Cooking Up A Healthy Storm

Contact Info

0860 372 029
Their Website
155 West St, Sandown, Sandton, 2031

Shenise is back in town and she's got some cooking tips and tricks she wants to share with you. Darlings, let's cook. 

My Darlings, I am back from a lovely little trip to the Big Apple. Yup, I spent some time in New York City, and let me tell you, that city just DOES NOT sleep. There's always something happening: construction guys jack hammering all over the place at midnight, or artsy film students riding bicycles down Lexington Avenue after an all-nighter... it's crazy. As for me, well I love my sleep and am super happy to be back in good old Johannesburg... yawn.

Well, neither here nor there. I want to use this opportunity to tell you about a little team building thing we did the other day. Our office was invited to go cook up a storm at the Vitality Healthy Food Studio at Discovery's head office in Sandton - you know, the one on West Street? Yes, that one. Let me tell you straight - they're all about that foodie's vibe, all right. You've not lived until you've cooked in that kitchen. see, I am the type of lady that loves spending time in the kitchen - making gnocchi from scratch, baking Italian slipper bread from the ground up... that type of stuff. It's therapy times ten.

Now, the Vitality healthy Food Studio is about fresh, seasonal ingredients, real nutrition, and sustainable eating. It all comes together with a dash of delicious and a splash of savory as the Prue Leith Chefs Academy takes the lead on a sixty-minute crash course before we pop out our own skills. The idea was to show us a bunch of tricks and tips and then send each of us to our very own cooking stations to recreate what they've shown us.

The idea behind the Vitality Healthy Food Studio is to offer cooking courses that do not deprive or promote from any food fashions or diet trends but to make use of whole foods in each and every meal prepared here. They offer a wide array of cooking courses, such as seasonal delights, food on the go, and desserts (yes, you do get healthy desserts). 

And to celebrate my safe return from the USA, here's one of the recipes our team cooked up. The Tandoori-Spiced turkey is divine. If you can't find any turkey (because it's not gobble-gobble season yet), replace it with the biggest chicken you can find... oh, and all of these recipes were made with ingredients from Woolies (because the studio is in partnership with them), so if you want to you can go shop there for the necessaries. 

Tandoori-Spiced Turkey (or Chicken)


2-3kg whole turkey

200ml low-fat plain yoghurt

7ml garam masala

10g paprika

5ml hot chili powder

5ml ground cumin

2.5ml ground turmeric

30ml lemon juice

30ml canola oil

10g tomato paste

10g cloves of garlic,

finely chopped

4cm fresh ginger,

finely chopped

1⁄2 tsp salt


Combine all the ingredients except the turkey in a mixing bowl and taste. If you prefer it spicier, add more chilli. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Gently dry with kitchen paper. Place the turkey in a flat glass dish; fold the wingtips underneath the body of the turkey in order to stabilise it. Carefully remove the wishbone close to the neck by scraping the bone with a small knife and pulling it out with your fingers. The bone is situated in a V-shape around the neck of the turkey. This makes it easier to slice the turkey elegantly when serving.

Baste the entire turkey thoroughly with the marinade. The marinade should be brushed on generously and add a spoonful into the cavity. Bring the two legs of the turkey together and tie tight with some string. This will ensure that the turkey holds its shape and that it will cook evenly. Cover the turkey with plastic wrap and let it marinate overnight. Take the turkey out of the fridge about an hour before cooking. Prepare the fire in a kettle braai. It is ready when you can keep your hand over the fire for about 8 seconds. Spread the fire out to two sides. Place a foil container in the middle. Direct heat will cause the marinade to burn too quickly.

Spray the grill with a greaser such as Spray and Cook. Place the turkey in the middle of the sprayed grill over the foil container. Put the lid on and open the ventilation three quarters. Make sure that the ventilation control under the coals is also open. Resist the temptation to open the lid too often.

Depending on the heat of the coals and the size of the turkey it can take up to 2 1⁄2 hours to cook. When the turkey is dark brown and you think it might be ready, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (do not touch the bone). If the temperature reaches between 70oC – 73oC the turkey is cooked and ready.

Let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whole wheat flat bread (this can also be made on the fire), yoghurt and cucumber dip, Middle Eastern salads and/or vegetable dishes. The turkey can also be cooked in the oven at 160/170 oC for about 2 hours, depending on the size of the turkey.

Photo: The Real Jenty

by Shenise

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