Healthy dinner ideas for South Africans are hard to come by. Let’s face it, we are not the healthiest people in the world. From childhood obesity and obesity related diseases to sedentary lifestyles, to the fact that most of us don’t eat enough greens and fibre-rich food, we have our rough patches.
Healthy African Recipes
Find healthy, delicious African recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.
Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea SaladRating: 4 stars5The bold flavors of the lemon-cumin dressing in this healthy bean salad recipe make it a wonderful side dish to grilled beef and lamb, yet it’s also a stellar meatless main when served with whole-wheat couscous.
Slow-Cooker Moroccan Lentil SoupRating: 4 stars29Like most soups, this Moroccan lentil soup recipe gets better with time as the complex seasonings have time to develop. Make it a day ahead if you can–this easy slow cooker/crock pot recipe variation makes it a cinch to get the soup cooking while you do other things.
Egyptian Lentil SoupRating: 4.5 stars2Use red, yellow or even brown lentils to make this iconic and super-simple Middle Eastern soup. Skip green or black lentils, which won’t soften enough to puree smoothly. (Recipe adapted from Zooba Restaurant.)
Moroccan Lentil SoupRating: 4.5 stars9Like most soups, this healthy Moroccan lentil soup recipe gets better with time, so make it a day ahead if you can–or try our easy slow cooker/crock pot recipe variation.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Apricots & OlivesRating: 4.5 stars2This healthy chicken stew is full of warming, spicy flavor thanks to ras el hanout, an aromatic Moroccan spice blend. You can find it in well-stocked grocery stores–or substitute 1/2 tsp. each ground cumin and ginger and 1/4 tsp. each ground cinnamon, coriander and allspice.
Ethiopian-Spiced Chicken StewRating: 4 stars10This chicken stew, generously seasoned with the Ethiopian spice mix berbere, is loaded with tomato and red lentils. Depending on brand, berbere spice blend can be rather spicy. For a less spicy stew, start with 3 tablespoons spice blend rather than 5.
Dodo Ati Efo (Fried Plantains & Stewed Spinach)This is a popular dish of the Yoruba, one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. In the Yoruba language, dodo means fried plantains, and efo means leafy green vegetables, commonly spinach—here, the sweet plantains are a foil to the spicy spinach stew. Essential to Nigerian cuisine, unrefined red palm oil gets its color from naturally occurring beta carotene. For a vegetarian version, substitute 1 pound sliced mushrooms for the beef and use vegetable bouillon cubes. In Step 3, simmer the mushrooms in the sauce for 5 minutes
.Sweet Potato-Peanut BisqueRating: 4.5 stars35This satisfying vegetarian sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Preserved LemonsRating: 3 stars2Preserved lemons are essentially briny, tart lemon pickles. They add their own special sunshine to many slow-cooked Mediterranean and Middle Eastern stews, but they can also be used to add punch up your favorite recipes.
Green ShakshukaRating: 5 stars1Shakshuka, or eggs poached in an aromatic tomato sauce, is a fast, one-pan breakfast staple in Northern Africa and Israel. This healthy recipe features spinach, herbs and tomatillos. Garnish with a touch of harissa–a fiery chile paste–and dip some toasted whole-grain country bread into the jammy yolks.
Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers with CurrantsRating: 4 stars11Aromatic savory-and-sweet stuffed peppers are a satisfying supper, thanks to lean beef, brown rice and bell pepper in each bite. Serve with rainbow chard sautéed with olive oil, garlic and parsley.
Moroccan Baked Cod & Vegetables with Chermoula SauceRating: 4.5 stars2In this easy and healthy cod recipe, vegetables and fish are roasted on a
To encourage healthy shopping and healthy cooking methods for healthy eating, a range of healthy, delicious and seasonal recipes will be made available on a monthly basis. These recipes have been tested and are yummy! Try these recipes and impress yourself, your family and your friends with your healthy catering skills! Have fun by enjoying and sharing these Healthy Recipes
|Saldanha StewINGREDIENTS 2 tins pilchards in tomato sauce2 medium onions chopped1 cup celery chopped100g mushroom2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced2 cups of vegetables stock1 small can tomato paste2 tsp lemon juice2 tbsp olive oil1 tbsp chopped parsley1 tsp dried chilli flakessalt & pepper to tasteMETHODHeat olive oil in a pot and sauté onions and celery for 2-3 minutes.Add the tomato paste, potatoes, mushroom and stock. Bring pot to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring as needed.Add fish and return pot to heat, then reduce heat to low and allow to continue cooking while adding lemon juice and seasonings.Stir occasionally and add water if needed until the potatoes is soft. Serve over rice or pap.Source: WoW! Recipe Book|
|Lentil Dhal Curry with Spinach and Sweet PotatoesINGREDIENTS 1 tbsp canola oil1 onion, finely chopped2 garlic cloves, crushed1 teaspoon turmeric1 teaspoon cinnamon1 teaspoon cumin1 teaspoon curry powder½ tsp ground ginger2 sweet potatoes250g red lentils600 ml vegetable stock150g spinach choppedMETHODHeat the canola oil and fry the onion gently until soft, add ½ cup of water and cook for about 10 minutes.Add the garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes.Add the sweet potato, lentils, stock and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until the lentils are soft and potatoes are cooked through.Gently add the spinach, by stirring through the mixture. Let cook only until the leaves are gently wilted.Source: WoW! Recipe Book|
|CREAMY HUMMUSDESCRIPTION: super healthy and delicious, can be served as a snack or filling for potatoes, spread on a sandwich, etc.INGREDIENTS1 tin chickpeas drained (or half cup chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked until tender)30 ml brine from the tinned chickpeas (increase to taste)30ml water (increase to make hummus creamy according to taste)2 cloves of garlic (medium size), chopped finely1 tsp cumin1 tsp paprika (smoked adds additional flavour)2 tsp fresh lemon/lime juice (increase to taste)black pepper to tasteMETHODPut drained chickpeas in a mixing bowl.Add all other ingredients to the mixing bowl.Mix with blender or potatoe masher or fork until a smooth paste.Add more water or brine to make the hummus creamier.Transfer the hummus to a bowl, sprikle/dust with Paprika (smoked if available) and serve with pita bread, crackers or cut raw vegetables for a healthy snack.OptionalAdd½ tsp chilli to the hummus for a spicy taste.Add 1 tbsp Tahini to the hummus for a creamer look and taste.Top the mixure with Harissa for additional rich flavour before serving.VariationAdd 2 medium size cooked beetroots to the basci hummus recipe.Replace the chickpeas with butterbeans, black beans, or kidney beans, etc.Experiment with different flavours and spices!Notes:Prep time: 10 minServe: 6 people (as a snack)Credit: fox recipes|
|EASY BASIC SALAD DRESSINGDESCRIPTION: A very quick an easy salad dressing to drizzle over a green leafy salad. Change the flavour by choosing the type of vinegar and/or add fresh herbs that suits your salad best. Be creative!INGREDIENTS:2 tbsp olive oil (or adjusted measures of alternative oil)2 tsp lemon or lime juice (freshly squeezed is preferable)½ tsp sugar1 tsp vinegar of choice (e.g. red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar)1 tsp fresh herbs of choice (e.g. basil, parsley, coriander) chopped, or dried mixed herbs ¼ tsp salt to taste¼ tsp black pepper to tasteMETHOD:Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.Stir well with a small whisk or fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.Taste and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it with a bit more oil, or balance the flavours with a little more sugar. If the mixture is a little bland, add another pinch of salt and/or pepper.If the mixture does not have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade dressing keeps well for 7 to 10 days.VARIATIONSAdd 1 tsp mustard sauce, to taste.Add 2 medium size garlic cloves, minced/chopped finely.Add fresh chopped chillies or a drop of chilli sauce.NOTES:Prep time: 5 minServe: ¼ cup dressing, for about 6 medium salads (assuming 2 tbsp per saladCredit: fox recipes|
|SWEET POTATO FRIESINGREDIENTS1 medium sweet potato1 tsp olive oil (or adjusted measure of alternative oil)salt & cracked black pepper (to taste)METHODPreheat the oven to 180 degrees C degrees.Slice the sweet potato into long thin strips.Grease an oven tray with ½ teaspoon oil and toss the fries in the other ½ teaspoon oil. Season with salt & cracked black pepper.Bake in the oven for 20-40 minutes (or as needed),Check every 10 minutes and turning if necessary.* Serve: 2* Credit: Food Network Kitchen|
|MALAY STYLE VEG BREYANIINGREDIENTSFor Sambal1 onion, chopped1 tomato, choppedJuice of 1 lemonHand full of chopped corianderBrown sugar to taste (balance the lemon taste, the mix should not be too sweet or too sour)Salt to tasteFor Breyani2-3 tablespoons (30ml) coconut oil (or oil of choice)2 onions, chopped 2 tomatoes, grated2 cloves fresh garlic2 teaspoons (10ml) Garan masala2 teaspoons (10ml) Breyani masala1 teaspoons (5ml) salt (start with one teaspoon and add as needed)1 bunch fresh coriander1 cup broccoli1 cup cauliflower1 cup carrot, chopped 2 cups rice (for this recipe I refer to long grain white or brown rice, basmati rice will give you a different consistency)1 cup dry brown lentils2 potatoes, cut into half then into quarters 1 cups mixed veg (peas, corn, beans)METHODMake the Sambal: In a bowl, mix all ingredients and set in fridge while Breyani is being prepared.In a large pot heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil, add the chopped onion and let simmer until onions are soft and semi-translucent.Add the tomatoes, garlic, masala, salt and half the coriander, allow to simmer for about 7-8 minutes with the lid on. Should mixture be to dry you can add a dash of water.When tomato is soft and saucy, add in the remaining ingredients, keeping only the mixed veg aside.Add enough water to the pot to cover all ingredients, making sure your pot is on high and bring to boil. You will have to stir occasionally.As soon as the rice and lentils are cooked, add in the mixed veg and remainder of coriander.Let this steam for the last 10min of the cooking time. You might have to add 1-2 cups of water if your veggies have not equally softened. You can turn down the heat to medium, and allow all the water to steam away. Remember to constantly stir – as the water cooks away your Breyani easily sticks to the bottom.Season with extra salt if need be.Serve hot with Sambal on the side.* Serve: 4-6|
Lets get cooking for your health
If you are looking to eat healthy, then simply step into the kitchen and cook up some delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for you or your family.
You’ll not only please your taste buds, but know you are eating well to promote your health and wellbeing too.
Looking for healthy recipe ideas?
For some healthy recipes take a look at these great ideas. They’re not only full of flavour, but are often quick and easy to make as well.
What is a healthy recipe?
When looking through recipe books, online recipe sites or other sources of inspiration, just use this quick checklist to help you find the healthier recipe options.
Look for recipes which are based on:
- fruits and vegetables (including salad)
- lean meats, chicken, fish or legumes
- rice, pasta, noodles, breads and cereals (preferably wholegrain).
- are lower in fat, particularly saturated fat
- contain only a moderate amount of added sugar
- use lower salt (sodium) ingredients.
Check the cupboard
Before you begin cooking – give your pantry a nutrition makeover.
A few small changes to your shopping and cooking methods can help your waistline, your health and your budget.
Old favourites made healthy
Love those traditional family favourite recipes?
You can make those old favourites healthier, but just as tasty, with a few simple changes:
- swap full-fat milk and cheese for low or reduced-fat varieties
- reduce or leave out the salt and instead add some herbs and spices
- swap butter for polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarines and oils
- use lean meat and chicken without skin, and trim off all the visible fat
- instead of cream, try evaporated skim milk or low-fat yoghurt
- buy unsalted nuts and, for extra flavour, toast them in the oven or in a non-stick frypan
- reduce the sugar in recipes and try sweetening with fruit instead
- buy or make your own low-oil dressings such as mixing small amounts of oil with lemon juice or vinegar and mixed herbs
- add legumes such as canned lentils, kidney beans or chickpeas to replace or reduce the meat in casseroles, curries, soups and pasta dishes.