We have long admired Valentine Fodor or better known as "Vege Mamma" for her innate kitchen skills. She is devoted to creating indulgent yet nutritious goods, and is incredibly humble in the process. Her feed floods you with a collection of tarts, cakes and breads you wish you were eating! Stalk her for constant inspiration of what to make for the holidays or any other day.
Firstly, how are you?
Hello! To be honest, it is a crazy time. I am grateful for being in Australia so I shouldn't complain. I am healthy and well!
Who are you?
I am Valentine or Vege Mamma 😋
What’s your sign?
Where do you feel most at home?
With my family, cooking or having big dinners with friends.
I like to wake up early around 5:30-6ish, go for a walk or Pilates. Around 9:30 I will make myself a nice strong French press and a bowl of Bircher with a mixture of seeds, nut butter and lots of fruit. If I am not up that early, I'll be in bed with my pooch Milou.
Peanut butter, baking staples, coffee, chocolate, pasta, avocado & cauliflower.
Something you love to indulge in?
Mapo ice cream (smoky macadamia flavour) & a big fudgy chocolate cake.
How do you like to exercise your body?
I like to change it up, but mostly running, walking & Pilates.
And what about your mind?
Cooking, watching the great British Bake Off and swimming in the ocean.
Go-to crowd pleasing recipe?
My signature macadamia & coconut tart or a whole baked cauliflower with flaked roasted almonds, coriander & lemon yogurt. It's delish!
Sweet or savoury?
Hmmmm, both. Too hard to choose. I have a very big sweet tooth and can't go past anything with chocolate in it, but appreciate my savoury food just as much.
What do you do for fun?
Cook, swim and love a good margarita with my friends.
Name a book everyone should read.
The Beach by Alex Garland : )
Name a film everyone should see.
Scent of a woman with Al Pacino (I cry every time). Also, anything with Jim Carrey in it, I'm a big fan.
Name a restaurant everyone should dine in.
Cairo in Newtown, Sydney. Always a hit. My favourite is the mixed vegetarian plate & Maalouba which is slow cooked lamb and cauliflower rice pilaf with pomegranate.. yum! Literally salivating thinking about it.
Where do you find inspiration?
My parents, brother & friends. Everyone around me is very creative which innovates me to push myself.
What does creativity mean to you?
Doing things out of the ordinary, using your imagination and expressing yourself in a unique way.
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
New York or the South of France!
How do you create work-life balance?
At the moment I'm working part time which has actually been a massive advantage for me. It has given me the opportunity to do what I love with the extra time off. I probably won't ever go back to full time work after this... unless it is food related.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Everything will be okay in the end and if it's not okay, it is not the end.
Do you have a favorite medicinal mushroom?
Yes, Reishi is my favourite as it helps me sleep and balances my moods if I get a bit of anxiety.
Can you share a little something with us? A recipe, daily practice, DIY tip…
Here is my Tahini & Carob Fudgy Slab. It is seriously the best tasting thing if you LOVE Tahini (which I do & if you don't love Tahini, then sorry that sucks).
What you need;
- 1 1/2 cups tahini (try get the OG runny kind, you can find these at most Mediterranean grocers)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp sea Salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tbsp black or white sesame seeds
- 115g carob or dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup edible flowers (to decorate)
- Prepare a 6-inch baking tray & line it with baking paper.
- Pour Tahini into a medium sized bowl, add in chopped pistachios, sesame seeds & salt. Mix everything together until evenly incorporated.
- In a small pot, heat up water with coconut sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved & starts boiling (4-5 mins) Increase to medium/high heat, brush down sides of pot so no sugar crystals form. Cook for another 5 mins. Immediately remove from heat and pour into Tahini mix (slowly, don't burn yourself!), mixing constantly until the mixture comes together but do not over mix.
- Pour mixture into prepared tin and let cool for around 15 mins.
- Melt chocolate and pour on top of tahini fudge slab. Decorate with edible flours, more pistachios, more sesame seeds or whatever flavours you love!
- Sit in freezer for around 3 hours until hardened.
- Cut up & enjoy!