The Banting Braai

The Banting braai

The name on everyone’s lips these days is ‘banting’, and The Real Meal Revolution, the book that tells the banting story, is the fastest-selling cook book in South African history, with over 200 000 copies sold. With obesity a grave problem in our culture, it’s no wonder that banting has become so popular, despite being quite controversial, as many of us try to shift those stubborn surplus kilos. The premise behind banting is that humans are designed to eat what our early ancestors ate, and not the sugars, grains and refined fats that are so prevalent in our modern diet. This revolutionary theory has shifted the way people think about their food. The author sets out the banting theory, backed up by scientific facts, that humans don’t need carbohydrates but that we simply can’t survive without fats and proteins. Whether you believe in banting or not, there is no doubt that the movement has given all of us some food for thought. The recipes below are an indication of how delicious banting food can be cooked on the braai.

Beef rump with grilled mushrooms and red pepper relish

Serves 4
4 x 200 g rump steaks
2 tsp of paprika
1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
4 large brown mushrooms
Himalayan salt and black pepper

For the red pepper relish

2 red peppers, cut into strips
1 red onion (about 60 g), sliced
2 Roma tomatoes (about 220 g), seeds
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of xylitol
2 tbsp of water
10 g of oregano, chopped
Wild rocket to garnish

1. Prepare your braai.
2. Take the steaks out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. Season them well and sprinkle them with paprika.
3. Cook the steaks over hot coals for 2-3 minutes on each side (or to your liking), then cover them and set them aside for 10 minutes. Brush the mushrooms with coconut oil and season them, then cook them over the coals on both sides until just softened.
4. To make the relish, heat a cast-iron pan on the braai grid, add the pepper, onion and tomato, cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, then add the balsamic, xylitol, oregano and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season well.
5. Serve the steaks topped with mushrooms and a dollop of relish, and garnish with rocket.

Smokey chicken thighs with jalapeño ranch sauce and cucumber salad

Serves 4
600 g deboned chicken thighs

For the rub
2 tsp of smoked paprika
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of cumin, toasted
2 tsp of Himalayan salt  akes
1 tsp of black pepper

For the sauce
¼ cup of homemade mayonnaise
¼ cup of sour cream
10 g of coriander, chopped
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 green jalapeño chilli, chopped
1 tsp of xylitol

For the salad
1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons, plus extra for garnish
½ cup of radishes, sliced
10 g fresh mint

1. Prepare your braai.
2. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl. Combine the rub ingredients and sprinkle the mix over the chicken.
3. Cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes, turning regularly until it is golden and cooked through.
4. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and set it aside.
5. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a salad bowl.
6. Place the chicken on a plate, garnish it with some cucumber, radish and jalapeño slices, and serve it with salad and dipping sauce.

Chargrilled eggplant and macadamia salad with yoghurt dressing

Serves 4

3 large aubergines, cut into ½ cm slices
2 tbsp of coconut oil
Fresh basil leaves
1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
100 g of macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
For the dressing
½ cup of double cream yoghurt
Grated zest and juice of ½ a lemon
½ clove of garlic, bruised
1 tsp of ground cumin
2 tbsp each of chopped flat leaf parsley and coriander, plus extra to serve
Himalayan salt and black pepper

1. Prepare your braai.
2. Brush the aubergine slices with oil and cook them over the hot coals for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and soft.
3. Arrange the aubergine on a serving platter and set it aside. Combine the dressing ingredients, and season to taste.
4. To serve, drizzle the dressing over the aubergine slices and serve with basil, avocado, macadamia nuts and herbs.

The Gardener