Daniella Lagerwey is our #WHNextFitFoodie. She handstand-walked over the other top contenders – all incredible foodies in their own right – to win our inaugural competition sponsored by Whirlpool. We love her not only for her balancing acts and toned biceps, but for her motivational Insta posts and rainbow-rich abundance bowls. Growing up as a provincial swimmer (including the odd South African representation), fitness has always been a big part of Daniella’s life. She went on to do her honours in sports science at the University of Pretoria and now coaches others to live their best healthy fit lives (she’s a PT, group class instructor and sports massage therapist). And she’s launched a range of rusks under her label Healthy Homemade D’lights, which you can buy online at NaturalHealthWarehouse.com. In between push-ups, competing at CrossFit Fittest In Cape Town, obstacle-course racing and hiking, you can find her hanging with her hubby Trevor – a MH cover guy! Serious couple goals
FOR THE POLENTA CHIPS
— 8 cups water
— Olive oil
— 1 stock cube
— 2 cups polenta
— 2 tbsp Parmesan, plus extra
— Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PICKLED ONIONS
— 1 red onion, cut into 3mm-thick rings
— 1⁄3 cup olive oil
— 1⁄4 cup red-wine vinegar
— 3 tsp salt
— 1 tsp origanum
FOR THE MAYO (MAKES ABOUT ONE CUP)
— 1 large egg (at room temperature)
— 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
— 1 tsp red-wine vinegar
— 1⁄4 tsp Himalayan salt, or to taste
— 1 cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
— 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
— 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
— Pinch cayenne pepper
FOR THE PATTY
— 100g sweet potato
— 100g butternut
— 1⁄2 red onion, finely diced
— Big handful coriander, finely chopped
— 1⁄2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
— 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
— 1 cup cooked quinoa
— 1⁄2 cup oats
— 1⁄2 tsp cumin
— 1⁄2 tsp origanum
— 1ml cayenne pepper
— 1⁄2 tsp salt
— 1 jumbo egg
— 2 tsp lemon juice
Butter lettuce leaves 1 avocado, sliced Fresh coriander
1. The night before, prepare the polenta. Pour the water into a pot over medium heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil and the stock cube. When the water reaches a simmer, slowly whisk in the polenta grains. Keep mixing until it starts to thicken, then add the Parmesan and mix it in. Turn down the heat and stir every five minutes. You can add more water as you go if the mixture becomes too dry – it should be a thick porridge-like consistency. Let it cook for about 30 minutes or so, continuing to stir every so often. It’s ready when the texture isn’t so grainy and becomes a much smoother consistency. Let it sit for a few minutes, then pour it into a loaf tin. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day, preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a baking tray with olive oil. Cut the polenta into thick ‘chips’, season and coat evenly with Parmesan, then place on the tray. Place in the oven to crisp up, turning after 15 to 20 minutes. They’re done when they’re crispy all over.
3. For the pickled onions, place all the ingredients in a jar and marinate for about 20 minutes. Turn the jar over every five minutes for best results. The longer you marinate the onions, the more intense the pickle and the softer they’ll become.
4. For the mayo, add the egg, mustard, vinegar and salt to a tall jar and, using a handheld blender, mix the ingredients together for about 20 seconds. Then, while blending, add the oil very slowly until a quarter of it has been used. Once the mixture has thickened, you can add the oil a little faster. Add the lemon juice (to taste), coriander and cayenne pepper at the end.
5. For the patties, steam the sweet potato and butternut in the microwave for five minutes, then drain the water and set the veggies aside to cool before chopping. In a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potato and butternut, plus the remaining ingredients. Mash the mixture until well combined.
6. Divide the patty mixture into eight large balls. Grease a frying pan and place over a high heat. Add the patties, in batches, and lower the heat to medium/low. Cook for a few minutes, then flatten the patties slightly with a spatula. Flip after 10 to 15 minutes, cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the pan.
7. To assemble, place two patties on a bed of butter lettuce, top with a dollop of mayo, a few pickled onions, fresh avo and fresh coriander. Serve with the crispy Parmesan polenta chips.