So you've grown broccoli, but how do you eat it?  Here's the place to:

  • ask how to prepare your produce using healthy recipes
  • share your healthy recipes or ask how a traditional recipe might be made healthier
  • how to store and preserve your surplus food
  • tips about healthy eating

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Stephanie's Stir-Fry Lettuce with Garlic

Stir-fried vegetables are very popular in Chinese Food , they have a better (stronger) taste than boiled vegetables, and the color is bright green.  Chinese Dishes Recipes provide Fried Lettuce with Garlic, a healthy vegetarian recipe that can be cooked in just 10 minutes.

-1 large lettuce
-1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- pinch of salt

- Wash and trim the lettuce.  Shake off excess water.  Cut into four.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Put salt in oil, let it dissolve then add garlic. Fry 30 seconds - you will smell it.
- Put the lettuce in and stir fry for 2-3 minutes
Tip:  Don’t cover the pan during stir frying!


This is one of the recipes from Stephanie's free Healthy Cooking Class last Saturday at the Migrant Centre, run by Waikato Ethnic Social Services.

The Beef, Asparagus, & Cashew Stir Fry recipe Stephanie's class made is available here. has more stir fry tips and recipes for stir fried greens  here (pdf) - including greens with: herbs, ginger, Chinese five spice or garlic.


Photo: Garlic Greens Stir Fry. 


Photo courtesy of

Coconut Taro Cake


This delicious cake is steamed rather than baked.  The recipe is from Stephanie (Taiwan) - thanks Stephanie!


    1 cup glutinous rice flour 

    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1 large taro root

    1 can low fat coconut milk

    1/2 cup sugar 

    4 tbsp desiccated coconut (finely grated and dried coconut)


  1. Peel and grate the taro.  Steam it until it is cooked.
  2. Mix rice flour and cornstarch together, add sugar and mix well.  Add coconut milk and taro until well mixed. Put into a greased cake tin.
    • Put 10 cups of water in the bottom of a wok with a cake rake in the bottom. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Put the cake tin on the rack and put the lid on the wok.
    • Or put water into a rice cooker and bring to the boil.  Put the cake into a bamboo steamer on top of the rice cooker.
  3. Steam for 30 minutes. 
  4. Remove the hot cake and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.
  5. Let it cool completely.  Cut and coat the edges with desiccated coconut.


Pick your own - PYO

If you don't have room to grow all the fruit, nuts and vegetables you would like, or your shrubs or trees are not producing much fruit yet, think about visiting a grower that allows you to 'pick your own'.  Picking your own can work out cheaper than buying from a shop, particularly if you are buying in bulk and can share the petrol costs with a few friends.   Growers sometimes advertise in the local free newspapers or try these web sites:

These sites don't include everyone: for example Strawberry Fields on State Highway 1 just south of Tamahere has pick your own strawberries at the moment, but is not listed. 

I visit Monovale/Ohaupo area just out of Hamilton between late December and March, going early one morning when the temperatures are cooler to pick bulk blueberries: I freeze most of them to use over the coming months. The blueberries thrive in the peat soil in that area.  I use PYO as an opportunity to get some fresh air, exercise, catch up with a friend and get some yummy fruit!

So if you see a roadside 'PYO' sign when you are out, why not list it here on Ooooby so others can pick their own too?  Alternatively, if you are looking for a particular fruit, nut or vegetable to pick, try advertising on Ooooby on the WIC group or the Hamilton NZ or South Waikato groups.

PYO Organic Blueberries

Noticed a PYO sign yesterday, they're in south west Hamilton:

207 Houchens Road, Glenview, Hamilton NZ.


(from the Kakana Talei Cooking Class)


This Palusami recipe includes canned BOILED corned beef, LIGHT coconut cream, and onions which are formed into bundles, wrapped in taro leaves, and baked. Other common fillings for Palusami are fish, shrimp or meatless Palusami containing only LIGHT coconut cream mixed with onions. Can also use  spinach or other large edible leaves instead of taro  leaves.



  • 1 can of corned beef (Pre boil and drain the FAT beforehand)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • Unsweetened LITE coconut milk
  • 10 young taro leaves, or 900 g/2 pounds of fresh spinach
  • Aluminum Foil

    Instructions (Stuffed Leaves):
    Mix Onions, BOILED corned beef and Lite coconut milk.  Add salt to taste.
    On a dish, spread a sheet of foil and arrange leaves on the foil sheet.

Pour the mixture over the leaves, and top with the remaining leaves. Wrap the “filled leaves”  tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes.

Thanks Peni!

Tip from Teresa: if your canned corn beef is fatty, turn it into a bowl, cover and microwave for 30 seconds to 1minute to melt the fat.  Pour the fat off into a bowl/cup  and use the corned beef as above.

Don't tip the hot fat down the sink: it will set and block up your drains.  When the fat has set in the bowl, put it in a piece of paper and put it in the rubbish, or feed it to the birds.



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