Saving money doesn’t mean sacrificing taste

By: Adrienne Bogatie

To try and keep my grocery bill down, I am always looking for alternatives to meat. In my home, black bean burgers are a big hit and actually taste really close to meat burgers. Working odd hours also means I want food that is quick to make. I chose these recipes because they are so easy and convenient. Even though technically the boerewors kebabs aren’t really a recipe, they are a quick, easy, and different way to serve your boerewors. I love Chinese food, but don’t always want to get takeout, so I learned to make a tempura-style cashew nut chicken. Topped with the spicey peanut hoisin sauce, it is a good weekday meal or great for Yom Tov or Shabbos. All the recipes below work out to under R50 per person.

For more info, visit:

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Serves 4

Easy black bean burgers for everyone! You don’t need to follow the recipe or amounts exactly. I never do. Serve with your favourite burger fixings and sweet potato fries.


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 baby carrot, grated (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Maizena/cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 3 tablespoons (or to taste) Nando’s sauce (whichever flavour you like)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread, torn into small crumbs
  • ¾ cup flour, or as needed


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a baking sheet. Mash black beans in a bowl; add onion, garlic, and carrots. Mix. Whisk cornstarch, water, hot-sauce, chili powder, cumin, seafood seasoning, salt, and black pepper together in a separate small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into black bean mixture. Mix whole-wheat bread into bean mixture. Stir flour, ¼ cup at a time, into bean mixture until a sticky batter forms. Spoon ‘burger-sized’ mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about a ¾-inch thickness per mound. Shape into burgers. Bake in the preheated oven until cooked in the centre and crisp on the outside, about 10 minutes on each side. NB: One egg can be substituted for cornstarch. You can also add ¼ cup diced bell pepper.

Boerewors Kebabs

Stretch your meat a little further. This is great to do on a braai and even in the oven.

  • 12 skewers in soaked water.
  • 300 gm of boerewors cut into 2cm pieces
  • Assorted roasting vegetable cut into 2cm pieces. I like to use bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and occasionally mushrooms.
  • Your favourite sauce, we like sweet chili


On a skewer, alternate one veg piece with one piece of meat until your skewer is full. Brush with your chosen basting sauce and either grill in the oven or on the braai. Serve with either baked potatoes or mielie pap and tomato and onion gravy.

Cashew nut chicken

This recipe feeds 4 and takes about 30 minutes to make.

For the chicken:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of Maizena (cornflour)
  • Pinch of sea salt (you can use ordinary salt)
  • 500gm chicken breast sliced
  • 300ml sunflower or groundnut oil

For the stir fry:

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced
  • 3 tbsp of chicken stock
  • 2-3 tbsp light soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 large spring onions sliced lengthwise
  • 4 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
  • Salt and white pepper to season
  • Serve with steamed Jasmine rice


Mix cornflour, egg and sea salt in a bowl, whisking well. Add your chicken strips and coat the pieces well. Heat your wok, till it is smoking (if you don’t have a wok, use a large, heavy-based pan). (Smoking is when you heat the pan before adding the oil or other ingredients.) Fry the chicken strips for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the oil. Reheat the oil and fry your onion for a few seconds. Add the peppers and fry until they are just softened, but not soft. Add the chicken and stir fry for another minute. Add the stock and the soy sauce, simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in your spring onions and cashews. Season to taste. Serve hot with the Jasmine rice.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a regular feature in Asian/Chinese foods. Living in Johannesburg, it is very hard to find Kosher Hoisin sauce and also very expensive. So I decided to make my own. I prefer thick soy sauce, but thin works well too. This sauce goes well with the Cashew nut chicken

–You can use white sugar if you don’t have any brown, it will make the sauce a little sweeter.

–If you don’t have rice vinegar, use plain white vinegar

–You can use any hot sauce and add as little or as much as you need to suit your taste. (I use Tabasco.)


  • 8 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 Tbs peanut butter
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 4 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 8 drops hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


Blend everything together and use or store in a jar. It can be kept for up to 2 weeks.

Quick and Easy Minestrone

  • 1 Can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can spaghetti in tomato sauce
  • 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Italian mixed herbs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Put everything except the spaghetti into a large pot and heat it to just before boiling. Add the spaghetti in and stir. Adjust seasoning. Serve with a slice of cheesy toast.

Related posts