More insider information from a Farmer.

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I bought some quinces this week because they’re now in season. My grandfather also grows the fruit in Bulgaria – but his are way more delicious and juicy than the ones I found in the UK supermarkets. Discussing the topic with him today, here are some interesting facts about growing quinces:

  • You plant the seed and the tree begins producing fruit after two years.
  • The plant very much looks like an apple tree.
  • The fruit starts to bud in May and they’re ready for picking  in October (through to November).
  • They can be stored in cool environments and thus, can last through the winter as a supply of fresh produce.

Also – I did not know that Black Radishes exist! My grandfather casually mentioned that he picked some up from his fields… and so I discovered a new variant of a well-known vegetable!

I love learning about the seasonality / production of fruits and vegetables because living in a big city can disconnect you from understanding where your food is coming from… and agriculture still is a basic building block for life.

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VegFest London 2016

I should probably start by saying… I’m not a vegan (despite having been to two vegan festivals in different countries in October!) I do have a few close friends/flatmates that adhere to that lifestyle and I’m quite health-conscious and sustainability-minded. But my favourite thing about the vegan community is their innovative and inventive spirit. Plenty of small business owners I met today said, “no one was meeting my needs, so I decided to make it for myself and others.” Who knew you could make blue cheese from cashew nuts? Or filling tacos using jack fruit?

Here are my top discoveries from today’s adventure:

1 . Black Seaweed Pearls (aka Vegan Beluga Caviar) from Cavia.

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2. Hazelnut & Carob Spread (tastes exactly like Nutella, but has only 3 ingredients) from Nutural World. 

3. Organic Chufa de Valencia Tiger Nuts from The Tigernut Company . What on earth is a tiger nut? That was my question as well! It’s not actually a nut, it’s a small root vegetable, grown in a field and harvested in pretty much the same way as a potato. Known in Spain as the ‘Chufa, it’s a super little tuber, nutrient dense and packed with superfood qualities.

4. Soap Nuts by Living Naturally. It’s the 100% natural hypoallergenic alternative to laundry detergent. Clothes also come out soft and fresh, so no need for scent boosters or fabric softeners!

And for the branding – I’ve added:

5. Pepo Papa Pumpkin Seed Oil. This product screams ‘OCTOBER!’ and Autumn. A Hungarian-founded company just starting to get distribution in the UK.

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D’être vegan à Paris

Coucou!

Je suis à Paris pour un long week-end. J’adore l’Eurostar – chaque fois que je le prends… j’ai l’impression que Europe est très proche à Londres et facile d’accès. Hier, je suis allé à une conférence végétalien parce que mon amie est vegan. Tu peux lire l’interview avec l’organisatrice du salon VeggieWorld Paris ici.

La chose qui m’a intéressée était qu’il y avait tant de «choses vegan» qui n’a pas la nourriture – vêtements, sacs, chaussures, soins de la peau, les sociétés, etc. Et les produits étaient vraiment créatif set utilisent des ingrédients naturels d’une manière innovante. À mon avis, les quatre meilleures marques étaient :

  1. The Dutch Weed Burger – Leur hamburger a une galette faite avec des algues, du pain avec chlorelle, et une sauce avec de la laitue de mer. Comme prévu… il est plus vert que d’habitude.  unknown
  2. Wheaty – Une gamme originale de produits végétaliens à base de Seitan alliant texture et saveur. Tous leurs produits sont bios, sans huile de palme et riches en protéines végétales.
  3. Matt & Nat – ils ont des sacs en cuir faux qui sont extrêmement chic.
  4. Fils De Pomme – J’ADORE leur image de marque. La bouteille de cidre est tellement bien conçue et ils se ventent comme un produit en bonne santé plutôt que un produit vegan.fils

Ce week-end en France est comme un rêve … maintenant je sors au marché pour le pain aux céréales! Je veux vivre dans cette ville encore une fois…

TableCrowd Business Dinners

What is Tablecrowd you ask? It’s a start-up founded by Kate Jackson in London that creates networking events around London based on specific topics. Watch the video for more information from Kate herself:

I’ve known Kate for over a year now and was delighted when she asked me to be a part of the  company. I’m now at the 3-month mark of being a dinner host for the company! And I’ve met everyone from Angel Investors to SEO experts to someone starting a company for hosiery subscriptions! If you live in London and enjoy sharing conversation over good food, check out the upcoming dinner:

https://www.tablecrowd.com 

#MeetandEat

Is this even healthy?

I have a confession to make – I am easily swayed by the marketing of ‘healthy’ superfoods. I’m one of those people that became intrigued by chia seeds and engulfed by kale. I spend way too much money on things that are ‘gluten-free’ when I don’t have an intolerance. And that is a statistical fact verified by Lloyds Bank.

Whether or not these health fads are actually good for your body, no one can be 100% certain. So, I’m going to write down things that are labelled as ‘superfoods’ and revisit them in a year to see if any new research has surfaced (like a little digital time capsule). At least a few should have passed on without lasting on the shelves of Whole Foods or dent in the economy…

  1. Chia Seeds
  2. Almond/Cashew/Help/Oat/Rice Milk
  3. Matcha Powder
  4. Bee Pollen
  5. Pea Protein
  6. Coconut oil/milk/sugar/yogurt
  7. Gogi Berries
  8. Acai Bowls
  9. Sprouted/Activated Nuts
  10. Maca Powder
  11. Kale Chips
  12. Tumeric
  13. Activated Charcoal Water
  14. Flax Seeds
  15. Manuka Honey

Here are a few fads that have already proven they’re here to stay:

  1. Avocados
  2. Kale
  3. Beetroot
  4. Soy Milk

Cherry Yogurt ice-cream at 7AM creates instant happiness @DuckandWaffle

One of my favourite things to do in London is have breakfast at Duck & Waffle.

Duck And Waffle

It’s a treat filled with excellent caffeine, interesting menu offers, and a view of the whole city. As the sun hits the Gherkin’s glass exterior, the waiter brings my flatmate’s poached eggs on ox cheek. It’s moments like these that  make me instantaneously happy and grateful for the life I’ve built as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between an Italian-Swiss film buff and British northerner, I think back to the day my parents left me at LAX with two suitcases. And now I have a full time job, apartment, and network of life-long friends around the world. Ultimately, you live the life you create and I choose to create little happiness every day (always start with breakfast, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

One of my favourite quotes:

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

– Harun Yahya

I had the English Cherry Waffles (cherry & yoghurt ice cream, white chocolate crumble). Here’s the full breakfast menu. 

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Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Open 24 Hours

Make a reservation on OpenTable or by calling 020 3640 7310. Weekend reservations fill up far in advance for their brunch menu. So if you can manage to get up early in the mornings, I would recommend going at 7AM! I love going before work as a little treat thats woven into my ordinary regime.

Happy Sunday.

My latest BRUNCH adventures in London.

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Forge & Co. 

http://www.forgeandco.co.uk

Address: 154-158 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU

What I ordered: Eggs florentine, americano, and immune boost smoothie 

Best Part: If you buy a glass of Prosecco at 10 and receive free re-fills throughout your Saturday Brunch. The atmosphere is the perfect mix of classy and chilled.

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At home

Lemon & blueberry buttermilk pancakes with french press coffee w/soy milk

Recipe: http://southernfood.about.com/od/pancakesandwaffles/r/bl80613j.htm

Best Part: You get to stay in your pjs, perfect your cooking skills, and relax with your flatmates in that lazy Sunday fashion. 

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Duck & Waffle 

http://duckandwaffle.com

Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

What I ordered: Duck egg en cocotte and filter coffee

Best Part: The view above London from the 40th floor, especially if you go in the early morning and see the sun rise. Weekend reservations are impossible to get, so I would recommend booking for an earlier time before work (6:30-7 AM reservation). 

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Nama Food

http://namafoods.com

Address: 110 Talbot Road, London W11 1JR

What I ordered: Lasagne Verdure and espresso with coconut milk

Best Part: If you’re feeling experimental and want to try something new, then vegan is the latest trend. Don’t confuse veganism as being the ‘healthiest’ or most ‘delicious’ option; however, it is definitely something to spice up a typical Saturday.

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Nordic Bakery

http://www.nordicbakery.com

Address: Multiple Locations in London

What I ordered: Filter coffee, egg & herring dark rye sandwhich and half a cinnamon bun

Best Part: The dark bread is great to purchase and take home as your weekly supply of delicious healthy bread.