Buddha Bowl with Roasted Butternut, Chickpeas and Curry Yogurt

Oh my goodness! I am setting a dangerous precedent here! Three recipes in three days? 😉 I guess I am just really feeling inspired – and especially because we’re having quite a few dinners out this week, I MUST make an effort to make sure that the rest of my meals are relatively healthy. And it actually feels good to spend some time in the kitchen – lately it has become my Hubby’s territory! Not that I complain too much 🙂

To throw this dish together requires almost no cooking – except the bulgar wheat of course. I made a large batch (read – enough to feed an army), so I will freeze it in individual portions, so that it is easy to whip out and defrost when needed. I usually do the same with most grains and pulses. A true lifesaver on most days!  Oh yes, and I oven-roasted the butternut!  Nearly forgot about that!  But it is really relatively effortless.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C, arrange butternut chunks on a prepared baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and roast until golden brown and soft (but not mushy!).

So it feels weird to post a recipe for a salad bowl, or Buddha Bowl, as it is often called. I found this interesting post on Yuppiechef’s website – about mindful eating, etc.  I think you will enjoy it!  https://www.yuppiechef.com/spatula/what-is-a-buddha-bowl-and-how-to-truly-appreciate-your-food/

Quite cool huh?  Often I just quickly finish my meal while either sitting at my desk or in front of the TV.  Definitely not mindful!  But I am working on it 🙂

So, I get distracted – as usual!  I am actually supposed to focus on sharing what I had for lunch yesterday.  Focus Roelia!

So, it is really just a few ingredients thrown together.

I started by layering the bowl with some chopped cos lettuce.  So you will start ‘packing’ the bowl by visualizing it being divided in quarters, or fifths, or however many ingredients you’ve got to add.

The various sections consisted of:

  • Roasted butternut
  • Chickpeas, mixed with some freshly chopped spring onion
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Bulgar Wheat (you can mix it with some fresh coriander)
  • Cucumber strips (I have a nifty ‘zoodle maker’ that I got from Clicks a good couple of years ago – works great, and it always looks quite pretty and impressive)

The quantity used depends on the size of your bowl, as well as your portion allocations, if you are following a more structured eating plan.

Dress with curry yogurt dressing – 1/2 cup of yogurt, with 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder stirred in, a small pinch of salt, as well as a good sprinkling of turmeric, to give it the beautiful yellow colour!  I make this dressing fresh every time I use it, and leave it to stand for a few hours, so that the colour and flavours can infuse a bit.

And that is it! Looks pretty hey?  🙂   Let me know what you think!

For WL portions:  90g cooked bulgar wheat (1 CC), 75g chickpeas (1 Prot), 125ml yogurt (1/2 – 1 portion Milk), the rest- just veggies 🙂

“Mexican” Butternut Hummus


Okay, I know – hummus isn’t Mexican! But I wanted to make a hummus that is just a little more spicy than the norm.

I have made Butternut Hummus before – see “Roasted Butternut Hummus” posted on Life is Too Short to Eat Lettuce and it being butternut season and me simply loving butternut (see all my Butternut Recipes), I thought I’ll whip up another batch!

So, here goes

150g cooked, mashed butternut

1 tin of chickpeas, drained

5ml sesame oil (my shortcut instead of tahini)

1 tablespoon jalapeno slices (more or less according to your taste)

A squirt of lime juice

1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/4 teaspoon crushed chillies

Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend it all together with a stick blender and voila!

Good to let it stand for a few hours for the flavours to develop.

Obviously I’m craving HEAT because I added few jalapeno slices when serving!

Butternut Spaghetti with Bacon and Herbs

I am, like most people, a little obsessed with spiralised veggies at the moment.  I guess it is the fact that, by simply changing the shape of a veggie, it makes it a little more versatile and ‘fun’ to work (and play) with 🙂  And who doesn’t like pasta-shaped stuff!  😉

This is a super quick meal – honestly, it took about 10 minutes to prepare!

175g lean bacon (I used Eskort Weigh-Less Smoked bacon), cut into strips

5ml lemon infused olive oil (or plain olive oil with a dash of lemon juice if you don’t have infused olive oil)

200g Butternut Spaghetti (super excited about this new product from Woolies!  But again, if you can’t get hold of it, make your own spiralised veggies.  Spiralisers are widely available, I got a very cool one from Clicks, for R99.  You can even use coarsely grated butternut)

20g chinese style noodles (we often make trips to Cyrildene, Johannesburg’s China Town.  Very affordable produce and a very exotic and interesting range of products available.  It is a treat!  If you feel nervous to venture out on your own, join the Chef Ishvara’s group on Facebook – it is called “African Secrets – cultural walks in the inner city of Joburg” and he offers insightful and very interesting tours to the various cultural hotspots in Johannesburg. A true treat!  Look out for his Cyrildene and Fordsburg tours)  Okay, and after all that – you can use angelhair pasta as well!  LOL!

Robertsons Masterblends – Garlic and Rosemary seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh basil to serve

Fry bacon strips in pan coated with non-stick spray – add a few mls of boiling water to prevent from sticking – it will take about 4 minutes.  In the meantime, place the butternut spaghetti in the microwave (can just microwave it in the bag or with a little bit of water) for 2 minutes.  Also cook the pasta in boiling water – the pasta is very thin, so it takes only 5 minutes to cook.  Add a generous sprinkling of Garlic and Rosemary seasoning to the bacon strips.  Stir in drained pasta and butternut strips and season with salt, pepper and infused olive oil.  Fry at high heat for 1 minute (we don’t want the butternut and pasta to get soggy and overcooked)

Serve with fresh basil


Voila!  10 minute meal!  And it is yummy!

PS:  You can make this a vegetarian option by replacing the bacon with feta.  Cook butternut and pasta as above, mix together, season and serve with basil 🙂

2 Prot, 1 Fat, 2 Veg, 1 CC

Christmassy Barley, Butternut and Cranberry Salad

photogrid_1451050431109.jpgAnother dish from Christmas Lunch 2015!  Lovely colours, isn’t it?  🙂  (Pictured on the right – apologies, not a good photo!)


Serves 6

600g cooked barley

500g butternut cubes (raw weight), oven roasted

60g dried cranberries

100g chopped red onion

30g mixed seeds and nuts

Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste



75ml balsamic vinegar

20ml olive oil

20ml honey


Mix all the ingredients together, serve dressing on the side


Per person:   2 CC, 1 Fat, 1/2 Fruit (actually less, not sure if we need to count it?), approx 1 Veg




Barley Salad with Roasted Butternut & Apple

I felt like trying something different for lunch – and boy, this was delicious and filling!  🙂

250g roasted butternut (cut into cubes, roast on medium heat oven for about 35 minutes – until soft) – cooled down

Roasted Apple (100g apple, cut into thin slices, roasted on medium heat for about 25 minutes – before to release the flavour and crisp it up a little bit) – cooled down

140g cooked barley – cooled down

30g low fat feta

Dressing:  5ml olive oil with red wine vinegar (about 20ml – but you can adjust to taste – enough to stir mix with barley so that it isn’t too dry), alternatively you can use 30ml low fat mayonnaise

Salt and Pepper

Lettuce to serve


Mix dressing with barley

Place lettuce at bottom of the salad bowl/dish

Stir butternut into barley mix, season to taste

Place butternut and barley mixture on to of lettuce bed

Top with crumbed feta and apple slices


Serves 1:  2 CC, 1 Protein, 1 Fruit, 3 Veg, 1 Oil


Roasted Butternut Hummus


200 g oven roasted butternut cubes (I only used non-stick oven spray when roasting it)

75g chickpeas cooked/tinned

5ml sesame oil

10ml lemon juice

1/4 tsp chopped garlic (to taste)

1/4 tsp groud cumin

Sprinkling of smoked paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste


Blend it all together, add a few drops of water if needed.

Serves 1 – 2 Veg, 1 Protein, I fat


Serve with crudites, or on melba toast/Ryvita, etc


Warm Potato and Roasted Veggie Salad


Serves 1 – 2 CC, 1 Prot, 1 Fat, 2 Veg

200g baby potatoes, quartered and parcooked

50g yellow pepper cored and cut into quarters

50g red onion, peeled and quarterd

100g butternut cubes

5ml olive oil

Lemon Juice

30g low fat feta

Salt and Black Pepper

Balsamic Vinegar

Line baking tray with foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange veggies and potatoes on baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil, and a generous squirt of lemon juice. Season. Oven roast at 160C for about 40 minutes until peppers blister.

Toss together and serve with crumbed feta and balsamic vinegar.

Quick butternut bake

400g butternut chunks
2 chopped leeks
Cup a Soup Lite Chicken and herb (made up with 125ml boiling water)  flavour
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 180C.
Spray ovenproof dish with non-stick spray
Layer butternut and leeks.
Pour over soup, season with salt & pepper and sage leaves.
Ovenbake until butternut is soft – about 40 min.


Thai Butternut and Feta Pizza

A light and tasty Sunday dinner! 

Serves 1 = 1 CC, 1 Veg, 1 Prot, 1/2 Fat


1 Weigh-Less wrap (plain)
50g butternut, roasted, cut into small chunks
10g finely grated carrots
25g zucchini strips, cut using veggie peeler
1/2 tsp peanut butter
1/4 tsp ginger and garlic paste
Salt and pepper
30g feta; crumbed
Fresh coriander to serve

Spead wrap with peanut butter and ginger and garlic paste
Layer with carrots, then zucchini strips, then butternut chucks. Season with coarse seasalt and freshly ground pepper. The base is quite thin, and we want it to crisp up in the oven, so ensure not to add too many toppings. Bake at 180C for about 10 minutes. Take out of oven and serve with feta and coriander.