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Have a little faith

Built to last: Catherine Burns with her daughters Chloe, left, and Belle on version 2 of The Couch (Photograph submitted)

Season 22 of Beat the Couch got rolling yesterday with Intro Night for all our beginner runners. Training doesn’t officially start until Monday, so if you’d like to join us – there’s still time! I know that training for ten weeks to race a couch-on-wheels for 5k sounds like a somewhat crazy idea, but over 1200 people have completed this challenge so far – and it is really fun I promise!

I remember when Chloe and Belle came with me to pick up our first old couch in a truck… and I said “we’re going to put it on wheels and have people race it”.

And because children have amazing belief in their parents, they just assumed that was normal and possible. And so it was! Sometimes you have to move forward with blind faith, even if your idea seems a little bananas.

So if you’re out there, full of self doubt and thinking it might be a little crazy to take part … just jump in. We’ve got you!

To be fair, I wasn’t the one who put the couch on wheels. That was down to the girls Dad and his friend Nic – who I am still very grateful for to this day.

Since then, the Couch v2 has come along, built to last once we knew this concept had mileage. It’s still going strong, race day after race day – even surviving the whole of the Bermuda Half Marathon route.

Admittedly the rubber on the wheels burned off on that occasion and we skidded over the finish line with sparks flying!

That required a certain amount of faith too – we lost the rubber by mile seven, but were so determined to make it. And we did, because we were simply convinced that we could.

I tend to have the same attitude in the kitchen, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

This recipe however is a definite win and I’ve made it on repeat this week! It’s a good one for catching the end (I hope) of this cold and wintry weather.

Do you remember the viral TikTok video featuring the baked feta pasta recipe? Essentially, it involved baking a whole block of feta in the oven with tons of olive oil, some herbs and lots and lots of baby tomatoes.

Once everything was cooked, soft and the tomatoes had wilted, it was all mashed together with a fork.

Add in some piping hot pasta – stir through – and voila, an easy, cheesy, decadent pasta dish! I’ve been thinking about that a lot as the months have gone by, wondering how to make a dairy free version when dairy-free cheese is usually so terrible. But I was sure there was a way – and there is!

My version of this recipe uses the Miyoko’s Creamery plant milk artisan cheese (the one in a small round block, made from cashews!) I used a Smoky Gouda version but the Herbs De Provence, Sharp English and Eurpoean Truffle option would likely work really well too.

The reason why this particular “cheese “works here is that is doesn’t separate and go oily once it’s heated. I bought mine from Miles and other grocery stores have it too. It’s on the pricey side, but a little goes a long way.

I also wanted to lower the fats in this recipe and add a protein boost, so I used less cheese and included some tofu too.

This worked so well. It was cheesy enough to feel like a luxury, without the overload.

And although I use some baby tomatoes, I actually also include some bottled pasta sauce too, simply because I like a bit more of an intense tomato flavour than most of the other recipes out there.

My go-to sauce in this instance is the Sanremo Marinara (Miles) which goes well with any of the Miyokos flavours.

I like to serve this in bowls with some fresh basil torn on the top and some baked/grilled zucchini or asparagus on the side.

And if you think a vegan version of baked feta pasta is a bit too good to be true, have some faith. Join us for Beat the Couch too! All the info is at waterfrontwellness.bm.

Vegan baked “feta” pasta (serves 2)


Two servings brown rice pasta (e.g. Tinkyada brand) or any pasta you choose

Half a bottle Sanremo Marina pasta sauce (approx. 250g)

Large handful cherry/baby/grape tomatoes

1/3 wheel Miyoko’s Creamery artisan plant-milk cheese

½ block firm organic tofu, drained of excess water and cut into flour slices

Extra virgin olive oil.

Green veg to serve on the side

Fresh basil (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Cook your pasta. Make sure not to overcook. Set to one side. Prep and cook your veg!

3. Place the tofu slices and Miyoko’s cheese in a medium sized baking dish. Add in the cherry tomatoes, the pasta sauce and a slug of extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t find extra seasoning necessary as the “cheese” and the sauce have so much flavour, but you could add any complimentary herbs/spices you like. Bake in the oven for approx. 40 mins until the tomatoes are soft and wilted and the sauce is bubbling.

4. Use a fork to mash the tofu, “cheese” and tomatoes together. Add the pasta to the dish and toss in the sauce until it is evenly coated.

5. Serve with the green veg and sprinkle with fresh basil if you choose! Enjoy!

• The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION, BNTA is a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the U.K. She works at Waterfront Wellness in Bermuda. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda or instagram @naturalbda

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Published March 01, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated March 01, 2024 at 7:21 am)

Have a little faith

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