Kai on the Fly – March 2010

with Aunty Rata

March is Aunty Rata’s favourite month of the year. The weather is at its best and passion fruit are in season. What more can an old bird want? Well maybe a few seeds! This month I have a recipe for you that features nuts and seeds. Yes I know, at first blush it may be hard to get excited about small crunchy things but they are light and small and packed full of nutrients which makes them excellent additions to any tramping kai. My favourite seeds are pumpkin and sunflower. As well as being great sources of protein, carbohydrates and fat they contain other nutrients that help keep us active. Pumpkin seeds contain iron, magnesium and zinc. Sunflower seeds have calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium and iron. They are a worthy addition to any meal not just the recipe below. To really bring out their wonderful flavours it is best to dry roast them till they crackle and pop and swell up like you do when you drink too many beers.
Nutty Rice (serves 4-6)


  • 120g basmati rice per person
  • Big handful chopped apricots
  • Big handful chopped figs, raisins or dates lc cashew pieces
  • Big handful peanuts or almond flakes 2 tb sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Quarter cup of red wine or cider vinegar
  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chives
  • 2 peppers
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 courgettes


• Chop fresh vege.
• Mix together vinegar, olive oil, oregano and chives to make dressing (you can do this at home and bring on trip ready made).
• In a billy dry roast seeds and nuts with cumin. Set aside.
• In other billy bring to boil water sufficient to cook rice. Add the dried fruit and rice. When rice is nearly done add veges. Cook.
• Combine the contents of both billies if there is room and serve. If there is not room to combine serve rice mix into bowls and add dressing.

After a feed of nutty rice all you need is something wonderfully light, tart and tasty for dessert — in March that would have to be passion fruit!

Before I go, a brief word about the “Best Tramping Bum” competition. Jackie is a bit worried that some of you may be interpreting the competition a bit too literally. She does not really want to be inundated with photos of posteriors unless they are really spectacular. Here is another entry that Aunty Rata thought had merit.

  • Mr Smith (Photo: Garry DeRose)
    (Photo: Garry DeRose)

    Name: lets say Mr Smith

  • Occupation: retired tramper, statistician
  • Age: comes before beauty, equals experience, ok if you must know, 74ish
  • Hobbies: visiting hot pools, attending film and music festivals, bargain hunting, sleeping under trees, cards
  • Favourite local hut: Cone Hut, Tararua FP
  • Favourite shop: Cash Converters
  • Greatest virtue: will eat anything
  • Greatest vice: see greatest virtue
  • What I’m reading: Mouth n Ear March edition

So, it is not too late send your entries to Jackie or . Send your recipes and articles as well. Big thanks to Leeann Newton for writing in and including her original recipe for Spicy Couscous.

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