On Wednesday night, I got to cook with one of the stars of the healthy living world: Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate how exciting that is?! I’ve been a follower of hers since getting into wholefood cooking two years ago, and while I don’t follow her alkaline diet, I do like some of her recipes and her approach to eating well as a whole.
The night started with a frantic bus trip to Aveqia, an exquisite cookery event venue in inner-city London. Despite worrying about being early, I was the first there, and got first pick with photos – those kitchen tiles are super pretty.
When all the other bloggers had arrived (I was super excited to meet Aimee of Wallflower Kitchen, and Lauren of Britton Loves), Natasha Corrett slipped into the room from a secret entrance and I got all excited. If you’ve ever met someone you’ve first come across online, you’ll know the exact feeling I had when first spotting her behind a cooking station – almost like she’s a celebrity, and that strange pairing of their face from photos and videos you’ve seen, to how they are in real life.
We were introduced to her by the Dream team (heh, dream team). You know Rice Dream right? I’ve always enjoyed a cheeky carton of vanilla rice milk as a treat, and now they are coming out with a whole range of other plant-based milks, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those when they hit the shelves.
Anyway, Dream introduced us to Natasha, who then took us through three cooking stations, showing us how to make a berry smoothie, creamy courgette and carrot pasta, and my personal favourite, vegan brownie, all of which used Rice Dream as a base. She then left us to cause havoc give it a go ourselves, and as a collective we put on quite a wonderful spread!
The most interesting part of the cooking process was when Natasha introduced kuzu into her cooking. Until then, I’d never heard of it, and it seems quite versatile; it’s a plant-based thickening agent made from the root of an Asian mountain plant within the pea genus. You can use it in the same way as cornflour, and it boasts better digestive properties.
If you’d like to give kuzu a go, I’d suggest following the below recipe – I’ve added a little extra to spice up the meal too.
After everything, I learnt three things: how to use kuzu, how I will never be worthy of MasterChef, and how I would love to take up cookery classes in the future. If anyone knows of any in London, please let me know!
Creamy courgette & carrot pasta
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water
60g grated carrot
1 courgette finely sliced on an angle
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup Rice Dream
1 tbsp kuzu
3 tbsp cold water
Gluten free pasta
Organic amino sauce*
- Melt the coconut oil into a frying pan, add the cumin and fry for 1-2 minutes
- Add the courgette and grated carrot and half of the water, and leave to cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes
- Once the water starts to absorb add the rest. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until the courgette starts to go translucent
- Cook your pasta in a separate pan – we like to use rice noodles as they cook in 4 minutes and are a lighter option
- To make the creamy sauce mix the kuzu granules into the 3 tbsp of cold water until a chalky liquid
- In a pan heat up the Rice Dream with the salt until boiling. Turn off the heat and add the kuzu liquid into the rice milk and stir until it thickens into a creamy thick sauce
- To serve mix the carrot and courgette mixture through your pasta and pour the creamy sauce over the top
- For an added kick, try a splash of organic amino sauce upon serving