Latest Entries »

About

Hello my dear readers. I am Elisabeth, vegan over 6 years and aiming to be mostly raw vegan, hopefully one day 100% raw; also a graduate from Health and Nutrition in Aberdeen University and because of my obsession with health, mostly nutrition – this blog was born. I shall post here different (raw) vegan recipes of goodnesses I have prepared, keep my readers updated about any news I find/read regarding health and nutrition, or when I’m feeling experimental again and shall escape my comfort zone and rhythm of life – how these go. I do hope you find some interesting readings from here.
X

Heya everyone,
It has been a while since I apparently did a sleeping experiment. Well, let me reassure you I have by will or circumstance changed my sleeping pattern beyond recognition to for example a year ago. 

Ever since I started my current job at Rawligion, I have worked hours I could not even dream of before, including at my previous jobs a year ago or three years ago when juggling between a few jobs at the same time during uni. Well, now I know better. Be it my work ethics or my love for my job(place), but the will to set up this brilliant start-up has motivated me to do as much as I can for it. Being the kitchen manager means a lot, as a lot is falling under my management. And thus it all started with one night in July when I was determined I could create this master excel sheet including our inventory, orders, production, menu, costing and more. Well, little did I know.. The motivation still was incredible and I powered through the night inputting the data to a template file I found online and got so motivated to gather information together like this. Hours passed and before I noticed the early hours of morning had rolled around and soon the other staff were arriving, and there I was, still sitting more or less comfortably upstairs, with some great 80s rock playing, working on this excel sheet.

John, my boss, the director of the place, arrived and was slightly upset about what I had done. Not that he did not appreciate the work, I mean I still use it to this day for the sake of convenience, but the state of being overly tired and getting hysterical came with the morning too, and when a silly joke followed another we all knew I had gone a bit too far.

What came after that I cannot remember too well, but I think it was not till actual afternoon when I managed to leave and get some sleep.

You know the feeling when you live so close to the place you spend a lot of your time at that it is so accessible it is almost pointless. That night was the start of it all. 5 minutes to walk home yet I could not be bothered. Just a little bit more. Finish this sheet. Add another supplier. Write another recipe. It never ends.

There was one more night if I remember correctly not too far away from the story told, otherwise I just worked till some 12/1/2am and came back in at 5.20am. And so until my holidays in August.

The night of my leaving, given it was one of those ridiculously early fights, I had finished work late, come back home, packing, shower, cleaning up and making sure I had done all I needed – it was already time to catch my bus to Liverpool street station to catch the train to Stansted. I dozed off during the flight, but no quality sleep there.

Given the day was already full of plans I was quite surprised I survived until 6pm when I quite literally crashed, not being able to keep me eyes open anymore. I wrote in the middle of the night and spend near an hour petting my mum’s cats, and went back to sleep. I totalled with 16 hours of sleep that night. I felt great! On the right track!

Too soon did I rejoice. The couple of nights I did sleep alright, but then i went on a car trip, which involved sleeping in the car and in a tent. Despite my tiredness, it was still difficult to rest properly. After that I only slept properly when I was visiting my brother’s family. Three nights that was in total.

Now John did quite literally say he is forbidding me from working such hours as I did before, again. And I agreed.

And them I returned, thinking I had done most of the work that required me to stay there for such long hours.

Boy was I wrong.

But it was a start for something beautiful. Biphasic sleep.

I started doing late nights again, leaving at similar hours I did before, or even later, then making sure my staff knew what to do in the morning and around 9/10/11am/12pm I would go back home for another couple of hours of sleep. Now I was at the stage of tiredness where I could nearly literally pass out anywhere I wanted to. I tried different places at work, but only found the best location very recently. So going home to sleep in the morning was not a problem for me at all.

The funny aspect of it was, for me, that my daytime sleep was often longer than the nap I had during the nighttime. The beauty of it, for me, was utilising more hours of the day, number one, but also that I had such good quality sleep twice a day. Imagine that! Rem sleep two times per day! And honestly that kept me going until again the early hours when I returned for my nap. I quite liked calling them my naps.

What took a lot, and I mean a LOT of my time was working on the winter menu. Not only coming up with the recipes, trialling them out, but then also planning them for production, cost calculations etc.

Anyway things got a bit out of hands even from that stage.

John was due to go on holiday for a week at the end of October. That time rolled around faster than anticipated. Winter menu had not yet launched, but somehow duties had doubled, not all to do with him leaving me in overall charge, being the only other manager on site. But it was certainly an aspect. Another was being down one chef and needing to work more in her absence. Work ethics or what not but I wanted to get a lot done with that week. And I did!

But with a price. It started on a Sunday. I had loads panned  for the day outside work, which I did all get done – a krav maga induction class and pan’s labyrinth film, before and after which – work. That is when I received the message that I am done one man in the kitchen. Wanting to get a lot done to help the guys with the prep, morning rolled around too fast again. My hopes to go for a nap were just that – hopes. I managed to go for a lunch break but next I slept was the night.

Morning came too soon yet again and work piled up, much to do and, I cannot say no time to do it, as there clearly was. There was just no time for sleep. Again. And the pattern repeated once again. So from Saturday to Saturday I had slept every other night.

What surprised me the most is that I never reached the hysterical stage. Why?? My food intake did increase as much as I am one to judge. But I was reasonably productive and dealt with the stress not too badly. How amazing is that!? I skipped every other night’s sleep and still functioned as a normal human! I thought it was revelatory. The time I had saved on the account of not sleeping. Superb!

Now what I realise now in hindsight, it being not long at all yet, is that I cannot recall what I did over the nighttime. Sure there was work, but to this day I have no clue what exactly I had been doing those nights. So the downside is, my memory is falling where sleep is not involved.

Still, a grand uncontrolled experiment it was!

For a month or two now I occasionally have these waves of exhaustion that just wash over me as I sit in the office doing work behind my computer. Eyes just do not stay open and this heaviness sets on me. And I got nothing else to do but to close the computer and take a 10-15 min nap then and there. And I am back to good after that! A wonder.

All in all I can say I am still tired, and mornings are getting increasingly difficult so I go in later than the normal 5.30am most mornings. But at my age and state it seems I can still push the normal human needs, the boundaries further. And I am quite happy with that. Not going to do it in long term for sure but this has been fun and I look forward to the time I will actually be well rested like I was on an average day a year ago.
And this has developed into quite a novel. But it has been grand to share my story.

Currently on my way to the airport with 1.6 hours of sleep behind me, hoping to catch an hour or two on the plane. But ‘I’m still standing better than I ever did!’, or at least the first part.

Here here to some sleep!

Eli x

 

Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!

img_20161022_145845

Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces

Base:

1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt

Chocolate:

1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Method:

Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

dsc_3743

Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like

Method:

Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!

img_2679

Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x

Vegfest!!

Hello everyone!

Tomorrow, 22/10/16, starts the weekend of London Vegfest where I will be doing a cookery demo!

Here is a little synopsis on me and the demo I will be doing. If you are interested to know a bit more about buckwheat, my favourite pseudo cereal, do come along to Kensington, Olympia, tomorrow at 5pm.

Until then a teaser of one of the dishes I will be preparing

dsc_3743

See you then and there!

Eli x

Raw chia pudding

Hello everyone,

I am on a roll and here is another of my recipes.

I have much got into chia seeds now, given that we do amazing ones at work and I have not had it too much yet. Being at home and bringing with me a pack a chia seeds I would never find time to use up whilst in London, now was my chance to spread the love of chia seeds given that I actually had to prepare myself breakfast. I do like chia puddings 🙂

Ingredients:

100 g blueberries
250 g raw plant milk (I made fresh hemp milk, 100 g hemp seeds with 1 l of water, blended, strained through muslin cloth or nut milk bag)
50 g dates
1 banana
pinch of salt

50 g chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together except the chia seeds. Once smooth, mix in the seeds by hand. Let is stand for some 15 minutes to see whether the consistency is what you want. Change by adding milk or chia seeds. Leave it for at least 30 min further so the seeds could rehydrate, best left for 2 hours to overnight. So easy to do in the evening and then serve in the morning.

For decoration use anything you fancy, I did desiccated coconut, more blueberries, goji berries, agave syrup/honey from your ethically producing relative. Yum!

Enjoy!

Eli x

Raw buckwheat porridge

Hello dearest all,

Significant amount of time has passed once more as my life took my skills and area of expertise to a new plant based start-up called Rawligion. Never before have I worked so many hours, but neither can I recall a time I have been so happy to go to work in the (very early) morning. Anyway, this was to say I have been utterly busy and only now finding time to share another delicious recipe with yous.

Ever since I was a kid, buckwheat has been a big part of my diet. That is only in the form of kasha though, the toasted buckwheat groats. We used to do porridge with that, and by porridge I mean very similar to rice – boil with about double the amount of water until soft and fluffy; then free hands to use in risottos, salads, or as appropriate for a kid – eat with ketchup and veggies on the side. It is also great with vegan cheese layered in between freshly cooked buckwheat, then left to stand for 5 minutes so the cheese melts perfectly. Anyway, I love buckwheat.

My affection to buckwheat was strengthened with my thesis, when we compared buckwheat with a number of other high protein plant foods to meat regarding their satiating properties. As buckwheat came out as a winner in the acute study I had the most data for when writing the thesis, I began to advocate it even more when people were telling me that they find it difficult to feel full or to feel full for as long on plant based diet compared with one including meat.

Raw buckwheat came to my horizon a few years ago as I was experimenting with a fully raw diet, when I used the raw groats in patties, rehydrated and then dehydrated them to have as part of my morning cereal bowl, or even did these raw ‘cornflakes’, if you must, again for breakfast purposes. However, the porridge aspect has enthralled me for a while but I had not the courage to experiment with it, given that at that time, I tried a very simple version and it tasted horrible. I think I may also have tried cooking raw buckwheat and that was the worst mistake ever.

But lots of time has passed and here I am, spreading the recipe of how to do amazing raw buckwheat porridge for breakfast with my mum, with my siblings, and to be added to the menu at work for winter. I had been scanning a few different recipes, especially given as I had promised to include that in my cookery demo at the next London Vegfest in October, and was utterly happy when my first trial turned out so well that it was deemed good enough for work.

So here goes a recipe I have been spreading with my folks:

100 g raw buckwheat groats – soak for about 2 hours until the starch is all released and it is easy to mash between fingers
15 g chia seeds
100 g plant based milk (I have used almond, or hemp milk, good with any!)
60 g dates (I subbed with 4 tsp honey I get from my uncle – guaranteed ethically produced!, as I had no dates at home, or agave would do as well potentially)
40 g blueberries (in frozen form my mum had in abundance in the freezer, may have used more; can also sub for other berries)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Once the buckwheat is soft and starch released, berries defrosted if using frozen ones, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, chia seeds broken apart and the texture thick but somewhat runny. You can adjust it with more milk, or more dates if you want it thicker or runnier.

For presentation I like layers. I would add in a glass 2 tbsp of porridge, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp ground almonds (or more coconut to keep nut free), 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp more berries, 2 tbsp porridge, and garnish on top with more berries, coconut, goji berries, whatever you feel like. I also made blueberry jam by blending blueberries with a bit of chia and dates for an extra layer of different textures.

Hope you enjoy as much as I have and will!

Eli x

 

Estonia 1073 Estonia 1071 Estonia 047

First of all – all credit to the name goes to Samuel Lee, my comi at bhuti.

It has again been a massively long and tiring week, and once cancelled pop up dinner was rescheduled for the last day of June, Thursday the 30th. My initial plans to go with a specific cuisine did not happen as I decided to go with something simple for me to prep, but good, and thus thought that as raw lasagna had been a winner at my last pop up dinner, people should have the chance to also try the raw pizza. As I had another event to do canapes for the same evening, it was non-stop indeed until it was 7.30pm – the estimated time for commencing the dinner service.

DSC_2545.JPG

There were very few people present, but most had booked days in advance, and only an addition of two came on the day making my life easier. Also everyone was able to have a chat with all the people present. Welcoming nibbles included battered vegetables, raw courgette hummus, and a beetroot-carrot-orange-lemon-ginger juice.

The first course was courgette rolls, two kinds, both filled with pesto, one with a cherry tomato, the other with carrot, pepper and sprouts. Pesto really works so well with courgette, it is a match made in heaven. And a little canape of candy and purple beetroot layered with cranberry cheese sauce and topped with sprouts. And SUMAC! I love sumac.

The second course was the raw pizza. I made a tomato-oregano raw base with base ingredients such as carrots, red onion, sunflower seeds and flax. The toppings included hand-pitted olives, sweetcorn, red peppers, walnut mince (tamari, agave, smoked paprika flavoured), crispy aubergine (marinated in tamari, EVO, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, chilli -> dehydrated), layered on top of sundried tomato marinara sauce, and topped with basic cashew cheese sauce and some oregano and sprouts. This is way more filling than one might perceive from its looks.

DSC_2558.JPG

Third course was a selection of desserts. I did a coconut-carob-chocolate tarts, essentially coconut butter with some coconut milk (from the canned coconut) and some coconut sugar for the base, a slice of banana, and topped with carob chocolate – coconut oil, maple syrup, and carob powder. I got this pack of carob at work which was of such a superior quality I digged the flavour so much I could not stop myself from making the carob chocolate. And also carob truffles. They are also the ‘bhuti balls’ at the time, truffles the tea room sells at all times with changing the recipe with each batch, this time containing sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews, carob, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and dates. I think this is the exhaustive list of ingredients… And the last pieces were fruit roll-ups. The rolls were something in between fruit leather and raw wraps, basically a fruit smoothie with very little of flax blended in, as it looked too liquidy for my liking, and then dehydrated. For the filling I did coconut cream (tinned coconut milk with agave and vanilla) and sliced strawberries. After it had stayed in the fridge for an hour, the ‘leather’ soaked in some of the moisture and yum with the intertwined and infused flavours! And then topped it with a chocolate swirl and edible flowers.

Fourth course, and may I add – respect for the guests to have made it so far – was cultured cream cheese – basic cashew cheese recipe with added probiotics, left to culture for a day in a warm place. I separated the yield in half and chopped a heck of a lot of chives and parsley in one. It was served with raw bread, which was a mixture of carrots, courgette, spinach, onion, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax, and herbs/spices. All this accompanied by a handful of grapes and pineapple.

Similar to last time, I decided to serve a hot drink to top it off, this time our Golden Elixir from the menu, which is essentially a spiced turmeric drink including cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom. Together with that I had a spur-of-the-moment idea and did some chocolate covered strawberries to put the cherry on top of the evening.

DSC_2573

From the feedback received, everyone seemed to enjoy all parts of the dinner, and it quite likely beat the option of fish and chips. I think the only part I still need to master is the amounts, for four courses, be as small as the nibbles are, is still rather filling. Me and Andrea, the newest chef addition at bhuti helping me out that evening, had a pizza for our dinner, and only that filled us up to the brim. Thank god for take-away options!

All in all, my ride at bhuti has been an educative one. I do not think I would have had the chance to start as a head chef so soon had it not been for a new startup such as this. And thanks to the steep learning curve I now can value my time and area of expertise much more, and am content with moving on from there to new challenges, and new chance to help up another start-up, this time just around the corner from where I am currently based. I would not have survived as long as I did without my dearest kitchen crew, and all the other colleagues who have lent me a shoulder to cry on and reasons to laugh until my eyes water.

IMG_20160701_071917

Kitchen’s angels. My kitchen team of Andrea, Sam, myself, and Junko there in our minds.

Thank you bhuti for offering me all the chances I had to improve myself and the business; and welcome to Rawligion, my new head chef challenge in the raw vegan world.

PS, last chance to catch me at bhuti next week Mon-Fri! After that you will find me on 3 Tottenham Street!

Gracefully yours,

Eli xx

Pop-up dinner @bhuti

The Thursday was a beautiful day, like most of the other days that week. Many extra hours had gone into the preparation for the first pop up dinner event at bhuti whilst running the tea room as usual, mostly alone. The number of bookings increased on the day from four to 10, which was exactly as many as I had thought to prepare for, just in case, earlier in the day. I had my fingers, toes, legs and arms, and guts crossed that it would not increase, as I had ran out of the appropriate coconut milk needed for the dessert, of which I had already prepared exactly ten of anyway. As the day went by, luckily not over-the-top busy, the gut twisted further from just being crossed for good luck. Lunch time rush dealt with, it was time to make sure I have in stock everything I needed. Some more topping up, last minute prep, and time to close the tea room. It is weird to close the kitchen, only to leave it open and ready for dinner. As the time rolled to 5pm, together with my comi I realised there really was not much left to do. Followed by a priceless image of the two of us sitting behind one of the tables, folding the napkins into French pleats, as people walk by to and from yoga classes.

Setting up the tables was a peaceful and beautiful process. From years of working in catering including events such as dinners and weddings, I have grown more than accustomed with the appropriate way of laying out the table. However seeing the casual tea room transform into a cosy and warm with a hint of romantic atmosphere was very endearing, to me. Despite us serving no alcohol at bhuti, which I am quite happy about, it was a BYOW, and from the local social norms, having the wine glasses on the tables added a level of sophistication to it all. Cutlery polished, tables set and candles lit, the first guests arrived well in time.

Sam got started on the arrival drinks of carrot-orange-ginger juice, and the mingling began, accompanied by snacking on some kale crisps and macaroons.

With half an hour to spare before scheduled beginning of the service, there was enough time to start plating up the first course, and explain people what we were doing, and just casual chat to make it more interactive than just a sit-down for a four course raw vegan meal. Out of the 10 booked, by 7.30pm nine people had arrived, all getting acquainted with each other, and the dinner began, as the last person never showed up.

First course

Marinated and dehydrated sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, and a couple of kohlrhabi chips, served with avocado chilli cream, paprika pine seed mayo, and yellow pepper hummus.

Second course

Dehydrated spinach and vegetable ‘bread’ tart, with spinach cream cheese filling.

Third course

Raw courgette and spinach lasagna with broccoli pesto, sundried tomato marinara, and cashew cheese sauce, and mung bean sprouts.

Fourth course

Mulberry and walnut crumble layered with kiwi, strawberries, and coconut cream.

Post-meal

Raw chocolate and coconut truffle, and a cup of chicory coffee with hemp milk.

People really seemed to enjoy themselves, and so did I, for I had the chance to choose the playlist for the evening. The biggest winner of the evening was the lasagna, which as far as I my experience goes with it, has always been a winner, no doubt about it. Be it a raw vegan, or a meat-eater, I know of no-one who has yet turned away from a slice of the raw lasagna. I reckon the crumble did not fall far behind, for the texture of the coconut cream, together with the freshness of the fruit, and the sweetness of the crumble parts just melted together. And by the time it got to the truffle, many people were too full to even finish that piece of confectionary. The feedback was positive and it seemed there was a demand for a new event.

Well, the requests have been met and the next one will take place in the very near future. The date is yet to be carved in stone, but the menu is pretty much set. Behold… the raw vegan pizza is on the way..

Eli x

Raw red velvet cake

Heya folk,

Here is my take on the American classic Red Velvet cake. I found myself in a situation with too many beetroots around that needed using up, and luckily enough of other ingredients to make it work as a cake! The process is quite simple, but the cake is utterly delish. It is as moist as the cooked version, but way healthier! Also kept it nut free, but feel free to add some if you want it heavier. 🙂

Ingredients:

Base:

3-4 medium beetroots
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flaxmeal
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (raw buckwheat soaked, dehydrated, milled)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup dates

Cream:

2 full fat tins of coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp agave/maple

OR

1 cup coconut butter (process desiccated coconut until it gets smooth)
1/2 cup plant milk (any of your choice, do yourself by soaking about 1 cup of nuts/seeds per 1 litre of milk, juice or process with water and separate pulp)
2 tbsp agave

Process:

For the base, put all the ingredients in the food processor (with the S-blade) and process until smooth. Add dates if you want to make it sweeter, or extra seeds/coconut to make it drier.  It will get quite fine and velvety if you do it for long enough. Press half of it into the cake tin.

For the cream, if you are using coconut milk cans, scoop out the white part only and mix with vanilla and sweetener with a whisk until smooth. Add more or less sweetener according to your taste.
For the other white chocolate-y layer melt the coconut butter (or have it freshly made so it is still soft), dilute it down with some liquid and sweeten it if you feel like it.

Do a layer of the cream (leave in the freezer for a short while if you need to for the hardening), and press on a second layer of the base. Cover it once more with the cream, or do a pattern instead by piping.

For decorations you can add fresh fruit, berries, or chocolate – as you wish!
It is a very simple process, really, and very vibrant with the colors! Here are the two versions I made:

bhutifood 044bhutifood 051DSC_1332DSC_1327

Hope you like it!

Eli x

Hello everyone,

It has been more than three months now that I have been working in a beautiful neighbourhood of London, in Richmond, in Bhuti. The newly opened spa features so many amazing aspects, like fully organic treatments, massages, yoga classes, pilates, workshops, events, a beautiful members’ lounge, and, my baby, the vegan tea room. We call it the tea room for consciously deciding not to serve coffee there, for health reasons. The whole tea room is very health oriented, as we put the menu together with our nutritionist Cicely Brown, therefore nutritious and delicious food is what we aim to do there day to day.

Now, the service will be upgraded. As the tea room often gets busy closer to the end of the day when we close at 5pm, I have decided make a start with restaurant dinner service. Together with Samantha Trinder, the owner of Bhuti, we decided to call it the Supper Club. It will entail at least a 3-course meal service, with some extra touches to make it special.

For the first Supper Club, I decided to do a fully raw menu, and hopefully include foods one would not normally have, not even in a raw vegan restaurant. The full description of the event can be found here. I have purposefully kept the level of detail of the menu quite short, to keep a little suspense. The full details will be revealed on the night after the reception.

The date is set to Thursday, 19th of May, and there is space for 20 people to sign up for that. If you do not manage this time, there will be the next time. Keep your eye out and I will give a shout when the new one is on the go. Should it be very successful, it may become a fortnightly event. If this is of interest to you, do sign up and I look forward to seeing you at the first Supper Club in Bhuti!

Excitedly yours,

Eli x

Raw apple pie

Hello everyone!

The spring is in the air and even more the reason to get ‘cookin’ on the raw cakes! This one is a very simple recipe, full of raw apple goodness and date sweetness. Ready in about half an hour if you got a mandolin, food processor, and a blender handy. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates

~ 10 apples
2 cups of dates
2 bananas/3 apples
1 tbsp vanilla
1 lemon (juice)
1 tbsp cinnamon
(chocolate)
(dried apple pieces)

Method:

For the base, chuck the cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds and dates in a food processor and process until chunky but sticky. If it does not seem to get sticky enough, add a piece of apple and that should help with the binding.
Press to the base of a cake tin (I use one that is 8-9″ in diameter I think).

Mandolin the apples quite thinly (as thin as you can without making the slices break) and put them in water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in it (helps with maintaining the colour). Meanwhile do the caramel.
Blend the dates with vanilla, rest of the lemon juice, cinnamon and bananas/apples and any extra apple pieces you may have left over, for example the broken pieces or slices that were too thick or thin for using. It should come out like a proper sweet caramel. Tweak the flavour if you want with some nutmeg and ginger.

Cover the base with some of the caramel and arrange the apple slices to cover it all. Cover them with more caramel and repeat that until you run out of the caramel (which should be the topmost layer).

Dust some more cinnamon over it, or melt some 30g of chocolate in hot water bath and put it in a piping bag to do funky chocolate works on top. I was doing another cake at the same time and thus had chocolate handy, but did a very plain topping.
It is way easier to cut into it once it has set for a few hours in the fridge. Otherwise it may become a very messy task and the layers will slide easily. Still delish though!

Now this cake is quite sweet as you can tell from the amount of dates, so if you are not such a fan, just use less of the dates. The caramel will still be fine, and the base as well, just add more fruit to bind it. I would serve it with some dehydrated apple slices, but some coconut cream would be nice as well, to balance the sweetness somewhat. A drizzle of agave adds nice reflective features, and more cinnamon and fanned fruit makes it look fancy. 🙂

bhuti food 911bhuti food 919bhuti food 920

Yum! Enjoy!

Eli x