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Meet Hannah: Your Local Legend at Charlestown

by Lauren Branson

Local Hannah at YOur Food Collective

We sat down with the beautiful Hannah, your local legend at Charlestown to lean a little bit more about how she manages to juggle 3 beautiful children, dishing up nutritious food every day and where her food journey is taking her.  

Tell us your story, what brought you to Newcastle?

I was born in Newcastle and I grew up in a small town called Nhulunbuy, Arnhem Land. It’s a friendly town with a rich culture in the Top End, set on red dirt and tourquise beaches.

I moved back to Newcastle to finish high school, before studying Social Science at the University of Newcastle. I married my husband Karl and we moved to Canberra to both work for the Austalian Bureau of Statistics. Once we started our family, we made the seachange back to Newy. We wanted to be closer to our family, and we really love Newy itself – it has a chilled out lifestyle with an artistic vibe, rising opportunities, and the natural beauty of the beaches, lake, mountains and the vineyards. Newy is home.

 Hannah at Your Food Collective

What inspires you day to day?

I want to see the world become a better, kinder and fairer place for everyone.

Do you have a food philosophy?

Eat more plants! It’s the way to go for your health and the planet!

This year, I’ve been doing weekly Vegan days to reduce my carbon footprint and eat healthier. I’ve really had to plan my meals and explore more plant focused recipes which has been fun.

Overall, I’m trying to eat less meat and dairy, to eat more vegetables and legumes, and to focus on fresh, local and seasonal produce.

Hannah at Your Food Collective

What do you love about YFC?

The taste experience!

I first became interested in Your Food Collective because it’s an eco-conscious business that supports our farmers.

I continued as a customer because I just love the fruit and vegetables! The apples and celery are full of flavour and the sugar snap peas are so crunchy! I find myself eating more vegetables and fruit throughout the day because they taste so good!

What's your go to in the kitchen at the moment?

Cauliflower! Before this year I’d never bought a cauliflower, but now I’m eating it all the time! I love roasting it in coconut oil and spices such as cumin, turmeric and onion powder. This goes great by itself, or on top of hummus and 2 tablespoons of Bhuja mix, served as an appetizer with pita bread.

For entertaining, pizza is my go-to; it’s easy, versatile and delicious! My husband makes the base and I make the sauce (recipe below). We top our pizza with bocconcini balls, deli meats such as prosciutto and seasonal vegetables. At the moment, I’m loving mushrooms, zucchini slices, diced sweet potato, olives and chopped cherry tomatoes (add tomatoes after you pull the cooked pizza out). We put the toppings on sparingly, so nothing is overlapping.

Hannah’s pizza sauce:

In a saucepan, fry 1 diced onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 cup of chopped celery stalks. Once onion turns glassy, blend in a blender. Return onion mix to the saucepan with 1 can chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir through 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds, ¼ cup chopped celery leaves, 2 tablespoons of Italian herb leaves (use a dried mix, or fresh herbs such as basil and oregano), 1 teaspoon brown sugar and/or 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Allow to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to growing old with my husband (sounds corny hey), and watching my children grow up.

I’m excited to see how Australians might start embracing our native foods, and the knowledge and eating practices of our First Nations people. I think they’ll have a bigger impact on our diets and collective consciousness in the future. 

Hannah at Your Food Collective

Local Lauren Branson
Lauren Branson


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