22 Tasty & Simple Loadshedding Meal Ideas

Words: Crush

While most would consider dinner by candlelight romantic, it’s a major turn-off if you live in South Africa. Apart from relying on electricity for most things, loadshedding especially makes preparing food a challenge. You might be tempted to order takeout yet again, but there’s no substitute for home-cooked meals. Don’t put cooking on the back burner, try these simple loadshedding meal ideas for when the lights aren’t on and you’re home.

Brekkie Club

Beat the loadshedding blues with these creative breakfast ideas.

French Toast with LemonGold Labneh & Bacon Crumble

This reimagined French toast is the perfect weekend brunch. If you have a gas stove, then even better. Labneh, bacon crumble, lemon zest and honey is the ultimate combination.

Loadshedding meal tip: Pan-fry the bacon, or air fry when you have power then chop up and refrigerate until you are ready to make your French toast.
Recipe for French Toast with LemonGold Labneh & Bacon Crumble

Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

A breakfast that’s sure to perk you up! This super delicious carrot cake smoothie bowl will take your brekkie game to the next level.

Loadshedding meal tip: Blitz up all the ingredients and chill overnight in the fridge. Top with your fave seasonal fruits for extra nutrients.
Recipe for Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl

Vegan Cannellini Bean Shakshuka

A tin of beans and tomatoes can go a long way if you’re looking for a cost-effective and filling meal. This tasty breakfast dish only takes 20 minutes to cook on a gas stovetop, and is completely vegan. It’s even better the next day.

Loadshedding meal tip: If you still have power, load your baguette slices in the toaster once your Shakshuka is complete, so that you can scoop up all that saucy goodness.
Recipe for Vegan Cannellini Bean Shakshuka

Chia & Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Cups

Breakfast never looked nor tasted so good. These breakfast treats are filled with healthy fats from the avo, and antioxidants from the chia seeds and dark chocolate.

Loadshedding meal tip: Blitz the avocado mousse when you have power, chill in the fridge overnight, and wake up to a yummy breakfast treat.
Recipe for Chia & Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Cups

Low-maintenance Meal Ideas

Being hangry is no fun. These loadshedding meal ideas are easy to prep and will provide you with loads of energy for the day.

Mozzarella & Chakalaka Braaibroodjie

A budget and braai-friendly meal. Braaibroodjies will always be a fave; the addition of chakalaka takes this one to delicious heights.

Loadshedding meal tip: Cheese makes almost anything instantly better, make sure to always stock a block for easy sandwich fixes.
Recipe for Mozzarella & Chakalaka Braaibroodjie

Pan Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon & Kimchi

If you thought that grilled cheese sandos couldn’t get more delicious, wait till you try this one that’s loaded with kimchi and mozzarella.

Loadshedding meal tip: Kimchi is a fantastic way to add flavour to meals.
Recipe for Pan Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon & Kimchi

Mexican Tuna Ceviche with Guacamole, Salsa & Nachos

When life hands you lemons, make ceviche. It’s a simple and tasty way to enjoy fish, plus it doesn’t require any heat.

Loadshedding meal tip: Ceviche and fresh salads are great go-to loadshedding meals – no cooking required.
Recipe for Mexican Tuna Ceviche with Guacamole Salsa & Nachos

Devilled Avocado Eggs with Crispy Parma Ham

Delicious, light and the perfect bite, these devilled eggs are a great snack. The only cooking needed is hard boiling some eggs (which can be refrigerated), and then frying the Parma ham. The avocado addition makes it even tastier.

Loadshedding meal tip: Pre-boil eggs and keep them in the fridge, they make for a tasty protein-packed snack any time of day.
Recipe for Devilled Avocado Eggs with Crispy Parma Ham

Vegan Mixed Grain & Pulse Salad

A protein-packed pulse salad that’s perfect if you want something refreshing yet filling. The baby tomatoes add freshness and acidity, while the pumpkin and sunflower seeds make it a textural delight.

Loadshedding meal tip: Cook basic staples like grains or lentils and store them in your fridge, so that they’re ready to heat up before the power goes out.
Recipe for Vegan Mixed Grain & Pulse Salad

Salmon & Spinach Poke Bowl

Have some leftover cooked rice? Amp it up by reheating it with some sautéed spinach and garlic. This healthy bowl is full of high-quality protein.

Loadshedding meal tip: Vacuum-packed smoked salmon/trout works equally well in this recipe and will last longer than fresh salmon with your fridge going on and off.
Recipe for Salmon & Spinach Poke Bowl

Satisfying Sandwiches

Sandos are one of the easiest fixes. Forget about basic flavour combos, try these delish bites.

Báhn Mì Inspired Halloumi Sandwich

A Vietnamese staple with a twist. This is the perfect fix if you’re looking for something that’s simple and tasty. The halloumi takes no more than three minutes to grill, and if you make enough vegetable pickle, you can use it for all your other sandwich and salad creations.

Loadshedding meal tip: Keep sandwich-ready ingredients like pickles and spreads for no-brainer lunches.
Recipe for Báhn Mì Inspired Halloumi Sandwich

Open Sando with Guacamole, Goats Cheese, Beetroot & Egg

Almost every fridge in South Africa has a jar of pickled beetroot in it. The only cooking required here is poaching eggs. Simple yet oh-so-yummy!

Loadshedding meal tip: A boiled egg works just as well in this recipe. Keeping a few in the fridge is a great way to have a healthy snack ready to go.
Recipe for Open Sandwich with Guacamole, Goats Cheese, Beetroot & Poached Egg

Charred Tomato & Lemon Cottage Cheese Tartines

Still have time before loadshedding? Slice and char some tomatoes for the ultimate tartines.

Loadshedding meal tip: No power? No problem, fresh tomatoes will do just fine.
Recipe for Charred Tomato & Lemon Cottage Cheese Tartines

Lemon & Rocket Pesto Tartines with Avocado & Asparagus

All your fave greens in one delicious, zesty and peppery bite. Blitz some pesto, store it in a jar and spread on your tartines. Yum!

Loadshedding meal tip: Pesto is an excellent condiment to have in your fridge – stir through pasta for an easy loadshedding dinner idea.
Recipe for Lemon & Rocket Pesto Tartines with Avocado & Asparagus

Simple & Tasty Loadshedding Meals

With just a little bit of prep and a gas stove, you could make magic. Fuel up on these simple, filling and easy-to-make meals.

Pork Fillet with Rainbow Slaw & Soy-Cashew Butter Dressing

A tasty health bowl filled with vibrant veggies and loads of protein. Drizzle with Soy-cashew dressing for a flavour explosion.

Loadshedding meal tip: Keep salad dressing ingredients in your pantry to elevate veggies.
Recipe for Pork Fillet with Rainbow Slaw & Soy-Cashew Butter Dressing

Ramen Bowl

Not sure what to cook? Ramen always comes in handy when loadshedding hits; top with your fave ingredients and revel in the umami flavours.

Loadshedding meal tip: If  you’re feeding a family, always keep ramen packs in your pantry.
Recipe for Ramen Bowl

Mediterranean Frittata

We love a versatile dish, and this Mediterranean Frittata is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It even tastes good cold.

Loadshedding meal tip: Eggs are a fantastic pantry staple and great for whipping up quick, nutritious meals. Always try to store a couple in your kitchen.
Recipe for Mediterranean Frittata

Chakalaka Mozzarella Skillet Melt

If you’re looking for an easy and super tasty meal, this Chakalaka Mozzarella Skillet Melt is it. Use some of that leftover rainbow slaw mix to add a little bit of texture. We also love that this meal uses trusty canned goods like chakalaka and baked beans.

Loadshedding meal tip: Beans and chakalaka should be your go-to loadshedding pantry staples. A combo of protein and flavour that can create a number of tasty dishes.
Recipe for Chakalaka Mozzarella Skillet Melt

Roast Veggie Bowl with Quinoa

Roasted veggies make for a fantastic midweek meal. If you want to take it a step further, pulse some Lemon & Rocket Pesto ahead of time and use it as a salad dressing. You could also cook extra quinoa and use it in another meal. Also, just as tasty with brown rice or bulgar wheat as a substitute if you don’t have quinoa.

Loadshedding meal tip: These roast veggies are delicious when cold – prep during hours when you don’t have loadshedding and then assemble when you’re ready to eat.
Recipe for Roast Veggie Bowl with Quinoa

Basil Pesto, Pea, Pine Nut & Pecorino Pasta Salad

Who doesn’t love a good basil pesto pasta salad? This recipe should be one of your top picks for loadshedding meal ideas. Not only is it simple to make, it’s also incredibly delicious. Best of all, you don’t even need to reheat it.

Loadshedding meal tip: Pasta salads are ideal for making ahead of loadshedding. Double up on portions for yummy lunch or dinner leftovers the next day.
Recipe for Basil Pesto, Pea, Pine Nut & Pecorino Pasta Salad

Seared Tuna Burger with Avo & Edamame Smash & Wasabi Mayo

If you’ve got access to a gas stovetop and a frying pan, then you’re in business with this burger. The wasabi mayo adds just the right amount of kick to the wholesome and delicious tuna.

Loadshedding meal tip: All this burger needs is a quick sizzle and sear.
Recipe for Seared Tuna Burger with Avo & Edamame Smash & Wasabi Mayo

Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs

If all else fails, crank up the braai midweek – you’ll be the envy of all your neighbours when the smell wafts down the street.

Loadshedding tip: Kebabs don’t need a huge fire; keep it small and cook them quickly.
Recipe for Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs

The opportunity to braai more might just be loadshedding’s only redeeming quality. Check out these awesome braai recipes

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