Monthly Archives: August 2014


Mushroom-Hummus soup

Makes 6 portions | Hands-On Time: 30m | Cook Time 60min


  • 15ml Olive oil
  • 300g Finely chopped onion (0.5veg)
  • 650g mushrooms (to preference)
  • 10ml Salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 30ml Brandy
  • 1.5 liters chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 180ml Hummus
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 90ml Low fat greek yoghurt for topping


  1. Add olive oil to large sauce pan and set over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the onion and cook until soft – 5 minutes
  3. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid of mushrooms evaporate – 15 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and brandy – cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add the stock and thyme, simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  6. Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir the hummus into the soup
  7. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree. Return to saucepan and simmer for 15 more minutes
  8. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Mix the lemon zest, parsley, spring onions and yoghurt in a small bowl.
  10. Serve soup with a dollop of yoghurt.


1 Serving soup = ½ Starch + 2 Veggies + 1 Fat

Lets Talk Nutrition – Iron

Iron is a nutrient found in trace amounts in every cell of your body. The biggest role of iron in your body is to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency anemia is common in children, teenage girls and women of childbearing age and can be prevented through a diet sufficient in iron.

The amount of iron the body absorbs varies, depending on several factors. The body will absorb more iron if your irons stores are low or depleted and it will absorb less if your stores are sufficient. You also get 2 different types of iron, namely heme and non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is more difficult to absorb than heme iron. It should therefore be consumed with a vitamin C rich food to enhance absorption.

Non-heme iron food sources include whole grains, legumes, almonds, raisins, prunes, apricots, broccoli, spinach and asparagus.

Heme iron food sources include oysters, lean beef, dark poultry meat, eggs and liver.


Tips on preventing iron deficiency anemia

  • Consume iron rich foods.
  • Always eat a vitamin C rich food with an iron rich food/iron supplement to enhance absorption
  • Avoid caffeine consumption with iron rich foods/ iron supplements as it prevents the absorption of the iron
  • Cook acidic foods in cast iron pots to increase iron content up to 30 times

If you are a blood donor, stop donations for a while and donate less frequently throughout the year.

Rosti-Topped Fish Pie


Serves 4 | Hands-On Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 25 minutes


  • 140g Potatoes
  • 360g hake/kingklip fillets
  • 300ml Fat free milk
  • 20g butter
  • 1 Leek finely sliced
  • 15g flour
  • 30ml chopped parsley
  • 30ml Dijon mustard


  1. Cook the potato for 5 – 7 minutes until almost tender but firm enough to grate.
  2. Place the fish in a saucepan, pour the milk over and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the fish and reserve the milk, set aside.
  4. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the leek and cook for 5 – 6 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk and stir continuously.
  6. Stir over low heat until thick, then add the parsley and mustard.
  7. Heat the grill to high. Flake the fish into the sauce and then place in a small ovenproof dish.
  8. Coarsely grate the potato and toss over fish mixture, season and grill for 5 – 10 minutes until the potato is golden and tender.


1 Portion = 3 Protein (90g)  + 1 Starch + ½ Fat


Hidden Hunger

Hidden hunger refers to micronutrient malnutrition. Micronutrients are all the minerals and vitamins that our bodies need, but that we cannot really see. The reason why it is called ‘hidden hunger’ is because you may be lacking minerals or vitamins but you wouldn’t really see the signs as obviously as for example starvation.

One of the vitamin-deficient front runners is South Africa is vitamin A. There was an article recently published on the over-marketing of vitamin C (vitamin C article) and that led me to writing about vitamin A. It is completely under-marketed and definitely do not get the attention it should be getting.

Vitamin A is important for good eye sight and normal functioning of the immune system. It is very important for growth and development and is needed to keep the skin and mucous membranes healthy. The first sign of a vitamin A deficiency is normally poor eye sight.

Vitamin A supplements are routinely given to children <5 years of age in South-Africa. However, a lot of parents do not understand the necessity of this supplement and do not take their children to receive the supplement. Vitamin A is extremely important for growing children and especially for the ones younger than 5 years. It is also important in pregnancy to support the growth of the foetus.

There are a lot of good Vitamin A rich food sources as well. These include:

  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt (whole milk products)
  • Eggs
  • Liver
  • Fortified cereals
  • Carrots, pumpkin
  • Sweet potato
  • Apricots, peaches, papayas, mangos

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which means that it is better absorbed in combination with a fat/oil. It can be stored in the body and therefore overdose can be toxic. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider before starting vitamin A supplementation at home.  However, consuming vitamin A rich foods are always beneficial for all age groups.

So, next time you pass your local clinic and see a vitamin A campaign, don’t just walk by, take your child and find out whether it is necessary for him/her to get a supplement.


Tomato – Peanut Soup

Makes 6 portions | Hands-On Time: 25min | Cook Time 35min


  • 15ml Olive oil
  • 150g Finely chopped onion (0.5veg)
  • 300g green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Madras-style curry powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 10ml Salt
  • 600g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 5ml light brown sugar
  • 75ml smooth peanut-butter
  • Black pepper
  • 90ml Low fat greek yoghurt and whole peanuts for topping


  1. Add olive oil to large sauce pan and set over medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add the onion, green pepper, celery and cook until soft – 5 minutes
  3. Add the garlic, curry powder, paprika, cayenne, 5ml salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, sugar and 1 cup water.
  5. Whisk in the peanut butter until incorporated and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer gently until soup thickens slightly – 30minutes
  7. Puree and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve soup with a dollop of yoghurt and a few peanuts.

1 Serving soup = 3 Veggies + 1 ½ Fat