Pea and Cauliflower Bowl

If I was in my twenties, my girl crush would be Deliciously Ella. She has single-handedly changed the face of what a vegan may look and be like which is no small matter.  If in the past you would have let your imagination run riot and conjure up a physical manifestation of a vegan, Deliciously Ella would not have been it, let’s be honest. Continue reading “Pea and Cauliflower Bowl”

Tune in

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Stressful life situations can bring out the worst in all of us. We over-analyze, fret, escape from painful feelings and generally keep ourselves super busy hoping things will get better or, ideally, go away. More often than not, however, looking outward for a solution to our problems tend to bring meagre returns – at the end of the day we can’t fix that over which we have no control no matter how much we try. Continue reading “Tune in”

Electric House

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As a fruit and veggie lover I generally don’t tend to associate eating out with healthy food. Great tasting food, yes, quality meat, yes, but not necessarily fresh, organic, interesting veggies mixed in a way I’d perhaps prefer if I was cooking at home. Now I know many restaurants and pubs go to great lengths to have local, seasonal produce to serve with their dishes but I am talking about your average meal out, without too much planning or research. The truth is it’s often tasty but not so healthy.

To me, therefore, the concept is quite contradictory – the point of eating out is perhaps exactly that you don’t care about nutrition, on that particular occasion, but rather want to enjoy the flavours of that which you don’t eat every day.

Fast forward to yesterday, however, when I was taken to Notting Hill’s Electric House Restaurant by kind friends. The menu was positively brimming with yummy combos of vegetables that you could team with fish or meat but happily have on its own too. For me it was an eye opener of what eating out could be like when you have a menu match!

Here are some interesting dishes and combos from Electric House’s menu that can be recreated at home:

  • chilled asparagus soup
  • raw vegetables, walnuts, blue cheese
  • watercress, radish, sugar snaps
  • bibb lettuce, avocado and crab
  • grilled tomato, peas, avocado
  • spinach, grilled fennel, grilled asparagus
  • broccoli, carrots, caper berries, almonds
  • beetroot, runner beans, walnuts
  • avocado on toast, poached egg

Most of the vegetable dishes were no more than £7 and the portions were very generous, utterly simple and delicious. Definitely not just a small side. I had a piece of grilled salmon with green beans, coupled with a spinach, grilled fennel and asparagus salad. As I’m staying off gluten and starchy things at present, this was my menu made in heaven and just as filling as if it had been served with rice/pasta/potato. There was no way on earth that I was going to be able to finish all of it and in fact, none of us could. And we all like to eat – a lot! As it is a members club you have to know someone who can take you, but if you get the chance to go I can highly recommend the food and the ambience – when we left close to midnight the place was positively jumping. Enjoy your Saturday, everyone! X

 

Mellow Vegetable Broth

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Since childhood we’ve been told to eat three hearty meals a day at regular intervals. As children this is a necessity as we need the regularity until we are old enough to fend for our selves. As adults, however, this childhood habit tend to linger whether we are hungry or not. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between – in essence, we are grazing our way through life. Whether it has got anything to do with hunger or not is debatable – according to Dr. Alejandro Junger, the frequency of eating in the Western World may in part be fuelled by boredom, habit and/or addiction but it is not doing us any good. Our constant grazing means that our bodies never gets proper time to digest and detox naturally. In his book, Clean, Dr Junger tells us it takes 8 hours for solids to digest (less for liquids) and another 4 hours for the body’s natural detoxification process to finish. 12 hours in other words – how many of us get more than 8!

The point, according to Dr. Junger, is that today’s eating habits are a social construct – and a fairly recent one at that. Historically, the body was used to feast and famine. Something was hunted/picked and eaten, then the body would ‘starve’ a little before something else appeared. This approach enabled the body to fully digest the intake, distribute the nutrients, and eliminate that which was not needed before the next meal arrived. With current eating habits however, we may have lost the body’s natural ability to detox as we are  constantly snacking.

Dr. Junger’s 21 day cleanse, which he advocates to reboot the body’s natural ability to detox, may not be for the fainthearted. But some of the ideas related to this detox programme stuck in my mind. Such as the point that a liquid meal at night is far easier for the body to digest than solids. Therefore, the quicker the digestion process kicks in – the quicker the detox can take place. Hence, the evening is the WORST possible time to have a big stodgy meal – quite the contrary to how most of us live. Soup, I decided, was the way forward. I made up my mind to look at my veg drawer in the same manner as I did when making a green juice, ie. take whatever you’ve got at home and turn it into a soup.

I started out with Kallo’s vegetarian and organic bouillon which is a favorite anyway in the house. Added all the veg and turned the heat off, letting the veg steam for about 20 mintues. You are left with a lovely, flavourful broth packed with vegetables that are gently steamed yet have a slight crunch. I didn’t want to liquidise with a hand blender as I like chewing the veg but the option is entirely yours. Afterwards I felt light yet remarkably filled up at the same time. A win-win that I will revisit often – it was super delicious.

Mellow Veg Broth

1 stock cube Kallo organic and vegetarian

6-7 Shiitake mushrooms

1 bit handful of green cabbage – cut into strips

3-4 broccoli florets

2 small carrots

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

3 asparagus

1 handful chopped celery

Bring a pot to the boil – just as much as you would like to eat so one of two bowls full. Once water has boiled, turn off the heat and add all the vegetables at once. Cover with a lid and let vegetables steam for about 20 minutes. Enjoy. X