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Eat Out to Help Out Scheme Details

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Signage for the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme, at the Regency Cafe, in London, one of the participating restaurants where diners will be able to enjoy half-price meals, starting on Monday as the Government kick-starts its August scheme aimed at boosting restaurant and pub trade following the lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

The government has officially rolled out the UK’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which aims to get people eating out at restaurants and pubs to help boost the hospitality industry following the coronavirus outbreak. Throughout the month of August, people will be able to get discounted food at a number of popular eateries — though there are, of course, certain restrictions. The deal only applies on certain days and there’s a limit to how much of a discount you can get. Here’s everything you need to know about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

What Is the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme?

From 1 Aug to 31 Aug, Eat Out to Help Out offers customers 50 percent off their meal at participating restaurants, pubs, and cafes. The discount is available from Monday to Wednesday and includes children and groups of any size.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set up the scheme to help struggling businesses in the hospitality sector by encouraging the British public to eat out again, whilst also reassuring people that it’s safe to do so following months of lockdown.

Do I Need a Voucher?

No, you don’t need a voucher. The discount will automatically be applied to restaurants and pubs that have signed up to the scheme. When it comes to restaurants and pub chains with multiple locations, make sure to check if your particular branch is signed up beforehand, as some popular chains are franchised businesses so not all branches are participating. You can use the Eat Out to Help Out discount at the same time as other discounts and vouchers.

What Is the Minimum Spend, and Is There a Maximum Number of Times I Can Use the Scheme?

The Eat Out to Help Out discount is capped at £10 per person and does not apply to alcohol. There is no minimum spend to get the discount and there is no limit to the number of times you can use it.

What Restaurant Chains Are Included?

More than 72,000 restaurants in the UK have signed up to the scheme, according to Sunak. The discount applies to any participating eatery where food and drink is consumed immediately on the premises, meaning takeaways are not included. Popular chains participating include Nando’s, Wagamama, Franco Manca, Honest Burgers, McDonald’s, Pret A Manger, Zizzi, Toby Carvery, and many more. Though, we encourage visiting local and independent restaurants, pubs, and cafes when possible. To find out which local eateries near you are taking part, you can enter your postcode here for a full list. Many cafes and restaurants will also have the official Eat Out scheme poster in their windows.



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How to Rent a Car Safely During Coronavirus

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Woman during pandemic isolation at city, she is in car

Fancy a city break? The government advises that travelling by car is the safest way to get around the UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19). And if you don’t own a private vehicle, you are still able to rent one. Car rental companies are considered essential services and are operating at a reduced capacity, but with enhanced cleaning procedures, to contain the coronavirus. Still nervous about renting a car amidst the pandemic? Read ahead. . .

The four rental companies we’ve chosen have exceptional cleaning standards, are flexible with cancellations and modifications, and have special protocols for responding to a renter that is suspected to have COVID-19. In addition to great reviews, Enterprise, Hertz, Sixt, and Europcar are using social distancing and limiting the number of employees at their locations, frequently disinfecting surfaces, minimising customer interaction at vehicle pickup and delivery, and employees are frequently washing hands, wearing face coverings, and encouraged not to come into work if they are feeling ill.

What Do I Need to Rent a Car?

• A valid driver’s license for at least one year at the time of rental and/or an international driving permit.
• A minimum age of 30 for all rentals (including heavier vehicles and exotic cars), or age 25-29 for car categories of mini, economy, compact, intermediate, standard, and vans. Drivers age 23-24 might have to pay a young driver surcharge, while drivers age 19-22 with a full driver’s license, for at least one year, can access some car rentals with select companies — like Enterprise.
• Rental prices for automatic cars start at around £200 for three days.

How are Car Rental Companies Protecting Drivers from COVID-19?

To figure out how car rental companies were containing COVID-19 in the UK, we reached out to four of the top-rated service providers. Here’s what each company is doing to protect the heath and safety of drivers and employees . . .

Enterprise: “On top of vacuuming and general wipe-down cleaning, we are using a disinfectant to sanitise key areas between every rental. We also have measures in place to immediately isolate and quarantine any vehicle if needed. Employees working in open branch locations are following the best practices recommended by the World Health Organization, and other health authorities, to help protect and reduce risk during this Coronavirus outbreak.”

Hertz: “We have enhanced our cleaning methods at our locations and our shuttle buses, including using approved disinfectant to regularly wipe down high-touch areas such as door handles, counters, kiosks and other hard surfaces. We’ve added more alcohol-based hand sanitisers and are asking employees to take important hygiene steps, including frequent hand washing and staying home if unwell. For our vehicles, we are reinforcing our rigorous cleaning process which includes priority areas such as door handles, steering wheel, dashboard, console, seats, etc.” If a renter is suspected of having COVID-19, then Hertz has “implemented new cleaning protocols that include removing the vehicle from circulation and disinfecting through a third party.”

Sixt: “Some of the measures we are taking to ensure the highest standards are: Intensively cleaning our branches to minimise virus transmission, ensuring that our employees follow the recommendations of the WHO, such as washing their hands intensively on a regular basis, and professionally cleaning all vehicles in our SIXT fleet in a multi-step process.”

Europcar: “All our vehicles are cleaned before hire and we have implemented additional cleaning measures including sanitising surfaces within the vehicle.”

How Can I Further Sanitise a Car Rental?

The car rental companies we’ve chosen stand out from the rest because they have exceptional cleaning standards for rentals, but you can also protect yourself by wearing a face covering. If you fancy sanitising your vehicle further, then you can use antibacterial cleaning products to wipe down these high-contact surfaces:

• Key and key fob
• Steering wheel
• Steering column
• Centre console
• Accessory panel
• Cupholders
• Compartments
• Door interiors
• Door pockets
• Seat Belts
• Seat surfaces
• Seat pockets
• Interior Door handles
• Exterior Door handles
• Areas between seat/console
• Areas between seat/doorjambs
• Instrument panels
• Rearview mirrors
• Visor mirrors
• Dashboard
• Gearshift



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Coronavirus: Guidelines For Travel Within the UK

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pone curly and beautiful woman wearing medical mask to prevent any type of disease or virus like coronavirus or covid-19 - airplane inside of her head at the background like risky vacations hazard

Nonessential international travel might not be possible this summer due to the Coronavirus, but you can still visit beautiful locations within the UK if you fancy a city break. On Monday, 11 May, 2020, the UK government released a COVID-19 recovery strategy that outlines how we’ll be resuming travel, work, and schooling for the forseeable future. The 50-page document states that it’s OK to travel by rail or car anywhere in England as long as proper social distancing is observed, but staying overnight at another home for holiday — including a second home — is currently not allowed.

If travelling by any form of public transport — whether rail, air, or shared private car — then it is beneficial to download and use the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app to reduce the coronavirus reproduction rate.

Travel to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland From England

Nonessential travel between England and Scotland or between England and Wales is not permitted. Travel by ferry or air between England and Northern Ireland is allowed where passengers must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in either country.

Travel in the UK by Rail

The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy states that “the Government is working with public transport providers to bring services back towards pre-COVID-19 levels as quickly as possible”. In the meantime, we should avoid public transport, but if travelling by rail, bus, tube, or tram is your only option, then you must follow the government’s guidance on social distancing by wearing a face covering.

Travel in the UK by Car

“People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance [in England], so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there,” states the UK government’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

“If you have to travel with people outside your household group, try to share the transport with the same people each time and keep to small groups of people at any one time,” states the UK government’s advice on using private cars — including rental cars — for essential travel in England.

If travelling by taxi or private hire vehicle, it’s recommended that you follow the advice of your driver and respect social distancing where possible. “If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet,” states the UK government.

Travel in the UK by Air

There are currently no restrictions against travel by air within England, but the UK government advises to wear a face covering and be mindful of the shared surfaces that you might touch. Airlines are now taking bookings for domestic flights from 1 July, and Airbnb is resuming booking from 31 May. For more information on international travel guidelines and restrictions, check out our easy-to-follow POPSUGAR explainer.



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How to Plan a Virtual Hen Do: Digital Hen Party Ideas

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My fiancé and I were meant to be having a dream Italian wedding in just a matter of weeks — until the global coronavirus pandemic happened and changed those plans. Now, the weeks that should have been spent getting excited for the big day have instead been filled with stressful emails and phone calls rearranging dates and requesting refunds — all while working from home and attempting to manage a toddler. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted.

In this situation it’s easy to throw yourself a pity party, and I must admit that I was having one and dwelling on the negative, until one morning I decided that enough was enough. My friends all want to celebrate with me, so why not lift people’s spirits with a virtual hen party? That way, everyone can enjoy a fun, boozy night in the comfort of their own living rooms, without having to worry about getting home or the expense of a weekend city break.

In this period of time where so much is unknown, organising a hen party provides a great distraction; and not only has the planning helped boost my mood but it’s also helped to raise my friends’ and family’s spirits. After all, who doesn’t love a hen do?

I had always planned to do a London-based event, but now it was time to get a little more creative and give some of the most popular hen do activities an isolation twist. After a few hours of home-based hen research, I realised we could pretty much re-create the whole day with the help of a few digital hacks.

As fitness is one of my passions, my original plan was to drag my bridal party (some of them kicking and screaming) to my favourite Psycle barre class, followed by a boozy cocktail masterclass, a carb-infused meal, and a few hours of power ballad karaoke. For that Instagram-able snap at the postparty hotel sleepover, I had already stocked up on holographic sheet masks from my favourite London beauty emporium, John Bell & Croyden, and purchased silk pyjamas from Yolke’s sample sale.

After firing off some WhatsApp messages to my hen planner, we created the ultimate lockdown party. If you’re in two minds about planning your own virtual hen do, take my advice and go for it — not only will the laughs be needed more than ever but the memories you create will never be forgotten. Here are my hen dos and hen don’ts for organising the perfect virtual party.

1. Pick a Colour Theme For All Virtual Guests

I didn’t want to go down the mildly cringey route of getting personalised hen party tops made, so instead I chose a colour theme for all guests to wear. That way, they could pick out something from their wardrobe, and everyone could interpret the theme in their own way, whether that’s with something as simple as a statement red lip, or a full monochromatic look for maximum impact.

2. Create a Unique Hashtag For the Day

If you and your hens are active on Instagram, then creating a unique hashtag is a fun way to get a behind-the-scenes look into how everyone prepares for your online party. It’s also a great way to preserve all those memories in one place that might otherwise get missed on a video call.

3. Try a Virtual Barre Class Via Zoom or IGTV

Fitness has always been my passion, and my love for exercise has only grown in isolation. I know some of my hen party aren’t as passionate about fitness as I am, but I knew that the moment they felt the energy from the heads of barre at Psycle, Maria and Rod, they wouldn’t look back. Barre classes are great for all fitness levels as they’re low-impact and don’t involve a huge number of props; or if they do, then you can create your own makeshift props using household items. We all tuned in wearing our best Lycra and pulsed and planked to the beat.

4. Send a Special Gift to the Bride-To-Be

Though it’s difficult to find the perfect gift with shops closed and online deliveries delayed, my hen party were kind and organised enough to send me a care package filled with a few of my favourite things — with a bridal twist. First, a pair of Varley leggings that both feed my fitness habit and fit with the white bridal theme, a bottle of my favourite champagne from Fortnum & Mason (if you know, you know), and the Spring Flowers DIY Tin from Biscuiteers, which contains prebaked flower biscuits and everything you need to ice them, in tribute to my love of flowers and gardening.

There are still plenty of delivery services out there to pull together a great hamper for your hen; just make sure you plan as far in advance as possible to avoid hefty postage fees.

5. Mix Up Some Bespoke Cocktails

I challenged my hens to create an innovative cocktail with whatever ingredients they had in the house in 10 minutes — then drink them and describe them to me so I could give out a prize for the most creative concoction. There were frozen Whispering Angel cocktails, whiskey sours, and even a boozy Coke float. If you need some inspiration then head to Instagram, where Soho House revealed the recipe to their famous Picante cocktail and Aperol recently demonstrated how to make the perfect spritz.

6. Cook a Wedding Day Destination-Inspired Dish

As my wedding was due to take place in Italy, I thought it was only fitting to choose an Italian-themed dish for my guests and I to make during the cookalong portion of my virtual hen do. I choose something simple that all my guests could rustle up at home with limited ingredients. Now that the supermarkets are suffering shortages of the basics, my go-to dish of creamy pesto pasta made the cut. All you need is basil, olive oil, garlic, avocado, salt, and pepper. This recipe also works for vegetarians and vegans, too, plus you can use any type of pasta you have in your store cupboard. Choose something that has links to you, or your hen do destination, and make sure its easy enough for your guests to re-create and have fun with.

7. Hold the Great Hen-Do Bake Off

I wasn’t a keen baker before lockdown, but like most of the country, I have now developed some serious skills, and I’m making new baked creations on the daily. My initial idea was to task all my guests to bake a wedding cake in an hour — a fun way to find out what they could come up with in such a short time — but given the current flour shortage, that wasn’t going to be doable.

I decided to get my guests to join in with a baking class that I’ve been enjoying every week during lockdown. Livia’s live Friday baking classes on Instagram are easy to follow and don’t require mountains of ingredients or a tonne of flour. We made the double chocolate chip cookies (made with porridge oats, coconut sugar, coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, and chocolate chips — or leftover Easter egg, which a lot of my hen party used). These were truly delicious, and it’s fun to see everyone’s creations via WhatsApp when they were fresh from the oven.

8. Pamper Yourselves With an At-Home Facial

My initial plan was to post out my favourite Oh K! Holographic Sheet Masks (£10 each) to my guests, but many of the masks didn’t arrive in time, so I had to come up with a plan B for a DIY face mask from products you have in your kitchen. Sarah Carr, a facialist for Liz Earle, says that her tried-and-tested DIY mask made from natural bio yogurt and olive oil is “the best natural mask for boosting skin’s radiance and reduces redness and inflammation.”

9. Get Your Partner Involved With a Quiz

With answers from your fiancé, who doesn’t love a good quiz? We opted for a “Mr and Mrs Quiz” where everyone had to guess the answers to multiple choice questions like, “What did Eamonn say Kirsty’s most annoying habit was?” Get your fiancé to prerecord their answers and play them to everyone at the end — the perfect way to get your partner-to-be involved, too.

10. Enjoy a Karaoke Singalong Via House Party

A good singalong after a cocktail or two is such a mood booster, and as I found out, this is one activity that’s supereasy to organise. Simply get each guest to select a song, and pull together your karaoke playlist ahead on Spotify. And for the serious Karaoke pros out there, the Lucky Voice group who have venues across London have introduced the ultimate home karaoke kit.

11. Follow a Nail Art Tutorial For At-Home Manicures

Not only is the lockdown manicure trending big time on Instagram right now, but adding at-home manicures into your virtual hen do is also another way to incorporate your colour theme into the experience. Get inspired with some simple seasonal nail art designs to follow, and once you’re all finished, you can reveal your mani masterpieces on Zoom.

12. Wind Down With a Face Gym Session

Master the art of a DIY face massage by organising a digital group session with a FaceGym trainer. You’ll not only spend time with your bridal party but the session will also guide you through techniques to firm up your facial muscles (hello, cheekbones!), and promote lymphatic drainage.



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How to Make VE Day Union Jack Bunting at Home

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UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 04:  Union Jack flag bunting at street party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Swinbrook in the Cotswolds, UK  (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

This year’s early May bank holiday isn’t just another public holiday: it marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day), which commemorates the end of the Second World War.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and with strict social-distancing measures still in place in the UK, the day’s events won’t quite take place as planned. And while it’s a shame the nation won’t be having neighbourly street parties and spending a day off with our loved ones, it doesn’t mean we can’t raise a glass together in our own homes and make celebratory bunting. Because after all, what’s a national celebration without bunting?

Making “Great British Bunting” to hang in your home and windows is the perfect way celebrate the holiday, and to keep your kids entertained for a few minutes. Luckily, there are plenty of places to get resources and ideas. If you haven’t got much time on your hands (or simply want to avoid all the hassle of starting from scratch), you might want to try templates. These can be downloaded from a bunch of places — the BBC has plain templates, Bells Scambler created celebratory Union Jack ones, and Baker Ross made some colour-in printables. If you want to try something premade, Etsy has lots to choose from. With templates, all you need to create your bunting is: paper, a printer, string to hang it up, sticky tape, scissors, and coloured pens to decorate.

Or, if you’re feeling a little more advanced (think of it as the sourdough of bread making), you can make bunting from scratch using craft materials you probably already have hiding in your house. You’ll need a few things more things to get started, including paper, card, or old cereal boxes, scissors, glue or tape, a ruler, string, and of course, coloured pens, glitter, crayons, and whatever else you fancy for decoration. If you’re unsure on any of the steps, the BBC released a handy picture guide on how to make bunting at home.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your crafting box and get creative for the bank-holiday weekend.



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Sparkling Meyer Lemonade: a Recipe from OhMyVeggies.com

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This Lightly Sweetened Sparkling Meyer Lemonade is bright, tart, and effervescent. It’s impossible to be in a funky mood when you’re drinking sparkling lemonade. Impossible!

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Lightly Sweetened Sparkling Meyer Lemonade

Sparkling Meyer Lemonade

A bright, effervescent sparkling lemonade made with Meyer lemons. Just sweet enough to take the edge off the tartness.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 3 1/2 cup sparkling water

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a resealable bottle.
  2. Close bottle and shake until well-combined. Let lemonade sit for a few minutes before opening (and open carefully!).
  3. Add ice cubes, additional agave nectar, and lemon slices when serving if desired.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 1 1/4 cup
About

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.



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Ikea’s Meatballs and Creamy Sauce Recipe

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Photo Taken In Stockholm, SwedenImage Source: Getty / Linus Strandholm / EyeEm

What would a trip to Ikea be without its famous meatballs and chips (or mash) smothered in the instantly recognisable creamy sauce? A half-hearted one, to be honest. Sadly (although importantly), as all stores across the UK and Ireland closured last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it means none of us will be taking a trip any time soon to buy more flat-pack furniture and kitchen utensils. But, thanks to our friends at Ikea, we won’t have to go without the iconic meatballs for any longer.

The home accessories and furniture store released its six-step recipe for both the meatballs and the sauce here, and it looks both easy and delicious.

Never tried the iconic meal before? “The dish is an unexpected meeting of flavours as the lingonberry sweetness contrasts, yet harmonises, with the meatballs, while the cream sauce serves as a neutral ‘mediator’ between the two,” is how Ikea passionately explains it. But we’ll leave you to be the judge of that.

My favourite part? Their serving size. Don’t expect to just get three or four meatballs per plate; in Ikea world, 30-40 meatballs is just the right amount for a family of four. So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking, and make Ikea proud.

Image Source: Getty / Linus Strandholm / EyeEm



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Living Overseas and Away From Family During COVID-19 Essay

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I think we’re all in agreement that living through the COVID-19 pandemic is a tumultuous ride. I’ve experienced more emotions in the past month that I would normally feel in an entire year . . . at least. I’ve felt true anxiety for the first time in my life. I’ve felt like I’m on the weirdest, sh*ttiest rollercoaster of all time, and I’ve felt even more untethered than I did when I packed up my entire life and moved from Sydney to London two years ago.

I can’t speak for how anyone who’s socially distancing in the same city as their family feels right now. I imagine you’re all feeling the separation as deeply as I am. But I can speak with a fair amount of authority on what it’s like to quarantine in a country that isn’t your own, 17,000 kilometres from your family, and how it feels to watch the borders of your country close from afar.

I’ve watched friends pack up their lives and head back to Australia in under 24 hours after being laid off. I’ve seen other friends be furloughed and decide to wait it out, hoping it’ll all work out and that their visas won’t be terminated before they can return to work. If you, too, live overseas, then you’ve probably received similar messages from your family, like I have. Ranging from “come home” to “no seriously, don’t you think it’s time for you to come home?” I’d be lying if I said I haven’t asked myself the same question more than once.

This year has been tough for Australians living overseas. First, we watched as our country burned in unprecedented bushfires that were like nothing we’d seen before (and let me tell you, us Australians are very well acquainted with fires). Then, the pandemic happened. The day after Justin Trudeau tore at our heart strings when he looked straight down the camera and told Canadians “it’s time to come home,” the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, made the same plea — admittedly with lot less charisma and emotion than Trudeau, but with the same urgency.

I didn’t go home . . . I watched from afar as the Australian borders closes, the flights dried up, and the lockdowns got tighter.

I didn’t go home. My partner and I made the decision to sit tight in London and weather the storm on the opposite side of the world from our families. We have jobs here, an apartment, and at the time, I was also experiencing most of the COVID-19 symptoms, so I was in absolute lockdown inside my house. The idea of leaving my flat to go for a walk — let alone to travel back to the relative safety of Australia — was out of the question, regardless of what my family wanted and how strongly I felt the pull to run home to them.

So, I watched the borders close, the flights dry up, and the lockdowns get tighter. While living in London, I’ve always held onto the knowledge that if something terrible happened — if sh*t were to truly hit the fan — I could theoretically be with them in under 30 hours. Watching that option disappear — during a global health crisis, no less — was terrifying.

In the first week of lockdown, I kept telling my partner (from the deep, dark depths of my glass case of emotion) that I couldn’t figure out what I was feeling, exactly. I knew that I felt unsafe, scared, uncomfortable in my skin, and so damn far from home. But I didn’t realise that the overwhelming emotion I was feeling was (and is) grief until the Harvard Business Review (HBR) told me so. David Kessler, an expert on the topic, explained that we’re feeling more than one type of grief because we realise that COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it, maybe forever. “The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively,” said Kessler.

So, how do we cope with the grief? Kessler said, “It’s absurd to think we shouldn’t feel grief right now. Let yourself feel the grief and keep going.” I’m not an expert, but personally, in addition to feeling the feels, I’m searching for the glimmers of light shining through the madness, and that seems to be helping (even if only for a minute). I’ve laughed at countless dumb memes, and focused on the heartwarming stories circulating the internet. Like the WWII veteran from Yorkshire, Tom Moore, who’s raised over £12 million for NHS charities by walking 100 laps around his back garden to celebrate his 100th birthday. I’m donating to Tom’s cause, and staying grateful that I still have a job that allows me to do so.

I baked this.

But more than that, I’m trying to really take notice of all the little moments that make a huge difference to my mental health. Every Thursday night at 8pm, I hang out my window to clap for all of the essential workers, and to remind myself that there are real people behind all of the closed doors on my street — and that they’re all staying home in a collective act of love for the community, like I am.

I walk around my local park during off-peak times, because I know that going at busy times will just add to my stress levels. I video chat with my family . . . a lot. I do a virtual pub quiz with a few friends every Friday night. I drink wine at home now, which I never did before, but it’s making me happy. I’m limiting my news consumption to only once or twice a day. I almost exclusively watch nostalgic ’00s movies and read feel-good romance novels. Yep, I’ve baked bread, too (the focaccia pictured above, to be exact). I’m seeking out Australian podcasts (like this one) and TV shows (PSA to Australians, an all-star season of MasterChef just started) that make me feel like I’m at home for a few minutes. My sister has started sending old photos of me with one of my nephews, and while I’m not convinced she knows this, it’s having a hugely positive impact on my emotional state.

The coronavirus pandemic is horrific — no one can dispute that. But I think it’s also appropriate, if not absolutely crucial, that we celebrate the beautifully pure human moments that are emerging as a result of this tragedy. During the Australian bushfire crisis earlier this year, I found hope by looking for the helpers in the midst of the crisis. This time around, I’m doing exactly the same thing, and I urge you to do the same.

Hang out your window and clap for the essential workers, bake banana bread (and then eat it all in one sitting), go for your daily government-sanctioned walk around the block, and if all that fails, I wholeheartedly recommend a Fast and Furious movie marathon. Nothing offers escapism quite as thoroughly as watching hours upon hours of these ridiculous movies does. But if cheesy action movies aren’t your thing, remember that little pockets of joy exist everywhere; sometimes we just need to create them ourselves.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ange Law



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Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole Recipe – USA Vegan Magazine

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Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole
My mom always had a few recipes that she’d make all the time when I was growing up. There was Cheesy Beef Casserole, which is pretty self-explanatory. Cheese. Buddig Beef. Potatoes. Toast. And then there was Chicken a la King, the only way I’d ever eat peas (even if I’d pick the chicken out). But one of the recipes that always stands out in my memories is Shipwreck.

Shipwreck, my mom told me, was named such because it was all that people had to eat after their ships wrecked. Naturally, anytime my mom would make it, I’d imagine Pilgrims on a tropical island, cans of Campbell’s soup and baked beans in hand, preparing to make a casserole over a camp fire. I had an active imagination, you see. (I also had two imaginary friends named Joy and Field—Joy after the dish soap and Field after Marshall Fields. Incidentally, Field looked exactly like Joyce DeWitt from Three’s Company.)

Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole
Anyway! When I did a vegetarian casserole challenge with Valerie from Eclecticisms, I challenged her to make a vegetarian shipwreck casserole. It sounded so good and brought back so many warm and fuzzy memories that I just had to try to make it myself. The credit for this recipe goes to Valerie (with a few slight adjustments from yours truly), and you can read about her experience making it here.

I know this recipe sounds a little bit bizarre, but trust me, it’s really good. (You do trust me, right?) My husband, not a fan of baked beans, was really skeptical, but I converted him.

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Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole

Vegetarian Shipwreck Casserole Recipe

A vegetarian version of Shipwreck Casserole, made with crumbled tempeh in place of ground beef.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6–8

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 (8 oz) packages tempeh, crumbled
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray or oil mister
  • 2 large baking potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of vegetarian baked beans
  • 1 (10 oz) can of condensed tomato soup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Add tempeh and cook until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with cooking spray or oil and layer potatoes on the bottom, overlapping. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover potatoes with tempeh mixture. Top tempeh layer with baked beans and top baked beans with tomato soup.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour or until browned.
About

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.



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Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas Recipe

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Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadilla
There are two things you should know about this recipe:

1. The name is a lie. There’s no queso in these quesadillas. But calling them “dillas” makes them sound like something cutesy off of a children’s menu, doesn’t it?

2. Yes, if it sounds familiar, it’s because I made these with leftovers from my Sweet Potato & Kale Wraps. I decided to save the recipe for a rainy day and its day has finally come!

So yeah, about #2. We had tortillas and fillings leftover after making those wraps. But, as you saw, I am no burrito wrapper, so the second night around, I made these Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas for dinner. Instead of binding everything together with cheese like in a traditional quesadillas, I used mashed sweet potatoes. Is this weird? Okay, fine, maybe it sounds weird, but sweet potatoes and kale go really well together (this is one of my most popular posts, after all!) and so do sweet potatoes and black beans.

Oh, and one note about the chorizo: if you can purchase Field Roast locally, use their Mexican Chipotle sausage. Their sausage is made with real vegetables, grains, and spices and it’s minimally processed. (Yes, I’m talking up Field Roast again.)

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Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Vegan quesadillas with kale, caramelized onions, smoky black beans, and sweet potatoes.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato, pierced with fork
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 1/2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 vegetarian chorizo sausage, crumbled (optional)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup black beans, cooked or canned (rinse well if using canned)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • olive oil cooking spray or mister
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • salsa for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place sweet potato on a small baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until tender. Cool slightly, then remove skin, transfer to a small bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  3. While potato is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add onion and cook until just starting to caramelize, about 45–60 minutes. Add chorizo (if using) and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in kale and continue to cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine black beans and paprika in a small bowl.
  5. Divide sweet potatoes, caramelized onion mixture, and beans evenly onto one half of each tortilla, leaving about 1/2 inch of space along the edges. Fold empty half onto the half with filling.
  6. At this point, you can cook your quesadillas however you prefer. I like to cook mine on a grill sprayed with olive oil and heated at medium. You can also use a quesadilla maker if you have one or cook them in a skillet on medium-high heat, flipping over after tortilla begins to brown.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa.

Notes

Prep time includes time spent baking the sweet potato and caramelizing the onion. Yes, it takes a long time for both, but it’s worth it! For a quicker dinner, caramelize the onions and roast the sweet potato the night before.

About

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.



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