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Turn over new leaves

Following a vegetarian diet has taken on a whole new meaning as people become more aware of the effects of livestock farming and its effect on the environment, not to mention the treatment of animals. Vegetarian diets are sustainable because it’s simple to grow veggies in your own backyard. We’ve gathered some delicious meals you can try out from Christine Capendale, Disney Cookabout’s consultant chef.

Ancient grain and pomegranate salad with crispy onions and feta (Serves 2)


80g bulgur wheat

80g quinoa

400ml water

150g cooked, drained chickpeas

100g cooked, drained lentils

50ml chopped mint

50ml chopped parsley

Seeds of ½ pomegranate or one small pomegranate

Salt and black pepper for seasoning


30ml pomegranate molasses

1 garlic clove, crushed

15ml honey

30ml olive oil

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

5ml Dijon mustard or any mild mustard of choice

Salt and pepper for seasoning

To serve:

60ml crispy onion rings or flakes

100g feta cheese, cubed

Extra mint for garnish


Add the bulgur wheat, quinoa and water to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil on medium heat. Add some salt and cook for 15 minutes with lid on the saucepan until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Spoon the cooked quinoa and bulgur wheat into a large bowl to cool down quickly. After a few minutes, add the chickpeas, lentils, mint, parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jug and mix well. Add the dressing and toss through the salad.

Serve the salad topped with the crispy onion, feta and some mint as garnish.

Cornbread with cheddar and herbs (Serves 2)


30ml sunflower seeds

40g cake flour

60g maize meal

2.5ml cumin seeds

5ml baking powder

2.5ml salt

150g corn kernels

Pinch of chilli flakes

2 spring onions, chopped

30ml chopped coriander

30ml chopped parsley

10ml honey

1 egg

120g low fat yoghurt

30ml olive oil

40g grated cheddar cheese


40g grated cheddar cheese

A few thinly sliced red onion rings

12 cocktail tomatoes, halved and seasoned with salt and pepper


Grease a small ovenproof dish and pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Heat a non-stick pan and toast the sunflower seeds on medium heat until golden brown. Remove from the heat and cool.

Mix together the flour, maize, cumin seeds, baking powder and salt. Add the corn kernels to the dry ingredients as well as the chilli flakes, spring onion, coriander and the parsley and mix well. Add the cooled, toasted sunflower seeds and grated cheddar cheese.

In another bowl combine the honey, egg, yoghurt and olive oil. Add the yoghurt mixture to the corn mixture and mix lightly to combine and make the batter.

Pour the cornbread mixture into the prepared dish and scatter over the cheese, onion rings and the tomatoes. Bake in the oven for about 20–25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Eat warm as a braai side or with a salad for a delicious and healthy meal. You can serve this dish with a chakalaka sauce on the side.

Lentil stew with Swiss chard and coriander pesto (Serves 2)


125g red lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes

15ml olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

5ml grated ginger

Pinch chili flakes (add to taste)

2.5ml ground cumin

2.5ml ground coriander

2.5ml smoked paprika

2.5ml turmeric

1 cinnamon stick

Pinch allspice

30ml tomato paste

200ml chopped tomato

375ml vegetable or chicken stock

250ml chopped Swiss chard

60ml crispy onion flakes for serving

Salt and pepper for seasoning


(Make the full quantity of pesto but only use a teaspoon)

200ml coriander leaves

2 garlic cloves, crushed

20g toasted cashew nuts

60ml olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for two minutes while stirring, then add all the spices (chili, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon stick and allspice). Cook for another minute.

Add the soaked, drained lentils, tomato paste, chopped tomato and the stock and simmer (cook on low heat with lid on saucepan) for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the sauce thick. Add a bit more liquid if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Mix in the chopped Swiss chard and cook until it has wilted.

Serve with the pesto and the crispy onion with brown basmati rice.

*To make the pesto, blend together all the ingredients with a stick blender until smooth.

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