Goodness Me Box September Edition

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Best ever gluten-free vegan waffle

This really is the best ever gluten-free vegan waffle I’ve ever made.

No complicated gluten-free flour mix (one of my pet peeves in gluten-free baking), no egg, no dairy, and no fuss! You just need to throw all the ingredients in the blender, blend, and then you have a thick and creamy waffle batter which will yield waffles so delicious you’ll forget about taking a snap for Instagram (there’s a reason why you haven’t seen any waffle posts on my Instagram account until now)

You just need to throw all the ingredients in the blender, blend, and you have a lusciously thick waffle batter which will yield waffles so delicious you’ll forget about taking a snap for Instagram (Note: there’s a reason why you haven’t seen any waffle posts on my Instagram account until now).

The only ingredient that might be difficult for some to find, is dairy-free yogurt. I make my own soy yogurt so I’m overflowing with this stuff but you can use either use Coyo or any other type dairy-free yogurt you can find at the store. If you’re desperate for waffles and you don’t have the yogurt, you can replace it with 2/3 cup of dairy-free milk. It will change the texture and flavour of the waffles a little bit but they will still be tasty.

These waffles are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, with mildly sweet and nutty flavour. This recipe makes about 6 -8 waffles depending on your waffle pans. I like to make a double batch so I can keep some waffles in the freezer for whenever I feel like one in the morning. The real challenge is trying not to eat the whole batch as you’re cooking it!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Best ever gluten-free vegan waffle
 
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A simple yet delicious gluten-free vegan waffle that will blow your mind
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup uncooked brown rice (whole rice)
  • 1 cup dairy-free yogurt (I used homemade soy yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil (olive oil works fine too)
  • 1 tbsp sugar or your favourite sweetener
  • ½ tsp baking soda (sifted to prevent blobs of baking soda in your waffle)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender and for a few minutes until smooth.
  2. Pour enough batter into your waffle pan and cook until crispy. I use a stovetop waffle pan so I cook each side for about two minutes on medium high heat, but just follow your waffle maker's instruction if you’re using an electric waffle maker.
  3. Slather with loads of your favourite nut butter and maple syrup and serve.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. Just pop them in the toaster to reheat.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Vegan Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A healthier frosting that’s creamy and delicious, but also good for you. It’s light, refined sugar free, dairy-free, and oh so addictive! Use it to frost carrot cake, muffins or serve with pancakes.

Vegan Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
 
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Serves: 2½ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, drain
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure organic vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Method
  1. In a food processor or power blender, blend all ingredients on high for a few minutes until creamy, scraping the sides to ensure even blend.
  2. Chill in the fridge to thicken for at least 1 hours before using.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Notes
**Prep time does not include the time needed to soak cashews.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

Sadhana Kitchen Cake Shoot – April 2017

Sadhana Kitchen | Vegan Chocolate Cake

Renowned for their delicious vegan foods, Sadhana Kitchen now do cakes. And I had the pleasure of shooting them.

10 Functional Christmas Gift Ideas

 

I’m not good with buying gifts. In fact I’m pretty awful at it. If you’ve had the misfortune of having me as your secret Santa, expect a box of chocolates, because that’s what I often give to people. But everyone likes chocolate, right? So maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

The thing is, I want my gifts to be functional, useful, and potentially… good looking. This is why I always buy chocolates. Because you can eat them, they give you pleasure and energy, and they look good. Don’t you think?

But, I’m putting a bit more effort this year. No more chocolates. (Except if you really absolutely want chocolates). Instead, I’ve found some really cool things to stuff the Christmas stockings and I thought I should share them with you.

So here are my 10 functional gift ideas for Christmas to help you this silly season.

1. Tile Mate

Coming first is the Tile Mate. A stylish and highly functional gift, Tile Mate is perfect for those who tend to lose their stuff (e.g. me). You can easily place it on any hook, loop, or strap. You can even get one to stick onto any item you don’t want to lose. Simply use the app on your phone to play a sound when you can’t find the item, or check its last known location. The best thing is, you can also use it to find your phone when that’s the item missing.

2. Sticky i-Phone case

Image from Pocket-lint.com

Second is the sticky i-phone case from Mega Tiny Corp. It makes a cool gift for any i-Phone-fan. It allows you to stick your phone to surfaces so you can do fun stuff with it like reading a recipe while you cook, or perhaps, when taking a selfie :D

3. Glass straws

Plastic straws are so yesterday. Glass straws are where it’s at. These straws are not only stylish, but they are also great for the environment. Also, there’s something about the smooth glass surface that makes drinking from them so much more pleasurable.

4. Yummy teas

Coming fourth is a selection of unique blend of premium teas for your tea-lover friends, all of which I have tried and liked. Such as the Christmas spice organic tea blend from Ovvio, the riveting blue coloured Crystal tea from Life of Cha, or the Ginger latte blend from Beyond Latte (made by yours truly).

5. A winged jug

I added this one because, seriously, who wouldn’t want a winged jug for Christmas? It is beautiful and highly functional. It’s perfect for wine, juice or cocktails. I found this exquisite piece at Glass by Emma Klau and it is aptly named “Take Flight Jug”.

6. Personalised jewellery

 

 

Almost every girl I know wanted to own that Sex in The City Carrie-style necklace at one point in her life. There’s nothing like seeing your name engraved on a piece of precious metal, at least that’s what I think. My mum gave me a ‘Keren’ necklace when I was 12 and I still cherish it to this day. How is it functional? Well, you won’t have to have your name spelled incorrectly at Starbucks, that’s for one. And this gorgeous little necklace is from Belle Fever.

7. A round Yoga Mat

Because everyone who yoga wants a round Yoga mat (even though they say they don’t). Seriously, how cool is this mat? It may be slightly impractical to take to a group class but it’s perfect for home use. I particularly like the mandala print mats, such as this one over at Camel Rock Yoga.

8. Adult Colouring book

You may laugh, but this stuff has been scientifically proven to calm and relax the mind. I think we all take ourselves too seriously and that we need a bit more play in our lives. Some of the adult colouring books are so beautiful that they, in itself, are art Like the Secret Garden Colouring book by Johanna Basford.

9. A Nutri Ninja

A Christmas gift doesn’t get more functional than this. This is perfect for anyone who wants to jump on the smoothie band-wagon and improve their health. I actually got a Nutri Ninja myself this Christmas to complement my Vitamix. It’s very handy when you’re only blending for one, or making small quantity sauces, etc.

10. A Service Voucher From You

Yep, that’s right. Dedicate a service as a gift to you friends! It could be something simple like washing their car, walking their dog, or giving me a massage as a Christmas present. It’s personal, memorable, and the best part is, it’s free. And if you’re looking for other Christmas gifts ideas that won’t cost you a cent, check out this post.

What would be the perfect functional Christmas gift for you? Let me know in the comment box below.

Keren x

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Tofu

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

I love Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls. Not only because they’re light, healthy and delicious, but also I can eat them with my hands and still be lady (not that I am one, but it’s nice to pretend). I love the sensation of the rice roll sticking to the skin of my fingers as I hold the roll, and the balancing act of trying to get enough sauce, but not so much that it would drip every which way, and the explosion of taste in my mouth right after taking the first bite. They’re very sexy.

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I remember when I was little and growing up in Jakarta, my mum would feed me with her hands. And so did my grandma, my auntie, my housekeeper, or whoever was like feeding me at the time. Sometimes they use spoon, but most times hands. Never forks. And it was always the right hands. And no, you were not allowed to be left-handed back then.

For me, there’s something primal and nostalgic about eating with your bare hands. Once you get over the fright of getting your hands dirty (what’s with that, anyway, after all, we touch everything else with our hands) and embrace your inner child, it’s quite exciting and liberating. I always feel more connected with my food when I eat with my hands as I can feel it before I taste it.

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Tips For Making Rice Paper Roll

Making good, tight rice paper rolls can be daunting if you’re new at it but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You just need a bit of practice.

  1. Don’t soak the paper for too long. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm. If it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft.
  2. Don’t over fill. The key is to making a nice, tight roll, is to avoid overfilling your wrapper. Use half the quantity of fillings you think you’ll need and start from there.

These Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are very simple to make. There’s a lot of preparation involved, but minimal cooking. It also makes a great meal prep for lunches. It’s delicious, light, satisfying and perfect for the warmer months such as now (at least in Australia). You can also experiment with other noodles such as soba noodles, use tempe instead of tofu, coriander instead of mint, whatever your creativity takes you. You can even make a sweet version with fruits and yogurt. Check out this tutorial video I made which will hopefully inspire you to start rolling.

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Vietnamese Summer Rice Paper Rolls With Tofu and veggies

Ingredients

Rice Paper Rolls

  • 100g vermicelli (or you could use soba noodles)
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Baby Cos lettuce, shredded
  • 250g extra firm tofu (I use Simply Better Foods Organic Tofu
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp warm water, or more as needed

Directions:

  1. Pat dry tofu block of any excess water with paper towel. Cut into 1 cm strips. Pat dry again. Rub each strips with a pinch of sea salt. Let sit while you prepare the noodles.
  2. Place rice noodles in boiling hot water and cover for about 10 minutes (read instructions on the package). Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium-high heat and then add the marinated tofu. Cook for several minute each side or until tofu is cooked. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the dipping sauce. Mix everything together in a bowl until smooth. Add extra warm water or until you reach desired thinness.
  5. Prepare the rice paper wrappers. Pour hot water into a large bowl or a baking pan. Dip the rice paper wrapper into the water one at a time and immerse for about 15 seconds. You want the wrapper to be still slightly firm (if it’s soft when you take it out, it will be too soft).
  6. Add the fillings. Place a few sticks of veggies on top of the bottom end of the rice paper. Add a small amount of rice noodles, mint and then lay tofu on top. Remember not to overfill the wrapper. If it doesn’t look enough, then it is probably enough. Start with a small amount and increase it as needed, as you roll each one.
  7. Roll them: Pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Fold the the sides of the rice paper roll and roll tightly. Place on a serving plate and serve with peanut sauce.

Storage tip: Wrap the rolls individually in plastic wrap and store up to 2-3 days in the fridge.

 

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Be Fraiche Skin Care Workshop

A few weeks ago I went to a Lip Balm and Lotion Bar workshop organised by Helen Dao, founder of Be Fraiche. Helen and I met through one of the Sydney Passion Bloggers Meetups. Helen thought I might want to check out one of her workshops and learn how to make my own skin care. I’m a big fan of DYI’s so it was a no-brainer for me. Here’s a little video I made for fun workshop held at a cosy co-working space in Bondi, The Little Space.

Now I’ve been to many workshops over the years but I have to say that it was the most organised workshop I’ve been to. The attention to detail from Helen during this three-hour workshop was incredible. From the meticulous placement of the bright yellow aprons and safety glasses on the table, to the goodie bags she prepared for everyone, everything looked so fine-tuned and stylish.

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Everyone turned up early, including me. Some came from as far as Newcastle. There definitely was a buzz about the workshop which none of us wanted to miss.

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Helen gave an introduction about herself – how she went from working in corporate to pursuing her passion in skincare. By the by, Helen is a qualified skincare formulator, having trained in the UK for Organic Skincare Formulation and in France for Perfumery. Pretty impressive and worldly credentials, wouldn’t you say?

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As to the workshop itself, each of us had our own setup, complete with our own little scales. We got to formulate our own lip balm and body lotion. The workshop felt like my old lab days, when I was a biologist, weighing ingredients to as precise as one-tenth of a gram, controlling the temperature so that it wouldn’t get too hot when heating and mixing up the ingredients, pouring solution into the tiniest containers and praying to God that I wouldn’t spill any of this expensive stuff.

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I learned that most lip balms are made using beeswax, so Helen taught us how to replace beeswax using Candelila, which is a plant-based alternative.. It’s a little bit tricky to work with as it’s much harder to dissolve, but when done well it does the job, and it gives the lip balm a nice shiny coat on it, too.

I would say I had an amazing time except that I can’t use that word anymore since the editor (my boyfriend Nat) has declared the word banned due to overuse. Apparently if everything is amazing, nothing is. He may have a point there and maybe I do need to expand my vocabulary a little bit more. So let me think how best to describe the experience.

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AMAZING!

Sorry, Nat. It was. And I think you can have lots of amazing experiences if you choose to. Why wouldn’t you?

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You can check out the Be Fraiche skin care workshop on their website. They have launched their natural skincare products so be sure to try them the next time you’re shopping for some skincare.

 

Keren x

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Vegan Protein Power Balls

I love a good protein ball! And judging from the number of balls I see on the internet, a lot of people love them too. I think protein balls are taking over the food world. They’re slowly invading the counter space at the city cafes, the health food stores, the Instagram, and soon… your very own kitchen, if not already. At least I hope so, with this recipe.

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But before you make them, be warned! There vegan protein power balls can be quite addictive so you want to be careful not to eat all of them in one go! They can also give you a burst of energy and alertness so it’s best not to have them at night. My boyfriend said that they trigger vivid dreams when he consumes them at night. I won’t get to excited about this potential lucid dreaming side effect as I’ve never experienced this myself.

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Why I love these vegan protein power balls

First of all, there’s no cooking or baking involved. It’s a pretty straight forward mix and roll operation. You can adjust the mix before you roll and because you don’t need to cook them, you can eat them as you roll (not advisable for those with a ball addiction :P). They’re rich in fibre, protein, healthy fats, slightly sweet and very moreish. Perfect for snacking in between meals or as an afternoon pick me up.

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Vegan Protein Power Balls
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 25 balls
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup of your favourite nut flour (I use 1 cup ground almond and ¼ cup coconut flour)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaped scoop protein powder (my favourite is Bioglan rice protein powder and Sunwarrior raw protein powder)
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 12 dates (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ hot water
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • A generous pinch of salt
For Coating
  • 2 Tbsp of cacao powder, matcha powder, or dessicated coconut
Method
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth
  2. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll into balls
  3. Dust or roll the balls onto a couple of tablespoon of cacao powder
Notes
Make a double batch in the weekend and freeze them to save time.
You could use oat flour instead of nut flour. You can make oat flour by blending rolled oat in a blender for a few minutes until it resembles fine crumbs

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how they turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me in the picture :)

 

Keren x

Meat Free Week 2016

Did you know that Australia is ranked in the top three biggest meat-eating countries in the world (per capita), behind the USA and Luxembourg. Australians eat an average of 111.5 kg of meat per person per year, which is more than double the world’s average of 41.9 kg. This consumption compromises our health and with global meat production predicted to double by 2020, raises serious concerns about long-term sustainability and animal welfare.

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Bowel cancer is now the second largest cancer killer in Australia. High consumption of red and processed meat has been linked to both bowel cancer1 and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Globally, the growing demand for meat is leading to increased deforestation, water usage and climate change with the UN identifying the livestock industry as one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. It has also created the number one animal welfare issue in the world, factory farming.

Australia’s annual Meat Free Week has returned bigger and better from 1-8 August 2016. This week is dedicated to raising awareness of the amount of meat people eat and the impact it has on human health, the welfare of animals and the environment.

Meat Free Week

Meat Free Week 2016 challenges Australians to sign up to go without meat, including seafood, for seven days. By being sponsored, participants have the opportunity to raise funds for one of three leading charities – Bowel Cancer Australia (health), Voiceless the animal protection institute (animal welfare) and The World Land Trust (environment).

With a growing trend towards meat free or meat-reduced meals and the steady rise of flexitarianism over the past few years (a mainly a plant-based diet with the occasional inclusion of meat), Meat Free Week gives people the perfect opportunity to try out new foods, get more veggies in their meals and see whether a meat-reduced diet is for them, even if it’s just one day a week or one week a year.

And for the second time this year, Meat Free Week has expanded the campaign into the UK, gaining great traction with great supporters on board including Jamie Oliver, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney.

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I know there are a lot of vegans who disapprove of campaigns that encourage people to eat ‘less’ meat such as Meatless Monday or Meat Free Week as they believe it distinguishes the consumption of other animal products (i.e. eggs or dairy) as being more ethically justifiably when they are all a result of tremendous violence, and it renders eating a small amount of meat any other day as ‘okay’ when it is not. The argument is that if we make an ethical decision to reject something that is morally wrong, then we must reject it all, every day, and not just on certain days.

I have mixed feelings about this ideal. On one hand, I want people to stop eating all animal products completely, but on the other hand I know that it is impossible for a lot of people to make such a drastic change without easing into it over time and I am glad for them to give it a crack without making them feel guilty as sin when they don’t stick to a plant-based diet from the very first day. I think Meat Free Week provides people with this opportunity in a fun and engaging way. It provides education. Education provides knowledge and awareness for people to make an informed choice. Love it or hate it, the campaign certainly has made a big impact with over 4,000 people signing up for the challenge, and raising over $150,000 for charity in its first two years. 

So here are the two really important things you can do to support Meat Free Week 2016:

1. Sign up for Meat Free Week OR if not participating, donate. It’s easy and you’ll be showing everyone how it’s done!

You can register here to be sponsored as an individual or as a team and encourage others to join you. OR simply donate money directly to the charities here. After registering, downloading the App from App Store  or Google Play is a great way to get friends and family on the spot to sponsor you whilst you’re out and about. Monitor progress, share messages, get sponsors via Facebook and have friends and family make a donation right from the fundraisers smartphone.

2. If you’re already vegetarian, sign up and go vegan for the week. And if you’re already vegan (or already living meat free), sign up and sponsor a meat loving friend for the challenge.

Some useful websites to read during the meat-free week:

Voiceless – An independent, non-profit think tank focused on raising awareness of animals suffering in factory farming and the kangaroo industry in Australia.

Bowel Cancer Australia – Bowel Cancer Australia works to reduce incidence, death and suffering associated with bowel cancer (aslo known colorectal cancer).

World Land Trust – A charity organisation with a 20 year track record of successful environmental projects. 

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Here some of my favourite recipes from the Meat Free Week Website:

You can also check out my recipe page for some plant based recipes and inspiration

Check out the Meat Free Week website or their social media channels to learn how you can be part of this great event.

  • Facebook: Meat Free Week
  • Twitter: @meatfreeweekorg
  • Instagram: @meatfreeweek
  • Hashtag: #meatfreeweek

So, are you up for challenge? Of course you are. Give it a go! You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Keren xx

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The Colonel via Deliveroo + Coupon Code

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As much as I love going out for dinner, there are days when I don’t feel like eating out, even on the weekends. Lately this has been a frequent occurrence thanks to the arrival of the boxed DVD sets for Breaking Bad (the complete series) and Walking Dead (seasons 1- 5). I had forgotten how addictive television series can be. The last few shows I was into were Gossip Girl, True Blood and Man vs. Food…. sad, I know… but they’re nothing in comparison to these two gems. Breaking Bad and Walking Dead are a hundred times better, and a hundred times more addictive. Goodbye, life.

Deliveroo-13 A lot of times when Nat and I choose to eat in, we’d get takeaway at a local Thai restaurant, Khaohom, which is cheap and easy. Some days however, especially on the weekend, I want something a bit different. Something fancier. Without having to leave home. Just so I can squeeze in another literally gut wrenching, skull-smashing episode of Walking Dead.

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Deliveroo is a restaurant delivery start-up which seeks to satisfy this need. It was founded in London two years ago and the company has recently launched in Australia. They may seem like just another food delivery service, but Deliveroo is different in that they focus on delivering food mainly from mid to high-end restaurants – restaurants that traditionally don’t offer a delivery service in the first place. This opens up a completely new range of delivery options.

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Image from uk.businessinsider.com

Image from uk.businessinsider.com

Here’s a short clip of my experience using Deliveroo to get one of my favourite dinners home-delivered. I found the website very easy to use and I especially love the ability to add special dietary requirements for my order. I selected The Colonial, a lovely Indian Restaurant in Neutral Bay. Nat is not really (not at all) a fan of spicy food so it takes a lot of effort (or a huge faux pas on his part) for me to get him to an Indian Restaurant. So getting the food to come home instead is the next best thing!

Coupon Code
I’ve teamed up with the cool kids at Deliveroo to give you $10 off your first order with so you can try their service. Just type in the code PASSIONATE when you place your order. This code is valid until 14 June 2016. Enjoy!
Have the best day ever,
Keren
Disclaimer: I received credits from Deliveroo to try and review their service. This is not a sponsored post and as always, all opinion is my own.