The Food we love.

The Food we love.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if we all just stop being so fanatical about food?

Think of your Instagram feed without those amazing photos, of breakfast tables or lunches, cakes and pastries, imagine a feed without that juicy burger or vibrantly green matcha smoothie. How dull would life be?

Since dedicating my Instagram solely to food, albeit the occasional image of me having a picnic or a random cup of coffee, I have come to realize how small the world actually is and how social networking brings people together. I have followers from Japan, Norway, Australia and America, to name a few, and have noticed how home cooks, lifestyle coaches, trainers and even just the mom down the road, pull in these huge followings and cult status Instagram profiles.

Then we get all the amazing Bloggers, who are so dedicated to sharing recipes and giving advise on what works and what doesn’t as far as food goes, also experiences shared or restaurants reviews, that you get drawn into scrolling their pages and loose track of time completely.

Being a chef, it’s opened my eyes to the immense beauty of food, the love that people have for it and the overwhelming satisfaction of seeing an amazing photo of a plate of food, a cake, a burger or even just a donut, and thinking “I need to recreate this!” or “God help me not bite into my phone!”

Links to my fav blogs and Instagrams below:

Blogs:

The Jozi Food Fix

Tales of a Kitchen

Eat in my Kitchen

Nourish and Evolve

Instagrams:

Epicurious

Mikkibeach

The Art of Plating

We are Food

Nourish Atelier

Dennis Prescott

These are just a few of my favs, the top picks out of the many I follow.

They will give you some major #foodporn  to lust over!

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

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Did anyone else in the Southern Hemisphere notice that its winter? This major onslaught of cold weather that came through overnight, especially here in Johannesburg! It went from Hero to Zero in a few moments!  As I have mentioned before, winter brings with it an entire amount of weird emotions and strange eating patterns. We tend to comfort eat, because its so cold, and the food we do flock to is normally the heavy, carb laden, thick stewy dishes. I AM NOT COMPLAINING! As always I try to figure out “alternates”. Ways to still eat “comfort” food without it being full of processed products and heavy on the stomach. One of my favorite products to work with is barley. I love the chewy texture, and it is Low-Gi, so it keeps you fuller for longer and cuts the cravings in half (lets be honest, we all still crave stuff). It is a versatile, cereal grain with an almost nutlike flavor, and once cooked, its almost like eating an al dente pasta. So besides soup, what else do I want to eat barley to, and also what are my favorite flavor combos to add to it? Because its generally a bland base, it can take on any flavor without it being over powering. I came across a recipe for sweet potato cakes with barley, and felt that I did not want the “sweet” characteristic to this dish, what I actually wanted was to use what i had in the fridge, and take it from there. So I found some peas, mushrooms, and potatoes. I also have loads of thyme (for some strange reason) and fresh oregano, parsley and Parmesan. Ok, mashup begins (excuse the pun).

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

  • Servings: 4 cakes
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print
 

Ingredients 

2 Small Potatoes – steamed, and cooled (leave the skins on them)

2 handfuls of Portabellini mushrooms – remove stalks and chopped (keep the stalks aside for later)

1 cup of Portabellini mushrooms – chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped and halved (I LOVE THYME WITH MUSHROOMS)

1 cup of cooked barley 

1/2 cup of peas 

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 

2 kale leaves, stalks removed and chopped finely 

Parmesan 

Olive oil 

Himalayan Salt and black Pepper to season 

Method 

Soak barley for at least 1 hour in cold water Preheat oven to 180C Steam your potatoes, until soft and set aside to cool, once cooled, cut up into chunks. 

Cook the barley and peas in a small pot of water (don’t add any salt to it, the water cooks away and you might land up with really salty barley and peas)

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Drain the barley and peas, if needed, and return to the pot to start the “drying” process. You will notice that the barley will become sticky, remove from heat and add to the potatoes. 

In a pan, add a good glug of olive oil and start frying your mushrooms, once they are slightly soft, add the thyme and garlic and keep tossing the pan.

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Let the mushrooms cook until they are soft and spongy and have absorbed all the gorgeous flavors of thyme and garlic, and season them slightly (bear in mind you will season the entire dish before you start to shape the cakes). 

When the mushrooms are ready, give them a rough chop, and add them to the other ingredients.

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Add the parsley and kale. All the ingredients are cooked, give the mix a taste and add more seasoning if needed, shape into 4 big cakes or loads of smaller ones. 

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a shallow pan, and seal the cakes on either side before popping them into the oven to heat. When the cakes are in the oven, roughly chop the mushroom stalks, fry it off with the cup of chopped portabellinis, the same way as you did the mushrooms for the cakes, adding the extra thyme and season well.

To serve 

Plate each cake, topped with the warm mushrooms, sprinkle with loads of Parmesan and serve with fresh micro herbs. You can also use these as a burger night patty, topped with onion marmalade and melted provolone.

These are so good, the will become a staple and once you get the hang of all the prep work, it becomes a breeze to make!

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Love what you do

Love what you do

It is an old saying and most preach it everyday, because its absolutely vital to love what you do. 

When you have to wake up with the dreadful notion of getting to work, then you might as well stay under the covers and call in sick.

I am blessed to be working for an amazing family in Johannesburg, as their chef. 

Most of the food that I post to my Instagram account (@foodbyjill) and to this blog are actually their meals! Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and maybe some snacks in between.

I am fortunate enough to be given the time during the day to experiment with countless things, and they are obviously the ones that benefit from this! 

They have been really supportive of me using their space to capture all the yummy amazing’ness for my blog, and I am ridiculously grateful for that! 

Thank you for always reminding me to take photos, for your patience when I take the plate away to actually capture the picture and for pushing me out of my comfort zone (all the cakes) ha!

❤️🍴