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Two-minute, Love-on-a-plate veggies for easier eating


Feb 19th, 11:51

A food-lover and cold chain refrigeration expert have launched a selection of tasty and nutritious vegetable side dishes to encourage South Africans to add more variety to their meals. Available in eight different options, the heat and eat, home-cooked-style dishes take just two minutes from freezer to microwave to plate. For added convenience, each pack contains four individually bagged portions, believed to be South Africa's first veggies in this format.

Calling themselves Amore, the husband and wife team of Ivan and Antoinette Smook have created the delicious dishes to accompany meat, poultry, seafood and other sources of protein. They are targeting busy mums and professionals, singletons and the elderly with quick and convenient dishes that include ratatouille, spinach and broccoli in a white sauce, butternut and cinnamon, green beans with potato, and more.

The dishes are all made from fresh ingredients according to traditional or very popular South African recipes. They contain no added MSG or preservatives, no powdered milk or cheese. They have been developed to give South Africans, notorious for avoiding their veggies, more of an appetite for them, says Ivan.

"We joke in this country that so many South Africans refer to chicken as a vegetable, because they have no palate for what comes out of the ground. By missing out on essential nutrients, they are potentially harming their health. Everyone wants to give their families the best they can but it's not always realistic in terms of daily pressures. These dishes are made with love for varied, sensible eating. That's why we've called the range Amore."

Each pack of four servings retails for around R22, cuts out the hassle of preparing vegetables from scratch and eliminates landing up with unused ingredients that eventually go to waste.
The single portions vary in weight from 80g to 100g depending on the ingredients used. The ratatouille, for example, comes in at 80g per serving, while the potato weighs 100g.

Once you've removed one portion from the pack, the balance remains protected from freezer burn. They are individually wrapped in recyclable, see-through plastic bags, using planet-friendly, light-weight packaging. Each serving is date-stamped and has a freezer life of six months.

"The idea came to us because of the situation in our own home, where we have pro- and anti-broccoli camps. We wanted to find a budget-friendly way of pleasing everyone, while making sure they were still eating a wholesome diet."

The Smooks, who have developed a strong following within the hospitality trade for their desserts, produce the Amore range from their Paarl-based factory that is already supplying to retail chains in the Western Cape.

For more details, contact Ivan Smook on , or . 

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