Nothing beats the sizzle of a summertime braai in South Africa! It’s all about the sunshine, the chill-time and of course, a stack of delicious food!
Now, for the vegetarians and vegans among us – as well as those entertaining veggie guests – braais can sometimes be a little tricky to navigate. After all, meat is considered the staple of any traditional braai or barbecue. Luckily, there’s no shortage of sumptuous, satisfying veggie-friendly meals that can easily be added to your next braai. Check out these fun and delicious recipes that take the “vleis” out of “braaivleis” – and enjoy a healthier summer with a heaping helping of wholesome vegetables. These goodies are also sure to tempt even the most committed carnivore…
Starters & Sides: Chilli Butter Mealies
- 100g grass-fed butter, at room temperature
- 1Tbsp raw honey (for a vegan alternative, replace with maple syrup)
- 1Tbsp organic tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2Tbsp chilli sauce
- 6 mealies, chopped in half to serve 12
- Mash together the butter, honey, tomato sauce & garlic.
- Season with a little salt & pepper; beat until smooth.
- Stir in the chilli sauce.
- Using a basting brush, coat the mealies evenly with the butter mixture.
- Wrap each mealie in a double layer of tinfoil & braai for 30-35 minutes, turning regularly.
- Once the mealies are tender & just slightly charred, dish up and chow down!
Mains: Carrot & Sesame Burgers
- 750g carrots, peeled & grated
- 410g cooked chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 2Tbsp tahini plus 1tsp to serve
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 egg (or egg substitute)
- 3Tbsp olive oil
- 100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- Zest of 1 lemon plus 1tsp juice
- 150ml pot natural yoghurt
- 6 wholewheat buns
- 2Tbsp sesame oil
- 3Tbsp sesame seeds
- Rocket , sliced red onion & sliced avocado to garnish
- Process a third of the grated carrot along with the chickpeas, onion, 2Tbsp tahini, cumin & egg.
- Blend into a thick paste, then scrape into a large bowl.
- Heat 1Tbsp oil in a large frying pan, tip in the remaining carrot & cook for 8-10 mins, stirring until the carrot softened.
- Add the cooked carrot to the paste, along with the breadcrumbs, lemon zest & sesame seeds. Add seasoning, then mix together well with your hands.
- Divide the mixture into 6 burger patties, using wet hands. Cover & chill until ready to braai.
- Mix the yoghurt with the sesame oil, 1tsp tahini & lemon juice, then chill.
- Braai the burgers for 5 min on each side, until golden & crisp.
- Spread the lemon-sesame yoghurt over each bun, then top with the avo, onion and rocket. Yum!
And of course, you can use your braai to make some delicious desserts as well! This healthy spiced apple recipe has a real “Christmassy” taste making it perfect for the festive season.
Dessert: Spiced Cooked Apples
- 4 small apples
- 3Tbsp walnuts or pecans, chopped
- 2Tbsp mixed raisins & dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted
- ¼tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Combine the nuts, fruit, sugar, butter/ oil & spices.
- Core the apples & stuff them with the fruit, nut & spice mix.
- Wrap each apple in a double layer of tinfoil & braai for 20-25 minutes, turning regularly.
- Let the apples cool a little bit, then serve & enjoy!
Some delicious veggie braai must-haves: