Everyone loves the wholesome plant-based foods and baked treats of Emilia Knight, owner of The Gallery Café & Deli. When she had to close her doors, along with all our local restaurants and coffee shops, Emilia started sharing recipes and live-streaming cooking demos on her Facebook page, ‘Clean Eating Recipes from Appetite Knight’. For those of you who prefer to avoid the shops (as we all should!) but are running out of ideas, more healthy budget meals made with basic ingredients are just a click away. If you let Emilia know what ingredients you have available, she’ll even do her best to come up with a delicious recipe for you. 

Easy flapjacks with everyday ingredients 

The kids will love making these delicious flapjacks! Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 270 g cake/plain flour
  • 260 ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients and continue to mix until it becomes a smooth paste. (Don’t worry if it seems lumpy to start with, it will become nice and smooth.)

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat. Drizzle a teeny weeny bit of oil. Drop approximately 4 spoons of mixture evenly apart. Cook for a minute and flip. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Serve with whatever you fancy – dairy or nut butter, your favourite jam, honey or syrup. 

Smokey beans and avocado 

So easy to make and ready in 10 minutes. Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilli
  • 1 can kidney/butter/cannellini/painted lady beans
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika & a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg and a sprinkle of grated cheese (optional)

Empty the diced tomatoes and any beans (you can even use baked beans if that is all you have) into a pot. On a medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce to lowest heat. Season with salt and add a generous helping of smoked paprika.

Spoon hot beans on top of toast. Add some smashed or sliced avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you fancy it, top it off with grated cheese and/or a poached egg. Yum!

Humble Kale & Chickpea salad 

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. So good for you, yet so underrated. If you have any at hand, try this delicious salad. Simple, quick and addictive. Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • A bunch of fresh kale
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Smoked paprika & salt
  • Rosa tomatoes and feta cheese (optional)

Remove hard spine from each kale leaf. Rinse and dry using a salad spinner, or rolling it up in a dishcloth and giving it a little twist/squeeze.

Using your hands, massage kale with a little oil and lemon juice. This will soften the kale, also making it more digestible. (I used some leftover avocado mash from that morning to massage it.)

Drain a tin of chickpeas. Pan-fry in a little oil. Add salt and smoked paprika to taste. Sprinkle chickpeas over kale.

I added mini Rosa tomatoes and a little feta. You could also add roasted seeds to give it a nice crunch. Enjoy!

Homemade pizza

When we can’t have our favourite pizza, we make our own. Homemade dough topped with three cheeses and other favourites. Our pizza stone did us proud. The taste is authentic and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 500g cake flour
  • 10 g fresh yeast (or 7g instant dried, made up as on packet)
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 320 ml warm water
  • 1 tsp salt

Combine ingredients and mix until you have a smooth dough. Place dough into a well-oiled bowl. Cover and rest for 4 hours. 

Knock back and divide dough into naartjie-sized balls. Roll out. I like a thin crust, so rolled it out to approximately 3mm thick. Make sure you use plenty of flour to stop it from sticking to the surface. 

Bake at 230°C on pizza stone or baking tray for 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with tomato sauce, cheese and any other favourite toppings. Pop back into oven and bake until cheese has melted and the toppings are cooked.

Granadilla sorbet

It’s the season and passion fruit is widely available now. When life hands you granadillas, make sorbet! (Emilia did a live-stream demo of this recipe last week on her Facebook page.) The passion fruit sorbet is super easy and definitely one to keep the kids busy. Just give them a helping hand with the syrup. So here it is, beautifully smooth sorbet that can also be made with many different fruits:

Firstly, make a sugar syrup.

  • 500 ml water
  • 675 g granulated sugar
  • Bring to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

NOTE: You might not need all the syrup now, so keep any leftovers in the fridge for more uses later on. It will not perish.

Secondly, prepare the granadillas by separating the seeds. 

Scoop the flesh into a sieve and allow the liquid to drain into a clean bowl. Aggregate the pulp to remove as much liquid as possible. Reserve the seeds.

Measure your juice and then add the exact same amount of millimetres sugar syrup to your juice. Combine well before adding a third of the reserved seeds. Stir.

This is where you can either use an ice cream machine or more simply, spoon it directly into a plastic tub and transfer it straight to the freezer.

Check in on your mixture in an hour’s time. Loosen any crystallisation with a fork, breaking up the hard bits and stirring through to combine. This you might have to do a few times. Allow to set.

Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving. Being water-based, sorbet can be quite hard and this will make it much easier to scoop.

In addition, I also made a coconut cream ice-cream. Here’s how:

  • Heat 85ml of the sugar syrup above to 110° C using a sugar thermometer.
  • Whisk 3 egg yolks until light and creamy.
  • Now is the time to gently trickle the hot syrup into the egg mixture. It’s important to keep whisking, so use a handheld electric whisk or see it as a biceps workout.
  • Once you’ve added all the syrup, continue to whisk until the mixture becomes like a mousse. It will hold itself well and you should be able to draw a figure of 8 with the mixture without it disappearing quickly back into the mixture.
  • Now you can add one can of coconut cream and a drop of vanilla paste.
  • Combine well and either use ice cream machine or straight to freezer. Remember to keep stirring mixture while in freezer to avoid crystallisation.

Enjoy the two types together or play around with them on their own.

Mac and cheese – always a family favourite

During this challenging time, we will be counting our pennies, while ensuring that we maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. Kale is nutrient dense, packed with Vitamin C and powerful antioxidants. This recipe serves 6 – 8 people at approximately R20 per serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag macaroni pasta 
  • 1 head of cauliflower 
  • 1 bunch of fresh kale
  • 100 g butter 
  • 3 heaped dessert spoons flour or corn flour
  • 750 ml full-cream milk 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 ½ cups grated strong cheddar

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until tender and drain. Reuse pot for steaming cauliflower. 

Prepare cauliflower by washing and cutting into small florets. Place in colander. Wash Kale and remove hard spine by tearing leaves away from it. 

To steam the cauliflower, add 2 cups of boiling water to the pot. Rest colander over the pot and cover with the lid to briefly steam it. Be careful not to overcook the cauliflower; you want it to be cooked but firm. Remove from heat. 

Combine cooked pasta, steamed cauliflower and raw kale. Spoon the mixture into a large ovenproof dish and level out the top.

To make the sauce:

Melt butter over medium/low heat.  Add the flour and using a whisk, mix to form a smooth paste.  Add milk little bits at a time and combine well. Continue until you have used all the milk. The roux (white sauce) will start to thicken. Keep mixing to avoid lumps. 

Add ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted. Pour cheese sauce over pasta, ensuring you cover all the sides and corners. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the top, spreading it out evenly. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown on top. 

NOTES:

Using a mature cheddar will give you more flavour and you will require less cheese. This dish is suitable for home freezing and you can substitute any veggies you have available, such as spinach, peppers, courgettes, carrots or broccoli.

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