Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A healthy heart in your twenties

Heart disease is our number one killer, claiming more lives each year than all cancers combined. Yet about 80 per cent of heart disease is preventable. Taking sensible lifestyle steps can cut your risk by up to 60 per cent.

Your twenties
You’re started out at work, having fun, and feel invincible, so it’s easy to slip into bad habits. But while your chances of a heart attack at this age are low, the lifestyle you establish now is important.

1. Find out your family history.
If you have a parent or sibling who had a heart attack at 65 or younger if they were female, or 55 or younger if they were male, you’re at a greater risk. Make this your motivation to start a sensible lifestyle now.

2. Don’t smoke!
Smokers have six times the risk of a heart attack than non-smokers.

3. Start a healthy exercise habit.

Exercise builds healthy muscle that keeps metabolism high. Find something you love and stick to it, and schedule it into you life. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (brisk walking or cycling) and 10 weight-bearing exercises most days.

4. Start eating for a healthy heart.
Saturated fats and high cholesterol foods build fat and clog arteries. Cut down of these, and refined carbs and salt. Eat oats and grains, five to nine helpings of fruit and veg a day, and some oily fish several times a week.

5. Start testing.
Even if you feel fine now, see a doctor and have your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels checked yearly, and your body mass index measured. If your BMI is above 25, you’re overweight. Above 30, you’re obese.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Easy fish cakes

Most of us need to add more fish to out diets and fish cakes are a great way to do it, especially if you have small children who turn their noses up at a fishy supper.

500g boneless white fish fillets, roughly chopped
2¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 green spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Mayonnaise, small side salad and oven-baked potato chips, to serve

Process the fish, breadcrumbs, onion, dill and egg until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Using ¼ cup of mixture at a time, shape mixture into eight patties. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and put in the fridge.
3. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the patties to pan. Cook for three minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through.
4. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Canned food safety

Just because something hasn’t been opened yet, doesn’t mean that it’s good enough to eat. Follow these guidelines, and bon appetite!

• Buy cans and jars that look perfect – free of dents, cracks or bulging lids, which may indicate old stock.
• Don’t taste or use canned foods that show any signs of spoilage, like a bulging lid or leaking can. When you open the can, look for other signs such as spurting liquid, and unpleasant odour or mould. Spoiled canned foods MUST be discarded so that they cannot be eaten by humans or pets.
• Once cans are opened, the leftover contents should be placed in a clean, covered plastic or glass container and stored in the fridge. Do not store food in an opened metal can as tin and iron will dissolve from the can walls and the food may develop a metallic taste. Tin contamination could result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever or headache.
• Keep canned goods dry to prevent cans or metal lids from rusting, which may cause cans to leak and food to spoil.

Food storage
To maximize storage life of food at room temperature use the following tips:
• Store food in cool cupboards, away from heat sources, such as fridges and ovens.
• Store food in dark cupboards, especially if they are in transparent packaging.
• Store food in moisture- and air- tight containers.
• Rotation is the key to maintaining edible pantry food. Remember the principle “first in first out”.

Food safety

Never refreeze thawed food. While food is thawing, the food-poisoning bacteria do not die. Then when you defrost the food a second time it will contain higher levels of dangerous food-poisoning bacteria.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Crunchy choc chip biscuits

Who can turn down a good old chocolate chip biscuit? Even if you aren't an experienced baker, you can't go wrong with this simple recipe.

1 cup margarine or butter
1½ cups brown sugar
2 medium eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecan nuts

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Using a mixer beat butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and blend.
3. Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat till smooth.
4. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and spoon the mixture out onto a baking tray.  You can make these biscuits as big or small as you like.
5. Bake for eight to ten minutes.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Spring issue 2016

The Spring 2016 issue of Club should be arriving on your doorstep any day now. The beautiful Boity Thulo is on the cover and the magazine is full of fantastic articles to keep you entertained in the evening. You'll also find some delicious cauliflower recipes and an essential guide for starting fresh and organising your life this Spring.

Plus, don't forget to check out our latest winners:
Superdraw winners
Benefit winners
Competitions winners

Become a Family Club member today and you could be a winner too!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Ratatouille pasta

Get your kids to eat their veggies with this simple, tasty pasta dish.

1 cup peppers of your choice
2 cups veggies of your choice – baby marrows, mushrooms, aubergines etc 
½ teaspoon salt
500g penne pasta
1 cup sliced onion
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried basil
Dash pepper

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sauté the vegetables and onion in oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, garlic powder, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook, uncovered, for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Drain pasta and place in an ovenproof dish. Top with vegetable mixture and bake for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Cooking terms N-Z

Here's part two of your essential cooking terms. If you missed part one you can check it out here.


Pan broil: Cook food in a skillet over high heat by itself and remove fat from pan as it cooks off meat.

Pan fry: Cook with a small amount of oil or butter.

Parboil: Cook food partly in boiling liquid. Also called blanching.

Parchment: Heat-resistant paper used in cooking.

Pare: Peel or trim a food, usually vegetables.

Peaks: Egg whites whipped until stiff peaks form or they stay upright.

Peel: Remove the outer skin of fruit and vegetables with a knife or vegetable peeler.

Pinch: Add less than 1/16 teaspoon. See definition of dash.

Pipe: Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off to decorate food.

Pit: Take out the pip of a fruit such as cherry or peach.

Poach: Simmer in boiling liquid.

Pressure Cooking: Cook using steam trapped under a lid at a high temperature.

Proof: The process of adding yeast to warm water or milk.

Punch down: When baking bread you push down risen yeast dough with your fist.

Purée: Blend food together until it becomes completely smooth.


Reconstitute: Add water to dried food to return it back to its original consistency.

Reduce: Boil liquids down to enhance flavour or thicken.

Re-hydrate: Soak or cook dried foods in liquid.

Roast: Cook uncovered in an oven.

Roux: A thickened paste made from butter and flour usually used for thicken sauces.

Rub: A mixture of ground spices that is rubbed over meat and then baked or roasted.

Sauté: Cook food in hot oil in a pan.

Scald: Cook just under the boiling point.

Score: Cut diagonal slits on the top of meat.

Sear: Cook meat in a frying pan under high heat to seal in juices. Then the meat is usually cooked in the oven after searing.

Season: Flavour meat with salt, pepper or other seasonings.

Set: Allow food to become solid.

Shred: Cut with a knife, tear with your hands, or use a grater to cut food into long strips. For meat, two forks can be used to shred cooked roasted meat.

Sift: Remove lumps from dry ingredients with a mesh strainer or flour sifter.

Simmer: Cook over low heat so food or liquid doesn't reach the boiling point.

Skim: Take the top layer of fat from soups or other liquids with a slotted spoon or other utensils.

Skewer: Used for cooking on a wooden or metal stick.

Steam: Cook food in a covered pan with a small amount of boiling water.

Steep: Soak dry ingredients in liquid until the flavor is infused into the liquid.

Stew: Cooking meat and vegetables in broth. This works best with less tender cuts of meat.

Stir-Fry: Frying cut meat and vegetables on high heat with a small amount of oil.

Strain: Use a colander or strainer to drain liquid off cooked food.

Thicken: Stir together cornstarch and cold water and then adding to food to thicken.

Thin: Add more liquid to food.

Toss: Mix ingredients gently together to combine.

Unleavened: Baked goods with no baking powder, yeast or baking soda added.


Whip: Beat ingredients together quickly with a spoon or mixer until light and fluffy.

Whisk: Mix together by beating with a whisk or mixer.

Zest: Remove the outer part of citrus fruits with a small grater
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