All posts tagged: easy recipes

Vietnamese Shaking Beef

It’s been a minute since The Koala and I visited Vietnam. We visited in January 2011, completely unprepared for the winter. We got off the plane in the early, early hours of the morning, were accosted by motorcycle drivers, dropped our bags off at our hotel and went in search for our first meal on foot. We happened upon a little noodle shop that was packed first thing in the morning. We figured that any place that was packed with locals for breakfast would be a good bet. Once we were seated, we realised the shop only sold eel. Options included fried eel, eel soup, eel noodles or eel porridge. Every item on the menu was under $2NZ. And that’s how we ended up eating eel for our first meal in Vietnam. We couldn’t speak a lick of Vietnamese but we got through our trip by pointing and our drawing skills helped us out more than once. Still, we made some incredible food memories and I still think fondly upon the Vietnamese way of cooking and eating. …

Prawn sushi bowls

I eat in season because I cannot bring myself to pay $9 for an avocado. Avocados are back in season, baby. It’s time to GORGE. This recipe features my current favourite way to eat avocado: Cut in half, flesh scooped out. Topped with a dollop of mayo, a rosette of pickled ginger and a sprinkling of black and white sesame seeds. Sushi bowls are great when you don’t want the effort of making sushi. There’s a bit of chopping and slicing involved but that fits in perfectly into the time it takes for your rice to cook. I’m no nutrition expert but eating the rainbow sure is pretty. Makes a great lunch or lighter dinner. Measurements below are rough. Tweak to your own taste, appetite and preferences. I’ve made a quick sushi vinegar rice but you can totally use plain rice, brown rice or black rice. Prawn sushi bowls Makes 2 bowls Ingredients 1 cup raw peeled prawns 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups cooked sushi rice 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar 1 perfectly …

Oven baked flounder with tomatoes

If you don’t like eyes looking at you from your plate, then flounder are the worst. I grew up eating yellowbelly flounder. My parents steamed whole fish with fresh ginger and a touch of hot oil and soy, served with rice and a side of greens. Fish doesn’t need much messing around with. While I’m sure not everyone feels the same way, there’s something I find super appealing about fish served whole. Fun fish fact: Flounder are born with an eye on each side but as they develop, one eye grows over to the other side to join the other. Yellowbelly flounder are available year round and I’ve paired them here with tomatoes which also available year round as they are grown in glasshouses. When buying whole fish, Look for bright clear eyes, shiny tight scales and a moist flat tail. A fish with a dry tail is a sad sight. Your flounder will probably be gutted and most places may have scaled your fish, if not ask, for them to be scaled or do …

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Around the world with Lisa’s World of Flavours (and a giveaway)

I haven’t eaten EVERYTHING…but it’s on my list. Food tourism is on the rise and eating one’s way around the world is a legit pastime. New flavours, ingredients, and cooking techniques are my favourite travel souvenirs to bring home. I love being inspired by cuisines from around the world and until my next overseas adventure, I bring little slices of the world into my kitchen through food. Lisa’s new World of Flavours range takes iconic flavour combinations and re-imagines them as dips. Lisa’s Hummus is already a household name in NZ and the new range is made with beans instead of chickpeas and is gluten free and vegetarian. These dips make it easy to add an exotic touch to some of your favourite meals. There are 3 flavours in the World of Flavours range (so far): Greek Yoghurt Dip – lightly creamy with the fresh taste of mint and lemon. Great on sandwiches or burgers, as a spread or topping, perfect for summer barbecues. Thai Sriracha Dip (my favourite) – with sweet chilli and roasted capsicum, this …

Easy Entertaining with Long White Vodka (and a giveaway)

(scroll down for giveaway)  I once paid $2.55 for a single lime. I was furious. *shakes fist* That was summer. When limes are like gold. I would buy one lime at up to $35 per kilo and make every wedge count. Now that it’s winter, New Zealand limes are in season and around $5 per kilo – completely affordable. You can enjoy them as nature intended. And you should. Another way I’m enjoying New Zealand limes this winter is with Long White Vodka Lemon & Lime. Light and refreshing, Long White Vodka is made using local ingredients, and it’s sweetened with apple juice so there’s no added table sugar. Ingredients are NZ sparkling water, triple distilled vodka, fruit juice and natural flavours. That’s it. SWEET. Plus these drinks have a beachy label design and sport a twist top (YAY!). I was inspired by the Lemon & Lime flavour to create an easy recipe for sharing with friends this winter. Chicken wings are a favourite at our place and make an appearance regularly. They are cheap, simple …

5 ways with Dairyworks cheese

Hi, I’m Genie and I am a cheese addict. Our fridge is always stocked with cheese. Like, a SELECTION of cheese. I always have a block of cheese open but the thing that annoys me is how the packaging is rendered useless after opening. When I wrap the packaging back on, the cheese is exposed like a cutout dress. Not cool. Blocks of cheese are designed to be used over time so I was delighted to see that Dairyworks has come up with re-sealable packaging for their convenience range of cheeses. At the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards a few months ago, Dairyworks won four category awards for their innovative cheese packaging. The Dairyworks range comes with recloseable packaging, a homey wood design and windows so the consumer can eat with their eyes. I really like the new grated cheese mixes 3 CH3EEZE and SMOKEY JOE which appeal to the glutton in me. Can’t decide on which cheese to buy? Well these packs are a blend of 3 cheeses each! The 3 CH3EEZE is a …

Baked Mayo-Cheese Mussels

We dined with friends at a local yakitori restaurant last week. Although one of our favourite restaurants in Auckland for their tasty morsels of individually selected skewers, it had been a long time since we had visited and it wasn’t quite the same. My favourite dish, scallops wrapped in bacon were disappointing this time and the other dish I was looking forward to (chicken hearts) was unavailable. They did however, have a special on the blackboard: 4 mussels for $5. These were baked, cheesy, creamy, a little sweet and very different to how I usually cook mussels (steamed with sauce added). I don’t know exactly what was in the dish but I figured there was mussels, cheese, mayo and perhaps something sweet for balance. Boom I wanted more. The Koala and I split a portion and 2 mussels each is just a tease. So when our Foodbox delivered a kilo of mussels yesterday, I took it as a sign from the universe that I should try and recreate it at home. This recipe is deceptively easy, very quick, and uses just …

Smoked salmon sushi bowl

A bowl of yum For those who don’t know what a sushi bowl is, it’s just a bunch of chopped sushi and salad ingredients served on a bowl of rice. You have a mouthful of this, a mouthful of that and in the end, it pretty much tastes like sushi in your mouth. This recipe is great for either lunch and dinner. I should know, I’ve eaten this for lunch and dinner this week. Thanks to Sealord, I’ve got a summer prize pack to give away. The pack includes a Sealord chilly bag, a stainless steel lunch box, a picnic blanket and Sealord’s Manuka Hot Smoked Salmon vouchers. To enter, fill in the form at the bottom of the giveaway post here. Sealord recently won the Supreme Award at the New Zealand Food Awards for their Manuka Hot Smoked Salmon. The flavours in their Manuka Hot Smoked Salmon range: Natural, Peri Peri (bird’s eye chili) and Tuscan. Au Natural I usually buy unflavoured smoked salmon. I find it to be more versatile and I enjoy adding my own flavourings …

Jubilee Rice

First world problems: Too many cashew nuts. It all started off around National Nut Day when I had heaps of cashew nuts sent to me. I made a delicious Coriander and Cashew Pesto and Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts which were both winners, but I wanted to try something else.

Make Onigiri

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Louise from Crumbs and Corkscrews is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. Yesterday, I re-watched the movie Spirited Away at Silo Cinema. Silo Cinema is a free, weekly open-air-cinema in downtown Auckland at Silo Park. Right on the water’s edge looking across the harbour bridge, with the moon in view, movies are projected onto a big unused silo. Aucklanders bring blankets, snacks, tipple, friends or family for a cheap night out. Magic. I’m a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli (pronounced jee-blee or ji-bu-ri). His animations are rich in imagination, characters, colour and often sumptuous food scenes. Watching Spirited Away  reminded me once again why I put onigiri on my foodie bucket list. Onigiri or rice balls are portable, cheap, filling and can be thought of as Japanese soul food. Unlike sushi, which are made by highly trained sushi chefs, rice …

More Herbs, Less Salt Day

August 29 is officially More Herbs, Less Salt Day. I adore herbs and I wish I’d done a herb garden instead of our vegetable garden. I suppose it’s still not too late for that. I’ve grown rosemary, mint, coriander, basil, parsley, sage, tarragon and thyme. They’re all pretty sad looking at the moment, but hopefully this spring will give them magic beanstalk powers. My favourite herb is coriander and I can eat that stuff like spinach. The Koala loathes it though so I don’t cook with it but rather, dump it on top of my own plate as a garnish. Luckily it’s the kind of herb that works fine for that. What is your favourite herb? Are there any herbs you dislike? In honour of More Herbs, Less Salt Day, here are five of my favourite herb-filled recipes. All of these are particularly simple to prepare. Just click in the images below to be redirected to the recipes. Enjoy!