How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Are you like, “wtf is onigiri?" or “that triangle looks complicated". If so, I'm here to tell you it's easier than it looks and everything will be okay. The best part about onigiri is that they are a humble food and a minimalist's dream. The result is a stomach full of rice and happiness. Those food emojis that once eluded you ( 🍙+ 🍘) are finally making sense now.

Onigiri are rice balls (or shapes) wrapped in nori and often stuffed with a filling. A comfort food made up of fun shapes and endless fillings– onigiri have the potential to steal your heart. Like all the fancy toasts nowadays, a blank canvas of rice invites almost any creation you can dream up. Maybe this is your first attempt making onigiri. If it is, I'm excited for you. I love first times because you never know what to expect and every step is an adventure and a learning process. Remember your first kiss? I do. Mine was wet and weird and his first kiss too. We were twelve and had just become official via awkward phone call on the kitchen landline. We met up with friends and were wandering the streets; we never had real destinations back then, we went anywhere and nowhere. We stopped beside a large subdivision mailbox and with our friends standing ten feet away “not watching us", we kissed. I had to crank my neck up facing the sky because he was tall and I could smell his breath, which wasn't bad but weird because I was rarely that close to someone. He didn't have a clue what to do, (I had practiced on a pillow so I knew a thing or two). My first kiss felt like something between CPR and a gaping fish mouth sucking up food from the top of the tank. It was methodical with tense tongue action and the entire time I attempted to adjust his robot-like motions with no success. He burped after, (not in a hot way), which didn't surprise me from the way he was sucking the air from lungs moments before. It was not at all what I expected and although I thought I was going to love it, I didn't. At first. I had to keep trying, maybe three or four times before kissing was fun, albeit not as good as my pillow boyfriend. Kissing is weird when you think about it. We put our germy wet mouths together and move them around. Sometimes it feels like I can almost inhale the other person's soul. Like I could pull it into mine through kiss and desire. I've always wanted to be inside someone else's soul and mine at once. Like a double soul! Would I feel twice as alive?!

My first time eating sushi wasn't great either. Yes, kissing and sushi can parallel each other. My mouth wasn't used to the textures and flavours and I had to get my mind around eating raw fish after growing up with a white North American diet. I kept trying sushi though, because there was something that appealed to me even though I couldn't eat more than a few bites. It took me five sushi outings before I began to crave it. Then I was hooked. And I loved knowing that you really can't judge a book by it's cover, or even it's first chapter. Life is funny and cliche that way. We are always changing and evolving into someone new but yet we are still the same, or appear to be. Your first onigiri may not be the prettiest but they'll get easier and better each time. Like kisses and raw fish.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Guide To Onigiri

 

Rice

To make onigiri you must use white Japanese sushi rice. Not brown, not jasmine, not wild rice. Sushi rice is the only way because of it's sticky consistency. Onigiri will fall apart with any other type. I use the brand in the above photo and you can purchase it at most Asian grocery stores. It is also very important to rinse the rise in cold water until the water run completely clear or your cooked rice consistency will be off. 

Seasoning The Rice

When the rice is still warm, add to a bowl, season with whatever you like and mix with a large spoon/ rice paddle or chopsticks until evenly combined.. Here are some ideas for seasonings. 

  • Furikake – Japanese seasoning usually made with bonito flakes (fish flakes), seaweed, sesame seeds. Can be found in Asian grocery stores. 
  • Sesame seeds – white or black, I prefer black to give colour contrast.
  • Herbs, fresh + finely chopped – cilantro, basil, mint, parsely, chives, green onions. Just remember to match your filling with your herb. (eg. mint would go well with a cucumber filling but probably not with salmon). 
  • Seaweed– soaked and finely chopped.
  • Kelp or dulse flakes
  • Yukari – Japanese seasoning made with shiso. 
  • Sakebushi – dried, fermented and smoked salmon flakes.
  • Sriracha + Tamari/ Bragg's aminos/ Soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Nuoc cham – A Vietnamese sauce that's sweet, fishy and tart. 
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Fillings

Each onigiri only needs about one tablespoon of filling or it will seep out of the middle when you mold it. Be as creative as you like, onigiri are very versatile. Just consider your seasoning, filling and dipping flavours when you dream up your onigiri. You can use almost anything for a filling, especially if you want to use up little bits of leftovers in your fridge (eg. chicken, roasted vegetables etc). Here are some ideas for fillings.

  • Tuna or salmon, canned – w/ mayo (or Kewpie mayo from Japan), a dijon little mustard/ wasabi, salt + pepper.
  • Umeboshi – pickled salted plums, a traditional onigiri filling. Remember to remove the pit. 
  • Avocado – mashed or finely chopped w/ a pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon/lime
  • Radish – fresh or pickled. You can use this recipe for quick pickled onions to do an easy and fast pickle of any vegetable you prefer. 
  • Black garlic – It tastes like something between a sweet beet and roasted garlic. It's my new obsession (nice on fried rice as well) and can be found at most Asian grocery stores.
  • Cucumber – finely chopped. Add a little sesame oil, chili flakes and rice vinegar if you like. 
  • Mushrooms – sauted or pickled, finely chopped. 
  • Cooked fish/meat – finely chopped
  • Kimchi
  • Pickled ginger
  • Shrimp – finely chopped 
  • Egg – scrambled or boiled + chopped
  • Bacon – finely chopped

Flavour Combinations + Pairings

Here are some ideas for matching flavours within your seasoning, filling and dip (if desired).

  • Vietnamese –         seasoning: cilantro/basil/mint (or combine any together)                                                                                     filling: cucumber or cooked shrimp                                                                                                                             dip: nuoc cham sauce or peanut sauce
  • Japanese –                seasoning: furikake                                                                                                                                                       filling: tuna w/ mayo, rice vinegar + salt                                                                                                                  dip: tamari w/ a bit of wasabi.
  • Korean –                  seasoning: black sesame seeds                                                                                                                                    filling: kimchi                                                                                                                                                                   dip: Bibimbap/ Gochujang sauce.
  • Breakfast –              seasoning: bacon (finely chopped)                                                                                                                             filling: scrambled egg or mashed sweet potato                                                                                                         dip: smashed avocado/ guacamole or sriracha mayo.
  • Mediterranean –   seasoning: sundried tomatoes + fresh basil (finely chopped)                                                                                 filling: goat cheese                                                                                                                                                           dip: lemon tahini sauce
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Wet hands.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Rub with kosher salt + rub.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Take a palmful of rice + make into a ball.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Press a hole with thumb.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Add a tablespoon of filling.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Fold over like a book.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Form into desired shape.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Triangle, sphere or cylinder.

onigiri-17.jpgHow To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

For more guidance, click here for triangle shaping video.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Cut nori sheets into shapes.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Fold around onigiri.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Wet edges of nori to seal on to each other.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Cut strips for smaller nori.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Fold on to onigiri.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Dip in sauce.

How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
How To Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) || These delicious and simple snacks are easy to make and fun to shape and decorate. Made with sushi rice and filled with many different toppings like cucumber, avocado, tuna, + umeboshi (pickled plum). gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Bite.                                                                                    Chew.                                                                                 Enjoy.


HOW TO MAKE ONIGIRI (JAPANESE RICE BALLS)

the magic

inspiration:            Asian snack food    

the feels:                warm, soft, comforting

eat with:                 green tea, tamari, sriracha, seaweed salad, green                                leaf salad, sake,homemade dipping sauce                                            (below)

might like if you're into:      Japanese cuisine, rice bowls, sushi,                                                   healthy snacks, comfort food, vessels                                                 for dipping sauces, geometric shapes,                                                 Hi-Chew candy (grape is my                                                             favourite), Pocky sticks.

 

the science

makes 6 to 10 onigiri, depending on size || time: 30 to 45 minutes

ingredients:

onigiri

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1 + 1/4 cup water
  • nori sheets for wrapping rice balls
  • bowl of water for hands (or run hands under water at the sink after each onigiri)
  • kosher salt for hand after the water
  • filling for rice balls (cucumber, avocado, pickled radish, tuna, umeboshi). Approximately one tablespoon per onigiri shape.
  • optional: few tablespoons of seasoning for the rice balls (sesame seeds, furikake, kelp flakes etc)

dipping sauce

  • 1.5 tablespoons tamari/ Bragg's liquid aminos (soy free)/ soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon sambal olek chili paste or sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons water (or less if desired)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

method:

  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. 
  2. Cook rice based on your favourite method (mine is always via rice cooker). One cup of sushi rice yields about three cups of rice. Make sure not to cook the rice too far in advance because it is best molded and served when warm.
  3. While rice is cooking, prepare you filling(s). Chop fillings like cucumber or radish finely. Anything that's not already a paste like consistency like tuna or mashed avocado. 
  4. Once rice is cooked, season it with whatever you like since onigiri is predominantly rice so it's important to add some extra flavour to the base of rice unless you're feeling classic plain rice. My favourites to add are furikake, black sesame seeds, or fresh herbs. Scroll up for the section on more seasoning options. Add seasoning to rice and mix with chopsticks or large wooden spoon. Add more if desired and mix again. 
  5. Wet hands with water. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt to hands and rub together for a second to distribute evenly. Grab a palmful of rice and shape into a round ball. Press thumb into the middle to create an indent about a tablespoon in size. Fill with whatever filling you desire, be careful not to overfill the hole or it will be hard to shape the onigiri and the filling will squeeze out. Fold the sides in on each other like you're closing a book. The easiest way to learn the shaping technique is to look at the hand shapes I use in the photos above or use this video to get the hang of it. It's pretty simple once you get the feel of it. Repeat with the rest of the rice.
  6. Once all onigiri are shaped, cut or rip your nori into desired shapes. You can use a whole sheet to wrap your shapes or cut thin strips. When sticking to onigiri, wet the spots you want to stick together and they will adhere to each other. Serve on their own or with sriracha or whisk up the dipping sauce ingredients for my favourite addition.

STRAWBERRY CASHEW MILK

Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

Hi! Strawberry Milk here. Remember me? You used to make yourself sick drinking too much of me. And then again the next day. One of the first emotionally addictive relationships you returned to time and time again. We would spend snack time together colouring outside the lines and building lego houses with teeny tiny potted plants in the windows. You would pour me into bowls of food that turned into important life lessons like, strawberry milk + cheerios = good. And strawberry milk + hot dog mac and cheese = bad. Well, I'm back as Strawberry Milk 2.0! I shed my concentrated bottle form for some more realness, some more rawness. Raw nuts to be exact. And soaked! Wow, do people love soaking food in 2017! Coming into present day from the 90s has been an adjustment to say the least. 

Everyone is all, “STRAWBERRY MILK! Girl, where have you been?!" and “What are you doing in that smelly box where people shoot up?"                                                                                                                                     And I'm like,  “This payphone booth?! I need to make a call..."                                                                               And they're like,  “Oh honey, noooo. Phone booths are basically public bathrooms now. We use smart phones for everything here in 2017. You don't need to walk anywhere or talk to anyone. Isn't that amazeballs?!"         And I'm like,  “Does that mean good? Are balls different now? Are they better than the wrinkled hairy egg sacks they once were? Maybe now they're rose gold and can be hung up with a cute potted plant inside. Or is this like opposite day?! Tell me we still do opposite day!!!".

My friends made me get rid of my Angelfire website because apparently people don't make         radically hormonal fan pages anymore like my site, “I LOVE LEO FOREVER!!!" with 89 photos of Leonardo Dicaprio as Romeo and Jack from Titanic. They were all placed strategically on a black background with neon green lettering indicating all my up to date facts on Leo himself including his favourite food and how he was SO cool and funny in real life. Now I have a very professional LinkedIn Profile where black and neon green aren't even a colour palette option. (It remains undetermined if Leo ever saw the website, if he did he has not reached out).

It's confusing for me in 2017. Did you know that people say “suh" as a how-do-you-do? I guess when you're too tired to annunciate a “p" sound, you use a combination of sup and huh to create the laziest greeting ever spoken by humankind. But if you're that tired you should probably go take a nap. Which nowadays means laying with your phone scrolling food photos or comparing your life to someone you knew from high school 10 years ago. On that note– Coffee, that busy b*tch, hasn't missed a f*#king beat. She's all fancy and cool now with her pour overs and cold brews and flat whites. She was Drip Coffee and down to earth in my day with the occasional espresso which we all pronounced “express-o". Because that was a very fast coffee for wall street types who had no time to waste and were all, “COMMODITIES! STOCKS! HEDGE FUNDS!!! ONE EXPRESS-O NOW PLEASE!!!! EXTRA EXPRESS, I'M IN A HURRY AND LATE FOR THE HEART ATTACK I'M DEFINITELY GOING TO GIVE MYSELF! ". Those were the days.

 I'm working on being more current. I'm on Tinder (and hooked up with Avocado Toast one night), Jamie Oliver follows me on Instagram, I have a serious case of wanderlust and FOMO and I'm totes gluten free af obv (can't say the same for Avocado Toast who ghosted me after we Netflix and chilled btw). I binged all of Game Of Thrones in one week and have to say it's even more addictive than Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson's Creek put together. John Snow may know nothing but he sure is fine af. Last week I took an unplugged vacation (no phones, computers, or electronics of any kind) just to get away from it all, you know? Thinking about trying one of those sensory deprivation tanks but wondering if the salt water would keep me afloat or if I would disappear as I'm also liquid form. I dunno, I'll head over to AskJeeves and “google it" to find out. 

Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Soaking Cashews || Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

(A special thanks to Strawberry Milk for being such an honest and brave contributor this week).

This strawberry cashew milk is to die for and fills you with the best kind of nostalgia. It's creamy, a tiny bit sweet and packed with strawberry flavour without any additives or refined sugar. And the pink bubbles are enough to make anyone's day.

I suggest having a glass while doodling, colouring, puzzle-making, listening to some surf rock or enjoy with some kids that may or may not be your own because they'll be hyped about it. And us adults need more fun hype.

Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

Notes:

Roasting the strawberries with a bit of honey is important, especially if they are not in season, because it brings out the strawberry flavour so much more than raw berries. It will still work without roasting them but I would highly recommend not skipping this step. Plus you get abstract strawberry juice art like below. 

Depending on how creamy you like your milk, you can reduce or add water. This recipe is my ideal creaminess so add less water if you like it thicker or add more if you prefer thinner. 

Soaking cashews is easier than you think. I've added some info in the recipe section on how to make this recipe the lazy way (only soaking for 15 minutes in very hot water) or the patient way (overnight in cool water). I've done both methods and they both turn out great. 

Roasted Strawberries || Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca
Strawberry Cashew Milk || All natural plant based nut milk made with fresh strawberries and no refined sugars. Delicious on its own at breakfast or poured over granola as a snack. Dairy free + vegan. || creamandhoney.ca

You best head over to this maca almond granola recipe for an ideal strawberry milk companion. 


STRAWBERRY CASHEW MILK

the magic

inspiration:                     90s nostalgia

the feels:                         creamy, foamy, satiating

eat with:                          any granola but especially this one, a slice                                        of cake, cookies, celery sticks + peanut                                              butter, ice cream (pour over top with fresh                                          berries or turn into a milkshake)

might like if you're into:   The Simpsons, Disney Adventures                                                     magazine, deep and delicious chocolate                                             cake, Goosebumps books, cherry coke,                                                 making a house out of a refrigerator                                                 box,  Supermarket Sweep, Saved By The                                             Bell, Ghostwriter.

the science

makes approximately 5 cups of milk || soaking time: 30 minutes to 8 hours prep time: 20 minutes

ingredients:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 dates (or 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey)
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract, divided (1 tsp for berries, 1 tsp for milk)
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 4 cups of water, divided

method:

  1. Soak your raw cashews. There are two ways you can do it. 1) The overnight way– Add cashews to a jar or container and fill with water. Leave to soak for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. 2) The easy impatient way– Add cashews to a bowl or container and pour very hot, but not boiling water to cover them. (Heat up your tea kettle, let boil, then remove from stovetop and wait two minutes before pouring.) Wait a minimum of 15 minutes up to 2 hours depending how much time you have. Drain cashews and rinse until water is clear.
  2. While your cashews are soaking, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Add strawberries, one tablespoon of honey and one teaspoon vanilla extract to a medium sized bowl. Toss together until evenly combined. Pour onto lined baking sheet and bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until the juices start leaking out. Place aside to let cool. 
  3. Add cashews and 2 cups of water to blender. Blend on low and increase speed slowly up to high until cashews are completely liquified, usually up to 2 minutes. I use a vitamix but this should still work in a regular blender, it may take a bit more time.
  4. Add berries, two more cups of water, dates, one teaspoon vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until evenly combined (one minute or so). 

Milk will keep for up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

 

BRAISED COCONUT MILK + PEANUT GREENS WITH GINGER TURMERIC RICE (VEGAN)

Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

I have named a part of my brain Phyllis. She is named after Phyllis from The Office, who can be sweet but also a mother$%#*@. She is tender and understanding at times, but mostly she's just annoying. I still love her though because she's part of The Office. Some facts about Phyllis (The Office):                   1. She is married to Bob Vance from Vance Refrigeration and looooves to talk about him.                         2. She is part of the party planning committee and flies a bit of a freak flag.                                                       3. She takes an allergy medication that makes her smell like sulphuric farts.                                                   4. She likes to dance. Get your Phyllis fix herehere and here. Also here if you're feeling muy caliente.

I named my ego Phyllis because they are similar; they both worry about stupid things, they're obnoxious, and both can be a complainy downer who judges and limits themselves. She (my ego) wants anything and everything but then tries to guilt me when we get it. 

Going to bed with Phyllis (my brain):                                                                                                                               Phyllis: “Hey, remember that slightly awkward interaction today?"                                                                      Me: *cringes* “Thanks for reminding me."                                                                                                                 Phyllis: “D'you think that person is still thinkin' bout it?"                                                                                Me: “Ummmm no. Probably not. Why are we still thinking about it?"                                                     Phyllis: “Oh I dunno. For fun."                                                                                                                                      Me: “It's not though. It's not fun at all Phyllis. Okay?! Goodnight!"                                                                     *Three minutes later*                                                                                                                                                Phyllis: “Hey, remember that really annoying song with the barking in it? That one about the missing dogs?"                                                                                                                                                                                     Me: “Uhhh yea."                                                                                                                                                             Phyllis: “Want me to sing it to you?"                                                                                                                             Me: “No. Do not sing it to me Phyllis."                                                                                                                  Phyllis: “........But–"                                                                                                                                                               Me: “NO. DON'T YOU DARE! I HATE THAT F$#*ING SONG AND IT MAKES ME REFLECT ON A VERY WEIRD TIME IN MY LIFE!"                                                                                                       Phyllis: “Sighhhhh. Okay."                                                                                                                                               Me: “... Oh thank god."                                                                                                                                                        *30 seconds later*                                                                                                                                                       Phyllis: “K, I'm gonna sing it to you just once."                                                                                                         *Three hours later Who Let The Dogs Out is still playing in my head*

Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

Watching TV with Phyllis:                                                                                                                                         Phyllis: “Hey, remember when you were supposed mail in that rebate for $100?"                                        Me: “Yes."                                                                                                                                                                             Phyllis: “And then you never did."                                                                                                                                 Me: “Uhhhh yeah. I remember."                                                                                                                               Phyllis: “And then you finally went to mail it in and it had expired the week before, but you                      left it for 8 months sitting on the table and just never did it because you're lazy and I                                    guess you think money grows on trees."                                                                                                                   Me: “Yes! I remember! Get over it Phyllis!!"                                                                                                         Phyllis: “...........okay."                                                                                                                                               *Returns to TV again.*                                                                                                                                               Phyllis: “Just hear me out though for one minute. I'm really smart, I'm your brain– so I  promise I have a point."                                                                                                                                                                                 Me: “......fiiiiiine. Go ahead."                                                                                                                                       Phyllis: “All's I'm going to say is, maybe this means you're a bad person... That's all."                                 Me: “Uhhhhhh no it doesn't Phyllis. That makes no sense. Not mailing in a rebate has nothing to do     with being a bad person."                                                                                                                                             Phyllis: “Are you sure you're not a bad person? Sometimes you cancel plans with people. Or you look at text messages and don't reply right away. And sometimes you call in sick for work when you're sick but not in-the-hospital-with-SARS-sick.                                                                                                                         Me: “Put a sock in it Phyllis!"                                                                                                                                     Phyllis: “... that's what she said."                                                                                                    

Sometimes I need to remind myself that Phyllis doesn't run the show. In both the tv series and my mind, she is a part of it and she is welcome there, but she is not in charge. I once heard sn analogy of this part of the mind that described it perfectly– You're driving a car and your ego is a child sitting in the backseat. She is always telling you where she wants to go, what she wants to do and even asks to drive the car even though she's a child and that would be ludicrous. She gets angry that you won't let her drive, sings gleefully at times, throws tantrums at others, and sometimes she falls asleep and you get some peace and quiet. But she's just a child and you understand that, so you love her and you let her know that she is always welcome to come along for the ride and provide input for the journey you're both on, but she is not the driver. She's not in control, but she's a part of the family. 

Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

This recipe makes Phyllis be quiet for a few moments. It's comforting, satiating and very healthy so she can't say $h*! if she's all up on her high horse. During this cold season I'm being extra good to myself and nourishing my body with primarily plant based meals so this is an all vegan recipe with no lack of flavour. Some tofu steaks would be excellent with this dish and for my non vegan bebes– a poached or fried egg, piece of fish or some shrimp would be divine. I eat a lot of kale when I need to more nourishment because it's packed with nutrients and anything green makes my body feel so good. To learn more about the health benefits of kale check out this article and then make this dish to feel well taken care of. 

Feel free to change elements of the dish up: quinoa or noodles for the rice, collard greens for the kale, almond butter for the peanut– I'm confident they would all be delicious alternatives. Keep the coconut milk though, preferably full fat. It lends a rich creaminess to the dish which vegan meals are not commonly associated with.  

No go turn down the volume on your Phyllis and enjoy yourself.

Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca
Braised Coconut Milk + Peanut Greens with Ginger Turmeric Rice || This simple recipe for coconut curried kale over turmeric rice is healthy, vegan and a 30 minute meal! Dairy free, gluten free, + plant based. || creamandhoney.ca

BRAISED COCONUT MILK + PEANUT GREENS W/ GINGER TURMERIC RICE

the magic

inspiration:                     southern stewed greens has a baby with                                              asian stir fried greens

the feels:                         rich, creamy, soft, crunchy, savoury

eat with:                         green or mint tea, lime + mint water,                                                 white wine(champagne, riesling, chenin                                             blanc), pilsner beer

might like it you're into:  thai food, southern cooked greens, coconut                                          curries, turmeric dahl, maneki neko, The                                            Office, superfoods

the science

makes 4 servings || time: 30 minutes

ingredients: 

                                                                                                                                                                                                  coconut milk + peanut greens

  • 1 large bunch dinosaur kale – washed, stems removed and chopped into ribbons (for the benefits of kale click here)
  •  1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (made with only peanuts)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari/Bragg's/soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 red thai chili pepper, sliced finely in rings
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white and/or black
  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
  • optional: cilantro or basil, to garnish

ginger turmeric rice

  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 one-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt/himalayan salt 

method:

  1. Rinse rice and drain. Add all ingredients from the rice portion to a rice cooker. Turn on and let cook until done. (If you don't have a rice cooker then add everything to a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes off the heat; fluff with a fork.)
  2. While rice is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Once boiling, add chopped kale and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and run under cold water or place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process and keep them green (this step also removes the bitterness).
  3. Place a large wok or saucepan over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Reduce temperature to medium and add the coconut milk, tamari, lime juice, peanut butter and chili. Stir until the peanut butter is mixed through evenly. Add the kale to saucepan. Cook over medium for 5 minutes. If more liquid is needed during this process you can add a bit more coconut milk or water.
  4. Serve rice as the base, top with braised kale and onions, and sprinkle the sesame seeds, peanuts and herbs on top. Spoon extra coconut peanut sauce on to rice if desired. 

*notes: one 400 ml can of coconut milk is all you need for this recipe. It is the exact amount required between the greens and rice.