SPAR Women's Challenge 2019

How to make food your friend

SPAR Eastern Cape chef and radio personality Khaya Kepe shares healthy shopping tips and a delicious sweet potato recipe

SPAR Eastern Cape consultant chef Khaya Kepe likes to get her children Shulami, three, and Zion, six, involved in the kitchen
SPAR Eastern Cape consultant chef Khaya Kepe likes to get her children Shulami, three, and Zion, six, involved in the kitchen
Image: Leon Hugo

SPAR chef consultant and radio personality Khaya Kepe gives you the inside track on her family's health journey - and shares a deliciously healthy sweet potato recipe

For a while now I have been on a journey to try and keep active for a healthier and stronger body.

Not only do I do strength training in the form of weight lifting at the gym but I also try and fit in some cardio in the form of running.

One of the things I had to learn regarding strength training and running is that food is your friend.

In order to have an effective and efficient workout or a long run, your body needs fuel to be able to sustain you.

So, it’s not the absence of food that is required but rather the type of food that you eat in order to be able to provide you with the energy you need.

That really excited me because I love my food. At the office they always laugh at me because I come with four packed lunches for the day and I am “constantly” eating.

I try and maintain a heathy balanced diet for myself and for the kids. We eat a lot of whole foods. We’ve cut out processed foods and sugar from our diet.

I’m constantly trying to introduce them to new fresh produce, vegetables and fruits.

I guess because I am a cook and I actually get the kids involved in the cooking I’ve been lucky that they become quite receptive to new foods and new concepts.

SPAR’s introduction of MyMito concept through Dr Margo de Kooker has also made my shopping pretty easy because I just look for the Mitos sticker on the products I am shopping for and I know that whichever one has the sticker is the best one for me to go for.

So now Shopping has become so much simpler, I don’t have to read labels, I can just come in and literally grab and go.

My go-to carbs and grains are sweet potato, quinoa, couscous, lentils and fresh homemade pasta. I also love loaded sweet potatoes which is also an excellent source of good carbs.

So, I’ve made a loaded sweet potato recipe which you can have as a meal either pre or post your workout or run.

It is are super easy to make and very delicious!

Khaya Kepe's loaded sweet potato
Khaya Kepe's loaded sweet potato
Image: Khaya Kepe

Khaya's quinoa salad loaded sweet potato


  • 2 large Freshline sweet potato, unpeeled. It is not necessary to peel, just wash skin
  • 1 tablespoon SPAR extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup diced SPAR Freshline red onion
  • ¼ cup diced SPAR Freshline red and yellow pepper
  • ½ cup SPAR frozen corn
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (I prefer red quinoa but you can use the white)
  • 1 cup SPAR canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon tahini (optional)
  • Few drops of tabasco sauce (optional)


Pierce the sweet potato with a fork and then microwave for three to five minutes depending on the size – make sure you place sweet potato in a microwaveable dish and cover so that it steams and does not dry out.

Alternately, you can pre-heat the oven to 180°C then wrap the sweet potato in foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion and peppers and sauté for about five minutes.

Add corn, quinoa, black beans and all the spices. Cook for three to four more minutes.

Cut sweet potato in half and mash with a fork then top with quinoa mix. Top with mashed avo.

If you are using, drizzle the dish with tahini and tabasco sauce.


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