5 vegan ‘comfort food’ recipes I tweaked that turned out great

I treat a recipe as a guide and I am not averse to substituting, adjusting or even omitting ingredients to accommodate what I have on hand or to suit my taste. Some call it ‘creative cooking’, I call it ‘cooking by feel’.  Here are 5 ‘comfort food’ recipes I tweaked with fabulous results.  Continue reading “5 vegan ‘comfort food’ recipes I tweaked that turned out great”

5 tips for rehoming your beloved dog

I recently had to rehome my dog Rory and it was so hard. I was absolutely besotted with him and extremely reluctant to let him go. However, my circumstances had changed and it became clear that I was not going to be able keep him. If you ever find yourself in this situation and struggling with it, here are 5 tips for working through the process of rehoming your dog. Continue reading “5 tips for rehoming your beloved dog”

5 experience gift ideas for Christmas that don’t cost lots of money

Christmas is coming which means…. GIFTS. If you want to give gifts that connect with your recipient, think about giving an experience rather than a thing. Here are five of my favourite ideas to create the warm, fuzzy feeling we all want to express and feel when connecting with the people we care about. Continue reading “5 experience gift ideas for Christmas that don’t cost lots of money”

From humble dreams to reality

 

When I was a little girl I saw the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There is a part in the film where Snow White stumbles upon the cottage in the woods and sets about cleaning it up. When the dwarfs return from their days work they find their home spic and span, and a hot meal cooking on the stove. That scene resonated happiness for me. I didn’t realise it at the time but the notion of providing a warm, comforting, nurturing home for the family became my dream and now, at 50 years of age, it is still strong. Continue reading “From humble dreams to reality”

How I got married in 12 days

On Wednesday, August 16th my partner and I decided to get married. We chose Monday, August 28th as the marriage date because it was my 50th birthday. I figured if we got married on such a significant date the chances of my partner forgetting my birthday AND our wedding anniversary would be slim. (Yes, it was totally driven by self-interest!)

What this meant was that we had 12 days to pull everything together. The following is a list of what we did (and what we chose not to do) in order to make it happen. There is a countdown of tasks and a list of costs at the end of this post.

Continue reading “How I got married in 12 days”

MAC ‘N CHEESE (VEGAN)

Who doesn’t love mac ‘n cheese? It’s such a comfort when the weather is dreary. It’s cosy and warm, and feels like ‘home’.

Most vegan versions call for a cheese sauce made with boiled vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes. This makes a very filling sauce which I find too heavy for a pasta dish. Another option is nut-based sauces but they tend to lose their ribbony, liquid quality once they’ve been baked. So, I’ve gone back to basics and made an old fashioned white sauce but I’ve substituted the cheese with nutritional yeast and onion salt.

Of course you don’t have to use pasta as the main filling. This sauce goes really nicely with steamed cauliflower, broccoli, or oven roasted vegetables. I recommend you experiment with your favourites and make it your own.

You can watch how I make my mac ‘n cheese here:

How do you make vegan mac ‘n cheese? What is is favourite use for ‘cheese’ sauce?

Recipe

Ingredients

1 onion (chopped)
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp plain flour
3 1/2 cups soy milk
1 3/4 cups nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
250g dried pasta
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil

Method

1. Put a large pot of pasta onto the stove to boil and set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan then add flour and stir to combine.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of soy milk and stir continuously until thickened.
4. Add additional soy milk (one cup at a time), stirring in-between until thickened.
5. Once water is boiling, add pasta and stir. Simmer until al dente.
6. Add 1 cup of nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp of onion salt to the white sauce mixture and stir it in.
7. Taste test the sauce and add additional nutritional yeast and onion salt until it is to your liking.
8. When pasta has boiled, drain in a colander and then pour into a baking dish.
9. Add the chopped onion, frozen peas, and ‘cheese’ sauce to the pasta and stir through. Flatten with a spoon.
10. Sprinkle over panko breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
11. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Spring cleaning – the pantry

It’s officially still winter here in New Zealand but our incredibly mild weather is feeling all kind of ‘Spring-ey’ so of course I’m motivated to start on some spring cleaning. First up is the pantry.
It’s been a year since I organised the pantry and it was looking pretty unloved. Continue reading “Spring cleaning – the pantry”