Beetroot falafel

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My first falafel was at an Egyptian café in Brighton’s Kemptown in 1989! Was still to this day the freshest and most memorable taste.

This is a recipe I found years later from a superfoods recipe book given to me by my friend Ush in NZ. I make them regularly because you can have them as a plain snack or mix them with salads, pasta or wraps of any type.

IMG_0226Before placing the tray in the oven. Love the fact that you bake them and not fry them.

IMG_0229Mixed with quinoa pasta, wilted baby spinach and avocado. Coconut yoghurt tzatziki on the side.

IMG_0238A quick snack when starving.

IMG_0305Quinoa rice, wilted baby spinach, avocado and pomegranate seeds. Beetroot falafel optional.

Ingredients

1 tin of organic lentils

1 raw beetroot

juice of 1 lemon

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp oriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

2-3 tbsp wholemeal bread-crumbs (I use gluten-free)

salt & pepper to taste

Process

Rinse the lentils and place in a bowl. Grate the raw beetroot and add the garlic using a garlic crusher. In a dry frying pan heat for 1-2 minutes the cumin and coriander seeds shaking the pan all the time until the spices release their aroma (do not burn)! Ground the spices using a spices & nuts grinder or pestle and mortar. In a blender mix the lentils, beetroot and spices. Place the mix in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Mix well with hands and form small walnut-size balls. Place them in the fridge for approximately 1 hour.

Bake them in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes at 180C.

Nutritious, filling and versatile.

Other possibilities

If making wraps you could use tahini yoghurt.  Add a couple of tbsp of tahini paste, the juice of 1 lemon, 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic to preferred choice of yoghurt. Mix well adding salt and pepper and thin with water to obtain a smooth sauce.

Raw vegan lunch

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This is a repetition I’m sure, is my favourite high protein, rich in minerals lunch especially in the summer months, even in London! First saw this at the Raw Chef’s website in 2015 and have been adding elements ever since. I tend to be satisfied with 2-3 wraps:)

Pink sauce

  • 1 raw beetroot – preferably organic
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup raw cushews
  • Salt – I use Himalayan pink salt in everything

Wrap

  • Nori – Clearspring is a good brand
  • Organic cucumbers
  • Alpha-alpha seeds
  • Organic watercress
  • Pink sauce

You can add as many ingredients as you like: carrots, spring onions, you can springle chia seeds – the choices are infinite. The original recipe only has alpha-alpha but I needed it to be more filling.

Note: I tried doing it using different nuts and frankly don’t bother. It works best with cashews!

Wellness immersion weekend

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Buzzying from my raw food weekend workshop with the Wild Food Cafe team of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. The two inspirational days took place at a great cooking school inside a community hall on a street I had never walked up before in the 25 years I’ve been living in London. Is situated just off Old street at 90 Central street. There’s a great looking cafe right next to it which is connected to the hall.

We learnt how to make raw pizza with a number of toppings including macademia cheese, seaweed tartar and pesto, stuffed mayan avocado, sauerkraut, home made kale chips, raw chocolate cake and more. Joel fed us wild food and thoughts – a fountain of knowledge and a fantastic approach to wellness emphasising the importance of play and experimentation using our own bodies as the best barometer.

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Almond butter & mulberry fudge balls (dipped in raw chocolate) and coated with coconut flakes and goji berries

Aiste, his graceful and equally knowledgeable wife and the heart and soul of the Wild Food Cafe helped us out with each recipe and kept a good handle of time sweetly grounding Joel from his frequent flights to all things wild.

We received a booklet with numerous recipes I can’t wait to experiment with including useful information on super foods and wild foods in general some of which I had never heard or seen before. After the course they provided us with a wealth of resources from specialist shops to inspirational books & documentaries. Every single penny was worth spending on this training as the knowledge I have been receiving over the years from multiple and often conflicting sources is finally making sense.

These workshops are extremely well structured and fun. You are split into groups of 3 or 4 and prepare each recipe together. You label your food and consume it on the same or the following day depending on whether it requires dehydration or not.

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Raw chocolate cake

pizza

Raw pizza – base made with almonds and butternut puree, flax seed & spices

Upcoming Wild Food courses & events – London UK

Raw Food and Wellbeing Immersion (Christmas Edition) – 18th & 19th December 2016

Wild Food Birthday Celebration (Mind, Body & Spirit) – 9th of November  2016

 Free Wild Food Cafe e-book

Wild wellbeing free e-book (.pdf)

As Joel and Aiste would say: “Stay inspired, expansive, playful and curious”.

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Favourite Greek food

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There is one dish and its all important accessory that I rate among the highest pleasures in life to be consumed on a very specific spot on the Greek island of Skopelos:

  • Fava
  • White bread with crust

I have still made no attempt at making my own fava. I have made numerous times hummus but there is no comparison between the two. When prepared traditionally it is always served with onion, capers and lots of lemon. The texture is extremely smooth and is best eaten warm. I believe Sandorini does an amazing one too.

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fava

Molos Taverna – Skopelos island

Coffee & city guides

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At Coco di mama this morning on Leather Lane with my Allpress soya cap and newly acquired Copenhagen guide; I walked straight to my usual corner seat by the coffee cup light installation. Guides do get outdated quickly but they are so useful at the time of travel especially when recently published which is the case with this one by Cereal.

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I collected my copy from a stylish shop called  Luna & Curious on Calvert Avenue close to Arnold Circus in Shordtitch. I was heading to the Colombia flower market for my usual supply of eucalyptus branches. On the way back, I briefly stopped at All Press on Red Church Sreet. The tui, allpress coffee are some of the things that immediately transport me to New Zealand not that I have ever heard a tui in London or anywhere but New Zealand. Since J. Crew opened next door the coffee shop has shrank making it incredibly hard to find a seat. I managed to get a stool outside and repositioned it to face the sun. Squeezed the hydrangeas and eucalyptus leaves between my knees, placed the guide on my lap, cup on one hand and mobile on the other. ‘Avocadomad’ defined as ‘rye bread topped with avocado); I’m reminded of how much these small pleasures fill me with joy.

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Useful links

Cereal 

All Press

Coco di mama

Luna & Curious

Wild Food Cafe – Neal’s Yard/Covent Garden

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Wild Cafe

Friends visited from Chichester for the day so had to show 6-year old Freya vibrant and colourful Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. For the first time ever, I went up the staircase above Neal’s Yard Remedies shop and discovered this wonderful cafe. Was packed but the staff were very friendly and suggested txting me as soon as a table became free. 15 minutes later, we were sitting by the window.

Loved the freshness of the ingredients and the purity of taste. The green smoothie I ordered tasted a little powedery compared to the smooth textures I’m used to at home. I’d still order it as it’s full of nutrients; keeping an open mind: not everything has to taste the way I expect it to:)

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Fairy Feast Salad

  • Mixed baby leaves
  • Watermelon
  • Soft hemp-almond-macademia soft cheese
  • Pink olives
  • Fresh seasonal berries
  • Irish moss seaweed
  • Red pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado chunks
  • Grain mustard dressing

Emerald Wild Smoothie

  • Chlorophyl-packed kale
  • Activated almonds
  • Apple
  • Lemon rind
  • Wild Cafe’s own superfood powder (chlorela, barley grass, nettle leaf, spirulina)

Visit: http://wildfoodcafe.com/

P.S. I revisited Wild Cafe for lunch today on my own and had the chocolate smoothie and the vegetarian burger. A little too vegetarian/raw tasting for my liking so found it a little heavy and dry in texture. The smoothie way too sweet and dissapointing to hear that they’re pre-made so no maple syrup was not an option:( Still, everything feels genuinely vegetarian/vegan and keen to join one of their mini retreats. The staff is exceptionally friendly and smiley:)

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Green Detox Smoothie

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One day early May I walked into Neal’s Yard Remedies flagship store in Covent Garden and picked up a detox smoothie recipe printed on a card. I was detoxing at the time so it was a timely find. I stick to the core ingredients listed below but I also experiment depending on mood of the day. I’ve been having this smoothie every single morning for the last 3 months and makes me feel amazing.

 

Green & clean smoothie

by Tipper Lewis, Naturopathic Herbalist at Neal’s Yard Remedies

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Organic Greens Complex – 2 tsp*
  • Organic Virgin Coconut oil – 1 tsp
  • Chia seeds – 4 tsp A great source of omega 3 and fibre
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp Supports healthy liver, reduces inflammation
  • Avocado – 1
  • Fresh spinach or Kale – 1 large handful
  • Fresh parsley – 3 sprigs (minus stalks)
  • Cucumber – quarter
  • Lemon juice – generous squeeze
  • Apple juice or water – 400ml
  • Dandelion & Burdock Formula – 4ml (optional) Supports the body’s natural purification process

* Organic Greens Complex is a Neal’s Yard product. I have a couple of other products I use instead to mix it up a bit. These are: Organic Wheat Grass from New Zealand and Hemp Powder. The organic Greens Complex has a lot of spirulina and chlorella which is why I tend to use most days.

A note on liquids:

Apple juice: I don’t like my smoothies too sweet and once experimented with 400ml of apple juice and didn’t like it. I always put 200ml organic apple juice (I buy Organic Chegworth Valley cox apple juice from Borough Market) and 200ml filtered water. My mum who got hooked on it prefers to blend fresh apple with water. I do add the occasional fruit too: a handful of grapes or a few strawberries.

Instead of using the optional Dandelion & Burdock formula which contains alcohol (you can purchase from Neal’s Yard) I use 200ml tea I brewed from the night before. So apple juice and detox tea instead of apple juice and water.

Detox tea herbs & roots

  • Burdock Root
  • Dandelion Root
  • Cleavers
  • Nettle
  • Red Clover
  • Calendula

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Check out also my detox story: https://steller.co/s/5tVn26v9e6e