Okay, so there you are behind a wall of cheese, yoghurt, nuts, sardines and beans. And do we spy the trembling head of a broccoli? Sigh. Things don’t have to be dull or repetitive if you’ve been told to keep to a calcium-rich diet to fight osteoporosis. There are a range of amazing choices that you can actively incorporate into your diet for great taste, enjoyment and variety – while still pleasing dem bones!

While there are a host of fruits, vegetables and dairy products you can add to your diet, nothing beats the making and presentation of a fully prepared meal just bursting with creativity and new flavour. And a thoroughly healthy dish to boot! Although many of the recipes favour veganism, you can always include additional preferences.

Never mind that some ingredients may be a little rare in your experience; a good argument with your local veg supplier befuddled by your bizarre requests, will warm the blood and freshen the brain. And remember, a visit to Asia and a climb up a barren mountain to collect the nose hairs of a Nepalese goat will do your osteoporosis a power of good.

 Artichoke and Spinach Pesto Pasta (Serves 5)

 Ingredients: 1 large jar of artichoke hearts, 250g baby spinach, 1 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup hemp hearts, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/2 red onion, tsp blackpepper, tbsp lemon juice, tbsp garlic salt, tbsp apple cider vinegar, Handful fresh rocket, 500g linguine.


  • Roughly chop onion and basil, then add to the processor
  • Add your jar of artichoke hearts along with a little of their oily liquid
  • Proceed to add the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar which gives the sauce a great tangy flavour
  • Sprinkle in your hemp hearts, black pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast and pine nuts then pulse
  • Once a little more smooth, add your spinach and continue to pulse; adding water where needed for desired consistency

Boil your pasta for 10-12 minutes until al dente, then drain excess water

  • Stir in your sauce on medium heat, adding in whole pine nuts and fresh rocket leaves
  • Serve and enjoy.

Wilted Escarole salad with figs, bacon and blue cheese (Serves 4)

Ingredients: 2 bacon slices, 1 head escarole, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons minced shallots, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup dried figs, chopped, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces).


  • Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and crumble. Set aside, and reserve 1 teaspoon drippings in pan.
  • Place escarole top-down in pan, and press down gently. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until wilted. Flip, and cook 1 minute. Remove to cutting board; coarsely chop escarole, discarding core, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat; add minced shallots, and cook 3 minutes or until golden brown. Add balsamic vinegar, orange juice, dried figs, and sugar to pan; stir to dissolve sugar and thicken. Pour dressing and figs over escarole, tossing gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Mound on top of chicken; top with cheese and bacon.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Serves 8)

Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking wild rice, cooking spray, 1 cup chopped onion,

2 garlic cloves, minced, 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato, 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 10 ounce light processed cheese cubed (such as Velveeta Light), 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts), 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional).


  • Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until potato is tender.
  • Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk. Add the milk mixture to potato mixture; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in rice, chicken, pepper, and salt. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Pumpkin Pudding (Serves 2)

Ingredients: Red pumpkin 400 grams, Corn flour 1tsp, Milk 200ml, Cinnamon powder 1/2 tablespoon, Desiccated coconut 1 Tsp, Pomegranate pearls 1 Tsp, Stevia extract to taste,

Almonds 10gm.


  • Place pumpkin pieces in a large pan. Add Stevia extract and one cup of water. Cover and cook on medium heat for about twenty-five to thirty minutes. Mix cornflour with milk till smooth. Once the pumpkin is cooked add cornflour-milk mixture and mix.
  • Cook till the mixture thickens. Sprinkle cinnamon powder. Add desiccated coconut and mix.
  • Transfer the mixture to a serving dish. Sprinkle crushed almonds and pomegranate pearls and serve.

Good luck! Eat well, serve impressively, and love your bones!

NOFSA (National Osteoporosis Foundation South Africa)

NOFSA is the only non-profit, voluntary health organisation dedicated to promoting lifelong bone health. We focus on reducing the widespread prevalence of osteoporosis while working to find a cure for the disease, and by supporting research and developing programmes of education and advocacy.

Find out more about our work at: www.osteoporosis.org.za