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”

Ugly is the New Pretty

Food waste is shockingly high. Changing our perception about what good food looks like, and what is acceptable, is a step we can all take to help reduce our own contribution to these statistics.

Why do all the fruits and vegetables look the same when we go shopping? Do you ever go to the store and see the rows of vegetables and fruits neatly stacked building a pyramid of oranges or apples? This is what I grew up seeing as a child and still see this as an adult. I never thought about these displays until this morning when I read an article from National Geographic. I highly recommend reading it!

53% of Food is Wasted

When you sit back and look at the world, around 800 million people are hungry and 53% of food is wasted (National Geographic). That 53% includes anything from vegetables not picked and put on the truck to what we throw away in our fridge. We are all guilty of tossing that bruised apple we forgot about, right?

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The cost of our plant-based diet

Some specialty vegan ingredients can be really expensive which leads many to assume that a plant-based diet is more costly than a regular one. To give you an idea of what it’s really like, here’s this weeks grocery haul.

Continue reading “The cost of our plant-based diet”