Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

So, although I am not big on pasta….I know….crazy hey…..this is one amazing dish.  I can’t take all the credit though, as I first came across a recipe at the back of an Udon Noodles packet and from there I was sold ! It was a matter of I just had to try it, no questions asked.  I have slightly adapted the recipe with a bit of my spin on things and also increased quantities where I found necessary.  This is pretty much a one pan meal if you are using Udon Noodles  but if not, a pot is required for the cooking of the spaghetti…..

Just a heads up with the butternut, if you are chopping it up in cubes, try not make the cubes too small, as when they are cooking they may fall apart. Rather chop them a bit too big, as then they can always be halved if necessary. (You can see I learned by my mistakes here LOL)

I have also used Gluten-Free Spaghetti due to the intolerance thing, but seriously Udon Noodles will be great and are great.  They are so cushiony and soft and kind of just soak up the juices :-).

Sweet Chilli Coriander Butternut with Almond Spaghetti

Preparation time:  20 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  40 minutes

Serves 4


A little coconut oil for frying

2 large garlic cloves, chopped *

2 Tablespoons ginger, chopped finely *

900 grams – 1 Kilogram butternut cubes

1/2 cup water (to be used to prevent the butternut from sticking)

400 grams Udon Noodles or Gluten Free Spaghetti

6 heaped Tablespoons of Sweet Chilli Sauce (plus more for later! )

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra if necessary

2 – 3 large handful of fresh coriander, chopped (stalks included)

400 grams almonds, dry toasted (plus extra if you want)


Stir fry in a little oil the garlic, ginger and butternut cubes. add a little water to prevent sticking. Add the balance of the water.  Cover the pan and let simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.  Periodically check that the butternut is not cooking too much and also check the water content.  Again, if it is sticking add a little more water. The butternut needs to be a little tender at this point and not falling apart.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, and then add to the butternut in the pan with the sweet chilli sauce.  Stir gently through. Add the lemon juice, coriander and almonds.

You may need to add a little more water to loosen it up, or you may prefer to add a little more sweet chilli sauce (I added more chilli sauce….no surprise there 🙂 )  

Stir through and serve hot with  extra toasted almonds.



  • With regards to the garlic, I used the biggest garlic cloves I can find.
  • With regards to the ginger, don’t be afraid to heap up that ginger on the tablespoon.

To Dry Toast Almonds:  Place in a saucepan, on the stove on medium heat.  Do not add any oil, as nuts have their own natural oils.  Stir and toss around constantly until the nuts are a nice golden brown.  Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.


Watermelon and Feta Salad


I bought this massive watermelon over the weekend.  On opening the boot of my car, this watermelon just came rolling out and fell to the lawn.  Well need I say it split open, so it was pretty much decided there and then that watermelon would be lunch that day!  It actually was the perfect solution to a crazy hot day here in South Africa.

I quickly hauled out my recipe file where I knew I had been storing this watermelon salad recipe.  I have been dying to do this salad for years…in fact I first set my eyes on this recipe in 2005 !!! Yes, it has taken me ten years to finally get my A into G and do this recipe….Okay, lets just not go there as procrastination, clearly is my second name.


This salad truly is ideal for those summer months, and those hot, scorching days.  It is quick and easy to prepare with not too many ingredients at all.


I have deviated slightly from the original and have added my personal touch to it.  I have suggested that the recipe below will serve two people.  I did not measure out the chopped watermelon, so just chop accordingly for as many people you are wanting to serve.  I have added almonds which for me are imperative for that extra added crunch.  Also, the recipe did come with a spicy dressing.  I personally did not find the dressing necessary as felt it overpowered the flavours and natural tastes of the salad, so I have not included that.  I also, have added sliced avocado pear as an option to the salad, as watermelon and avocado pear actually compliment each other, but again, this is entirely up to you.  I served the avocado as a side to the salad, which worked quite well.

This salad is different, not your usual run of the mill kind of salad and could quite easily serve as an appetizer or starter as well.


Watermelon and Feta Salad

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Serves 2



7 small radishes

handful of fresh mint leaves (stalks discarded)

handful of fresh rocket leaves

handful of fresh coriander leaves

100 grams feta cheese, crumbled

handful of raw almonds

couple slices of avocado pear, optional

a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the avocado pear, optional


Dry toast the almonds, by adding them to a small pan on a medium heat. Continuously keep stirring around to prevent burning.  Once nicely toasted, remove from the stove top and set aside.

Chop up the watermelon into small pieces and place into a bowl.

With your spiralizer, slice up the radishes into thin threads.  If you do not have a spiralizer, just slice up the radishes as thinly as possible.

Place the spiralized or sliced radishes, mint and coriander in the bowl with the watermelon.

Add the crumbled feta.

Top with the dry toasted almonds and rocket.

Serve with a few slices of avocado pear and a dash of lemon juice (optional)

Enjoy 🙂




Gluten-Free Orange and Nut Cake


This recipe literally haunted me from the day I set eyes on it in the Your Family magazine.  I do not know what it was, but I knew, I just had to make it. It practically became like an obsession.  It was a bit weird as I’ve always been a kind of person that would not really go for a citrus cake, not that I don’t love fruits, it’s just that cake for me always has been chocolate or vanilla.  Fruit is fruit.  Maybe I am maturing haha, and becoming more adventurous …not that, that is a bad thing, I suppose…well, whatever sparked my brain, I am grateful as this recipe is a definite keeper and I know I will be making this often.

The citrus flavour of the orange is so different.  Cakes usually are sweet, but this one is far from sweet, it leaves this addictive subtle flavour in your mouth, just craving for more.

By the way, this cake can be Gluten Free as I have made it, or not.  With only five ingredients, only the baking powder would make it either Gluten Free, or not.  There is no flour in this cake either, so the slight indentation in the middle of the cake once cooked is quite normal.


Whilst reading though the method, I discovered that a food processor was needed, I was totally disappointed and thought I would have to put the recipe on hold until I had bought a food processor, but still going through my file, this recipe jumped out at me.  Then, over the weekend, I could not take the suspense any longer…food processor or not, this cake was being baked !!! And, oh my word, I am so pleased I did…there are no words to describe this cake…It probably is the most moist, light cake I have ever baked or tasted.  A good dollop of freshly whipped cream and a healthy fat slice and you’re good to go…It’s far from rich, and the combo of the citrus and the nuts, is just amazing.  Another good thing about this cake is that there are no preservatives, or colourants in it.  It is the perfect winner (except for the added cream if you want to be pedantic) but seriously the cream tops this cake.  It is a cake, and a dessert.  It is a cake that I would even have for breakfast.


Gluten Free Orange and Nut Cake

Preparation time:  2 hours 5 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour 15 minutes

Total time:  3 hours 20 minutes


2 large oranges

6 free-range Jumbo eggs

3/4 cup (180 millilitres) castor sugar

300 grams mixed nuts, chopped*

1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) gluten-free baking powder

Zest of 1 orange, for garnishing

Icing sugar, for garnishing

Whipped cream or ice-cream for serving


In a medium-sized pot, place the oranges in, and cover with water. Put the pot lid on and cover.  Once the water reaches boiling point turn the heat down to simmer.  Check the water levels frequently every fifteen minutes, as the water levels drop quickly.  Add more water to keep the oranges covered, if and when necessary.

Once the 2 hours are up, the oranges will be hot and soft to the touch.  Drain the water out from the pot and then carefully take the oranges out without piercing the oranges.

Allow the oranges to cool slightly on the outside and then with a sharp knife carefully cut them into pieces (skins and pips included). The insides of the oranges will still be hot. Place the orange pieces on a plate and put them in the refrigerator  for about 5 minutes. Then, once the oranges pieces have cooled completely, put them in a food blender and blend.

Then, turn on the oven to 150 degrees C fan oven / 302 degrees F.

Grease and line a 22 centimeter/8.58 inches spring-form cake tin with baking paper, and grease again. (I use spray ‘n cook).  Make sure the lining exceeds the height of the baking tin, to allow for rising whilst baking.

In a large bowl, add the eggs and castor sugar.

With an electric hand beater, mix on the highest level, for ten minutes.  By this time the eggs and castor sugar will be of a light, soft, frothy consistency, and would have practically filled the mixing bowl.

Then, stir in the blended orange mixture.

Add the chopped and grounded nuts.

Add the gluten-free baking powder.

Give the mixture a good stir with either a metal tablespoon or a wooden spoon.

Pour into the greased and lined spring-form cake tin, and place on a baking tray (just for extra precaution) and put in the oven. *

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (check after an hour if you see the top of the cake is golden brown, with a cake testing skewer, it should come out clean, once done).

Once done, take out of the oven, allow to sit in the tin for about five minutes, then release the sides and allow to cool.

Place on serving plate, dust with extra icing sugar and garnish with grated orange zest.

Serve with either whipped cream or ice-cream.

Enjoy 🙂

  • I used a pestle and mortar for my nuts, and used a combination of almonds, pecans and walnuts.
  • You will notice that the entire spring-form cake tin will be filled to the brim, don’t be over alarmed as the increased lining will help with the rising and should not tip over whilst baking.  (When I baked mine I used a 20 centimeter spring-form tin, and I ended up having extra mixture. In desperation I put the extra mixture into 6 paper cup cake holders. When my cake was done I noticed it exceeded the brim slightly, but stayed within the lining.  That is why I have suggested a slightly larger spring-form cake tin.)