Load shedding friendly meals

Try as you might, it isn’t always easy to plan around load shedding, as the schedule can suddenly change from stage one to stage two. For many, the lights go out at the most inopportune time, particularly when you still have a meal to prepare.

This week Moneybag’s chef and food expert Courtney Catherine Wood gives five load shedding friendly meals that you can easily prepare, even by candle light, that still leave you satisfied and full.

Cooking with a gas stove

If you have a gas stove or a small gas burner you can prepare a nice hot meal, like a stew. One of my favourite dishes is lamb bredie, it is delicious and is great for cold winter evenings.

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoonvegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 poundslamb or mutton breast chops, chopped into portions
  • 2 tablespoonscake flour
  • 1 largeonion, chopped
  • 2 1/4 poundsfresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
  • 6whole white peppercorns
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoonbrown sugar
  • 1 tablespoonwhite vinegar
  • 1 dashWorcestershire sauce
  • 1 cubebeef stock cube
  • 2 mediumpotatoes, quartered(optional)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Dredge the meat in flour and cook in the oil until it is well browned.

Stir in the onions, and cook until soft. Mix in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, white peppercorns, bay leaves, brown sugar, vinegar, worstershire sauce, and a beef stock cube. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally to ensure nothing stocks to the bottom.

Add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are done and the meat is tender.

Have a braai

What South African doesn’t love a good braai?

Braaing is a great option during load shedding as you do not need gas or electricity. It is also a quick and simple way to prepare a meal. You can also prepare a salad to accompany your braai.

Cold meals

If you do not have access to some sort of heat source during those dark evenings, there are a variety of other cold meals that you can prepare.

Tuna salad is a delicious alternative to a hot meal. My favourite tuna salad recipe is quick, easy and filling. All you need to do is mix together cannellini beans, capers, celery and olives. Stir in mustard lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Lastly toss in cherry tomatoes and tuna.

Sandwiches are another quick and easy meal to prepare. You also don’t need to have specific ingredients in the cupboard to be able to make a sandwich, you can simply use what you have on hand at the time.

I would suggest trying a feta, pepperdew and avocado sandwich with a drizzle of mayonnaise on rye bread.

For an alternative sandwich option, all you will need is some fresh bread rolls, mustard, mayonnaise, baby rocket, emmental cheese, gherkins, and thinly sliced salami. Put these all together on your fresh roll and you will have a delicious and satisfying meal.

Getting your meals delivered

Companies that deliver ready made meals to your door are very convenient especially during loadshedding. They can, however, be very expensive depending on the company you use and the meal that you select.

Another alternative can also be convenience meals supplied at grocery stores. Most stores nowadays supply ready made meals for the convenience of their shoppers. By buying your meals from these stores you are able to see the meals before you buy them and ensure you are receiving value for money.

Selected Food Lover’s Markets, Spars, Pick n Pays and a variety of other grocery stores offer hot and ready to eat meals that you can choose from. You can pick the food you want, and pay for the overall weight of the meal.