Showing posts with label Donna Hay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donna Hay. Show all posts

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Donna Hay's Kale, Spinach & Tofu Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This is not the prettiest soup I have shared and probably a white bowl would have been better for pictures, but when you are feeling like you need something healthy and green in your system, that is quick to make, tastes, great, and satisfies, Donna Hay's Kale, Spinach & Tofu Soup is a great way to go.

I was using up the remains of a carton of baby spinach and a big bunch of local curly kale, so mine is a bit more kale-heavy than the recipe, accounting for its more olive color. You could certainly work in your other favorite greens or go all spinach, if you are so inclined. The tofu and beans and creaminess and protein and fiber to make it satisfying but you could omit the tofu and use cashew cream instead.

Kale, Spinach & Tofu Soup
Slightly Adapted from
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 green onions (scallions), chopped
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 3 large cloves)
4 cups vegetable stock
about 7 oz kale, trimmed and chopped
about 11 oz baby spinach leaves
11 oz silken tofu, plus extra, cut into cubes, to serve
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp lemon juice + more to taste (I used the juice of 1 1/2 lemons)
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
*shichimi togarashi+ and radish sprouts (optional), to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leek and cook stirring for 2–3 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute or until golden. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the kale and spinach and cook for 4–5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. 

Add the tofu, beans and lemon juice and, using a hand-held stick blender, blend to a smooth consistency. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to medium heat until warmed through.

Divide between serving bowls, top with the extra tofu, sprinkle with the togarashi and radish sprouts, if using, to serve

*Shichimi Togarashi is a Japanese spice mixture

Notes/Results: If you like your greens, you will enjoy this soup. It has good flavor (Note: I added extra lemon and garlic) and it's satisfying without being heavy. It also goes together pretty quickly, something I enjoy on a busier weekend. Next time, I would probably take the time to pan-fry the tofu for the garnish--just to give it that extra texture, maybe dredging it in some mochi rice flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and togarashi spice. Speaking of the shichimi togarashi --it can be found in Asian grocery stores, or grocery stores with well-stocked Asian food sections, or you could use another chili spice blend, or make your own (recipe here); it definitely adds a nice burst of bright heat that goes well with the mellow soup and peppery radish sprouts. I would make this soup again. 

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Potluck theme--our week to make any recipe from our current or past IHCC featured chefs. 

We have some fabulous dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Tina of Novel Meals and Squirrel Head Manor shared a classic Fresh Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to pair with a recently read book. She said, "Without giving spoilers I will say a food item mentioned is soup.  It’s vegetable soup in the book but I present you with a Tomato Basil soup.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup.  What more could you ask for, great pairing."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog is here with Kale and White Bean Soup. She said, "Since I had a refrigerator full of vegetables from this week's CSA pickings ( garlic, onions, purple potatoes, carrots, parsley, sage, kale, and dandelion greens), I realized I had everything I needed to make a delicious soup. I added a can of cannelloni  beans and felt satisfied with this warm comforting dinner. Any kind of greens would taste good in this soup; I added a combination of kale and dandelion."

A new friend joins us at Souper Sundays this week, Colleen from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice. Colleen shared her Easy French Onion Soup and said, "The great thing about this soup is that you can put the onions in the crockpot before you leave for work and they will be perfectly caramelized by the time you return home. After that, you simply add everything to a big pot or Dutch oven and let it simmer for 20 minutes. How much easier does it get than that? While the soup is bubbling away, you can toast some French bread in the oven and grate whatever type of cheese you prefer to garnish the soup with."

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).


Have a happy, healthy week!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Donna Hay's Coconut Laksa with Coriander & Fish Balls for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sudays

Soup in general makes me happy but make it a bowl of some kind of curry noodles and I am even happier. With all of the different types of curry that exist, I never get bored which is why you see so many different curry noodle soup posts on this blog. Laksa is a curry I became acquainted with while traveling to Singapore and Malaysia for work. I have made a few different variations--including Donna Hay's Salmon Laksa and Nigel Slater's Summer Vegetable Laksa with homemade laksa paste. 

What appealed to me about Hay's Coconut Laksa with Coriander & Fish Balls is that it goes together quickly and easily with store-bought laksa paste (I just picked up my favorite laksa paste at the Asian market) and the coriander and fish balls. It seemed perfect for the humid week we have been having where the less time spent in the kitchen the better. 

Coconut Laksa with Coriander & Fish Balls 
Slightly Adapted from
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 lbs firm white fish fillets, trimmed & chopped (I used a combo of mahi mahi & cod)
1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
1 egg white
1 Tbsp laksa paste + 1/2 cup
2 cups low-sodium veggie stock
2 (15 oz) cans coconut milk
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
about 9 oz rice noodles, cooked & drained
shredded green onion, shiso leaves, Thai basil leaves, fresh coriander, & crispy shallots to garnish
In a food processor, pulse the fish , coriander leaves, egg white, and lasksa paste until just just combined. Roll heaping tablespoons of the mixture into balls and set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, add the remaining laksa paste and cook about 1 minute over medium heat, stirring. Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the fish balls and cook about 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat, add lime juice and gently stir through. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Divide the noodles into bowls and ladle the soup and fish balls over. Garnish with the suggested toppings as desired and serve. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: This soup goes together quickly and tastes great--the gently spicy (I buy the mild version) broth and the tender fish meatballs and herbs and all those slurp-able noodles. If you don't have a good Asian grocery store near you, check out Nigel's Slater's laksa recipe that I linked to above--it's not hard to make your own paste and it has great flavor. The fish balls take the most effort and they go together pretty quickly--I made mine as the water for the noodles was heating. I used regular rice noodles in this soup but it would be great with any kind of noodles, veggie noodles, or a scoop of jasmine or basmati rice. I stuck to Donna's easy recipe but you could add additional veggies or garnishes as you see fit. I will definitely make it again.

I'm linking up this easy and delicious Donna Hay recipe at I Heart Cooking Clubs where it's Potluck week. Our chance to make any recipe from the current IHCC Featured chef or any recipe from the past IHCC chefs. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post. 

We have a few delicious dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared this Okroshka--a cold Russian soup and said, "On hot humid days,  there is nothing like an icy cold bowl of soup. I know, it's hard to warm up to cold soup- but I assure you this authentic Russian recipe for Okroshka will win you over. Let's face it, who wants to cook when it's really hot and humid? This soup requires no cooking and is a nourishing thick soup that is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This delightful soup is fast and easy to make and naturally gluten free."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Vegetable Soup and said, "This doesn't require a recipe so much as a suggestion. You toss in whatever you like or stray vegetables in your fridge that aren't enough for a side dish. This time I used onions, garlic, green beans, red potatoes, corn, carrots, tomatoes and a a couple of mushrooms.  I used an equal part water and vegetable broth to cover the vegetables while they cooked on a low simmer. Salt and pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil were tossed in as well."
Here at Kahakai Kitchen I made this Herbed Goat Cheese and Veggie Baguette sandwich for a book tour review. A heap of sauteed lemon-pepper zucchini, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil on a baguette slathered with herby soft goat cheese. It was delicious, satisfying, and tasted of summer.

Mahalo to Judy and Tina for joining me this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week and Happy July 4th weekend!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Donna Hay's White Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles

Just a quick Saturday post with a sweet candy treat. White chocolate is not something I crave-unless it's the holidays and it comes paired with peppermint. I have a bit of an addiction for Lindt's Lindor White Chocolate Peppermint Truffles and this White Chocolate Candy Cane Truffle recipe from Donna Hay seemed like it would be pretty close in flavor and simple to make.

White Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles
(Makes 40-45)

1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
1.4 oz (40g) unsalted butter, chopped
3 1/2 cups (550g) white chocolate melts or white chocolate chips 
10 small candy canes, crushed
powdered sugar

Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and top with the hot cream mixture.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, using a metal spoon, stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the candy cane and mix to combine. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 2–3 hours or until just firm.

Spread the sugar on a large baking tray. Roll teaspoonfuls of the truffle mixture into balls and roll in the sugar to coat. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

Donna notes: White chocolate melts will set more firmly than regular white chocolate and are easier to melt without the mixture seizing.

Notes/Results: These are just as creamy, decadent and delicious as the store-bought ones but they are definitely more fragile. I used white chocolate chips instead of melts because I had the chips on hand and they were pretty soft, even after a couple of hours in the fridge. The powdered sugar also 'melted' off them pretty quickly when they were on the serving plate. I will try them again with candy melts at some point and see if they are a bit sturdier. I will keep them in the fridge until it's time to serve them but probably wouldn't leave them out for long. Taste-wise, they are a winner though and they went really well with a cup of Tevana's White Chocolate Peppermint Tea. I would make them again.

It's our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and the theme is Sweet Treats--cookie, bar, or candy recipes from our current or any of our past IHCC Featured Chefs. You can see what sweet treats people made by clicking on the picture links on the post.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Lemongrass Fish Larb Noodles with Chilli Dressing & Five More of My Favorite Donna Hay Recipes!

When I chose to stop buying, cooking, and eating meat and poultry several years ago, I didn't find it difficult to do--however, there are things I still miss. For example, I dropped a partial bottle of liquid smoke when I was putting it back into my pantry the other day, breaking the bottle and spreading the smoky aroma through my kitchen, and then for hours afterward, all I wanted was a classic BLT sandwich. That I still eat fish, eggs, and the occasional shellfish helps add some variety and gives me more choices when eating out, but still, some of my favorite restaurant dishes have gone by the wayside. I've switched out beef yellow curry for veggie or shrimp, however the other mainstay of my Thai order, larb (the delicious ground meat salad that I adore), didn't have a substitute.

That's why this Donna Hay recipe for Lemongrass Fish Larb Noodles with Chilli Dressing is so brilliant and is firmly a new favorite. It replaces the ground beef or chicken in the larb that appears on the average Thai restaurant menu with ground/minced fish, but maintains the same wonderful flavors and, since the fish is sauteed, it has a really similar texture to ground meat. Even better, it's so quick and easy to make that it beats heading out to pick up takeout. 

I made a few small changes to the recipe ingredients based on preferences and what I had on hand--noted in red below.  

Lemongrass Fish Larb Noodles with Chilli Dressing 
Adapted from
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
1/4 cup (80g) Asian chilli jam
600g (about 1 1/3 lb) skinless firm white fish fillets, trimmed and chopped (I used a mix of local ono (wahoo), kajiki (blue marlin) and mahi mahi)
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, stalks removed and finely chopped
2 cups Thai basil leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
200g (about 8 oz) vermicelli noodles, cooked (I used 8 oz brown rice Pad Thai noodles)

(I added one large carrot, spiralized into spaghetti-style noodles)
3 cups (240g) bean sprouts (I omitted and used about 1 cup pea sprouts)
3 green onions, shredded
micro (baby) mint leaves, to serve (I used small, regular mint leaves)

Place the lime juice and chilli jam in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside. Place the fish, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, half the basil, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until just combined. 

Heat the oil in a large wok or non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the fish mixture and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 2–3 minutes or until just cooked through. 

Divide the noodles among bowls and top with the fish larb, bean sprouts, onion, mint, remaining basil and the lime-chilli dressing.

Notes/Results: Yes, I said it already, but I will say it again--brilliant and a new favorite! This recipe goes together really quickly with the use of a food processor or chopper, looks great, and has all those delicious Thai flavors. I was most impressed with the texture as I thought it would be on the softer side, but once sauteed, the fish has a very similar texture to ground chicken and beef (although it's less greasy--yay!). Also, there is good flavor from the ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and Thai basil that is combined with the fish. I really liked the dressing, which with the lime juice and the sweet-spicy chilli jam, has a great balance of flavor. I left out the bean sprouts (just never been a fan of bean sprouts) and put in some pea shoots instead and I also spiralized a large carrot to add to the noodles for a bit of crunch. I used a combination of different local fish--based on what looked good, what was a good, sustainable choice and reasonably-priced, but you could use almost any firm, white fish. I actually plan to marinate, press, and freeze (for a crumbly texture) firm tofu to try a veg-friendly version. You could make this dish work a number of ways--omit the noodles (I used GF brown rice noodles) and shred some cabbage or serve the mix in lettuce leaves/cups, or add different vegetables--whatever you like. This recipe left me happy and satisfied a craving--it's a keeper!

We are celebrating Donna Hay this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs as our Monthly Featured Chef event. I cooked with Donna long before and after we featured her from September 2013-March 2014, and she remains a favorite for her creativity, great recipes that make simple foods/ingredients look spectacular, and her amazing food styling and photography. With about 40 of her recipes posted, it was difficult to pick just a few favorites, but I made myself stick to five. However, I am not sure I have met a Donna Hay recipe that I didn't like a lot, so if you want to see more, click on the Dnna Hay label on my sidebar to find more delicious dishes.

My Favorite Donna Hay Dishes:

If someone were to use force to make me pick my favorite Donna Hay recipe (which would be pretty rude, wouldn't it?!) I would have to pick Coconut and Salmon Laksa from New Food Fast. Often and randomly, I will suddenly think, "I wish I had a bowl of that coconut and salmon laksa right now!" and dream/drool about it--it's so good! Luckily, since Donna uses pre-made laksa paste, this soupy-curry-noodle dish is pretty quick and effortless to make and I have tossed it together many times for myself and others since I tried it. 

Smoked Salmon Sushi Squares from Donna take the pain out of making sushi but deliver on taste, simplicity and 'cool factor' with how they look. Plus, since the salmon is smoked, your raw fish-fearing friends might just eat it. ;-)

These little Prawn & Ginger Dumplings from Flavours were fun, tasty, and relatively easy to make--even for a lazy girl like me! They go together pretty quickly using wonton wrappers and with the dipping sauce, they are a great solution to a sudden dumpling craving! ;-)

Another low-effort but high reward recipe is the Deconstructed Tiramisu from Fast, Fresh, Simple. Much easier than spending time putting the classic dessert together and dipping always gets more "fun points!"

Another recipe I have made several times since trying, is Donna's Cheat's Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse from Fast, Fresh, Simple. It's so rich and smooth, with just the right amount of sweetness and hazelnut flavor for me--it's there but not overpowering. So easy to make for the lazy person too--just three ingredients, no breaking eggs or melting chocolate.

That's my Top 5--I'd be happy to find them on the menu any time! 

Do you have a favorite Donna Hay recipe? I'd love to know what it is!

You can see what the dishes other IHCC participants made to celebrate Donna Hay this week by checking out the picture links on the post.  

Happy Aloha Friday! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu for Food 'N Flix February Movie: 'Lady and the Tramp'

We have gone to the dogs this month at Food 'N Flix with the 1955 Disney classic, Lady and the Tramp, hosted by Elizabeth of The Lawyer's Cookbook. In truth when it comes to Disney animated dog movies, I was always the bigger fan of 101 Dalmatians, but I have seen Lady and the Tramp many times over the years and I think it might have inspired a love for cocker spaniels in me as a child. I am going to assume that if you haven't seen the movie, you at least know the story but if not, you can read the plot here. A family-fun pick that still holds its charm after sixty years.

It's always fun to re-watch a classic for the food inspiration and there is food to be found in Lady and the Tramp, even beyond the romantic shared spaghetti and meatballs scene (although that one is very inspiring). As I watch each month's film, I always take notes--sometimes jotted on paper and sometimes captured electronically. 

Here's my Lady and the Tramp list below copied directly from the notes on my iPhone:

Coffee & donuts--Lady fed at breakfast 
Bones--Jock (maybe shortbread for Jock/ southern for Trusty?) 
Restaurants--Tramp: grill, French pastries, Tony's Italian: pizza/bones
Watermelon & chop suet*--Darling preg cravings (Note: that was meant to be chop suey--darned auto correct
Wiener schnitzel / corned beef--Tramp neighborhood meals
Spaghetti & meatballs dinner, breadsticks
Thai food?--Siamese cat twins

I had wanted to make a veg-friendly chop suey, one of Darling's pre-baby cravings, but then as usual I was late to the party and Heather at girlichef made a too-perfect-to-compete-with chop suey. ;-) So I put my thinking cap on and decided on a tiramisu--not in the film but what you might expect after a romantic Italian dinner, and it uses lady finger biscuits--in honor of Lady. 

When looking for a non-chocolate version (we are talking dogs that shouldn't be eating chocolate here), I came across Donna Hay's Deconstructed Tiramisu recipe and decided it was perfect because it also conjured up thoughts of the breakfast scene where Jim Dear pours a cup of milky-looking coffee into Lady's bowl and gives her a doughnut to daintily dunk into it. I can picture a romantic dunk and nibble dessert scene after dinner for Lady and Tramp. ;-) 

Here's a video demo of Donna making the recipe and you can find the recipe here too. If you aren't serving a favorite canine couple, I think that a small bowl of finely-grated dark chocolate is a nice addition.

Deconstructed Tiramisu
Adapted from Donna Hay via Fast, Fresh, Simple
(Serves 2--dogs or adults) ;-)

2 Tbsp espresso coffee
1 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
2 Tbsp coffee liqueur (I used
Kahlua Hazelnut)
1/4 cup (60g) mascarpone
1/4 cup (60ml) singe (pouring) cream
2 tsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 small sponge lady finger biscuits

(I added 2 Tbsp finely-grated dark chocolate--optional)

Place the espresso and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Simmer very slowly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the liqueur and chill.

Place the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

To serve, divide the coffee mixture between 2 small serving glasses. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into 2 separate small serving glasses. (Add a small bowl with grated ch0colate if desired.)

Place the glasses on serving plates and serve with the biscuits.

Notes/Results: I love this idea from Donna Hay--it totally calls to my lazy girl side--very low effort. To illustrate how truly low effort I was feeling today, I was working out of my satellite office (aka: my neighborhood coffeehouse) this morning and as I was leaving I asked them for a couple of shots in a to-go cup. A 5-minute trip home and I immediately put it into a pot and heated it with the sugar to make my coffee mixture to chill. It saved dragging out my stovetop espresso maker, grinding the coffee, heating it up, etc. ;-) Yep, lazy! And, it's much more fun to eat than tiramisu--dipping is always entertaining. Since each person gets their own, double-dipping is totally allowed. You can vary the flavor of coffee liqueur you use (I like hazelnut) or do a fun version for kids with drinking chocolate instead of the coffee and coffee liqueur. Child or adult, I think the grated chocolate addition is a nice touch. I will happily make this again. 

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--a chance to make any recipe from any of our previous IHCC chefs, so I am linking up Donna's dipping tiramisu there. You can see what everyone else made for Potluck by checking out the picture links on the post.

Despite my best intentions, I am flying in under the wire for this month's Food 'N Flix deadline which is today, Thursday, February 26th. Elizabeth will be rounding up the entries on her blog in the next couple of days so check out the Lady and the Tramp-inspired dishes everyone made. If you missed out this round and like food, films, and foodie films, join us for March with the John Wayne classic, The Quiet Man, hosted by Joanne at What's On the List?