Reviews

You’d be forgiven for assuming that veggie balls would be bland and pointless, but we’ve given them a go and can honestly say that they are delicious.

Heck veggie balls

Heck Foods, the brand behind Heck sausages seems to have understood that the rise of flexitarianism was an opportunity to launch meat free products to the standard that they make their other products.

Whether you opt for the Super Green balls or the Thai Bite balls, we think you will be pleasantly surprised with their flavour and texture. They don’t taste like a meat substitute – they taste like fragrant, well-seasoned vegetables.

The Super Green veggie balls are made with quinoa, spinach, kale and ginger and a serving size (three meatballs) is only 124kcals. There are 9 veggie balls in a pack and the preparation is easy – bung ’em in the oven for about 25 minutes, turning over halfway through.

We tried them on a bed of rocket with linguine, but think they are likely to taste great in a wrap, on a salad, with rice… you get the drift. Whether you are a die hard or fair-weathered vegetarian, these veggie balls are versatile enough for a number of meal ideas.

If you want to give them a go you can get them at Waitrose or via the Heck Foods website

    

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street

The high street breakfast as you know is soon to be a thing of the past.

When you think of breakfast from a high street restaurant chain, you’d be forgiven for thinking of porridge and yoghurt. Although the industry has tried to vary the breakfast menu in recent years, scrambled eggs have never been an option. Although we can’t be certain, it would make sense that some chains may have had doubts about the demand and also the preparation – I mean, eggs are great but not if they are cold and stale.

Two high street chains have decided to challenge the status quo and now have scrambled eggs on the menu.

First up is Starbucks who is definitely taking a big step away from the standard panini, toast and porridge. Their Hot Breakfast Boxes come in two options: Super Scrambled Eggs Tomato and Spinach and Spicy Chorizo, Poached Egg and Potato. Their hot boxes are actually kept in the display case and given to the barista to warm up when you order. So not freshly scrambled but definitely a break from the norm.

Scrambled Eggs - Starbucks

Next up is Vital Ingredient and in keeping with the Vital Ingredient ethos, the scrambled eggs are made right in front of you! You can choose from Old Fashioned Scrambled Egg (Natural, topped with cracked black pepper), Green Eggs Scrambled Egg (Avocado, feta and chilli flakes), Supreme Scrambled Egg (Smoked Salmon and fresh herbs) or Kick Starter Scrambled Egg (Ham hock, grana padano, and cracked black pepper). Vital have also added gluten free protein pancakes and protein smoothies to the menu.

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street

Although Leon isn’t offering scrambled eggs (yet), you’ve always been able to depend on their egg pots. And in addition to their egg pots, they have recently launched a very veggie egg pot with mushrooms, halloumi, beans and eggs – the combination of those flavours are spot on.

Scrambled Eggs on the High Street - Leon

So if you are a carb-conscious busy body who has previously been wary of high street breakfasts you can now head to the high street before 10am with confidence.

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Myvitamins Chlorella

We were given an opportunity to try Myvitamins’ Brown Rice Protein Powder and Chlorella so we jumped on it. The products were launched as part of their new range of vegan proteins and superfoods.

Not too long ago if you were looking for protein powder you would find dozens of whey protein powders but very few vegan protein powders. Thankfully the landscape has changed and it’s easy to get your hands on different kinds of vegan protein.

Myvitamins’ Brown Rice Protein Powder provides 24g of protein per serving making it a suitable protein supplement for vegans. When paired with Pea Protein Powder you have a blend that provides the complete amino acid mix. Although it is unflavoured we found it to have a bit of an aftertaste so preferred it for pancakes and biscuits as opposed to shakes.

Brown Rice Protein Powder Pancakes

We were pleasantly surprised to find that chlorella packed such a nutritional punch and can be incorporated into the daily diet. The powdered algae contains a range of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B12, D and E and iron, calcium and potassium – just a 5g serving of chlorella will give you more than the RDA of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. It’s also a great source of chlorphyll and is purported to improve gut health. If taken in powder form it can be added to water, juice or your favourite smoothie. If you choose to add to juice or water make sure it gets a good shake and stir.

Myvitamins Chlorella

Other products in the range include vegan protein, soy protein, hemp protein, spirulina, cacao powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds and maca powder.

Find out more at myvitamins.com

Savage Salads

By BBB

We heard about Savage Salads through the grapevine (by grapevine we mean spotting someone with a Savage Salads box and interrogating them for details) and found them halfway down Strutton Ground near St James’ Park station.

Savage Salads Strutton GroundWhen we visited, the Savage Salad stall was popular  and the branding kinda made you feel like you were doing something a little rebellious – in a good way.

Although the humble salad has generally evolved from its leafy and unsubstantial reputation, the Savage Salads offering is definitely a break from the norm.

The base was a combination of four different types of salads:

  • White & red cabbage, dried apricots, kale, orange, poppy seeds
  • Roasted beetroots, quinoa, pumpkin seeds
  • Grilled aubergine, peppers, chickpeas, rocket, chilli and
  • Panzanella

Savage Salads Halloumi  Savage Salads Chicken

Our salads were dressed with a drizzle of olive oil before being topped with grilled halloumi on one salad and rosemary, thyme & lemon marinated chicken breast on the other. Everything was prepared right in front of us, the flavours had a summery vibe and the salads were delicious.

Savage Salads Freshly Prepared

The only criticism we could find was that the cutlery felt a lslightly insubstantial for such a savage salad – more time was spent trying to recover chickpeas that fell back in the box than actually enjoying the chickpeas.

While there is no nutritional information available, given how good the ingredients are its safe to say that the salads are good for ya. If you are coeliac it’s worth double checking which of the salads may have gluten.

The simple menu made a refreshing change as it’s always great to find a place that sticks to a couple of things and does them well – too much choice can be bewildering for a busy body at lunchtime.

If you want to give try them you can currently find them at:

Berwick Street Market in Soho Monday-Friday

Strutton Ground in Victoria Monday-Wednesday

St Giles in the fields market in Covent Garden every Thursday

For up to date information check out their website and connect with them via social media

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Velo Healthy Vietnamese Restaurant Takeaway Bag

Light, flavoursome, refreshing – those are the words we would use to describe the food at Velo.

Velo is a Vietnamse restaurant located near London Bridge station who pride themselves on making authentic Vietnamese street food that is MSG-free. You’ll find pho, banh mi, spring rolls summer rolls, Vietnamese noodle soup and more on their menu.

They also have menu options that are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those who follow a halal diet. You can also find the nutritional info of their menu on their site in the form of a downloadable pdf.

It’s one of those places that are great for people who want no fuss healthy food. In addition to the healthy food, the touch screen ordering service, Touch Me, is perfect for busy people who know what they want and want to get in and out quickly.

We tried the Chicken Summer Rolls and Velo Small Prawn Vermicelli – both of which were light and simple. The Roast Chicken Summer Rolls (194kcals, 13.5g pro, 28.8g carbs, 3g fat) are steamed and made with rice paper, making them light on the stomach.

Velo Healthy Vietnamese Roast Chicken Summer Rolls

The Velo Prawn Vermicelli (151kcals, 8g pro, 18g carbs, 4.6g fat) is made with thin rice noodles, crispy lettuce, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, chilli & homemade sauce.

Velo Healthy Vietnamese Tiger Prawn Vermicelli

It’s definitely worth bearing in mind that the food served here is without MSG, so your first few bites may not be what your palette is expecting. However, if you stick with it, you may find that you redefine your expectation of Vietnamese food.

If you’ve seen the ads for Pronto meal delivery on the Underground and wondered what they were all about – we are now in a position to tell you.

Pronto Meal Delivery Advert on London Underground

With the rise of meal delivery service and Uber’s recent announcement that they too will be able to get a decent meal to your doorstep in quick time, it’s fair to say that meal deliveries are so this season.

To be clear, the concept of meal deliveries is not a new one. Pizza, Chinese food and curries have been delivery favourites for years, but normally during the evenings or at weekends. What these new companies are realising is that 1) people still want fast food, but they want healthier choices and 2) people want their food delivered to their desk.

So always up for an opportunity to try something new, we decided to give Pronto a go. Pronto prepare and deliver nutritionally balanced meals made with high quality, sustainably sourced ingredients.

The flashing images on the banner were a little confusing but the prompts were easy enough to follow. Pop your postcode in the box, click ‘Feed Me’ and Pronto will tell you whether or not they deliver to you.

Pronto Meal Delivery Home Page

If you are in their catchment, you’ll be taken to their menu which is simple but has an option for people with different dietary requirements.

Pronto Meal Delivery Menu

We’ve selected the Miso Glazed Cod – a low calorie meal made with freshly caught cod that is glazed in a sticky sweet miso reduction and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. The cod is accompanied with a side of green tea infused soba noodles, steamed tender-stem broccoli, freshly podded edamame beans, peas & crisp beansprouts.

The payment process is straightforward and address and payment details are stored for future purchases.

If you keep your browser open after you’ve placed the order you’ll see a real time status updated regarding your order.

Our meal actually arrived within 20 minutes and the packaging that it arrived in was very slick. We also really like the play on words: Goodbye Hungry, Hello Pronto. Everything we needed to get stuck in was there – the food, cutlery and salt and pepper. All that was missing was a napkin but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Pronto Meal Delivery Packaging 2

Interestingly, the meal that arrived looked better than the meal that was shown on the site (in our opinion anyway). But how did it taste???

Pronto Meal Delivery Miso Cod

No complaints here. The food was well prepared and filling. Truth be told we want to – and probably will – check out the other menu items as well.

On the surface the £9 price tag feels a smidge steep, but the quality of the ingredients and the free delivery make it justifiable. Furthermore, we used a first time code which brought the cost down to £6 which then made it a bargain. As with anything, you get what you pay for and for the convenience of having a well prepared meal delivered to the desk the cost was fair.

It’s early days yet but so far what Pronto has to offer seems promising.

Find out more: www.pronto.co.uk

 

Vital Artillery Row online orderingDespite the media stories about growing obesity problems there is another one featuring a health craze. It appears that more and more people want to eat healthily, but seem to have less time available to preparing their own meals. At first glance Vital Ingredient is ‘just another salad bar’, but one of the things that sets them apart is the Vital Ingredient online ordering facility.

If you haven’t heard about Vital Ingredient before, they are definitely one to try. Salad making is a relatively straightforward business, but the folks at Vital Ingredient have really taken the time out to understand what ingredients work best together.

Standard menus include signature salads like our personal favourites – Nachos Grande and Super Cob, but also seasonal winners like Maple n’ Pear and Beef n’ Butternut Squash.

Although there is a menu per se with recommended combinations, you can also choose your own salad base and toppings. There are some pretty cool bases to choose from such as spiralised veg, quinoa and slaw.

The salad chain is so popular that it is not uncommon to see queues snaking out of the door.

This is why we thought we would give the online ordering a go. Although the queue moves quite quickly, nothing beats being able to walk in, grab your order and be back out the door and across the road before the traffic lights have changed.

So one lunchtime on a Friday, we jumped online to order a regular Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad and a pack of Tyrell’s crisps.

Placing the order was very straightforward: Go to the Vital Ingredient online ordering page, create an account (if you don’t have one already), select what you want from the menu, select the time you want to collect your order and pay. You can even customise your salad online the same way you would in-store.

Vital Online Ordering

Our order was placed at around 1245 and when we arrived at the branch at 5 minutes past 3, the salad was prepared and patiently waiting behind the til.

If you are super crunched for time, you can order for delivery if your delivery address is within a few miles of the branch. To use this service, though, your order needs to be over £20 and ordered by 11am for delivery for around 12pm.

The only drawback that we found to the collection service is that is not eligible for the Club Vital loyalty scheme, but if time is money it might be a worthwhile trade off.

How was the salad, you ask?

It was LOVELY! The Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad is made with rare roast beef, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, beetroot,  Emmental cheese and kale pesto dressing. We think it’s great with either the suggested crunchy slaw base or the cos lettuce.

Vital ingredient Beef n Butternut Squash

Vital Ingredient also cater to all of the BBB profiles – their downloadable Allergen information sheet is comprehensive and even covers celery, mustard and sulphites so that customers can be well informed before making an order.

All in all, the Vital Ingredient experience is generally a good one and if you happen to be time poor, you’ll find their online ordering service very useful.

Photo 16-02-2016, 18 49 40It was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon this funky juice and smoothie bar while making our way out of Oxford Circus Station.

Before you even step inside of the pop up, it’s clear that the folks at Supernatural are all about the natural life. The menu is simple but consistent: juices, smoothies, snacks and light lunches that are created with the macro and micro nutrient value in mind.

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After visiting the shop, we did a bit of digging and found that we are actually a bit behind the curve! The juice makers have been shaking up the scene since 2012 and have worked with some pretty cool brands like Selfridges and Jo Malone. They were also the headline sponsors for London Health Week 2015.

We decided to try the Incredible Hulk smoothie made with spinach, avocado, banana, soya isolate protein, spirulina and coconut milk. We asked if the soya protein could be substituted for whey protein but they were out of whey on the day. We checked back on their website though and found that they are happy to replace soya isolate protein with whey protein, vegan protein or even maca powder.

Photo 16-02-2016, 13 45 46

Ultimately what mattered to us was that they knew their products and were able to explain their rationale for using certain ingredients.

The Super Hulk smoothie was good but the £6.95 price tag felt a smidge steep.

All in all, we love the consideration put into the menu, the use of wholesome ingredients and the story behind the company.

Locations

Their flagship store is in Canary Wharf, but they have had pop ups in various locations.

Find out more

Website: http://www.sprntrl.co.uk/

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Fresh food-to-go retailer has expanded their menu with a few new hot food heroes. These new menu additions are globally inspired and it’s no surprise that they feature a combination of colourful and healthy ingredients. There is one vegan option, one vegetarian option and four meat options to choose from!

EAT Chicken Pho Broth (1)

The hot water is added to the pot at the till so by the time you tuck in, the flavor infusions are already coming through. Choose from:

Vegetable Gyoza (vegetarian, 374 kcals)

A warming vegetarian broth filled with dumplings, Chinese cabbage, leafy spinach, crunchy carrot, red pepper and edamame beans, seasoned with shichimi and garnished with fresh coriander.

Hoisin Duck Gyoza (398 kcals)

A bed of noodles topped with layers of pak choi, carrot, Chinese cabbage, edamame beans, red peppers, spinach, pea shoots and duck gyoza dumplings, blended with a dash of lime juice in a tasty vegetable broth.

Chicken Pho (made without gluten, 330 kcals)

A fragrant lemongrass and ginger infused vegetable broth with rice noodles, crunchy carrots, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, red peppers, leafy spinach and topped off with chargrilled chicken, red chilli, fresh lime, coriander, spring onions and mint.

Sesame Shiitake Mushroom (vegan, 338 kcals)

A rich sesame broth bursting with shiitake mushrooms, pak choi, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, leafy spinach, spring onions, sesame seeds and crunchy edamame beans.

Harissa Spiced Chicken (507kcals)

This punchy spicy harissa and roasted pepper vegetable broth is filled with chargrilled chicken breast, the ancient grain freekah, and chickpeas and comes with spiralised carrots, leafy spinach and roasted butternut squash, topped with spiced dukkah almonds.

Kimchi Pork (448 kcals)

Slow-roasted pork and spicy kimchi served in a chilli vegetable broth with noodles, Chinese cabbage, leafy spinach, crunchy edamame beans, pea shoots, spring onions and pak choi, topped with fresh chives and sesame seeds.

 

Balanced Busy Bodies is always on the lookout for products that are healthy but our interest will naturally be piqued by a product that whose name implies that it could help you look better.

The Beauty’In brand was developed in Brazil with beauty in mind. Their products claim to supplement the body’s nutrients without the addition of sugar, preservatives or trans fats. We sent a bar to a loyal BBusyBody to find out what she thought and this is what she said:

‘When BBB sent me the Beauty’In Beauty Bar to try I was delighted, a snack that makes me look good? I couldn’t wait to tuck in. Seriously though, this beauty bar with zero preservatives, zero artificial dyes and zero glucose syrup was the kind of snack I had been looking for.

I have been trying unsuccessfully to end a habit of unhealthy snacks that I have developed and I am aiming towards a healthier lifestyle.

The bar is actually not quite a bar, it’s actually six little cereal cubes, so when you open it, you could share if you wanted to. Not me though – haha.

The flavour I got was Apple, Raisins, Cashew and Honey.Beauty'In Bar

On my first bite I wasn’t overly impressed, it had a sort of tanginess to it that I wasn’t sure I liked, 5 more squares later though and I had acquired the taste and it  really filled the gap.

The bar has honey as a sweetener and is also enriched with vitamins, collagen.  Unfortunately, I don’t think eating collagen will get rid of your wrinkles.  Although many food products claim it does, there has been no scientific evidence to prove that. However it is a fantastic protein and does you no harm in eating it as protein helps you to stay fuller longer and that is fantastic.

I guess the real question is: ‘if it doesn’t get rid of wrinkles why on earth is it called a beauty bar’?

Well it’s because the company believe in beauty from the outside can only be achieved from taking care of yourself within, so they produce a range of products with this philosophy.

They have four other bars in their range available from Harvey Nichols for £2.50 – I will be checking the other flavours out!’

For more info check out:

www.beautyin.com

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