Picture: Ella Olsson.
Picture: Ella Olsson.

5 load shedding dinner hacks to save you when the lights go out

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Feb 24, 2020

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You've just had a rough day at the office, and you’re yearning for comfort food. As you drive home, you salivate at all the possible meals you could prepare, counting the minutes until you can get home to start cooking. 

But when you get home, you find yourself in darkness. Eskom had other plans on how you should spend your evening. Fortunately, having no electricity does not mean you have to go hungry or settle for bread. 

Two South African chefs to reveal their load shedding hacks and recipes. 

Culinary artist at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa Theo Mannie shares five tips to ensure that you are not left hungry:

A gas cooker is your friend

A gas cooker with multiple cooking attachments is a must-have in any household. If you do not have one, it’s best to invest in one. Mannie says that these days you can get little portable cookers that are versatile and convenient. “One minute you are making a stir fry over a gas flame, the next you are having a braai,” he says. 

The use of multipurpose vegetables 

Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, baby marrow and peppers offer little preparation time and are easy to cook. It also comes in handy when preparing a salad, stir fry, curry or wrap. These types of vegetables require little time on the gas. 

Tinned goods 

Tinned goods are essential in any household.  Stock up on tinned items like baked beans, chakalaka and tinned fish such as tuna. “Tinned items reduce cooking time, and many, like baked beans, can be used in various ways. The tinned items also have a longer shelf life,” he says. 

Smoked or cured sausages 

Smoked or cured sausages freeze well, adds flavour to dishes and reduce cooking time. “The butcher section of most supermarkets has a good selection at affordable prices,” Mannie says. 

Fresh fish 

Use fresh fish fillets like butterfish and hake – they are more affordable than big-brand frozen fillets. “Fresh fish can be frozen and does not take long to cook, which is handy when you trying to beat the clock or save on electricity.” Consult the fish counter at your supermarket for other options. 


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