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Not keen to spend hours in the kitchen? We have just the help you need

Award-winning chef Zanele van Zyl shares tasty, fast, no fuss type of recipes

Award-winning chef Zanele van Zyl shares her tasty and easy recipes.
Award-winning chef Zanele van Zyl shares her tasty and easy recipes.
Image: Supplied.

Spending hours in the kitchen can take the enjoyment out of food. For those who love to cook but don’t want to spend all their time in the kitchen, quick recipes and food prep is the way to go.

Award-winning chef Zanele van Zyl says these types of people are her kin, as she herself was inspired to create recipes that are tasty, fast, and no fuss. Having previously worked for a large corporate, Van Zyl knows the struggle of having to prepare a meal after a long day at work.

“When I started developing recipes, I always made sure that you can cook them in fewer than 20 minutes, to save time. Most of them, excluding oxtail, leg of lamb, and those types of dishes, take fewer than 20 minutes to prepare,” she says.

She makes sure the food is nutritious and tries to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. The self-published author recently won the Cookbook of the Year gong at the 2021 Luxe Restaurant Awards for her second book, Cooking With Zanele Volume 2: Find Joy In Cooking.

Her book contains recipes that can be prepared in 10 minutes. “It’s really humbling and heart-warming to see people recognise your craft and take it seriously. To think I wrote this book during Covid and lockdown time. I was so stressed about whether people would buy books at this time.

I thought they would rather go on the internet and get recipes instead of buying a cookbook.”

She shares some of her recipes for a quick kitchen fix.

Image: Supplied.

Pumpkin and beetroot salad

350g pumpkin cubes

30ml olive oil

4 medium beetroots, boiled and cubed

500g rocket leaves

2 red onions, thinly sliced

feta cheese, for garnish

60 g pumpkin seeds, for garnish


30ml balsamic vinegar

30ml olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Drizzle the pumpkin cubes with olive oil, and roast in the oven for eight to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, and put aside until cool. Wash the beetroots under running water to prevent it from “bleeding” in the salad. Place the pumpkin, rocket, beetroot, and onion in a salad bowl. Combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and drizzle over the salad. Garnish with feta and pumpkin seeds.

Image: Supplied.

Prawn curry

1 cup plain yoghurt

½ cup lemon juice

2 red chillies

a handful of fresh coriander

60g salted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

500g prawns, deveined

15ml fish spice

10ml ground coriander

10ml paprika

Salt and pepper

Blitz the yoghurt, lemon juice, chillies, and fresh coriander until smooth. Put aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Sauté the garlic, add the prawns, then fish spice, ground coriander, and paprika on low heat until cooked. Add the yoghurt mixture. Cook for four minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Chef’s tip

A secret to making delicious coleslaw is cutting the cabbage with a knife instead of grating it. This ensures that the cabbage doesn’t release water and make the coleslaw soggy.