We had a wonderful day at The Rocks Venue in November for my cooking class ‘A Plant Based Christmas’. Sharing my passion for cooking plant based food is my favourite thing to do! Knowing that people enjoy my food and learn something new is an amazing feeling.
Buckwheat Tarts with smoked cashew cheese & asparagus
Strawberry ‘no cheese’ cake
Thank you to everyone who came today and to Alex & Mike for opening up your home and venue for us. It was a privilege to spend the day with you all; sharing, laughing, cooking, learning, connecting and of course eating!
There would’ve been some happy tummies this Christmas 😋
If you’d like to come to my next class, check out my events and book in quick! It’s on 11th January at Pathua Lodge. We’ll be cooking up recipes from my latest eBook ‘Get Set for Summer’. Click the link below:
Last week we decided to make some sweet treats; peanut butter & chocolate cups. They’re absolutely delicious and very moreish. I’m sure the kids ate more peanut butter & chocolate while they were making them!
This is something the kids can pretty much do by themselves, apart from melting the chocolate as they can’t reach the microwave.
They love the feeling of responsibility and accomplishment of doing it by themselves. As long as you’re prepared for lots of chocolatey mess, spoon licking, double dipping and a messy finished product; you’ll enjoy it as much as they do.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes 22 cups
* A million spoons
* Several cloths to wash with
* Lots of patience
* Self restraint so as not to interfere
* 3 cups dairy free dark chocolate chips melted (I use 70% Ghana gallets from vetro)
* 3/4 cup peanut butter (I use smooth. You might not use this much, but the kids will eat it as they go!)
* Line 2 muffin trays with silicone muffin cups
* Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of melted chocolate into each muffin cup. Try to spread it out as evenly as possible
* Place the trays in the fridge or freezer until solid (this will only take 10 minutes max)
* Spoon a teaspoon or as much as they like of peanut butter onto the solid chocolate (spread it out a little)
* Cover the peanut butter with the rest of the melted chocolate (try to cover all the peanut butter, but it really doesn’t matter)
* Place the trays into the fridge or freezer until set (again this will only take 10 minutes max. Enough time to wash hands, legs, faces, chairs, table 😂)
Then pop them out of the muffin cups and eat!
Store them in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer for as long as they last. I suggest stashing some at the back of the fridge for yourself 😂
* If you can’t do peanut butter, use a chia jam instead *
If you’re buying for someone who needs some plant based deliciousness in their lives, or you need some; I’m giving you the chance to buy my new summer eBook ‘Get Set for Summer’ for only $25 👏 Just use the code ‘Christmas’ at the checkout.
It’s a meal plan and cookbook all in one! 👏
It’s packed with 40 quick, delicious and vibrant plant based recipes, which will ease you into plant based cooking and get you set for summer! 😋🏖🌞
Treat your family and friends to a feast this Christmas and summer season with my BBQ Jack fruit burgers which everyone loves. Or be the talk of the table with my fresh freekah salad & pea felafel!
Christmas is just around the corner and if like me, you’re going to be spending time with people who are not plant based, this blog is for you!
The Christmas period is often a long one. In the build up to the big day, it usually involves work do’s, social functions, bring a plate get together’s and the countless morning/afternoon tea shouts at work. Christmas is traditionally seen as the time where it’s acceptable to over indulge in rich foods, over eat and drink alcohol at breakfast!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas even though I’m still not used to it being hot here in New Zealand. I love seeing relatives we’ve been meaning to catch up with all year and the spirit of kindness embodied by everyone.
The thing I’ve struggled with is visiting and eating with people who aren’t plant based. Now that I’ve done a plant based Christmas twice; I’m sharing the tips I’ve learnt along the way. Hopefully they will save you from learning the hard way; offending anyone or being offended.
Always offer to bring a dish or two to share
Call the host ahead of time and explain the situation. Say that you’ve been plant based for xxxxx amount of time and you’d like to make it easy for them by bringing a couple of dishes to share. This will take the pressure off the host trying to figure out what to make for you!
2. Dinner parties where everyone is eating standard food is not the best time to launch into all of your knowledge and education about nutrition
If you’re like me, you were so excited to tell anyone who would listen (or not) about all the new things you’ve learnt about the plant based diet and nutrition. But believe me when I say that Uncle Bill doesn’t want to hear about how the glazed ham he won at the raffle is clogging his arteries; especially after Aunt Sally spent 4 hours cooking it. If anyone asks you about the plant based diet at the table; say that you’d love to tell them all about it and suggest that you talk about it another time. Maybe offer to send them some information via email or suggest you go out to lunch to talk more about it.
3. Use Dr. Doug Lisle’s “seem strategy.”
If there are people who are insistent in asking about what you are eating, there is a simple answer that helps to diffuse the most persistent people. If someone starts questioning you about your diet simply respond, “It seems to be working for me.”
4. Compliment the host
Even if you can’t eat the food served, be sure to compliment the host on how nice everything looks. Also, be sure to thank them for inviting you. This may feel strange, but in my experience it will quell the need for anyone to comment further about what you can/can’t eat. It will also show that you’re not judging them.
5. Eat before you go as an insurance policy
When you have no idea what food will be offered, it’s a good idea to fill your belly with a healthy plant-strong snack or meal beforehand. This will keep you satisfied and prevent you from diving into the contraband! A hungry tummy makes mental midgets out of all of us. For some snack ideas, check out my Get Set For Summer – Meal Plan & Cook Book
6. Bring dessert!
Everyone loves dessert! I love bringing some of my favorites; Raw Strawberry Cheesecake, Date & Almond Cookies, or Christmas Chocolate Slab. Everyone loves all of these and they are super easy to make!
7. The host may offer to make a dish that you can eat
Give some suggestions that are easy to make with ingredients that are familiar and tell them what plant based means. Again, be sure that you thank the host for their time and for being so considerate of the way you eat.
8. Drink water and go easy on the booze
Naughty food and a tipsy head make for a bad combination! This is especially true if alcohol triggers you to eat junk food. When you’re intoxicated, it can be more difficult to keep your resolve and succumb to pressure or temptation. I’m not saying don’t drink any alcohol; only you know what work’s for you, but be sure to keep yourself hydrated with water during parties.
9. Remember that it’s not all about food!
I love hanging out with my family and friends. Sometimes we make social engagements all about food, when they should be about the people who are there! One of the wonderful things I have discovered is that the longer you stay on the plant based path, the more friends you find in your life who are also plant based.
When you find yourself visiting friends and family who do not follow the plant based lifestyle, remember that you are the only one responsible for your health and nobody cares about your health and well being as much as you! Stay plant-strong!
10. Remember that tomorrow is another day
Whatever stage of the journey you’re on, be kind to yourself. Christmas can be a stressful time and the last thing you need is to be berating yourself for falling off the wagon.
⭐The only person judging you is you ⭐ Tomorrow is another chance to start over ⭐ Love yourself and the skin you’re in ⭐ Strive for progress, not perfection
I was honored to provide the catering for Paula Bennett’s visit to Inglewood yesterday. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the deputy leader of the NZ National Party. They’re currently the opposition to our Labour/coalition government.
It was a wonderful experience, not least because the event was hosted in a shop/event venue called Farmsource. As you can imagine it’s a place where farmers come to buy stock, conduct training and do business. All types of farmers, but the majority are dairy and dry stock farmers. The irony was not lost on me!
There were some looks of anxiety on their faces when they saw there was no meat or dairy for their breakfast, but after the initial shock they tried the food and really enjoyed it.
The breakfast consisted of:
* Chia pots with blueberries and granola. This was made with soy milk rather than coconut milk and sweetened with rice syrup.
* Breakfast burritos with avocado, black beans, green capsicum, tomato, cajun spices and sunflower mayo
* Seedy rye Sourdough bread with apple & onion chutney and blueberry & chia seed jam
I answered lots of questions about the ingredients and the merits of a plant based diet. They were especially interested in why we use minimal oil and reduced sugar. I really enjoyed educating the group and they enjoyed listening. While I got lots of compliments and the sound of ‘mmm’s’ was echoed through the building while they were eating, I know these farmers will not choose a plant based diet. The point is that they tried something new and were surprised that they enjoyed it.
That is all I ask for.
I’m so proud to be the local plant based caterer and voice of change here in Taranaki. I know that many people have tried my food with apprehension and become lovers of plant based foods because of me and for that I am humbled and proud.
If you’d like to order catering or book me to speak at your next event, contact me for a quote. I’d love to help you.