RESTAURANT REVIEW - LE JARDIN DES SAMBUCS - CEVENNES, FRANCE

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
Lewis Carroll

Sorry it all went a bit quiet last week, but I was out of town, in the most magical place and I am so excited I can finally tell you about it! Where to start? Gosh, well my husband, son and I spent 7 wonderful days and nights on our yearly yoga holiday hosted by the lovely Gingi and Ella from the Shala in London (more about that soon ;)). The week long retreat took place in a quiet country village in the Cevennes, a breath-taking, luscious mountain range in South-Central France, about an hour inland from the coastal city of Montpellier. Oh, it was so enchanting…

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CHUNKY AVOCADO DIP (R, V+, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

The avocado is a bit of a star in the raw vegan world, isn’t it? And it is easy to see why - avocado is so versatile, wonderfully nourishing and utterly delicious. Consequently, it is often used in green vegan smoothies and luscious raw ‘cheese’ cakes. Essentially, what the avocado does to perfection is lend all these desserts a smooth, creamy texture without impacting negatively on their taste.

It’s mind-blowing all that it can do, but my husband says that we’re corrupting the poor avocado; that it was never meant to be hidden in some sweet drink or worse still a raw vegan chocolate mousse. Instead he feels avocado should take centre stage in a savoury dish, the good old fashioned way. (Although ironically, on a recent business trip to Indonesia the locals were appalled when they saw my husband sprinkle salt on his avocado. After much persuasion, they tried it, apprehensively, with a polite smile, before quickly scraping the salt off and reverting back to using their avocado where it belonged – in a sweet smoothie, thank you very much! LOL!)
UPDATED! PERSIAN HERB SALAD (V+, R, P, NF, GF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated in July 2015

This month, exactly 14 years ago I moved to the UK. YIKES, how time flies! Will I stay in London forever? Gosh, that’s a tough question. Actually, that’s a very tough question. Thing is, I’ve got a little bit of a love/hate relationship with this place. You see when the days are dark, gloomy and grey and it feels like I’m living on Noah’s Ark because the rain just keeps on falling, then I absolutely hate it! 

And then, slowly but surely the clouds clear away and Spring arrives in all her glory. With her appearance the short dark days make way for longer and lighter ones. And as if by magic, suddenly and gracefully London comes into her own. London’s countless open spaces turn a lush and beautiful green and it’s then you know that London’s reputation as the greenest city in European is well and truly deserved.

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MANGO NICE CREAM (R, P, GF, NF, V+, ChF, GrF)

I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers asking me about my stance on sugar. WOW! Big question there. It’s one though that I ponder about quite a lot myself and seeing that I’m posting yet another dessert recipe I feel it’s time to share my (still evolving) thoughts briefly. 

Like most of us, I love sweet treats (I really, really, really do!). And if it's plant-based and raw, even better! But I also think it’s wrong to assume that just because a dessert is refined sugar free, vegan, raw or gluten free that it’s automatically healthy for us and/or that we can consume it in unlimited quantities.
PEACHES AND CREAM (R, V+, P, GF, ChF, GrF)

It’s been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, this whole blogging thing. Ok, so I’m being a bit of a drama queen, but honestly I’m only exaggerating mildly.

There have been a number of lovely highs – my beetroot and orange ice lollies were chosen as vscofashionfood of the day; they were also made recipe of the day by veganfoodlovers on Instagram. And veganfoodshare featured my papatas-not-so-bravas on their Instagram account – what an honour!

But then there are some days where things don’t quite go as planned; and today’s recipe really embodies the downs of my rollercoaster ride. Sure, the recipe itself is stunning, if I may say so ;). The recipe is simple and easy and appeals to young and old. It doesn’t require any fancy schmantsy equipment, is so nourishing and the taste….OMG a-mazing! BUT… I am so, so, SO disappointed with the pictures I took :). I feel I’ve let the recipe down with these photos and let myself down big time too.

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