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changing traditions

Our christmas lunches were always low waste, pre it being something I was interested in, because we make all of our own food by scratch and always used reusables. So when I had christmas as someone who had become interested in sustainable living I didn't change any traditions but this year, with veganism, it is a whole other story.

Christmas is my favourite holiday; we don't really have such strong traditions for any other holiday in my family so I have a large sentimental attachment to it. A couple weeks before christmas we have a huge pasta making day where all of us come to our house and make pasta by hand. We make ravioli which we have christmas eve at a family friends house, and tortellini which we serve 'in brodo' on christmas day. When I was young there would be 12+ of us at my home, we would set the table with the fancier tableware and napkins, and I would write everyone a name card for seating. We would have a ton of delicious homemade food and would all sit around and play games till late. To this day I get so excited for christmas, I love everything (apart from the consumerism) about it.

But, this year I made some personal connections about where my food comes from. I realised how disconnected many of us are from the food we eat, often pushing to the back of our minds the fact that our 'meat' was a living being; a gentle, caring, and kind sentient being who feels pain and suffering. I realised I no longer could morally justify this unnecessary pain and decided to stop consuming animal products. So, today I take you along our pasta making day, and how I navigated this long held tradition with my new beliefs in mind.

homemade vegan pasta dough

We used 100g of flour to 1/2 a cup of water with around 1 tablespoon of olive oil. To be honest, pasta making is very dependent on the weather and personal taste so keep experimenting, if it's too dry add a bit more water and olive oil, if you want it to be softer and stickier add more olive oil etc.

mushroom cashew tortellini filling

Ingredients: cashew, onion, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, water

- Blend one cup of cashews with water and a bit of salt, set aside. Finely chop one whole onion and the mushrooms (should get around 2 1/2 cups once chopped), sauté the onions first and add herbs to taste, once soft add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked mix in the cashew cream. ta daa! It's delicious and can be used as a sauce as well as a filling if you want to make something more simple, we also added the leftovers to the lentil bolognese.

lentil bolognese

Ingredients: carrot, celery, onion, garlic, red lentils, passata (tomato sauce), water, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay leaves. Optional: mushrooms, red wine (you can choose the quantities depending on personal taste)

You can do this without the instant pot but the instant pot just makes it faster. Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms, then red wine. Once it's evaporated add the passata, red lentils, water, and herbs of choice. Change setting to manual and put on for 20 minutes without venting, once the 20 minutes is over let vent for up to 10 minutes. Serve!

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