Soft-Shell Tacos

The Thursday Hands-On Team served soft-shell tacos with a 3-bean sauce – thickened by baked blitzed cauliflower! We learnt quite a bit about rolling out the soft dough, which is quite sticky! We made 65 tacos, which were quickly baked very hot in the pizza oven – they puffed up into a ball during baking.

We also made hazelnut carob chocolate bars – the packaging for the bars is currently being printed, and we should have it by the end of this week! Watch this space…

After baking the tacos were rubbed with good quality local olive oil, filled with hot bean mixture, fresh lettuce and a corn/capsicum/lime salad and fresh avocado, and dressed with creamy cashew topping.

The sauerkraut is also proving very popular, having sold out of the last batch time to jar up some more – we just received 8 crates of locally grown organic red cabbage which we are turning into sauerkraut this week! Yum…

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Pickled Cauliflower Salad and Soft-Shell Tacos

The Wednesday Hands-On Team chopped up pickled cauliflower & carrots, finely sliced fennel and capsicum to make a pickled cauliflower salad to accompany the vegan potato bake dinner – great on a chilly evening.

We also started on the soft-shell tacos – combining whole corn flour, tapioca starch, psyllium husk and boiling water we made a very soft (and hot!) dough which we let rest for 30 minutes. We then divided the dough and rolled it out thinly – a somewhat tricky procedure as the dough is very soft and sticky! Rolling-out skills learnt all-round.

We also had a third group of… singers! We have written a song about respect (respect to God, mankind and planet earth), which we might sing at the opening of Envirofest 2017 (to be hosted @ Wholegrain Organics Monday 2nd October) – looking for keen voices to join in this.

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Awatapu make Raw Mint Slice

Something different! Awatapu year 12s really enjoyed making a dessert this week – the raw mint slice. Base made from medjool dates, carob powder, almonds, coconut. Filling from coconut that you blend at high speed until to turns into a paste! Amazing. Coloured with organic greens powder. Flavoured with organic essential peppermint oil. Sweetened with a little rice syrup. Icing topping made with 100% pure organic maple syrup mixed with carob powder, and cocoa butter – then sprinkled with a little sea salt.

The class was split into two, each half making one recipe each. They both turned out really well – and we all agreed they tasted delicious! Ka pai.

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MANUKURA Make Chickpea Patties

MANUKURA year 9 food technology students @ Wholegrain Organics yesterday – made delicious chickpea patties & homemade organic BBQ sauce.
They combined grated carrot, cooked brown jasmine rice, chickpeas, cumin, lemon juice, dill, Bragg (like soy sauce) – then blended up 1/3 of the mixture in a food processor to make it sticky and hold the batter together. We then formed burgers (in gluten free breadcrumbs) – a bit of an art to forming a nice pattie! We pan fried the burgers and served with our organic BBQ sauce and cashew topping.
To make the BBQ sauce we roasted red capsicum slices, diced lots of onions & garlic, cooked it up with lemon juice, canned tomatoes and Bragg.
The girls also requested we make the seasoned tofu cubes again – a favourite – take a block of firm tofu, cut into small cubes, dress with extra virgin olive oil, vegetable stock powder, paprika and sea salt (generously), mix with your hands, spread on a baking sheet and roast for around 20 mins @ 200 degrees C until puffed up and golden and a bit crunchy on the outside, still soft in the middle. Yum!

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Rice Primavera and 3 Salads

Thursday night saw the Thursday Hands-On Team making rice primavera (Italian for spring – referring the colours) for dinner service, served with 3 salads, raw mint slice and carob chocolate bars. We had some fun with the mint slice, our third experiment with this new product, always trying to tweak the texture and flavour for the best outcome – our base and filling turned out amazingly this time, but our topping split, the cocoa butter not emulsifying into the maple syrup mixture properly – in the end we had to peel the topping off and investigate the matter further with a few trials – the girls made the failed topping into a delicious mixture with the addition of almond butter, coconut and more peppermint oil which we turned into after-dinner-mint-balls, very yummy, and we made a new topping – this time with very careful and accurate measurements – it worked a treat. We certainly learnt something about emulsifying fats into water-based mixtures and the precision required!

The students setup a production line for plating the dinner – very colourful with 3 different salads. The potato cumin soup was also popular.

Student also enjoyed serving at the till, making drinks to order and serving ice-creams for dessert. Ka pai everyone, great teamwork. Continue reading

Hands on Team First Wednesday Night!

Last week we started a second Hands-On Team night @ Wholegrain Organics cafe – now operating Wednesday and Thursday nights. Students arrive at 4pm, we prepare dinner and produce until 6pm when dinner service starts. The Thursday night has become so popular we have now started the second day – already with 10 students!

We learnt the correct way to finely dice an onion to go into the potato cakes – of which we made around 160. We made a pot of tasty potato & cumin soup. We seasoned and roasted tofu cubes for the salad, and we produced a batch of carob chocolate – yum.

Students also had a go at serving at the till, making fresh juices and smoothies to order, plating up the meals and serving the meals to the customers.  Continue reading