A Kushite's resolution
'Twas the season, and we're now officially winding down festivities. A new list has come front and centre, and even it's been checked twice — that yearly ritual known as the resolutions list. After a season of excess, what better way to get things back on track than with a much-needed detox and recommitment to healthier eating? This spirit of transition and renewal takes us under the lush, exotic foliage of Kushite's Vegetable Cuisine — the plant-based oasis tucked away on Phoenix Ave.
Within the environs of this restaurant space that truly transports one to another dimension, co-owner and head chef Kushtafari — ably assisted by co-owner Keisha McDonald — creates a mouth-watering spread that features festive ingredients, such as sorrel, as a culinary memorial to that lingering Yuletide appetite. We now share these scrumptious (and organic) vegan selections, which can easily be incorporated into your dietary reforms for the New Year. And dare we say, this is one resolution you'll be sure to keep beyond January.
Jerk Jamaican Pita Burger with Sorrel Chutney & Sweet Potato Piri Piri Chips
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, or more to taste
4 cloves garlic
1 dozen pimento seeds
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp escallion
Split Pea Patty
1/2 pound green split peas
fresh herbs to taste
3 slices medium tomato
2 rings onion
2-3 slices of cucumber
1 leaf small lettuce
1 cup sorrel
1/2 cup cane juice, or 2 tbsp brown sugar
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 tsp ginger
1 sprig thyme
1/2 deseeded Scotch bonnet pepper
Piri Piri Seasoning
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
A pinch of powdered chili pepper
A pinch of powdered cinnamon
A pinch of paprika
Sweet Potato Chips
1 small sweet potato, sliced into fries
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil
The burger patty is made from green split peas that are boiled and crushed into a patty filled with the jerk seasoning. This patty is then baked for ten minutes in the oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When ready, place in an open Pita bread along with tomatoes, lettuce, and pickled onions and cucumbers. Follow with a topping of sorrel chutney. To make the chutney, caramelise the sorrel sepals over medium heat in 1/2 cup of cane juice or with 2 tbsp of brown sugar for 5 to 10 minutes. Moving mixture to blender, add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Return to a low heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices such as ginger, thyme and Scotch bonnet pepper to taste.
The Jerk Jamaican Pita Burger is also served with Sweet Potato Piri Piri Chips as a side. Preheat a cup of the coconut oil until it bubbles, add the sweet potato slices, and deep fry for approximately 15 mins. Remove and drain with paper towel to remove excess oil, and toss with Piri Piri seasoning. Serve and add extra sorrel chutney for dipping.
Lentil Balls in Mexican Mole Sauce with Watermelon Salsa & Chili Sweet Potato Wedges
1/2 pound of lentils
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
fresh herbs to taste
Mexican Mole Sauce
1 chocolate pod, grated
6 chili peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cup cubed watermelon
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cubed avocados
1 tsp chopped escallion (green part only)
Chili Sweet Potato Wedges
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
2-4 chili peppers, finely chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp escallion, finely chopped
1 pinch of Himalayan pink salt
Brown lentils are cooked and rolled into bite-size balls then baked till golden. The Mexican mole sauce is made by combining grated organic dark chocolate in a blender filled with 1/4 cup of water until smooth, then transferring the liquefied chocolate over medium heat. Add finely chopped chili peppers, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
For the watermelon salsa, combine ingredients and lightly toss until completely covered with the lime juice.
To make the sweet potato wedges, combine the chopped seasoning and spices in a container of olive oil until it becomes a paste. Toss the wedges in the paste till completely covered. Lay out into a baking pan and cover with aluminium foil. Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and serve.
1 cup water
3 stalks lemongrass
Cane juice or brown sugar, to taste
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 lemon, to garnish
1 stalk lemongrass, to garnish
Combine all ingredients except sweetener, in a blender. Blend, then strain and sweeten with cane juice or brown sugar to taste. Pour over ice and lemon slices. Serve with lemon half and lemongrass stalk for garnishing.
1 cup of sorrel sepals
3 cups of water
1/2 tsp of powdered cinnamon
half of a vanilla bean
cane juice or brown sugar, to taste
1/2 tsp powdered mint leaves
1 sorrel sepal, to garnish
Combine all ingredients, except sweetener, in a blender. Blend, then strain and sweeten with cane juice or brown sugar to taste. Pour over ice and powdered mint leaves. Serve with a sorrel sepal for garnishing.
Spicy Pumpkin Sambusas (Serving Size: 3)
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 stalks of escallions
half of a large onion
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 small bell pepper
4 cloves of garlic
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
1/2 cup water
The pumpkin is cooked then crushed and added to the spices and finely chopped vegetables. The mixture is rolled into triangular-shaped dough and baked to golden-brown perfection.
Falafels with Jambalaya Couscous & Arugula Salad (Serving Size: 6 Balls)
1/2 pound chick peas
1 tbsp parsley
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 large onion
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp coriander
3 chilli peppers
Boil chick peas till tender. Drain and add finely chopped onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and parsley. Use spoon to combine all ingredients, adding salt to taste. Next, add mixture to food processor and pulse until smooth. Remove mixture and place in small bowl. Use hands to create bite-sized balls from the batch and cover for 45 minutes. Then over medium heat, fry balls until golden brown in 1/2 cup of coconut oil.
1/2 cup couscous
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
Finely chop all vegetable ingredients and sauté them in small sauce pot for 3-5 mins. Add coconut milk. Allow to simmer. Stir and then add couscous. Cover and turn down heat.
Serve with a side of tahini sauce - and freshly chopped arugula and tomatoes tossed with sesame oil.
KUSHITE'S VEGETABLE CUISINE
9-11 Phoenix Avenue