Introducing the LG NeoChef

The last microwave I bought, and have been using faithfully, was an LG. I had broken up with a boyfriend who I was living with and had sold all my furniture and appliances when I moved in to his place, and so upon starting fresh I had to go and re-buy everything. I don’t know why I remember it so clearly, but I got it from the House and Home in Sandton City. That trusty silver LG microwave has seen me through breakups, get togethers, house moves, 2 dogs, a fiancee, countless dinner parties, a marriage and 1.5 children.

When LG sent me the brand new LG NeoChef microwave a few weeks ago, I was really really excited. Growing old(er) is both exciting and depressing. Suddenly, new appliances and gadgets far outshine the thrill of clothes and toys, and I’m not ashamed to say I Googled the NeoChef the second I heard I would be receiving one.

I could wax lyrical about all its benefits – including a tempered glass front, a refined matte exterior and intuitive sliding touch control – but to be perfectly honest – the thing that wowed me the most was the sound it made when it finished cooking something. I think I pushed ‘Quick Start’ seventeen times just to hear the little jungle it would sing to me. I never thought I would enjoy waiting for a microwave to beep as much as I do now.

A microwave becomes part of a household and for most of us, is as necessary as a fridge and freezer. We use it daily to heat, re-heat and defrost, and I suppose for 90% of households, that’s good enough. We were the ‘heat and re-heat’ kind family until our NeoChef arrived. One of the biggest reasons I’m loving it, is that it helped with 2 problems – one temporary and one permanent. The first issue was that the day it arrived we were mid re-flooring the whole house, which took ages longer than expected (you may have heard about the #RankinRenovation drama on my Instagram and Facebook pages) and, because of the delayed building, we were living like gypsies, with all all our furniture (including the oven) outside on the patio for over 2 weeks. It was such a battle to cook anything that wasn’t takeaways, so when I found out the microwave had a built in air fryer and roasting option, I suddenly felt like I could resume semi-control of my kitchen. Eventually, furniture and appliances were moved back inside, but the one thing the LG saved me from was what I now refer to as ‘oven guilt’. We have a gorgeous gas oven, but because it’s a double size one, I always felt bad about turning it on and heating it up to cook one small dish. The NeoChef gives me the option to cook pretty much 80% of the food I would use my oven for, in a faster and more economical way.

Oven-less living

However, the proof really is in the pudding. Or, in my case, the chicken, To really test the capabilities of the LG NeoChef I invited my brother (an excellent cook and intimidating chef) round for lunch. The catch? Everything had to be done in the LG NeoChef.

I made an (according to them, as I have been vegetarian for 23 year) incredible roast chicken (I mean, the reviews were positively New-York Times bestselling), roast butternut salad, lemon-chilli angelfish and gravy – all using the NeoChef.

 

To prove just how delish everything came out, my brother – AKA ‘Masterchef’ sent me this message the following day:

As a soon-to-be family of 4 I am really keen to start making bigger, better and more inspired meals for my family – and the NeoChef has given me the perfect excuse to do just that. In my follow up blog post I’m going to be chatting about some new ‘ICan’tBelieveYouCookedThatInAMicrowave‘ recipes that I’ve made, just using the LG NeoChef.

 

 

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Jamie Oliver Home Cooker and Chopper

It’s hard think that just 2 weekends ago I was dressed in boots, scarves and a jacket. Sitting at my desk now its a muggy 30 degrees, the air is thick with heat and Jozi is in desperate need of some rain.

This post, therefore may leave you terrorized as it involves hot and spicy food – not exactly appropriate for the heatwave we are experiencing!

As you may now, I love cooking. As you may not know, I despise cooking prep – chopping, peeling, dicing and slicing. I always have. Then, like an answer to my prayers I was sent the most incredible tool (cue the sounds of angels singing) – The Jamie Oliver Home Cooker and Chopper – a device which promises to take the stress and admin out of home-cooking. Sounds too good to be true, right?

I thought I would give it a true test a few weeks ago on a particularly cold Saturday. Currently on a Paleo detox and craving comfort food I though that making something yummy on my Jamie Oliver Home-cooker would be the perfect experiment. 

Ooh, shiny.

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This thing looks daunting – like a big silver cooking machine. Turns out, it couldn’t be simpler. You simply adjust the turny-thingy, chuck in your food, adjust the temperature, pop the lid on and then use your free time to do something worthwhile (In my case it was catching up on The Kardashians, don’t judge). It also chops, peels grates and all that time-consuming stuff.

I’ve now made several dishes on this bad boy (including soup, stew and a rather delectable lemon risotto). The most recent meal I made was this spicy (Paleo friendly) vegetable curry.

Step 1: Plug in your Jamie Oliver Home Cooker and Chopper

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Step 2: Pick and choose a variety of vegetables and seasoning. I use fresh Indian spices and grind them in a pestle and mortar. 

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Step 3: Admire your chopped vegetables. 

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Step 4: Add onions, spices and coconut oil to your Cooker

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Step 5: Add ingredients, set the timer, pop on the lid

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Step 6: Go do something constructive while your food cooks itself

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I ate the entire batch before I remembered I needed to take a photo. if I remember correctly the result went something like this: 

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Thanks for turning me into a mini-Masterchef, Jamie!

The Jamie Oliver Home Cooker and Chopper (from Philips) is available at all good retailers as well as YuppieChef. It retails for around R4,595.

Happy Cooking!

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Vegetable soup

Really you ask. Veg soup is the topic of this post?

Let me tell you, dear friends about the unsung hero that is veggie soup. Never has a dish so versatile been found. This food can cure the common cold, encourage weight loss and take the chill out of a cold winter night. Also, having just come back from a rather pleasurable evening with my beastie and her fiancé and after having drunk several bottles of red and devouring a bowl of home made veggie soup, I thought it would be fitting to pay homage to this simple yet classic dish.

Kate’s veg soup :

Chop as many veggies as you can get your hands on – paying special attention to celery, carrots and beans.
Sautéed onions in olive oil until transparent, then add a few tablespoons of paprika and sautée for a minute more.
Add various vegetables until you think it’s time to add water ( relax, its almost impossible to cock up up veg soup)
Add a tin of tomatoes or a small tin of tomato paste
Add a stock cube or stock pot. If you don’t have these, a tablespoon of marmite or a dash of worstershire sauce does the trick.
Salt and pepper to taste
Chilli to taste
Make sure you add in whole celery leaves – these add great flavor and can be scooped put before serving.
Simmer
(I often add in red kidney beans or potatoes/pasta shells/ brown rice for starch. It it’s completely up to you)

Simmer for a few hours and enjoy (soup can also be frozen and is about 99% cheaper than your local quality grocery store. (No names mentioned, but rhymes with FullBirths).

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