Saucy Chef Autumn Food Blog 2014:

Saucy Chef Recipe of the Month:

To all “Friends of Paardeplaats & colleagues gastronomiques”:

As we come to the end of another wonderful summer, in our land of plenty (including the potholes), the time has come to prepare ourselves for the cold winter that lies ahead.

One comfort that we all appreciate is, of course, food, and winter need not be a season of over rich meals, where most people, put on unnecessary centimeters and kilograms, and then fret themselves into a panic in spring.

One can focus on the protein in our diets, and let up a little on the carbohydrates, especially the “refined” versions of these “sondebokke”.

A little careful menu planning, and a visit to your local health fundie, to advise on a few supplements, if necessary, will keep you in “ship shape” (excuse the pun!) for the whole winter, and into the dreaded spring.

Over the next few weeks, I will make a few suggestions and recipes, available to help get you on course, for those cold nights ahead. I would appreciate any comments or feed back in the process.

So, let’s get cracking!
To kick off with, here is a list of excellent, protein rich, alternatives to carbs, as an accompaniment to the cheese, eggs, meat and fish, which are all protein:

  • Brown lentils
  • Beans (white or sugar)
  • Chic peas
  • Split peas

There are also healthier versions of  carbs, such as:

  • Pearl barley
  • Stampkoring
  • Burghul (Bulgar wheat)
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Baby potatoes (skin on)

These can be eaten in moderation, especially if combined with the protein rich alternatives.

A tip for cooking beans and chic peas, is to soak them overnight, to then boil them, in plenty of water (unsalted), very rapidly for 10 minutes, replace the water and simmer for a further 2 – 3 hours (also unsalted) until tender. This gets rid of the “fart” factor. They can now be added to your soups or stews, where you would adjust the salt to taste.

A wonderful combination, as an accompaniment to all stews and casseroles is a 50/50 mix of brown lentils and pearl barley. Wash well, and cook, well covered in water, for about 40-45 minutes, until al dente,  allowing them to cook dryish in the last few minutes, when you would add salt to taste. The addition of a tablespoon full or two of extra virgin olive oil, plus a handful of chopped parsley, before serving, will add tremendously to the flavour and health aspect.

Until next we meet, (watch this spot!)

Bon Appetit!

Saucy Chef Brian W