Blueberry Cafe in the Midlands - Great food in the Midlands

Blueberry Cafe Brunch Lunch Breakfast Nottingham Road Midlands Meander_Artboard 3.png

Blueberry Cafe is a special place. It's nestled just outside Nottingham Road in the Natal Midlands, and from the moment you start up the winding driveway, you just know your in for a treat.

This is our second visit, and even though we have yet to have sunshine on our visits, the weather never takes away from our experience.

Both of our visits have been over breakfast time, and this visit we had their Harvest Table which consisted of a blueberry pancake, muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit and honey for starters with a 'cocktail' of fresh fruit juices that you mix yourself.

This is then followed by your choice of eggs, a side of bacon....yum! 

Blueberry cafe is most famous for it's bluebweey cheescake, but we were so full from breakfast, we didn't have any room for dessert. We did have a great cappuccino though!

One of the highlights of this cafe is a trip to the bathroom...I won't spoil the suprise entirely, but here's some photos to give you a little hint.

Pull the Wool

The cafe also has an amazing room filed with locally produced gifts and artwork. If it wasn't the middle of summer, I would have bought ALL the woollen items from cape town based Pull The Wool.

Instead, I had to make do with my camera in capturing the gorgeous colours and  textures.

You can find Pull The Wool online here >>>

Leigh Woodgate Paintings

I have long since been a fan of Leigh Woodgate's beautiful artwork, and have seen her paintings for sale all over KZN. My mom in law has a number of gorgeous roses in her home here on the farm, and I know that her work adorns a lot of the local ladies here in my town.

I'm hoping own one of them someday soon!

You can connect with Leigh Woodgate and her artwork on Facebook >>> Leigh Woodgate Art

Moth Home

And now on to my favourite things...these bags from Moth Home! How gorgeous are they?! These duffel bags make me want to jet off to a magical island right now.

Our visit to Blueberry Cafe was during our first family weekend away in the Berg. We spent one night at the gorgeous Forty Winks Guesthouse in Rosetta (blog post to come soon) and then another two nights with family in the Berg.

And finally, here are some shots of my little girl, who had just started smiling and cooing, and only had eyes for Dad...

Have you been to Blueberry Cafe? Did you enjoy it as much as we did? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

In the mean time, here are some more posts on places to visit in SA:

The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

The Best Places to eat in Korea: Burger Bridge, Gwangju, South Korea

After a second visit to this delightful burger place in Gwangju, I am 100% convinced that this will be one of the best you'll eat while in Korea. I'm talking real, homemade, grilled patties with plenty of extra toppings that will leave you with a very full stomach and a happy heart.

Burger Bridge is a small restaurant located on the other end of downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung Mountain 무등산. It's in the Chosun University area, a place filed with the trendiest cafes, bars and restaurants. It's quite nearby to Florida Cafe and Hertz Guesthouse (one of our favorite dog-friendly places to stay).

The best part about this place (apart from how good their burgers are and what good value for money they are) is their opening times! Most restaurants open closer to midday in Gwangju, which is a real pain if you wake up early like us. Burger Bridge is open from 10 am! The restaurant itself is small, but oh-so-charming, and the guys who run it are super friendly. You can tell they are proud of their burger joint!

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Great Coffee shops in Korea: Florida Cafe, Gwangju South Korea

Great Coffee shops in Korea: Florida Cafe, Gwangju South Korea

To celebrate the start of 2016, Farmboy and I headed to Gwangju with some friends. We spent New Years eve having dinner at the popular First Alleyway (good burgers and board games!), and then headed for a few drinks and festivities at Speakeasy.

We spent New Years day relaxing and recovering from a full night of dancing (why I insisted on wearing heels, I'll never know) and then found the most AMAZING authentic burger place (one of the only places was open on New Years day!) called Burger Bridge (blog post to come soon). 

We then spent New Years day evening at Florida Cafe. I can't wait to share with you the photographs of this beautiful, modern cafe in downtown Gwangju.

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Carb Free Banting Breakfast Muffins {#BantingInKorea}


Are you looking for an easy alternative to fried eggs when following a Low Carb, High Fat diet? These breakfast muffins are simple to make and can be spiced up in so many ways. They are filling, while still being super easy to whip together. If you have been Banting and have been enjoying my Cream Cheese pancake recipe, these muffins will be another great addition to your breakfast menu. 



These ingredients made enough to fill one muffin tray (6 large muffins)

-4 large eggs

-dash of milk (this depends on the size of your eggs and how 'eggy' you like your muffins to be. I have made these muffins using milk and not using milk and they have tasted the best with just a dash of milk)

-Your choice of filling:

  • 1/3 cup chopped/grated cheese (I usually just chop my cheddar cheese into small blocks)
  • handful of chopped baby tomatoes/sun-dried tomatoes
  • handful of chopped raw zucchini 
  • dash of smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt & pepper


1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

2. Grease a muffin tin (I always use coconut oil)

3. Beat eggs and milk together, then adding your filling ingredients. Finish off with your seasoning of choice and pop in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Don't get be alarmed, your muffins will puff up while cooking but once removed from the oven they will sink, this is completely normal and doesn't mean you have flopped the recipe. They taste amazing either way.

4. Eat alone or with your choice of sugar free tomato sauce/pesto.



    Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Brownies {#BantingInKorea}


    I'm mad about chocolate brownies, as I'm sure you are too if you're reading this post, and so I have been on a mission to make brownies in a way that lines up with the Banting diet I am currently on. I'm sure you're wondering what bulks up these brownies if they are Banting (click here to read more about this low carb/high fat lifestyle). These brownies contain no wheat or gluten as the secret bulking ingredient is SWEET POTATOES!.

    I was pretty shocked when I found out that sweet potatoes (much better than regular potatoes as they have more fibre and less carbohydrates) can be used to bake sweet tasting treats. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic bulking agent to use in cakes and brownies BUT they do still contain quite a few carbohydrates and so they are 'allowed' on the Banting Diet, but in moderation. The recommended allowance of sweet potatoes per day is 1/2 cup, so that would be about 3 of these brownies. So you can still have your cake (or brownie!) and eat it.

    I adapted the recipe slightly from one of my favourite South African food bloggers, Lexi from Whisking It and changed up a few small things to suit my grocery cupboard here in Korea.

    I also really like what Lexi says about the fact that we should forget about following a diet like it's a religion. There are so many branches of Banting/Paleo/LowCarb HighFat diets (some allow this and not that etc) and so you need to rather listen to your body when it comes to following an eating plan. Following the Banting Diet strictly has REALLY worked for me, but I know people that have struggled with it and found they aren't losing any weight. You just need to find something that works for you (including drinking plenty of water and of course exercising).



    2 cups of grated sweet potato (Thanks to Lexi for the tip to use the SMALL holes of the grater - not the normal ones - to get a finer batter)

    2 eggs

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    1/2 cup of raw honey (I can only find very syrupy honey here in Korea so mine was already a very thin consistency, you can just heat in microwave to thin it a bit if yours is very thick)

    1 tsp stevia ( I used Xylitol)

    1/2 cup olive oil (I used coconut oil)

    1 tbsp baking powder

    ½ tbsp of bicarbonate of soda

    1 cup cocoa powder

    2 tbsp coconut flour

    1/2 cup desiccated coconut

    *not entirely Banting but I added a few crumbs of dark baking chocolate to the mix 


    Preheat your oven to 180 °C

    Mix the grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and olive oil/coconut oil in a large mixing bow. It will be a sticky mess, keep going. 

    Add baking powder and baking soda.

    Add cocoa powder, and finally add the coconut flour, coconut and stevia/xylitol and any chocolate chips you may want to add.

    Finally pour the mixture into a baking tray. Make sure to grease your pan tray well (I used coconut oil, and didn't quite use enough and so lost quite a bit of brownie to the bottom of the pan!).

    Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you're here in Korea and have a small, fiery hot oven like we do, watch your brownies like a hawk! I burned to bottom of mine when I got distracted by something or other in Instagram (note to self...when baking, stop trying to do a million other things at once!)

    Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake from the tin. 

    These brownies freeze very well! I found mine were very crumbly, but they firmed up well after freezing. Freezing also ensure you don't eat the whole lot in one go!


    DIY How to make Fig Jam

    How To Make Fig Jam

    Even though this jam is not banting friendly (if you haven't heard of the Banting diet make sure to read this post) but because it's fig season here in Korea, one has to improvise. Storm and I decided not to experiment with Xylitol just yet and made it with good old fashioned sugar. This recipe is incredibly easy to follow and will have your home smelling festive in no time at all. And of course, the jam itself tastes heavenly too.


    What you need


    Figs (we had about 8 figs)

    1/4 cup brown sugar (adjust for the amount of figs...more sugar for more figs)

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    a small piece of ginger, finely chopped


    Quarter your figs. Add the figs to a pan and simmer on low heat while adding the sugar and ginger. Keep stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. You can use a hand held blender to puree your jam, but it's not really necessary. 

    When the sugar has completely dissolved add the cinnamon. Keep stirring on a low heat, making sure not to let the mixture burn.

    Once everything has dissolved remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

    Place in sterilised glass jars. There is an actual method to sterilizing glass jars properly, but we were on a tight schedule and so just soaked the jars in boiling water before use.

    Best kept in the fridge and served with cheese!

    You can store your jam in these cute gold animal glass jars (DIY coming to the blog soon) or in any glass jar you may have at home.

    Banting Broccoli Burgers #BantingInKorea


    These broccoli burgers are one of my absolute favourite meals to make for dinner .  They are quick and easy to make, filling, delicious and packed full of goodness for your body. These burgers are the second Banting recipe I've posted here on the blog (click here to read more about the Banting diet & lifestyle plan) and as with all Banting recipes are Low Carb High Fat. Click here to see the other #BantingInKorea recipes I've posted here on the blog.

    Some people wouldn't go so far as to call them burgers, as technically there's no bun or toppings, but trust me when I say you won't need to have anything to accompany these (except for your favourite sauce). Both Farmboy and I are completely stuffed every time I make them and there are always a few left over for lunch the next day.

    If you do try these let me know what you think of them in the comments below!


    2 heads of broccoli (pulsed until fine in a blender or food processor)

    1 pack of bacon

    1 onion

    2 or 3 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

    ginger (optional...I used a small thumb sized amount)

    tablespoon coconut oil (optional, depending on whether you like to cook in bacon fat or not)

    1/2 cup almond/coconut flour (we have tried both and they work equally as well, the almond flour makes the patties a little more dense)

    2 eggs

    salt & pepper

    1/3 cup grated cheese

    makes 12 patties


    Heat your oven to 180C. Fry your bacon. Then finely chop the onions and garlic and fry them in your bacon fat (or coconut oil) until brown. Leave to cool.

    In a large bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients (broccoli, almond/coconut flour, cheese, salt and pepper). Add the garlic and onion mixture and finally add the eggs. 

    Oil a baking tray (with coconut oil) and spoon balls of the mixture onto the tray. I used foil in the pictures below but it was an absolute nightmare removing the foil from the burgers.  Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, keep checking on them to make sure they don't burn.

    Remove when they are slightly golden on top.

    Serve with your choice of sauce (or even salad) and enjoy!

    Monster Cupcake in Itaewon, Seoul


    If you happen to be anywhere near Seoul tomorrow, why not pop into Monster cupcake to get yourself a spooky Halloween treat.

    Their red velvet cupcakes are literally the best red-velvet I have ever had. It tops the ones I've eaten in South Africa, as well as any other I have tried here in Korea. It has just the right combination of sweet and tangy, and the actual cupcake is light and fluffy. It was devoured in seconds. Yum!


    Finding this place was a little difficult, as it's on the other end of Itaewon (walking away from Itaewon central towards the McDonalds, you carry on past the Noksapyeong Subway station and turn right just after the pancake cafe. It's quite a walk from Itaewon (about 15 minutes).  

    The easiest way to get there is to take the Seoul Metro Subway (brown line #6) to Noksapyeong station, and take Exit 2.  From that exit you will have to cross the street and walk for a few minutes and you'll find the cafe on your left. 

    Monster Cupcake 몬스터컵케이크

    Hours: 9am-11pm


    서울특별시 용산구 이태원동 305-7

    3 Ingredient Carb-Free Banting Pancakes #BantingInKorea


    I have been on the Banting diet (along with the rest of South Africa it seems!) for the past 5 weeks and nothing I have ever done, exercise or diet wise, has done for my body what this eating plan has done for me. I can't believe how my body has changed and responded to it. BUT as with any eating plan, it may not be right for you so please don't feel like this is the only way to loose a little bot of jiggle around your middle. Also I would like to note that I have been exercising very little so far, and my now confirmed 4kg loss has been all due to this eating plan and not from going crazy at the gym. If you want to find out more about  Banting, click here to read an interview I did with The Banting Blondes.

    3 Ingredient Pancakes (especially for the Banting Diet)

    Here is one of my favourite Banting breakfasts. It's super quick and easy and tastes heavenly (even better than the 'real' flour filled pancakes). Today Farmboy changed things up and added a flaxseeds to our mixture which helped them hold together better, as they tend to be quite fragile in the pan. But that's up to you.

    Also, cream cheese is quite expensive not only here in Korea but all over the world. But once you try these you won't want to eat anything else.



    Makes 4 medium sized pancakes

    -1/2 tub of standard cream cheese

    -3 eggs

    -dash of cinnamon

    optional: teaspoon of Xylitol sweetner (I found mine online through iHerb...$11 for 450g)


    Simply mix all your ingredient together in a blender (or by hand if you have the muscle power). One everything is well mixed, grease up a pan with coconut oil and start cooking!

    I find my mixture can be very hard to work with as it is very fragile in the pan. Make sure to use lots of coconut oil (I ordered mine off iHerb) to make your life easier when it comes to flipping your pancakes.

    Top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder if you need something chocolatey, or with a teeny bit of honey (remember your honey allowance for the day is only 1 teaspoon).

    Banting Pancakes

    Introducing the Banting Blondes...What is the Banting Diet and why should you be following it too.

    For the past few months I have been following this seemingly odd diet/eating program called the Banting Diet. The bottom line is high fat, Low carbs.  This way of thinking isn't new, with past diet trends like the Atkins and the Paleo Diet.

    I am guilty of the 'eat all the fat' mindset that most people enter into when they first hear about this eating plan. I went cream cheese crazy for the first week, but have since been trying to increase my veggie intake so that I can keep the 4kg's I have lost so far. And I am happy to report that I have had no problems keeping the weight off, even when I slip off track every now and again. 

    I am not working out as nearly as hard as I used to (it's  terribly cold and dark here in Korea) but I am amazed at the changes in my body that have come about from this eating plan. I have never been one to diet, and in the past have simply upped my exercise to combat flabbier areas, but the changes I have seen and felt so far in my body have been so dramatic that I am going to be 'Banting' for a long time to come! 

    So for those of you who have yet to hear about the latest diet craze to hit South Africa, let me introduce to you two ladies (one of them being my sister) who are taking South Africa by storm. Don't they make Banting look sexy?!

    1. Who are the Banting Blondes?

    We are! Two girls who have been friends since high school and have always been a massive part of each others lives while still pursuing our individual goals and dreams - together every step of the way! Roxane Hayward is a proudly South African actress, model and singer working in South Africa and London, and Julia Pietersma is a passionate pilates instructor currently working in London - both physically demanding careers where being in shape and healthy is a top priority! This Banting journey of ours started when we both moved to London in May 2014 - inspired by the incredible Tim Noakes book 'Real Meal Revolution' and all the success stories we had heard. We became super creative with our meals and treats in order to make this lifestyle change a bit of an easier transition, and through doing this, created some incredibly delicious recipes that we thought we just HAD to share with other banters out there! Pancakes, Nutella, cinnamon buns, low carb bread, but to name a few. It started as an Instagram page and then grew to a Facebook page with nearly 5000 followers in just over a month! It's growing everyday and we are loving the journey.


    2. What exactly is Banting/The Banting diet?

    We like to look at Banting as a change in lifestyle rather then a 'diet' - ewww, we hate that word! Banting is known to be a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat eating plan - but we stress wherever we can that it is, in fact, a 'No Sugar, Low Carbohydrate, Moderate Protein, High Fat and SUPER High Vegetable' eating regime. Yip! You heard right! NO sugar. Sounds impossible, but it is not! There are so many delicious meals and treats you can make using healthier, lower carbohydrate substitutes - and that is what we share with you on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Banting also cancels out any processed, synthetic or refined foods from your diet, leaving you healthy and glowing from the inside out!


    3. What makes it different from Paleo?

    They are actually very similar in theory and both extremely healthy ways of eating. Differences would be that Paleo says absolutely no dairy, whereas Banting you are allowed dairy in moderation. Paleo doesn't limit you on your daily fruit intake, but Banting does. Other differences would be that with Paleo you are still allowed sweeteners such as agave, coconut sap, honey and maple syrup - all sweeteners which are not allowed while Banting (honey in moderation). Reason being, these foods are still relatively high in carbs and therefore going to spike up your sugar levels, causing your pancreas to release insulin - insulin being the fat producing hormone; no thanks! Banting is also safe for diabetics whereas we wouldn't recommend Paleo if your sugar levels are already high.


    4. What can I eat? What can’t I eat?

    That is quite an extensive question, haha. Simple answer and without going into too much detail would be that you have to avoid anything and everything that is toxic to your body (processed, refined or synthetic) which includes sugar, margarine, artificial sweeteners, soya etc. You'll also have to cut out anything that is high in carbohydrates which includes all grains, legumes, fruit juices and starchy vegetables like potatoes, peanuts and peas. Instead, you would want to fill your plate with food that nourishes your beautiful body. This includes green leafy vegetables and other vegetables grown above the ground. You can also eat 80g of protein with each meal. And lets not forget the fat! Mmmm...nuts, seeds, animal fats, coconut oil, butter and olive oil are all things that will help keep your body, tummy and mind fully and satisfied. Sweet tooth? You are allowed fruit in moderation as well as natural sweeteners such as xylitol, stivia and erythritol. If you want the full list, we recommend going to


    5. Why is it good for me?

    Where do we begin! Firstly, lets not forget that your body is a machine and in order for it to run smoothly, you need to give it the correct fuel. i.e. don't fill your diesel 4X4 with petrol and wonder why it breaks. Blondes talking cars hey? Yip, we're that cool. But seriously, with Banting you are only filling your body with nutritious basic foods that our bodies were designed to process. You are eating actual FOOD, no more 'food like products' and the benefits that go with doing that are insane! Hold onto your seats cause here is a list of just a FEW of those benefits (if you want to find out the rest, you'll have to start Banting!) - increased energy levels, clear skin, healthy nails and hair, stronger immune system, no carb or sugar cravings, and of course (the one everyone wants to hear about) weight loss!


    6. So what you’re saying is I can stuff myself silly with cream cheese and still loose weight?

    Haha, well not exactly. That is where a lot of people go wrong with banting. They read 'Low Carb, High Fat' but all they see is 'HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT! HIGH FAT!'. They forget that this eating plan includes tons of vegetables and moderate protein. The fat is permitted and included in order to keep you satisfied and sustained for longer until your next meal. So yes, eat your cream cheese, but have some steamed spinach or broccoli with it. Don't overeat, don't snack, only eat when hungry and focus on the nutrition that is going into your body.


    7. And eggs? I see that you're allowed to eat as many as you like. Wouldn't that increase my cholesterol?

    This is actually a really interesting question, which calls for a super interesting answer. Time to put our brunette wigs on... haha. Firstly, cholesterol isn't all bad. Our bodies naturally produce it, because without cholesterol, we would die - gasp! There are two types of cholesterol in your body - the bad kind known as LDL (which can clog your arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes) and the good kind known as HDL (which actually removes LDL and sends to back to the liver to be processed). BUT, there are two subtypes of LDL:Small, Dense LDL (ewww) and Large LDL (yay). 

    Recent studies have shown that it is the Small, Dense LDL that you want to watch out for and try lower. Saturated fats (such as eggs, coconut oil, animal fats and butter - all which are 100% from nature and 100% yay while banting) increase the Large LDL and HDL cholesterol and decrease the Small, Dense LDL. So eat your eggs, make sure they are free range and organic, but also don't get stuck in a pattern of eating the same thing every day (seperate from the cholesterol issue).

    You're body is designed to be a hunter gatherer and graze on different food types that it can find for that season. So mix things up a little and give your body a change up every now and then. This is a very concise answer on quite a detailed subject, so if you'd like some more info and would like to do your own research, make sure you do this by searching 'Small Dence LDL Cholesterol, Saturated Fats'.


    8. Isn’t it expensive? What if I live somewhere that I can’t get hold of the ‘good’ foods easily? Are there things I can substitute?

    You'll definitely be able to get hold of the correct food easily. That's because they are all food types that are in their most basic form - no processing and no specific commercial products. So no need to stress about that! It can be expensive if you are eating tons of the expensive fats such as avocados, nuts, cheeses and coconut oil, but you shouldn't be eating TONS of these in any case - only enough to satisfy you. Another tip is when you go to your local butcher to buy your grass-fed meat, ask for the fattier off-cuts - these will be cheaper and are perfect for your high fat banting meals! Also, don't forget the most important ingredient - vegetables! If you are banting correctly, this should be a large part of your eating plan; something which is relatively inexpensive. As you body goes into ketosis you will find that you don't need to eat as much as you used too. The fat helps you body feel sustained for long periods of time, so we find that we're only having to eat two meals a day - another factor that saves on money (and time) big time!

    8. Do I need to exercise too?

    Definitely! Exercise is a must if you are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It starts in the kitchen, but it ends in your sweat pants! And you'll want to show off your sexy new banting bum in those yoga tights you've been hiding at the back of your cupboard. Exercise is the cheapest, most underused anti-depressant, so get moving! Find something you enjoy like yoga, pilates, kickboxing, surfing, dancing, or even ping-pong!


    9.  Where can I find recipes and inspiration so I don’t get bored?

    You came to the right place! Follow us on our Instagram page @thebantingblondes and our Facebook page 'The Banting Blondes'. We post tasty and delicious Banting friendly recipes, meal ideas, health tips and motivational quotes. We also answer any questions you might have whenever we know the answer! 

    ***TheBantingBlondes have recently launched an incredible E-Book packed full of all their recipes posted on their Facebook page, as well as loads more! Click here to order one for yourself!

    10. What is your favourite thing about Banting?

    Oooo, we have so many favourite things! But if we had to pick just one it would be this - because you are having to cook your meals, treats and yummy eats from scratch, rather than just buy already-made, store-bought products, it forces you to become more creative and experiment cooking with ingredients that you would never normally look twice at, like coconut flour and flaxseeds for example. Therefore, you create and try out recipes that are delicious, guilt-free and packed with nutrients and goodness. So come and join us on this Banting journey! We have a cheesecake in the oven and it serves 8 people - who's joining us for tea? ;)

    You can find The BantingBlondes at the following places:



    Buy their E-Book

    And for those of you here in South Korea, I am going to be using the #BantingInKorea hashtag when I post recipes that I have made right here in Korea, using local ingredients that I have been able to find here. I hope you'll join me in this journey to a healthier you!

    Roasted Chickpeas {recipe}


    A friend introduced me to this hearty & healthy snack a few weeks ago, and since then I have been trying to perfect my own version. Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans, are high in protein as well as being low GI, as a snack they keep you feeling fuller for longer, helping to keep hunger pangs at bay. They are also said to lower cholesterol, so all in all a very good addition to your diet. As with most legumes they are higher in carbs, so don't eat a whole bowl by yourself, sharing is caring!

    I have only ever used chickpeas to make hummus, and even then I would cheat by using the can variety, which saves the hours of soaking that goes into the dry ones. Here in Korea it can be rather difficult getting your hands on anything that is not a staple of the Korean diet, and as far as I can tell, my Korean co workers have never heard of chickpeas. I did however find a 1kg bag of them at the Asia Mart, opposite the Jeonju Bus Terminal for W6 000. 

    You need to preferably soak chickpeas overnight to soften. If you don't have time to leave them overnight, they can be boiled on the stove too. Boiling on the stove will still take about 2 hours to soften. Click here for more ways to cook them without soaking overnight. 

    After soaking, discard the water (you will notice it has a brownish tinge to it) and place the beans in a large bowl. Now you add your choice of seasoning. 


    To roast the chickpeas you need oil and your choice of seasoning spices. I used Grapeseed oil as we didn't have any olive oil. I then used salt & blackpepper, Ina Paarmans Chicken spice (we stocked up on Ina Paarmans and other seasonings when we came over from South Africa), Robertsons Salt & Vinegar and celery salt. Combine the oil and spices with the chickpeas, rolling them around until coated.


    Then pop them on a roasting pan, and roast on a high heat for about 30 minutes. Make sure to keep checking on the oven so they don't burn. I used a sheet of tin foil to cover my baking tray to avoid the clean up that usually follows roasting.

    Remove from the oven and enjoy. They are best enjoyed straight out of the oven while still warm.


    The best brunch in Seoul... SuJi's Deli in Itaweon

    Sujis diner in Seoul, best brunch in Seoul, things to do in Seoul, Places to eat in Korea, western restuarants seoul, pancakes seoul, brunch korea

    A quick Google search for the ultimate places to brunch in Seoul will show you a decent number of places to get your fill of a good old fashioned greasy fry up. But, as Seoul is a long way away from our little town, we wanted to make sure we weren't going to be disappointed as we often are with breakfasts here in Korea.

    Suji's seemed to be ranked as one of the original brunch spots. So, armed with a bunch of very hungry South Africans we headed off to stuff our faces.

    We were delighted with what awaited us...

    Prices were what we had expected for a restaurant that caters for the Western market, pricey but totally justifiable. I mean, look at the size of the pancake platter.

    Their menu is extensive and has something for everyone.

    Everything was delicious (except the tea...who premixes frothed milk into English Breakfast?!) but the orange juice and burger made up for that.

    It gets full very quickly, so make sure to get there early if you are a large group. Or just to be safe, call ahead (Tel 02.797.3698) and make a reservation.


    서울특별시 용산구 이태원로 134, 2층 & 3층
    2nd & 3rd Fl, 134 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

    Take Subway line 6 and get out at Itaewon, Exit 4.

    It's all the way on the end of the main Itaewon drag, close to the McDonald's and right next door to SkinFood which is what you'll see when you reach the end of the road walking towards Noksapyung Station.

    Tel 02.797.3698

    Website: Sujis Diner

    Opening Hours

    Deli Cafe: 8am - 9pm 7 days a week

    3rd Floor Restaurant: 11am - 10pm weekdays & 9am - 10pm weekends/holidays

    Blueberry Chocolate Banana Bread {recipe}


    After the success of my last cranberry chocolate chip banana bread recipe (and the fact that I had 5 bananas that were so black and nasty, they were about the walk themselves outside) I adapted the recipe to include some blueberries. It's blueberry season here in Korea, and boy oh boy did those blueberries not jus make this my best banana bread yet! 

    I love that this recipe is so versatile. You can change up the flour (I substituted some buck wheat flour in this mixture to reduce the carb count...hubby is still not sure about me trying to make sweet treats healthy so I am going about it slowly so hopefully he doesn't notice). You can also use any other fruit you would prefer instead of the blueberries. Cranberries have worked well, apple would be good too. And you can add in any extras that yo fancy too, like almonds, walnuts or cinnamon.


    -it again took a VERY long time for my bread to cook, but that is because I have a little oven that gets hot very quickly and tends to burn things on the top without cooking through. I would put the timer on for 20 minutes and then check your bread every 5 minutes after that. You will be able to see whats going on in your oven, and you also know if you have a decent 'will-cook-through-without-burning' oven. You want the bread to be moist, but cooked. Dry banana bread is horrid. So keep testing with a sharp knife. If it pulls away clean, your bread is ready. If it comes away with even a little gooey dough on the knife, leave it in for a few more minutes.



    -3/4 ripe bananas, smashed (my banana were black black black, had been frozen and then thawed and worked absolutely perfectly! No need to freeze yours, mine were just sitting in the freezer until I could find a use for them).

    -1/3 cup coconut oil (you can use butter if you don't have coconut oil)

    -1/2 cup brown sugar sugar 

    -1 egg, beaten

    -1 teaspoon vanilla

    -1 teaspoon baking soda

    -pinch of salt

    -1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup of regular cake flour and half a cup of buckwheat flour to make it a tiny bit less full of carbs)

    -handful of blueberries

    -handful (and a half!) of chocolate chips/any chocolate

    BlueberryChocChipBananaCake (10 of 20).jpg


    No need for a mixer, a bowl and wooden spoon are more than adequate. 

    Preheat your oven to 180C. 

    With a wooden spoon, mix your coconut oil into the mashed banana. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, and sprinkle in the chocolate chips and cranberries (and anything else you feel like adding...flaked almonds & cinnamon are good extras). 

    Pour the mixture into a buttered (I used coconut oil again) loaf pan.

    Bake for 1 hour, placing on a rack to cool.

    Let me know if you try this at home, you can tag me on Instagram (@roxypearce) or on Facebook :)

    White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies {recipe}

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    This  yummy cookie recipe is simple to prepare and all the ingredients can be found here in South Korea. I ordered my cranberries off Gmarket (click here) and the white chocolate was given to me by a friend (she also got it here in South Korea, I think at one of the foreign food markets in Itaewon) you could use any chocolate, but it's baking chocolate that gives these cookies their creamy chocolatey taste.



    1 cup butter softened to room temperature

    1/2 cup coconut oil (used in place of shortening)

    1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    2 large eggs

    4 teaspoons vanilla extract

    4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 tablespoons corn starch (also called corn powder in Korea)

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 cup chocolate (chips or a bar chopped up)

    1 teaspoon salt

    {These ingredients made a lot of dough. Enough for me to make about 25 cookies, fill a large dish for a cheesecake base and still have enough dough frozen for about another 15 cookies. The great thing is you can freeze any left over dough for up to 3 months.}

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    1. Mix butter, coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy.

    2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

    3. Combine flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt and mix together.

    4. Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and blend well.

    5. Dough should not be sticky (mine was because of the coconut oil and the humidity here in Korea) so I added a little more flour. If your dough is crumbly add in 1 teaspoon of water until it just holds together.

    6. Add in chocolate until evenly distributed.

    7. Roll into a log ( I had to to put my into the fridge to harden slightly as my dough was very sticky, simply place it into the fridge for 30 mins to make it easier to handle). Wrap in cling wrap, place in the freezer for 2 hours (it can be kept for up to 3 months).

    8. When ready to bake, heat up your oven to 180C and slice your dough log into small round disks and place onto wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

    Allow to cool and serve.

    *please excuse this blurry photo

    *please excuse this blurry photo


    I also used this dough as a base for the cheescake I made for Farmboys birthday. It worked like a charm! I will be posting the recipe for it soon, but here is what the dough looked like when rolled out and placed in a dish, baked in the oven for 15 minutes and waiting for it its cheesecake layer:


    Happy baking!

    Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Burgers {recipe}


    I don't do very much cooking at home, I much prefer baking. But on the odd occasion when I do whip out the frying pan, I'm not scared to try new recipes. Especially at 10 o'clock at night. This meal was one of them and this time I got it right. So right in fact that Farmboy ate 9 of the 12 patties.

    I adapted the original recipe from here to my kitchen and ingredients here in South Korea. The two pictures I have of them don't do them any justice so you'll have to take my word for it when I say these little patties are tasty beyond measure and so easy to make.


    • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
    • 1 cup diced broccoli
    • 1/2 cup minced onion
    • 1 cup drained & flaked tuna or salmon (I used a big tin of tuna)
    • 1/2 cup rolled oats, mixed in a blender to create a fine powder (the original recipe calls for almond flower or gluten free bread crumbs)
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
    • 2 eggs
    • 1-3 tablespoons coconut oil for frying


    1. Cook your quinoa (I boiled it as per this great recipe) and leave to cool.

    2. In a medium sized skillet, sauté the broccoli and onions in 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil over medium heat until they are begin to turn soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, broccoli and onions, tuna, oats and garlic. Season with lots of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

    4. Stir in the eggs.

    5. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet.

    6. Measure out a 1/4 cup of the mixture and press into a patty shape. Gently ease onto the skillet. 

    7. Reduce temperature to medium low, and fry the patties for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Keep adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature with slices of lemon and sweet chile sauce.


    How to make your own cottage cheese {recipe}


    This is one of the easiest things I have ever made, and I was able to do it right here in South Korea with only 2 ingredients! It's super easy to do and so yummy, we won't ever be buying store bought cottage cheese again.



    2 liters of milk (I used whatever milk I could find in the stores here as I can't understand the Korean labels, but you could try it with full cream, half fat and fat free milk)

    1/3 cup vinegar (you can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. I've made it with both and haven't noticed a difference).



    Heat up the milk to 120F or 45C in a large pot or pan. I didn't have a thermometer and so heated up the milk until it was a hot, shower temperature. You can add salt/pepper/rosemary/herbs to the milk to flavour your cheese. You should be able to touch the milk without scalding yourself. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar, stirring slowly so as not to break the curds. It will start to curdle right away.

    Cover and leave to sit for about half and hour.

    Drain the curds and whey using a muslin cloth, or any other piece of cotton fabric. Drain completely. What will be left is your cottage cheese. Store in an air tight container. If it's a little on the dry side, you can add cream or more milk to your mixture. You will also need to add salt as the taste will be a little bland. It should keep for about 10 days, but ours has never lasted more than a day, it's just so good!

    Serve with sweet chile sauce and fresh coriander for maximum yumminess. 


    Peanut Butter, Banana, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip cookies {recipe}

    Oh my these cookies are yummy (freshly baked as well as eaten just out of the mixing bowl). I found the original recipe on one of my favourite food blog's Sally's Baking Addiction when looking for a use for my brown bananas and oats (or oatmeal). These cookies are wholesome (they are in fact gluten free as they contain no flour) and are super easy to whip together. They contain no flour, sugar, milk or eggs.

    I had them for breakfast (only one morning as I had eaten just about all of them the night before!) and they gave me so much energy, and kept me feeling full for the morning, thus stopping me from reaching for all the snacks in my staff room. Plus, they are filled with only good & healthy ingredients so you can absolutely justify eating cookies for breakfast.

    An important thing to note is you need instant oats for this, not rolled oats (but you can whizz your whole, rolled oats in a blender on high for a few minutes to get instant oats). 

    Happy baking!



    • 2 and 1/3 cups (190g) quick oats* (not whole oats)
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup (250g) peanut butter (or almond butter as the original recipe called for)
    • 1/4 cup (82g) pure maple syrup (or honey)
    • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
    • 1/3 cup (60g) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup (33g) sliced almonds (optional)


    Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Oil a large cookie sheet (I use coconut oil and set aside.

    Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The dough will be sticky and thick.

    Roll into balls using a teaspoon to help shape your cookies.  Drop this amount onto a cookie tray and slightly flatten the tops into desired thickness. They won't spread in the oven.

    Bake for 15 minutes until the edges are very slightly brown. Don't bake any longer or the cookies will taste dry. I took my cookies out right before they started going brown, as I like these cookies chewy. After removing from the oven, allow to cool completely (if you can stop yourself from tucking in!).

    These cookies will stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week and can be frozen up to 3 months.

    *adapted from the original recipe over on Sally's Baking Addiction

    Coconut oil banana & chocolate chip cookies {recipe}


    My friend Cassandra baked these scrumptious coconut oil banana & choc chip cookies a few weeks ago. They were soft and all kinds of melt in your mouth delicious that I had to give them a try too. I decided I would try make them a little bit 'healthier' and used whole wheat flour instead of regular white flour...what a flop. Anyway, my second batch were just about perfect, having followed exactly what the recipe called for (as most people would have done from the beginning, but I like to improvise, add and supplement recipes with what I have in my cupboard at the time. This works for me more often than not, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a husband who will willingly eat anything you bake him).

    My little oven here in Korea is a real dragon and heats up to the temperature of 10 suns in only a few minutes. So I baked these for 8 minutes at 100C (and even then I managed to nuke a few while getting distracted by something on Instagram). When you try them yourself I recommend adjusting the time according to your oven, going no more than 12 - 15 minutes before checking on them.


    Ingredients (makes about 24 cookies)

    1/2 cup coconut oil (melt if not in liquid form)

    1 egg

    1 ripe banana (I used 4 as I had 4 that were about to turn rather nasty so use according to your taste...the more you add the sweeter your cookies will be and of course the more banana flavour they will have)

    1 cup brown sugar

    1/2 cup regular sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla essence

    1 tablespoon milk

    2 1/2 cups flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    chocolate chips 


    1. Mash the bananas with a fork.

    2. Cream the oil, egg, sugars, vanilla, milk & banana and mix until smooth.

    3. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix gently.

    5. Finally add the chocolate chips and spoon your batter onto a well greased baking tray (I use hardened coconut oil to grease my pans).

    Bake in a preheated oven at 150C for 10 - 15 minutes, or until a light, golden brown.

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    Let me know if you try these super easy, and oh-so-yummy cookies...better yet, share a picture of them with us on Facebook

    Banana Bread with cranberries & chocolate chips {recipe}


    Here in South Korea it is a little tricky to get hold of most 'normal' baking ingredients (like butter for example). What tends to happen is that when you do find the item(s) you have searched for for weeks, you have to fork out double, more often triple, the price of it back home. So baking tends to be expensive. And that's why buying a small bag of 4 homemade cookie at the local bakeries costs nearly R60 or $6...outrageous.

    So I have been doing a lot of baking in our new oven. And what I have been making an awful lot of is banana bread. It's delicious, quick, and the blacker the bananas (the more rotten they are, the sweeter they are for your bread!) the cheaper they are in the's a win win really.

    So I'm going to post the original recipe here, and next to it I will post what I substituted with, or rather what I could get my hands on at the time.

    Also, I am a little slap dash when it comes to cooking. I am not a patient person, and often will just start baking without checking if I even have all the ingredients in the cupboard. In which case I improvise. My friends are horrified when they find out that I use my eye to measure things, but they never complain about the final product. It's always yummy. It works for me but it's not everyone's cup of sugar :)

    Prep: 5 mins Cooking Time: 30mins - 1 hour 

    -it took a VERY long time for my bread to cook, but that is because I have a little oven that gets hot very quickly and tends to burn things on the top without cooking through. I would put the timer on for 20 minutes and then check your bread every 5 minutes after that. You will be able to see whats going on in your oven, and you also know if you have a decent 'will-cook-through-without-burning' oven. You want the bread to be moist, but cooked. Dry banana bread is horrid. So keep testing with a sharp knife. If it pulls away clean, your bread is ready. If it comes away with even a little gooey dough on the knife, leave it in for a few more minutes.



    -3/4 ripe bananas, smashed (I used about 7 smaller bananas that had been sitting around for a good couple of weeks to ensure maximum ripeness)

    -1/3 cup butter (I used a good few solid chunks of coconut oil heated quickly until softin a small pan)

    -1 cup sugar (I used 2 small tablespoons and added a few more chocolate chips for added sweetness)

    -1 egg, beaten

    -1 teaspoon vanilla (I could only find vanilla powder and used a good heaped teaspoon)

    -1 teaspoon baking soda

    -pinch of salt

    -1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and half a cup of almond flour I had left over from here)

    -handful of cranberries

    -handful (and a half!) of chocolate chips



    No need for a mixer, a bowl and wooden spoon are more than adequate. 

    Preheat your oven to 180C. 

    With a wooden spoon, mix your butter (coconut oil) into the mashed banana. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, and sprinkle in the chocolate chips and cranberries (and anything else you feel like adding...flaked almonds & cinnamon are good extras). 

    Pour the mixture into a buttered (I used coconut oil again) loaf pan.

    Bake for 1 hour, placing on a rack to cool.


    Original recipe from SimplyRecipes.

    How to make almond flour


    Post holidays are the perfect time to get cracking on some slightly healthier cooking {and baking too!}. Almonds seems to be the the latest health food trend, with all sorts of recipes popping up from almond milk to almond flour. I came across a delicious looking recipe for pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, which calls for almond flour in place of regular wheat flour. Being in South Korea, it is often a struggle to find ingredients for most recipes, so I went looking on trusty google for a recipe for almond flour. And it couldn't be easier!

    All you need is a blender or food processor and blanched almonds (click here for a recipe to blanch your own!).

    One cup of flour is equivalent to about 1 cup of almonds.

    Simply pop the almonds into the blender and chop away. Make sure not to blend for too long, rather use the pulse function if you can, as you don't want to release the almond oil and be left with a sticky clump. 


    Super easy to do. No more excuses about the lack of almond flour in the stores. Now you can make your own, and even sprinkle it over your breakfast of cooked oats as an alternative to whole or sliced almonds...yum!

    Happy Baking.