9 Veggies That You’ll Love On The Braai
Toss veggies on the braai for flavourful, nutrient-rich side dishes.
A cup of spears supplies 70 per cent of your daily need for vitamin K (vital for healthy bones) and 17 per cent of your daily need for folate, a B vitamin essential for circulation.
- Brush with oil.
- Cook directly on the grill or a piece of foil.
- Or cut on the diagonal and toss in a grill wok (see “Heat Seekers”, below)
This tough-skinned squash is loaded with carotenes that may ward off age-related diseases (including cancer) and protect muscles against damage due to heavy exercise.
- Cube and cook on a grill plank, or skewer and grill-roast (see ‘Heat Seekers’, below) with potatoes for a carb-packed side dish.
This staple supplies a wealth of carbs for restocking glycogen. It’s also a source of an orange-red carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which may protect against lung and other cancers.
- Pull husk back and remove the ‘silk’.
- Re-wrap with husk and grill directly over the flames.
- Shuck and sprinkle the ears with Parmesan.
A single potato provides a hefty dose of potassium and 35 per cent of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C protects arteries from the damaging effects of cholesterol, while potassium maintains healthy blood pressure and circulation.
- Par-boil them until they are just about cooked through
- Thread them onto skewers and finish them on the grill.
Onions are a major source of quercetin, a phytonutrient shown to support immune health in runners, who are more susceptible to illness after heavy exercise.
- Slice into rings
- Brush with oil
- Cook directly on the grill.
- (Also, try grill-roasting a head of garlic – an onion relative – until soft, then spread on bread.)
With their eye-catching colours, peppers pack anti-inflammatory nutrients that offer protection to skin and immune cells. They take on a smoky flavour when grilled.
- Slice and grill directly over the flames. Add to sandwiches.
This lettuce’s crisp, vitamin A–rich leaves hold up well to a hot grill. It’s also a good source of vitamins C and K.
- Cut a whole head lengthwise into quarters.
- Brush with oil.
- Grill until lightly browned on all sides.
- Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Gem squash and pattypans are rich in potassium and vitamin C, which help improve heart health. They also contain fibres that support healthy intestinal bacterial growth.
- Cook whole on the grill.
It’s not the same without tomatoes. These beauties are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that’s a potent cancer fighter, especially in men with a family history of prostate cancer.
- Cut firm tomatoes in half
- Sprinkle with fresh herbs
- Grill on a plank without turning.
Heat Seekers: Best ways to fire up a healthy meal
Direct Heat Brush vegetables with oil (to prevent sticking) and place directly above the flames or charcoal. This high-heat, quick-cooking method allows natural sugars to caramelise, while preserving the bright colours, crisp texture, and vitamin and mineral content.
Grill-Roasting Place vegetables around the edges of the grate (so they are not directly above the hottest flames) and close the lid. The heat builds up and roasts the veggies without charring. It’s ideal for carrots, beets, and potatoes, which take longer to cook (about 15 to 30 minutes).
Stir-Grilling This method uses a grill wok – like a traditional wok, but with small holes. It goes directly over the hot flames, allowing small vegetable chunks to cook quickly without charring, while still picking up that great grilled flavour. Toss with a marinade for extra zing.
Grill Plank Often made of cedar or hickory, grill planks provide a solid surface for cooking delicate vegetables (butternut, tomatoes) that fall apart on the grill. Soaking the plank first keeps the wood from charring, and infuses the vegetables with smoky flavour.