Mzansi’s First Official Heart-Healthy Gatsby

Capetonians came in numbers and gathered around the V & A Waterfront amphitheatre to witness the iconic gatsby’s new makeover during National Nutrition Week (9-15 October)

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We all know gatsby to be a hearty, delicious and filling meal with all the works and we love it like that.  Now, Pharma Dynamics, a prevention minded pharmaceutical company, issued a challenge to create a heart healthy gatsby in a bit to promote the importance of a healthy and balanced diet and keep diseases at bay.

Mariska Fouché, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says the challenge is in line with the company’s on-going drive to promote healthy eating via its popular Cooking from the Heart initiative.  The latter is a free online recipe book containing more than 70 heart-healthy local dishes, which forms part of its umbrella campaign, called iChange4Health.

“More than 40% of all deaths in the country are attributed to chronic diseases of lifestyle, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer hypertension and diabetes, and most of these are preventable if changes are made to the way we live and attention is given to what we eat,” says Fouché.

Food specialist and author of Cooking from the Heart, Heleen Meyer, created South Africa’s first official heart-healthy gatsby.  The gatsby was 8.24metres long, big enough for everyone that was at the amphitheatre to taste.  Gatsby retailers around the Cape such as Cosy Corner got to taste and shared their opinions of the heart-healthy gatsby with the crowd.  This is what she had to say about the gatsby:

“Most fast food meals can be turned into a simple, lean and healthier version by making some modifications.  In this instance I’ve replaced traditionally deep-fried chips with oven-baked chips, polony with baked beans and lean red meat, and I’ve added fresh ginger, lemon juice and masala for extra flavour.  These modifications translates into a delicious, nutritious Gatsby that is lower in total fat, unhealthy saturated fat and salt, and higher in fibre, making it a better choice for the heart,” .

For more guilt-free local recipes visit the site:

Visit for inspirational stories by fellow South Africans who have turned their lives around by making healthy and concious food choices.  They also provide some guidelines on healthy eating.

For information and advice on healthy lifestyles, visit:

SA’s First Official Heart-Healthy Gatsby Recipe

Adapted  by Heleen Meyer from Cooking from the heart

Serves: 6


Chakalaka Sauce

10ml (2 tsp) olive or sunflower oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

15ml (1Tbsp) finely chopped fresh ginger

1 green pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

5ml (1tsp) masala of your choice or more to taste

1x 410g tin baked beans in tomato sauce (choose a Heart Mark approved product)

5ml (1tsp) sugar

Lemon juice and black pepper to taste


Oven-Baked Chips

3-4 medium potatoes in the skin

20ml (4tsp) olive or sunflower oil

Black pepper to taste

1.25ml (¼tsp) salt

2.5ml (½tsp) dried thyme or rosemary


Masala Steak

2.5ml (½tsp) salt

Black pepper to taste

10ml (2tsp) masala of your choice or more to taste

480g steak, excess fat removed

10ml (2tsp) olive or sunflower oil

15ml (1Tbsp) lemon juice

1 large wholewheat “gatsby” baguette (30cm) or 6cm hamburger rolls

2-3 fresh tomatoes, sliced lettuce


  1. Sauce: Heat oil in a pot and fry onion, ginger and green pepper until soft.  Add masala, beans and sugar and simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes.  Season with lemon juice and pepper and keep warm.
  2. Chips: Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.  Cut potatoes into wedges and place in a bowl.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the potatoes.  Mix well to coat the potatoes with the oil.  Place in a single layer on an oven tray.  Bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Steak: Mix salt, pepper and masala and rub onto meat.
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry meat until golden brown on both sides.  Reduce the heat and add lemon juice.  Cover with a lid and cook for 2 – 5 minutes or until cooked to your preference.  Remove from the pan and cut meat into thin slices.
  6. Cut the baguette or rolls open.  Assemble Gatsby by placing a layer on the bread and spoon sauce over.  Cover with a layer of meat.  Top with tomato and lettuce, close baquette and cut into portions or serve a roll per person.
  7. Serve immediately.



About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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