On 24 September we celebrate Heritage Day – which in the last few years has also doubled as Braai Day.
An who doesn’t love a good braai?
What about all the carbs and saturated fat?
- If I get invited to someone else's braai, will there be healthy options for me?
- Will this set back my weight-loss efforts?
Your braai feast, however, doesn’t have to interfere with your goals to become healthier in time for summer. Our experts from Nutritional Solutions share five scrumptious recipes with us, packed with nutrients and suitable for a healthy diet.
Braai marinade for chicken or steak
1kg chicken "flatty" or beef rump steak (fat removed from rump)
- ¼ cup low-sodium soya sauce
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- juice from 2 limes or lemons
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar*
1. Put the ingredients in a jar or sealable plastic bag and mix well.
2. Pour the marinade over the chicken or meat and place in the fridge to marinade overnight (or for as many hours as possible before your braai).
* If you are concerned about your sugar intake, please take note that the amount of sugar per person is small. The recipe calls for 1kg meat, which adds up to about 5g sugar per person. This is way below the limit of 25g sugar per day for women and 38g of sugar for men, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). There is a dilution effect in the stomach as the meat is enjoyed with other foods such as salads, and the presence of proteins also slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood stream.
Salad with lentils, baby marrow and feta
- 1 packet rocket leaves
- 1 punnet baby marrows
- 1–2 lemons (according to taste)
- 1 tin lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 rounds (or 80g) low-fat feta cheese
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Top and tail the baby marrows and cut them into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler.
2. Blanch the ribbons in boiling water for 30 seconds.
3. Drain the ribbons in a colander, and rinse with cold water to maintain the green colour.
4. Place the rocket leaves into a salad bowl and top with the cooled baby marrow ribbons.
5. Generously squeeze the juice of the lemons over the salad.
6. Add the rinsed lentils and crumble the feta over the salad.
7. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Mediterranean chickpea and couscous salad
- 1 cup wholewheat couscous, cooked according to instructions on the packet
- 2 cups roasted butternut
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 10 sundried tomatoes, finely shredded
- 10 olives, pitted and diced
- 1 punnet fresh basil, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 lime
1. Mix together all the ingredients saving a few sprigs of basil for garnishing.
2. Drizzle the lime juice over the salad for extra zing and tuck in.
Mexican bean and corn salad
- 1 tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 or 2 medium chilies (according to taste), seeded and flesh crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 can whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 packet butter lettuce
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- ½ cucumber, sliced
- a few sprigs of coriander, roughly chopped
1. Crush the garlic and chilies using a mortar and pestle, and add the lemon juice and water. Continue adding water until the mixture becomes runny.
2. Place the beans, corn, sliced tomatoes, chopped coriander and chopped onion into a large bowl, coat with the garlic and chili mixture and combine.
3. Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl.
4. Add the onion, cucumber and the bean-and-corn mixture.
5. Finish the salad by adding some coriander for garnishing.
Salad with peas, strawberries and avocado
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 15–20 strawberries, stems removed and sliced
- 1 medium avocado, sliced (sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discolouration)
- ½ packet mixed lettuce leaves
- ½ packet rocket leaves
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- freshly ground black pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- a dash of olive oil
1. Boil the peas for one minute, drain and rinse under cold water to maintain their colour.
2. Mix the lettuce, rocket leaves and sliced fennel in a salad bowl.
3. Add the peas, strawberries and avocado to the leaves.
4. Season with freshly ground black pepper, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil to taste.
For more recipe ideas and healthy tips, visit Nutrition Solutions Registered Dietitians.
Image credit: iStock