Category Archives: healthy

Get The Glow

Now I’m not the healthiest of people!! I eat A LOT, whether it’s at home or when I’m out, and I don’t always go for a healthier option. Yes, I run a bit, I enjoy it, but if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t do any other exercise, and when I haven’t run for a prolonged length of time the weight comes back on far too easily.

So when I received an invitation by Harvey Nichols to meet nutritional health coach Madeleine Shaw, and try out some dishes from her new book ‘Get the Glow’ I was intrigued. Maybe I could get some inspiration to be a little kinder to my body. That evening myself and a group of local bloggers were given time to informally chat and find out more about her ethos and philosophy behind her food and lifestyle.

Madeleine suffered from IBS at an early age, then an impulsive move to Australia opened her eyes to a new approach to food, she developed a more holistic approach to eating, health and well-being and resulted in her combating those dietary problems. Living in a place where food and a healthy lifestyle are inextricably linked and so integral, she was fortunate to work in a cafe where Madeleine realised she enjoyed cooking tasty food, that was also nutritious and great for the body. 

The recipes in her book are all gluten free, which for me is a brilliant thing because of the other half’s issues with the dreaded gluten, and they use healthier substitutes for sugar like honey or coconut sugar! Don’t be deceived in thinking it’s all devoid of things we love, Madeleine’s doesn’t follow the low-fat mantra, infact she opts for healthy full-fat ingredients as they fill you and provide more nourishment. I love that!! Studying nutrition in Sydney means she knows what’s she’s talking about when it comes to beneficial ingredient choices, something she talks passionately about and uses to the full in the book.

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One other part of her philosophy which I think I should follow a lot more is how diet links to your health and well-being, it’s probably something we all know, but it’s whether we eat things which are good for you and make you feel good in the long term that counts. For example, I know that sometimes I’ll go running early, maybe 6:30/7am now that it’s light, but because of what I’ve been eating my body’s more lethargic than it would be if I’d been more thoughtful over what I was eating, not just eating anything I fancied. Madeleine’s recipes promote more consistent energy levels, nourishment, less fluctuation in mood from having less sugar slumps and cuts out the horrid bloated feeling by waving goodbye to gluten. 

We were treated to a dinner filled with recipes from her new book ‘Get The Glow’, this was the menu:

SALAD

Green Goddess Bowl

Mexican BBQ – grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa

PROTEIN

Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews

Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt 

DESSERT

Raw chocolate cherry fudge, vanilla and coconut dairy-free ice cream

I found each plate really tasty, there’s a clever use of ingredients keeping them inventive and interesting. A salad can be the most boring thing I think, but both of these were anything but, in particular the Green Goddess bowl packed with nutrient laden spinach, kale and avocado, which seem to make every dish a winner, paired with soft boiled eggs (a personal favourite of mine), finally the mustard vinaigrette bringing it together made it altogether awesome!

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Green Goddess bowl
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Mexican BBQ – grilled corn and quinoa, chilli salsa

Of the two protein dishes, it was hard to pick a favourite here as they were both great in their own right. If I was pushed I would probably say the Thai beef salad, I think it’s the tahini in the mix that just gives it an extra something that I loved!! Once again, a great combination of tastes, textures and good balance between chilli warmth, sweet, salty, nutty, umami-ness from soy (gluten free) and with the beef juicy and pink it was a complete winner. 

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Spicy salmon, cucumber and yoghurt

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Thai beef salad, salt and pepper cashews

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Raw chocolate cherry fudge, vanilla and coconut dairy-free ice cream

The dish that surprised me the most was the dessert!! For me to actually enjoy something where chocolate is the main ingredient is literally unheard of, apart from Noisette Bakehouse’s salt caramel brownie of course, but that’s another story!! It was also a raw dessert, so completely new one on me. The thing I usually struggle with is the richness of chocolate and how it can be too cloying, this was light, still chocolatey being made with raw cacao, combined with ingredients including coconut oil, almond butter and honey, results in such a gooey, unctuous mouthfeel. Every now and again there was a sour pop from cherries and finally the ice-cream was so light with coconut running through it. The whole thing was simply decadent, but you knew it was doing you some good at the same time!!! 

At the end of the evening I purchased my own copy of Get The Glow and am looking forward to trying them out and hopefully feeling the benefits myself!

Madeleine’s dishes are part of Harvey Nichols’ Body Kicks campaign and will run till May 31st in all branches across the UK. 

Harvey Nichols

107 Briggate

Leeds

LS1 6AZ

http://www.harveynichols.com/store/leeds/

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Rola Wala

Rola Wala, remember them? Last year they did a stint as one of Trinity Kitchen’s monthly street food traders, selling their take on Indian street food. Since then, they’ve become a permanent food outlet in Trinity, taking up residence where Notes coffee once resided. So recently I was invited back for a visit, and even though I tend to put free invitations to one side, I thought it would be a good indie trader to revisit and see what they’ve been up to.

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Their menu still has a range of naan rolls, but also hot bowls which I don’t remember seeing last year, both coming with either non-veg or veg fillings. I went for one of the naan rolls, choosing a combo of fillings – roasted Mumbai gobi, lots of roasted veg…think sweet potato, kale, cauliflower, garlic, slices and lots more. Also the Punjabi paneer which had been nicely charred and lightly spiced. Not only very tasty, but pretty healthy too!

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Rola Wala have also teamed up with Leeds’ very own Leeds Brewery, resulting in the new Monsoon IPA and also with Square Root from London. Now considering I’m the last person to call myself an ale drinker, being far more comfortable with a glass of wine, their Monsoon IPA certainly made for a pleasing drop! The IPA helped to cut through some of the spice in the roll and was very drinkable and crisp in flavour. I reckon the two make great partners!!

The other new addition to their menu was their Real Soda, a result of their collaboration with Square Root London. Full of fresh natural ingredients and dead tasty to boot! Made with mango, turmeric and lime soda it was refreshing and you knew it was doing some good, especially as turmeric is known for its anti-oxidant qualities. Perfect on a warm, sunny day! 

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Note added- As mentioned at the top, I was invited back to Rola Wala so the food and drink was complimentary on this occasion. Freebies, I very rarely take up, but I did here, however, my opinions are what they are regardless. In fact, I’ve been back since as a paying customer.  

Dorshi supper club @ Northern Monk Refectory

Dorshi, the street food traders who hail from Dorset’s Bridport, even though I think of them as Leeds’ very own now, held a two day supper club at Northern Monk Rectory earlier this week. Much to the popularity of this duo, what originally was a one night only affair, quickly became a two-dayer.

Dorshi are certainly no strangers to Leeds, the past year or so they’ve garnered a loyal fan base who’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for their food, especially their dumplings, all due to their first residency at Trinity Kitchen. They’d been back up North in between Trinity Kitchen stints for Veg Out and Beacons festival too, it’s like they were keeping people on a metaphorical leash – carrot and stick come to mind; I should know I’m one of them! 

So during their six week turn in Trinity this month, Dorshi held a pop up showcasing their take on Asian cuisine using local, sustainable ingredients where possible. We were to be treated to a five course experience (£30), from the menu their pearl barley sushi stood out as this is what Dorshi first became known for, and also their hand-torn noodles, with lots of elements in the mix it would be interesting to see how it would all come together.

Start – Fresh catch of the day ceviche (cod), lime, garlic tempura flakes, pickled chilli strands, crispy purple kale.

Sushi – Vinegared pearl barley, oak smoked rainbow trout, dill-caper puree, spicy salad leaves.

Noodles – Hand- torn spelt noodles, braised chashu, crispy juniper-bacon squares, pickled shiitake mushroom, charred sprouting leaves, kale crisps, slow-poached egg, slow cooked dried chilli, grated black garlic, accompanied with a bowl of bacon-mirin dashi.

Jelly – Bergamot & Black Cow Vodka Jelly.

Tea – Birdhouse Sencha Tea and Black Sesame & Almond Squares.

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It was a great evening with lots of chat, one thing I love about supper clubs is that everyone who goes has bothered to buy a ticket, because they’re really into good food!

A real labour of love for Dorshi, after all the meticulous preparation, during service some dishes came to fruition just before serving, e.g. sushi rolls were assembled just before they were brought out!

I enjoyed every course, they were interesting and each had their own talking points. The hand-torn noodles was the star of the night, every element had its own place and identity in the dish, coming with diverse tastes, textures and temperatures. The accompanying bacon-mirin dashi was a winner too, the Japanese staple providing a savoury umami hit. Dorshi’s take on sushi, I loved! For me, the barley makes it really light and a great alternative, I may even have a go at making some at home with barley instead of rice now.

Also all of this was in the lovely Northern Monk Refectory, usually the stomping ground of The Grub & Grog Shop, it’s a great space and came with the perfect ambience and atmosphere for this type of event. I must add, just because I love them, it’s excellent any time of day because the The Grub & Grog Shop team do should a fantastic job too, and as I type I really want one of their bacon breakfast buns!!

http://dorshi.co.uk

http://www.grubandgrog.co.uk

http://www.northernmonkbrewco.com/the-refectory

Noisette Bakehouse Opening!

The last year or so I’ve been following the progress of Sarah Mather’s Noisette Bakehouse and her Madeleine Express whilst they’ve been wooing the Leeds faithful with her award winning bakes. My first memories all came about after searching for gluten free goodies and low and behold they came to the rescue, culminating in meeting Sarah in November 2013 at Brigatte World Feast. Since then I’ve seen her and Madeleine trade at Kirkstall Abbey, Trinity Kitchen, Noonshine at Outlaws, Amazing Graze and other worthy events around Leeds. Her bakes are one of the main attractions when visiting Belgrave Music Hall‘s monthly Street Feast and Laynes Espresso (apart from the coffee of course), with a tour de force spread just perfect to have with your dose of caffeine. Sarah’s also showcased her skills and bakes at the Taste Of London Festival and wowed the judges to win YBF‘s prize for baking and had her desserts on the menu at Tate Modern!! 

The business which started off with Sarah’s Citroen H Van Madeleine taking her home baked goods on the road, it’s proved such a huge success they wanted a base to not only bake, but also sell their wares. So, after months of painstakingly developing their Bakehouse space in Robberttown Village, maybe 10 miles from Leeds city centre, their labour of love which was once a former hairdressers was now finally ready to open to the public. 

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A date of the 1st February was finally set and on a bitterly cold, crisp winter’s morning Noisette Bakehouse opened its doors to the world. I had a feeling it would be a busy one so planned to arrive just as the doors opened, luckily living a few miles away meant it didn’t take very long. As expected there was a warm welcome from a display of eye-poppingly beautiful baked goods and a rapturous hug from the intoxicating smell of buttery, sugary goodness!!! Sarah’s inspiration spans far and wide, using traditional baking techniques, she combines her creativity and innovative recipes with seasonal produce to conjure up everything a sweet tooth may desire!

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I’ll apologise from the start as I couldn’t help myself and took far too many photos, but they were hard to resist and I found it virtually impossible. Sorry they just don’t do them justice!!

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Madeleines!!!

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Blueberry and pecan Friands
Blueberry and pecan Friands

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Smoked paprika cornbread

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Morning cakes

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Locals from Roberttown Village and its neighbours popped in and walked away very happily with the choices, in particular one-time blogger Northern Writes who left with a bit of everything!!! Also Krag, one of the duo that is North Star Micro Roasters who also walked away with a number of goodies in tow.

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You’ll see all-time favourites such as *the* Salt Caramel Brownie, Popcorn Cookie Pop and of course Vanilla Madeleines, but as always some newbies on the menu – a Smoked Paprika Cornbread and Cheese & Rye Scones, maybe (probably) others too!

The Noisette Bakehouse team still have plans for the shop space now that the bake space is sorted, maybe a place where customers can enjoy locally roasted North Star coffee whilst leisurely grazing on their pick of the freshest bakes from the oven. Who knows? I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see the next chapter in their journey.

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The Bakehouse is open on weekends –

Saturdays 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sundays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Noisette Bakehouse

157 Roberttown Lane

WF15 7LE

http://noisettebakehouse.com

Sushi Waka revisit

A few weeks ago I’d dined at the recently opened Sushi Waka, and after a mixed review my intention was to revisit, but this time to try out the sushi. I know the idea of sushi may not be to everyone’s taste, and for whatever reason there’s sometimes this preconceived notion that it’s just about raw fish, but it’s so much more than that with enough variety for different preferences. 

I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch, she’d been under the weather and in dire need of something healthy and nutritious. So being a good girl that day I ordered some soothing green tea, instead of wine which would normally be my tipple, with some edamame to graze on while the sushi was being made.

Japanese food is a cuisine I’ve been a fan of for years, this love only developed more after visiting the country five years ago. Eating sushi at one of the restaurants in the world famous Tsukiji fish market was one of the trips many highlights. The skill these chefs have I remember marvelling at, transfixed by the combination of precision and delicacy whilst working. Being sat at a table we weren’t given the pleasure of watching the sushi chef do his stuff this time, but that doesn’t mean the level of anticipation was any less.

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At Sushi Waka the sushi menu is divided into sashimi, nigiri, sushi rolls in different forms such as futomaki. Then for those wanting a selection, platters may provide a good option taking away the hard decision of choosing. The ever popular Bento box also takes its spot on the menu too; always a good choice if you like miso soup and salad in the mix. 

Edamame were brought over a short time after ordering, all steaming hot and covered in finely milled sea salt. The a short while later along came salmon sashimi, unagi nigiri, tuna hosomaki (thin sushi roll) and king prawn tempura futomaki (thick sushi roll), and the regular accompaniments of soy, daikon, wasabi and pickled ginger.

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The sashimi was characteristically meaty, yet had a melt in the mouth quality about it, the nigiri were great, with vinegared rice loosely moulded by hand and topped with generous slices of eel, they were delicious and I must admit are a favourite of mine. After those delights the highlight was probably the futomaki, filled with crisp tempura king prawn, avocado, cucumber and fish roe were a joy with different textures and tastes. If I was to compare this to other sushi I’ve eaten before, one thing I’d say would be that the precision of some of the rolls wasn’t as immaculate as others I’ve had, with some being made and served a little untidily.

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On the whole it was a highly enjoyable lunch, and I was also pleased to see improved service too, with a better level of communication and little things like having our green tea being regularly refilled a lovely touch. So, if you fancy sushi, this could be the spot we need in Leeds. Try it out! Sushi Waka still had their opening 20% discount for booked tables, so instead of coughing up £26.30 it cost us £21.10, without service. A great option for a healthy meal. 

Sushi Waka

26 New Briggate
Leeds
0113 246 9692

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