Tag: Healthy

With the number of vegans in Britain having risen by more than 360% in the past decade and with around one in every 118 people giving up meat*, it’s safe to say going meat-free is no longer a niche diet for the conscientious few.

In response to this ever-growing demand for more vegetarian and vegan choices and a more flexitarian approach to dining, Carluccio’s is getting a green makeover this month with its first ever exclusively vegetarian pop-up, featuring dishes from Antonio Carluccio, in collaboration with food blogger and writer Anna Barnett.

From 23 October for four consecutive Mondays (reflecting the Meat Free Monday non-for-profit campaign that encourages people to make an environmental difference and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week) the Cucina Verde will be popping-up on the first floor of Carluccio’s flagship restaurant on Covent Garden’s Garrick Street. Spaces are limited so make sure you book online from Friday 13th October or call the restaurant on 020 7836 0990 quoting ‘Cucina Verde’.

Taking vegetables from humble sides to championing elements, the entire first floor of the Covent Garden restaurant will be converted into a meatless dining experience, with eye-catching displays of key ingredients reflecting the quality and provenance of the produce.

The first national restaurant group in the UK to launch such an initiative, the Cucina Verde marks the arrival of Carluccio’s Autumn/Winter menu which features one of the largest selections of vegan and vegetarian dishes of any nationwide restaurant group.

Antonio Carluccio comments: “Vegetables are very important in Italian food culture and are often the stars of the show, it’s not uncommon for dishes to be exclusively plant-based. Our new Autumn Winter menu takes vegetables and makes them the main event in many of Carluccio’s new dishes.”

Suitable for vegans, autumn/winter menu choices include crostini al funghi, sautéed mushrooms and kale in garlic and chilli on toasted ciabatta; the traditional Puglian dish with a vegan twist of polpette di pane featuring meatless bread balls of semi-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers and rustica olives in a tomato sauce on spaghetti and orecchiette al cavoflore with cauliflower purée, sautéed kale, chilli and roasted turmeric cauliflower florets.

Other vegetarian choices, all of which can be adapted for vegan diets, include the vibrant zucca con verdure arrostite – roasted butternut squash and vegetables with pine nuts (served with or without goat’s cheese) and garlic herb breadcrumbs and pasta e fagioli, a traditional thick soup of pasta, borlotti beans and tomatoes from northern Italy.

Simply too good to every take off the menu are Carluccio’s signature vegetable dishes of penne giardiniera, giant Pugliese penne with crispy spinach balls; Antonio’s famous mushroom risotto with a hint of chilli and truffle oil as well as a fabulous sharing verdure board laden with roasted peppers with garlic, tomato and onion, poponcini peppers with pesto, red onion marmalade with goat’s cheese bruschetta, marinated artichokes, balsamic onions, caponata, mint & garlic marinated green beans, mixed olives, caper berries and homemade focaccia.

With the new menu available across the UK and Ireland this month, and the pop-up putting down temporary roots in Covent Garden from 23rd October, come and celebrate the joy of vegetables. Buon appetito!


*  From a poll of almost 10,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, May 2016.




Carluccio’s 2a Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9BH

IMG_2129 Kopie copyWe've all got just a little more into our health over the last few years haven't we? Ok, a lot more. And those of you following this healthy trend will know that this week is London Health Week!

There's a fair old amount of stuff happening to get you in tip top bodily condition and this is just one of them - a pop up giving you the chance to drink Birch tree sap.

Sibberi is a new natural food brand that’s shaking up the alternative water scene with their natural, unsweetened Birch water. Containing only pure birch sap, collected drop by drop fresh from mature silver birch trees each April; Sibberi is popping up at Old Street station every day from 8am to 7pm from now until the 26th April.  Visitors will be able to see first hand how the birch sap is tapped from the trees (log stroking ensues), they’ll be able to try the refreshing tonic whilst chatting to the founders.

With London Health Week also running from the 20th – 26th April, Sibberi has partnered with the festival to offer anyone with a wristband 50% off Sibberi when they come down and visit! East London’s finest will be the supporting acts: Mae & Harvey will be on hand creating beautiful cold pressed juices packed with refreshing Sibberi and Yeast Bakery will be providing Kouign-Amann - ravishing little Breton cakes - for those who might find the detox-station all a bit virtuous. 

We’ve all seen how massive coconut water has become in the last couple of years, but now maple water and even cactus and artichoke waters are piquing interest, not only because they’re an interesting alternative to water but also as they’re seeing endorsements from health professionals, top athletes and models.

Birch water has long been favoured across Nordic folk cultures as a spring tonic to rejuvenate the body and soul after a long, harsh winter. It tastes a little sweet – from naturally occurring xylitol – and beautifully crisp, with a delightful aftertaste of the forest. A rare and prized ingredient, birch sap can only be harvested during the first two weeks of April, when the nutrients stored in the roots travel through the thawing tree to swell the buds to bloom.

A longstanding Scandi beauty secret, birch water has an ever-expanding list of health and beauty benefits. Sibberi is naturally diuretic making it a powerful cleansing and cellulite reduction aid. It contains a mere 5 calories per 100ml (four times less than coconut water) and has a rich nutritional profile, boasting high levels of electrolytespotassium as well as vitamins B and C.  Moreover, Sibberi contains naturally occurring Xylitol, Saponin and Betuloside, which are proven to help strengthen teeth, lower cholesterol and detoxify the body.

Launched into As Nature Intended, Partridges, Amazon and a raft of independent food stores across London and the South East, Sibberi retails at £3.29 per 300ml bottle but will be reduced to £3.00 for the pop up

Just as more people are showing increased care about what they eat, from lighter preparation styles to wholesome, organic ingredients, our workloads are also zooming up, meaning less time to shop and cook. But this does not mean health conscious individuals are compromising their standards, only that the market demand for healthy vegan or vegetarian options in restaurants, fast food, prepared foods and home deliveries is massive and expected to grow exponentially.

Current research suggests the meat-free food market will rise to over £882 million by 2016, up from £625 million in 2013.

Concern for the Environment

Up to 12% of UK adults are vegan, vegetarian or ‘flexitarian’ with numbers rising fast among 16 to 24 year olds. But more importantly there is an enormous growth in those who simply prefer meatless alternatives for calorie control and other health reasons, as well as seeing them as environmentally friendly. According to market researchers, 52% of all Brits say they view vegetarian options as healthier, with only just under that citing concern for the environment.

Restaurants and even fast food outlets have been quick to catch on to the trend, to the point where it would be rare to find a place that doesn’t offer at least some form of vegetarian or vegan option on the menu. And while McDonald’s has not yet opened a vegetarian outlet in the UK it has done so in India due to local demand of both Hindus and Muslims, and thus eventually might consider the possibilities of trying it out here.

Allergies on the Rise

Marketers of prepared food have been adjusting to changing times since the 1960s starting with the introduction of meat alternatives such as soy protein and wheat gluten, despite the fact that these products are highly processed and not famously tasty. However today’s alternative proteins are derived from numerous additional sources, including peas, amaranth, rice, canola and mushrooms, showing a significant improvement in taste in everything from vegan ‘chicken’ strips, to fishless filets.

Moreover there is a particular trend right now for gluten-free foods due to allergy concerns that lead to coeliac disease. According to Allergy UK, up to half of all children have been diagnosed with allergic condition, and there is particular parental concern over severe effects such as anaphylaxis. Perhaps for this reason the European market for gluten and milk-free foods has reached double-digit sales growth in most countries, with Britain at the top, and expected to continue to grow.

Since the launch of ‘Veggie Day’ in November 2012 almost half of UK consumers have bought vegetarian or meat-free food, showing an increased willingness to try out healthier new products. And while women are overall much more likely to buy them, a majority are purchasing food for their families and hence male consumers have increased whether they admit it or not. Many cite concerns over the growing obesity rate in this country as well as worry about cholesterol and heart disease.

Nonetheless, despite Jamie Oliver’s famous TED call for more home cooking, people and particularly women are busier than ever and sometimes there simply isn’t time for the creation of ideal family friendly in the domestic sphere. For this reason there has been a marked rise in the choice to have vegetarian or vegan food delivered in London from companies like Bonapeti that is both nutritious and will satisfy all - in fact so tasty that no one will think to ask whether it is vegetarian or not.

new healthy opening in london  Maple & FitzMaple & Fitz launches in Fitzrovia in March 2015. The new eatery and Fitzrovia’s first cold-pressed juice bar is focussed on healthy yet satisfying food and will offer substantial salads, grain bowls, the very best in-house cold-pressed juices and guilt-free treats that nourish customers from the inside out. With the option to eat-in or takeaway, the new ‘London local’ will provide well-balanced, colourful and wholesome dishes to satisfy ‘real food’ cravings.

Set up by Canadian chef Adria Wu, Maple & Fitz will offer a regularly-changing menu of simple but delicious food that makes you feel good. Following successful careers in engineering and then management consulting and finance, Adria chose to turn her life long passion of cooking into her dream job. Adria trained at the worldrenowned culinary school Le Cordon Bleu London and obtained her Cuisine Diploma in 2014. She also completed a course in nutrition, learning to make delicious dishes that are genuinely healthy.

The menu offers filling breakfasts through to hearty salads and grain bowls with add-on proteins for lunch, all with a focus on fresh and wholesome ingredients.

Adria has created new dishes and put her own twist on classics such as Caesar and Waldorf salads: the Julius Caesar mixes shredded kale and cabbage, romaine, mangetout, buckwheat, gluten-free croutons, Pecorino and a Dijon-lemon yoghurt dressing and the Lady Pom salad combines whole grains, pomegranate, toasted walnuts, tarragon, shredded cucumber and granny smith apple, diced celery and tangy tahini pomegranate dressing. Newly created dishes include the Mexican Standoff containing bulgur wheat, black beans, grape tomatoes, organic cheddar, fresh jalapenos, red onion, avocado and coriander lime pesto dressing. She also makes reference to her Asian heritage through the Samurai Slaw which includes soba noodles, shredded cabbage and carrots, mint, coriander, sesame, spring onion and a miso sesame soy dressing. One portion costs £6.50 and can be a mix of up to three salads or grain bowls, and all come with the option of an add-on protein of either free-range chicken, salmon, tofu, tempeh or avocado and poached or hard-boiled egg.

Maple & Fitz also offers a range of cold-pressed juices which have been created with different benefits in mind and are made fresh each day. Little Miss Sunshine has been designed to energise by blending grapefruit, orange, lemon, ginger and cayenne and the Bitter Queen aids digestion by mixing spinach, kale, lemon, cucumber, celery and grapefruit.

For the healthy but sweet-toothed among us, Adria has developed guilt-free snacks such as One-Bite Everything Cookies containing coconut, hazelnuts, pecans, oats and dark chocolate, Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Brownies and Raw Power Balls which are made of Medjool dates, almonds, raw cocoa powder and chia seeds.


The cosy and welcoming space spans two floors with downstairs seating for 12-15 and space for al fresco dining in the summer months. Simple and warm, the Maple & Fitz design is inspired by the maple tree - which symbolises generosity, balance and promise - and takes aspects from the creative and artistic Fitzrovia neighbourhood. The use of natural materials for the décor and photography from the surrounding community is what brings Maple & Fitz together.

“Since training at Le Cordon Bleu and subsequently studying nutrition I have fallen in love with combining simple wholesome ingredients to create delicious food that your body craves. I want to make honest great tasting food that leaves you feeling energised and which is accessible to busy Londoners who don’t always have the time to make meals from scratch. The days of choosing between health and taste are over - forget the bunch of leaves and come to Maple & Fitz for a delicious meal that will leave you feeling healthy and happy!”

3ly, 36A Berners Street, London W1T 3LY

There's dark chocolate from Doisy & Dam -

Superfood-Packed Range of Award-Winning Organic Dark Chocolate Bars

Doisy & Dam (www.doisyanddam.com) is the new kid on the chocolate-block, crafting a range of five handcrafted, ‘superdelicious’ varieties of organic dark chocolate, currently launching nationwide with Ocado.


With innovative flavours packed with nature’s most delicious superfoods, including Coconut & Lucuma; Goji & Orange; Ginger, Chilli Flakes & Hemp Seed; Mulberries, Chia Seeds & Spirulina and (Great Taste Award-winning) Maca, Vanilla and Cacao Nibs, the rich dark chocolate can be enjoyed on-the-go in 40g bars or, for a longer-lasting option, in 100g packs. Each bar is handcrafted in Norfolk, using the optimum organic ingredients, carefully sourced from all over the world.

Not only does the inventive use of superfoods create interesting taste profiles and an enhanced nutritional profile, the textures of the berries, seeds and spices used in each bar lend a uniquely arresting texture. Every bar is also totally vegan and gluten free, as all highest quality dark chocolate should be.

When it comes to foods that are super for our bodies, dark chocolate comes top of the list, it can help lower blood pressure levels and is full of antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Doisy & Dam use organic chocolate because it guarantees that they are providing customers with the highest quality product they can get their hands on, whilst avoiding the nasties that exist in the pesticides used to treat non-organic foods.

Founders, Edward Smith and Richard Wilkinson set out to pack their chocolate with nature’s superfoods to create a unique indulgence, providing the perfect balance between health and taste. Keeping it simple – nothing artificial, no hidden ingredients, just delicious, real food.

The Doisy & Dam range comprises five flavours, every bar is made and hand packaged in the UK, each a little different and made for the individual!:


  • Mulberries, Chia Seeds & Spirulina 

“Chunks of sweet white mulberries combined with the crunchiness of chia seeds – they said spirulina would never work, but trust us you’ll love the flavour!”

    • RRP £x, 40g bar and £x, 100g bar


  • Maca, Vanilla & Cacao Nibs

“The bitter chocolatey crunch of cacao nibs is perfectly balanced with the sweet vanilla and this bar is finished off with a kick of maca root to give you an extra boost!”

    • RRP £1.75, 40g bar and £3.50, 100g bar


  • Ginger, Chilli Flakes & Hempseed 

“Fiery ginger, warming chili flakes and nutty hemp seed makes this curiously cosy bar as delicious on a hot summer day as on a cold winter night”

    • RRP £1.75, 40g bar and £3.50, 100g bar


  • Goji & Orange

“Our goji & orange bar is perfect for those of you with a sweet tooth. The delicious chewy texture of the goji berries is paired perfectly with a natural and sweet orange flavour”

    • RRP £1.75, 40g bar and £3.50, 100g bar


  • Coconut & Lucuma

“Launched in February 2015, the newest flavour of the bunch brings together Doisy & Dam’s trademark 74% cocoa organic chocolate, with the health-boosting attributes of coconut and lucuma. We use sweet coconut and naturally caramel-flavoured lucuma to create a rich and exotic bar”

    • RRP £1.75, 40g bar and £3.50, 100g bar


Or how about jelly Sweets from Jealous Sweets?

Jealous Sweets  craft gourmet confectionery for grown-ups who want a little elegance from their sweet treats.

Founded by old friends Imran Merza and Taz Basunia, Imran was inspired to create these delectable delights when looking for vegetarian sweets as a gift, finding only uninspiring health foods and gummies packed with artificial flavourings and gelatin – Imran decided to change path in life, becoming a Candy Magician…!

Jealous understands that naughty doesn’t have to mean nasty, all their sweets are full of natural fruit juices, free from artificial colours and flavours, and they’re 100% vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. With flavours like Grapefruit & Orange, Morello Cherry & Pineapple and Pomegranate, Jealous Sweets are loved by gourmands worldwide and are a firm favourite of chefs such as Tom Aiken and Jamie Oliver, as well as the world’s most luxurious hotels.Jealous_Boxes_05

Just enough to keep you sweet, Jealous’ 50g mouth-wateringly moreish Treat Jewel Boxes are great on-the-go and contain the perfect amount for a daily hit of sweetness without a sugar crash! Feast on Yummy Bears, Tangy Worms, Fizzy Friends, Wild Cherries, Grizzly Bears and Sour Beans – but beware, you won’t want to share…!

The Gorgeously Giftable Jewel Boxes, 200g, are more akin to a jewellery box than a sad old bag of sweets; forget the flowers, chuck out the chocolates, Jealous’ gift boxes can make life taste sweet indeed – for you or for someone you love!

With their perfectly proportioned and beautifully designed treat and gift sized boxes, Jealous make a divine little addition to your handbag, an ideal gift to butter up friends or colleagues, a declaration of love for a special birthday or even as a gorgeous addition to a wedding, as a favour to gift to guests!

The Jealous Sweets Range

There are 9 different jewel boxes in the Jealous range – all created for those with an eye for something special!

Jealous’ Six Treat sized Jewel Boxes (RRP, £2.49 50g box):

  • Yummy Bears
    • Who needs a gummy bear when you can have a Yummy one, or two, or three?? Perfect for a moment of self-indulgence on any day of the week!
    • Flavours: Orange, Apple, Lemon, Strawberry & Pineapple
  • Fizzy Friends
    • These Feisty Friends are full of fizz and will bring a sparkle to any day. They’re the kind of friends you want to have around ALL the time…
    • Flavours: Peach & Apricot, Grapefruit & Orange, Lemon & Apple
  • Grizzly Bears
    • With more bite than their yummy cousins for truly intense flavours. Perfect to tackle when you just want to rip someone’s head off!
    • Flavours: Raspberry, Lemon, Apple, Orange, Pineapple & Blackcurrant
  • Tangy Worms
    • A subtle, sour tang twist that gets your juices flowing. Perfect to make you grin, when all around you are grimacing!
    • Flavours: Morello Cherry & Orange, Pineapple & Apple, Morello Cherry & Pineapple
  • Wild Cherries
    • A sweet cherry hit to bring out your wild side. Pop a few cherries and be a bit wild too!
    • Flavours: Cherry
  • Sour Beans
    • You can’t be sour about life when you’ve tasted these beans! Sour then sweet - these beans will make you smile - for maximum impact devour them in groups of four!
    • Flavours: Pomegranate, Mango & Pineapple, Peach, Apple