Inspired by Nandos

Now before you jump to conclusions, I have yet to actually eat here. I was given a bottle of Nando’s lemon & herb peri peri sauce, and wanted to create a meal with those flavours as the base. I began researching about the history of Nando’s and found out that it has a South African influence alongside Portuguese, so I decided to work with those flavour profiles with this. It turned out to be a fantastic treat, with some heat and depth of flavour that made me want to jump on a plane!

For the protein portion of this I used a Quorn© chicken breast, but this could easily be made vegan by putting a grilled portabello mushroom or chargrilled aubergine steak in it’s place 😀 Not only is this a far healthier version than your typical weekend takeaway meal, but easy to put together & make! Recipe inspiration came from Abel & Cole (my veg delivery guys) and the internet!

Nando’s Family Meal

nandos inspired meal

Serves: 2 with enough for leftovers

Ingredients: Bittersweet Chicory Salad

  • 2-4 chicory
  • 2-3 tbsp butter/vegan margarine/coconut oil
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 mug orange juice
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • a handful of parsley, chervil, or coriander to serve

Ingredients: Sweet Potato Chips

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 150g crème fraiche, natural or greek yogurt (V)
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • a good pinch (about 1/8 tsp) chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
  • A pinch of paprika

Ingredients: Chakalaka (South African Curry)

  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • handful of beansprouts
  • curry powder, to your taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • green chilies (optional)
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup water

Ingredients: Portuguese Rice

  • 1 cup long grain rice, well washed to get rid of starch
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp each of salt & pepper
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne , to taste (if needed)

Ingredients: Protein

  • 1 Quorn© chicken breast OR 1 grilled portobello mushroom OR 1 chargrilled aubergine steak
  • 1 bottle lemon & herb peri peri Nandos sauce


  1. As always, begin with your rice first. You can always leave it to warm up in the oven while you get to the rest of the food. Get a saucepan out, big enough to hold all the ingredients, and whack it over a medium heat. Get the olive oil in, and then cook down the onions & garlic, moving them around in the pan so they don’t burn but caramelise. Add the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Throw in the rice, move everything around so it is coated evenly. Add in the spices & coat evenly Add the chopped tomatoes, and cook another couple of minutes. Then add the stock, tabasco sauce & worcestershire sauce, mix thoroughly and bring to a boil. Then simmer it all down, covered on a low heat for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat & let sit for 5 minutes. Then taste test and make any necessary changes. Set aside.
  2. While the rice is cooking, you can get the oven heated up to 200˚C, and get your sweet potatoes on the go. Get a roasting pan out big enough to fit them all with some space in between. Peel your sweet potatoes. Cut into chip-like fingers. Set aside. Then get to your dressing so it has time to chill. First mix the crème fraiche or yogurt with a good pinch of sea salt, a grating of lime zest, a good squeeze of juice, the cumin, chilli powder and coriander or parsley. Taste. Feel free to adjust the seasoning, if needed. You might want to add more lime juice. Or, extra chilli powder. You want it to have a decent kick – it’s a lovely contrast to the sweet potatoes. When you’re happy with it, pop in the fridge to keep cool. Get your pan out. Add a 3 blobs of coconut oil. Place in the oven to melt down. Once hot, add your sweet potatoes, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Get your protein in the oven at this time as well if using. Or frying pan if using a mushroom. Cook until golden on all sides, checking and turning frequently. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a good pinch of paprika and salt to your warm chips. Serve hot with the cold dip when ready! Drizzle the peri peri sauce on your protein when ready to serve.
  3. Two down, two more to go! While the first two things are getting their groove on in the heat, get to your salad. Halve your chicory lengthwise. Carve out the smooth little triangle bit of white in the centre – removing it helps it cook more evenly. Get a frying pan quite hot. Add a lump of whatever you are using, coconut oil was my choice as it handles high heat the best, but all work well. Let it sizzle and froth. Add your chicory halves cut-side down. Season them & let them take it all in. Then, add enough orange juice to come about 3/4 way up chicory – so just the arched back is peeping up. Let this bubble up. Cover and cook until the chicory are tender. Uncover the pan. Drizzle in the honey/agave. Let the sweetened juice reduce down to a thick, dark, toffee-like syrup. The cut-side of the chicory should be nicely golden. Arrange in a dish. Scatter herbs over the top and serve or set aside covered until ready.
  4. Last but not least, the chakalaka! Get a large frying pan or wok out and turn the heat to medium-high. Get your oil in there (I used coconut oil) Fry the onion and pepper together with oil in a large skillet until the onion is clear & cooked down. Add the grated carrots, tomatoes, water, and all the seasonings to your liking and cook for about 15-20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes throw in the beansprouts. Make sure you mix everything occasionally so it cooks evenly.

nandos inspired mealFullSizeRender (26)south african meal 1


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