You can cook just about any vegetable over coals or on a braai grill. The flavours that develop with the intense heat and subsequent caramelisation are incredible, says Fedhealth Dream Chasers dietician Andrea du Plessis.


Grilled vegetables

You can cook many vegetables on the braai grid, over a high to medium heat. Drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper or try Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper… there is no turning back, it is delicious! Braai them on the grid until they appear cooked  (recommended cooking times are indicated).


You can try this with any of these vegetables:

  • Fresh asparagus (3-5 minutes)
  • Baby marrows, sliced lengthwise in half (5-10 minutes)
  • Sweet peppers, halved, pips and white parts removed (10-15 minutes)
  • Large (or small) mushrooms (10 minutes)
  • Corn/mielie (20-30 minutes)
  • Cauliflower florets (15-20 minutes)


Vegetables wrapped in foil, cooked over the coals:

Wrap vegetables in foil, place between the coals, and check if they are cooked by piercing with a fork to see if they are soft.

  • Potatoes (40-45 minutes, depending on size and heat)
  • Sweet potatoes (40-45 minutes, depending on size and heat)
  • Baby onions with skins on (30 minutes – then unwrap the foil, cut open the skin and enjoy the soft insides of the onions)


Mushroom and Onion

6 large mushrooms

3 large peppers / 6 sweet piquanté peppers (Peppadews)

3 medium onions

1 large piece feta cheese (round disc)

Freshly ground black pepper and salt

Crushed garlic


Wash vegetables. Flavour mushroom with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs. Arrange crumbled feta cheese over mushrooms. Arrange roughly sliced onion and sliced pepper on top of each mushroom. Wrap in foil, and cook in fire over coals for  15 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes.


Grilled Aubergine Chops

(6 servings)

2 large aubergines

½ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon basil pesto

¼ teaspoon Vital V17 Vegetable Salt


Cut off the leafy ends of the aubergines and slice into 1-1.5 cm thick slices, lengthwise. Salt and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towels. Mix olive oil, pesto and vegetable salt. Use spoon or brush to spread olive oil mixture onto one side of the aubergine slices. Aubergine slices can be grilled under a preheated grill in an oven or over coals at a barbecue. Grill the olive oil side first. Turn every 3 minutes, spreading olive oil mixture onto both sides. This is a delicious take on a vegetarian barbecue, or interesting side dish with grilled ostrich steak!


Variation using leftover Aubergine Chops:

Roasted Aubergine Salad (6 servings)

3 chilled aubergine chops, sliced thinly (see recipe above)

1 packet of fresh rocket

1 spring chopped spring onion

½ avocado, sliced

250g cherry tomatoes


Combine all ingredients into a salad bowl and serve chilled.


Baked Butternut with Spinach and Feta Cheese

1 medium butternut

1 large onion

1 bag of spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 piece of feta cheese, optional

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Half butternut in length and remove the pips. Sprinkle butternut with salt and pepper or Ina Paarman Garlic Pepper. Sautee onions in olive oil in a medium to hot pan until onions are soft. Add garlic and spinach and cook for 1-2 more minutes until the spinach wilts. Cover butternut halves, flesh side up, with spinach mixture. Cover with tinfoil, bake over coals, skin side facing coals for 40 minutes, or until butternut flesh is soft. (If they are placed next to the coals in your braai, turn every 10 minutes to ensure it cooks through properly).


For more information, visit or for any nutrition related questions, contact Andrea du Plessis on 084 403 6018, email or go to


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.