We enjoy a meat free Monday in our home. It has so many benefits. I don’t need to think too much about dinner ideas as I know it’s a plant-based supper those nights. I find that takes the some of the stress out of the start of the week! It is good to have a bit of direction as to what I am going to whip up 😉 It is healthy and nutritious. It boosts our fibre intake. It is great for the environment.

If you haven’t adopted this Monday menu yet, why not give it a try? It is easy, quick and allows for delicious family meals. I challenge you… Monday is around the corner 😉

What you need:

  • 1 and a 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 250g button or portabellini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 250ml brown lentils, sort through them to check for small stones and debris
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 5ml marmite
  • 125g smooth, full cream cottage cheese
  • 60ml parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  •  Seasoning of choice

Optional:

  • Extra parmesan cheese or mature cheddar, finely grated
  • Pea shoots, chopped 1cm long

OR

  • Curly kale, steamed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter

What to do:

  • Pour ½ a Tbsp olive oil into a thick based pan. Heat and add the onion and sauté until softened and golden brown. Set aside.
  • Add ½ Tbsp oil, heat and add mushrooms. Fry until golden, tender but still firm. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil and the ground coriander and cumin and the whole cumin. Fry for 30 seconds to enhance flavour. Be cautious to stir so that it does not burn. (You will know it is ready when you can smell the aroma of the spices)
  • Add the water, lentils, cooked onions and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the lentils are soft. (This should take about 30 – 35 mins.) Stir from time to time and check the consistency. If it gets too thick, add additional water ¼ cup at a time until the sauce consistency improves.
  • Add mushrooms and mix well.
  • If using kale, pan fry the cooked kale in butter.
  • Add pea shoots or kale to the lentils and stir well. (If you have chosen these optional extras)
  • Remove from the heat and add the marmite, parmesan or cheddar, cottage cheese and seasoning to taste (Remember the marmite is salty, so be cautious when adding seasoning).
  • Serve sprinkled with a few whole pea shoots and finely grated parmesan or cheddar. This is delicious served on a bed of brown rice, barley, spelt or quinoa.

We all like a quick supper! The person who cooks it. The hungry people who are waiting to eat it. What better option than a trusty stir-fry! This is also so easy to adjust, based on what is in your fridge. Feel free to ad lib and replace certain items with those you have on hand. This is always a forgiving dish to make!

For those that would like a plant-based meal, or on the days you are preparing a meat-free meal, take a look at a great alternative ingredient to replace the beef with. We enjoy the salty soy taste and the punch of Sriracha. Give it a go!

What you need:

  • 500g beef stroganoff cut (sometimes these strips tend to be very long. Slice smaller if you need to)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 125g button mushrooms, halved
  • 125g portabellini mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle
  • 125g thin asparagus spears, cut at an angle into 3cm pieces
  • 125g bean sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce (we prefer Kikkoman)
  • 2Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 60ml Cranberry juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Seasoning of choice – Optional:

  • 1 x box Fry’s Family thick cut chunky strips (these can replace the beef strips should you want a meat free meal)
  • Or 250 g dried Chickpeas, soaked and cooked. (Tinned chickpeas make for a very quick substitute)

What to do:

  1.  Pour ½ a Tbsp olive oil into a thick based pan or a wok. Heat and add the mushrooms. Fry till
    cooked but so that they still have a bite to them. Set aside.
  2. Allow the pan to heat up, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and then fry the beef in three batches until golden brown. (This is key so that the pan retains heat, and thus beef goes golden). Season lightly while cooking each batch. Set aside. (If using Fry’s Family thick cut strips, pan fry at this stage, instead of the beef)
  3. Add the remaining olive oil and allow to heat. Stir-fry the vegetables till they soften but stay crunchy. Add the mushrooms and beef to the vegetables.
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Pour over the stir-fry mix that is in the pan, stir and heat through.
  5. Check seasoning and add more should you need it. (Should you be using chickpeas, add them here and heat through) Remove from heat.
  6. Serve with rice noodles, rice or wholegrains of your choice.
  7. Remember the leftovers make an awesome filling for a wrap or pita bread for lunch the next day!

We love eating salads and often try out new combinations. Especially on a Sunday, our regular family braai day. With Heritage Day just around the corner, and Braai Day looming, why not give this a try? Perhaps give it a South African tweak with the addition of one or two local ingredients. We all know “local is lekker”!

As well as making an awesome salad, bear in mind it can be tweaked. Why not serve it as a salad platter with bright, beautiful ingredients layed out separately? Change your cutting technique, and instead of dicing, rather slice into wedges or strips and leave the smaller items whole. This works just as well! Drizzle the dressing over this or perhaps serve in a jug on the side.

What you need:

  • 2 Large, firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup of marinated sun dried tomatoes (set the marinade aside for later use), chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup of peppadews, chopped
  • 100g pitted, green olives
  • 100g mature cheddar, diced
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 30ml marinade from the sundried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning of choice

Optional:

  • 2 Tbsp chutney
  • 100g sliced biltong (beef or venison)

What to do:

  • Combine the tomatoes (all three types), yellow pepper and peppadews and toss gently. Make the dressing by combing the sundried tomato marinade, red wine vinegar, olive oiland seasoning. Stir well. Pour over the salad and toss gently.
  • Garnish with green olives, cheddar, the pumpkin seeds and basil.
  • Remember, chutney makes a welcome addition to the dressing and gives it a proudly South African tang.
  • Sprinkle with biltong if you are keen