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RECIPES: Find self-love and self-care through nutritious food

Aubergine and pepper dip with baby marrow chips. Picture: Supplied

Aubergine and pepper dip with baby marrow chips. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 13, 2022


Let us talk about loving ourselves through the food choices we make, shall we?

There is no exaggeration that we are what we eat. Likewise, making healthy food choices is an act of self-love.

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The team at Tony Ferguson, a healthy lifestyle brand, notes that too often we spend our days taking care of other people’s happiness and well-being while we neglect ourselves.

Below they share three healthy food ideas for self-love. All recipes serve four people.

The team also reveal that planning is key when it comes to good nutrition, so it’s worth setting aside just an hour of your weekend to plan out the coming week’s meals and do some grocery shopping and simple food preparation.

“Assess what you already have in your pantry, freezer and fridge, look at your schedule and see which days you’ll have more or less time to cook, and then get some inspiration for healthy meals that are quick and easy to knock up.

“Whether it’s starters or snacks, seafood or vegetarian dishes, there is always the option to make healthier choices with your food and with your life, even starting with small changes.

“All it takes is a change of mindset, and the determination to make it happen. A stronger you means you’ll have more energy to care for others – so kindness should always start by being kind to yourself first,” they note.

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Aubergine and pepper dip with baby marrow chips



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1 large aubergine

2 red peppers

Olive oil spray

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2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

Juice of one lemon

2 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to season

Baby marrow chips

1 large baby marrow

Olive oil spray

Moroccan or cajun seasoning


Aubergine and pepper dip

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Place the aubergine and peppers on a lined baking dish, spray with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until the pepper is blackened. Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool. Set aubergine aside to cool.

Peel the skin off the pepper and remove the seeds.

Remove the skin from the aubergine and place the flesh in a food processor with pepper, garlic, spices, lemon juice, and oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste.

Baby marrow chips

Preheat the oven to 220ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cut the baby marrow into 3mm slices and spray with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle lightly with seasoning.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until well coloured.

Asparagus frittata


2 bunches asparagus

8 eggs

3 tbs chopped chives

3 tbs chopped dill

1 tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

Salt and pepper, to season


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook asparagus until just tender. Cut into 1cm lengths and allow to cool.

Preheat the grill.

In a bowl beat the eggs and herbs with salt and pepper. Stir through the cooled asparagus.

Heat the oil in a 22cm non-stick frying pan over medium heat and gently fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the egg mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the base is set and lightly coloured. Place under the grill until browned on top.

Serve with a mixed salad.

Clay pot chicken


3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs salt-reduced soy sauce

2 tbs lime juice

1 stick lemongrass (white part only), finely chopped

1 tbs Maggi seasoning

480g chicken thigh fillets, halved

1 large onion, cut into quarters

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

1 cup salt-reduced chicken stock

100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved

4 spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths

600g Chinese cabbage, shredded

Lime wedges to serve


Combine garlic, sauces, lime juice, lemongrass, seasoning and chicken in a bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Place chicken and marinade in an ovenproof dish with a lid, together with the onion, chilli and stock. Mix to combine and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Use lime wedges to serve.

Have you read the latest IOL Food digital magazine? Read it here.