One of the first words you learn growing up in South Africa is ‘braai’ (kind of said br-igh in English).
n: A structure on which a fire can be made for the outdoor grilling of meat.’The braai we use is a Weber’.
v: The grilling of food over a fire. “Daniel, are you ready to braai?”
Every Saturday and Sunday, but any day is fair game, you would see little trails of smoke rising over the high brick walls of the homes indicating someone was having a braai. It’s a very social event and there are certain unspoken cultural rules that I only thought about once I had left the country.
Rules for a braai:
- You typically bring your own meat (and often beer or drinks).
- The host usually makes salad, provides bread, maybe potatoes and all the little extras.
- Often wine is provided by the host, but almost always someone will bring some as well. The more the merrier.
- The ‘man of the house’ does the braaing/grilling. The other guys stand around the braai and chat.
- The man gets the credit for the success of the whole dinner when he has really only started the fire and moved the meat around (drinking beer) while the woman has set the table (usually on a porch/deck), prepared garlic bread, potatoes, salad, had marinated the meat beforehand and cleans up. How was I ok with this?
Daniel has since learned to make a killer salad, set the table and clean up afterwards. I have learned to get out of the kitchen by keeping it simple so I can sit and enjoy a drink and chat with friends.
Since becoming a vegan, finding something yummy to eat at a braai was essential. Who wants to nibble on lettuce? Newsflash -vegans don’t just eat salad. We are actually hurt when people talk about salad being a good vegan option at a restaurant. No thanks.
So, cue the veggie kebab. A variety of veggies with a vegan sausage to give it a boost. Add garlic bread, potatoes and a salad to this plate and you have one substantial meal. No stress over cooking the food properly, just relax and enjoy. Also the rainbow color order is just so perfect!
The best vegetable kebabs
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- 1 orange pepper
- 1 pineapple (or pineapple slices)
- 1 zuccini
- 1 pack Tofurkey Italian vegan sausage
- 1 red onion (It’s the purple one, lol)
- 1 punnet whole mushrooms
- Make a fire in your Weber or preheat the grill to about 425°F.
- Cut the pepper, pineapple, zucchini, sausages and onion into chunks just a little bigger than a quarter coin.
- Thread vegetables onto skewers (preferably reusable ones) in any order. The above ‘rainbow order’ is superior however. Wink, wink.
- Whisk olive oil, Italian spices, garlic salt, and black pepper in a bowl; brush mixture over vegetables.
- Cook skewers on preheated braai/grill until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally, about 7-8 minutes a side.
- Slide off the skewer onto your plate and enjoy!
Happy braaing (br-igh-ing) friends!
Did I miss any of the unspoken rules? Are any of my experiences different to yours?