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Plant Based Box Recipes 10/09/2020

South Africa is graced with an abundance of nutritious indigenous food crops, and this Heritage Month we're joined by the queen of indigenous wild foods – Loubie Rusch – for a four part Tips ‘n Tricks Instagram series exploring the richness of our local foods!  


Loubie Rusch is the founder of the Cape wild foods project – Making KOS – and has dedicated over 10 years to educating local communities about the use and care of the edible indigenous wild plants found in the Cape Floristic region. Her various guides document indigenous food knowledge that serves to help us grow, harvest and use our local wild foods more sustainably. 


Watch Loubie this Wednesday for a food tutorial on her delicious 'Brakslaai Salsa' recipe. Tune in on Instagram ( and let's get cooking with Loubie! 

Freshly-Squeezed Citrus Smoothie

Bergsoom cara cara’s, Bolgari coconut yoghurt, and ginger make this the perfect day starter!

  • Peel some cara cara oranges, divide them into segments and remove as much pith as possible. 
  • Add some yogurt to the blender, followed by your citrus, some ice, some ginger, and a tiny dash of salt – some guava would also be a great addition. 
  • Blend well, until the citrus has turned into juice and there are no chunks of ice left.
  • Sip, and start your day with a fresh burst of Vitamin C.


Add ground turmeric for immunity-boosting properties or a drizzle of honey for extra sweetness.


Rustic Breakfast Hash

Fried baby potatoes, Naturally Organic leek and Terra Madre spinach hash in Karen Dudley’s sun-dried tomato pesto. 

  • Cut the baby potatoes into quarters and boil in salted water over a high heat for 10 minutes until soft. Then drain on completion. 
  • Place a pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Fry some sliced leek and the boiled potatoes until the leeks are turning golden and the potatoes are starting to crisp up. In the final 2 minutes add a spoonful or two of red sun-dried tomato pesto and some baby spinach. Stir through, and cook until wilted. Season with some Wild Harvest garden salt. 
  • Plate up the potatoes, leek, spinach and pesto hash, top with a dollop of COOKED’s butternut hummus and garnish with some chopped coriander. Savour the crunch!  


Add some chopped chilli and grated garlic to your leek and potatoes for an extra kick. 


Banana Toastie 

Naturally Organic banana and nut butter toastie! 

  • Slice up some bread of choice, and spread one side of each with your choice of nut butter. 
  • Fill with some sliced banana and sandwich together.
  • Add a knob of drizzle of oil to your pan over medium heat, and toast on each side until the bread is golden and crispy. Happy brunching!


Extra filling options include peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, chocolate spread, caramel sauce, dukkah sprinkle, chopped nuts, honey, a fried egg, some melted gruberg cheese – the options are endless. 


Loubie’s Brakslaai Salsa 
A sassy salsa using your local wild plant – brakslaai from N’Rougas Farm. By Loubie of Making KOS, a.k.a. the indigenous food queen.

With a food processor:
  • Rinse your brakslaai well. Roughly chop about a handful of the brakslaai leaves and finely slice the stems, discarding any fibrous stems. Set aside for now.
  • Peel and very roughly chop one apple, or a chunk of cucumber or one green pepper – whichever is your favourite! Place the chunks into a food processor, along with the zest and juice of one lemon, a 5cm piece of peeled and sliced ginger, and two deseeded and roughly chopped chillies (leave the seeds in if you’re brave). Pulse the food processor a couple of times to roughly chop and mix everything together.
  • Add in your brakslaai and pulse again to chop a bit more – be careful not to blend too much or you’ll get a gooey mulch.
  • Season to taste. 
Without a food processor:
  • Finely chop or grate, to your preference of texture, all of your ingredients then mix them together. 
  • Season to taste. 
For serving:
  • Serve with your pan-fried Mexican ‘meatballs,’ or as a side to some curry. Add to a wrap or pita, or drop a dollop onto a cheese sandwich or cracker to add some zing!

    CHEF’S TIP: 

    The novel fleshy green leaves in your box come from the local indigenous wild plant – brakslaai. This is a Market Box first, wild harvested on N'Rougas Farm in the Northern Cape. Rinse your brakslaai before using to remove any possible sandy bits. For Tips 'n Tricks on using all the indigenous produce we’ll be bringing to you during September, watch Making KOS’s (and indigenous plant food pro) Loubie Rusch every Wednesday on our Instagram feed (


    Loubie’s Brakslaai Boats
    These indigenous brakslaai boats are great to serve as a light and healthy starter or snack. Loaded with Le Coquin vegan white cheddar and Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto. By Loubie of Making KOS, the indigenous food queen.

    • Rinse the brakslaai leaves well, and remove any fibrous stems. 
    • Position them on a platter with their leaves curling up to hold the ingredients (just like a boat).  
    • Top with your choice of cheese – vegan white cheddar would be lovely. Then add some red sun-dried tomato pesto, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs. Garnish with a sprinkle of Wild Harvest’s garden salt. 
    • Your brakslaai boats are best eaten with your hands. Enjoy! 


    Studies have shown that brakslaai has high antioxidant properties. It contains proline, a non-essential amino acid that is involved in the production of collagen. Proline can assist wound healing, maintain and heal cartilage, and can strengthen joints, tendons and muscles.


    Sticky Ginger Cauliflower Steaks
    The most moreish cauliflower you ever did eat – savoury, salty, and sweet (all in perfect harmony).

    • Peel the green leaves off the cauliflower head. Slice into 2cm thick steaks. Coat in some smoked paprika, oil, lemon juice, and seasoning. Leave to marinate for no less than an hour. 
    • Place a pan over a medium-high heat with a knob of butter. Fry the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side until charred and golden, and with an al dente crunch. 
    • Slice up some fresh ginger, you can leave the skin on for extra flavour and nutrition (or remove it) – whichever you prefer. Pick some leaves of thyme and roughly chop an apple. Return the pan over a medium-high heat with a further knob of butter and some castor sugar (or any sweetener of choice). Add the ginger slices, and sauté for 4-5 minutes until beautifully glazed. Add in the thyme and apple. Pan-fry until the apple is soft and lightly browned and the thyme is fragrant. 
    • Layer the cauliflower with some fresh leaves, dollop over some of Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto, scatter over the ginger and apple, and garnish with some fresh thyme. Yummy!


    One cup of raw cauliflower provides over 75% of the daily minimum target for vitamin C. In addition to supporting immunity, this nutrient is needed for DNA repair and the production of both collagen and serotonin (the latter promotes happiness and healthy sleep).


    Leek & Cheese Toastie
    Are toasties the holy grail of the snack world? Taste this one and see. Thyme (from Umthunzi) and leek (from Naturally Organic) are a culinary match made in heaven! 

    • Pop your oven on the grill at about 180°C. Rinse and slice the leeks. Grate some Le Coquin White Cheddar. Rinse and pick some thyme leaves.
    • Put some oil in a pan over a medium-high heat and add the sliced leeks. Once sizzling, turn the heat down and sweat gently for 10-15 minutes. Stir in some thyme leaves and ¼ cup of oat milk, and cook through. Remove from the heat and stir through some grated cheese until it's melted. Season to taste. 
    • Slice some bread and lightly toast. Spread the leek and cheese mixture generously over the bread. Top with the remaining grated cheese and good crack of black pepper. Grill until bubbling and golden, serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon – trust us, you’ll want to.


    Leeks are literally the best! Packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and so much flavour.


    Midnight ‘Meatball’ Pasta
    Urban Vegan’s Mexican ‘meatballs’ with garlic, chilli, herbs, lemon zest, olive oil – thrown through some al dente paste! Simple and delicious. 

    • Mince 2 cloves of garlic, deseed and finely chop up a chilli. Roughly chop a large handful of fresh herbs, and zest one lemon. Crumble up the vegan meatballs. 
    • In a large frying pan over a medium heat, add a generous glug of olive oil. When hot, sauté the vegan mince crumble for 3-5 minutes, until golden and heated through. Add the minced garlic, some capers (optional), chilli, lemon zest and herbs and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. 
    • Boil a pot of salted water. Cook some pasta until al dente. Drain, toss through some oil, and set aside. 
    • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix to combine with your sauce – add a little extra olive oil if it needs it. Season to taste. Garnish with some grated gruberg cheese / vegan cheddar, and a dollop of Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto. 
    • Serve in a bowl, or eat straight from the pan, why waste any time plating? 

      CHEF’S TIP:

      To load up on some more nutrients, you could add some wilted spinach and grated baby marrow to the pasta. 


      Green Split Pea Soup with A Cheesy Pesto Toastie
      Real Food Factory split green pea soup loaded with goodness, served up hot with a Le Coquin vegan cheddar cheese & Karen Dudley’s red sun-dried tomato pesto toastie! 

      • Place a pot over medium heat with some oil. Add 1-2 diced onions, 2-3 diced carrots, and some diced celeriac. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened and taking on some colour, stirring occasionally. 
      • Add some chopped herbs of choice, some peppercorns, diced chilli, diced garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. 
      • Add 8 cups of vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. 
      • Add the split peas, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 1-1.5 hours or until split peas are soft and partially broken down.
      • Just before serving, slice up some bread of choice, and spread one side of each with some butter. 
      • Fill with some sliced cheese, and a smear of red pesto. Compress. 
      • Add a knob of drizzle of oil to your pan over medium heat, and toast on each side until the bread is golden and crispy. 
      • Season your soup with Wild Harvest’s garden salt, and serve hot alongside your cheesy toastie. Dunk away. 


        Split green peas are little legumes that are high in complex carbs or starches. Complex carbs are more filling than simple carbs, thus keep you feeling fuller for longer and help to manage blood sugar level spikes after meals. Split green peas are also high in fiber and protein, and contain several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


        Root Veggie & Red Pesto Bake
        A perfectly indulgent dish for springtime’s chillier evenings. 

        • Preheat the oven to 200°C. 
        • Peel and chop up some vegetables of choice – carrot, onion, sweet potato, leek, and celeriac work well. Keep the pieces nice and chunky. Place in an ovenproof dish, toss through some oil, seasoning, and freshly chopped herbs of choice. 
        • Roast for 15 minutes just to get some colour on the veggies. 
        • Make the creamy béchamel sauce in a pot by melting a knob of butter, and sprinkling in enough flour to make a thick paste. Cook until it smells biscuity. Whisk in some oat milk slowly until you have a decent amount of sauce. Simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. Crumble in some cheddar cheese and stir until combined. Season with some of Wild Harvest’s garden salt and pepper. 
        • Pour the béchamel sauce over the roasting veggies. 
        • Slice up some bread and toast it. Then blend into breadcrumbs once cooled. And stir through some red pesto. Sprinkle this over the bake until evenly coated. 
        • Lower the oven temp to 180°C. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the crumb is golden and crunchy (keep an eye on it), and the veggies are cooked through.

          CHEF’S TIP:

          Serve with a simple green salad as a side.  


          Sweet Potato and Celeriac Mash

          A solid side dish with extra hidden veggies for added goodness. Naturally Organic celeriac and sweet potato working wonders together.  

          • Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
          • Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and celeriac into chunks – place on a baking tray, toss with some oil, some whole herbs of choice : rosemary and thyme would work beautifully here. Add some whole garlic cloves (skin on) to the tray. Roast until soft and cooked through.
          • Peel the softened garlic (discard the skins). Discard any hardy herb stalks. Mash all the ingredients together with a fork or a masher, some Wild Harvest garden salt, and further seasoning of choice. 
          • Serve your mash warm as a super-side dish. Enjoy!

          CHEF’S TIP: 

          For a healthier approach, you could boil or steam the veggies until soft, then mash.


          Cheesy Roasted Leeks

          A deliciously decadent side dish or the perfect lunchtime snack.

          • Trim and slice the leeks in half lengthways. Rinse well. Place on a roasting tray, cut side up and coat in some oil then season. 
          • Roast at 190°C for about 30 minutes until soft and golden. 
          • Grate some Kleniriver gruberg cheese over for the final 5-10 minutes and continue roasting until golden. 


            Leeks are a great source of vitamin A, C and K! They also contain iron and are a good source of dietary fibre.  

            Pickled Radish
            A super simple tasty addition to almost any meal – great on salads, with some crispy tofu or roasted veggies.

            • In a tupperware, add 125ml water, 40ml vinegar (white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar from your pantry) and 1 tablespoon of a sweetener of choice. Stir until dissolved. 
            • And some thinly sliced radish, and store in the fridge in an airtight container for a few hours. Drain and add as you please. So quick and easy!


            Radish contains minerals such as calcium, potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese which is involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function.


            Guava Chutney and Vegan Cheese Crostini 
            Sweet and spicy guava chutney paired with a tangy vegan cheddar cheese.

            The Chutney:
            • Roughly chop some guavas, and submerge them in a pot of water. Bring to simmer until soft and then lower heat. 
            • Add some chopped chilli and grated ginger. 
            • Cook until a jammy consistency is reached, adding some sugar, lemon juice and maybe a little cumin to spice things up a bit.
            • Wait until cooked to store in jars which will look lovely on your shelves, make excellent gifts, and probably not be around all that long once you taste their irresistible contents.
            The Crostini:
            • Slice some turkish loaf. Rub each with a drizzle of oil, and sprinkle with some chopped herbs. Toast under the grill, until golden and crispy. 
            Plate up:
            • Top your crispy crostini bread with some guava chutney, and then with some slices of Le Coquin Cheddar and garnish with some fresh herbs. Bon Appétit!

            CHEF’S TIP: 

            These are perfect for a light lunch or when entertaining guests.


            Guava Crumble

            Taking the classic crumble to another level – in tropical guava style! 

            • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
            • Peel and cut 2-3 guavas in half. Remove the seeds from the halves (optional). Then, dice the halves into smaller, bite-sized cubes. 
            • In a medium baking dish, add in your guavas and stir in 4 tablespoons of sugar (or any sweetener of your preference), the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, some grated ginger, some raisins (optional) and 80ml water. Set aside. 
            • In a separate bowl, stir 1½ cup of your favourite oats, ½ a cup of flour, ½ a cup of sugar, ½ a cup of coconut oil, and ½ tsp salt. Use your hands to crumble the topping ingredients together, until evenly combined. 
            • Pour your crumble mixture over the guava – filling in an even layer.
            • Place the tray into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
            • Serve immediately – with an optional (but recommended) scoop of vegan ice cream, cream or coconut yogurt. Let those taste buds sing!  

            CHEF'S TIP:

            You will know when it is ready by the delectable smell, and the golden crumble topping!


            Arise Affogato

            Affogato means “drowned” in Italian and it is essentially drowning ice cream in coffee. The hot coffee starts to melt the ice cream and forms a thick foam at the top. 

            • Make your coffee according to the instructions on the Arise Coffee packet. 
            • Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream into glass tumblers.
            • Pour over a shot of strong coffee into each glass.
            • Garnish with crumbled cookies (optional).
            • Eat with a spoon immediately – it’s that irresistible!

            CHEF’S TIP:

            Garnish with the toppings freely, great picks are caramel sauce, honey, chocolate shards, nuts, and maple syrup. The sweet options are endless.


            Oat Milk Rice Pudding with Caramel Oranges

            A dairy-free version of a classic more-ish dessert with Bersgoom Cara Cara oranges. 

            • Add 3 cups of oat milk, ¼ cup of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of long grain white rice, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to a saucepan. Stir to mix well and place over a high heat.  
            • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for 20 minutes – stirring frequently, to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and clumping together.
            • When the rice is tender and creamy, remove from the heat. 
            • Peel 2 oranges and cut them into 5 slices on the round. Try to keep as much juice as possible, and set them aside in a bowl. 
            • Put 60g of sugar and 50ml of water into a pan and swirl (not stir) a little to dissolve the sugar. Then, slowly bring to the boil without stirring – until the syrup becomes a dark amber colour.
            • Once the caramel is ready, remove it from the heat and pour it over the oranges, along with any orange juice that's collected in the bowl. Evenly (and quickly) coat the orange slices in the caramel with a fork (the caramel is hot) and chill them in the fridge until the rice pudding is ready. And voilà you have a dessert fit for royalty!

              CHEF’S TIP:

              Serve the creamy rice pudding with some golden caramel oranges and a drizzle of leftover orange syrup.