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Wining & Dining and loving life! 

Choosing kindness in your kitchen, selecting vegan options, ensuring you buy free-range & organic animal protein … it’s all about making the best choices in life.

Should we be snacking between meals. Absolutely! Particularly if the choice is from the new RAW range from Woolies. You can enjoy mindful treating with this range of vegan treats … our faves are the Cocoa Dusted Almonds and the Cacao Dusted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Mix, but also look out for the equally delish Cacao Dusted Cranberries.

Dusted with responsibly sourced cocoa and sweetened with coconut sugar – it’s the perfect guilt-free treat. You’ll find them for R24.99 on the Woolies counters or online.

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Choose organic. This Spier First Stone Organic Red 2015 is a blend of 60 per cent Merlot and 40 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, and was made with grapes grown organically at Spier. It’s rich and complex flavours include cherry, cassis, fennel and allspice. It spent 24 months maturing in French oak, and you’ll love it now, but you’ll be rewarded with patience … leave on your wine rack for three to five years and then bring it out for a special dinner of grass-fed ribeye and truffled mash on a cold winter’s night. R320 from shop.spier.co.za

Hot chocolate with absolutely no guilt! This NOMU Vegan Hot Chocolate is rich and creamy, using a plant-based creamer, sustainably-sourced cocoa powder and real, organic dark chocolate pieces. So all the warm, indulgent chocolatey taste, with absolutely no dairy. Not just for Vegans! R70 nomu.co.za

Keeping up with family and friends when organising dinner has become a little tricky. There’s keto and low-carb. Carb liberal and vegan. And occasionally … all of the above. Hello Plant-Forward Keto, which gives you an array of options and flexible meal plans to go beyond the diet and embrace your love of food! In this new book Liz MacDowell shows you how to keep healthy plant foods at the centre of your plate while allowing a little meat on the side when you want to, while still reaping all the benefits of a keto diet. The fun and delicious plant-based recipes focus on using whole-food ingredients while allowing for mixing and matching of smaller amounts of animal protein. Penguin, R540

The Kind Kitchen is not just the title of a cookbook. No it is the name of a restaurant. Rather, it embodies a way of living for Jay Mac. As he says, ‘‘We don’t have a Planet B to call home! This one is all we have, and we have the power to change the way we treat mother earth through the foods we choose to eat.” Being vegan doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of lentils and lettuce leaves. Jay’s innovative and imaginative recipes reimagine all your favourite dishes, from mac ‘n cheese, chicken wings, burritos, bao buns and maki rolls, to burgers and bunny chow. When it comes to sweet treats, he has adapted family favourites, such as milk tart, pumpkin fritters and cheesecake, to be dairy free, while his smoothies and plant-based milks mean less reliance on store-bought products. Jay Mac has mastered the art of turning mushrooms into chicken, carrots into lox, celeriac into fish and beetroot into burgers, as well as the even darker art of making meat from wheat. In this book, he shares his secrets for how to make tasty, tempting and affordable vegan food at home. Penguin, R320

Pork belly skewers with sticky bitter orange dipping marinade

Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin from Steenberg Farm has shared her up-until-now-secret signature recipe for pork belly skewers with sticky bitter orange dipping marinade. They take less than an hour to prep and prepare, and this serves six.

You’ll need: 500g pork belly – no bone, and rind removed; olive oil; Togarashi spice; salt and pepper

To make: Halve the pork belly pieces, place on a skewer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and togarashi spice. Togarashi has a nice chilli bite so use as much to need to suit your taste buds.

In a preheated pan, pan-fry the pork on medium heat until golden on both sides. Turn down to a low heat and continue cooking until cooked through.

For the sticky bitter orange dipping marinade, you’ll need: 125g sugar; 30m red wine vinegar; 500ml chicken stock; 10ml soy sauce; 35 drops Angostura Bitters; 1 orange; 15g corn flour; 20ml water; 30g butter

To make: Place the sugar in a pot on a medium heat, allow the sugar to melt and start to caramelise. Once the sugar reaches a light brown colour; deglaze with red wine vinegar and stock. Bring the sauce to the boil and reduce by half, add the juice of one orange, Angostura Bitters, soy sauce, and butter. Dissolve the corn flour in the water, thicken the sauce with the corn flour and water solution and season with salt.

Serve the pork skewers warm with the sticky sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping or drizzled liberally over them. Serve, obviously, with a glass of your favourite Steenberg wine.

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