Tag Archives: family recipes

This Years Homemade Christmas Gift – Red Onion Marmalade

I know what you’re thinking… most delicious homemade christmas gift, you were thinking of my fudge recipe were you not? Well, you were close, but this year, I branched out and decided to make something savoury (ish – depending on if adding 1/4 cup of sugar to anything can be considered savoury).

We try in our family, to include the homemade element over Christmas, for personal and somewhat anti-consumerism-Christmassy reasons – so I’m super pumped to have this all made up, in my fridge and ready to throw on a cheese plate.

Red Onion Marmalade. Yum guys. Yum.

This pressie has been made and has been/will be distributed to parents, in-laws and teachers alike. And it’s easy and so very, very delicious.

I tried a few recipes, and this one is by far my best (thanks to All Recipes):


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

Tip: Genius Debbie remembered she had a slicing attachment on her food processor, and so no onion-tears for me. Boom.


Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions and sugar in hot oil until onions start to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Stir red wine and balsamic vinegar into onion mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes more. Season with salt.


All you need are some jars (I get mine from Bonpak), and some brown paper (PNA/MerryPak) and some twine/string. I attached a little card with a note and onion marmalade ingredients. How cute, and HOW simple?

What is your fave homemade treat?

Oh good, more chocolate

Right, so we all know I’m (somewhat) addicted to sugar and I’ve done my UTMOST to hide this from my children. But it’s Easter, and we all know what that means. Clay can sure recite the story of Jesus and ‘Judith’ to whoever wishes to listen but as soon as those flashy, crinkly, bright foil covered chocolate anythings come near his body, it’s tickets.

If only I had enough energy to make time in my quiet, calm, relaxing afternoons with my boys to collectively and joyfully make our own homemade chocolate in moulds with no spilling, no screaming and no one burning each other. But alas, we don’t, so, having bought possibly the most winning present EVER for the kids for Christmas last year (our ZOKU instant pop maker), I thought I would try my hand at some healthy quick pops this year for Easter and try avoid the chocolate as much as possible. My kids can sense sugar a mile away so I certainly wont be winning entirely.

I found this awesome recipe for Healthy Easter Egg Breakfast Popsicles. Check them out!

Popsicles 1
So, here’s what you need:


  • 500g yoghurt*
  • handful granola/muesli
  • handful blueberries
  • handful raspberries (… any berries really…)
    (*you can use different types of store bought yoghurt (flavoured/plain/greek), or make your own homemade yoghurt using your Wonderbag).


  • Egg shaped silicone mould or muffin cups (I’ll use my quick pop maker I think, although these egg shaped silicone moulds are too cute!)
  • lollipop or cake pop sticks


Place a small dollop of yoghurt into each egg in your silicone mould/quick pop maker, filling each egg to about a third.  Push chunks of granola into the yoghurt, then add a few raspberries and blueberries to each egg too.

Place a lolly stick into each compartment, laying it down as flat as possible.

Fill each egg to the top with yoghurt, making sure it covers all of the fruit and the lolly stick.

Popsicles 2

Place mould in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight, until the eggs are frozen through and solid.  Once frozen, pop out of the moulds, leave the popsicles on a plate at room temperature for a couple of minutes to soften a little then serve immediately.

Yeeeuuuum. Healthy Easter 101.

Easy-Peasy Homemade Chicken Stock

When we first did Paleo (Whole30) back when I was pregnant with #2, we stuck to the rules military-style, and that included no chemicals in any-thing. So we had to make our own stock. What?

Making your own stock is awesome, super rewarding and easy-peasy. And it is delicious. In fact, after we learnt about it we stopped buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts so we had extra bones to use, and by doing so, saved some money at the same time (boneless meat is often more expensive).

So here’s how you do it:

Cook a roast chicken. This is my go-to recipe and I love love love it. It’s a throw-together rustic version of a roast chicken. Invite some friends over, and enjoy your dinner with some good wine and laughter. Pick as much meat off the carcass as you can, gobble it all up or save whatever you have left over for chicken mayo toasties, salad toppings etc.

Jamie Oliver Roast Chicken

Then take the carcass and pop it in a pot and pour about 3L-4L of water over it. Now you get creative… Was there a mushy lemon in the carcass cavity? Throw that in the water. Cut up a couple carrots, an onion or two, a couple sticks of celery, salt, pepper and some herbs (bay leaves, parsley, thyme etc.) from your garden. Basically any veggies (flavours) you have lying around, chuck them in.

Bring it to the boil for around 20min. Then (my favourite bit), pop it in your Wonderbag. Overnight. At end of cooking time, open bag, check temperature immediately to be certain stock measures 60° C/140° F or higher. Strain the liquid through a sieve and throw the veggie bits in your compost. For maximum flavor use the back of large spoon to press as much liquid as possible from meat, bones and veggies. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and pop your delicious flavoursome liquid it in the freezer. Done!

(If you don’t have a Wonderbag, you can let it simmer gently for around 30min. Check on it and then turn it down and let it cook on low for another hour or so – just don’t forget about it).

Chemical, MSG, nonsense-free stock. Yum.

Picture Credit: everydaygoodthinking.com

Crazy Delicious Veggie Burgers

So, a while back we made these homemade veggie burger patties and they are astoundingly delicious. Like, trust me. If you’re trying a meat-free-ish diet, please, please make these!

Whether you’re trying to eat less meat for personal reasons, to create healthy habits or for environmental concerns – this is a win-win.

This recipe makes about 12 patties. So throw a party and include this recipe. If that’s more than you need, pop the extras in the freezer. You’ll eat then soon enough – I promise.


1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
3 cups each grated beets, and grated carrots
1/2 cup minced onions
2 eggs
1 cup cooked brown rice (I’d imagine quinoa would work well too)
2.5 cup grated cheddar cheese (I use the really old stuff, it’s tastier)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
Dash of cayenne pepper


Toast sesame seeds in a skillet on the stove, for 3-5 mins.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly (get your hands right in there!).
If the mix seems runny, add a bit of extra flour, it can get messy…
Shape into patties, and bake for about 25 minutes at 180 degrees C (350 F), until browned on the edges.
Only turn patties if you make them extra large and thick.


Get creative. Add sliced tomato, avocado, feta, fresh greens, crunchy slaw and maybe even some fresh purple or caramelized onion. So really, I’m describing a vegetarian burger bar. Add some homemade salsa, or some paleo mayo… Eat it on a fresh bun or between some lettuce leaves if you’re going low carb.

Aaaaand enjoy.

Source: Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables.
Image credit: www.self.com

Absolutely Delicious Homemade Salsa

One Christmas, our pastor’s wife gave us a jar of homemade salsa and it was absolutely delicious. So as soon as I had finished the jar I needed to find a recipe to make some more. So I did, and thanks to Two Peas and Their Pod Blog the deliciousness continued…

Here’s what you need: 


1 can whole tomatoes with juice
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies and herbs (or something similar)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeño, sliced thin (more if you like it hot hot hot!!!)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (omit this if eating paleo)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh coriander (or more to taste – I LOVE coriander)
1/2 whole lime, juiced (I usually add more lime, since I LOVE lime)


In a large food processor or blender, combine whole tomatoes, tomatoes with chilies, onion, jalapeño, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and coriander. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

You can eat this with tortilla style chips, or throw it over some nachos. We recently added it to delicious Mexican tortillas – with homemade spiced mince, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and coriander. Yummmmm!!! You can add it to your burger or on your homemade pizza or on some crackers with cheese. It’s also a great Christmas gift if you’re doing the homemade Christmas gift thing.


Yum. It is also paleo approved (if using no sugar). I can eat this with a spoon, it’s that good.


The Yummiest Paleo Recipes EVER

We have only one more day to go friends, and so I’ve rounded up my favorite Paleo recipes of all time. I find myself coming back to these again and again, even when intentionally eating Paleo is far from my mind…

Most of these recipes can be found on my Paleo Board on Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing resource for Paleo recipes and inspiration. Included in this blog post are just a handful of the gazillions of recipes that are all amazingly delicious and easily found online. So make friends with Google and enter a world of deliciousness. I’m currently also re-reading Pete Evans‘ book Family Food.

Please try to make as MUCH of this as you can at home. Homemade is BEST. Cooking, baking and almond milk making gets your creative food juices going and is so healthy for the soul.

Michael Pollan says something along the lines of, ‘take as much time to prepare your food, as you do to eat it’. I like that quote. And I think he’s right.


BREAKFAST: (I usually have fruit and nuts on weekdays and save the bacon and eggy kinda brekkie for the weekend).

– My all time fave is Paleo Granola. Basically 1 cup of each of the following: almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut flakes. You can throw some linseed and sesame seed in if you like (maybe half a cup of each). Mix all the nuts/seeds in a large bowl (except coconut flakes) and mix in about 1/4 cup melted coconut oil. If you want, you can squeeze in the juice of an orange for a touch of sweetness. Spread it out over a baking dish (or two) and bake at a low temp (110 degrees) for about an hour, mixing once in-between. Toast the coconut flakes separately as they burn quickly! Add the coconut flakes to the rest of the granola and store in airtight container.

This is best served over cut up fruit (apples, oranges, pears, strawberries etc). Since this is oat-free and nut HEAVY, you really only need a couple tablespoons of granola over your fruit. This amount of nuts might seem expensive initially but it will last you a fair while since you don’t need that much – not nearly the amount you would usually use when eating granola (museli). Also, if you find the nuts too big, you can chop them roughly in the very beginning. 

– Classic bacon and eggswith balsamic grilled cherry tomatoes, garlic fried mushrooms, creamy avo and sweet potato hash. YUM.

sweet pot hash

Spinach Beef Frittata. (I sometimes make these in cupcake pans so you have portion sizes that are just right!) Make up your own combinations too.


– Banana chips (homemade)
Apple chips with cinnamon (homemade)
– Cherry tomatoes
– Cut up apple and almond butter
Beet dip and cucumber and carrot sticks
– Boiled eggs with paleo mayo
Yam fries and aioli (paleo mayo, garlic and lemon juice)
Kale chips. I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea but I love them.
– Spice-free biltong
– aaaaaaaaaaaand… Lara Balls (throw 1 cup almonds, 1 cup pitted dates, 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil into a food processor and blend to smitherines. Grab handfulls and squish into balls. Keep them in the fridge and nibble as you need. You can add a tablespoon or so of organic cacao powder or ground coffee beans if you’re wanting to add extra flavour). Lara Balls were essential in both my previous Whole30’s.

sweet pot friesbeet humus

LUNCHES & DINNERS (I find these quite interchangeable):

Your alternatives to a carby base: cauliflower rice, sweet pot/ yam hash or mash, zucchini ribbons and broccoli and cauliflower florets. You can also make spaghetti squash – but I can’t find spaghetti squash in South Africa. Hmmph.

You absolutely have to make cauliflower rice and sweet potato hash/mash as your hearty meal bases (where you would have used noodles/rice/bread etc.) Omit the lime and coriander from the cauliflower rice recipe if you don’t like those flavours – but I find them super scrumptious. Also, zucchini ribbons (peeling a zucchini like you would a carrot) and broccoli florets or roasted cauliflower are very versatile as bases for a spaghetti type mince or juicy vegetable something-or-other.

cauliflower rice

Soups: (while you’re at it – make double and freeze extra portions so you have spare for the following week, or for an unpredictably busy day). 

– I cannot get enough of this Roasted Butternut Soup. I can now make it with my eyes closed.
Curried Cauliflower Soup (I buy cauliflower like its nobody’s business).
Sweet Potato and Bacon Soup (with Ras el Hanout – take the time to make this – it’s easy and so worth it).
Basil and Tomato Soup (with basil from your garden, obviously).

roasted butternut soup

Salads: (Rule of thumb for salads in general: include 1 green, 1 fruit or vegetable and 1 nut. Usually I would say add 1 cheese, but not while on Whole30).

– Chicken, Avo, Mango, Cilantro, Lime, Mint, & Toasted Cashew Salad. Oh my wooord – one of my all time best.
Bacon, Lime and Sweet Pot Salad
Grilled Chicken Citrus Salad

mango salad

Meaty Options:

– My BEST EVERRRR: Chipotle Chicken Sweet Pot Skins. Your friends will love you forever. Leave off the cheese. It’s a touch high maintenance, but so, so worth it.

chip chicken skins

– 2nd BEST: Homemade Burgers in Lettuce Wraps. Make it up as you wish. Add whatever tickles your fancy – but keep it dairy free. The crispy lettuce crunch with the warm homemade patty with juicy tomatoes and creamy avo. Stop it. It is so good.

fish tacos

Patty: Throw together minced beef, diced onion, salt, pepper, one egg, a handful of almond flour (leftover from your almond milk), coconut aminos (optional), herbs from the garden, balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic. Shape into patties, pop in fridge for a while to let the flavours set in and fry in EVOO/Coconut oil on stove. Make extras as snacks. 

– 3rd BEST:  Fish Tacos. I have now started ordering fish tacos in (reputable seafood) restaurants I love them so so much. I adapt this recipe. I leave out the sugar, dairy and carb component and replace it with homemade paleo mayo and crispy lettuce as the wrap. Make this with a mango salsa. A taste sensation.

paleo mayo

Fish & Chips: If you don’t feel like making tacos you can just cook the fish and serve it with yam fries. Yum.

– 4th BEST: Moroccan Meatballs. Yum. Over and Over (on cauli rice). This is another recipe I have continued to make again and again long after our Whole30’s ended.

moroccan meatballs

– 5th BEST: Warm Veggie Salad. The hub is not a huge fan of this one, but I love it. I adapt this recipe (swap the potato for sweet potato or yam). I serve it on baby spinach and mix a couple more flavours into the sauce such as red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and chilli flakes.

When you’re lost for ideas, a frittata is always a safe bet (with whatever you have left in your pantry). Also, how about a delicious roast chicken with roasted veggies? So easy. Use the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock (in your Wonderbag) for your soups. So versatile huh?

roast chicken


– Water, drink it with lemon, or not. Just drink LOTS of it.
– Coffee and Tea with Almond Milk or Coconut Milk. These milks are SO easy to make and have no hidden sugars, preservatives etc. unlike store bought. Also roast the left over coconut and almond flours. They’ll come in handy.
– Soda Water with Lemon (my evening drink of choice)
Naturally Flavoured Water
Smoothies (so easy to make)
– Juices in your juicer – such as my fave: Beet, Apple & Ginger
– I’m allowing Kombucha since there is no hard and fast rule if it is allowed. I love it for its probiotic and gut health benefits and so feel it’s a great addition. It’s also a good thing to drink when you feel like a glass of wine.

Beet juice

NEW RECIPES I can’t wait to try:

Healthy Taco Salad in a mason jar with this deeeelicious salsa.
Roasted Sweet Pot Salad
– Thai Coconut Soup (I love Thai flavours, and ginger is so good for you)
Coconut Crusted Chicken Patties (how have we not had these before?)


Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwww. That’s a lot of info to take in. I did so much research on my first Whole30, I put this PDF together with a shopping list, meal plan for my 4 weeks and it really helped me when I was feeling inspiration-less. Print it out and pin it up in your kitchen for when you’re needing ideas: Whole 30 – Schedule (Week 1,2,3,4).

Now it’s your turn! Please share your winning recipes, and your total failures (so we know to, errrmmm, give them a skip). Be inspired to do your own research and create your own meals.

Good luck and enjoy!!



I had a bad day today. My whole family woke up grumpy. From our screaming have-to-be-held-by-mother-at-every-moment-she-is-in-my-sight 1 year old, a tantrummy and completely irrational toddler, and then your general ‘the gold is at an all time low since 2009’, Nkandla robbery, stabbing on the N2, to the threat of more load shedding, and and and – it just happened to be one of those days. I’m usually a bright shining light of optimism, but not today.

As it turns out, my colleagues were having a pretty crap day themselves and so, since misery loves company, we took ourselves out for lunch to cheer ourselves up. A carb-filled lunch. Mine had strawberry chutney on it. Oh. Yum.

But amidst my moaning, I am eternally thankful. As I type my beautiful family is healthy, happy, safe and snuggled up warm in bed, listening to Kindermusik bedtime songs on repeat.

Regardless, just before we head into a month of Paleo, I figured I needed to splurge on making some old school fudge (mainly also to use up the last tin of condensed milk in the cupboard to avoid it’s tempting glare).

And so here’s my mom’s all time best fudge recipe. It’s cooked old school style – on the stove. There is absolutely nothing green about this. Nothing. That’s why this blog is called Our GreenISH Life. For days such as this. Don’t get all judgy on me.

I’m calling it Granny B’s Fudge: (since at home we just call it, well, ‘fudge’)


3 cups sugar
1/4 (500g) block of butter
1/2 cup milk
1 can condensed milk

(pre-grease a square pan with very ungreen spray ‘n cook)


Melt the butter, sugar and milk on a medium heat. When it boils add the tin of condensed milk and stir your arm off. Literally.

Mom always stirs it for about 30min but I like my fudge a bit softer and crumblier and so I stir it for about 20min or until I like the shade of the fudge. This is a labour of love. And, trust me, your family will LOVE YOU. AND, if you think about it, stirring vigorously for almost half an hour must burn off so many calories before you’ve thrown anything in your mouth that you’re in the red on the calorie count before you’ve even begun. So mathematically, you have to eat some fudge post-cooking to break even. No brainer.

NB: You have to keeeeeep stiiiirring. Don’t stop. Not for anything. And even with a perfectly committed and undisturbed stirring discipline you may see a couple dark (ermmm… burnt) spots rise to the top – but don’t fear. You won’t see them at the end. It happens to the best of us.

Pour into the greased dish and cut it before it cools/hardens.

Pack it away before the kids get up in the morning so they’re none the wiser.

You’re welcome.