Easy on the stomach Entertaining Gluten Free Health Kid Friendly Low-no sugar Lunch Welcome

Seedy quinoa with smoky tofu and coconut raita

This beloved pride-and-joy meal was one of my first creations for Hungry for Raw.

It was our gluten-free, warm, cooked meal. I would make a large pot of the stuff and garnish it onsite for customers. It’s also a regular dish in my home inspired by a friend who called her version of the base “nut and seed mush”. With that in mind it should not be mushy!

This is an excellent everyday meal, or when garnished with flowers a handsome meal for guests and holiday celebrations.

I prefer using red or black quinoa as it seems to hold together firmer and maintain its shape. The trick with quinoa is to cook it until it still has a light, nutty texture and still retains some form.

This recipe is resilient, the quantities and ingredients are flexible and you can adjust them to suit your tastes. For example, perhaps your soy sauce is stronger than mine! In that case dial back the volume. My golden rule is to taste, taste, taste. Taste as you go and make sure ensure each element is very yummy, then you know the final product will be bombastic.

It is served with baby tomatoes, smoky tofu, coconut raita and toasted nuts and seeds and with guests it looks beautiful with a side of greens and some marigolds as garnish.

There are a few steps – but it’s so worth it –  most elements only take a few minutes to prepare, so you can usually do it all while you’re cooking the quinoa – within 25 minutes.



2 cups red or black quinoa (I prefer absorption method for quinoa)
4 cups boiling water
2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
Any other nuts and seeds you like, from sesame to pumpkin seeds (but don’t use anything like flaxseed or chia that will change the texture)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 pack of extra-firm tofu
Soy sauce
Liquid smoke (available from Countdown supermarkets, specialty shops, or online)

Coconut raita
Coconut yoghurt
Finely chopped cucumber
Optional: lime & mint

Toasted nuts and seeds
A selection of nuts and seeds; pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and more
Rosemary (essential)
Soy sauce

Baby tomatoes


Cook the quinoa using the absorption method

My advice is that you don’t just put quinoa on the stove in water and hope for the best.

Add a little oil and a teaspoon of cumin seeds to a pot and lightly fry the dry quinoa until its aroma is released. Next, add a few pinches of salt and four cups of boiling water to the pot, stir and bring to the boil with an airtight lid on the pot. Reduce the temperature to simmer for 20 minutes or until all visible water has disappeared. You will notice the quinoa change shape and you’ll see little tails burst forth from the quinoa. At this stage turn off the heat and leave the lid on for a further 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to finish cooking.

While the quinoa is cooking prepare the tofu, nuts and seeds, raita and baby tomatoes.

Baby tomatoes 
Cut baby tomatoes into halves and set aside

In a frying pan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 a teaspoon of liquid smoke. Add the tofu to the heated mixture and fry – moving and turning the tofu frequently – until it is coated. I consider this a dry fry, so I’m not burning the tofu, I’m simply cooking it until there is a flavoursome coating on the outside and all liquids seem reduced or gone.

Nuts & Seeds
Add 2 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce to a pan and heat. Add a fist or two of each kind of nut or seed that you like and add a generous amount of fresh rosemary leaves. I make lots because I like to store it for later. Fry – like the tofu – stirring frequently until the nuts are coated and crunchy.

Mix a cup – or so – of coconut yoghurt and finely chopped cucumber. You can also add lime and/or mint for an extra punch of flavour!

By now your quinoa should have finished cooking. Next you’ll want to mix the quinoa, tomatoes, sunflower seeds and a couple of pinches of salt in a large pot and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are cooked into the quinoa.

Then simply assemble

Stir through the baby tomatoes
Put the tofu on top
Put a dollop of raita on top
& finish with nuts and seeds

Serve with mesclun greens.

Because I like my meals to be handsome and well proportioned, I tend to put extra raita, tofu, nuts, seeds and baby tomatoes to the side so I don’t overload the dish visually and guests or family can dip in for extras as they need. It’s also lovely with fresh cucumber.

Let me know how you go!

Baby Loves It Dinner Easy on the stomach Gluten Free Health Kid Friendly Low-no sugar Thrifty Living & Home Economics Welcome

Kid-friendly, Savoury Mince


Let me preface this by saying in most circumstances I am opposed to the photography of mince. I am also opposed to all other vegan mince products purchased over the counter, and opposed to all brands of TVP except one, and opposed to anyone making mince for me to eat – unless they follow this exact recipe.

But I love mince. I spent a lot of my childhood on a farm, and savoury mince was one of our family staples. Nothing beats that luscious, hearty taste of mince on toast, and now this recipe warms our family over Winter. It’s cheap, easy and a nutritional power-house.

As a parent I’ve encouraged my son to experiment with textures and flavours and together we’ve overcome a lot of fussiness.

When I made it for him recently he yelled “I love MINCE! Thank you so much for making this for me! YOU ARE THE BEST MUM IN THE WORLD!”


We eat it:

On nachos
In quesadillas
On toast (sometimes with sauce if we’re eating sugar)
In pies
On spaghetti
In lasagna

You can freeze it but usually it doesn’t last long enough to be frozen. We put it in the fridge and go at it for a few days.



3 courgettes (zucchini)
1 capsicum (we hate capsicum, but bear with…)
1 clove of garlic
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
100g Textured Veggie Protein (TVP)
1 700g bottle of passata or 2 cans of chopped, tinned tomatoes
1/4 to 1/3rd of a cup tomato paste (according to taste)
1 drained tin of black beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 cup-ish soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Boiling water

I use Blissful Vegetarian TVP mince as I find it has the most neutral flavour. At NZD $2.30 it’s extremely cheap and you can buy it online.


Chop the courgettes, garlic and celery and add this to a deep pan. Grate the carrot and add this to the mixture. Then add the chopped capsicum but keep the pieces huge as I only enjoy the flavour, I remove the large pieces later. Add cumin and coriander. Add oil and lightly fry the veggies with the spices until a fine aroma is released.

Meanwhile, boil the kettle to prepare your TVP.

There’s a trick to this.

Your instructions will tell you to soak your TVP in boiling water before using it, but I soak mine in a very blend of soy sauce and water that gives the mince flavour. If your TVP is not salty enough it might taste bland or odd.

I move quickly when preparing my TVP.

I put 100g of TVP (half a pack) into a bowl, then I quickly pour hot water over it. When the water level is an inch or so above the TVP I quickly add a lot of soy sauce to the mixture and to ensure I’ve added enough, I taste it. It should taste like yummy, salty soup. I typically add around 1/4 cup of soy sauce to the water and stir it through quickly. The idea is that the salty water is absorbed into the TVP. But test as you go! If it’s not salty enough, add more soy sauce, if it’s too salty, more water.

This will be soft and ready to use in under 5 minutes.

Once your veggies are ready add your passata (or tinned tomatoes) and tomato paste. Stir this through and continue cooking. Then after a few minutes check on your mince, if it’s soft, drain it and add it to the mixture.

Finally add your drained tin of black beans and a little pepper.

Cook this stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the wretched capsicums.

Then enjoy it instantly because I doubt you’ll be able to wait.


Oops! Cheesy Satay Sauce

After I discovered the custard powder crumbing trick, I started to experiment with tasty satay options again… only I messed up my latest attempt. I added liquid smoke instead of soy sauce.

But this was a moment of brilliance. I wasn’t sure – at first – but on second lick decided it has an addictive, deep, cheesy flavour to the sweet, limey satay. It’s punchy everything sauce and I dig it.

The sauce is simply:

1) Peanut butter (I only use Pic’s Peanut Butter – they have a whole Mom & Pop story of fresh roasting and then grinding it while it’s fresh and adding nothing else other than a dash of salt, and I most earnestly feel like this process is reflected in the overall decency of their product), but I digress…

2) A dash of soy sauce

3) The juice of one lime

4) 2 tablespoons coconut sugar

5) Water to thin to desired consistency

6) A dash of liquid smoke

7) Optional pinch of chilli for a kick

Shown here with black rice, fresh broccoli and crunchy Tofurkey battered in southern fried seasoning and a light crumb.





Crunchy Fried Jackfruit (KFJ)

I always go to cafes and get this great, tasty jackfruit, then I come home and try to make it nicely and it’s all been wrong. Until now…

I’ve nailed the crumbing and the crunching process for jackfruit and then I transferred these skills to make southern fried Tofurkey too.

Tofurkey is in New Zealand now (as is Vegenaise) and it is the best. These are two excellent products that I enjoyed 10 years ago in the USA and have been waiting for them ever since.

You can get it from Albany New World. It’s $10 a pack and I can feed four with one pack because when you open it it expands to be a fair amount.

I enjoy my jackfruit with kimchi or chili kraut, salad greens and vegenaise… normally in nice bread but… pictured here in a $1 loaf.


So this is what I do:

When I use jackfruit I pull out all of the knobby seeds and the hard woody bits and compost them. I am fussy. I squeeze out the juice and tear the pieces into shreds.

When I use tofurkey all I do is open the pack.


Drop jackfruit or tofurkey into soymilk mixed with a dash of oil.


Then dip it in custard powder.


This is apparently what butchers to do make products egg-free!

This makes a big old sticky mess – which is great, right?


Because now that goes into this tasty southern fried mix, or breadcrumbs, or ground almonds, and that coverage is thicc… like you want it to be. This isn’t the same as the secret herbs and spices but you can make your own version by following the recipe here… and I would suggest adding the MSG because it’s delicious.


Then shallow fry this in hot oil.

You have to wait until the oil is hot before you put the coated stuff in or you will end up with a limp, soggy mess.

However, if the oil starts smoking it has become carcinogenic, so tip it out, wash your pan and start again.

I hope you enjoy your own version of tasty, crunchy KFV.

Baby Loves It Cheese Easy on the stomach Entertaining Gluten Free Health Kid Friendly Low-no sugar Lunch Raw Sauces Vegan Beginners Vegan Substitutes Welcome

30 Second Cheese

I know you don’t have any time to mess about reading a blog post. You. Need. Cheese.

Don’t soak your cashews, no one has time for that sh*t.



2 cups cashews
1 cup water
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of lime juice
2 tablespoons of ‘nooch’ (nutritional yeast)


Blend. Serve.

Mine blends so well in a Nutribullet using the short blade. It blends into a perfect thick, creamy sauce in 10 seconds.

CHEEEEEESE on spuds, cheese on cauli and broc, cheese on pizza, cheese in your sammies, cheese on everything.

I’m not a fan of too much nutritional yeast and I feel the ratios here are perfect. Add garlic or pepper if you want. I keep mine simple.


I’ve Perfected Teriyaki Sauce

Here’s a delicious multi-purpose sauce for you.

Teriyaki Sauce


2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar


Mix all ingredients together and add to a pre-heated cast iron pan, quickly simmer to thicken moving the sauce around the pan with a spatula while the sauce bubbles. This is a quick process. Remove from heat when you have a light-but-syruppy sauce.

Optional ingredients include chilli, garlic, ginger and vinegar.

Serve on thick chunks of tofu with fresh spring onions, black sesame, rice and vegetables to make your own Donburi or as I have here on fresh bread with avocado, sprouts and crispy tofu.


Fresh Pasta Sauce with Quinoa ‘Neatballs’

I don’t think I’ll buy pasta sauce again, this pasta sauce is more superior in every way! It’s incredibly simple to make and has a really fresh, frisky feel. You can use it on any kind of dish that requires fresh tomato sauce.

Also today I’m going to reveal one of my flavour secrets on how to make the ‘neatballs’ taste so…well… uhh… ‘neaty’… it’s the Worcester sauce. I put it in any kind of stewy, British-origin meal. It’s basically one of my big secret ingredients… super wow factor… must not be underrated. A lot of the traditional preparations contain anchovies though so make sure yours doesn’t. PAMS BRAND IS VEGAN and it’s magnificent.

I’m also going to show you how to use chia seeds as an egg replacement. This is an excellent binder!

Also a small disclaimer: sometimes I’m a bit lazy on measurements so please tweak as required!

Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

Pasta Sauce


A huge pot of fresh tomatoes chopped roughly
1 carrot
4 sundried tomatoes
A dash of garlic
A generous dash of olive oil – 3 tablespoons ish?


Lazy: Put everything into a pot and cook it until the tomatoes are smooshy.Puree in the blender. Keep it chunky. Serve.

Energetic: Saute the garlic, then add the other stuff along with some extra oil, then cook it until the tomatoes are smooshy. Puree in the blender. Keep it chunky. Serve.

Add any extra flavours you want! Personally I have found there is so much delicious sodium in the actual tomatoes that I’m quite sufficiently happy sans-salt but hey, it’s all up to you. This is a base recipe, it begs your creativity.


I need to apologise here, the quantities are from memory. You can add mushrooms as well if you’d like!


About 1 cup of cooked lentils
About 1 cup of cooked quinoa
About 1 cup of breadcrumbs
A handful of sunflower seeds
A teaspoon of garlic
A sprig of fresh rosemary
Three dashes of soy sauce (maybe about 3 tablespoons?)
Two dashes of Worcester sauce (maybe about 1.5 tablespoons?)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons boiling water
Oil for frying


Sauté the garlic, rosemary (remove the woody stalk) and sunflower seeds. Add this seedy, herb mixture to lentils, quinoa, breadcrumbs, soy sauce and Worcester sauce. Taste. Does it taste good? If not, add some more soy or Worcester sauce! Then you’re going to bind this using chia seeds. Mix your chia seeds and boiling water together. Observe how sticky they are! This is good, it means they’re going to work well as a binder. Mix them with the doughy mixture then fry these until they’re cooked through.


On pasta noodles with sautéed vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. If you’d like (and I highly recommend it) serve with a vegan parmesan or Raw Cashew Cream Cheese.


Raw Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese

I’ve levelled up.

As I packaged and photographed these beauties I felt a sense of lofty arrogance burgeon wildly forth and I realised that all of humanity is divided into two categories -those who ferment stuff and everybody else – and it may be said that I have no class but hey, at least now I can say I have some culture. 😛

Anyway… this… this… this… (shown with pistachio, walnut, sundried tomato and chives):

Cultured Cashew Cheese 3Cultured Cashew Cheese

It’s so easy but there is one tip I’d like to recommend that is counter to popular wisdom (and counter to every recipe I’ve found). I have tried to make this a number of ways and I think my way is best! The base recipe is from my incredibly talented friend Vilja who has turned out to be a real source of foody inspiration to me.

You can see it below packaged up for my new charitable food project: where we will be applying this magnificent cheese to our Raw Zucchini Rolls with chives, black pepper, capsicum and olives and also shown with my new Spaghetti and Quinoa ‘Neatballs’ made with fresh pasta sauce; the recipe for this is coming soon.

This is a raw recipe and is best enjoyed on crackers (raw or not), raw pizza, on fresh vegetables, or in any situation in which you’d use a savoury cream cheese, it’s beautiful on cooked pasta or on raw spiralised zucchini noodles and it will last in the fridge quite well.

Cultured Cashew Cheese 2Spaghetti Sauce and MeatballsDSC_0655


2 cups raw cashews
1 cup water
3 x probiotic capsules (the kind you swallow to give your tummy good bacteria)

Any of the following; garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemon, flavoursome nuts and seeds, herbs and spices of all varieties – once you have the base you can literally season this in any way imaginable.


This is where I’m going to deviate from standard cashew cheese recipes…

Do not soak your cashews.

Pulse them into a fine crumb.

In a bowl, mix your water, your cashew crumb and open your probiotic capsules and add the powder to the mixture. Compost (or dispose of) the capsule case. Stir this mixture up and then add it to your blender. Grind. Grind, grind, grind. Grind it into oblivion. Grind with violence. Grind with passion. The longer you can grind and the smoother it is the better your final outcome.

Next, scoop all of this into a muslin cloth or similar fine fabric. Twist the top and suspend it. This is easy. You want to hang this somewhere so some drips can fall away while it ferments… here is a picture of how to do this… fear not, it takes about two minutes…  I stole this photo from someone on the internet as it pretty clearly indicates the system:

cashew cheese 2

Leave it for 24 hours, 36 if you want, but 48 hours is too much. When it smells nice and sour take it back to the blender.

The next part is up to you… I like about a teaspoon or so of salt, about a teaspoon of garlic and a dash of lemon for a cheese flavour, adjust quantities to taste… or skip those things altogether because here’s the thing, you can add anything you damn well please. There is no limit you your creativity here. Flavour it, stick it in the fridge, serve it the next day.

That’s it. I hope you enjoy it, please let me know how it goes!


8 dishes/1 hour

To increase the level of healthy food in the house and dial back the convenience foods I’ve started to spend about an hour every three days to make salads and bulk food to sit in the fridge so that things are more convenient.

Then we can just dip into salads and make various combinations of stuff into wraps, toasties, food plates, etc. It’s great for my 3-year old son as well. 1 hour is a small amount of time to spend in the kitchen and it only takes that long because they are really basic items to make. It takes around 5 minutes to throw together each thing even though they look more time intensive. Check it out… ❤


Pesto – spinach, pine nuts or cashews, oil, salt

Homemade muesli – oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds, sultanas,a small amount of brown rice syrup massaged through, then toasted.


Steamed mushrooms with baby spinach – mushrooms, spinach, oil, water, mixed herbs


Roasted beet, kumara and potato with rosemary


Carrot, mesclun, mint, coriander, alfalfa pineapple salad


Bolognese – tofu heated with Dolmio


Roasted Cauliflower


Pesto pasta – spiral pasta, pesto,olives, sundried tomatoes, salt




While I’m making a beautiful stew and trying out our new blender (wish me luck) I need something to entertain the little person who likes to toddle – always – in the exact same spot my legs like to be.



2 cups flour
3/4 cup salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
Food colouring


All you need to do is mix all of the ingredients, then kneed it to activate the stretchy properties of the gluten, but before you do, protip! Drop the food colouring into the water before you mix it through. ❤