She visited Maitland recently to teach a vegan cooking class atOrganic Feast.
Where did you spend your childhood?
In Dordrecht, a very small town in the Netherlands, close to Rotterdam.
When and why did you come to Australia?
10 years ago, for a crazy sky dive holiday, and then within 3 weeks i made the decision, i have arrived, i am HOME.
What changes to your diet have you made over the years?
Not much, i was vegetarian from the age of 5 and a few years ago i changed to being vegan, best thing i have ever done.
What motivates you?
Life, animals, love, music, art, food. Every breathe i take is for the animals, always and everything i do is for the animals.
You spent dome time on MY Bob Barker (Sea Shepherd Conservation Ship) in the Southern Ocean as a vegan cook. Can you describe that experience?
My work and dedication to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has given me so much. Made me an even stronger activist and also as a cook, i learned so much, of such incredible value and i feel very honoured and very part of the fact that i was enabled to be part of such an incredible important organisation.
What do you learn from that time?
DIRECT ACTION, it has to be done.
Have you noticed changes to people’s attitudes to their food and to animals?
Yes of course, inevitably every single person who turns to a vegans diet for health, environmental or ethical reasons will change tremendously. I have seen a lot of this hands on really, even people who initially only go vegan for health reasons they do think more about the ethical side of it too, which is really interesting and inspiring.
Changing eating and lifestyle habits can be difficult. What do you suggest for the first steps to take?
Look, to be honest, i don’t think it is at all. The decision is the journey, making the decision can be a long process and that’s fine, let it be a journey but once you are there, once you arrive, once the decision is made it’s all just a matter of research and diving into it all fully, the first step would be to buy a good vegan cookbook with nutritional information, reach out to other vegans and ask for advice, go to a vegan cooking workshop, just simple things like that, what will be seen cannot be unseen, you go vegan, you stay vegan and there really is nothing complicated about that.
Do you have a favourite recipe you can share with us?
Well, as you know i got plenty, i got a whole book full! But i have been making my grandma’s HUTSPOT a fair bit lately because of it being a perfect winter-dish and also with autumn around now it’s a really nice dish…..
A Yummy winter dish i absolutely love and i am not the only one…. see here the adorable Lisa Dickmann is digging’ it too! Perfect for rainy autumn days……
Makes 4-6 serves
500 grams potatoes, peeled and cut in halves
500 grams carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp bouillon
1 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste (I also use a tsp of chilli flakes)
Prepare to medium sauce pans, one for the potatoes, one for the carrots, boil water in both and add the potatoes in one pan and the carrots in the other, bring to boil, covering the pan. Make sure the water is salty, so throw about 2 tbsp of salt in both, add the bouillon to the carrots. When boiling, strain and set aside.
Heat oil in a wok, add the onions and fry until golden brown, when they turn golden brown add a little water (say 1/3 cup) add the corn flour, garam masala, chilli, paprika and some salt and pepper, mix and cook well together. When that’s done, set aside.
Now the next step is throw together the potatoes, carrots and mixture and add in the margarine, with a hand blender mix it all together, you want the stew to be medium soft, so not so soft it’s like a soup but not too hard either. Serve with some seitan or sausages on top
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