For many families in load-shedding affected homes, air fryers have been a boon. It’s enabled stressed and harried moms and dads to crank out a hot meal in a short space of time. In Budget Air-Fryer Cookbook, author Jenny Tschiesche has a follow up to her first book, Air-Fryer Cookbook – and it amps up the efficiency and budget-beating tips.

Times are tough. Belts have been tightened to the point where there are virtually no more notches left – but the hits keep on coming: electricity price hikes, petrol price increases which inevitably lead to paying more and trying to make inelastic rands stretch further … All households are looking to get through the month by spending as little as possible: and this is where the popular air-fryer comes into its own. It helps keep the cost of electricity down – when it’s available, that is.

As nutritionist (and former British national team hockey player) Jenny Tschiesche stated on her website blog,, for those who haven’t yet been converted by the latest “must have” kitchen gadget, she summed it up beautifully. “Just briefly, before we go further it’s probably a good idea to introduce the air-fryer to those who haven’t yet heard. It’s basically a super-hot, super-powerful mini oven and a great alternative to a deep fryer. That’s because like a fryer it contains a basket and/or shelf that allows the food to be suspended, and therefore accessible to heat from all sides. That means food can get nice and crispy in there. Instead of being placed into hot oil as the food would with a deep fryer, the food is cooked by very hot circulating air which is similar to a convection oven.” Not having to use the oven to prepare family meals is more economical since the smaller, faster Air-Fryer is a smart alternative.

The recipes in Tschiesche’s new book, Budget Air-Fryer Cookbook, cater for a broad range of tastes and needs, exploring ideas for using tins and jars, cooking from frozen, using up leftovers, opting for cheaper cuts of meat, grains and pulses, vegetable-based dishes and much more. Her previous book, Air-Fryer Cookbook, demonstrated that it doesn’t just have to be for bland or boring food. The savvy alternative is to utilise this book and the gadget to make the most of the air-fryer in terms of keeping energy and food costs as low as possible.

Anyone who has already seen Tschiesche’s other books – Sheetpan cooking, The modern multi-cooker cookbook, Real lunchtime food or Gut health and probiotics: the science behind the hype – will know that the book is easy to read, super convenient in terms of quick and easy fare and also nutritionally sound and healthy.


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Serves 4


1 whole chicken (choose a size that fits in your air-fryer)

1 tablespoon butter, melted

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

kitchen shears


This is simply a quicker way of roasting a chicken. I love using the air-fryer to cook chicken this way because it creates the loveliest crispy outside and succulent inside.

The way most chickens are presented is breastbone up. Turn the chicken over and, using kitchen shears, cut either side of the backbone in order to remove it completely. Turn the chicken over and press down on to a cutting board to flatten. Brush on the melted butter and sprinkle over the seasoning.

Preheat the air-fryer 180ºC/350ºF. Place the chicken in the preheated air-fryer and cook for 30 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 10–15 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the thickest part has reached 74ºC/165ºF on a food thermometer; if not, cook for a few more minutes. Serve.


Serves 2

Prep time:


Cook time:

3hr 10m

Serves: 2


300 g/101/2 oz. minced/ground pork

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 Tblsp light soy sauce

1 Tblsp Shaoxing wine or apple cider vinegar

1 spring onion/scallion, finely chopped, plus 2 to garnish

1 Tblsp breadcrumbs

1 Tblsp sweet chilli/chili dipping sauce


These delicious meatballs are perfect served with some green vegetables (steamed broccoli is ideal) some rice with a little extra soy sauce and some sesame seeds.

In a bowl combine the pork, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine or apple cider vinegar, one of the finely chopped spring onions/scallions (reserve the other two for garnish) and the breadcrumbs. When thoroughly mixed, mould into 6 equal-sized meatballs.

Place in a heatproof dish that fits in your air-fryer. Preheat the air-fryer to 180ºC. Place the dish in the preheated air-fryer and cook for 10–12 minutes. Halfway through cooking, brush the outside of each meatball with the sweet chilli sauce. Check the internal temperature of the meatballs has reached 71ºC/160ºF using a food thermometer – if it hasn’t, return to the air-fryer for a few more minutes.

Great served with steamed broccoli, white rice, a little more light soy sauce and some toasted sesame seeds scattered over the top.


Serves 2

Prep time:


Cook time:


Serves: 2


1/2 x 400g can of refried beans

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

100 g tortilla chips

1/2 x 200-gcan of sweetcorn/corn kernels, drained

1 x 200g jar of salsa

80 g grated/shredded mature/sharp Cheddar

guacamole, to serve

sour cream, to serve


Such a quick and easy take on the classic Tex-Mex dish. Ideal for a night in with a movie.

In a small bowl combine the refried beans with the garlic powder, onion powder and ground cumin, mixing them together well. Lay out the tortilla chips in a heatproof dish that fits in your air-fryer, then spoon over the bean mixture. Scatter the sweetcorn/corn kernels on top. Dollop on the salsa and cover in grated cheese.

Preheat the air-fryer to 180ºC. Add the dish to the preheated air-fryer and cook for 4–6 minutes. The cheese should be just browning.

Serve with guacamole and sour cream.


Spicy cashews are great to serve with drinks. Mix 185 g cashews with 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 egg white, stirring well. Lay out on a heatproof dish that fits in your air-fryer (you may need to do this in batches). Preheat the air-fryer to 180ºC. Add the dish and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Cool completely, then serve.


Serves 6

Prep time:


Cook time:


Serves: 6


80 g butter, plus a little extra for greasing

80 g plus 1 Tblsp sugar

1/2 x 320g sheet of puff pastry (you’ll need 160g)

3 apples, peeled, sliced and frozen


This classic French dessert is a great way to use up frozen slices of apple.

Melt the butter and sugar in a pan over a medium heat until bubbling at the edges and thickened slightly. This is now caramel! Add the frozen apples and cook in the caramel until softened slightly – about 5 minutes.

Pour the apples and caramel into a greased heatproof dish that fits in your air-fryer and then top with the puff pastry. Tuck the pastry down into the sides of the dish.

Preheat the air-fryer to 180ºC. Place the dish in the preheated air-fryer and cook for 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a little.

To serve, turn upside down by putting a plate over the top and turning swiftly. Serve warm or cold, cut into slices.