12 loadshedding strategies TASTE readers swear by

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12 loadshedding strategies TASTE readers swear by

We asked, you answered! You never know when your neighbourhood’s schedule may change – bookmark these nifty tips, so that when the lights go out, you can rest assured you won’t go to bed hungry.

As annoying as it is, loadshedding is firmly part of our reality and shows no signs of going away any time soon. Fortunately, we South Africans are resilient and always make a plan! Some have upgraded their kitchens and homes to make up for the lack of electricity so they can always cook when they want, while others have come up with strategies to ensure they’re well-fed during power outages. We asked TASTE readers on Instagram and Facebook to share their best loadshedding strategies and recipes – here’s what they said:

1. Get a Wonderbag or slow-cooker

“Not a recipe, but every home needs a Wonderbag! Food stays hot for hours, no reheating required.” Food Director, Abigail Donnelly, agrees. Learn more about the perks of a Wonderbag. If you have a slow-cooker, make the most of it. You can make warming stews in advance and dish up when the power goes out. P.S. A camper stove can come in handy, too.

Apricot-and-rose harissa slow-cooked lamb gyros

Get the recipe for apricot-and-rose harissa slow-cooked lamb gyros here.

2. One-pot meals are your friend

TASTE readers recommend sticking to one-pot meals with minimal ingredients for the ultimate speedy supper – they’re fast and easy, and there’s very little washing up to do. (No-one wants to wash dishes by candlelight!)

One-pot buttery orzo with leeks, baby marrows and Parmesan

Get the recipe for one-pot buttery orzo with leeks, baby marrows and Parmesan here.

3. Woolies rotisserie chicken for the win!

Store-bought, ready-made ingredients are timesavers. There’s no need to roast a chicken for close to an hour when you can pop into your nearest Woolies and buy one. Many meals can be made with rotisserie chicken – here’s a simple recipe to get you started.

Get the recipe for rotisserie chicken and roast tomatoes in peri-peri sauce here.

4. Head outside and braai

Weather permitting, set the table outside and braai. It’s a great way to get the family to sit together and catch up, even when the lights are out. Top options were steak, burgers, boerie rolls and pizza for those with wood-fired pizza ovens (technically not a braai, but fire is involved, so we’ll take it!). Add a salad and you have dinner sorted.

Braaied sirloin

Find the recipe for braaied sirloin here. 

5. Delicious dinners are pasta-ble!

Pasta is quick, filling and always a great idea. One TASTE follower mentioned that they make pasta in 15 minutes by stirring the sauce into hot pasta rather than heating it. We recently shared a cacio e pepe recipe that’s ready in just 5 minutes.  Plus, pasta is a standard pantry staple in most homes. So if you’ve forgotten to prep dinner and need to make something quick before the power is off, pasta is there to save the day.

recipes using canned tuna

Get the recipe for tuna-and-fennel pasta here. 

6. Schnitzel fo’shizzle

Buy frozen crumbed hake, chicken or pork and pop into the oven when you need something speedy and satisfying. Serve with a leafy salad on the side – or slice and make them the salad’s main attraction.

Caesar schnitzel

Get the recipe for Caeser chicken schnitzel here. 

ALSO READ: Yes, I love my air-fryer (and I’m not afraid to admit it!)

7. Brinner brinner is the winner!

And if you’re not in the mood to cook but don’t want to spend any more on takeaways, scrambled eggs are the easiest and quickest thing you can make. Plus, if you have a camper stove you can whip up breakfast food. P.S. Many people also mention just having cereal – and we totally get it!

Mom’s scrambled eggs

Get the recipe for mom’s scrambled eggs here. 

Looking for more loadshedding-approved recipes? Browse your recipe guide here. 

8. Batch-cooking is your best friend

It goes without saying, but reheating food is way faster than cooking. So when you have some time, batch-cooking is a great way to make sure you have something good for the family when cooking time is limited. You can also easily repurpose these meals they way our editor-in-chief, Kate Wilson, does with Bolognese, so you don’t get bored with batch-cooked food.

ALSO READ: Cooking with loadshedding: 8 tricks from the TASTE team


Find the recpe for cheat’s quick bolognese here.

9. Make epic sandwiches

Many people say they like to make sandwiches, but not just any sandwich, epic ones! From using up leftovers to making interesting fillings and layering up your faves, the humble sandwich is proving to be a life-saver. Toasties all fall into this category and the top choice for most of you was braaibroodjies (obviously!). You can also use small camper stoves to make toasties in a pinch when the power is out.

Braaibroodjie Club Sandwich

Find the recipe for braaibroodjie club sandwich here. 

Check out our sandwich recipe collection here. 

10. Noodles and stir-fries

Two-minute noodles are no longer just a varsity student’s essential. They’re a loadshedding essential, too. But for food nerds like us, there are many ways to pimp your noodles to ensure you have a satisfying meal. One is adding them to stir-fries, which happens to be another popular loadshedding dish. Quick, easy, versatile and colourful, stir-fries are always a win.


Find the recipe for Thai peanut noodles here.

11. Wrap it up

As with sandwiches, you’re embracing wraps a lot more during loadshedding. They’re also a great way to repurpose leftovers, salad included. Some filling options you’ve suggested are: deep-fried halloumi, chicken and tuna with Dijon mustard, miso, greens, red onion, cucumber and crisp lettuce. But the options are infinite!

Easy 3-cheese veggie braai quesadillas

Find the recipe for braai quesadillas here. 

12.  Make use of those pantry staples

We’ve already mentioned pasta, but another staple readers are also into is canned food. Tuna and beans were the most popular ingredients mentioned. When used in salads, sandwiches, pastas, curries and breakfasts, canned food can help make meals on the double.

Four-bean curry

Find the recipe for four bean curry here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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