How was your weekend? I've had such an amazing one presenting at Taste of Auckland, an awesome foodie event here in NZ. I was lucky enough to be a part of their brand new Good Taste sessions, which are all about bringing healthier food concepts to the fore. I demonstrated this gorgeous Key Lime Tart, made without dairy or refined sugar, and talked about my favourite topic, of course - plant-based health and nutrition. It was such a gorgeous sunny weekend and I felt so privileged to speak to a full house, jam packed with enthusiastic foodies! So thank you so much to everyone who came along, it was super lovely to meet you all. I'll be sharing the recipe for that Key Lime Tart in the next few weeks time, so definitely stay tuned for that - it is i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e.
This week though, as your Sunday draws to a close, I'm sharing another of my Plant-Powered Peeps series of interviews with a gent I've known for almost ten years now. It's not often I get to interview a dude on the blog, so when I do it's a real treat. Lads eating healthy vego food and getting passionate about animal welfare and environmental sustainability = super cool in my book (see here and here for some previous plant-powered-gent inspiration).
So today I'm excited to introduce you to Jeremy, the founder of the popular Revive vegetarian cafes here in Auckland, and arguably one of the key game changers in New Zealand who's helped to bring vegetarian eating to the mainstream. When I first met Jeremy he was opening up his very first cafe, conveniently located underneath where I had my first graduate job after University. Let's just say it was perfect timing - me working crazy corporate hours and eating dinner at my desk every night, was gladly met with Jeremy's colourful and tasty array of healthy vego meal options, right under my doorstep.
Fast track ten years and Jeremy now owns two amazing cafes, and has published six incredible vegetarian cookbooks showing how easy and delicious plant-based food can be. He's kindly given me a full set of his cookbooks to give away too, so make sure you keep your eye out on my Facebook page this week to find out how to enter!
Since leaving my corporate city job three and a half years ago, I sadly don't get to pop down to enjoy a delicious fresh salad or hot pot at lunch anymore (Jeremy, when are you opening a store in Ponsonby?). But luckily Tony still works in town so during a busy week you'll often hear me requesting an 'extra large takeaway salad please!' to bring home. If you haven't yet tried Jeremy's cafes I highly recommend. And means the while if you're out of Auckland, he's shared one of his delicious recipes with us today from his brand new cookbook - Revive #5. A gorgeously creamy Dahl curry with Caluiflower and Potato (otherwise known as Dahl Aloo Gobi). I love lentil dahls, love cauliflower and love potato so this is an incredible combination! I hope you enjoy, and remember to head over to Facebook this coming week to be in to win a set of Jeremy's awesome books.
Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself…
I worked for Sanitarium for 10 years marketing breakfast cereals until 2014. I had a burning desire to have an adventure and a mission and wanted to share healthy food with people. I started Revive in early 2005. It is a health haven in central Auckland with an amazing salad bar and healthy hot meals. We change our salads weekly and our meals daily. I have 2 cafes now, 6 cookbooks and also produce a product called Frooze Balls made from just fruit and nuts - which are preservative, sugar, caffeine, gluten free and taste amazing!
Why did you decide to move towards a more plant-based whole foods lifestyle?
Science proves it is better and since moving I have felt great.
How has your health changed since then?
More energy, vitality and a more positive outlook on life.
If you had to give someone three reasons why they should try moving to more plant-based lifestyle, what would they be?
What do you think the biggest misconception is about plant-based living?
That it won't taste good (not true!).
Let’s have a peak at a typical day on your plate…
When you treat yourself though, you whip out…
A delicious creamy fruit-based smoothie. Or my Frooze Balls.
Dinner on the table in 15 minutes – what do you make?
One pot wonder – stir-fry or curry.
Your pantry would be empty without:
Canned tomatoes, spices, quinoa, brown rice, cashew nuts.
Favorite flavour combo?
Different Thai curry pastes can transform most dishes (even non Thai ones!).
You’ve got a rampant meat and dairy eater coming for a meal – what do you make to help them feel the plant-based vibe?
Fritters or a good curry.
What top tips can you share for staying healthy and happy?
Exercise and lots of water. Have a positive attitude, set goals and love your life.
You've been given permission to raid the Be Good Organics stock room - what's one foodie product and one skin care product you'd nab?
Any last words you’d like to share with everyone who’s reading this?
Life is so precious, why waste it with a lack of energy, disease and dying early? Eat healthy and make good lifestyle choices (exercise and water etc) and unleash an amazing life you've always dreamed of.
Would you like to share your favourite plant-powered recipe with us?
Definitely! Here it is...
Makes 8 x 1 cup serves
Remember all of the blue linked items below can be ordered directly from our online store, simply click each link then add that item to your cart
Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
4 c potatoes, chopped into 2cm (1in) cubes
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil*
3 c cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 1/2c onion, finely diced (~1 onion)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
2 tbsp ginger, pureed or finely chopped
1c red capsicum (bell pepper), roughly diced (~1 capsicum)
2 tbsp brown or yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1c red lentils
4c boiling water
1 tbsp coconut nectar or date puree*
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (OR a pinch of chilli and 2 tsp extra sweetener*)
1/2 raw cashews
1c cold water
Brown rice and fresh coriander (cilantro) to serve
* I've adapted this recipe slightly to make it 100% vegan and refined sugar free.
In a bowl mix the potato and oil together. Put onto an oven tray and bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes or until just getting soft.
Put the cauliflower in a pot with some boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until just starting to get soft. Drain immediately.
In a pot or pan, saute the onion, garlic, ginger, capsicum and seeds in oil for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and the seeds start to pop.
Stir in the coriander and turmeric for ~30 seconds to activate the flavours.
Add the lentils and boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Add the coconut nectar/date puree, salt and sweet chilli sauce or chilli.
Blend the cashew nuts and water together into a runny cream and add to the dahl.
Add the cooked potato and cauliflower.
Serve on brown rice with a garnish of coriander. (Buffy's note - I'd also add a side of greens to this beauty to balance it out to the Perfect Plant-Based Plate - lightly steamed broccoli, green beans or a handful of raw baby spinach would be just lovely!).