What a week! I don’t think I understood the magnitude of the famous Two Oceans Marathon until I found myself in the midst of it this year. Even though I didn’t race the 56km Ultra Marathon, running the half and … Continue reading
This is officially my new favourite pasta! Daringly different and fabulously fresh, it’s a real crowd pleaser. In the last month, I whipped it up three times before race days to fuel up on pure plant-power. This pasta is: gluten-free … Continue reading
- I ran my very first half marathon race (twice)!
- I joined a running club (Cape Multisport Club) and started trail running.
- I appeared on the Afternoon Express show 5 times!!! Educating over 2 million viewers about veganism and demonstrating delicious plant-based recipes.
- I convinced Africa’s top-ranked university, the University of Cape Town, to implement vegan options in their residence dining hall menus (daily) and then I trained 29 of their chefs on plant-based cooking, before launching the program in October.
- I also convinced the University of Witwatersrand to implement a plant-based menu in all their dining halls, making one dining hall completely plant-based on Green Mondays, and scheduled training with their chefs for this January.
- I paid off my car!
- I saved up half of what I need for a deposit on a little housy.
- I started seeing a psychologist and embraced personal growth and good mental health. It was the best decision ever (thank you), I’ve never learnt so much about myself than I did this past year.
- I met the most incredible people, some of whom have become my best friends.
- I raised R2 580 for GreenPop’s reforestation project when I “ran for trees” during the Sanlam 10km Peace Run.
- I helped to raise R18 496 for Life Child (who takes care of underprivileged children) through Margolite’s 100 climbs 100 lives challenge.
- I worked at two outdoor festivals (Reforest Fest and Rocking the Daisies) to promote veganism to the masses (mostly millennials 😛 ).
- I was part of an amazing team who organised and ran the Cape Town Vegan Challenge in October this year. We hosted over 20 events in 4 weeks and signed up 1150 participants to eat plant-based during this time!
- I got offered a new position at work, this year I will be the communications manager for HSI, Africa – working on both wildlife and farm animal issues.
- I was featured in the Wellness Magazine – and one of my recipes is featured again in the January 2018 issue (get your copy now).
- I signed a deal for a VERY exciting project launching in 2018 – watch this space!
- And finally, I cooked some really good vegan food!
I said goodbye to 2017 with a heavy heart, and I know a lot of healing still lies ahead. It is the first time in 7 years that I’m starting a year off alone, which is super scary for me. But even though it seems daunting, and even though I’m a bit anxious for what lies ahead, I feel strong, present and ready to embrace every opportunity and challenge that comes my way. May 2018 be the year I become still and mindful, at peace in my own company. May I be present, not dwelling on the past or stressing about the future. May 2018 be the year I find myself (so cheesy) and be authentic. May I have fun and may I fall. And may I look back in a year’s time and write a blog post twice this size 😉
Love, Leo xx
Christmas is a time of love and togetherness, but being the only vegan at the table brings about another level of loneliness 💔 On 1 January, I’ll be vegan for four years and this was the first Christmas I’ve ever … Continue reading
This week, I was at it again! Afternoon Express invited me back to the studio to show their viewers just how easy and delicious plant-based cooking can be.
The brief was simple – create something scrumptious using Clover’s soy milk as a dairy alternative. My initial idea was to dish up a dessert, however, I’d rather help South Africans replace their meat-heavy main meals than their sweet treats. Leaving meat, eggs and dairy off your plate one day (or even one meal) at a time can make a massive difference to our environment, and obviously our animals. One beef burger requires the same amount of water than 60 showers, and with the detrimental drought South Africa is facing, we can’t risk wasting one drop. So I encourage you to join the Green Monday SA movement and simply reduce the amount of animal products you consume. Vegifying your favourite food is easier and tastier than you think! My favourite food is pasta, so for this week’s show, I created a velvety pasta bake with roasted broccoli, butternut and sundried tomatoes. I usually use Happy Earth People‘s red lentil pasta for this dish to increase the protein content, but you can use any (egg-free) pasta of your choice. You can also swap the veggies with whatever you have available in your fridge – think peppers, mushrooms and sweet potato. It is a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will enjoy!
Pasta Bake with Broccoli, Butternut and Sundried Tomatoes
- 1 packet pasta screws (250 grams)
- 1 head broccoli, washed and chopped
- 1 packet butternut cubes (500 grams)
- 1 cup Woolworths sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 3 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup cake-wheat flour (all-purpose flour), sifted
- 100ml sundried tomato oil (from the packet)
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Fresh parsley
- Sriracha (or another hot sauce)
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.
- Place broccoli and butternut in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with olive oil. 3. salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelized.
- While veggies are grilling, make the white sauce: Sift flour into cold milk and whisk until combined. Transfer to a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, add the sundried tomatoes’ oil and whisk continuously over very low heat until thick and lump-free. Add salt and pepper to taste. If your white-sauce becomes lumpy, transfer it to a food processor and mix until smooth and velvety.
- Add the pasta and chopped sundried tomatoes to the dish with vegetables. Mix to evenly spread the ingredients.
- Pour over the white sauce and mix.
- Top with an even layer of breadcrumbs and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve with a squirt of Sriracha and fresh parsley.