Individual blueberry cheesecakes

(serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup packed (200g) pitted dates
  • 1 cup (120 g) raw almonds/walnuts

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Method:

  1. Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal.
  3. Lightly grease a standard, 12 pan muffin tin.
  4. Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. Set in freezer to firm up.
  5. Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Place a couple of blueberries in each mini cheesecake. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
  8. Once set, remove carefully with a butter knife. They should pop right out.

Braai’d lamb skewers with a herby vegetable couscous

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

For the lamb skewers:

  • 1kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 80ml/5 tabespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or some fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 skewers

For the herby couscous:

  • 200g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 140g mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 240g couscous (dry weight)
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 3 handfuls of your favourite herbs (I used coriander, parsley and dill)

Method:

For the skewers:

  1. In a large bowl add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, the herbs and spices and season with freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients to combine. Add the lamb and the chopped onions and blend to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, chill and let marinade for at least 4 hours.
  2. To assemble the lamb skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. (This will prevent them from burning.) Lift the chunks of lamb out of the marinade and thread the pieces, on the skewers.
  3. Braai the lamb skewers for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked to your liking.

For the herby couscous:

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, add the paprika and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir well and pop in the oven for 30-­35 minutes until soft and caramelised.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, put the couscous in a large bowl. Add the tomato puree to the hot stock and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the stock on the couscous, stir, cover with a plate or cling film and let it stand for at least 15 minutes, until the stock has been fully absorbed. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.
  4. Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a small pan and cooking them over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, the pine nuts and the chopped herbs to the couscous, then drizzle with a little olive oil and mix well. Serve hot or cold, alongside the braai’d lamb skewers.

Cheese and Chive Mancakes for Dad this Father’s day

Cheese and chive mancakes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (can be substituted with almond/oat flour)
  • 2 scoops protein powder (vanilla/unflavoured)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated

Method:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together, then add eggs, coconut oil, and milk and blend well.
  2. Spoon batter into a hot non-stick pan.
  3. Once pancakes bubble, flip over and cook until golden brown.
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of grated mozzarella, a poached egg, delicious salmon or some tomato salsa if your dad prefers some heat.