Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Paddling for food

And there was nothing you could do about a woman like that. She just turned herself into a hammer and you ran right into her.
Making Money by Terry Pratchett

So yes, we are now well into 2011 but my posts are still stuck in last year...typical! I've been so busy I only end up getting further and further behind!

Anyway, after Christmas M and I had planned to do a 3 day kayaking trip up the
Queen Charlotte Sound which is in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Unfortunately the weather turned ridiculously nasty overnight and as we continued our drive North it felt like our little rental car was going to either be blown off the road or stuck in water. A typical kiwi summer!

So that meant we couldn't start our kayaking that day and we were stuck in Picton for the night. We didn't fancy another night camping if the storm was going to continue so after ringing round a few places we managed to find a motel with space.

After scouting around the local supermarket in search of food to cook up for dinner, I discovered Bean Supreme marinated tofu on a super special (it had an expiry date for the following day). Sweet! Add a packet of frozen stir-fry veggies and we were set.

Fortunately the following morning dawned calm and clear so we were off on our adventure. We had flexible dates so we could still head out for 3 days of magical scenery.

Our kayak on the left all packed and ready to go

It was one of the most amazing adventures I've ever done and I can't wait to do another kayaking trip! You can read more about our trip

So what do you eat when you're out kayaking for a few days? You can pretty much take the kitchen sink with you on these double kayaks so we ate pretty well! We had a little gas cooker to make breakfasts and dinners on and lunch was a fine assortment of veggies and peanut butter on crackers (finished off with some licorice for good measure). M did most of the cooking while I did the chopping of vegetables. There's nothing like a bit of teamwork.

Dinner on the first night was pasta with fresh veggies, a bottle of pasta sauce and a tin of kidney beans. Our veggies had a little trip into the sea so there was no need for salt (okay fine, we did rinse them in fresh water afterwards but a little salt never hurt anyone right?).

Our second dinner was boil in a bag rice (classic!) and curry (made with a random sachet of curry paste we found at the supermarket, fresh veggies, a small tin of pineapple and a tin of chickpeas). The others at our campsite kept commenting on the amazing smell coming from our little cooker. I think they were jealous.

Breakfasts were porridge made with wholegrain oats, water, jumbo raisins and banana. Oh, and I had to add peanut butter to mine because I'm like that. Kept me going all morning each day (always important if you're going to be paddling for hours on end.

Everything tastes so much more amazing when you are outside on an adventure!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Friday, 7 January 2011

The dreaded tofudabeast

Deep groans and creaks shivered her bones, as though some vast ship a thousand times bigger than any human vessel was sailing past their window, mere inches away but invisible behind the thick, cold mist.
Shadowrise by Tad Williams

Yes I know, it's not Christmas any more. It's not even 2010 any more! But anyway, I thought I would share my tofukey recipe that I subjected everyone to at our family Christmas party.

I remember reading about tofukeys and finding the whole idea hilerious so a few years ago I thought I'd look up a recipe and see if I could create my own one for our family Christmas party. It ended up going down really well and tasting delicious so I made it again the following year. Last year I made something else but this year it was back and better than ever.

Below is the recipe for the tofu part. For the stuffing I used the Seasonal Stuffing with Nuts recipe from
The Vegan Table. I halved the recipe and still ended up with way too much but that's okay 'cause you just end up with delicious leftovers! I did add a little more liquid than the original recipe though so that it held together better...but feel free to use your own stuffing. The recipe sounds complicated but actually wasn't nearly as hard as I expected.

350g firm tofu, drained
1 1/2 Tbsp cornflour
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp powdered vegetable stock powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
1/4 cup chopped, fresh herbs (sage, thyme, parsley, marjoram)
freshly ground pepper

Your choice...I used the Seasonal Stuffing with Nuts from
The Vegan Table

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 teaspoon French mustard

In a food processor, puree all ingredients. Place in a bowl in the fridge while preparing the stuffing.

Once you've made the stuffing you may need to add more liquid so that you can roll or press it into a log about 20cm long. I tend to wrap mine in baking paper and squeeze it to make it stay together!!

Whisk all the ingredients together. Set aside.

Assembly and Cooking
Preheat the oven to 175°C.

On the kitchen bench lay down 2 pieces of baking paper. On top of the baking paper spread the tofu mixture in a thin rectangle about 24cm long and wide enough to wrap around the stuffing log. Place the stuffing log on the centre of this. Carefully lift the edges of one end of the paper, lifting the tofu up and over the stuffing. Gently pull the paper away from the tofu and lay flat again leaving the tofu around the stuffing. Repeat with the other side. The tofu mixture should meet at the top and wrap all the way around the stuffing. Gently press the edges of the tofu mixture together and smooth over. Press the tofu over the ends of the stuffing log and smooth this over also.

Brush the entire top of the roast with about half of the marinade (keep the other half for basting later).

Wrap up the roast with the baking paper and then wrap in a couple of layers of foil. Gently place in a baking tray and bake for about 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and then refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving.

About an hour before serving, gently unwrap the roasts. Brush with more marinade (make sure there is still some reserved after this) and re-wrap. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 175°C

Remove foil and baking paper. Brush with the remaining marinade and place back into the oven for around 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Slice and serve with cashew or tahini gravy.