All the Cooking from the heart recipes are listed here in alphabetical order. Use the search function to find something specific.

African salad with a twistPap is eaten in many South African homes. Each family has their way of enjoying it, with either maas or buttermilk or a tomato-based sauce.
Apple and banana muffinsBaking is often associated with lots of sugar and a lower nutritional value. By preparing an apple purée and using a ripe banana, no sugar is needed. Grated apple adds flavour and texture to these delicious muffins.
Apple and cinnamon muffinsThese delicious muffins are made healthier with wholewheat flour and grated apples and carrots. The cinnamon gives them a lovely flavour – a treat that the whole family can enjoy.
Apple puddingApples and cinnamon are comforting flavours, especially in winter. Swap your custard or ice cream for plain low-fat yoghurt.
Baby marrow noodlesA delicious way to bulk up a portion of pasta for a meal. Or enjoy as a green veggie to fill your plate.
Baked beans on toastBaked beans and bread both contain salt already, so there is no need to add more to this dish. The lemon juice, black pepper, herbs and chutney adds a delicious flavour to this quick breakfast.
Baked fish with tomatoesIf you often prepare fish with a creamy white sauce, rather try this healthy and tasty tomato and herb version.
Baked sticky puddingMost baked puddings are quite sweet. The combination of buttermilk and ginger makes this an interesting variation on a well-loved favourite.
Banana breadBanana bread is a great way to use overripe bananas. It is perfect for a lunch box snack for the kids.
Barbecue sauceA versatile sauce, as it can be used as a marinade or sauce to accompany meat and side dishes.
Bean and beef casseroleSoaking the beans overnight takes some planning, but worth the wait for a hearty family meal.
Beef stew with vegetablesWe all enjoy a mouth-watering stew on a cold day. This is a simple, yet flavourful stew, with a combination of cabbage and carrots. Remember to remove all the visible fat from the meat, to keep it healthier.
BraaibroodjiesA typical side dish at a South African braai. These toasted sarmies cooked over the coals are a delicious braai side dish. Remember to make a healthier bread choice by using brown or wholewheat bread.
Bread puddingA healthier version of a bread and butter pudding and a great way to use up day-old bread. The raisins and jam add a lovely sweet flavour and the spices make it the perfect, winter comfort dessert.
Brown lentil pattiesLentils and butter beans, seasoned with a few everyday ingredients, are perfect for wholesome and delicious vegetarian patties. The kids will love them too! Remember to make a healthier bread choice and enjoy with fresh salad ingredients.
Buttermilk and cheese breadMany people know a recipe for a buttermilk bread using soup powder, but is very salty. This version works equally well and goes perfectly with a braai.
Butternut and cauliflower mashRemember that although butternut contains carbohydrates it is a better choice than potatoes. Cauliflower adds more bulk to this side dish.
Butternut and sweetcorn bakeButternut is a versatile veggie with a naturally sweet flavour. The creamy sweetcorn makes this a sweet and delicious side dish without the need for cream or butter.
Butternut soupThe spices and apple add delicious flavours to the soup and the potatoes give it a creamy texture.
Chicken à la kingThis is a healthier version of a family favourite. The chicken is cooked in natural seasonings to make its own ‘stock’ which gives the dish a delicious flavour – no need for unhealthy soup powders or ready-made sauces here!
Chicken and broccoli bakeChicken and broccoli is a great combination. This is a quick and easy meal for the whole family. The chicken is cooked with Rooibos tea, instead of salty stock and seasoned with lemon rind and bay leaves which adds delicious flavour to this one-pot dish.
Chicken biryaniMany people make a mutton biryani, but a chicken version is lower in fat and quicker to cook.
Chicken pieInstead of a typical puff pastry, chicken pie can be just as delicious with a homemade pouring batter on top.
Chicken stir-frySwap your Chinese takeaways for this delicious home version, which is less fatty and salty, and quick to make.
Chocolate cakeThere is nothing like some chocolate to treat yourself. This is so easy to bake and ideal for a birthday or school market days.
Chocolate fondueThis interactive way of serving dessert is a healthier alternative to overly sweet puddings. The chocolate sauce is delicious with any seasonal fresh fruit.
Chunky roasted veggies with beansHow does a three ‘b’ salad sound? Roasted beans, butternut & beetroot, don’t only look colourful, but tastes delicious and is wholesome too.
Chutney chickenThanks to chutney being a true South African ingredient, everyone has a variation of this recipe. To make it lower in fat, but still yummy, yoghurt is used instead of mayonnaise.
Creamy mashed potatoesMashed potato has its own creamy texture. Just a little bit of milk and oil is enough to make it smooth. Try out your own flavours with different herbs and spices.
Crispy chicken stripsChicken nuggets or crumbed chicken is a firm favourite, but unfortunately often unhealthy as it is deep-fried. These chicken strips are coated in polenta or mealie meal which adds an extra crunch and are fried in a small amount of oil.
Crustless vegetable quichePastry is very high in fat so this crustless quiche is a healthier alternative and great for both teatime or as a light lunch with a salad.
Curried green beans and onionsThe sweet-sour flavour of curried beans is typically South African but can be very sweet. This version has a good balance between the different flavours.
Date and chocolate ballsWe all love chocolate, but know that too much is not good for us. In this treat, we combine dark chocolate with dates to make a healthier alternative.
Dry braai rubMake a big batch of this dry rub and store in a jar to have in your kitchen for a variety of meals.
Easy tomato soupMake this soup the night before and pack for a light lunch. Prepare it for supper, using the tips to add meat, fish or beans and pack left-overs for lunch.
Egg and toast soldiersSometimes a few simple ingredients can become a very healthy breakfast. Enjoy eggs with fresh ingredients and a slice of toast.
Egg-in-a-cupThis is a quick, yet interesting way to serves eggs for breakfast or brunch. You can prepare the veggie filling or use left-over veggies. This recipe uses no salt, as the feta adds enough of a salty flavour.
Eggy toastEggy toast is an easy way to get kids to enjoy eggs if they don’t like scrambled or fried eggs. Different toppings can be added for an interesting weekend breakfast or brunch idea.
Fish cakes with pilchardsFish on a Friday is a familiar favourite. A tin of pilchards can go a long way to feed a family quickly.
Fresh fruit and peanut butter dipThis peanut butter dip makes snacking on fruit even yummier! The peanut butter adds a slightly sweeter flavour to the yoghurt, making it ideal for those late afternoon munchies.
Fresh fruit saladIt is important to eat seasonal fruit, as it will be more affordable and has much more flavour when in season. See what is available and choose a variety of colours to add lots of vitamins and minerals to your breakfast.
Fruit parcels over the coalsPrepare these parcels over medium to cooler coals. Have them ready so that you can cook them on the fire, once you have finished braaiing and everyone is clearing the table.
Granadilla cheesecakesThese little desserts have a smooth, soft and creamy texture. The yoghurt and cottage cheese adds a cheesecake flavour that is delicious.
Hearty bean soupThe dried beans, lentils and veggies make this a filling soup for winter. Beans and lentils are a healthy source of protein.
Homemade brown breadBaking your own bread is not only rewarding, but can be healthier too. The brown bread flour and crushed wheat adds texture and fibre to this recipe.
Homemade chicken stockThis tasty stock can be used to flavour soups, stews or any other dish that requires stock. Shop-bought stocks are often very salty, so rather make your own. It is also a great way to use the carcasses or bones from deboned chicken, for instance, which you prepared for a chicken pie or soup - that you would normally throw away.
Homemade ice teaThis tea is very refreshing and a healthier alternative to fizzy, sugary cold drinks. Keep a jug of this ice tea in the fridge in summer.
Homemade muesliMaking your own muesli is really easy and much more affordable than buying ready-made muesli. You can also control how much sugar, salt and oil is added.
Lemon cheesecakeThis is an easy and simple fridge cheesecake. Most recipes use cream cheese and cream, but smooth cottage cheese is delicious and the cream is not necessary.
Lemon chickenThis versatile one-pan chicken recipe is so easy to prepare. You can add other veggies to the pan or see the tip for a stove top version.
Lemony brown riceBrown rice has a delicious nutty flavour and is a much better carb choice as it has a slower release of energy and contains fibre. Although it cooks longer, it is well worth the wait – especially with this lemony flavour.
Lentil bobotieA typical South African dish, prepared as a vegetarian version. The sweet potato bulks up the recipe to make a filling meal, without the need for additional rice – especially when you need to control your carb portions.
Lentils and riceBrown rice and lentils are a perfect combination. Together they form a complete protein, making this a wholesome meal.
Malva puddingThis is a much-loved traditional dessert. Few things can warm and comfort like a bowlful with homemade vanilla custard. This version is not too sweet and the buttermilk adds a soft texture.
Masala chicken with potatoesChicken curry is a very popular dish, but often uses rich, unhealthy ingredients like ghee (clarified butter) and cream. This version uses buttermilk or yoghurt to give it that creamy consistency.
Mealie breadThis is one of those popular South African recipes and is great for a side dish at a braai or as part of a lunch box snack.
Mealie meal and corn bakePAP: a staple food for many South Africans; a porridge made from mealie meal (maize meal) cooked with water and salt to different consistencies.
Meat ballsThis recipe is a great way to hide veggies from fussy eaters. Make double the batch and freeze for later.
Milk tartThis no-bake custard filling is delicious and easy to make.
Mini meat ballsMeat balls are ideal for a family meal or for lunch boxes. The grated baby marrow adds texture and is a wonderful way to hide veggies from fussy eaters. They are also great to freeze for later.
Mushroom soupThis mushroom soup is a family favourite and is perfect for a special occasion. The homemade stock is delicious and contains no added salt.
Oat cookiesSurprise your kids with these yummy cookies. They won’t even know that they are high in fibre.
One-pot chickenFamily food at its best. This tasty all-in-one chicken dish is a wholesome meal, made with everyday ingredients, that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Oven-baked chipsThese are a healthy alternative to deep-fried chips. Kids love them and the garlic becomes sweet and golden for the adults. Do try the flavour options in the tips.
Pancakes with fruitMost families have a pancake tradition, whether it’s just because it’s raining or for a special treat.
Peanut butter slicesPeanut butter is a wonderful baking ingredient. Here is helps to bind the mixture and adds flavour.
PopcornHomemade popcorn is such a treat and the ideal lunch box filler. A healthier alternative to shop-bought salty snacks like crisps, at home you can control how much salt and oil is used.
Pork sosatiesSosaties or kebabs are a popular way to cook meat over the coals. This simple marinade can be used for any meat.
Potato saladPotato salad is often covered in mayonnaise. The combination of yoghurt and mayonnaise makes it lower in fat and even more yummy.
Pull-apart breadThis bread looks impressive and is so easy to prepare – no kneading is required. The wholewheat flour adds extra fibre and the yoghurt lends a soft texture.
Quick veggie soupMake a big batch of this soup and freeze in lunch-sized portions for work. It is also perfect as a light supper – keep any left-overs for lunch.
Raisin cookiesHomemade cookies are much better than shop-bought cookies, because you can control what goes into them. These are lower in fat and sugar, making them a healthier alternative.
Ratatouille with eggsEggs are an important part of a healthy diet. So include them as part of your weekly meals.
Roasted cauliflower and broccoliThe roasted flavour of two everyday ingredients combined with cumin makes this a special side dish. A low-carb veggie to fill your plate with.
Roasted chickpea dipA chickpea dip, also known as hummus, is traditionally made with tahini which is a sesame seed paste. Tahini however can be expensive or difficult to find. By roasting half of the chickpeas with cumin seeds before blending them, the hummus still has a nutty flavour.
Roasted vegetables with pastaRoasted veggies are so versatile and delicious as part of a vegetarian meal. The beans add protein to make a wholesome, balanced mid-week supper. Or leave out the pasta and beans and serve veggies as a side dish with chicken or fish.
RotisRotis are often associated with a time-consuming process and for being quite fatty. These are easy to make and don’t require lots of fat.
RusksRusks are delicious with a cup of tea or for a coffee break. The oats, bran and seeds add extra texture to this South African treat.
SconesHomemade scones are such a treat and this version is easy to make. The wholewheat flour adds a slightly nutty flavour and the yoghurt gives them a soft, light texture.
Snoek with apricot jamSnoek is delicious with a touch of sweetness and a mild spice like cumin. Try it in the oven or braai it outside.
Spaghetti bologneseThis basic mince sauce can be used in many ways and is perfect for a mid-week meal.
Spicy butter bean bitesThese vegetarian bites are packed with flavour and delicious on their own or as part of a lunch box. See the serving ideas below and assemble at work when you are ready to eat it.
Spicy marinadeThis marinade is delicious with chicken, beef, lamb or fish and ideal for homemade sosaties.
Spicy pilchard stewSome people call this a pilchard stew and others know it as a smorrie or smoortjie. It doesn’t matter what you call it, you will enjoy this healthy and tasty meal.
Spicy samp and beansThis dish (also known as umngqusho) needs a bit of planning as you need to soak the samp and beans overnight.
Steak with mushroom sauceA perfectly cooked steak, homemade sauce and veggies can be a delicious meal for a special occasion. The mushroom sauce is prepared with fresh mushrooms, onions, milk and thyme, instead of pre-prepared sauce mixes or soup powders, which can be very unhealthy.
Stew with beef and tomatoesThis hearty beef stew is packed with flavour and all the veggies help to add bulk up the meal. Remember, when cooking red meat to remove all visible fat and spoon off any fat from the top of the stew before serving.
Super smoothieA smoothie can be an interesting way to incorporate a variety of fruit into your breakfast. It’s also quick and easy to enjoy – even on your way to work or school. By adding nuts or uncooked oats, you make the smoothie a bit more filling, which will keep you fuller for longer. Remember that a smoothie has to be nutritious otherwise it digests too fast – leaving you hungry sooner. A smoothie can also be part of a breakfast with a small portion of eggs or muesli and yoghurt.
Sweet and sour porkThis homemade version of a typical takeaway meal is healthy and wholesome. The pineapple gives the dish a lovely sweet flavour which works well with pork, beef or chicken.
Sweetcorn frittersThese fritters are a delicious treat to serve as a side dish with your next meal – the kids will beg for more. The wholewheat in the batter also makes it nutritious and filling.
Three bean saladEverybody knows a three bean salad. This version uses less oil and sugar and is just as tasty.
Tomato saladSuch a simple combination of ingredients, which results in a refreshing salad to serve with any meal.
Tuna and bean hot potTuna is a healthy and affordable source of lean protein and this meal is perfect to enjoy in a bowl - to warm you up.
Tuna and corn cakesThese easy and tasty little fish cakes are perfect to get kids to eat more veggies – especially at lunchtime. You could add different flavours or spices to the mixture, such as paprika or dried mixed herbs. For a spicier flavour add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Tuna bakeThis is so easy that you can get the kids to help.
Tuna pie with potato toppingThis delicious pie recipe uses just two tins of tuna and veggies to feed a family. The potato and tomato topping is a little different from the typical pie toppings and much healthier than pastry.
Vegetable soup with minceThe dried soup mix in this recipe is made up of dried lentils, barley and split peas. These bulk up the soup, while the mince gives it a delicious meaty flavour. A nutritious soup to feed many mouths.
Veggie and mince ‘lasagne’Veggies are layered instead of pasta, making a tasty and equally filling meal. The buttermilk topping is a great way to reduce the cheese – do try it.
Veggie skewersThese skewers are delicious braaied over the coals. Serve as a side dish with a plant based protein, like the Carrot & bean patties
Versatile dressingShop-bought salad dressings can be high in hidden sugar, salt and fat. Therefore, homemade is best, as you can control what and how much of it you put in the dressing. This dressing is great with salad, but do not pour the dressing over the salad, rather serve at the table so everyone can add their own. Or use it to marinate or roast meat and chicken. Vegetables can also be prepared with the dressing. See the tips below.
Whole roasted peri-peri chickenA roast chicken is often served as a Sunday lunch and is always popular. Remember that peri-peri is quite hot, so season it to your family’s preference. Or use more paprika instead of the peri-peri for a milder flavour.
Yummy potato bakeA potato bake is always a favourite, but is often very rich and salty. Try this version with yoghurt and mushrooms and watch how it becomes your new favourite.