Making veges taste good is the key
For Vivienne Evans helping people get healthy and stay healthy has been the central theme in her life.
As a trained nurse and homeopath, she has dedicated many years to helping the sick.
"The whole vegetarian cooking thing came from my study of naturopathy and homeopathy," said Vivienne, who turned from conventional medicine because of the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs that she witnessed in her patients.
"I still believe in conventional medicine but I wanted to find a more natural way." She is currently a practicing homeopath.
Vivienne also has a very adventurous side and in 2002, along with her husband, Ian, and their two young children, sailed around New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Australia for five years.
"We were supposed to sail around the world but homesickness became too much for me and the kids," said Vivienne.
The family weren't constantly on the move though, and a broken rudder saw them make an extended stop in Whangarei where Vivienne and Ian worked for a few months. They also stopped in Australia for a year where the couple found work, which helped further finance their trip.
Vivienne has long had a love of vegetarian cooking as she has never particularly warmed to the taste of meat.
"It's not that I never eat it. When I was pregnant I ate a lot more meat, because it was quicker to prepare. My daughter is a vegetarian and my son loves meat, so it makes for some interesting cooking," said Vivienne.
She believes that the aim of vegetarian cooking is simply to put in the extra effort to make the ingredients great.
"Most people don't like vegetables. I won't eat them unless they taste good, so learning the tricks and combinations of flavours is key."
She will be running three two-hour vegetarian cooking classes at REAP Marlborough on August 13, 20 and 27.
For more information contact REAP Marlborough on 578 7848.
Serves four hungry people.
Lasagne sheets (home made or bought)
2 chopped cloves garlic;
400g canned tomatoes;
Italian herbs 1 tsp;
salt and pepper to taste;
1 to 2 grated carrots;
2 vegetable stock cubes;
chopped or grated veges of your choice (optional);
water (enough to cook lentils in);
1 chopped onion;
brewers yeast or Marmite/soy sauce (optional) to taste.
Put lentils and water in a pot on the stove and start to cook. Add the veges and other ingredients as you prepare them. Taste check and adjust with flavourings (as above) and other veges of your choice. The mixture needs to be fairly thick for lasagne and the lentils need to be soft so cook for at least 20 mins. Gentle heat and stir often so as not to burn. Continue with remaining lasagne prep while cooking lentils and put to one side when cooked.
salt and pepper;
half tsp mustard;
200g cheese (reserve a little for the topping);
1 Tbsp parsley (optional);
50g bread crumbs;
2 tsp Italian herbs (for topping).
As you melt butter in a pot, add the flour on a gentle heat and stir until blended. Slowly add the milk in small increments, stirring until all incorporated without lumps before adding more milk.
Cover with baking paper once all milk is added and leave on very low heat for about 20 mins for the flour to cook through, then add mustard, salt and pepper, 150g cheese and the parsley. Ensure you have a fairly thick mixture and take off the heat once lump free.
To arrange, lightly oil a suitable size oven proof dish and place half the lentil mixture in. Top with a third of cheese sauce then one sheet of pasta.
Repeat this sequence once. Finish with the last of the cheese sauce over the top then, having already combined your topping ingredients, add this to the top layer.
Bake at 200 degree Celsius for about 15 to 20 mins.
- The Marlborough Express