Spicy Roasted Chicpeas

With the festive season here and all the extra eating and celebrating we do, a healthy tasty snack is always welcome.  Even if you aren’t a chicpea fan, I urge you to try this easy recipe, the crispy light nutty result is well worth the time in the oven.  I would suggest doubling or even tripling this recipe and use any combination of spice you would prefer.

Spicy roasted chick peas  1

Spicy Roasted Chicpeas


1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tin chicpeas – drained and rinsed
Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Grind all the spices together and place in a bowl, add the oil and stir to combine.
  3. Rinse the chicpeas and mix through the oil mixture to coat.  Add salt to taste.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until crispy.

Spicy roasted chick peas  2



Your ideal all in one cook book

If somebody had to ask you the question, “What is in your ideal cook book?” what would your top 3, or more if you like, things be?

Blog Book Cover

I ask because I am in the process of revising my Complete Cook Book and will be fluffing up the kitchen guide as well as the recipes.

So, if you could have an all in one complete kitchen book, what would you like to have featured?

I really would appreciate your input and if there is anything I can credit you for, I certainly will.

Thank you for your valuable input and hope you are as excited about the prospect of an improved complete cook book as much as I am.

Lack of Food Posts

As most of you know, Pete is away a lot of the time which means you will also know I get suckers on my butt and sit at the computer far too long which means supper is always an easy throw together meal.


When Pete is home, it is not for extended periods of time so we always enjoy his favourite meals and lots of braais (barbecues) so there is nothing new to share with you, very sad I know.

Every now and again I will get a sudden rush of blood to the brain and will make something scrumity like the Anchovy, Garlic, Tomato Pasta, or indulge in Sticky Chicken Wings but for the most part, I throw a chicken with some veggies and  spuds in the oven.  I have been known to get extravagant and on occasion even make gravy.  This will serve me well for at least 3 meals with leftovers to add to a salad.  A couple of other quick favourites are steak and salad or a piece of fresh fish and salad.

I will work on getting back in the kitchen to share something new and delicious with you.


This is what my dinns consists of most evenings of late, with a variation of fish and chicken so there hasn’t been a recipe the past couple of weeks.  Apologies for the bad quality photograph.

Steak and salad

T-Bone steak and salad with a yoghurt and sweet chilli dressing 

I have over the past while gained a few unwanted kilos, which wasn’t too difficult to accomplish however trying to get rid of them aint so easy!  It is very true the older you get, the more difficult it is to shed a few kilos.  So in light of an important birthday coming up in May, I thought I would get a head start before I am officially, well let’s just say a little older.

Anyhoo, without dwelling on the unwanted weight, I have been a very good girl the past couple of weeks watching my calorie intake, increasing my portein, using minimal fat and have for the most part cut carbs out all together – something I didn’t believe was possible, but here I am a couple of weeks in and I am still here to tell the tale.  I have never really had much of a sweet tooth so I haven’t cut  back on my sugar intake except for consuming very little fruit.  I am not officially dieting as I don’t believe in diets, I am just being concious of what I am eating.

An average breakfast consists of an egg or two usually scrambled or an omelet of sorts and occasionally a wee cheat with brown bread French toast.  Lunch is a salad with protein of sorts and supper pretty much consisting of the same alternatively stir fried veggies with protein.  I have not deprived myself of my wine (yip, I have forgone the gin and tonics) and enjoy a spritzer (which also helps with the calories) in the evenings with my meal.  If I get peckish through the day, I will have a yoghurt and I drink lots of water with lemon and still quite a few cups of tea.

I don’t anticipate I would be this successful in winter, although, I could survive on soup and carb free hearty stews.

So here’s to me reaching the point (soon I hope) where I feel comfortable again – I have no idea what that equates to in kilos as I am not particularly concerned with what number the scale throws out at me.  Once “there” I will slowly incorporate the foods I have cut out so I can maintain my comfort level.

Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Chicken

When Pete is away on business, knowing that I am going to get the proverbial suckers on my butt and not leave the computer for most of the day but still wanting a tasty dinner without the hassle of an actual recipe or having to plan and prep in advance, I head to the kitchen to make a cuppa and see what the cupboard has to offer in the way of flavour.  I find chicken is the safest to experiment with and generally you can’t go wrong with throwing a few ingredients at it and bunging it in the oven until it is cooked. So… Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Chicken was born.  I didn’t measure anything – you will have to be guided by the amount of chicken you are cooking and by taste.

Lemon Rosemary Balsamic Chicken


Chicken portions
Lemon – mine was from the garden
Rosemary sprig – mine was from the garden
Balsamic vinegar
Black pepper
Coarse Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the chicken in an oven proof dish and squeeze over some lemon juice.
  3. Place pieces of rosemary over the chicken and splash over with a good glug of balsamic.
  4. Grind pepper and salt over the top and bake for approximately 45 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Serve drizzled with the sauce and a side of roast spuddies and veggies.

Sweet balsamic rosemary dressing marinade sauce

During the week, weather, blogging, town visits and chores permitting, my friend Beryl and I hop on our bikes for a ride down to the post office to collect our mail. As with everything else, talk turns to food and what each other is making that evening for dinner.  Beryl mentioned a “sauce” that she had received as a gift and subsequent difficulty in finding this quite expensive wonderful product. Naturally I had to sample this lovely mystery sauce for myself and it is GOOD!  It is a salad dressing marinade sauce all wrapped up into one.  I scanned the list of ingredients on the back of the bottle and headed home to try and re-create it.  To quote Beryl, “You are such a clever child”; it seems I have come quite close to the flavour and like the homemade mayonnaise recipe I got from Colleen, will keep a supply of this wonderful sweet balsamic rosemary dressing marinade sauce on hand.  Thanks to Beryl for telling me about what she was making for supper that night, otherwise I would never have come across this yummy versatile sauce.

Sweet balsamic rosemary dressing marinade sauce

As inspired by Beryl


90ml balsamic vinegar
90ml spirit vinegar
90ml olive oil
45ml thick soy sauce
45ml honey
45ml brown sugar
15ml rosemary chopped
10ml mustard powder
10ml garlic crushed


  1. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  2. Place in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
This beautifully silky thick sauce can be used to marinade steak, chicken and fish; be used as a salad dressing, drizzled over poached eggs or baked spuddies and can be swirled on top of soup to make it look pretty and why not coat your veggies before roasting.

In my Kitchen October 2011

Wow, another new month already and time for Celia’s “In My Kitchen” post. 😀

A short while back I found out about a gent who drives around the village every Saturday with locally grown veggies to sell to us “locals”.  What a treasure chest he has in his trailer!  Everything is washed and what can be peeled and cut up are all nicely packaged and sealed in bags.  I was very excited to hear that everything has a standard price of just R10 a bag.  I went a touch overboard and Pete was a little concerned about the amount of veggies he was going to eat.  I would have purchased a lot more but I had just been into town the day before and had already bought potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes and a few other goodies.  I am very excited to see what he will bring every Saturday.  I have my shopping basket ready and waiting.

On chatting with this lovely farmer, he can also arrange a whole lamb at just R45 a kilo!  Mutton at R35 a kilo and chicken, which I forgot the price of.  Not to worry he will be back on Saturday and I can check with him then.


In My Kitchen – October 2011

In my kitchen…

are 2 bags of beautiful green broccoli

In my kitchen…

are 2 bags of crisp white cauliflower

In my kitchen…

are 2 bags of lovely sweet pumpkin

In my kitchen…

is a bag of sweet potatoes just waiting to be made into a pie 🙂

And just for a bit of fun…

In my kitchen…

is the sweetest serviette holder that my one SIL gave me

and my beautiful ebony wood sugar bowl from Zanzibar which strangely enough has a bullet in it.

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun.

Low GI Tangy Tossed Salad

This salad makes a nice change to the traditional Greek salad (minus the tomatoes, green pepper and olives) and compliments a braaied (barbecued) lazy aged steak perfectly. 
Peppadew is the brand name of sweet piquant peppers (a breed of capsicum baccaum) originally grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa – if you are unable to find these, you can replace them with any other sweet piquant peppers.

Low GI Tangy Tossed Salad



½ small onion thinly sliced
1 packet mixed lettuce shredded
2 small red apples sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice
¼ English cucumber sliced and halved
4 peppadews thinly sliced
125ml low fat chunky cottage cheese
1 low fat feta round cubed
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Blanche the onion in a little boiling water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large salad bowl.


Submitted by:  Desiree Visagie, Johannesburg

Substituting ingredients

How often have you decided on the spur of the moment to cook or bake something to realise you are out of stock of one of the ingredients.  If that happens again, refer to this helpful guide.



Substituting ingredients

Ingredient conversions

The older recipe books give certain ingredient weights in grams and a some of us today don’t have scales to measure out grams.  This table will eliminate uncertainties for you.



Ingredient conversions