Home Lifestyle Recipes Plant-based diaries: Plant-based braais are the new black

Plant-based diaries: Plant-based braais are the new black

Don’t let the braai FOMO derail your plant-based journey, let’s get our grill on with these plant-based braai recipes

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As South Africans, we all know that the braai is something we hold dear. For many of us it is our meditation, our therapy and the centre of our fellowship with others. So, what do you do when you can’t have that tjoppie on the braai anymore, though? Do you give up on your newfound healthy, meatless lifestyle?

These are the questions I had to ask myself and find solutions for, especially now that the festive season is upon us.

In South Africa festive equals summer, and a sunny, green summer’s day is incomplete without a braai fire sending smoke signals of happy vibes and festive laughter. As I like to say, where there’s smoke, there’s a South African braaiing.

As a plant-based eater I refused to miss out on this ritual this year, especially after being locked away for most of 2020. My plant-based braai recipes are flavourful, colourful, healthy and adventurous. So, add them to your braai list this summer, you might just be surprised.

Cauliflower:

2 heaped tablespoons vegan mayo

1 tablespoon chutney

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1 medium cauliflower head

Foil to wrap the cauliflower

Salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Mix the vegan mayo and chutney in a bowl. You can add more chutney to your mixture if you like things a bit sweeter.
  2. With a knife, hollow out as much of the cauliflower stem as possible without separating the individual stems from the head.
  3. Smear the outside of the cauliflower with half of the chutney mayo and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Turn the cauliflower on its head and scoop the rest of the chutney mayo into the hollowed-out stem and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Tightly wrap the cauliflower in tin foil and place in the coals, at the base of your fire.
  6. Turn the head after 15 minutes and open the foil to check on it after 30 minutes. If the cauliflower is still hard, leave it on the coals for another 15 minutes. Serve with chopped parsley.

Chimichurri sauce:

2 cups fresh parsley leaves

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 fresh chili deseeded

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 large garlic clove

Salt and pepper

METHOD

1.Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until desired texture.

PRO TIP: If you do not have a food processor you can finely chop all the ingredients and then place it in a bowl. Then add the liquid ingredients and mix well. Add some more balsamic vinegar if you think it needs more acidity.

Veggie skewers:

1 large green pepper

1 large red pepper

2 medium red onions

1 bag cherry tomatoes

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1 fresh rosemary stalk

1/2 tablespoon dried mixed herbs

1 tablespoon honey (replace the honey with 2 teaspoons of sugar for a vegan option)

Salt and pepper

Braai spice

METHOD

  1. To make the marinade, remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and place in a food processor with the lemon juice, olive oil, dried herbs honey, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Cut the red onions, green peppers and red peppers in bite sized (2.5 x 2.5 cm) pieces and place in the marinade along with the cherry tomatoes for about 20 minutes.
  3. Rough the pieces on the skewer, alternating each vegetable and repeat twice.
  4. Season the vegetables with your favourite braai spice.
  5. Place the skewers on the braai grid and rotate every 5 minutes for a total of 15 minutes or until grilled.
  6. Remember to reapply the marinade every time you rotate the skewers.

Corn on the cob:

4 mielies

Paprika

Salt and pepper

Chimichurri sauce

  1. Clean the mielies by removing the leaves.
  2. Place them over medium coals. Turn every 5 minutes for 15 minutes or until grilled and brown.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and paprika and serve with the chimichurri sauce.

Teriyaki Mushrooms:

Oyster mushrooms

1 large garlic clove

1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger

1/4 cup soya sauce

2 tablespoons honey (replace with sugar for vegan option)

1 spring onion

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

  1. To make the teriyaki sauce, place the soya sauce, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and honey in a food processor.
  2. Process until the garlic and ginger are finely chopped. Place the sauce in a small frying pan on high heat and boil it for 4 minutes to a thicker consistency.
  3. Coat the mushrooms with the teriyaki sauce by applying it with a brush.
  4. Place in a container and add the remaining sauce and marinade for an hour.
  5. To cook, place a double folded, flat sheet of tin foil on the grill over the flames. The idea is to grill the mushrooms.
  6. Before placing the mushrooms on the foil, add the olive oil and mix to prevent it sticking to the foil.
  7. Place on the fire and let it sizzle for 3 minutes and then turn to grill for another 3 minutes on the other side.
  8. Serve with chopped spring onions.

Roosterkoek:

1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup of warm water

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

METHOD

  1. Use a cup to mix a little warm water with the sugar and yeast and wait until it starts to foam.
  2. Add the flour and salt in a separate mixing bowl and mix well. Gradually add the oil and water while mixing to form a dough-like texture.
  3. Add the yeast and sugar mixture and mix well. Toss some flour on a surface and knead the dough for a few minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a large, greased mixing bowl and cover it with a slightly wet kitchen drying towel.
  5. Give the dough an hour to rise or wait until it has doubled in size.
  6. When the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface and roll it out slightly, then cut it into pieces the size of your fist.
  7. Spread your coals evenly under your braai grid. It is best to start with a low heat and gradually add more coals to regulate the temperature.
  8. Also consider using a new, well-greased grid to prevent the dough from sticking to the grid. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.
  9. Rotate the roosterkoek every 5 minutes until golden.
  10. To make sure that it is cooked, tap on it and if it sounds hollow, they are ready. Serve with the chimichurri sauce.





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Dané Vermeulen
Dané Vermeulen
Dané Vermeulen is a food enthusiast with a strong belief in using fresh produce when cooking. She combines her love for food and photography to share her passions with the world. Her thirst for knowledge keeps her on the top of her game and ready to jump into any conversation, no matter the topic. She has a BSc degree in Biodiversity and Ecology from the University of Stellenbosch and she is a freelance writer for Food For Mzansi.
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