Hapa (Dinner)

Easy Avocado Pasta

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$2 avos – a rare treat. This is a super-easy pasta sauce that’s great for summer.  You can also jazz this up a bit with a tablespoon of nutritional yeast if you want a slightly more cheesy flavour.  Lemon juice is a must – it keeps the avo from turning brown too quickly.

Kīnaki:

  • 1-2 ripe avocados
  • Juice from medium-sized lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pasta

Optional extras:

  • Fresh or dried basil
  • Roasted garlic
  • Sundried tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Capers
  • Nutritional yeast

Huarahi:

Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet.  While pasta is cooking, just blend or mash up avocado and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Drain pasta, stir through a little olive oil, and then stir through the pasta sauce.  Serve immediately.  (This is also goes well with some rocket on the side.)

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Hupa Paukena (Pumpkin Soup)

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This is another staple in our whare.  We get a paukena in our Ooooby box every now and then so I pretty much use the whole thing to make a big pot of soup and then freeze it in jars for lunches.  I’ve also added in a couple of kāreti (carrots) and some kumara too.  You can either follow the recipe below or put everything in a crock-pot, cook until the pumpkin breaks up and then mash together or cheat like me and use a stick blender.  You can also omit the spices and put in a couple of tablespoons of curry paste.  Or you can also add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter for a satay flavour.

Kīnaki:

  • Cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 a medium-sized pumpkin
  • 2 cloves of crushed/diced garlic
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (or some sriracha sauce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of coconut milk (optional)
  • Some coconut yogurt to serve (optional)

Huarahi:

Brown garlic and onion in a saucepan and then add the spices with a little bit of water so they don’t stick to the pan.  Set these aside.

Cube pumpkin (and other veggies if using these) and boil these in a large saucepan.  When pumpkin starts to break up, take off the heat.  Drain the vegetables (but keep the water so that you can add it in as you go.  You might use all of it to get the right consistency, but if you don’t keep the left-over water to use for stock (put it in the fridge or freezer).

Add the onion, garlic and spice mix to the paukena and mash (or blend using stick mixer).  Return mix to heat.  Add in the pumpkin water bit by bit until you get the consistency you want.  Alternatively, you could add in some coconut milk for a creamier mix.

This freezes well (even with the coconut milk in it.)

Easy Miso Ramen Soup

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It’s been getting a bit makariri the last few nights so I decided to have a go at a hot and spicy noodle soup.  Pak choi came in our Ooooby box this week (post on this veggie box delivery initiative to follow) but I am really keen to try this with some watercress and puha as a substitute (need to go on a foraging mission this weekend!).  This recipe is enough for two hungry pakeke!

Kīnaki:

Broth

  • 2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 spring onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 red chilli sliced in half lengthways, seeds removed (I put this in whole to flavour the broth and then take it out before serving) – optional

Soup ingredients

  • Ramen noodles (I used 1.5 bundles of these ones)
  • 6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 small bunches of pak choi (I chop the stem into chunks and put the leaves in whole)
  • 1/2 block firm tofu
  • 1 spring onions, diced
  • some toasted sesame seeds and chilli flakes for serving (you could also add some fresh bean sprouts)

Huarahi:

Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan and add the minced garlic, ginger, and 1 diced spring onion.  Fry these until slightly brown and then add the vegetable stock.  Add the whole chilli to the stock and simmer.

Ladle a cup or so of the broth into a pyrex jug or bowl.  Add in the miso and then whisk until it has broken up and dissolved.  Return this mixture to the broth.

Remove the chilli.  Add the ramen noodles, the mushrooms, the tofu and some of the pak choi.  Cook until the noodles are ready.

Serve in deep bowls with the rest of the pak choi added at the last minute.  Top with the spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and chilli flakes.

 

 

 

Baked Potato Kaimanga Style

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This is more just a prompt or idea for kai instead of a step by step recipe as it is pretty straightforward.  Baked potatoes are often associated with cheese, sour cream, and bacon etc, but you can create your own delicious plant-based versions that are a lot healthier and cheaper too.

This is another recipe that uses hummus (recipe here) as a condiment instead of cheese or sour cream etc.  It works really well.  We served our spuds on top of a beetroot, corn, and rocket salad, and topped it with some chilli beans and hummus (you could also sprinkle some dukkah over it too, for extra flavour).  I’m finding more and more that you can create a salad with the bits and pieces you have in the fridge – we try to have a jar of gherkins or olives handy to add some flavour to salads, and we use a lot of fresh herbs too – parsley and mint mostly.

We used some pre-made chilli beans we had in the freezer (see this recipe) but you could use a can of chilli beans to speed things up, or fry some onion and garlic, add a can of lentils and some curry flavour for an alternative, or for a more summery accompaniment you could put together a salsa with fresh tomato, coriander, cucumber, some chilli and corn.  Heaps of ways to incorporate plenty of veg and colour on the plate.

Ka pai!

 

 

Satay Tofu and Sesame Rice

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This is another dish we regularly make in our whare because it’s tasty and easy.  Sometimes I stir fry some green beans in a bit of sesame oil with garlic, crushed peanuts, a little soy sauce and some chilli flakes and serve this on the side, or I serve it with some steamed broccoli or other veg.

Kīnaki: Serves 4 (if you serve it with some veggies, more like 2 if you are just doing the tofu)

  • 1 x block of firm tofu, with excess moisture squeezed out (I use a bit of muslin cloth, wrap the tofu up and then place a heavy chopping board or recipe books on top to draw it out)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 x spring onion thinly chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional – for garnish)
  • Rice – 1/2 cup dry rice per person

For sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (can use crunchy or smooth)
  • 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Huarahi:

Cook the rice in your preferred method.  While the rice is cooking, remove the excess moisture from the tofu.  You could also toast a few tablespoons of sesame seeds and set these aside if using.

Prepare the satay sauce by combining all ingredients and mixing together thoroughly with a fork.

Cut up the tofu into cubes.  Heat a little oil in a medium-sized pan and fry the garlic and ginger, turn down the heat slightly.  Add the tofu and brown on all sides.  Pour the sauce over the top and stir so that all of the tofu is coated.  The sauce will thicken up.  Continue stirring until it is heated right through.

Serve tofu on rice and garnish with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

 

 

Tomato and Mushroom Risotto

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I don’t often make risotto – simply because it’s a dish that requires your constant attention (and when you have a 2.5 year old tama/mokonui/taika/makimaki/dance-party enthusiast, you don’t really have that luxury…)

But this is a pretty easy and tasty one – I served this with a salad made of beetroot leaves, cucumber, tomato, and some toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Also one thing I do so that I don’t need to buy stock or stock powder, and try to minimise waste, is I keep the bits and pieces of veggies I don’t use in cooking (the ends of carrots, silverbeet and kale stalks, ends of spring onions etc) and boil them up for stock.  Add in some peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, some garlic, and whatever herbs you have – coriander seeds, some parsley and thyme etc, bring to the boil for a while, and then freeze it.  You can also blend up some veggies to thicken it if you want.  I defrosted some of this to use in the recipe below.

The recipe also states fresh herbs (which are best) but you can substitute dry ones.

Kīnaki (serves 4)

  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (optional)
  • 8 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Handful of chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional – just gives it an extra bit of savoury flavour)
  • Olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper, fresh basil to serve (optional)

Huarahi

Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a medium-sized pot.  Stir in the tomato paste.  Cover and keep warm over very low heat.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan.  Fry the onions and garlic until brown.  Add the sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs, nutmeg and salt and cook for a few minutes.

Add the rice and stir constantly – it’ll start to change colour a little bit (turning more white).  After a couple of minutes, add the first cup of broth and stir often until the liquid is absorbed.

Keep cooking and and stirring, adding more broth by cupfuls, until the rice is tender and creamy and all the liquid has been absorbed.  If the rice isn’t tender yet but you have used up all the stock, keep adding water in the same way until the rice is cooked through.

Stir in the nutritional yeast and season with salt and cracked black pepper

Spoon onto plates and serve with fresh basil, vegetables or a salad.

Spicy Tomato & Sesame Sushi

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Sushi is on regular rotation in our whare – we all love it.  I usually just use some Fry’s meat-less schnitzel along with a couple of other fillings – carrots, cucumber, capsicum, lettuce, toasted seseame seeds, spring onions, avocado etc.  But I recently came across this recipe and it is really great.  I’ve made a few adjustments

Kīnaki (makes about 4 rolls)

For tomato filling

  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tbsp sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp kelp seasoning (not essential – just adds a bit of extra flavour if you’ve got it)

For sushi rolls

  • 1.5 cups sushi rice
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Sushi seasoning (either the packet powder or the sushi vinegar)
  • Your choice of additional fillings – we usually use carrot, cucumber, and some eggless sushi mayo with a few spring onions mixed in – you can spread this on beside your fillings.  Toasted sesame seeds are also great.)

Huarahi:

  • Boil some water.  While you’re waiting, cut a shallow “x” shape into the top and bottom of each of the tomatoes (this will help remove the skin later).  Once the water has boiled, place the tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl or jug and pour the boiling water over them.  Leave them for about 10 minutes.
  • While you are waiting, put the sushi rice on to cook.  Once done, leave the rice cool (you can speed up the process by sitting your dish in a shallow bath of cold water, or tip the rice out into an oven pan and spread it out so it cools faster).  Season with your sushi powder or sushi vinegar.
  • After 10 minutes, pour the hot water off the tomatoes and then cover with cold water.  After a minute or so, when they have cooled sufficiently, peel the skins off (they should be coming away slightly where you cut them).
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds and liquid from the inside.  Cut up the remaining flesh and place in a bowl.
  • Add the soy sauce, minced ginger, sriracha, sesame oil and kelp seasoning to the tomatoes and mix well until all the pieces are coated.
  • Make your sushi rolls – spoon on a row of the tomato filling with your other chosen additions.  In this version, I used carrot, cucumber, and yellow capsicum.

Note: I haven’t tried it, but I’m guessing you could omit the sriracha altogether and still have a great savoury tomato filling without the spice if you aren’t keen on spicy kai.  Keen to hear if anyone gives this a go.

 

Black Bean Nachos with Hummus

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This is a super-easy recipe.  In our whare, I usually make quite a lot of our kai beforehand and freeze it, as we don’t get home until about 6pm most nights.  This black-bean chilli is one I always have plenty of in the freezer – it goes great with nachos, tacos, or inside tortillas for burritos etc.  I usually double the recipe so we eat some and freeze some the same night.

This is really just a rough guide – I always add in bits of whatever I have in the fridge – mushrooms, handful of spinach, small pieces of broccoli, etc.  And you can use kidney beans instead of black beans – just substitute whatever you have.  This is also nice if you finely dice some kumara and add it in – this works best in the burritos.

Kīnaki (Serves 4)

  • 2 x cloves of garlic finely chopped (or 1.5 teaspoons of crushed garlic)
  • 1 x medium-sized onion finely chopped
  • 1 x can black beans (or kidney beans)
  • Handful of mushrooms finely sliced
  • 1 x finely diced courgette
  • 1 x can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 x teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 x teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1.5 tablespoons smoked paprika (this is key!)
  • 1 x teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 x packet of corn chips
  • Salt and pepper to season

For hummus:

  • 1 x heaped teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 x can chickpeas
  • 1 x heaped tablespoon of tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Huarahi

In a large saucepan, stir fry the garlic and onion in a little bit of oil.  Once the onions have browned, fry off the spices quickly.  Add a dash of water, and then add i the diced courgette and mushroom and any other chopped fresh vegetables.  Stir fry these for a couple of minutes, and then add the beans and the chopped tomatoes.  Stir ingredients together and then season according to taste.  Leave to cook for a further 15 minutes or so.

For the hummus, mix together all of the ingredients except the chickpeas on the high speed setting in your blender.  Once you have a thick paste, add the drained chickpeas, and a little water so it mixes easily.  Season with salt (I tend to add extra cumin too).  You can also add in fresh herbs, sundried tomatoes, etc.

Serve the veggie mixture on some corn chips and top with hummus – you can also add some guacamole, hot sauce, and/or grated dairy-free cheese.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

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This is a really easy and tasty dish – the fresh herbs really make it but if you don’t grow your own they can be a bit expensive.  It’s fine to use dry ones, or leave them out.  Just add some extra seasoning (either the nutritional yeast, and some salt and pepper, perhaps even a sprinkle of paprika or smoked paprika to liven it up a bit).  You could possibly use the sauce with the courgette-noodle-not-pasta that a lot of people are into at the moment (see instructions here).

Kīnaki (Serves 4)

  • 4 x cloves of garlic finely chopped (or 3 teaspoons of crushed garlic)
  • 10 or so white button mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 x medium-sized onion finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh thyme
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 x can of coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of veggie stock for frying the garlic/mushrooms)
  • Dried fettuccine pasta
  • Salt and pepper to season

Huarahi

Bring a pot of water to the boil for the pasta.  Add a pinch of salt, a dash of olive oil and then cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.  Make sure you stir it occasionally so all of the strands stay separate.

In a large pan, add the olive oil or stock (reserve a little of this for later) and the onion and cook until brown.  Next add the sliced mushrooms and the fresh herbs.  Cook these for a few minutes until the mushrooms are tender.  Take these off the heat and put them on a plate to add to the sauce later.

Return the pan to the stove and add a little more olive oil or stock.  Cook the garlic for a few minutes.  Next add the can of coconut milk and stir.  Once this has started to thicken a little, add the nutritional yeast and some salt and pepper to taste.  You may find the sauce thickens up fine on its own.  If not, you can add some cornflour or arrowroot to thicken the sauce.  If you get a few lumps try and whisk these out (or cheat like me and use a stick blender.)

Finally add the mushrooms and herbs to the sauce.  When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add this to the sauce.  Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce and then serve.  Sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley, some salt and pepper, and a little nutritional yeast.

 

Pad Thai

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We love Pad Thai in our whare.  We have fond memories of eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner down Kao San Road in Bangkok.  This is the best version I’ve managed to make to date – a lot of the recipes I’ve tried didn’t even come close to the original awesomeness.  This is pretty good, but I don’t think anything will quite manage to live up to our holiday memories.  If you want to make this a spicy version, add a tablespoon of sriracha to the sauce mix (I usually do this.  I much prefer a bit of chilli!).

Kīnaki (Serves 4)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 x block firm tofu, drained and chopped into large cubes
  • 1 x small bunch of pak choy roughly chopped
  • 8 x white button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 x clove of garlic, finely diced (or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic)
  • 4 x spring onions chopped small
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
Garnish
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • fresh coriander roughly chopped

Huarahi

In a wok or large pan with deep sides, add the sesame oil and turn up to a medium heat.  Ad a little bit of garlic and the tofu cubes and cook until the tofu is brown on all sides.  Set this aside.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the rice noodles.  Cook for about 8 minutes (until tender) and then drain these and set them aside also.

In the same pan you used for the tofu, heat some more sesame oil and then add the chopped pak choy, mushrooms, spring onions and the rest of the garlic.  Cook for about five minutes until all the veggies have softened.  Add the drained noodles to the pan as well as the tofu and toss everything together.

In a small jug, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Pour this over the noodle and veggie mixture and toss it all together.

Put the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds in a small pan and turn up.  Toast these lightly and set aside.

Serve the pad thai up into four bowls and garnish with the toasted nuts and seeds and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.

 

Phở

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This is a really tasty version of phở – Vietnamese noodle soup.  You can mix up the toppings that you use, depending on what’s cheap or what you have growing at your whare – you don’t need to use everything I’ve listed (i.e. it looks like you need heaps but really you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want).  Leave out the chilli if you’d rather have a savoury soup than a spicy one.  Some nice substitutions are: lightly stir-fried or steamed green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, or oyster mushrooms instead of the button variety.

Kīnaki (serves 4)

For stock

  • 1 x onion
  • 2 x garlic cloves (or a teaspoon of crushed garlic)
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger (or a teaspoon of crushed ginger)
  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (or 8 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of vegetable bullion)
  • 4 x cloves
  • 1 x stick of cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
  • 1 x star anise
  • 1 x fresh red chilli, diced

Noodles & toppings

  • 2 x tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 x tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 x sliced spring onions (you can cut these on the diagonal to look flash…)
  • 2 x handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 x packet of firm tofu, drained and cut into slices.
  • 8 or so white button mushrooms
  • 1 x small bunch of pak choy
  • Crushed peanuts or cashews
  • Rice noodles

Huarahi

To make the broth, add the stock, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, chilli and star anise to a large pot.  Roughly chop the onion and add this to the mix.  Bring it to the boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer away.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.

While the broth is cooking, prepare the noodles and the fresh ingredients.

I usually use white vermicelli noodles – to prepare these they just need to be soaked in cold water for a few minutes.  Drain them and then place a handful of noodles into each bowl you are using to serve your phở.

Cut up the pak choy – I like to cut a few slices off the stalk as those are nice and crunchy, and then cut the rest of it lengthways into a couple of long, green bits from each leaf.  Set these aside.

Heat a little sesame oil in a large pan to cook the tofu (if you want you can add a little garlic and freshly grated ginger to season the tofu a little).  Add the tofu slices and cook until brown on all sides.  Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.  Return the pan to the stove, add a little more sesame oil and fry the mushrooms.  Once tender, remove these from the pan also and set aside.

Once the 15 minute timer goes off, add the pak choy to your stock and set the timer for another 5 minutes.

Now prepare the bowls for serving. Place some bean sprouts on top of the noodles.  Add a few slices of tofu and some mushrooms to each bowl.  Once the timer goes off, ladle some of the soup into each bowl (avoiding the large chunks of onion, star anise etc.  Make sure you get a few slices of the pak choy though.)

Top each bowl with some spring onions, some mint and coriander, a sprinkle of the crushed nuts (and add a little sriracha if you like it spicy).