By Megan Clarke

Serves 4


  • 400g cooked fusilli pasta
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 block (350g) tofu
  • 1 tin (450g) chopped tomato/ tomato puree
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the red peppers in half length-ways and deseed. Place on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 180°C until skins are blistering.
  2. Chop garlic and onion and sauté in a frying pan until onions are translucent.
  3. Place the roasted peppers, onions and garlic, block of tofu, tinned tomatoes and seasoning in a blender or food processor and blend until pureed.
  4. Serve with whole wheat pasta of choice.

Nutrient analysis per serving: 

1358kJ energy, 45g carbohydrate (of which 7.5g sugar), 16g protein, 10g fat (of which 1.2g saturated fat), 8g fibre, 236mg sodium.

We love it!

This recipe is plant based, high in fibre, low in fat and salt and a good source of vitamin C.

Dietitians say:

Fibre promotes gut health, aids in blood sugar control, and helps prevent certain cancers.

Top tip: red peppers are packed with Vitamin C to support the immune system.

Meet the Dietitian: Nireshnee Reddy

Nireshnee Reddy is a registered dietitian and serves on the ADSA Executive Committee 2021 – 2023 in the portfolio Public Sector. We thought it well to meet up with her and get to know her a bit better.

  • Tell us a bit more of yourself?

I’m 39 years old, wife to my high school sweetheart, Prean and mum to 2 amazing kids (Kiara and Kaelen). We have a dog, and 2 chickens J I love spending time with my family and am passionate about Indian classical dance and music. I enjoy doing social work that involves children.  I love birthdays as I feel it a great opportunity to celebrate a person’s uniqueness and contribution to this world!

  • Why did you become a Registered Dietitian?

In high school, I had to do a research project and chose to do the impact of the Indian diet on blood glucose control in diabetics compared to the impact of Western diet on blood glucose control in support of my mum who was diabetic for 15 odd years at that time.  It was then that I met dietitians (Phumelele Mthembu and Chantell Witten) for the first time, and they inspired me to do dietetics.

  • What would you have wanted to do if not Dietetics?

Medical Doctor

  • Where did you study (degree and/ or postgrad)

Proudly UKZN (Undergrad and Masters)

  • Where do you work and what does your job entail?

KZN Department of Health – Assistant Director Nutrition at the Provincial Office

We provide technical support to other government departments, districts in KZN, and health facilities. We develop guidelines and policies that support the implementation of the Integrated Nutrition Programme.

  • Walk us through a day in your life?

It really does vary and could start at 5am (when travelling to far away districts) and end at 11pm completing reports or driving back home.  There are amazing days of working with clinics and outreach staff to deliver nutrition services, and there are long board room days strategizing and planning. There are then office days of admin, and reviewing reports, and hospital days of clinical audits and monitoring. In summary no 2 days are the same.

  • What do you enjoy most about the work you do? What are the most satisfying moments?

Developing and implementing interventions that brings about positive change gives me gratitude and appreciation for being in the field of nutrition. Dietetics is dynamic and vast and there is so much we can do, even with little.  Having the opportunity to support and mentor younger dietitians also gives me joy, for as much as they develop I also learn from them along the way.

  • What has been your career highlight?

Completing my Master’s degree whilst working full time in a demanding job, taking care of my family and living life.  It felt impossible at times and I felt like giving up.

  • What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

At times the fruits of your labour are also dependent on bigger systems and challenges beyond your control.

  • What is something that people don’t know about you?

I am able to read, write and speak in my mother tongue (Tamil – a South Indian tamil language) and

I’m also a qualified Bharatha Natyam (South Indian classical) dancer, although a bit rusty now.

  • What are your favourite foods?

Sushi & crab curry

  • What are the three things that you think people should stop saying when they meet a dietitian?

Can I have a diet sheet?

Don’t look at what I’m eating.

You must cook very healthy things at home


By Kelly Francis


  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato (roasted)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 whole eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup plain, fat free yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with paper cups
  2. Make oat flour by grinding rolled oats until fine. Measure 2 cups after grinding.
  3. Add the sweet potato, the oil, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla into a large bowl and whisk to combine
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  5. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined
  6. Spoon the mixture into 12 paper muffin cups and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Nutrient analysis per serving

Energy: 287kJ | CHO: 21.7g (of which sugar 4.5g) | Prot: 3.95g | Fat: 21.3g (of which sat fat 3.8g) | Fibre: 2.5g | Sodium: 257.4mg

We love it:

This recipe is easy to prepare, stores well and is perfect for on-the-go, one-handed snacking while breastfeeding or carrying a baby!

Dietitians say:

Both sweet potato and oats are nutrient dense sources of fibre which make them a perfect substitute for white flour. Nutrient density is important for busy moms.

Top tip: The mixture is stickier than a traditional muffin recipe


By: Mico Price

Serves: 4 people


  • 3 – 4 aubergines
  • 2 tins chopped pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic or 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or Parmesan cheese

White sauce

  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 400 ml low fat milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Slice the aubergines into 1cm discs, place on a tray and sprinkle with coarse salt. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Combine the tinned tomatoes, garlic, oregano, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 20-30 minutes until sweet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and lightly cook the aubergines on each side. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the white sauce. Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Add the flour to make a paste. Whisk in the milk a little at a time until the sauce thickens. Flavour with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. This dish can be made on a stove top or in the oven. Select an oven proof casserole dish or a large frying pan.
  6. Place a small amount of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of the aubergine slices on the sauce.
  7. Alternate layers of tomato sauce and aubergine, finishing off with a tomato sauce layer.
  8. Pour the white sauce over and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs or parmesan.
  9. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or simmer lightly on the stove top for 40 – 50 minutes.

Nutrient analysis per serving:

Energy: 1449kJ | CHO: 53.7g (of which 19.8sugar) | Prot: 12.1g | Fat: 12g (of which 5 mg cholesterol) | Fibre: 18.7g

We love it:

People are often nervous to try aubergines but this is a delicious way to serve it. It can be served as a main dish or used as a side dish

Dietitians say:

This recipe is a delicious vegetarian dish which is suitable for diabetics as it has a low glycaemic index and contains small amounts of added sugar.

Top tip: This recipe can be made on the stovetop or in the oven, choose an oven proof dish or large frying pan.


By: Mariska Barnard

Serves: 2 portions



  • 120 g Chicken breast fillet
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Chicken spice to taste


  • 1 cup Baby spinach
  • ½ cup Cucumber
  • ¼ medium Avocado
  • ¾ cup Strawberries
  • ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 10 g Cashews, unsalted
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Grill chicken in oven with olive oil and chicken spice until cooked.
  2. Cut cucumber into quarter circles, dice up the avocado in blocks and slice up the strawberries into quarters.
  3. Cut the mozzarella cheese into blocks.
  4. Wash baby spinach if needed.
  5. After chicken has cooled down, slice into pieces as well.
  6. Put all ingredients together and drizzle some Balsamic vinegar over the salad.

We love it!

This recipe can be easily changed into a side dish by removing the chicken and dividing it into smaller servings.

Dietitians say:

Cashews contains Omega 3 fatty acids, a heart healthy fat, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce chances of stroke and heart attack and is anti-inflammatory.

Top tip: To check if chicken is cooked through, cut into it and make sure the juice is clear!

Nutrient analysis per serving:

Energy: 1009 kJ | Carbohydrates: 5.3 g (of which 4.3 g sugar) | Protein: 24.3 g |

Fat: 12.9 g | Fibre: 3 g | Sodium: 389 mg


By: Mico Price

Serves: 4-6 people


  • 1 punnet or 250g mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ – 1 pepper, chopped
  • 6 cups chopped spinach or baby spinach leaves
  • Olives, pitted
  • Sundried tomatoes (in olive oil/rehydrate in warm water for 30 minutes or until soft)
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic or 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Any pasta of your preference.


  1. Slice the aubergine into 1cm thick discs.
  2. Place on a tray and sprinkle with coarse salt. Set for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into cubes.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the crushed garlic, chopped aubergine, mushrooms and pepper and fry until soft and cooked.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the spinach and cover with a lid until the spinach is soft. About 5-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and olives and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Boil the pasta. Retain some of the pasta water.
  8. Add the pasta to the cooked veggies and cook for a further 5 minutes. If you prefer your pasta to be saucier add some of the pasta water that was retained.
  9. Season as needed.

Nutrient analysis per serving:

Energy: 1239kJ | CHO: 50.2g (of which 0.8 g sugar) | Prot: 11.8 g | Fat: 5g(of which 61 mg cholesterol) | Fibre: 2.6g

We love it:

This is a very versatile plant based recipe and you can add a lean protein source of your choice. Kids love it too!

Dietitians say:

This recipe is very low in total fat, which makes it suitable for people with chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.


By Tharien Bezuidenhout

Serves 6


  • ½ Onion – finely chopped                         
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely minced                     
  • 2 tsp Olive oil                                                   
  • 2 tsp Curry masala                                            
  • 2 tsp Turmeric                                                  
  • 1 tsp Cumin                                                       
  • 1 tsp Coriander                                                 
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon                                                 
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds                                                              
  • 1 Thumbnail fresh ginger – finely grated
  • 2 Red chillies – deseeded (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Chutney
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 600g Skinless Chicken Breasts – cut into small strips
  • ¼ cup Lentils – dried
  • ½ tin (120g) drained Chickpeas
  • ½ tin (200ml) Coconut milk
  • 5-6 Carrots – julienne strips
  • ½ tsp Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent over medium heat.
  2. Add all spices to onion mix and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.  The mix will be dry.
  3. Add fresh ginger and chilies.
  4. Add chutney and lemon juice. Deglaze pot with ¼ cup water.
  5. Add chicken strips and cook through.
  6. Add dried lentils, chickpeas and coconut milk.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add carrots and simmer for 60 minutes over medium heat for the best flavour.
  9. Serve with ½ cup brown rice or ½ cup whole-wheat couscous.
  10. Garnish with fresh tomato and desiccated coconut.

Nutrient analysis per serving:

Energy: 311 Kcal | CHO: 14.9g (of which sugar 7.4g) | Prot: 34g | Fat: 9.2g (of which sat fat 4.8) | Fibre: 3.9g | Sodium: 297mg

We love it:

This recipe is delicious, packed with flavour, healthy with many benefits from all the spices. Keep a couple of portions in your deep freeze for an easy meal.

Dietitians say:

Capsaicin – the component that gives chillies their heat has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and blood glucose regulating effects.

Top tip: Legumes are high in Fibre and can significantly lower the risk of heart disease

Meet the Dietitian: Michelle Zietsman

Michelle Zietsman serves on the ADSA Executive Committee 2021 – 2023 in the Representation portfolio (and she serves as chair of our ADSA Pretoria branch). We thought it well to meet up with her and get to know her a bit better.

Tell us a bit more of yourself?

My name is Michelle Zietsman and I am 27 years young.  I live in Pretoria with my amazing husband Mauritz, who is a Youth Pastor at Every Nation Hennopspark.  We have two fur babies (pugs), Britney and Bruno.  Bruno was named after my husband’s favourite Manchester United soccer player, Bruno Fernandez.  I have one older sister who is an engineer and always helps me with my excel spreadsheets as I just cannot get the hang of it.  My sister and I are extremely close, although she is moving to the Netherlands at the end of the year so I will miss her dearly.  But luckily, we will get to visit them and get to explore the beautiful country.  We are a very close family.  My parents live in Cape Town so we try to visit them as often as we can.   

I have been a Registered Dietitian for almost 6 years now and I still feel like I am just scratching the surface of all the amazing things we can do and be as dietitians.  I love growing in the dietetic field and as a person, and I love how being a dietitian has contributed to shaping and molding me into the person I am today. 

Why did you become a Registered Dietitian?

I have known without a doubt since I was 15 that I wanted to be a dietitian.  I developed an interest in nutrition and I was so intrigued with how food choices can affect our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being in either a positive or not-so-positive way.   

What would you have wanted to do if not Dietetics?

This is a tough question for me because it has always been dietetics.  But I think I would still choose to be a health care professional, maybe a nurse, speech therapist or occupational therapist?  And if not a healthcare professional, then definitely a chef with a restaurant that provided unique culinary experiences!  

Where did you study (degree and/ or postgrad)

I obtained my BSc Degree in Dietetics at the North-West University.  I also completed a Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling at the South Africa Theological Seminary and I am currently studying towards becoming a South African Certified Lactation consultant.   

Where do you work and what does your job entail?

I work at En Bonne Santé Dieticians, which is a dietetic private practice.  En Bonne Santé is French for “In Good Health”.  I provide nutrition counselling, support and guidance for individuals to achieve their lifestyle goals, no matter where you are in your health journey.  I have a special interest in women’s health and nutritional intervention for chronic diseases.  I also consult with those who wish to follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, or those interested in eating more plant-based.  I aim to promote eating patterns that emphasize whole plant foods not only for health and well-being but also for sustainable and compassionate living. 

What do you enjoy most about the work you do? What are the most satisfying moments?

I love when my clients rediscover that even though food is about health, it is also about culture, fun, family and relationship.  And when they break free from the restrict-binge cycle. 

What has been your career highlight?

That is still a work in progress 😉

What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

At the moment, I feel like the biggest challenge for me is that many well-meaning individuals, without a degree in Dietetics, are claiming to be nutrition experts and are promoting extreme diets or they want to sell weight-loss products.  In most cases, people’s beliefs regarding health and weight are affected negatively and this can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.  These restrictive health beliefs are challenging for clients to release.  But as I mentioned earlier, the most satisfying moments are when people break free from restrictive diets and realize that a real healthy lifestyle is much more abundant.

What is something that people don’t know about you?

I follow a Vegan lifestyle 😊

What are your favourite foods?

I love tropical fruits OR Mexican style dishes with beans, guacamole and salsa OR a Curry.

What are the three things that you think people should stop saying when they meet a dietitian?

“Please don’t look at the food I dish up” OR “oh you must put me/my spouse on a diet” when you are at a Braai OR “what do you think about the Blood Group diet?”

Meet the Dietitian: Janke Draper

We caught up with Janke Draper, who serves on the ADSA Executive Committee in the Membership portfolio for the term 2021 – 2023. We met up with her to get to know her a bit better!

Tell us a bit more of yourself?

I am a wife of the best husband in the world and a mother of three lovely boys. My favourite place to be is at home and I like to spend time outside with my family.

Why did you become a Registered Dietitian?

I am not exactly sure about how exactly I decided to become a dietitian, it always feels as if the profession chooses me…and not the other “expected” way around.

What would you have wanted to do if not Dietetics?

When I was a little girl I wanted to become a teacher. But now since I have my own children I think it is better that I did not become a teacher, even though I do teach patients on a daily basis, so it is a win-win!

Where did you study (degree and/ or postgrad)

I completed my B.Sc. Dietetics degree at the University of the Free State and then I obtained my Master’s degree in dietetics also at the UFS.

Where do you work and what does your job entail?

I am a proud public servant. I am the sole dietitian at a TB Specialist Hospital in the province of the rising sun in a small town, Standerton and I also act as the food service manager.

Walk us through a day in your life?

Loads of administration, ward rounds, kitchen visits, training at clinics and lots of meetings. I used to travel a lot, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, we travel less and attend more online meetings and training. And then of course, when I get home after work, my “real” work starts (the job to keep three little busy boys alive).

What do you enjoy most about the work you do? What are the most satisfying moments?

The best part of my work is when I get the opportunity to teach and interact with patients. And the most satisfying moments are when we notice some positive change.

What has been your career highlight?

I think over the period of nine years there have been many significant highlights, but a personal highlight was when I was nominated and selected as one of the top three public service dietitians in Mpumalanga Province in 2018.

What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

The world of dietetics is unlimited and the research is forever changing, so for me the biggest challenge is to stay up to date with the newest findings in as many nutrition aspects as possible.

What is something that people don’t know about you?

I am a cat lover and I dream of adopting my own Maine Coon cat one day.

What are your favourite foods?

I like a big variety of foods, but I can’t resist a good pasta, soup in the winter, salad and fruit in the summer and chocolate.

What are the three things that you think people should stop saying when they meet a dietitian?

  • Are carbs bad for you?
  • What do you do in a hospital?
  • What is the best weight loss trick?


by Eloïse Swanepoel

Yields 24 muffin size quiches or 2x 30cm large quiches


  • 1 tin sardines in tomato sauce
  • 2 Medium sized carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 baby marrows, washed and grated
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) full cream plain yoghurt
  • 400ml full cream milk (or low fat if preferred)
  • Seasoning – I used lemon and black pepper spice with salt
  • Lemon and parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Feta and Paprika to crumble over top of quiches


  1. Preheat oven to 180֯C
  2. Grease 2×12 muffin pans or 2 x 30cm quiche dish with spray ‘n cook
  3. Flake sardines with bones into small pieces (bones add valuable calcium and can be eaten as it is soft)
  4. Mix fish with grated carrots and baby marrow (filling)
  5. Whisk together eggs, milk and yoghurt and seasoning
  6. If baking mini quiches (muffin size), spoon about 1 heaped tablespoon filling (3/4 full) into each muffin hole, fill to the top with egg mixture. Or if making large quiches, divide filling between the two dishes and fill to the top with egg mixture
  7. Crumble feta over the filling and sprinkle with paprika and dried herbs like thyme or parsley if preferred
  8. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown and set. The large quiches may need to bake for longer than the muffin sized option.
  9. Let cool and serve as a grab-and-go snack, or with a side salad as a light lunch.
  10.  It can also be frozen once cooled. Store in air-tight container. To defrost take out overnight and place in fridge or microwave until thawed and at desired temperature.

Nutritional analysis: 2 muffin sized mini-quiches = 1 serving

Energy: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 11.5g | Fat: 4.6g | Sodium: 665mg | Fibre: 4.9g

We love it because:

It is a convenient, quick, grab-and-go snack for a breastfeeding mom that is nutritious, providing important nutrients for the lactating mother and will also benefit the breastfeeding baby by providing essential Omega-3 and vitamin D to mom, increasing the value thereof in the breast milk. It can be prepared in bulk and be frozen to save time and ensuring mom has access to a filling, healthy snack or light meal on those days that she is couch-bound with her little one.  It is also a nutritious snack for older siblings’ lunch boxes, or anyone in the family to share with.

Dietitians say:

Sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This is an essential fatty acid required for brain development, and breast milk content thereof is affected by the mother’s dietary intake thereof.

Top tip:

The sardine bones are edible and a great source of calcium – important for mom’s bone health