All Time Favourite Salad Dressing

 

This dressing is my all time favourite for any green salady type dish. Whether kale, lettuce, spinach or warm salads, this dressing goes with almost everything and it contains one of my favourite ingredients, Tahini.

I typically mix:

  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Juice of 1 Lemon 
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • (Fresh garlic is optional)

I hope you like it. 

Much love, 

Mona

Nutty Buckwheat Pancakes

Recently I have been experimenting with different pancake batters and I found it challenging to make them without using eggs. After a few trials and errors, I now have a great egg free pancake recipe for you. 

Mix the following ingredients in your blender or thoroughly by hand: 

  • 120g buckwheat flour
  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

When the mix is ready, heat up a tsp of coconut oil in a pan and pour small portions of batter into the pan. Turn when golden brown. I found the mix was enough to make up to 6 small pancakes. 

Now you can serve the pancakes with fruits of your choice, coconut yogurt, nut butters, compote, bee pollen etc. 

Enjoy and I would love to hear your feedback! 

Mona 

 

Acai-Raspberry Breakfast Ice Cream Bowl

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I love the words Ice Cream and Breakfast together, which is why this is my new favourite breakfast. 

It is easy to prepare and you can play around with the ingredients too. Today I blended:

1 ripe frozen banana

1/2 cup raspberries

1 big tsp acai powder

1/4 cup coconut water

1/2 cup almond milk 

1 scoop protein powder 

Add more or less almond milk / coconut water to your liking. It all depends on how creamy you like it. If you would like to add greens, just add some spinach (it won't alter the taste).

Top with foods like granola, beepollen, goji berries, cacao nibs, chia seeds and other yummy things you can find in your pantry. 

Enjoy!

Mona's Granola

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I have experimented so much with making Granola and have finally found a recipe that contains all the ingredients I love, it's crunchy and isn't too sweet. Most granolas are very nut-heavy and contain lots of dry fruit, whereas this one contains more seeds and less dried sugary fruit (but lots of healthy fibre).

Preheat the oven to around. 180 degrees and then add together the following ingredients on a deep baking tray (makes a big batch).

 - 500g gluten free oats

- 250g unroasted buckwheat

- 150g sunflower seeds

- 150g pumpkin seeds

- 100g sesame seeds

- 125g brown flax seeds

- 1 cup coconut oil

- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or more/less to your liking 

Let it bake in the oven and every 10 minutes or so stir the mix. Bake until it has turned golden-brown.  Then let it cool down for 10 minutes and add 100g of goji berries. 

Enjoy and let me know how you like it. 

Love,

Mona 

My Favourite Healthy London Eateries: For A Coffee, Brunch Or Just An Afternoon Snack

 

Whenever I travel to different places in the world, I am always happy to find an up-to-date guide to the best healthy eating spots. That is why I am starting a new series of my favourite food places around the world, beginning with my hometown of London.

Here are my favourites of the moment. Please feel free to tell me if I have left out an amazing place that you think I should try. I hope this list can be of use to you and your friends and family whenever you are looking for a place to eat good, nutritious food and drink delicious juices and hot drinks, relax and chat. 

The Good Life Eatery

One of my long time favourites. It never gets old. There is food and drink for every mood and size of appetite, dietary preference. Little chia puddings for a pre-workout snack, big bowls of salads, falafels and hummus, teriyaki salmon, acai bowls, granola and eggs of all kinds. I can't wait for a bigger space some day to enjoy more of the 'good life' vibe. 

Egg Break Ldn

It's no secret that I love eggs and I love how this place gets so creative with it. I enjoy the poached eggs florentine on corn fritters. But there is so much good stuff on the menu that it will take me a few more visits to try it all. Tucked away behind Notting Hill Gate station, make sure you are there early on the weekend, otherwise you will have to wait in a big queue to get a table in this very cute, bright, living-room like interior.

26 Grains

Whether you are in need of sweet warming porridge combined with the most delicious toppings of seasonal fruit compote or superfoods, or you would like to try 'savoury porridge' made from brown rice with delicious food combinations, 26 Grains will keep you happy with whatever your tastebuds are in the mood for. There is something for everyone. Last week I enjoyed the winter smoothie bowl topped with homemade granola and coconut shavings. It definitely hit the spot. 

Farm Girl Cafe

If I had to choose one 'office for the day cafe' in London, this would be my choice. The interior is like a big hug and makes you feel instantly at home. Everyone can find delicious meals on the menu, ranging from berry pancakes (which are gluten free but you would never guess), poached eggs and avocado on scrumptious sourdough, acai bowls, schnitzels with nutty crusts for the meat lovers and amazing big sourdough sandwiches either with coconut bacon or chicken. 

If you are lucky, you will meet their wonderful dog Bronte who sometimes loves to say hello. Not sure if it is because he loves humans or wants a little bite of your food. Maybe both. 

Wild Food Cafe

This was one of my first introductions to the craziest and most fascinating foods of this planet and how much you can work with food to make it even better for you. Fermented vegetables which I never thought I would like are thrown into the menu and I have yet to eat anything here that was less than delicious. 

My usual go to is the Raw Burger when I am really hungry. When I am not so hungry I like to choose one of their special salads of the day and maybe some hummus and crackers on the side. 

The vibe is amazing, the waiters so fun and always up for a good chat, the music is always upbeat and it just all seems like a big happy family in the middle of buzzing Neals Yard in Covent Garden. Don't be surprised to make new friends with the people sitting next to you. 

East London Juice Co. 

The name can be misleading as it is SO much more than juice. This cute place located in the Shoreditch Box Park has been my latest discovery and although it doesn't have much seating space, this cafe packs all the coziness of this world into one little spot. Be prepared for the most delicious and unusual hot drinks, paleo waffles, acai bowls and vegan 'bone' broth. My go to combination is the green latte or the golden turmeric latte paired with 'Cave(wo)man Waffles'. If you are still hungry grab a delicious protein ball or various mouthwatering snacks from their fridge. 

Planet Organic

I am always happy whenever it turns out that during lunch I am somewhere near a Planet Organic and their amazing food counter. Every dish seems well through and even if you are not vegetarian, you will find everything you need and leave with a satisfied palate and belly. The changing menu of warm dishes ranges from spelt lasagne, to brown rice with dhal, vegetable curry, sweet potato wedges, frittata and much more. The salads are creative and delicious too such as raw pad thai, zoodles, supergreen salads, 'not all boring kale salad', etc. And you can top it all with yummy sauces such as a chia and sesame dressing. You can also order a variety of juices, hot drinks like matcha and turmeric lattes or find more delicous organic food in the rest of the shop. 

Raw Press

Their cafe on Dover street is a favourite place for me between classes, where I can focus on my admin whilst sipping on an almond cappuccino and enjoying their superfood breakfast buffet. My breakfast bowl always packs in every flavour and food I can find: Most times it is a bit of chia pudding, coconut yogurt, bircher muesli, granola, cacao nibs, bee pollen, fresh berries, cinnamon and almond butter. If that doesn't float your boat, you can opt for a creamy lush acai bowl, a yummy avocado toast or a good old bowl of porridge with interesting toppings. If you are staying for lunch enjoy their daily changing salad menus or get a comforting baked sweet potato. 

 

 

 

Acai Breakfast Bowl

This was my first attempt at an Acai Bowl and it is serious competition for my usual eggs I enjoy for breakfast. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I could get used to this healthy fruity ice cream with an extra crunch for breakfast. 

This is my recipe I enjoyed this morning but you can always use different types of milks, berries, etc. to tailor it to your taste. For extra protein add a scoop of your favourite protein powder. 

When I first heard 'acai' I had to look it up, so for those of you who would like to also know what it exactly is, here is a little introduction to this antioxidant berry: The acai berry grows on the acai palm, mostly native to  Brazil and Trinidad and northern South America. The berry is black-purple and its similar to the appearance of a grape. The fruit pulp and skin get freeze dried into the powder form which I used in this smoothie, but you can also buy the fruit pulp in frozen form.

What is known to date is that acai fruit pulp is even richer in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. There are many claims being made about its role in weight loss, ageing and other health benefits, but to date it is not clear whether its benefits are any different from other berries and similar fruit. What we know is that it's healthy, tasty and it makes a great addition to a nutritious breakfast. 

To enjoy your acai bowl, fill a high speed blender with the following and mix until you get a thick and creamy consistency: 

  • 1 ripe frozen banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp acai powder

Pour it into your favourite bowl and top it with foods of your choice. I loved topping it with my homemade granola, beepollen, and extra strawberries and banana. You can also add some chia or hemp seeds for extra protein. 

I would love to know what else you think I can top it with. 

Enjoy:)

All Seasons Porridge

Porridge is often thought of as a Winter staple, but I find it is the best breakfast at any time of the year. It all depends on your toppings. 

Porridge makes a great breakfast as an amazing source of fibre. This fibre slows the absorption of sugar which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. 

To make the porridge base I usually use gluten free oats. I love the consistency of oats as opposed to other gluten free alternatives such as quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If I don't forget I soak the oats in my milk of choice or water over night, before cooking them, to make them easier to digest. 

To make the porridge, I heat it up on a low flame and continuously stir it until the consistency gets nice and creamy. 

For one portion of porridge I use.

  • 1/3 cup of Gluten Free Oats
  • 4 tbsp Coconut Milk 
  • 1 cup Water 
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil (for extra creaminess)

Just add everything together, heat it up slowly and stir. 

My toppings of choice are: 

- To adapt it to the different seasons, I try to use seasonal fruit and either add them fresh or make a compote by stewing the fruits with a little bit of water. 

- For sweetness you can add chopped dates or coconut syrup

- My favourite toppings are: cacao nibs for crunchiness, almond butter, goji berries, bee pollen, fresh berries of all kinds and cinnamon. 

What are your favourite toppings to enjoy your porridge all year round? 

 

 

Vitamojo Event

On Tuesday I had the pleasure to attend an event by Vitamojo, a revolutionary food concept that will no doubt change the way we pick our lunch and dinner, especially so for busy city dwellers.

Vitamojo makes a personal chef and nutritionist tailored delicious meal available to everyone at reasonable prices. The vision is to make it easier for everyone to eat and feel better without having to hire expensive nutritionists or personal chefs.

Co-founder Nick guided us through the Vitamojo concept. You customise your meal either on the IPads in store or at your own screen, choosing the exact quantities and grams of every food. It will show you the exact amount of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and the calories of your meal. 

At the moment you can order it around St. Pauls in London, either by popping into the store on 22 Carter Lane (your meal will be ready in no more than 2 minutes) or you order via Deliveroo. 

I enjoyed a lovely portion of salmon with wild rice, sweet potato mash, red cabbage and kale salad. The flavours were amazing without having any additives or sugars added to the meal. It comes to no surprise with the head chef being Paul Davies, a head chef at the prestigious Tom's Kitchen

I am excited to see where this is going and when I am around St. Pauls I know where to get a meal that tailors exactly to what my body needs on a particular day. 

 

Rise & Shine Chia Cacao Pudding

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This is the simplest and nutritiously delicious breakfast I can think of at the moment. The night before just add the ingredients, mix and enjoy topped with fresh fruit and superfoods like bee pollen. 

The ratio of chia seeds and milk was something quite tricky when I started since it also depends on the kind of milk you are using. I find the ratio 4 tbsp chia seeds to 1 cup almond/brown rice milk (or any other milk with similar texture) works well.

So here is the summary of the three ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder

Just mix the ingredients thoroughly as chia seeds like to stick together and then the texture doesn't get as smooth and pudding like as it could be:) 

If you like it a bit sweeter, add sweeteners of your choice or just top it with slices of banana, bee pollen, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs or any other superfood sprinkles you enjoy. I love using Rude Health Brown rice milk as it is slightly sweeter than almond milk and I don't feel like I would want it any sweeter. 

Let me know how you like it!

Love, 

Mona

The Magic Of Richard Feynman

I recently came across Richard Feynman (1918-1988), one of the great scientific minds of the twentieth century. Feynman is famous, among other things, for his ability to explain incredibly complex matters in ways people can understand and relate to – which I think is an admirable gift. This little introduction on Feynman got me hooked straight away: The Beauty is in the detail – on the magic of ‘ordinary’ objects, which we so often overlook.

Richard Feynman on Life:

One thing is that I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs, in different degrees of certainty, about different things. But I’m not absolutely sure of anything and of many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit, if I can’t figure it out, then I go onto something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me (Interview in BBC’s Horizon program – 1981)

Feynman did more than just inspire people to think about the world of science. He is a thought provoking thinker on philosophical issues, discussing and asking important questions on religion, society and the mysteries of our universe.

In 2005, Freeman Dyson described him as

besides being a famous joker and a famous genius, Feynman was also a wise human being whose answers to serious questions made sense. To me and to hundreds of other students who came to him for advice, he spoke truth […]. Behind his enormous zest and enjoyment of life was an awareness of tragedy, a knowledge that our time on earth is short and precarious. The public made him into an icon because he was not only a great scientist and a great clown but also a great human being and a guide in time of trouble“.

Although his words might seem very serious to some of us at first sight, they contain so much lightness and reflect his evident joy and fascination with life on earth.

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.

(What Do You Care What Other People Think? – 1988, pp. 247-248)

If you are intrigued – have a look at the following links – really worth watching and taking it all in!

Richard Feynman – The Pleasure of Finding Things Out – YouTube

Richard Feynman – No Ordinary Genius – YouTube