pasta

Lentil Balls

Kia ora, koutou – apologies for the sporadic posts; it’s been a busy time in our whare with whanaunga visiting, trips around and off the motu, and general life business.  Hoping to post recipes more regularly this year but time will tell I guess! I am a bit more active on the Kaimangatanga instagram account – so be sure to take a look at that for some more recipe ideas and whakaaro about plant-based, low-waste living.

I came across these lentil balls last year and I adapted them so they’re a bit easier (using stuff we already have in the pantry).  They’ve been an awesome addition to our weekly meals.  They freeze really well and are versatile too – so I’ve cooked them with a tomato-based sauce and served with pasta, as well as adding them to a curry sauce and serving with rice.  I’ve also seen a few recipes which pair these with roast vegetables and cashew gravy, or alter the spice mix to have them in pita breads or wraps.

Kīnaki (serves 2-3)

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or basil, oregano)
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup nuts finely chopped (I stick ours in the blender) – I use a mix of whatever I have in the cupboard – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (not essential but these add a nice savoury flavour and are also a good source of B12)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 /2 teaspoon salt

Huarahi

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and then add onion, garlic and herbs and paprika.  Stir in the lentils and add the water or vegetable stock if using. Bring the mix to the boil over a medium heat and then reduce to simmer the lentils etc.  Cook until the lentils are well cooked (they’ll start breaking up a bit).  Check them regularly to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate entirely (add more if needed). Stir in garlic, thyme, parsley, paprika, and lentils to coat.

 

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Prep a baking tray with some baking paper.

Drain the cooked lentils/onions and put into a large bowl.  Add the chopped nuts, flour, flaxseed, yeast, aminos/soy, and salt.

Form scoops of the mixture into balls and place on the baking paper (I usually get about 20-25 out of this mix so there is enough to use and some to freeze).

Bake for about 30 minutes, turning over half way through (they turn brown and go a little crispy).

 

Enjoy!

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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.)

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

pasta

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.