All The Things To Braai This Heritage Day If You’re Vegan

There's so much more to eat than just a green salad...


Leigh Champanis-King |

It’s September, which means we’re celebrating Heritage Day. And the only way to celebrate Heritage Day is with a braai. I mean, is there anything more patriotic than a good ol’ braai?

There can be a problem, though, if you’re a vegan celebrating Heritage Day with a braai. At a friend’s house. A meat-eater friend. Who can’t think beyond their boerie roll.

Never fear: braaiing as a vegan just takes a bit of lateral thinking. Sure, you aren’t hankering after a smokey lamb chop, but you could definitely murder a crispy potato, some mielies, a plant-based burger or two and some smokey baba ganoush.

READ MORE: 11 Things You Didn’t Know Were Totally Vegan

Here are a few options for your next braai:

Burger With All The Trimmings

For the burger:

1 Fry Family Food Co Chicken-Style burger

2 slices tomato

2 slices gherkin (sliced lengthways)

A few rings of red onion

2 lettuce leaves

1 burger roll (sesame rolls are amazing here)

For the spicy mayo:

1 tsp B-Well Canola mayo (it’s vegan)

1 tsp Sriracha

1 tsp tomato sauce

1 tbsp finely grated onion

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1/ Place the burger patty onto the fire over a medium heat. Let it cook for a few minutes each side until the crumbing is crispy and the patty is heated through.

2/ In the meantime, prep the burger bun. To make the spicy mayo, mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the sauce onto the inside top and bottom of the bun, then place the lettuce and cooked burger patty onto the bottom of the bun.

3/ Layer the remaining ingredients and finish with a small sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Note: you can replace the burger patty with a giant mushroom. Just cook on the braai wrapped in tinfoil with a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of thyme (or your favourite herb).

READ MORE: “I Turned Vegan And Was Finally Able To Lose Weight”

The Ultimate Potato Salad

6 potatoes

Finely chopped red onion

8 gherkins, finely chopped

Vegan mayo

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1/ Boil the potatoes in salted water until a skewer pierces the flesh easily, but the potato still has a bit of give (you don’t want the salad to be mush).

2/ Once cooked, remove from the pot and allow to cool completely (chopping and mixing the potato with the rest of the ingredients while hot will turn it to mush). Once cool, chop into decent-sized chunks.

3/ Place the potato in a bowl and add the onion, gherkin and enough mayonnaise to cover the potato pieces. Mix together well, being careful not to smash the potato pieces too much, and season to taste.

Braai-style Baba Ganoush

2 large eggplants

3 cloves garlic

Olive oil

2 tbsp tahini (get the good stuff at Faithful To Nature)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1/ Place the eggplants directly onto the braai grid, a bit to the side so they aren’t over the hottest coals. Let them cook, turning often, until they begin to collapse in on themselves. Meanwhile, wrap the garlic in some tin foil with a splash of olive oil and place on the grill. Let them cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until soft and sweet.

2/ Once the eggplants have cooled down enough to handle, cut them in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.

3/ Add the garlic cloves, a good glug of olive oil and the rest of the ingredients before seasoning. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more lemon juice, olive oil and tahini if you prefer.

4/ Using a hand-blender, blitz the mixture to your desired consistency (if you like chunks of eggplant, only do a few blitzes. If you prefer it smooth and creamy, give it a good go with the blender).

5/ Pour into a serving dish and serve with crudités and slices of fresh bread.

READ MORE: 3 Common Mistakes Newbie Vegans Make That Lead To Weight Gain

Wanita’s Braaied Hummus

Deputy editor Wanita made this hummus for the office and it was an instant hit. The braai flavour adds an amazing dimension to this classic dip.

1 can chickpeas
Paprika
1 tsp crushed garlic
Olive oil
Lemon juice

Method
1/ Make a braai.

2/ When the coals are ready, drain the chickpeas, keeping the aquafaba aside, and pour them into a veggie braai pan, basted with olive oil.

3/ Liberally sprinkle paprika over the chickpeas, shake the pan once, then sprinkle on some more so the chickpeas are coated on all sides.

4/ Add some wood chips or shavings to the coals to produce smoke and braai the chickpeas until they become darker and start smelling like bacon (about 5 to 10 minutes). You’ll need to shake the pan every now and then so they don’t burn.

5/ Once cooked, remove from the heat, pour into a deep container and blitz together with the garlic, a dash of olive oil, four squeezes lemon juice and a little aquafaba until it reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6/ Serve with crudités, veggie chips and slices of fresh bread.

Braaied Potatoes

An oldie, but it’s definitely a goodie – and a great side with nearly anything.

Potatoes

Method

1/ Wrap the potatoes in tinfoil and place in the coals of your braai. Cook until crispy and cooked through.

2/ That’s it.

READ MORE: 8 Vegan Food Swaps That Are Total Game-Changers

Grilled Falafel Pita Breads

4 Fry Family Food Co falafels

1 pita bread

2 tbsp hummus

Grated carrot

Cucumber slices

Tomato slices

Thinly sliced red onion

2 tbsp tahini (get the good stuff at Faithful To Nature)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1/ Place the falafels onto the braai over coals that aren’t too hot. Let them cook, turning occasionally, until heated through and crispy. Remove and set aside.

2/ Meanwhile, place the pita bread onto the braai over coals that aren’t too hot. Cook a few minutes each side until lightly crispy – watch them carefully in case they begin to burn. Remove from the braai and cut in half lengthways.

3/ To assemble, spread the hummus inside of the pita halves. Next, layer the carrot, cucumber, tomato and onion along one side of the pita (so you have space for the falafels and get a bit of everything with each bite). Place the falafels inside the pita.

4/ Finish with a generous drizzle of tahini over the top and a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Want more? Here are 12 restaurants in Cape Town and Joburg to satisfy your vegan cravings.

READ MORE ON: Dinner Ideas Nutrition Nutrition Advice Recipes Vegan Vegan Tips