Part one: The loadshedding go-to meal ideas that will make your life easier

Part one: The loadshedding go-to meal ideas that will make your life easier

Hopefully it can be fun for the whole family...

HELPFUL: Part One: Loadshedding go-to meal ideas that will make your life easier
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If you are like us and like to prepare for your meals ahead of time, then you must really be feeling frustrated over the recent loadshedding spanner that has been shoved into our schedules. 

Being a parent during loadshedding can be more tiresome than usual. Besides thinking about meals, you have to think about ways to keep the kids occupied. You never realise how much you rely on electricity until you are stuck without it. 

If you have a gas stove then you are in a good space when it comes to loadshedding, because there are many meals that you can prepare on gas. If you want to get creative, you can make it a fun family affair and start a braai and catch up on some outdoor time. 

Many families enjoy a good potjie or a curry on an outdoor fire pit, this shouldn't be daunting to you. All you need to remember is that keeping the flame low but steady is the key. Prepare all your ingredients as you would if you were cooking indoors and get that pot sizzling. 

It's best to use a thick pot, instead of a casserole pot or an AMC one, these will get damaged with the open fire. Aluminium or cast iron is best, and if you don't have that then use your braai stand, with some coal, that way the heat is more controlled. The one tip here is to check your loadshedding times and try to prep your meat before hand so that it doesn't end up taking too long, and the kids end up eating junk food...

Canned foods are great for when the power goes out because they are edible without having to cook them. A great idea is tuna wraps, just whip out the mayo, some cayenne pepper, lettuce, chopped onion and if you have avocado, it's a nice alternative to the mayo, but some people enjoy both. 

You can get the ready made wraps at your local grocery store, if you not a fan of wraps then pitas are also quite cool. With pitas you could get the family involved, bowl all your ingredients and get them to make their own, add in some candles for ambiance. 

If you are vegan, then canned chickpeas are a great alternative, add all the above ingredients, just substitute the chickpeas for the tuna. We mash the chickpeas up so that they are easier to work with, but you can keep them whole if you like. Add some shredded carrots and for a hint of saltiness, you can add some chopped gherkins or olives if you like. 

A salad is another option for a quick meal to make during loadshedding. There is a popular tomato salad that many Indian Durbanites call 'Sambals' and basically it is chopped tomatoes, with chopped onion, chopped chilli, sprinkle of salt and some lemon juice. It is absolutely divine to have with fresh bread. 

Or you could make a bean salad - kidney beans and broad beans are great options for a cold bean salad. And the greatest part is that you can add whatever veggies you have, so the base of the salad would be tomato, onion, chilli (if you like it hot), pepper, and you are set. If you have some fresh herbs, pop them in and dress it up with some lemon juice or vinegar with some salt and black pepper. 

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We're not sure how you are going to feel about this one, but we absolutely think you should give it a try. Banana with peanut butter on bread. This was something that friends raved about in school, and we frowned upon it but once we tried it, we never looked back. 

All you have to do is slice up a banana, spread some peanut butter on your bread, layer the bananas on top, cover with another slice that has been peanut buttered up too and then chow. A glass of milk goes great with this. 

We will be back with more ideas on Friday. But for now, the best thing you can do is keep a few staples like fresh veggies, extra bread, canned goods, and peanut butter, cheese, and if you're a marmite fan, that works wonders when you've got no power and your tummy calls out. 

Carol podcasts
East Coast Radio

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