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Five minutes with... Mila Arena

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

In our new monthly regular ‘Five minutes with…’ we share useful tips and interesting insights from some of the amazing women we meet. First up is Mila Arena, the founder of the first vegan delivery business in New Zealand, V on Wheels. This woman knows a thing or two about enriching flavours in food and making her time in the kitchen more efficient and enjoyable.

Quick recipe for an amazing meal:

Oven roasted chickpeas

Ingredients: 1 can cooked chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and thoroughly dried If you’d like them sweet, toss them with sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil. If you’d like them salty, toss them with salt, smoked paprika and olive oil. Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 20 minutes with 1tsp of oil. Remove from the oven and evenly coat with the seasoning of your choice. Place the coated chickpeas back in the oven for 10 more minutes until crispy. Love it!

Tip to make any dish more flavourful:

Herbs and more herbs! Not only do they add flavour, they also add freshness. They are amazing! I use lots of different spices for V on Wheels meals but when I cook for myself, I just use herbs. All of them!

The most underrated ingredient:

This is probably an unexpected answer, but it’s salt! We always underestimate how much salt we need in a dish. Most of the time, when there’s a dish that isn’t quite right, an extra pinch of Himalayan salt is all that’s needed. Salt is magic in the kitchen!

The most common mistake in the kitchen:

The biggest mistake on earth is to follow a recipe! Lol. But seriously, the quantities always turn out wrong. You’re more likely to get it right by following your intuition.

Three tools to make cooking easier:

Food processor – the love of my life!

Big pots – making more food than you need encourages you to invite friends over. It doesn’t make life easier, just happier!

Sunlight! The Lord of the kitchen tools. Cooking is definitely more pleasant when the sun comes in through the window.


Photos: Alex Spodyneiko



Instagram: @vonwheelsnz

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