Grey, horrible, wet, windy day.
Take out Mama Fridge for a birthday lunch at The Herb Centre. I used to come here years ago…. they always did a mean veggie soup which hit the spot on a bone-chilling cold Christchurch day. The scene looks a bit different these days, the Earthquakes sealed the fate of my old favourite foodie Hippie-store Pikos that used to reside next door.
Lunch outing are always a challenge with the crazy Misty wanting to run about and destroy anything within reach.
Thanks Goodness for Aunty Sez’s glorious (and distracting) tropical smoothie joy.
A pile ‘o Salads for me (and Misty) from the daily digs – really great selection and variety. Marinated radish… beetroot/carrot slaw…. quinoa, herbs & beans….steamed broccoli with sesame seeds…mixed greens. Delicious herby-olive-oily dressing for a bit of zing. Misty ate the brown rice, pomegranate seed, apple, raisin and ginger salad (a Sad Lou can’t have the fruit) and I hoovered the rest.
Mama Fridge enjoyed her Indian Spiced Lentil Patty with Raita and salads like mine…. the pattie was thick, hearty and sweet from the roast pumpkin it contained. A little zing from the strained yoghurt/lemon raita was relished.
Lovely, friendly staff who didn’t think I was a crazy woman for wanting to take photos. Although we did NOT sample the desserts, they definitely looked GOOD. Daily soups, pies, frittatas, wraps and the likes adorned the cabinet – all looking vibrant, healthy and appealing (which always helps, no?) Good portion sizes, filling meals, good value for money – approve? Yes, yes I do.
Stoked with my new utensil for dry-skin-brushing… purchased from the attached herbal dispensary that was loaded with all sorts of natural health type goodies. This brush was about half the price of what I have seen them advertised for anywhere else (in Australia). Win.
Well, this is exciting. I’ve been wanting to eat out at the Lotus Heart Cafe‘s new location for quite some time. The old cafe was pretty much right in the guts of the destruction left by the February Quakes… so I was delighted to find a new place to enjoy the delicious morsels offered by Sri Chinmoy’s dedicated followers.
Way back when I was a “vegetarian” (mainly for purposes of being “cool” as one tends to do at 15 years of age) I used to enjoy their “sausage” rolls made with home made oat flour pastry. Delicious. I also remember attending a few of the (free) meditation workshops that the students of Sri still run today. Pretty cool really.
Now I can bring my little one to the new house of Sri and his students. Life is just full of a lot of tiny circles, inter-twining and melding together, huh? Misty was impressed there was a toy box – books, crayons, a digger, and a good old Barrel of Monkeys that a few of the little-lunch-attendees passed amongst each other. Bonus entertainment, plus the fact me and my lunch date (none other than Aunty Sez) could actually sit down for 2 seconds and try and eat something, rather than chasing Misty around the place.
Very very poor photography, I know. Anyway, I went with the vegan/raw nori wrap that contained house-made SPICY kimchi, activated sunflower/pumpkin seeds, vegan mayonnaise (which I asked for them to hold, as I hate all things mayo) and various salad ingredients. Plus a little side salad with a delicious herby dressing, and soy dipping sauce. The only fault of this dish would be the serving size… a little small for my appetite, but then again, it takes a truckload to satisfy me.
Aunty Sez had a “dirty old burger + fries” – which translated in Lotus Heart language as a veggie pattie, vegan mayo, a (delicious, apparently) salad trimmings, gherkins, cheese on a turkish bun.
Fries are fried in most languages…. Misty liked the fries and pieces of cucumber from my plate. What he REALLY loved though, was Aunty Sez’s superfood smoothie:
This was called a “Cookies and Cream” and I reallyreallyreally wanted some, but as it contained dates, I resisted as to not feed the yeasty beast (aka Candida). I was so very strong. Misty sculled about half of this back, which I would regard as a pretty big hit by (almost) 2 year old standards. This smoothie was made of: almond milk, dates, lucuma, cacao nibs, cashews, maca and vanilla extract.
I must say, the health food store that is a part of the Lotus Heart Cafe is quite simply, outstanding. They have everything you could think of – kombucha, sauerkraut, stevia, maca, lucuma, cacao, kefir starter kits, a huge selection of amazing herbal teas, nutritional supplements – basically all of my favourite things in one place. Best range I have ever seen anywhere in Christchurch.
Even though I’m not the hugest fan of the flavour (plain) I am getting a bit of coconut water in…. I have embarked on a 14 day mission to go to “Hot Yoga” every day. I haven’t been a huge fan of hot yoga in the past; where I live, any time you do yoga it’s “Hot.” Anyway, I decided to try a little stint at a local studi0 (Power, Vinyasa and Yin) just to mix things up a bit. I consider it my “study.” That and perusing local vegan eateries. Oh it’s a tough life.
I love food-finding in other countries. I actually don’t really think of Australia and new Zealand as really DIFFERENT countries, there are so many similarities between the two…. perhaps that’s why I don’t get homesick so much. There are a lot of similar products available – this does not stop me from stalking around the supermarkets here, checking out all the goods on offer.
Anyway, I have a lot more “foodie-finds” from in and around Christchurch to showcase over the next few weeks, but for today I wanted to keep things a little more “home grown.”
I thought I didn’t like rhubarb. I think childhood memories of overcooked, watery, stringy, celery-like mush that was presented as a “dessert” put me off. My Grandma gave us a big bag full, fresh from her garden – the only reason I was sort of interested in it was the fact that it is seemingly OK to eat on an Anti-Candida Diet, and boy do I miss fruit.
There is actually a bit of controversy surrounding whether or not rhubarb should be classified as a fruit or a vegetable. Here, it’s in the veggie-realm but in the States it’s in the fruit family…. maybe because it’s always cooked with sugar and turned into a dessert? Anyway – think of it as you like.
Interesting to add that it comes from the same family as my favourite “non-grain” Buckwheat – who would have thought?
The word rhubarb always reminds me of one of my childhood school teachers. Picture this man: flaming red hair, and a moustache to match… wore “walk shorts” (like men’s slacks but shorts – above the knee) with knee high socks, shirt and tie. Just fantastic… school teacher style in all it’s glory. Anyway, when we were being naughty little school children, he would exclaim “Oh RHUBARB!” - you just know he wanted to say something from a selection of 4 letter words, but rhubarb worked for him.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic here – basically I thought I would give cooking rhubarb a go, as I am missing my sweet-fruity-something somethings… and rhubarb gave me that opportunity. My mother suggested roasting it, which creates such a lovely, intensified flavour, rather then simply boiling out all of the goodness. I’ll give 2 options for this recipe: 1 for Candida-bashers (ACD) like myself, and the other for the rest of you who can handle a touch of the sweet stuff. The key to this recipe is getting fresh, young rhubarb – not the horrible old knarly stringy stuff.
Coconut Rhubarb Custard
Vegan – gluten/wheat/nut/seed/refined sugar/grain free…. ACD = Anti Candida Diet
- 12 stalks fresh, YOUNG rhubarb, rinsed and cut into about 20cm batons.
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- Zest and juice of one lemon (ACD) OR 1 orange
- 30 drops of vanilla stevia liquid (ACD) OR 3T any sort of liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, rice syrup)
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1/2C + 1T coconut cream
- Place rhubarb in a baking dish and grate the ginger over the top.
- Add whichever citrus fruit you are going to use, and finish with the sweetener.
- Roast at 160 degrees C until tender – this actually doesn’t take too long -15-20 minutes.
- Place rhubarb and all other ingredients in a food processor. Whizz until super smooth and creamy.
We made it.
We’re here. (Almost) unscathed from the flight apart from about 25 “throw self on ground because one is NOT allowed to go out onto the tarmac and play with the big noisy planes, however fun they may seem.” That was Misty by the way.
Anyway, it’s good to be home; especially as it’s not as cold as expected. Hooray. I am angry when I’m cold.
It’s day #2 Vegan Mofo… as I have said, I’m not really sticking to a “theme” of sorts, because I don’t like to be boxed in to anything (kinda like my relationship with following recipes). I thought it would be fun to share a few vegan eats I have (already) got my sticky mitts on, not even 48 hours into our little New Zealand jaunt.
Coconut oil is not a new thing to me, no. I am pretty much hideously addicted to the stuff… so I had to get supplies as soon as I touched down on NZ soil. First time I have bought coconut oil in a bag though. Eternal Delight is a local Christchurch company whom myself and Lindsay discovered last year. Let me just say I love this company and their products as much as social etiquette will allow – you may need to physically restrain me from high-jumping their market stall and bear hugging the couple who have poured all their passion for wholesome, plant based treats into this company. Seriously, check them out – they ship stuff to many a far away place (just to tempt you even more so). I will show you some of there other goodies over the course of the next few weeks.
I am yet to try this delicious looking morsel (maybe I’ll just pretend I didn’t see it contains agave, yes? The candida will never know). A local compnay that is new to me… if they make organic raw chocolate then they have a fan already. I’m trying to channel my inner chocolate-reviwer of the wayfaring variety, so stay tuned for a write up.
This peanut butter, reminds me a little of myself if you indulge me for just a moment – a little bit of Aussie (the nuts) but created in good old New Zealand. Ah, bless.
I know, I know…. peanuts = Candida Food so I only had a teensy weensy bite (ha)while I made Misty a “breakfast” smoothie. No, I’m not splitting the atom or doing anything wonderfully NEW here – it’s just that Misty’s appetite has been a bit funny lately (Read: Will eat anything in liquid form but just mush around any other offerings exceptthese Berry Choc Chunk bars). Thos is a bit more of a filling variety of Misty Milk. I find a breakfast smoothie is a great way to get in a nutritonal “punch in the head” – no, I don’t not mean go around punching people in the head with a glass of smoothie… it’s just my expression for getting in a large whack of nutritional goodies, quickly (and easily in Misty’s case).
Peanut Butter + Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Vegan….wheat, seed and refined sugar free.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1T peanut butter (or tahini if nut sensitive… any nut butter will work here)
- 1/4t ground cinnamon
- 2t maca powder (optional)
- 3T cooked steel cut oats (use what you have on hand… you could sub in 2T any cooked grain – quinoa would be great- or simply 2T oat bran/quick oats)
- 2t ground flax seed
- 2t liquid sweetener (think maple syrup/rice syrup/agave/coconut nectar etc)
- 1C rice milk (you can sub in any non dairy milk here)
- 1C coconut milk
- Blend all ingredients together until very very smooth.
- Serve immedietly, and store left overs in the fridge.
This is a super filling meal-in-a-bottle (or glass) – I’m not making any promises but Misty ended up having a 3 hour nap after one of these drinks in the afternoon. Success? You bet.
It’s travel time. Trying to fit mine and Misty’s wardrobe in a tiny suitcase…. stressing over IF Misty will sleep on the flight (pleasepleaseplease)…. excited to get home…. not excited about the cold that is always a feature of New Zealand.
I went on a cooking rampage, stocking up our freezer/fridge/pantry with easy meals for Viper. I think I took things a little far, when I was pouring granola into the 6th huge jar. Viper even said to me, ‘You know Lou, I CAN cook.’ Yes, yes you can Viper – I think I need to calm down. Let’s just say that my freezer is NOT a vegan-friendly place right about now.
Distractions for Misty on the flight: food, toys, markers…. this should take up ohhhhh about 10 minutes until he is trying to escape from the seatbelt, and run around the plane, harassing passengers. Sigh.
Anyway, next post will be the beginning of Vegan Mofo which is very exciting – it’s my first time participating, and I can’t wait to connect with a whole lot of glorious like minded bloggers, get inspired, and celebrate awesome vegan food. I’m unsure if I will go with a “theme” or such for the month, I think I’ll just stick to my usual “winging-it” attitude, as it tends to work for me. I DO know that I will be hunting out all the vegan delicacies available in my home town of Christchurch city… plus I will continuing my music-posts featuring vegan artists.
See you from the “other side of the ditch”…. happy weekend, all.
Like most foodies, I love grocery shopping. I hate all other kinds of shopping… clothes shopping in particular (unless it’s in an opp shop/thrift store, obviously).
I would much rather spend $100 on food than clothes.
I take way too much notice of new food products and price specials. Oh yes, cos I’m cheap as well as strange.
Anyway, I’ve been noticing a slow influx of American health food products dribbling onto our shelves, plus some new Aussie/New Zealand companies doing some fantastic organic fare.
The following parade is not a review-a-thon or anything like that… just a few products that I have found lately and have enjoyed. None of the companies know who I am or that I am talking about them, so there are no special handshakes going on within this blog. For those of you not in Australia/NZ… if you’re anything like me you like to look at healthy food products from other countries, so I hope this is not terribly boring for you.
I’m not very good with chocolate/wine tasting. This gal is. I’m not sure how to describe the different flavours I’m tasting. Pretty much I will say, ‘yum,’ ‘meh,’ or ‘ick.’ This got a ‘yum.’ Thanks for the pressie, Mum. Made in Australia; it’s organic, vegan, dark, and not too sweet – equals a ‘yum’ for this girl.
I suppose these are the closest things to Larabars available around these parts. I really like these bars.. simple, whole ingredients. Most of the time I look at these and think, ‘yeah, but I could just make a whole batch myself for the same price,’ but when we are travelling or on the go, these are great. Misty approves. These are made in Canada, but I have always liked the Artisse products, especially their herbal salt grindere/spices.
I used to love all the Ceres Organics products back home in NZ… it’s great to see them popping up over here. Misty loves rice crackers, so I thought I’d give these a try. I usually buy the brown rice variety, but I was kinda excited to see this familiar brand name, plus the black sesame flavour. Ingredients wise, these are fantastic – White rice flour, tamari, brown rice flour, and black sesame. All organic, all recognisable. Excellent. Except on closer inspection these crackers are actually made in China. Ha. Oh well, Misty likes them, especially with avocado.
Lately, I am noticing more and more alternate milks becoming available here in Aussie. Almond Breeze is now on the shelves at Coles. After seeing it so often on US blogs, I had to try. I went for the unsweetened. It’s good, but not really worth the $3.80ish they are asking for it (I got it on special for about a dollar less than this). Basically, I can buy 1kg of Australian almonds for $9 which I can make milk/butter/muesli bars from. You do the math.
So Delicious coconut milk is also popping up at health food stores. It’s over $5 per litre, so yeah – not going there. I’ve also seen hazelnut milk ($6.80 per litre) and quinoa milk ($12). Ha, again… DIY it unless you are a bazillionaire.
Rice milk has become a staple for us… so I was stoked to see that Freedom Foods has put out their own version. Australian made, simple ingredients and no added sugar. Fortified with calcium. It tastes great; earthy, and naturally sweet. It was also really reasonably priced – $1.85. I’ve actually stopped buying soy milk all together, and honestly – I don’t miss it a bit. Home made almond milk for me – plus this new brand of rice milk are my new staples.
I love Wallaby bars… mainly because they are made about 2 hours away from where I live – Byron Bay. I’ve been buying these for years – their cashew currant and ginger flavour seems to have disappeared though which is a bummer. Half my back pack was stuffed with these on a trip to Thailand a few years ago. Great for vegans or the allergen sensitive for sure… maybe a touch too sweet for my taste buds these days, but Misty digs – oh yeah Misty digs them.
Now these are kind of impressive for being gluten, wheat, dairy, soy free – no added cane sugar, low fructose and Australian owned and made. AND they taste pretty good. They are even designed by a naturopath. Wicked. They are slightly crumbly, a little sweet, and have a short, recognisable ingredient list. It’s awesome to see more awareness/great products out there for people suffering from severe allergies and the likes…. on this topic, I wanted to point out my free Ebook that has been added to the side bar. I wrote it with those on very restricted diets (like my BuddyEE) in mind.
Anyway… that’s my fill for the day. This little activity made me reflect on “conscious,” shopping… is it important to YOU to buy good food? To be aware of ingredient lists or where the product is actually made and by WHOM? Or do you just grab products and chuck ‘em in the trolley not giving them a second thought until ‘yum.’ or ‘ick.’?
Again, none of these companies paid me to write anything here. All of these products were purchased with my own money, and all opinions are straight from my head.
I love coffee.
Makes my life complete.
Helps me through those early Misty-morning wake ups (yeah Gday 4:30am). Ahhh caffeine, how I long for your tender touch. This chick knows her stuff in relation to the supposed naughty bean.
It’s such a treat to go out for a coffee these days. I love trying out new cafes and brews. Christchurch has got it going on when it comes to making a mighty fine cuppa joe. I don’t venture out much for coffee when I’m at home – sadly my coffee machine recently died so it’s old school plunger styles for me. Usually I’m just worried about getting caffeine in my system ASAP, not too fussy about what form it is in during the wee hours of the morning.
I really do appreciate a good coffee though. I was spoilt for years being able to craft my own perfect cup exactly how I wanted it, working behind an old steamer most of my days.
Maybe not one quite this impressive mind you.
It’s obvious when you go into an establishment such as Black Betty how passionate the owners are about their coffee, so good to see – especially when it is fair trade, organic and sustainable. Hooray.
Also when they use decent soy milk. You can smell the cheap stuff a mile off.
Love a good groovy environment too, never fails to please.
So now I have got my groove-fix and am buzzing on the caff- down to some serious stuff… I have changed the feed on my site, so PLEASE (cos I love you all, even the silent lurking readers who are too shy to say Gday) re subscribe me to your reader, or email- and let me know if there are any hiccups. Me and technology aren’t the greatest of mates, but we are working through our issues. This seems like a theme around blog world at the minute.
Ok, deep and meaningful technology talk done.
I got really excited yesterday. Lindsay can vouch for me, as she accompanied me to a lovely little afternoon market and we found this:
OK, this too:
Oh, and did I forget to mention…. KOMBUCHA?! So hard to track down in these parts. Just awesome. (Lindsay was equally as excited about this particular find).
I just love passionate people doing amazing things with food, and Eternal Delight are a shining example of this. I just wanted to buy everything they had on offer. Total bummer as I am leaving the country in a few days, and I don’t want to end up on one of those “Border Security,” TV shows, being tackled to the ground my custom’s officers trying to smuggle various crazy ingredients overseas. Oh I can just see it now.
So, to give credit to these fantastic products, I included the “parmesan,” and some Mixed Herb Cream “Cheese” in a few meals….
Home made (by my Dad) pizza base with caramel-ley onion mustard, asparagus, red pepper, “parmesan” sprinkle, and blobs of cream “chesse.”
Chickpea quinoa patties (which include a good dose of “parmesan”) with caramel-ley onion mustard, herby cream “cheese.”
Yup, it’s good to be exploring the foodie finds in my home town… onward to Sydney in a few days for more foraging perhaps?
Ah, sweet whitebait. If you’re not familiar with my little fishy friends, you’re missing out. They are a bit of a Kiwi institution, an obsession if you will. I remember being served up “white bait,” in Aussie; I laughed at it. They had deep fried each little sprog individually and served them with an aioli to dip. Oh no, that’s not how we do it in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Enter the whitebait pattie. Now, there was almost a family feud over how these should or would be cooked last night. Mum wanted to cook them with just egg – a fishy omelette I suppose. Diddy (my Grandmother) did not agree. She is pretty much the matriach of all things white bait related – from sourcing to cooking to eating. She was telling me how she has been cooking white bait for a good 70 + years… including the days of cooking at her father’s pub in Westport on the wild West Coast of the South Island. Her tales of russling up white bait patties for hundreds of hungry beer drinking pub goers on a coal range stove were pretty entertaining – shovelling coal into the oven while flipping the copious amounts of patties would be a sight to behold. Multi tasking for sure.
It was decided (after a lot of heated discussion and stressing) for 1kg of whitebait, 6 eggs and 2T self raising flour would be used.
Then there is the argument over what to serve with said patties. A squeeze of lemon and salt. Mint sauce. Aioli. Tomato sauce. To avoid further arguments, they were all provided. (Admitting to Diddy that I love a pattie between slices of white bread with a huge amount of tomato sauce would have gotten me a good clip around the ear, so I stayed quiet. That would be sacrilege among the hard core white bait crowd).
Oh sweet sauce.
Last night was the first time I stood up and said, ‘no thanks,’ to the white bait.
Also the amazing pesto-crusted salmon my Mum cooked. It was hard, because it all looked and smelt amazing, but I knew I had to go with my new Vegan philosophy. What did I eat? Let’s not go there. Another kitchen fail. Let’s not go there; it tasted good but looked like poo – that’s all you need to know.
My Mum’s incredible rosemary and rock salt crusty flat bread made with mashed potato and high grade bakers’ flour (Misty’s new favourite).
Whitebait is actually quite a rare thing these days – it has been overfished and gobbled up by greedy humans so I feel pretty good about not contributing to this. It’s really sad that nowadays the stuff is both really hard to come by and pretty expensive as a result. Stupid humans.
SO to keep with the vegan theme, here’s an animal happy recipe which is awesome if you’re like me and love a salty sweetie nutty combination.
Salty Sweetie Almonds
(Vegan, gluten free if you use tamari)
- 1/4C soy sauce or tamari
- 2T agave syrup
- Get your oven to 200 degrees C, and spread almonds on a baking tray in a single layer. (Baking paper is pretty useful here) Bake until fragrant – around 8 minutes (I used fan bake on my oven).
- Combine soy/agave in a small bowl.
- Toss almonds in liquid, return to baking tray and toast for another 15 minutes – watch closely as they will burn if left unattended.
- Spread out almonds to cool – make sure they are not touching as when they cool and harden they will stick together.
These are awesome in salads, by the fistful as an appetizer or even on top of oatmeal. Salty sweetie yee hah.
So this is what I have at my disposal for a week. Woo frickin hoo. I am very envious of my parent’s little vege patch, and will be picking their brains (and green thumbs) for tips so I can create my own this year coming. 2012 will be the year of Lou’s garden oh yes. I think herbs are my favourite – I have read up on creating a herbal tea garden which sounds right up my alley. Hopefully Boosty will not munch my dreams into tiny pieces and strew them around my house – she has done this with 3 basil plants plus a chilli plant. Stupid Boosty. The following recipe is not really a risotto at all, but it’s a good guide-word as to what you are getting. Barley gives it a lovely earthy nuttiness along with a chewier texture that I love.
Beetroot Barley “Risotto”
(Vegan, soy, egg free… barley contains gluten)
- 3/4C barley cooked in 2C water and 1T yeast extract – combine barley, yeast and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmering until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off heat – the barley won’t be cooked, but you will cook again with the beetroot mix, so set aside until ready.
- 2 roast beetroot
- 1/2 bulb of roast garlic
- 8T rice milk (or any milk)
- 1/2t chilli paste
- 1t agave
- 2t balsamic vinegar
- 1/4t ground allspice
- 1/4t ground coriander
- 1/2t grated lemon zest
- Black pepper and sea salt
To begin with, I stabbed my 2 beetroot a few times with the tip of a sharp knife, and then microwaved for a few minutes to cut down on the roasting time (beetroot can take an age). I placed them on a baking tray with 2 bulbs of garlic (Mum needed some for an aioli she was making) and a few sprigs of rosemary. I don’t bother peeling or chopping the beetroot. Roast at about 160 degrees C until the beetroot is tender when you stab it (the garlic won’t take as long, you’ll know when it is done as it will be super fragrant, and the cloves will be squishy and wanting to squeeze out everywhere… maybe 30 minutes or so)
Once your beetroot has cooked, carefully peel and chop into chunks. Chuck in a food processor with half a bulb’s worth of garlic and the rest of the ingredients listed above. Blend until super smooth.
Now back to your kinda-cooked barley.
In a small saucepan, combine the barley with the beetroot mix and and additional 3/4C water (or milk if you are that way inclined). You will need to adjust the seasoning here too – taste as you go and add more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer, stirring every now and then until it resembles the consistency of a risotto.
Herbed Cashew-Cado Cream:
(Vegan, soy, gluten, egg free)
- 1/3C soaked cashews (soak in water for at least 2 hours… overnight will get you a smoother consistency)
- 1 avacado
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2t grated lemon zest
- 3t capers
- 3t caper brine
- 1/2t sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/4C fresh basil*
- 1/8C fresh mint*
- 1/8 fresh rocket leaves*
- 1/8C parsley*
Blend all ingredients until super smooth.
Apologies to vegans but my Mum and Dad ate this with lamb skewers and feta which sounded like a pretty perfect combo. I would have usually topped this with a mega salty creamy ashed goat’s cheese, so to keep it vegan (in line with my new foray into complete veganism) I made the cashew cream punchy and salty to mimick that. Pretty happy with the results, pretty happy indeed. The beetroot has a little kick from the chilli and spice, and the peppery-ness of the rocket in the cashew cream was awesome.
I had some home grown spinach on the side, and my Grandma contributed a head of broccoli she grew herself. Love. The colours in this meal were just incredible. So vibrant and REAL…. good to be home – good to eat a little piece of home.
I’m not going to write much about the following photos. Basically this is how Christchurch looks today after the devastating earthquake that hit my little home town in February. You can read up on it here if you are interested. Getting in as close to the “Red Zone” as we did today was pretty surreal – it still looks like a war zone, and it has been tidied up considerably since 22.2.2011
Now you constantly have to stop and think, ‘What was in that empty block.’
Aerial shot of Cathedral Square and what is left of the Christchurch Cathedral (icon of Christchurch, or was, rather)
That was my Mum’s work building past the tree there. Directly behind the Cathedral. Way too close for comfort. She’s one lucky lady.
Sunflowers are now planted all around the central city, along with other bursts of life and colour to remind us all of it.
Christchurch’s groove is rebuilding… the central city shopping precinct is re emerging in the form of shops/cafes/bars crafted out of shipping containers. So cool.
Christmas decorations amongst the rubble. Christmas spirit? Yes. Community strength and amazing spirit? Totally.
Life indeed does go on, regardless.
Love and light to all those affected in any way by the earthquake.