Fill in the blank…Health Food is …. { blog-worthy is my answer }



 When my photographer friend Vanessa told me she had been asked to photograph a recipe book for a Health Hydro in the picturesque Natal Midlands I immediately thought ” I could do with a week at a health hydro in the Midlands,” “what a wonderful opportunity for her. ”

Vanessa came back with so many tips on how we could improve our lifestyles and health by making subtle changes to our diets that my envy quickly turned to eagerness as we waited for the book to be published. The book arrived last week, and after literally reading it cover to cover,  I am now more determined than ever to get down to Brookdale Health Hydro !

( Another confession) Until recently, I have never been particularly interested in “health food”; often finding health food restaurants dull, the food bland and the cookbooks uninspiring.
This is definitely not the case with the Brookdale recipe book!  I took advantage of the rainy, wet weather in Johannesburg this weekend to try out a few “comfort food recipes ” in the book, including the Lentil Bobotie ( below) the Lentil , Bringal & Mushroom Moussaka ( pg 94 ) and the Vegetable & Bean Lasagne ( pg 93)  and the Boiled Orange Nut Cake.

This book is an absolute gem! Not just because of the beautiful pictures and lovely design, but because it is so user friendly! I love all the tips and suggestions, I love that there are no hard to pronounce names, and no obscure and impossible to find ingredients, and in particular, I REALLY love that it is not just a book of healthy salads but can be used for all manner of family meals, from breakfasts, to meat main courses, light meals, and desserts. (Yes! desserts in a health food book that actually taste nice! )
Not to mention the fabulous 21 day meal plan and pantry list that is also included to get you started. This book is really a winner, see below for details on how to order.



serves 8

Brookdale Recipe Book LENTIL BOBOTIE

2 onions, chopped
15ml / 1 tblspn garlic, crushed
15ml / 1 tblspn ginger, crushed
30ml/ 2 tblspns tumeric powder
30ml/ 2 tblspns curry powder
45ml/ 3 tblspns cumin powder
45ml/ 3 tblpns paprika powder
herb salt & black pepper
500g brown lentils
6 potatoes, cooked with skin on and mashed

Egg Custard

6 eggs
250ml milk
5ml turmeric
Herb salt & pepper
Bay leaves.





Sauté onion in a little oil and add garlic, ginger, and all the spices.
Cook for a few minutes.
Rinse the lentils well, then put them into a large saucepan, adding water and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and simmer with lid tilted for 30 minutes or until soft.
Lightly mix together the drained lentil, smashed potatoes, onion, ginger, garlic , and spices and spoon into a greased casserole dish.
Press holes in lentil mixture with a fork, for egg custard to drain into.
Pour over egg custard and a few bay leaves.
Bake @180oC for 25-30 minutes until the custard is set.
Serve with plain yoghurt, a little fruit chutney and salad.

 For the egg custard – Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over the lentil mixture.

My observations on the recipe

  • No instructions were given for the egg custard, I assume this is because the book is for a predominately South African readership who know what is to be done wth the egg custard.
  • I added the zest and a few slices of lemon to my egg custard.
  • After cooking the lentils *** I decided to half the mixture as I realised the quantity of 8 servings was going to be way too much for my husband and I!

Useful tips on lentils

*** Until reading the Brookdale book I did not know that cooked lentils could be frozen. So this is what I have done with the extra lentils, frozen them in 1 cup portions to later be added to stews or soups.

*** Wash and soak lentils over night before cooking, even if the instructions on the packet say “no soaking required” as this helps reduce the flatulence. Cook UNCOVERED ( also for the flatulence) and DO NOT add salt whilst cookings as it toughens the skins.


Brookdale Recipe Book WHOLE ORANGE & NUT CAKE
Brookdale Recipe Book WHOLE ORANGE & NUT CAKE


To Order :

Phone +27 (0)33 266 6208


ISBN 978-0-620-52207-6

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