This National Braai Day, let’s squash the perception that eating off the braai means eating meat. In fact, it’s perfectly possible to host a Heritage Day meal leaving meat off the table – without comprising on taste or even texture!
From vibrant veggies, to sizzling skewers, make your flavourful, plant-based braai one to remember! All you need is a touch of imagination, a sprinkle of good company and a few delicious recipes to knock up tasty, meat-free meals.
Uniting around a fire each year for Braai Day symbolises our shared heritage. Heritage Day is a fun and interactive holiday that aims to strengthen nation building and social cohesion. While the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires and prepare ultimate feasts.
Hosting a meat-free braai, or reducing the amount of meat on the grill, means you are turning your fork into a powerful tool for peace by withdrawing support from industries that harm animals. Indeed, celebrating Heritage Day doesn’t have to start and end with humans; we can still create a cohesive society that works towards the well-being of all its members, animals included.
So choose to gather around a braai of plants on fire and see how easy, versatile and delicious vegan food can be! And if you’re worried that you’ll end up only eating red pepper and onion skewers, a grilled corn or a baked potato, you can be rest assured that there are many more plant-based braai-approved options. From dairy-free potato salads, to chargrilled cauliflowers, and to our Chicken-Style Burgers, Traditional Burgers and Braai Style Sausages, there is something for everyone!
Not only do these plant-based meat alternatives have the same taste and texture as meat, they are ready within minutes on the braai and are low in saturated fat and naturally cholesterol-free, unlike animal products. Indeed, as stated by the American Dietetic Association, an appropriately planned plant-based diet may aid in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, including: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. Leaving meat off your grill is not only good for your health, but with well-prepared veggies and convenient meat replacements, you don’t have to worry about missing out on taste!
Keen to give a vegan braai a go but perhaps a bit unsure of where to begin, how to braai veggies or how to keep guests happy, here are a few tips you may want to follow:
- Consider hosting. Sure, hosting your own vegan barbecue is more work, but it guarantees you’ll have plenty to eat! It’s also the perfect opportunity to show friends and family that you don’t need to eat animals to have a yummy braai!
- Marinate marinate marinate! Often it’s the herbs and spices that people love rather than what is actually being marinated. Dress up your veggies in your basting sauce overnight and throw it over the grill the next day. Our go-to? Our Traditional Burger marinating in a BBQ sauce.
- Give your braai a good scrub. Ideally you want to scrape off any visible meat chunks and keep the vegetables on a different part of the grill to the meat.
- Serve lots of appetizers! Your friends are going to be drinking and talking so they will probably eat more than you think they will. Plan accordingly but don’t overextend yourself. These Chicken-Style Skewers with a Peanut Satay or this Veggie Platter with Prawn-Style Pieces and Tzatziki are definite winners! Chargrilled to perfection with a hint of smokiness, mushrooms are also one of our go-to veg on the braai. Served with our Polony, these Mini Mushroom Pizzas make for a great starter.
- Keep it fresh. Prepare a fresh salad, like this Raw Superfood Broccoli Salad with our Nuggets. If you haven’t tried the Nuggets on the braai, you’re in for a good surprise!
- Think about veganising side dishes. Use vegan mayonnaise in your faithful side of potato salad. B-Well is a great alternative.
- We know bread is crucial for burger staking and hot dog rolling. Some vegan options include rye bread, ciabatta rolls, baguettes, tortillas or wraps, sourdough, burger buns and hot dog rolls (without the egg wash glaze) and sandwich breads. Always read the ingredients list first though just to be safe.
- Dessert anyone? Since you’ve already got the grill going why not grill some fruit?
- Leave paper out of it. Pay a visit to a thrift or secondhand store and buy a few mismatched reusable dinner and dessert plates. The crazier the patterns, the better! They’re more fun, a great conversation piece, sturdier than paper, and you’re not contributing to the landfill.
- Have fun! Set a good example by having fun! Friends and family are much more likely to take veganism seriously when they see that leaving meat off the grill still means you can have a great time and eat to your heart’s content!
We encourage you to leave the meat off your braai grill this Heritage Day for your own health and for the nation. It’s perfectly possible to have a memorable and flavourful Braai Day that everyone will enjoy. So what are you waiting for? Gather some friends, light the coals, concoct a punchy marinade, baste, sizzle, and unite!