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    Where to eat Vegetarian in Stellenbosch #CTVC

    Are you a vegetarian in Stellenbosch, or are you also taking part in the Cape Town Vegan Challenge? It can sometimes be frustrating to find a place to eat that has a variety of options to suit your dietary needs.

    Here is a list of restaurants in Stellenbosch that will not let you down:

    1.Kauai – country wide and popular restaurant/take-away, that serves famous smoothies, and offer a variety of vegetarian meals (two branches).

    Eikestad Mall, 43 Adringa Street
    Tel: (021) 886 6892

    Shop No 6 De Wet Centre Cnr Bird & Church Street
    Tel: (021) 887 2742


    2.Simply Asia – popular franchise offering a vegetarian section. In my opinion, ask for the normal meals without meat, it’s less boring than the vegetarian options.

    54 Dorp Street
    Tel: (021) 886 7382


    3.Col’Cacchio have specially marked options on their menu to suit your needs, just remove the cheese for vegan options. They offer an extremely large variety of options.

    Simonsplein Centre, Plein Street
    Tel: (021) 886 7088

    Special: 50% off Pizza on Monday’s until 31 August 2014


    4.Steers have a vegetarian burger that is extremely yummy! The only take-away franchise that have an awesome option for vegetarians. (three branches) (NB – relish is not vegan and patty grilled on same grill as meat)

    Simonsrust Shopping Centre, Cnr Cluver & Helshoogte Road
    Tel: (021) 883 9770

    Eikestad Mall
    Tel: (021) 886 5718

    Die Boord Centre
    Tel: (021) 887 89995.


    5.Makaron restaurant

    Houtkapper Street, Paradyskloof

    Tel: (021) 880 15496.


    6.Dimi’s Bistro is a Greek restaurant in lower Dorp Street that are open for breakfast and lunch, perfect for business meetings.

    8 Dorp Street
    Tel: (021) 883 2977


    7.Cold Gold is not a restaurant, but an artisan ice cream producer, where you can request custom made products to suit your vegetarian and even vegan needs. They also have a ton of different flavours to choose from.

    Bosman’s Crossing Square, Distillery Road
    Tel: 074 182 5510


    8.Bukhara serves mean Indian cuisine, with quite a large vegetarian selection.

    6 Bird Street

    Tel: (021) 882 9133


    9.Gino’s, the family favourite Italian restaurant. Be sure to find many vegetarian pizza and pasta varieties at extremely affordable prices.

    De Kelder, 63 Dorp Street
    Tel: (021) 887 9786


    10.Bodega on Dornier Wine Estate have many vegetarian starters at the moment and one main.

    Dornier Wine Estate, Blaauwklippen Road
    Tel: (021) 880 0557


    11.Basic Bistro in the heart of Stellenbosch, has a surprisingly large variety of dishes that are suitable for vegetarians at their cosy restaurant.

    31 Church Street

    Tel: (021) 883 3629


    12.The Birdcage. Although their focus is mainly on delicious cupcakes, be sure to find even gluten-free cupcakes at this cute eatery.

    Van Riebeeck Street

    Tel: (021) 882 9790


    13.De Stomme Jonge will serve you a variety of gourmet roosterkoeke.

    3 Ryneveld Street

    Tel: 082 054 0125

    de stomme

    14.House of Curries offers a selection of dishes made with paneer, so only vegetarian options available here.

    Cnr Alexander and Bird Street

    Tel: (021) 809 6403


    15.Genki is a sushi restaurant, but remember, vegetarian options also exist. Genki also have a few dishes and tapas with edamame.

    De Wet Centre, Corner Bird and Church St

    Tel: (021) 887 5699


    For more information with regards to the Cape Town Vegan Challende, go to (#CTVC @CTveganchalleng)

    Want to add your restaurant or a suggestion to the list? Please contact or leave a comment below.


    The Mediterranean diet

    The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its beneficial contribution towards a healthy heart. The majority of the diet is focused on consuming large amounts of fruits, vegetables and vegetarian proteins. Moderate amounts of whole grains are also consumed, and only small amounts of red meat. The higher fat content of this diets is attributed to the regular and generous use of fish, nuts and olive oil. Because the fats in this diet is mostly unsaturated, it is good for the heart.

    According to the Mediterranean food pyramid, getting enough physical activity is very important. And as a guideline, 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week is suggested.

    The food pyramid:

    The Mediterranean Food Pyramid


    Lean red meat (beef, pork, veal, lamb) should only be eaten 3-4 times per month. Sweets should also be limited, and replaced with fruit for dessert.


    Egg yolks should be limited to 4 times a week, whiles egg whites can be eaten every day. Fish/shellfhish should be consumed every week (2-3 servings) and not fried; instead use cooking methods such as baking, sauté, roast or grilling. Poultry should only be eaten if it is desired, as it is not necessary for this diet (1-3 servings).


    Non-starchy vegetables should be consumed daily (4-8 servings), and these include all vegetables except potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash.  Fruit (2-4 servings) should be eaten whole to increase the fiber content. Fruit juice should be limited because of the high sugar content. Dairy products (1-3 servings) should be consumed in the low fat form to reduce the amount of saturated fats in the diet. Whole grains and starchy vegetables (4-6 servings) are high in fiber and have less effect on blood sugar than refined, processed grains such as white bread and pasta. Whole grains also contribute to satiety. Choose options such as whole wheat bread or pitas, whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash. Legumes and nuts should be eaten in moderation, but 1-3 servings of 2 Tbsp are allowed. Alcohol can be consumed daily (except when interfering with medication etc), but should not exceed one drink for women, and two for men.

    Health benefits:

    The Mediterranean diet has been widely known for being THE heart healthy diet. Studies have exemplified the decrease in mortality after switching to a Mediterranean diet. The diet is cited often as being low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and dietary fiber. Wine that is often associated with the Mediterranean diet has health benefits, because of its high content of polyphenolic compounds, which have antioxidative properties. When consuming moderately and regularly, the health benefits are evident.

    After a recent 15 year long observational study, it was confirmed that the Mediterranean diet can improve the health of individuals by reducing the occurrence of chronic diseases in women over the age of 50. (Annals of Internal Medicine 159 (9): 584-591)


    Date and Banana Bran Muffins :: A Mother’s Day Idea


    This is a great and easy-to-make breakfast idea for Mother’s day. They are delicious, moist and slightly sweet, perfect to serve with a little bit of butter and cheese, and some Rooibos tea on the side. This recipe is a healthier alternative to normal white muffins as they are very high in fiber, which aids to satiety and a healthy digestive tract, while also being very tasty! Give these a go and let me know what you think!


    (makes about 24 small muffins, or 12 standard muffins)

    1 1/2 cups wheat bran (or All Bran flakes)
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/3 cup butter/margarine
    2/3 cup brown/treacle sugar
    1/2 cup dates
    1 banana
    1 egg
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp vanilla essence

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease or line your muffin tray with muffin liners.
    2. Mix the wheat bran and the buttermilk in a bowl, and let it soak for at least 10 min.
    3. Beat the egg, butter, sugar, banana and vanilla essence.
    4. Add the soaked wheat bran and buttermilk to the mixture.
    5. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the mixture and stir thoroughly until mixed well.
    6. Scoop the muffin batter into the muffin cups and bake for 15-20 min until done, cool and enjoy!


    To avoid using butter/margarine in this muffin recipe, substitute it with apple sauce. The pectin in the apple sauce will help with the binding during baking.
    You can also reduce the amount of sugar added.

    You can also view the full step-by-step video here!

    People who live the longest – Blue Zones

    An innovative study, lead by Dan Buettner and National Geographic, has been conducted on the diets of individuals who live the longest, which then evolved into demographics and/or geographic areas of the world where people were healthier and lived measurably longer than the average individuals. These areas have been named “Blue Zones” and include cities like  Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece and Vilcabamba in Ecuador. (Learn more about the Blue Zone story here).

    Significant correlations in both diet and lifestyle were observed for these different areas where people live longer and have a better life quality. There include (but are not limited to):

    1. Family comes first and the communities are socially engaged.

    2. Less to no smoking.

    3. More plant-based diets and eat only until they are 80% full.

    4. Constant moderate activity.

    Other interesting characteristics about these zones include that moderate consumption of wine is also part of the diet in some cases. These wines provide a high polyphenolic (antioxidant) content which promotes the health of consumers. Another characteristic is that the individuals in these zones have no “time urgency”, meaning they are never pressed for time or under the stress that most of the world is under. And therefore stress related aging is eliminated. Gardening is also popular among these areas, which also contributes to the constant moderate activity aspect and plant based diets. 

    To improve our own healht, we can learn from these traits and incorporate it into our own lives.

    For more reading, consider the book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner.


    (photo from


    Crispy baked sweet potato ribbons

    This is a good alternative snack to potato chips to serve friends when you have them over for dinner, or to eat at home by yourself. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber and more vitamin A and C compared to white potatoes. Sweet potatoes also have fewer calories by weight, although its sugar content is higher. These home made “crisps” are also much lower in sodium (depending on your hand) compared to store bought products. Follow these simple steps to prepare them.


    These crunchy treats can be make either plain or with spices, and you will need the following:

    1 large sweet potato
    1 Tbsp olive oil

    Optional spices:
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp dried chillies
    1/2 tsp garlic powder (or one clove chopped garlic)


    1. Peel and wash the sweet potato.

    2. Prepare the sweet potato ribbons by using a vegetable peeler. Peel the entire sweet potato.


    3. Prepare your seasoning, by mixing the desired spices with the olive oil. In my case, I used a combination of salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, thyme and chili flakes. You can keep it plain as well by only using a little bit of salt with the olive oil. This will focus more on the natural sweetness of this vegetable.

    4. Toss the ribbons in the olive oil spice mix and spread the ribbons out onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper.

    5. Place the tray in a pre-heated oven (100ºC / 210º F) for 1 hour, or until golden brown and crispy. About halfway through you can rearrange the ribbons in order for the ones that need more heat to separate from the rest. These ribbons will shrink to about 25% of their original size, so do not be afraid of overloading the oven tray.


    Finally you will be left with beautifully crisp, crunchy and spicy sweet potato ribbons, perfect for snacking. Serve in a decorative bowl; no dips required. 



    Alternatively, view the video:


    Gino’s 10 km Night Race 2014 – Stellenbosch Event!

    The annual Gino’s 10 km Night Race is a popular running event among the students and residents of Stellenbosch and surrounds. This year it will take place on the 19th of February at 18h30.

    The route starts at Coetzenburg Athletics Stadium, takes you over Eerste Rivier, through the University campus and past the schools of Stellenbosch, making your way back to Coetzenburg.

    Enter online at TopEvents or on race day from 16h00.


    Nutrition and Health Trends for 2014

    Surveys are conducted annually by nutrition experts to predict popular diet, nutrition and health trends for the new year. Over 500 Registered Dietitians partook in this survey to determine which foods are on the top of the list. 14 topics have been suggested to headline 2014, as reported by the nutrition magazine Today’s Dietitian, and here they are:

    1. Anti-wheat / Gluten-free.  Google’s most searched for weight-less regime in 2013 was certainly the Caveman diet, also known as Paleo diet. Gluten-free and ‘wheat-belly” also falls into this category. The lack of evidence to support this type of diet with successful weight-loss will not stop individuals from continuing this trend, and will continue to be a very popular diet belief for 2014.

    2. Ancient grains are very “in” again. A little contradictory to the low grain diets, ancient grains are popular once more. These grains include quinoa, millet and wheat berries, and are nutritionally superior than refined grains. These grains are unfortunately more expensive; and mostly only available in health stores.

    3. Kale, coconut oil and chia seeds. Another trend from 2013 that will continue in 2014. Kale has been served up franticly in 2013, from being used as a staple ingredient in green juices or smoothies, baked into crispy chips, to adding it in salads. Kale is not as popular in South Africa. I cannot say that I have ever seen it on our supermarket shelves. These superfoods, including coconut-oil, with its high concentration of plant based saturated fat, will be popular again in 2014.

    4. “Low-fat” is so last year. The low-fat trend is finally over. Fats are being added back to diets as low-fat diet regimes did not prove to lower body fat. Consumers should however include good fats back into their diets instead of saturated animal fats.

    5. MyPlate. The new American “food pyramid”. This is just the new suggestion for Americans to help fill their plate correctly, with better guidelines and suggestions than the old food pyramid. Please see bottom of entry for South Africa’s food guide*.

    6. “Health” in the grocery store. The supermarket dietitian is apparently the fastest growing job these days, as “health” is becoming increasingly important to consumers.

    7. Comparison to others. Consumers compare their diet and exercise habits to those of TV personalities and health TV-shows. The comparison also extends to family members and friends.

    8. Celebrity/TV doctors. Health information is becoming more popular on television. Whether you are a celebrity doctor, trainer or chef, consumers will be obsessed with you.

    9. Health bloggers will be turned to even more this year compared to previous years. Healthy lifestyle blogs usually offer a fun daily or weekly dose of inspiration. This includes workout ideas, nutritional facts and opinion, and healthy recipes.

    10. Opinion trumps research. Unfortunately most of the nutritional knowledge of consumers is based on opinions rather than research. And this could lead to increasing misinformation this year. Individuals should make sure that, for example, the information that they open themselves up to are based on sound scientific proof.

    11. Sustainable & local food are favoured in 2014. This means that consumers will most likely be looking for more sustainable and locally produced foods.

    12. Comfortable. It is said that Americans are too comfortable and okay with their weight and being overweight. South Africans may very well follow the same trend. 

    13. More fruits and vegetables. This may be the only positive nutrition trend to see in 2014. Dietitians recommend adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet to improve overall health. 

    14. Interest in nutrition and weight-loss will increase even more in 2014. Consumers become more hungry for healthy information.

    Compared to the general trends for 2013 which included improving balancing macro-nutrient intake, supplements, plant-based diets, going digital, no-GMO, organic, “super”everything, fermented foods, alkaline, addition of more spices, whole foods, feed kids like adults etc., 2014′s predictions seem right on the money as the transition started towards the end of last year already. You might have noticed this when you read this article, like some of the points seem to be “so obvious”. My personal favourite trends are adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, and supporting locally produced goods.

    *South African Food Guide:
    South Africa also launched a new Food Guide during the National Nutrition Week of 2012.

    Next week: South Africa’s new Food Guide explained.