Angela Day has been involved for a few years with Acres of Love, a non-profit organisation which cares for abandoned and HIV and Aids babies and infants. We have done holiday baking with the children at their homes and sent excess baked goodies from photo shoots for the children.
When David Potter, operations and administration manager for the group, approached me to do a cooking session for a group of the housemothers, I was happy to oblige.
He explained that the housemothers were employed by Acres of Love to be substitute parents to the children, taking care of their needs.
The housemothers wanted ideas for economical meals as well as ideas of what to put in the children’s lunchboxes, besides sandwiches.
David explained that the aim of Acres of Love was to provide more than the basic living necessities normally offered by institutional orphanages.
It provided orphaned and abandoned children and children suffering from HIV and Aids with a family home in a suburb. These children are cared for and raised by houseparents who treat them as their own. Children grow up in a house with a garden and sometimes a swimming pool, and they attend local schools and are integrated into the community.
Acres of Love owns and operates 21 children’s homes in Gauteng, with another three homes under development.
After a session at the Angela Day Kitchen at the Lifestyle Garden Centre in Randpark Ridge, the house- mothers left armed with a comprehensive recipe leaflet and plenty of enthusiasm to go home to prepare some tasty new dishes for their children.
Regional co-ordinator Lora Doman said after the session was over: “Our children will benefit greatly and some very yummy food will appear on their menus – and very nutritious at that.”
BULKED UP SPICY BEEF MINCE
30ml sunflower oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 stalks of celery, chopped
500g beef mince
10ml ground cumin
10ml ground coriander
400g can of chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
400g can of lentils, drained and rinsed
250ml water or beef stock
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, garlic, carrots and celery until soft. Add the mince and cook, stirring to break up the lumps. Cook until brown.
Add the spices and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, lentils and stock and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Season to taste and serve.
LENTIL AND SOYA PASTA BAKE
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g packet soya granules
300g macaroni or other pasta, cooked
50g butter or margarine
60g cheese grated
Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic. Add the soya granules, water, tomatoes and lentils and simmer stirring frequently for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
PREPARE SAUCE: Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and cook for a minute. Stir in milk and bring to the boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and season.
Combine the soya mixture with the cooked pasta and spoon into an ovenproof dish. Pour over the sauce. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling.
Makes 8 children’s meals
500ml cooked wholewheat pasta
410g can of baked beans in tomato sauce
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
250ml cabbage, shredded
170g tuna in brine, drained and flaked
salt and pepper to taste
60ml tomato sauce or chutney
30ml chopped parsley
Mix the cooked pasta with the baked beans. Add the green pepper, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, tuna and salt. Mix gently.
Mix mayonnaise and tomato sauce or chutney with the parsley and spoon over the salad.
Season to taste and mix well.
EGG AND LENTIL CURRY
1 onion, finely chopped
10ml crushed garlic
10ml curry powder
400g can of tomatoes, chopped
pinch of sugar
250ml vegetable stock
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
fresh coriander to garnish
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the curry powder and fry for a minute, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes, sugar and stock. Simmer for about five minutes until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
Add the eggs and lentils, cover and simmer for a further five minutes.
Serve garnished with coriander.
ROLLED CHEESE AND MARMITE MUFFINS
500ml self-raising flour
60g butter or margarine
125ml buttermilk or milk
50g butter or margarine, softened
10ml Marmite or Bovril
125g cheddar cheese, grated
Sift flour into a bowl. Rub the margarine into flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Combine buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Add the buttermilk and mix to form a dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface.
Knead gently until smooth. Roll out to a 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Mix the margarine and Marmite together and spread over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Roll up the dough from the long side like a Swiss roll.
Cut into 12 slices and place each slice in a paper-lined muffin pan.
Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place muffins on a cooling rack.