I was given a signed copy of Nadia Lim's Vegful cookbook as a Christmas gift from work. (I work for the NZ charity Garden to Table - getting kids into the garden and kitchen through our food education programme.) I heard so many good things about Vegful but had several new cookbooks around that time so hadn't gotten past flicking through. Nadia chose Garden to Table to support when she did Dancing with the Stars and my colleagues who have met her say she is the very nicest person. Yay for nice people!
Lockdown has had me reaching for new inspiration and Vegful is providing it in spades.
I am not very good at cooking for one. We're into food in this house, really good food, and make a lot of condiments, breads, baking and meals from scratch. No pasta sauce out of a jar here. When my kiddo is at his dad's though, I can go the whole weekend without a 'proper meal'. It's quite liberating to be freed from the despot appetite of a teen but can get unhealthy, especially if I forget to eat. Which I inevitably do.
Last weekend I made the Mexican stuffed kumara. And promptly declared it my new favourite comfort food. I stuffed one massive kumara - in two halves - then had a bunch of filling leftover, enough for burritos and nachos the following days. My coriander seedlings aren't quite up to being plundered, but I do have a bag of the most incredible limes from our tiny local farmers market, pre-lockdown of course. A lime tree is the one citrus we don't have on the land. It's on the (post-lockdown) list.
I loved Nadia's Peanut, lime and sesame slaw too (the kid not so much, which meant I got to eat it for lunch the next day too - I'd call that a win) and the success of both of those recipes has me keen to try more. Not driving around to meetings and the kid's swim training and classes certainly frees up a bunch of time. Making the most of that by upping my game in the kitchen. You know how you get in a rut preparing the same old meals, the go-to dishes you know and love? Yup - mixing it up a bit.