To help you with healthier braai delights, Pharma Dynamics has teamed up with well-known food consultant and cookbook author, Heleen Meyer and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) to develop heart-healthy braai recipes as part of the Cooking from the Heart cookbook series.

Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics says the series consists of 30 recipes that cater for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. “The recipes include healthy, homemade marinades and seasonings, snacks, sides and salads, as well as vegetarian dishes and even desserts. Many of the meals we share are around a braai fire, but it is often accompanied by food that’s not healthy for our hearts. Our aim is to make people a bit more conscious of the nutritional faux pas they make when braaing.

The recipes are easy to make, affordable and consist of essential ingredients, which make them ideal for cooking during the lockdown. It even carries Jan Braai’s stamp of approval!

braaing vegetable skewers outdoors

Tips For A Healthier Braai

Heleen Meyer and the Cooking from the Heart cookbook series have also compiled a few tips for a braai that's healthier on the heart. When it comes to choosing your ingredients, produce and making sauces and marinades, follow these tips:

  1. Choose proteins wisely. Opt for lean meats like fish and skinless chicken breasts instead of plenty of red meat. If you do choose red meat, rather buy loin or tender cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking.
  2. Marinate or rub meat with salt-free spices and lemon. Not only will this add amazing flavour, but it will also reduce the need for salt, which heightens your risk of hypertension.
  3. Limit your meat intake to 150g.
  4. Fill your plate with grilled vegetables, salads and side dishes. The more colour you add, the better. Meat and veg sosaties (kebabs) are always a hit.
  5. Make your own healthier sauces and dressings instead of buying them from the store. Refer to www.cookingfromtheheart.co.za for a variety of healthy salad dressings.
  6. Choose wholegrain breads, rolls or wraps, which provide additional fibre to your diet.
  7. Consider healthier options over ice cream, such as chocolate bananas or fruit salad. Grilled fruit is also delicious!

Veggie Skewers

Ingredients

Method

  1. Place mushrooms in a shallow dish and cover with boiling water. Soak for 8 – 10 minutes to prevent the mushrooms from breaking apart when skewered. Drain well and pat dry.
  2. Thread mushrooms and veggies onto skewers or kebabs sticks, alternating the different veggies for a colourful end result. Add 1 - 2 bay, lemon or lime leaves in between veggies.
  3. Mix oil, lemon juice and rind, herbs and garlic together and season with pepper.
  4. Brush oil mixture onto skewers on all sides and marinate for 30 minutes. Season skewers with salt.
  5. Grill over medium to low coals until the veggies are just cooked, but not too soft. Brush with more of the marinade, while braaiing, if necessary.
  6. The kebabs can be served with pea & yoghurt dip or cottage cheese dip. Serve with a protein-rich vegetarian dish for a balanced meal.

Tips

Source: cookingfromtheheart.co.za

Veggie-Skewers-1

Colourful Slaw With Ginger & Peanuts

Ingredients

Dressing

Salad

Method

  1. Dressing: Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Salad: Mix all the slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss well. Allow salad to stand for 10 - 15 minutes before serving it. This will allow the salad to marinate.
  3. Serve slaw as a side dish at a braai.

Tips

Source: cookingfromtheheart.co.za

Colourful-Slaw-with-Ginger-and-Peanuts-2

Mealie Meal & Corn Bake

Ingredients

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the mealie meal, water, milk, salt, oil and sweetcorn in a large mixing bowl. Stir well so that no dry meal is visible.
  2. Lightly grease a 20 x 27 cm oven dish with oil and spoon mealie meal mixture into dish.
  3. Arrange onion wedges on mealie meal. Mix parsley, cheese and corn and sprinkle evenly over onions.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until the mealie meal is cooked through. Serve hot.

Tips

Source: cookingfromtheheart.co.za

Mealie-Meal-Corn-Bake-2

Chocolate Fondue

Ingredients

Method

  1. Place milk, chocolate and sugar in a small pot. Heat over a low heat, while stirring all the time, to melt the chocolate and dissolve the sugar.
  2. Mix cornflour, cocoa and cinnamon with 2 tbsp (30 ml) water to form a smooth paste without lumps.
  3. Add some of the warm milk mixture to the paste and stir well. Stir back into the milk mixture in the pot.
  4. Stir continuously over a medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon into a warm bowl.
  5. Dip fruit or some of the other suggested ingredients in the warm chocolate sauce.

Tips

Source: cookingfromtheheart.co.za

Chocolate-Fondue-1

About The Cooking from the Heart Initiative

The Cooking from the Heart initiative forms part of Pharma Dynamics’ overall wellness campaign, to promote healthy eating among the South African public in a practical, affordable and tasty way.

Go to www.cookingfromtheheart.co.za to download any of their 100+ heart-healthy recipes – free of charge!

For more tips on heart-healthy cooking during the lockdown, follow Cooking from the Heart author, Heleen Meyer on Facebook.