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.


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


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.