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Tofu, puha, tomato scramble

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Just a quick update on a parakuihi recipe I shared earlier.  The puha is growing strong in our backyard at the moment so I’ve been putting it into most things at the moment and it goes great in this tofu scramble recipe.

You can also serve with some sliced fresh tomato, or add that to the scramble too, as well as some mushrooms or capsicum.

Kīnaki (serves 2-3)

  • 1 block of firm style tofu
  • 1 small onion – diced finely
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • A little sesame oil for cooking

Huarahi

Mix together the soy sauce, nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set aside.

Press any excess moisture out of the tofu (I use some muslin cloths for this).

Heat some sesame oil in a frying pan.  When sizzling, add chopped onion and garlic and fry until slightly brown.  Add the tofu by crumbling it into the pan and breaking down any big bits with a wooden spoon.  Add the seasoning mixture and stir to make sure all of the tofu is well coated.

Serve as it is, or on top of toasted bread.

 

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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.)

Easy Fruit Muffins

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Kīnaki:

(make about 18 muffins)

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ground cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups soy / plant-based milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 pears or apples chopped, or 1.5 cups of stewed fruit
  • Pumpkin or sunflower seeds to put on top (optional)

Huarahi:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and grease a muffin tin with margarine or plant-based butter alternative.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Try not to over mix!

3. Spoon the mixture into the greased muffin pan.  Sprinkle seeds on top if using these.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes or when knife inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.

Plant-based Pantry Vol.1

Kia ora, koutou – just thought I’d do a quick post to show some of the staples we have in our plant-based / kaimanga pantry.  We usually get these from Bin Inn or Piko so that we can reduce the plastic coming into the whare by taking our glass jars or reusing paper bags to bring home our dry goods.  We usually have a few cans of beans and lentils etc on hand for when we are in a rush and haven’t had time to soak and cook – but generally I do a big cook-up in the weekend and freeze some meals for the week so I can make good use of the dry stuff.

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Beans and legumes:

Lentils: I always have a mix of different kinds of lentils.  These are really handy for curries, dahls, and in bolognese sauces too.  They are also handy to sprinkle in salads for some extra protein.

Adzuki, black, and kidney beans: I use a mix of these for chillis (to have with corn chips, in tortillas, or on rice); in summer, I cook a few up in the weekend (slow cookers are great for getting beans super-soft) and then make up a few salads using some corn, beetroot, nuts and seeds and a vinaigrette dressing.

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Seeds: I use sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and linseed.  I put them in bread, toast them to top salads, sprinkle on top of pasta bakes, and add them to nut-loaf mixes too.  I use sesame seeds heaps in noodle and stir fry dishes (and they are really yum toasted and put in with your sushi fillings too).  All of these can be blitzed up for bliss-balls too.  (I usually have some ground linseed too, to sprinkle on cereals and to use in baking as an egg replacer).

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Nuts: I usually get whatever is on special – these can be pretty expensive.  Peanuts are usually reasonably priced and these are good for bliss balls, and crushed on top of satay dishes and noodle soups.  I also toast them and then crush them for dukkah (along with walnuts).  Raw cashews feature in a lot of plant-based dishes as a sauce-base and for baking too.

Will do a post with my go-to herbs and spices soon.

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.)

Banana Sultana Cake

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I love this recipe because it is really easy and I usually have all of the ingredients for it – nothing fancy or too expensive.  It is a hit in our whānau.  If you don’t have sultanas just leave them out and add in another banana to compensate.  Enjoy!

Kīnaki:

  • cups of flour (we use 1 each of wholemeal and plain white)
  • 1teaspoons baking soda
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1cup grapeseed (or other cooking oil)
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 14cup plant-based milk (I use soy or rice milk)
  • teaspoon vanilla essence

Huarahi:

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees. Line a baking tin (round or square) with baking paper, or grease with vegan spread.

Mash together ripe bananas in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar and then add bananas and sultanas.  Add soy or rice milk and vanilla, stirring to combine.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until wet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Sprinkle with coconut to serve.

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.

Chocolate Coconut Tart

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This is my go-to dessert dish because it looks kind of fancy but it’s really easy to put together.  You can change up the toppings – use different kinds of nuts, use some berries instead, sprinkle with some sea salt or coconut, or leave it bare.  (For this one I crushed up some almonds and toasted them along with some coconut).

Kīnaki: 

  • ½ cup/40g shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups/190g almond flour (I’ve also made it with regular all-purpose flour.  It just makes for a slightly more solid/crunchier base. You could use coconut flour too.)
  • 2 Tablespoons/ 30g coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons/30 g agave or maple syrup
For the filling:
  • 1 cup/ 240ml full fat coconut milk
  • 280g dark dairy-free chocolate (I usually use Whittaker’s – it’s dairy-free and Fair Trade)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
  • Your choice of topping: some crushed or sliced almonds, cashews, macadamias, or berries or more shredded coconut.

Huarahi:

Pre-heat oven at 170 degrees celsius.  Lightly grease or line a tart pan or square baking dish and set aside.

Combine the shredded coconut, flour and salt and mix well.  Melt the coconut oil and syrup together and then add this to the dry ingredients and combine.

Pour mixture into the tart pan and press the filling into the pan – pushing up the sides (should be about 3cm high).

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Leave to cool.

Once the tart base has cooled, put the coconut milk in a saucepan on a medium heat.  Break in the chocolate and stir until it has melted and combined well with the coconut milk.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Pour into the cooled tart tin and place in fridge to set (or the freezer if you want to speed things up).

Decorate with toasted nuts/coconut, berries etc.

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.

 

Tofu Scramble

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This is a quick and easy dish that is good for when your mates argue that you can’t have a delicious breakfast without bacon and eggs.

It only takes a few minutes and you can jazz it up lots of different ways – serve with some sliced tomato or avocado on the side, or on a toasted bagel or bun with hummus, or stir through some mushrooms, spinach, black beans or capsicum – for this edition I sprinkled some sprouts and dukkah over the top (you could always add some hot sauce too).

Kīnaki (serves 2-3)

  • 1 block of firm style tofu
  • 1 small onion – diced finely
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • A little sesame oil for cooking

Huarahi

Mix together the soy sauce, nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set aside.

Press any excess moisture out of the tofu (I use some muslin cloths for this).

Heat some sesame oil in a frying pan.  When sizzling, add chopped onion and garlic and fry until slightly brown.  Add the tofu by crumbling it into the pan and breaking down any big bits with a wooden spoon.  Add the seasoning mixture and stir to make sure all of the tofu is well coated.

Serve as it is, or on top of toasted bread.

(And a nice mug of coffee).

 

Easy Anzac Biscuits

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Anzac biscuits are my Dad’s favourite and I used to make them all the time “back in the day”.  I figured it would be pretty easy to have a vegan version as from memory the only non-plant based ingredient was butter.  I’ve adapted this recipe from this one here.

Kīnaki (makes about 15)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 and 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup of plain sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar  (or use whatever sugar you have – I just like the caramel brown sugar gives)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 50 g margarine
  • 60 g coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (or maple syrup or agave)

Huarahi

Preheat the oven to 170° C.

Mix together the oats, coconut, flour and sugars.  In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the margarine, coconut oil and syrup and stir.  Pour the two tablespoons of hot water into a cup and dissolve the bicarbonate of soda, then add this to the melted ingredients in the saucepan.

Add the melted / bicarb soda mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Roll mixture balls (about golf-ball sized) and flatten with a fork.

Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  (The longer you bake the crunchier they’ll be.  Personally, I like them a bit chewy in the middle…)

 

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.