Navigating the Business Lunch Like A (Vegan) Boss

Navigating the Business Lunch Like A (Vegan) Boss!

Navigating some noodles

Hello dear readers,

I hope that you are having a magnificent week! I am personally coming off a high from yoga teacher training this weekend. We’re really being pushed to our emotional and physical edges and I’m loving it!

But no matter what we’re up to, Steph and I are always thinking about you guys, our podcast, and our upcoming blog posts.

Last week, I had the chance to write a piece for I Eat Grass, where I recorded my tips for navigating business lunches. It can be hard! Sticking to any diet while dining with new people — without being seen as difficult — can be a minefield.

I used to get silently anxious over The Business Lunch. Luckily, as one of those people whose job sometimes includes up to 2 or 3 business lunches a week, I’ve gotten a lot of practice. Read more at IEatGrass.com.

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

It’s that time of year again! Well okay, so maybe it’s not exactly soup weather here in Korea, but ever since the seasons shifted slightly, my friends and I have all been craving soup and chai lattes even though most days we’d be fine in shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. I’m excited for autumn this year, because for the first time in my life it doesn’t signal the fast-approaching onset of months of frigid winter weather. Nope, Busan doesn’t have much of a winter which means I’ll be in fall-ish weather until next Spring! This is perfect because fall is my favourite season, even though back home it doesn’t last nearly long enough. To celebrate the coming fall months, the spirit moved me to make some potato leek soup. Not only was it one of the easiest meals I’ve made in a while, it was also one of the heartiest and most delicious. I was thrilled with how it turned out, and it instantly made me feel like I was cozy inside from the autumn winds – even if currently, there aren’t really too many of those..

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Adapted from Oh Dear Drea

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 3 large leeks or 5-6 small ones
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of chickpeas, cooked
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

It couldn’t be simpler to make! If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in a bowl of water. In the morning, boil them until they are tender. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid to use for more flavour in your soup! If you are using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain them, and use vegetable broth instead.

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Thoroughly wash your potatoes and leeks, as these guys can hold a lot of soil. (Then again, a little soil won’t hurt you!) Slice your leeks into 1/4 inch rounds. Begin cooking them in about 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium-low heat. After a few minutes, add your chopped garlic and be careful not to let the mix burn. As they cook down, chop your potatoes into small cubes. I didn’t peel my potatoes because I don’t have a peeler and also, that’s where a lot of the nutrients live! So I just made sure to wash them carefully and left the skin on. Let the leeks cook down, then add in your potatoes and chickpeas along with salt and pepper. Cover the ingredients with your reserved chickpea cooking liquid and water, or vegetable stock, or water, or a combination of all three! Let the soup simmer until the potatoes are tender. If you like, use an immersion blender to purée the soup to a creamy texture. This is my favourite way to eat soup by far, and it makes it such a lovely colour!

Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Enjoy your soup with a few chickpeas and green onions on top, with a bit of crusty bread on the side, or all by itself. Preferably serve with a side of chilly rainy weather and an awesome playlist of music. Enjoy!

-Steph

TakeOut Without

takeout without

Hello friends,

It’s time you met TakeOut Without!

Back when I interned at Borden Communications, I was introduced to this campaign to reduce restaurant waste. Their site has a ton of tips on how restaurants and consumers can work together to create less trash, so check it out! The three key messages to consumers are:

  • Refuse unnecessary stuff (packaging)
  • Retake your reusables
  • Reconsider your habits

The problem for me when I’m presented with straight-forward solutions like this is I can never go back! Once you are conscious (like, really conscious) of the fact that your garbage goes straight to a landfill, you’ll also be doing what you can to minimize packaging materials, plastic cutlery, and napkins. I promise!

Here’s what those 3 magic changes have looked like for me:

  1. I bring my own chopsticks. Seriously! One of my favourite Asian restaurants in Toronto still uses disposable chopsticks! Striding in with my own chopsticks in hand used to embarrass my mom, but she got used to it. It also made for a great conversation piece with waiters about why they should consider switching to reusable chopsticks! Of course, I also come armed with my glass container for leftovers. Walking a block back to my parents’ house is not a reason to put something in a landfill.
  2. I say no to all the extras. Have you noticed how much stuff is in takeout bags? If you’re going straight home with your meal, you don’t need disposable cutlery, napkins, ketchup packets, or even the bag! Just say no.
  3. Why are we even still talking about disposable coffee cups? If your order is “for here”, specify that you want your drink in a mug (even/especially if it looks prettier in a plastic cup).
  4. Invest in durable, glass or stainless steel reusables that you are proud to use. My days of plastic, spaghetti-sauce-stained ziplock containers are gone. I’ve gone glass, and I can’t go back!

How do you reduce waste in every day life? Let us know on Twitter or right here in the comments!

–Laura