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McCain’s Favourite Winter Warming Recipes – Beef Stew

28 Jul

McCain’s Winter-Warming Selection

I LOVE a good stew! The cold winter months are the ideal opportunity to indulge in your favourite warming recipes bringing satisfying nourishment to your family mealtimes. Create wonderfully warm family moments with delicious filling stews, casseroles, pot pies and soups. McCain has a range of vegetables and mixes, which are perfect additions to any warming meal and the McCain Stew Mix makes preparing a hearty stew quick and easy without compromising on taste.

McCain Stew Mix includes diced carrots, diced broccoli stems, diced potatoes and whole green peas, and comes in a 600g pack that allows you to cater for a big family or to simply store for another day. Because McCain vegetables are already cleaned, peeled and chopped, there is less waste, and fuss – making it easier to provide scrumptious meals the whole family will love.

McCain’s selection of tasty frozen vegetables and potatoes contain all the locked in goodness from the farm. With a wide variety to choose from, you can get creative and incorporate vegetables at every meal making sure your family is getting the recommended five servings of vegetables and fruit per day.

Below are some of McCain’s favourite winter warming recipes to chase away those winter chills.

Visit for a selection of delicious recipes.

Beef Stew with McCain Mixed Vegetables and McCain Garden Mix

Yield: 4 servings


Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes


500g                       Beef cubes

100g                       McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion

1                              Garlic cloves, minced

15g                         Butter

60g                         Celery stalks, chopped

60g                         McCain Diced Carrots

500ml                    Beef stock*

10ml                      Tomato paste

1                              Bay leaf

5ml                         Paprika

5ml                         Parsley, dried

2                              Tomatoes, chopped

50ml                      Red wine*

600ml                    Water

50g                         McCain Mixed Vegetables, quartered

50g                         McCain Garden Mix, quartered

TT                           Salt

TT                           Pepper


1.       Begin by browning off the beef cubes, until they resemble a deep golden brown and remove the meat from the pot and set aside for later use

2.       In the same pot, fry off the onion, garlic, celery and carrots

3.       Add the tomato paste and the beef stock and cook

4.       Add the bay leaves; paprika and parsley, mix through before adding the chopped tomatoes to the pot

5.       Allow the tomatoes time to breakdown and soften

6.       Deglaze* the pot with the red wine and reduce

7.       Add the water and the meat and simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally

8.       Stir in the McCain Mixed Vegetables and McCain Garden Mix and cook until tender

9.       Season well with salt and pepper and serve hot

Serving suggestion:  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes

Enjoy and keep warm.


New Lay’s Popped

19 Mar

Lay’s has introduced a tasty new snack sensation with the launch of Lay’s Popped. Available in three mouth-watering flavour combinations, delightfully light and crunchy Lay’s Popped contains all the taste but with 50% less fat*.

These delicious air popped potato snacks provide the ideal nibble to satisfy your taste cravings during a busy work day.

You’ll be spoilt for choice between: Hot &Tangy Piquanté Pepper, a flavourful blend of spicy piquanté pepper with a mild rush of heat; White Cheddar & Spring Onion, a tasty combination of tangy and savoury and Peri Peri Prawn, a flame grilled prawn taste with a hint of lemon and a kick of peri peri.

So Look out for new Lay’s Popped at select stores in Gauteng from March 2014




Sparrow College – a way forward

5 Feb

My life is one of remarkable blessing – currently completing my third year at varsity full-time for my second degree is a rare story that not everyone can to tell. Education is essential in our Country, South Africa and it needs to be a greater more poignant focus.

Towards the end of last year, I was invited to a VERY delicious luncheon (you’ll know how I love food) served by the student chefs at Sparrow College in the Johannesburg, Westrand. Let me just tell you that I got to learn a thing or two that day, especially about palate cleansers and I’m not talking about that wooden-thingy a doctor uses to check your throat! Delectable lemon sorbet! Enough said.

This FET (further education training) was established in 2011 and is the first FET College in South Africa for learners with barriers to learning. I was given an opportunity to interview an instructor whose passion lies in educating young people and equipping them with life skills, as well as one of the graduands who was full of life and grateful for the opportunity afforded to her. It was a place where young adults who have had trouble finding suitable employment are being equipped with necessary skills AND the chance to be put into a working environment that provides them with a sense of dignity rather than strife. Thanks so collaboration from Spar and a few Industry representatives, all these SETA accredited courses are offered in partnership with these Industry representatives, which offer the relevant insight, work experience and sometimes tuition funding for learners who are unable to meet the financial demands of the training.


A perfect example of this mutually beneficial model is the Assistant Chef NQF Level 2 Bursary Program endorsed by SPAR. Sixteen candidates were enrolled on this nationally recognized program. Students started the fast-paced 17-week training program in basic food preparation and presentation. Following 9 weeks of intensive training at the college, students spend 8 weeks at a SPAR outlet as part of the required work experience. This fully funded program gives the learner an incredible opportunity; they are able to study at no cost, receive valuable work experience, with the possibility of full time employment with Spar once they have successfully completed their qualification. This places specialized training and employment within reach of individuals who would not have been able to access such opportunities without the participation of training providers and companies such as Sparrow FET and SPAR. One such individual is Palesa Majila, who was previously unemployed and is now based at a SPAR outlet, completing her workplace experience.



Students are offered full qualifications and skills programmes in the following:

  • Furniture and Cabinet Making accredited by FP&M SETA
  • Automotive and Repair accredited by MERSETA
  • Welding accredited by MERSETA
  • Floorlaying with CETA
  • Catering with CATHSETA

On completion of the qualification our learners are awarded with a National Certificate. And that is very good news for someone looking for a hand-up rather than a hand-out. Well done Sparrow. Watch the video below and donate towards this great initiative, with a 26% youth unemployment rate, the vibrant youth of South Africa need all the help that they can get.

Help a child reach five even after Global Hand-washing Day

14 Oct

So I’m a bit delayed but you can still be a part of the initiative to save lives. Last week was Global Handwashing Day (15 October) and Lifebuoy still wants to highlight the importance of proper handwashing with soap as a simple but effective measure to combat the spread of common infections.

Global Handwashing Day was an international initiative by key stakeholders to increase awareness around the benefits of developing a healthy hand washing routine. Over 200 million people are involved in recognising Global Handwashing Day in over 100 countries around the world.

Every year 3,5 million children under the age of five around the world, die due to infections such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Developing a daily handwashing routine, using soap and running water, has been shown to be among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these common infections. However despite its life saving potential, many people have yet to adopt a daily, simple and efficient hand washing routine.

Be part of the social change and join Lifebuoy this Global Handwashing Day to reach millions of school children and mothers by changing handwashing behaviour from an abstract good idea into automatic behaviour in homes, schools & in your community.

It can’t be done alone so Lifebuoy needs you to pledge your support on , or tweet using #GHDLB, together let’s help every child reach their fifth birthday.


McCain’s Favourite Winter Warming Recipes – McCain Lamb Pot Pie

30 Sep

2013-07-25 16.02.09 2013-07-25 16.02.47

What the hell happened to Spring??? Up here in the Highveld, it feels like another winter day and that’s making me wish for comfort food. So I decided that tonight we will have something warm and delicious. Here’s a really great and easy to follow recipe for Lamb Pot pie. Enjoy

Yield: Approximately 4 servings

Cooking time: 60-75 minutes


500g   Lamb, Cubes

To Taste  Salt

To Taste  Pepper

100 g   Flour

2 Tbsp   Olive Oil

1 Tbsp   Butter

100 g   McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion

1    Garlic, clove, minced

1 cup    Celery + Leek, chopped

50 g    Tomato Paste

100 ml   Red Wine (*Optional)

1 Lt    Beef Stock

1   Tomato, chopped

5 Sprigs   Rosemary

Small Handful  Parsley

1   Bay Leaf

500 g    McCain Stew Mix


1 Roll   Puff Pastry

25-50 ml  Egg wash (equal amount egg and milk)


  1. Season the lamb cubes with salt and pepper and dust with the flour
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large pot over high heat and seal the lamb in batches until golden brown remove and keep aside for later use
  3. In the same pot add the McCain Chef’s Solution Diced Onion, garlic, celery, leek and cook until soft
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes
  5. Deglaze with the red wine, add the beef stock and bring to the boil
  6. Add the lamb cubes, rosemary, parsley, bay leaf and bring to the boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer until the lamb is soft, but not falling apart
  7. Remove from heat, stir in the McCain Stew Mix, season with salt and pepper and allow to cool
  8. Preheat oven to 180C.  Roll out puff pastry and cut disks big enough to line a pie dish/s
  9. Divide the pie filling between the pie dish/s and top with the pastry lid
  10. Brush with egg wash and cut a small hole in the top
  11. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown