Posts tagged new zealand

Marmite on Toast

Marmite on toast with Avocado and Tomato - Bliss!

Marmite on toast with Avocado and Tomato - Bliss!

 

Marmite – it seems people either love it or hate it. Maybe it’s because I grew up a Kiwi kid (that’s “New Zealander” to the uninitiated), but I love it – especially on toast. I was raised on it, it was a staple food of my childhood, just like Weetbix and Golden Crumpets and (vegetarian) barbeques at Christmas.

I think I eat it more than I eat any other food. I’ll grab it for breakfast, maybe as a snack when I’m rushing out the door, or don’t have much time, or am just being lazy. It’s a comfort food. I’m cool with it plain, but when summer comes around I start loading it up with fresh avocado and tomato slices with black pepper and it becomes a gourmet meal. I’ll eat it for breakfast, then often lunch as well. It never gets old, or boring. I may stray to cereal for a day or two, but I always come back to it, glad to be home.

The reason for this nostalgic rambling about yeast spread is that I was pondering the other day what I would choose if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life. Nutritional problems like scurvy aside, I think it would have to be Marmite on toast.

Now, you may read this and go, “What?! Marmite?! But Vegemite is better!” If this is the case, it’s possible you’re Australian.
The Marmite/Vegemite debate has been going on since the beginning of time, as the dinosaurs fought over what to spread on their prey, the apes battled about the best one to dip their bananas in, and NZ and Australia now challenge each other on the rugby field year in year out with no hope of the conflict ever being resolved. It divides lovers, turns children against their parents, gives people something to talk about at lunch time with people they work with despite having nothing in common.

As a kid, I was a strong Marmite advocate. I wore it’s slightly darker, richer and more flavoursome colours like a banner around my mouth after breakfast. My Dad, however, is a Vegemite man. Debates ensued, my mother suggesting there really wasn’t much difference was shot down in flames, and so both jars took up residence side by side in the family cupboard and a shaky truce was established. Time, maturity and apathy steadied the shaky truce, and now I’ll happily eat Vegemite with my Dad when I visit home, though I still buy Marmite for myself. Of course I’m still aware they taste different, but I don’t have a problem with a change once in a while.

Reading the labels, both are meat free and suitable for vegetarians. Both boast an array of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B9), though Marmite ups the game and also has B12 and Iron in there. Both have a very low fat content, though Vegemite’s looks slightly lower.

In the end, really, I think it just comes down to a matter of taste. But whichever you prefer, if you’re in the southern hemisphere and coming into summer like me, celebrate! Eat your spread of choice with fresh tomato/avocado/whatever tastes great on toast. If you’re in the northern hemisphere you probably have no clue what I’m on about, and if you do you probably think I’m insane (I know it’s not a popular food choice outside of Australasia). But on the slight chance you’re on my wavelength , you can celebrate too! Marmite and Vegemite make a great stock substitute in gravies and stews, perfect for cold winter evenings.

Enjoy!

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The art of the possible

“One always picks the easy fight.
One praises fools, one smothers light.
One shifts left to right.
Politics – the art of the possible.”

– Evita, lyrics by Tim Rice

Well, today I’m depressed…

Why am I depressed, you may ask? Because yesterday New Zealand held its general election, and voted out the Labour Party in favour of the National Party. I have debated this election every day now for so many days that I just can’t be bothered going into why I’m so upset. Take a long hard look at John Key and you should understand in great clarity. I agree with what Jeanette Fitzsimmons, leader of the Green party, said at the end of her speech last night: “I wonder, in 20 years time, if people will look back to 2008 and say, “I’m so glad I voted for tax cuts instead of the future of my children.” ”

Just when America has taken such a giant leap in a positive direction too… so unfair. Now all we can do is see what happens, and I will be paying close attention. Climate change is a slightly more pressing matter than tax cuts at this point in time.

Anyway, on the food front (which is infinitely less depressing…)

I’ve been doing great on this vegan thing for 10 whole days! In that time I have discovered new recipes, ingredients, shops, tastes…

I’ve baked my first two loaves of bread, and while I’m still eating some shop bought stuff I am wanting to move towards eating as much of my own as I can. It’s cheaper and tastes awesome 😀

I’ve had a weak moment – I ate some lemon tart at a restaurant, but that’s really it, and I’m so proud of myself for that! I’ve had cravings (only really for things with cheese in them, like burgers with cheese or cheese sandwiches) but I haven’t given in.

So now that I’ve made it this far I’m setting a few goals:

I’ve joined some people over at VegWeb in a “hydration challenge” – my starting goal is to drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily.

I aim to do 45 minutes of exercise 5 days a week – either at the gym doing cardio and circuit training or out running with friends.

I’m going to be conscious of what I’m eating and more importantly how much – I may eat well but if I eat twice as much as I need per meal then it won’t do me too much good. I’ve been being so good about exercise I’d like my diet to match. SO I’m looking closely at what I cook and aiming to eat several small, tasty and nutritious meals a day rather than 3 large ones plus snacks.

Sounds like a lot! If I do all that I’m sure to be getting pretty darn healthy sometime soon.

But since my final exam ever is on Wednesday, that will probably all go out the window for a good proportion of next week and I’m fine with that! As long as I come back to some semblence of it afterwards I’m happy, and I’m sure I will.

Anyway, here’s a recipe I’ve been making for some time now – originally adapted from a recipe book but I make it this way and it’s delicious:

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

3 Tb olive oil
3 or 4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
850ml vegetable stock
Fresh rosemary and basil
Sea salt, kelp and black pepper

Saute the onion, garlic and carrots in the oil with the fresh herbs until lightly golden.

Add the lentils and 750ml of the stock and bring to the boil, simmer until the carrots are tender.

Allow the soup to cool slightly then blend (I use a stick blender/wand), then add the remaining stock and season to taste with the sea salt, kelp and black pepper.

I serve with a little soy milk, fresh herbs and home baked wholemeal bread.

Enjoy!

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New Leaves

This is my first entry into the world of blogging, so I should really start by introducing myself, and explain a little bit about why I’m all of a sudden starting a blog after so many years without feeling the need to.

I’m a girl, I’m 20 years old, I live in New Zealand and people on the internet know me as theodamus.

Very soon I’ll be finishing university and hitting the “real world”

I have very little money, crazy ideas, a fangirl lust for the theatre and beautiful tattoos, I take photos, I make things, I love to cook.

I grew up a vegetarian and over the last few weeks I decided to take a deep breath and become vegan.

So that’s really what motivated me to start this blog, more for myself than anyone else; to track my journey towards being a vegan, to look at what I cook, what I eat, what I believe, how I take action – all that deep and meaningful serious foodie stuff alongside random thoughts and stories and photographs and recipes and ramblings from my life in general.

I’m pretty sure that no one will be reading this, but if you’ve stumbled across this page welcome and I hope you enjoy the ride.

Theo
xx

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