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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Raw energy nori wrap

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brekkieNori01My friend Ush creating her own favourite combination

This recipe is inspired by two different recipes using nori sheets: one is featured in the Raw Chef blog which uses a pink beetroot-based sauce and just sprouts as a filling and another recipe featured in the book “The raw food healing bible” by Christine Bailey (p.120) which uses a raw parsnip-based sauce and different raw veggies.

When I have a group of people and create this kind of food I like it to be as interactive and as colourful as possible. In different bowls I display all sorts of things so people have a choice. For example, I offer thinly sliced raw carrots, cucumber and red pepper but also kale leaves, raddishes, a variety of nuts and toasted sesame oil. The two sauces featured in the two recipes are fundamental in making this nori roll delicious and filling:)

A note on assembly: just create it in the spirit of a wrap and not a tight sushi roll.

Pink sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 raw beetroot, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

White sauce:

  • 1 raw parnship
  • 1 3/4 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • Freshly ground black pepper

I was amazed to read about the health benefits of Nori so I include them in this post:

By Michael Ravensthorpe

Rich in protein – 100 grams of nori contain between 30 and 50 grams of protein, making it one of the plant world’s richest sources of protein and comparable in density to spirulina, chlorella, and soybeans. Protein is needed for building and repairing muscles, building enzymes and antibodies, and cell maintenance and growth.

Lowers cholesterol – According to a study published in the June 2001 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition, when rats that were on an otherwise high-cholesterol diet were fed nori, their LDL cholesterol levels lowered, suggesting that nori plays an important role in stabilizing cholesterol levels. Perhaps this is because nori is surprisingly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for reducing LDL cholesterol. They also help lower blood pressure, therefore making nori excellent for the cardiovascular system.

Dietary fiber – Nori is comprised of approximately 33 percent dietary fiber, making it an effective laxative and a good cure for constipation. Also, since high-fiber foods have the ability to make you feel full for longer, nori is also a good weight loss food (a fact that is reinforced by its low calorie and fat content).

Lowers cancer risk – A study published in the May 2010 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition found that the regular consumption of nori was linked to lowered rates of breast cancer for menopausal and pre-menopausal women. This is unsurprising, since nori is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C that help neutralize the cancer-causing effects of free radicals.

High in iron – 100 grams of nori contain approximately 88 percent of our recommended daily intake of iron, making it an extremely rich source of this much-needed mineral. Furthermore, a Venezuelan study published in 2007 for the Journal of Nutrition showed that nori, unlike many grains and beans, doesn’t contain phytates, which can drastically lower the absorption rate of iron.

Improves bone health – 100 grams of nori contain 280 milligrams of calcium (28 percent of our RDI) and 300 milligrams of magnesium (85 percent of our RDI). While we all know that calcium is good for the bones and is needed to prevent osteoporosis, lesser-known is that fact that we also need magnesium to help absorb it. Since nori contains sizable quantities of both, it is the perfect bone-builder.

Impressive iodine content – Sea vegetables are the plant world’s premier source of iodine, and nori doesn’t disappoint. 100 grams of it contain approximately six milligrams of this extremely important mineral. Indeed, according to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), one sushi roll wrapped in nori contains 92 micrograms of iodine, which is close to an adult’s RDI of 150 micrograms. Iodine deficiencies are very common in the West and can lead to serious conditions such as goiter and hyperthyroidism.

Aside form the nutrients already mentioned, 100 grams of nori also provide us with vitamin A (288 percent of our RDI), thiamine (60 percent), riboflavin (194 percent), niacin (78 percent), folate (475 percent), as well as impressive levels of phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and vitamins C, E, and K.