Shoryu Ramen

When you think of Japanese food more often or not images of sushi, sashimi and other raw fishy delights tend to come to mind. However, this is not all that the Japanese specialise in… Alongside the well-known and Western favourite of Katsu Curry, Japan has imported an array of flavour in the form of a delicious warm noodle hugging broth known as Ramen.

Shoryu Condiments

Shoryu Condiments

Shoryu Ramen arrived in Manchester a few months ago due to expansion after the popularity of its London branches. The headliner of the menu is the Tonkatsu (rich 12-hour pork broth ramen topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger, nori seaweed). They also offer different varieties and even a fully vegetarian Tofu version with a Konbu and Shitake broth.

Now the prospect of trying this Ramen already excited me enough but after seeing the variety of sides; including pork buns, mixed tempura and Yakitori skewers I was even more eager for my visit.

Chef at Work

Chef at Work

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Indique

One Saturday evening my Persian partner (who, against cliched expectations, had never really eaten Indian food in the past). I have been hinting that I wanted to pay a visit to one and he secretly turned to trip advisor and came across this little gem.

Indique

Indique Interior

My first impressions were admittedly not that great as the outside has quite a take-away/curry mile decor with a huge lit up sign and fairy lights in the window. Although you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as the decor inside was lovely and there was a nice relaxed feel to the diners and friendliness from all of the staff.

Dahi Puri and Chicken Tikka

Dahi Puri and Chicken Tikka

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Oké Poké Launch

In short, Poke (pronounced poke-eh) is a beautiful combination of raw cubed fish and vegetables. To make it even simpler, think of deconstructed sushi… in a bowl. This aesthetically pleasing taste of Hawaii has finally come to Manchester and I was lucky enough to attend the launch party to sample some…

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As soon as I heard about the launch of this new eatery on Church Street in the Northern Quarter, I was really rather excited. Lets be honest now, although Manchester has recently had an influx of healthier eateries such as protein based Kettle Bell Kitchen and Bosu Body Bar, salad inspired fast food options such as Chop’d and Wahu and the prettier eateries such as the Garden and Evelyn’s; who combine taste and health in beautiful environments we still aren’t the quite as advanced as other areas. Although I am happy with the slowly expanding market for healthier options, it is just that, slow. Well, compared to London that is. So when I was informed of this new Hawaiian Poke restaurant, I was delighted that another potential gem would be added to Manchester expanding food scene.

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Vegan Protein Cookie Dough Bowl

Sorry for the buzz word heavy title but I wanted to get them in there to show how incredible this bowl actually is! I love cookie dough, my birthday cake was a lovely raw vegan salted caramel cake with cookie dough balls from Simone’s the Healthy Bakers in Manchester (read more here) because I couldn’t decide if I loved cookie dough or salted caramel more…. Don’t get me wrong, I love oats but sometimes you just wanted a break and what better way than to replace them with a lower carb, higher protein and all the good fats breakfast bowl. Super simple and can be made ahead theres no excuse not to give this a try! This is adapted from a quite a few different recipes out there so I cannot take full credit but this is my favourite little version…

Vegan Protein Cookie Dough Bowl

Vegan Protein Cookie Dough Bowl

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Carrot and Courgette Waffles

After the successful creation of my carrot and courgette fritters I wondered if it would be possible to re-create them in waffle form (since I bought a waffle maker I pretty much just wanted to waffle everything!). Anyway, it worked! Woo! So here is my waffe recipe which works perfectly with poached eggs and kale or treat yourself and add bacon and baked beans.

Carrot and Courgette Waffles

Carrot and Courgette Waffles

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LowFod Map Chicken Curry

Okay… so it happens to everyone at least once in a while… bloating! However, it always seems such a taboo thing to talk about – foods are very complex and can do a world of things to our body. Even how we eat or drink can contribute to bloating and well.. discomfort… This should be something we are able to discuss and overcome, in my recent efforts I have looked into the LowFod Map diet to see if it can help (give it a search on google and the full list or yes and no foods will appear!). The one thing I struggle with is that it is not black and white, you can eat hazelnuts but not cashews, broccoli but oh no not cauliflower and etc etc the list goes on… The idea is to go through an elimination phase and cut out everything that could be causing issues (which trust me, is alot!). This is also very difficult if you want to lead a plant based diet as meals become very restrictive, so I have found myself increasing my meat intake. However, as some one who could happily be vegan (if my digestive system allowed me to), eating a lot of plain meat can be well, kinda boring… Voila, I decided to attempt a curry that cut out the potential triggers and well it tasted pretty darn good! Serve with (naturally gluten free) brown rice and I love a cheeky bit of grated carrot in there (extra vegetables woo). This is super easy, surprisingly tasty and can be whipped up within the hour after work and reheated the next day.

LowFod Map Chicken Curry

LowFod Map Chicken Curry

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Secretly Healthy Chocolate Mousse

I believe that it is fair to say that nearly everybody loves chocolate mousse. The creamy, light and fluffy texture that melts in your mouth makes it almost irresistible. The thought of it even brings back this fussy eater memories of her childhood where she would always grab one in the supermarket covered in squirty cream to enjoy with her packed lunch. However, many of us feel like we have to resist this treat due to the high fat content a typical version contains.  Even homemade versions tend to not be much healthier than shop bought.

However, my secret ingredient chocolate mousse uses avocado as the magic ingredient that gives it the perfect texture. All you need is a perfectly ripe avocado, a decent food processor and a few store cupboard ingredients and you can make this in minutes and refrigerate to serve with fresh fruit at any dinner party or for a guiltless after dinner treat. Also, this raw chocolate mousse recipe is easily adaptable to be made vegan and the recipe can be used as a healthy nutcrust pie filler.

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

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Cafe at the Museum

One thing I have found since living back home after university and working in Manchester city centre is that there is a heck of a lot of restaurants about. We have an eating out culture and a vast choice throughout the city and suburbs. Unfortunately, as I work at the top end of Oxford Road near all the universities I find that most choices are fast, not necessarily healthy and too student hangover cure orientated. However, the cafe at the museum breaks this mould and when I was invited back to try their new menu I jumped at the chance.

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Now this is a casual place, perfect for lunch for students, families and professionals alike. It can please those in a rush who just want a quick salad or those with a longer lunch hour who want a heartier, fresh and delicious meal. You do have to queue to order but I enjoyed this as I got to view all of the salad and proteins at the salad bar before deciding (and I must admit this was a tough decision, could I not eat them all?!).

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East Mediterranean Style Quinoa Salad

During a recent visit to London to meet up with my lovely friends, we dined at a gorgeous little place called Stut and Cluck. This was an east med style turkey restaurant with ample vegetarian options which inspired me to modify my roast vegetable quinoa and give it a east Mediterranean twist. I love making this dish as it uses all staple ingredients which I tend to always have in and vegetables can be increased or removed depending on taste on season. This dish is simply delicious on its own as a lunch or light dinner or can be bulked out and served with a grilled lemony chicken or turkey breast, whole roasted cauliflower or even just some traditional pita or lavash.

East Mediterranean Style Quinoa Salad

East Mediterranean Style Quinoa Salad

 

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Gorilla

Most people may know Gorilla as a night time venue for music and a generally good place to go for a lively drink. However, after finding out it was owned by the same company as Trof (a bar/restaurant in the northern quarter which I loved the food at on several occasions), I knew I had to give it a try.

My first experience of Gorilla was a breakfast visit – to be fair I was a bit fussy in my ordering but I did not leave overly impressed nor disappointed but this may have been due to my menu choice. So, I decided I should give it another try and whilst it was 50% off in the January sale I thought there was no better time to.

We were initially seated at a table near the door and very close to the crowded bar – we felt like the food was being carried over our head and a drink was about to come flying over us at any moment. However, the staff were lovely and when a booth came available they let us move straight away. Once we were in the much more comfortable and just ‘out of the way’ enough booth, we were ready to order. This caused problems, not because the menu was bad but rather the opposite – I wanted to eat everything! There was a great mixture of vegetarian options, meaty but potentially lower carb options and the high carb, high protein, high fat burger options that everyone loves. Similar to Trof in that sense, I always appreciate a place that tries to cater to everyone but if they can manage to get the food right then that is even better. Gorilla got it right.

Halloumi and Red Pepper Skewers

Halloumi and Red Pepper Skewers

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