Take out Hawaiian style

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Vegan chilli with brown rice and salad

There is a small cafe and health food shop right here in Waikiki that has been providing the most essential of services since we arrived in Honolulu a few weeks ago. Simple, healthy, delicious and inexpensive take out dishes for green lovers like me. The cafe is called Ruffage Natural Food and it is not a trendy vegan joint by any stretch of the imagination, quite the opposite in fact. They run a simple show. You can come for a healthy smoothie in the morning, and a selection of salads and hot bowls for lunch or dinner. But the ingredients are fresh, of the right kind and in the right combination such as Chicken teriyaki on a bed of lettuce, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, carrots and yummy vinaigrette dressing. Miso soup. Salmon on a bed of lettuce, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, carrots and yummy sesame dressing hot food. Miso soup. Vegan chilli with brown rice, bed of lettuce, avocado, alfalfa, tomatoes and carrots. Miso soup. Vegan lasagna on bed of lettuce, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, carrots. Miso soup.

You get the picture. As Ruffage is situated about two minutes walk from where we live I tend to leave the house at five to seven and return ten minutes later, laden with biodegradable take out boxes that are sturdy enough for nothing to leak out.  In a world of fast food restaurants in a land of giant portions, Ruffage has provided us with nourishing and healthy green food (and a bit of meat) without having to plan, shop and cook. The question I keep asking myself is this. Why does a place like Ruffage not exist on every high street in the UK? If it can be this easy and this cheap to eat well – why do we still eat paninis and triangle sandwiches from coffee chains?

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Salmon with avocado, lettuce, carrots, alfalfa, tomatoes and sesame dressing

I get that not everyone is going to juice in the morning and buy organic ingredients for green and healthy meals simply because they may not be that interested. But just because you don’t want to make it yourself does not mean that you don’t want to eat it, prepared by someone else who can do it for you. I shall investigate how many places like Ruffage there are in South West London when I return.  In the meantime, if you’re ever in Waikiki and feeling peckish, go here! Mahalo x

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Airline fayre

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What a difference a couple of days make. My green, juicy life has been temporarily replaced by a rubbish diet masquerading as airline food.There are always good intentions. Ours was to stop for airport sushi prior to boarding our long haul flight from the UK but, as my son is capable of eating his body weight in sashimi, we had to  set some limits. Still, as soon as we got on a plane we all got hungry again – so much for trying to avoid airplane food. No matter how hard you try, at some point airline food will enter your system and it aint pretty. This is the bit about travelling you always forget.

The irony was that our travel destination was Los Angeles, the original source of all things green, raw and vegan. If Jamie Oliver could do for airline catering what he did for school food in the UK we’d all be a lot better off. Or even better, Kris Carr, the green goddess.

Our dear Angelino friends, Nigel and Marisa, came to the rescue when they invited us for lunch in their beautiful house, which included home-grown romaine lettuce, oven roasted rosemary and garlic sweet potato and veggies from the local organic store. I love shopping in LA as the variety and choice of organic produce is staggering. My friends’ local convenience store was Fresh & Easy, a small Tesco Metro sized shop where you could happily be both vegan and a lover of gluten-free products without having to find a specialist health food market. How refreshing! We still have some way to go in the UK although it’s got a lot better in the last few years. These flax muffins and tortilla chips were fab! Happy Tuesday from the other side of the world x

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