All posts tagged: lunch

“Shrimp grits” Congee

My family is Cantonese so I grew up with congee as a go-to comfort food. Congee or “JOOK” (rhymes with book) in Cantonese is long grain rice cooked in plenty of water until it resembles a thick porridge. Also known as rice porridge, it can be served plain or stirred through or loaded with various toppings. Being notoriously squishy and easy to digest, it’s also a common baby food, or food for the sick or elderly. Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 100% comfort. I’m more than a little obsessed with American soul food. I don’t know why, but shrimp and grits is a fascination of mine even though I’ve never visited the US. Having eaten shrimp and grits in Wellington recently, I’ve had it in my mind to recreate something similar at home. Shrimp and grits was traditionally a breakfast dish but now eaten at other meal times as well. I present to you: the lovechild of congee and shrimp grits! “Shrimp grits” congee Serves 1 Ingredients 1/2 cup long grain rice, rinsed 4 …

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 …

Smokey hummus and roast veggie trumpets (and a giveaway)

This post was made possible thanks to the folks at Lisa’s and Farrah’s , who know a thing or two about quick and easy meals. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway. I love hummus. My absolute favourite way to consume chickpeas. Who’s with me? I love hummus slathered, spread, dipped or dolloped. I have absolutely eaten hummus with a spoon. Lisa’s is a beloved name in dips and their latest creation is the new Lisa’s Smokey Hummus. Delicately pair Lisa’s Smokey Hummus with the savoury and sweet flavours of roasted vegetables, honey and miso. I’m so pleased with how these turned out. I tested this recipe out on two hungry men who devoured them with glee. Super easy to assemble, hearty and full of flavour, this recipe is sure to be put on rotation at your house. I’ve used Farrah’s wraps which are generously portioned. My recipe uses one wrap, cut in half and cone folded to form two cute trumpets. You will need a microwave for this recipe meaning …

Smokey Mezze Bagel (and a giveaway)

This post was made possible thanks to the folks at Lisa’s  and Abe’s Bagels, who know a thing or two about quick and easy meals. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter a delicious giveaway featuring both brands.   This post is for everyone who enjoys a good mezze platter. Traditionally served at the beginning of a meal – according to Wiki, mezze comes from the Persian word mazze meaning taste or snack – and as much social ritual as a meal. Grazing with friends is one of the more enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon. A great addition to any mezze platter is Lisa’s new Smokey Hummus. I love smoke and I love hummus but I’ve never tasted a smokey hummus before now. The smoke is subtle, not overpowering at all. The cream and lemon notes go beautifully with other mezze ingredients. I love the process of picking out the next morsel and combining items together. You curate every mouthful. Pick. Bite. Select. Down the hatch. Flavour, texture and colour go a …

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates

This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.   We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland. Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather. To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold. Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones. The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea …

Celebration Stuffed Chicken Breast

This post was made possible thanks to Freshlife who have two summer hampers to give away. Competition closed. Winners: Congratulations to Kate Rassie and Holly Jay P! You are the winners of the Freshlife Summer hampers. November is my favourite month as it’s my birthday month. Each year, I use my birthday as an excuse to celebrate for at least 2 weeks. In my world, celebrating includes great food and great company. My social life really amps up this time of year, as I get ready for the summer season. Sometime before Christmas are mandatory end-of-year catch ups, often over grazing platters and bottles of whatever you fancy. There will be cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and various cold cuts. Having a few staples in your pantry is ideal and Freshlife nuts and dried fruit are great to have on hand for those occasions. Cooking at home over summer should be painless, delicious and not too harsh on the wallet. A recipe to celebrate Made with Freshlife’s pistachio kernels, dried cranberries and silver platter …

Vege Wonton Noodle Soup

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – They are made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. Available at all supermarkets. Do you have a favourite meal? Is it comfort food? I am all about comfort food. As stated on my ABOUT page, wonton noodle soup is my favourite meal. I grew up on wontons and back in the day, I folded many, many wontons for our Chinese take away. Unpretentious. Easy to portion to suit your current appetite. Easy to digest. While I love the Cantonese classic of pork and prawn, I decided it was time to reinvent this old favourite to be vegetarian-friendly. Perfect for spring, this light yet satisfying meal is a hug in a bowl. I make no claims on the authenticity of this recipe. It is fusion at best. Win! MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain noodles come in Chicken or Beef 5 packs, are baked, not fried and are 99% fat free. Thanks to MAGGI’S 2minute Wholegrain Noodles I’m giving away a set of …

Bao Chicken Bao Bao

This post was made possible thanks to the Best Burger Truck which is trucking through the North Island giving away Beef & Cheese Sliders and Thai Chicken Sliders made with Best Foods Mayo. I have been enjoying Best Foods Mayo since I was a teenager because it is the creamiest, tastiest mayo. I distinctly remember me and my friends being obsessed with this mayo in high school and I have bought it ever since. One thing I was pleased to learn is Best Foods use 100% cage-free eggs in all their products. Winning! The Best Burger Truck recipes have been created by brand ambassador Jo Wilcox, who has worn many different hats including Chef, Food Editor and Food Stylist. To tuck into on these complimentary sliders, simply turn up at the locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington listed below. If you can’t make it to one of these events, make your own sliders at home by following the 5 recipes found here. Best Burger Truck will be in… Auckland Friday 28 April, 5pm-8pm at Basement …

Poké face

Poké (pronounced “po–kay”) landed in Auckland last September in the tired underground IMAX food court on Queen Street. My fork buddy and I hit up Poke Time on opening day: bright and little tacky, as Hawaiian-themed things can be, the experience has a Subway vibe and is essentially a build-your-own raw fish salad bowl. You pick whatever you want, although it can be too many decisions for the uninitiated. If you’ve never tried poké before, it can be overwhelming but if you know what you are doing, Poke Time is great value. With heaps of options including salmon, two types of tuna, and trevally, they also have token vegetarian options, but that’s probably not what most will come here for. Tip: go for the seasoned fish, the non-marinated options are essentially sashimi bowls, rather than poké bowls. Poké means “chop” and is a Hawaiian dish influenced by Japanese cuisine. Poké is raw fish (such as tuna, salmon or octopus) is cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed. Poké is often served served with fresh vegetables and rice …

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 …

Chicken hand pies and a Freedom Farms giveaway

At the beginning of 2016 when bloggers everywhere were sharing their New Year resolutions, I shared my list of 5 things I wanted to do more and less of during 2016. One item on my list was “free range”. Animal welfare is important to me and I eat free range whenever I can. As of this year, I only buy free range pork, chicken and eggs. The good thing is, eating free range has become increasingly affordable and accessible as more consumers demand it. Full disclaimer, I relax this when eating out and would never even mention it if someone were awesome enough to cook for me. There’s a difference between showing integrity and being a dick. I hope free range becomes the norm in our lifetime and maybe one day we don’t have to worry about it at all. Until then, it’s good to keep track of accessible free range products. Freedom Farms is one of NZ’s most trusted free range brands and their streaky bacon (YUM!) is always on my shopping list. When I heard they launched a …

Dumpling wisdom from a retired dumpling professional

I am a lucky girl who grew up eating home made dumplings. The dumplings we ate were stuffed with pork mince with different variations. I asked my Mum what ingredients were in the dumplings of my childhood and this post is based around her answer. 12 years ago, back when I was still a hungry design student, I worked in our family’s Chinese take-out. Since I loved dumplings so much, I helped myself to dumplings at the start of every shift. Free dumplings is a (self-proclaimed) perk of working in the family business. Dad made the filling and wrapped a hundred dumplings ahead of time and the dumplings were cooked during service. One of my duties was cooking dumplings fresh to order. So while I can’t proclaim I was a professional dumpling wrapper, I did get paid to cook dumplings. This makes me somewhat of a retired dumpling professional (see pro tips at the bottom of this post). Fast forward 12 years, my love of dumplings has grown. I don’t cook dumplings for money anymore and my …

Fish at work

It doesn’t matter if your co-workers love fish, zapping a fish lunch in the staff microwave is just bad manners. I love fish, especially smoked fish but I’ve always been careful not to have bring fish to work. Smoked fish pie and fish curries – while delicious – are dishes I enjoy at restaurants or at home. This smoked fish recipe is work-place appropriate. Because it is served cold, no one else needs to know you’re enjoying some yummy smoked fish. Kahawai is a firm white fish commonly found in New Zealand and most of the time is served hot smoked. Reasonably priced at around $25NZ per kilo for boneless sides, a 250gram (half pound) fillet will set you back less than $7NZ. If you can’t get a hold of smoked kahawai, feel free to use any smoked fish fillet – hot smoked trout would be a great substitute. Spring is just around the corner here and in my garden, the rosemary bush and onion weed is flowering so I’ve used these as garnish along with …

Our Growing Edge – August 2016 Intro

August edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Cheryl from BusinessChic. Theme: WORK DAY EATING   I love Cheryl’s theme suggestion of WORK DAY EATING this month. The majority of lunches are eaten at work and it’s hard to eat well at work if you’re not prepared. When I first started working full time (way back in my early twenties), I ate out every day. I didn’t make the time to prepare lunch in the mornings and I liked having a bit of “me time” in the middle of the day while I checked out local cafes. Eating out for lunch cost me $50 to $70 per week but I didn’t mind because I had gone from a student budget to a full time salary. I was splurging. Then I got smart. Eating out every day is a big waste of money. Nowdays, I’m all about leftovers, whether it’s straight up leftovers or rehashing it slightly for lunch – such as a chicken salad using leftover chicken from the previous night’s roast dinner plus some chopped salad ingredients. You hardly notice a cost difference if you cook …

Too easy free range sausage rolls

I could eat my weight in sausage rolls. If I see sausage rolls at a party, I’ll make a beeline and scoff them without shame. I’m not the only one, there’s always others. I know who you are. Sausage rolls are one of New Zealand’s most beloved foods. Golden puff pastry with a meaty filling, cut into bite-sized morsels and served with plenty of tomato sauce, sausage rolls appeared at all the childhood birthday parties I attended growing up. They are a comfort food and a party food for all generations. Sausage rolls can be eaten hot or cold making them equally good for winter nights or summer picnics which is why I’m submitting this post to Taste of Summer edition of Our Growing Edge this month. I’ve been experimenting and perfecting this recipe using L’Authentique’s french grind. Made locally, L’Authentique sausages are made from free range meat and contain no fillers. Coming in a range of different flavours, I’ve made these sausage rolls at home using their Toulouse, Angus Beef, Pork & Fennel and Chicken & Bacon sausage meat. My …