Use any toppings that you have in the fridge. We spread the focaccia with cream cheese; fried some mushrooms with paprika, salt and pepper; added some ham; tomatoes and cheese. Grill in the oven for about 5 min (pre-heat the oven on grill) – and then top with fresh avocado and parmesan – and we added our spicy Pauli’s Saffron Chilli Chutney – or Pauli’s Tomali for the kids.

Enjoy and stay safe! Yours in Good Food, Dianne.

Snack time!
Homemade Focaccia topped with baby marrow; thyme and rosemary (from our garden); salt and pepper.

Immune boosting meals during #lockdown

We stand together with the rest of the world during this unprecedented time we are all facing – fighting COVID-19 as a global pandemic. We pray that all countries can flatten the curve of the spread of the virus – and our thoughts are with those in need, those that have been infected by the virus – and also all health workers and leaders. This is such a difficult time for everyone.

During this time, it is important to remain positive, connect with loved ones and of course, eat healthy food. A healthy immune system is important to combat illness and fight the virus. Something as simple as drinking warm water with lemon every day can help strengthen our bodies.

We will be sharing some simple and healthy home cooked meals, using our delicious Pauli’s Sauces – you can cook these meals using alternatives to our sauces, if you don’t have stock. And you can order our sauces online at http://www.paulisfood.com.

Our first recipe is a Pauli’s Brinjali Rump/Sirloin Steak with roasted vegetables. You can use any veggies that you have available in the fridge and of course, seasonal veg is always better for you. If you don’t eat red meat, you can replace the steak with a chicken breast – and if you follow a vegetarian diet – replace the meat with mushrooms or butternut.

We wish you all a safe and healthy lockdown – please send us a mail to connect at dianne@paulisfood.com – we would love to chat and share more recipes.

Ingredients:

2 beef rump steaks (250 – 300 g each)

100 g melted butter

4 tablespoons of Pauli’s Brinjali Relish

125 ml cream

Salt and pepper

Serve with roasted vegetables of carrots, spinach, baby marrow, mushrooms, butternutor add any veggies that you have in your fridge.

Method:

Mix the melted butter and salt and pepper in a small bowl and generously brush the steaks with the softened butter mix on each side.  Heat a heavy based grill pan and when the pan is hot – add the steaks.  Cook to your liking – for med-rare, cook on each side for about 3 minutes.  Turning to make sure each side is cooked.   

When the steaks are cooked to your liking, remove the steaks from the pan and wrap in tinfoil to rest.  Turn the heat down to low-med and add the Pauli’s Brinjali Relish and cream to the grill pan and heat together for about 1 minute.  If you cook the steaks on the braai or on coals – make the sauce in a small saucepan.  Serve on top of the steaks.  Eat while still hot and enjoy!  Serves 2.

Thank You Madiba

IMG_4805.JPG

Nelson Mandela (and so many more South African heroes) fought for the freedom of this country from the cruel grip of Apartheid.  We have his spirit and generosity to thank for giving us a reminder to give back on his birthday every year, 18 July.   This is a global call to action celebrating the idea that everyone has the power to make a difference.  The Mandela Day campaign message is “Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years.  We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”

At Pauli’s Food Co, we were so lucky to have two MBA students from IE University, Madrid, Spain, join us during July.  We decided to cook a hearty meal for a small day care centre in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, with our dear friend, Owen from Diep Organics.  Owen supplies many Early Childhood Developments Centres in Diepsloot with organic vegetables twice a week – to make sure that these children get the nutrients they need to learn and grow.

Our Pauli’s team cooked a beautiful mince stew, using our healthy Tomali (Tomato Relish) and Anytime Brinjals & Peppers, with rice and Chakalaka.  While our team cooked, others of us played games with these young children.  I felt so overwhelmed when we walked into their school – I thought that we could play soccer and do activities with skipping ropes – but when we entered their room – there were over 30 children in a tiny room with no outside area to play.   Their space is so limited, yet they were so happy for us to be there – and their teachers were engaging and welcoming.

Mandela Day is a chance to give back to our communities and celebrate all that he achieved.  And while there is still so much poverty and lack of infrastructure in South Africa – I am grateful to our amazing Pauli’s Team who are always so willing to cook healthy, beautiful food and share it with so many.  Thank you Madiba, thank you to the amazing people of Pauli’s Food Co; to Owen at Diep Organics and to Vandita and Cara from IE University.  You helped us make this day special to a group of young, inspired children – the future of South Africa.

Team photo_6048

 

 

 

 

Anytime Roast Chicken

Today I needed to prepare dinner in a hurry but I had about 2 hours for the meal to cook. So I decided to roast a chicken on a low heat during the 2 hours. This recipe literally took me less than 15 min to prepare and when it was dinner time … our meal was succulent, tasty and tender.

How did I do it?

Throw some chopped butternut, cherry tomatoes and sweet potatoes (skin on) into the roasting dish; place the chicken in the middle of the dish; pour olive oil over all ingredients and generously sprinkle with rosemary, thyme and oregano. Add about 4 forkfuls of Pauli’s Anytime Brinjal & Peppers into the dish (and stuff the chicken with another 2 forkfuls of Brinjal & Peppers). Cover with foil and roast at 140degrees for about 2 hours. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste before roasting.

I quickly made some peas to go with the dish (to make sure we also get some greens in the mix) and used Pauli’s Tomali and a bit of red wine to make a gravy with the peas.

The results…. the kids asked for more and ate all their veggies and protein.

This recipe brings together robust, roasted flavours and cooks the chicken to tender perfection 👌🏽

Yours in good food,

Dianne @ Pauli’s Food Co

Pauli’s Food Co