What's For Dinner

A Step-by-Step guide to some Delicious and mostly Healthy Meals

Food Porn

Delicious and Decadent Recipes to Spoil Yourself


Quick Fixes for when the cravings attack!

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A Guide to some of my Favourite Restaurants

Monday, 10 October 2016

So as with everything in life, it is time for a new chapter.  My Taste buddies is going to be shutting down in the next few days and you can meet me over on my new website, FTW.

FTW, or FoodTravelWine, is about an experience. From travel advice, to wine pairings to worldwide restaurants to try, FTW has it all. In 2017 we'll also be launching Food and Wine travel packages and tours in the Cape Winelands and surrounds.

I look forward to having you on this journey with me!
Jess x

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Ok, so you are a Capetonian and you eat bread. Who are you even?

The banting craze has taken the Cape by storm. Literally. It's the real meal revolution. Yes, I know I seem behind the times but I like to let everyone else try something new before I jump on the band wagon.

I am not one for fad diets and truly believe everything in moderation leads to a healthy and balanced lifestyle but recently some of my food allergies have brought me very close to banting without even realizing it.  I can't eat wheat and don't eat sugar- see what I mean...half way there. You wouldn't be able to prise a glass of wine out of my cold, dead hands however. Regardless, I am always open to try new things.

Last Saturday I was invited by my good friend Maz (Caffeine and Fairydust) to join fellow bloggers at a banting brunch hosted by Wellness Warehouse  and prepared by none other than hot and happening private chef, Neill Anthony. And he didn't disappoint. It was a morning to remember.

We kicked off the morning with a BulletProof coffee.  It's a drink consisting of "Upgraded" black coffee blended with grass-fed butter and coconut oil.  It was an instant buzz to me the non coffee drinker!  It was very tasty and full of flavour. I couldn't manage more than half. I have been told that this drink its the banters best friend! No early start is complete without it.

After our coffee, Neill prepared some banting brunch favourites right before our very eyes. It was a real treat. We were also treated to the secret behind the perfect poached egg. Hint: Farmer Angus
Have a look at these pictures for inspiration if you are seriously considering the banting lifestyle.
Neill stuffing mushrooms with Lancewood cheese.

Ok so these aren't tomatoes- the labels were mixed up with all the excitement. Richard Bosman supplied the cured meats and bacon. To die for!

Not a piece of bread in sight!

More about banting...

The idea of banting is that you are eating fewer carbs, more protein and more fat. The fat helps to stabilize your blood sugar, preventing cravings for sweet things. It also makes you fuller for longer. 

People who bant believe in getting plenty of healthy fats in their diets from nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils, fatty fish and full fat dairy. They believe in eating unprocessed 'whole' foods and avoid sugar at all costs.

Kick start banting shopping list:
  • Pasture-reared eggs, meat and full fat dairy. Have a look at Farmer Angus's website for stockists. He follows BioDynamic agricultural principles. 
  • Cold pressed coconut, olive and seed oils.
  • Nuts and Nut butters
  • Low carb snacks eg: Kale chips and seeded crackers 
  • Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds
  • Non starchy vegetables
If you'd like some more information or are ready to start banting, visit Wellness Warehouse on Kloof Street. Their friendly staff will be more than happy to explain the principles and help you get shopping!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Ok so I am on a mission with cauliflower at the moment. I am really enjoying inventing different substitutions for carbs that I would usually eat on a daily basis. When I get stuck into something, it often becomes a bit of an obsession so you will probably be seeing a few more cauliflower recipes.

This one is SO simple. 

What you will need:

1 head of cauliflower
2 eggs
1/3 cup pea flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste.
Toppings of your choice. I used salmon, greek yoghurt and avo topped with coriander.

1. Break the cauliflower florets into your blender. Blitz for about 20 secs to make your cauli rice
2. Measure +/- two cups of cauli rice into a microwavable bowl. Cover with cling film and cook in the microwave for 5 mins. This can be done ahead of time. Cauli rices keeps well for a few days in the fridge. Either way allow the cauli rice to cool before continuing.

3. For the next step I used my Bamix hand blender but any blender will do. Add the rest of the ingredients to your cooked and cooled cauli rice and blitz until everything is blended and it resembles the texture of a fritter (or a very thick soup).

4. Heat a non stick frying pan up, add a little butter and fry off spoonfuls of mixture at a time until lightly golden on each side. 

5. Once cooled, top with your topping of choice and enjoy.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

So this one is super easy and so delicious.

     What you will need...

       Serves 2
  • 1 tin of tuna, drained
  • 2 pieces of celery (long) chopped
  • half a fennel bulb, with stalks, chopped
  • 1 large apple, diced,
  • 1 red onion, diced,
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 250ml full fat greek yoghurt
  • Mixed greens of your choice
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado

1. Start with your dressing. In a bowl combine the greek yoghurt with a few squeezes of lemon juice. 
2. Add the rest of your ingredients (except your avo and green leaves) and mix into the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.Serve on your greens with chopped avo sprinkled liberally on top.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Ok so I am not going to go all 'banting crazy' here as I am not completely convinced... but I do think it is smart to limit carbs in general, especially at dinner time. I attempted cauliflour pizza's on the weekend (recipe to follow soon) and it was so tasty! I was craving stir fry today so thought I'd try cauli-rice instead of ordinary rice...


So Easy!! OK so for two people I used one small head of cauliflower. I broke off the florets and rinsed them in a colander. I then blitzed the florets in my food processor for about 20 seconds. It will look kind of like cous cous at this stage. 

The next step blew me away at how easy it was!! All I did was put my cauli rice into a microwavable bowl and covered the bowl with cling wrap. I set the microwave to 5 mins and THAT WAS IT! Perfectly cooked cauli-rice.

Thai Ginger Chicken Stir Fry (Pad Khing)

Serves 2

400g chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp chilli
Oil for frying (I used Sesame but ordinary canola is fine)
1 thumb of ginger, cut into match sticks- click here to learn how
4 spring onions, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 packet mushrooms (I used enoki mushrooms from woolworths)


2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs soya sauce
1tsp sugar/honey
4 tbs water
-combine these ingredients in a bowl

How to

  • Heat oil in a suace pan with a lid. I used something like this.
  • Add garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the chicken and fry until slightly brown.
  • Add the sauce to the chicken and allow to reduce a little bit - about 2 mins.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and give it stir. Cook for about a minute and then put the lid on for about 2-3 mins to 'steam' the vegetables.
  • Take the lid off and stir in some fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve with cauli-rice.
I am being good in the week with regards to drinking wine but if I wasn't- Alvi's Drift Viognier 2013 is the perfect partner to a good ginger based dish.


Monday, 18 August 2014

This is so simple and so delicious... even better the next day for lunch. 


1 cup of cooked red quinoa
250g baby rosa tomatoes
1 tablespoon of Pesto (your choice!)
200g feta
3 green onions
4 medium chicken breasts
Pumpkin seeds
1 avo, chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
Olive Oil

First you prep the ingredients separately as follows:
  • Chicken- coat in salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon and place in a pre heated oven (200'C) for 15 mins. Check to see if they are cooked- the juices will run clear. Leave to cool and then chop into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  • Baby rosa tomatoes- I like to roast these too. Coat in olive oil and place on a baking tray under your chicken in a preheated oven (200'C). These will also take about 15 mins depending on how 'roasted' you like them. Add these to the bowl with the cooled chicken.
  • Chop the spring onion and add to the bowl.
  • Add the drained chickpeas
  • Crumble in the feta.
  • Add your cooked red quinoa 
  • Add your pesto and then follow with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil to taste.
  • Finish off with chopped avo, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and ENJOY!!
Serve with a nice crisp white wine- we drank a La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Monday, 17 February 2014

I am NOT a big meatball or burger kind of girl. I make wide circles around burger joints and pretend I can't hear people when they make suggestions like Spur burger special two for one. I just don't do them. 

That being said, I made an exception to the rule recently after coming across a similar recipe on the Taste website. It's a great summer dish and you can experiment with flavours. I used ostrich mince because its lean, tasty and easy to match with flavours. You could use any mince you like. 

(Makes 6 meat balls)

500g Ostrich mince
2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 chopped red onion
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 handful chopped coriander
2 teaspoons soya sauce
Pinch or 2 of Maldon salt
Grind of black pepper

To serve:

You can go to town here and use your imagination. Inspired by the Taste website I served mine with slices of nectarine and a Fennel and Cucumber Tzatziki. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Sweet potato fries or wedges (oven baked)
  • Simple Green salad
  • Fresh Steamed baby asparagus spears
  • Simple spinach and goats cheese salad with a squeeze of lemon juice.

How too...

  1. Mix ingredients together and roll into 6 balls. Place on a tray and into the fridge for an hour. 
  2. Pan fry in a little olive oil until brown and crisp. 10-15 minutes. Longer if you prefer your meatballs well done.

3. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite red. Pinotage works very well.