A series where we take a closer look into how the everyday cook fills up their cup, fridge, pantry, and bellies.
My name is Nikki and I am the co-founder of Assortment, along with my best friend Laura. We’ve been best friends since we were 10, we’ve been through many chapters together and I'm so excited for this new one - working as business partners (so far, so good).
Both Laura and I love to cook and unashamedly orient our days around our meals and have always been interested in all things; health, wellness and lifestyle - but it wasn’t until Auckland’s first lockdown that Assortment was born. It began as a labour of love - planning dinners and shopping lists for friends and family to make their lockdown shops a little easier. Feedback was really positive and it was clear not everyone enjoyed the generic food box options available (and the amount of unnecessary waste), so we thought, why not make our meal plans accessible for more people.
Eat real food! If it isn't from a packet, it's usually a sign it's pretty healthy. But then again, everything in balance (cue my salt and vinegar chip obsession)
A Thai green vegetable curry filled with lots of veggies - broccoli is non-negotiable, there's something about the way the florets soak up all the sauce and then nestle into the rice … so good!. Served with baked coconut rice. PSA coconut baked rice is outrageously good and I think you should cook it :)
Add 400ml tin of coconut cream + 350ml of water to a saucepan then bring to a boil. Add the coconut cream mix to a baking dish with 1 cup of jasmine rice + 2 Tbsp of coconut threads. Bake covered in tin foil for 15 minutes, then another 10 minutes uncovered. Enjoy xx
I have a Decaf coffee to get the day started and I'll have my ‘real’ coffee at around 10. When you wake up cortisol naturally rises, so i'll use my artificial energy when I need it which is around that 10am mark.
Breakfast - Well despite my food philosophy .. 'eat real food', I do have a soft spot for cereal - specifically rices and cornflakes. But most of the time I'm being 'good' and I will make a frittata filled with roasted veggies and some sorta cheese, I'm quite liking grated halloumi in there at the moment.
Lunch - usually leftovers, it’s just my boyfriend and I, so most meals have leftovers, making life easy. If we do however manage to get through a serving for 4 (oops) i’ll make a salad with a portion of grains like quinoa tossed through a dressing, some cooked veggies, fresh herbs, toasted nuts or seeds and something creamy like avocado, feta or a creamy tahini sauce.
And to seal the deal i'll have a little chocolate.
Dinner - i'll either be cooking assortment or testing out new recipes for our menus.
After dinner ill have some tea and again some chocolate.
I was recently away from home (and the comfort of my kitchen) and realised I have a chocolate addiction, our freezer (controversial) has always got at least 3 packets of 92% Whittaker's sitting in there.
I love an early morning adventure - I'm talking a 3:30 am wake up, usually, to drive up north to catch the sunrise and be the first ones in the water, there’s something satisfying about doing stuff while everyone else is sleeping.
Starter - Whole roasted cauliflower, preferably the one from Loretta in wellington - I had it about 4 years ago, but I still dream of it.
Main - Lasagna with a peppery rocket side salad and a glass of red
Desert - My mum's brownie, it’s super-rich and fudgy/kinda undercooked, with chunks of chocolate.
Bananas except for them in a cake or bread. I think it's the texture that gives me the ick.
Cook or clean - cook
Tea or coffee - coffee
Sweet or savoury - savoury
Dine-in or takeaway - takeaway
Wine or cocktails - I cant pick. Very much depends on the occasion, weather and my day…
Breakfast or dinner - dinner
Cheese or chocolate - chocolate
Burger or pasta - pasta
Crunchy peanut butter or smooth - I recently found out I'm allergic to peanut butter and it’s devastating
Mild or spicy - mild
Eggs or pancakes - Pancake, thin not the fat hot cake variety
Vegetarian or meat-lovers - Vegetarian
Salt and vinegar or barbecue - Salt and vinegar
Attend or host - attend