Tomato stuffed with couscous, served with lemon basil potato salad and stir-fry beef

Tomato stuffed with couscous, served with lemon basil potato salad and stir-fry beef

The lemon and basil potato salad is a salad my dad loves to make when we have family braais on Sunday afternoons and it can be served at low heat or cold. The stuffed tomatoes are delicious and can also be served along side a vegetarian meal.

Tomatoes stuffed with couscous

Ingredients

3 cups couscous, cooked
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 handful of mint leaves
1 handful of basil leaves
1 handful of flat leave parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
feta cheese to crumble on top
salt and black pepper
8 tomatoes

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Mix all the ingredients into the couscous. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. By using a spoon, remove the inner parts of the tomatoes carefully in order not to make holes through the tomatoes. With a spoon, scoop and fill the tomatoes with the couscous, crumble some feta over the top and place the previously removed tomato tops back on top. Cook in the oven for approximately 15 -20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft, switch the oven to grill and grill for 5 minutes.

Lemon Basil Potato Salad

Ingredients

7 medium sized potatoes
2 handfuls Basil leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste

Method

Peel the potatoes and cut into small squares. Boil in water for approximately 30 minutes or until the potato is soft. Strain and allow to cool. Once it has cooled down, add the basil leaves, lemon juice and salt and mix well. I you would like to serve this dish slightly warm, heat in a microwave for 2 minutes before serving.

Stir-fry Beef

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried coriander leaves
salt and black pepper
300 g stir-fry beef

Method

Mix all the ingredients together and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. Cook in a hot pan for 5 – 10 minutes or until the beef has been cooked to your preference.

Serve it all up on a plate, and there we go. A delicious meal.

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Spaghetti with Meatballs & Tomato sauce

Spaghetti with meatballs

This was the first time I tried to make my own tomato sauce, and I was quite impressed with the results. It worked perfectly with the meatballs, and could easily be used as a pasta sauce with other meats and vegetables.

Meatballs

400 g minced beef
2 eggs
5 ml grated onion
5 ml grated garlic
3 tbsp tomato sauce
3 tsp Dijon mustard
10 ml Worcestershire sauce
1 cup bread crumbs

Method

Beat the eggs until the yolk and white has mixed evenly. Add the mustard, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion and mix well. Then add the minced beef and work the mixture into the mince with your hands. Lastly add the breadcrumbs and mix together by using your hands.
Again by using your hands, take some of the mixture and roll it into balls in the palm of your hands. This mixture should make around 30 meatballs. Once you have finished rolling your meatballs, heat some oil in a pan and fry them until brown on all sides. Then turn off the heat and wait to add them to the tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce

25 ml olive oil
2 chopped onions
4 chopped celery sticks
4 fresh chopped tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce (use some of sauce in the one can for the meatballs)
20 ml fresh thyme
half a cup of fresh chopped parsley
half a cup of fresh chopped basil
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 red chilies sliced
pinch of salt

Method

Heat the oil in a big pot and add the onion and celery. Allow to cook until soft and the onion has started to brown around the edges. By allowing this, the onions will add a lovely flavour to the sauce. Once ready, add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and fresh chopped tomatoes to the pot. Stir well and bring to boil. Add the thyme, basil, garlic, chillies and salt and move to low heat. Allow to simmer for approximately 40 minutes. After 40 minutes add the meatballs and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve hot with spaghetti and Parmesan.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto pasta

This is a quick and easy meal to make and exclude the bacon to change it into a delicious vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

200 ml basil pesto sauce
2 large green peppers (1 chopped, the other halved and seeds removed )
2 red onions (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
200 g streaky bacon (cut into squares)
1 large zucchini (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
1 red chili (thinly sliced)
15 ml olive oil
salt and black pepper
5 ml paprika (optional)
200 g spaghetti

Method

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees C. Rub the halved green pepper with a bit of olive oil and paprika and place it in the oven allowing to cook for 5 – 7 minutes. After around 7 minutes, turn the oven to grill, and allow to cook until the edges are crispy and has has blackened a bit.
Cook the spaghetti as per the instruction on the package and strain.
In a wok heat the olive oil and then add the bacon and paprika. Stir fry until the bacon starts going crispy, but not completely. Add the rest of the ingredients to the wok and stir fry on low – medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, but make sure that the veggies are not too soft. Remove from heat and stir in the pesto sauce. Serve by placing the pesto mixture into the roasted green pepper halves with the spaghetti on the side.