What to cook when Eskom cancels your dinner plans

28 October 2015

Having the lights go out is something we have all had to adjust to in recent times and it’s meant we sometimes have to get creative in the kitchen. Here are four healthy, cheap and cheerful, no-cook family meals – perfect for when loadshedding takes place:

Healthy Wraps
Grab those tinned goods and open the crisper drawer, because you’re about to get inspired into creating nutritious wraps the whole family will love. Make a party of it by laying all the ingredients out and letting everyone make their own – this turns a dinner chore into a family night, so you won’t be bored because the TV can’t turn on.

You’ll need: Lettuce, tomatoes, green and red peppers, carrots, avocado, cucumber and feta cheese. Add a little mayonnaise or salad dressing to your list, with some salt and pepper and you’re ready to go!

Method: Chop up the lettuce, slice up the vegetables, dice the cheese and cube the avocado, laying each item out on chopping boards or platters. Send in the family troops to pick and create their very own wraps and enjoy a fun night’s eating with no cooking!


Fruit Kebabs
Great for a warm evening under the stars, fruit kebabs are a super way to make sure the whole family gets their recommended daily allowance of fresh produce. They’re also fun to create so you can get the kids in on the action but just watch out for the sharp points of the skewer sticks.

You’ll need: Wooden or plastic skewer sticks and a range of easy to cut fruit. Recommendations: bananas, naartjies, strawberries, kiwi fruit, mango, watermelon, grapes, apples and pears.

Method: Chop up the fruit into bite size pieces and stick them on to the skewers. For fun, try and arrange them in a rainbow pattern!


Zucchini Lasagne
Yes, you can have lasagna without cooking! This no-cook lasagna recipe is inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe and adapted for a South African kitchen.

You’ll need: 1 tub of cottage cheese (plain or flavoured – your choice); 1 punnet of baby tomatoes, 1 punnet of zucchini, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Simply slice the zucchinis lengthways and layer on a smooth frosting of cottage cheese, with thinly sliced baby tomatoes on top. Keep layering until you’ve created a hefty lasagna stack and season to taste.


Tuna Paninis
Fresh Paninis really make the best sort of sandwiches so instead of keeping them for lunch, bump them up to be the main event at dinner time.

You’ll need: Paninis, lettuce, tinned tuna, tomatoes, mayonnaise and red onion.

Method: Finely chop the tomatoes and red onion and line your panins with a lettuce leaf each. Strain the tins of tuna and pop the fish into the same bowl at the tomatoes and red onion. Stir in your mayonnaise and seasoning to taste, and layer the mixture on top of the lettuce leaves within the Paninis.

Calculate your family grocery budget and don’t forget to include these items on your shopping list! And, don’t forget, you can still do your banking when the lights go off, thanks to the Absa App and Cellphone Banking.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.