Vegetarian

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

    

Tortilla Vegetarian

Tortilla has always looked out for their vegetarian customers by providing a menu that is easily customisable but in recent months they have joined the Vegetarian Society – the only legally licensed vegetarian trademark registered globally.

If you don’t know who Tortilla are yet, here is a quick overview:

Tortilla started on 2007 after the owners saw a gap in the market for good burritos and tacos. More than just burrito producers, Tortilla take special care to ensure that they operate sustainably. They use grass fed beef and higher welfare chicken and pork, minimise ‘food miles’ by purchasing most of their ingredients from within the UK, prioritising organic food and providing recycling in their restaurants.

Tortilla work hard to keep the customer first by offering healthier options like the lower carb naked burrito and providing nutritional information for their meals so that customers can make informed decisions.

By the time you add free guacamole for vegetarian diners to their list of attributes, it makes it hard to not want to at least give them a try.

For locations click here

For more info visit click here

   

*Guacamole is a additional cost for non-vegetarian customers

 

Dubbed the hidden gem of the Southbank, The Table Cafe serves their brunch with a side of social responsibility.

Brunch at The Table Café can be as sweet or as savoury as you want it to be. You’ll find brunch staples like eggs benedict and eggs Florentine in addition to specials like the Breakfast Bruschetta (below)- sliced tomatoes & avocado on sourdough toast, two poached eggs & streaky bacon or smoked salmon.

Breakfast Bruschetta Brunch at the Table

If you prefer a sweeter brunch there are classic pancakes and waffles to choose from alongside pancakes and waffles with a twist like the Belle Helene waffle (below) topped with saffron poached pear, mascarpone and hot chocolate sauce.

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Vegans can opt for The Vegan Borough – avocado on toast, steamed spinach, grilled tomatoes, homemade veggie baked beans, herby mushrooms & sweet potato wedges and vegetarians can try The Veggie Borough – organic fried eggs, grilled halloumi, buttered spinach, homemade veggie baked beans, grilled tomato, herby mushrooms & sourdough toast.

If you need a gluten free option try the No-gluten pumpkin and pecan pancake made with buckwheat, corn & gluten-free flour. For the meals that come with bread, just ask for the gluten free substitute.

Although the food at The Table Cafe is worth talking about it is the restaurant’s social responsibility that really sets it apart from the rest. In addition to a commitment to ethical sourcing and the use of quality British ingredients, The Table Café works with homeless charity St Mungo’s meaning that the herbs and vegetables yielded from the initiative are supplied to The Table Café, providing revenue for the charity, and fresh, local produce for the restaurant. The Table Café also has a two star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

So if you are ready to try a brunch with a difference, check out the menu at The Table Café. The taste and quality of the food is unforgettable, but the real attraction is knowing that your patronage benefits a wider community.

For more info visit:

http://www.thetablecafe.com/

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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.

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.

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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.

 

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No one disputes the health benefits of chocolate, however, a lot of the products that can be found on supermarket shelves aren’t ideal for someone with specific dietary requirements. With the Valentine’s season upon us, we thought we would pull together a list of traditional chocolate alternatives that might appeal to a Balanced Busy Body.

Protein Truffles

Protein Truffles BBBThese high protein, chocolate treats will be perfect for a Valentine who has a sweet tooth but wants to keep their carb intake in check.

According to the Protein Works, these treats are made by ‘infusing the protein blend with microencapsulated CLA, acetyl L-carnitine, chromium picolinate and fat-reduced cocoa powder to create a great tasting snack you can consume any time of the day’. For more info visit The Protein Works

Kallo Belgian Dark Chocolate Rice Cake Thins

Kallo BBBAt only 55 calories per rice cake thin, these are likely to appeal to a Calorie Counter. An ideal blend of ‘naughty’ and nice, these chocolate coated rice cakes are also suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs. You can find these treats in Waitrose and Holland and Barratt. Find out more about these lovely rice cake thins here

 

 

Choccy Apricot Munchy Seeds

Munchy Seeds BBBA long time favourite of BBB, these chocolate coated sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried apricot pieces can only be described as moreish. Suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs, Choccy Apricot Munchy Seeds are also a good source of Calcium, Vitamin E, Fibre, Zinc and Iron.

 

 

Bioglan Cacao and Quinoa Raw Bites

Bioglan Cacao & Quinoa BitesThese tasty bites are free from refined sugars, added flavours, colours and preservatives and contain two servings of superfoods. Made from only natural ingredients such as sultanas, cashew nuts, goji berries and cacao nibs (to name a few), these are perfect for Vegans. Find out more on their site

 

 

9Bar

9Bar OriginalLike other quality chocolate alternatives, this mixed seed carob coated bar is high in fibre, vegan-friendly, gluten-free and made with no artificial colours or preservatives. 9BAR’s partnership with Solar Aid, makes this treat twice as nice because every bar sold provides a night’s clean, sustainable light for a child in Africa.

 

 

Naked Cocoa Delight

Nakd Cocoa DelightThis lovely bar is made with only 4 ingredients: real cocoa, dates and raisins. Nothing is used to make the ingredients stick – they just get ‘smooshed together into a lovely, handy snack bar’. Dairy, wheat and gluten free these treats are suitable for vegans and vegetarians AND Kosher Approved. Find out more here

 

 

The Raw Chocolate Raisins

Raw Chocolate Co BBBThese raw chocolate covered raisins are simple but tasty. Organic, vegan, gluten free and Kosher, treats from the Raw Chocolate Co are another BBB favourite and can be found in Holland and Barratt or their site

 

 

 

What are you favourite alternative chocolate treats? Let us know in the comments below!

 

RCC NEW PACKS (1)

The Raw Chocolate Company has given their Raw Chocolate Snacks a bit of a face lift. Far from just a cosmetic upgrade, the new packaging is also more sustainable AND user friendly!

The new the free standing, zip-loc bag maintains the integrity of the product better than previous packaging. More importantly, the fully printed pouch means that the Raw Chocolate Company have been able to eliminate the need for paper stickers which  prevents 1300 kg of paper going to landfill per year. The new packaging also results in a lighter overall weight of the package  which further reduces CO2 emissions from production and transport. The plastic used for the pouch is also recyclable at household recycling centres throughout the UK.

This is fantastic news for The Raw Chocolate Company, its customers and the environment. Kris McGowan, Marketing Manager says: “This initial launch shows the direction we are going in this year and how we attack every problem – a multi-faceted win-win-win solution. Our Raw Chocolate Bars and Make Your Own range will also get the same treatment in coming months – a smarter look and feel coupled with lower environmental impact and better preservation of the product. We couldn’t be more proud and happy, we’ve been working on this for a long time.”

The new packaging can currently be seen on 125g bags of:

RAW CHOCOLATE MULBERRIES
RAW CHOCOLATE GOJI BERRIES
RAW CHOCOLATE RAISINS
RAW CHOCOLATE SWEET APRICOT KERNELS
RAW CHOCOLATE GOLDEN BERRIES
VANOFFE MULBERRIES

Find out more about the Raw Chocolate Company here:

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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In short

A great alternative to the typical lunch

Review

The sign outside of Hummus Brothers, Holborn is what caught our attention: ‘free-from wheat, gluten and lactose’. With that type of claim we had to check it out.

The Hummus Brothers experience is pretty straightforward – choose a topping for your hummus and use your pitta bread as a scoop – no cutlery required. Toppings include fava beans, guacamole, chicken and chunky beef. You can also add extra toppings such as sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos and feta.

In addition to having something on the menu for the Balanced Busy Bodies profiles, they also cater to a number of different dietary requirements. There’s a page on their site where you can do a search to find out which of their dishes meet your specific requirement: http://www.hbros.co.uk/ourfood/

The website is also the best place to find out the nutritional profile of the dishes – just remember that the information on the grid is only for the hummus and topping and does NOT include the bread.

While we are on the topic of bread there is a gluten free alternative for their pitta. We were half expecting a gluten free pitta, but in fairness, ensuring that the breads are different in shape reduces the chance of the wrong bread being served.

It’s also worth noting that the pitta bread can also be substituted for rice cakes, carrot sticks or corn tortilla chips

The space to eat in the Holborn branch was conservative so if you are planning to eat in, be prepared to sit next to strangers.

Although hummus tends to be treated like a dip, it is incredibly satisfying as a main. We would definitely recommend that you put this on your list of restaurants to visit, if you haven’t already.

What we tried:


Small hummus with a chunky beef topping

Hummus with Chunky Beef

 

 

 

 

 

 


Small Hummus with chicken topping

Hummus with Chicken

 

 

 

 


Gluten free pitta alternative

Hummus Bros Gluten Free Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 


What we liked

The food is simple but still tasty and filling

The provision of gluten free bread for coeliacs

What we would do differently

We’re curious to know how many calories are in the pitta

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters Hummus topped with mushrooms with carrot sticks instead of pitta is under 200kcals
Carb Conscious Go for the chicken or chunky beef toppings and substitute pitta with carrot sticks
Gluten Aware All of the toppings are gluten free to just swap your pitta for the gluten free bread
Vegetarian Try the fava beans, vegetable salad, mushroom or guacamole toppings
Vegan Try the fava beans, vegetable salad, mushroom or guacamole toppings

Value for money

Small hummus with a chunky beef topping £5.50

Small Hummus with chicken topping £5.20

We think that’s pretty good value for a clean, filling lunch

Loyalty card

Buy 9 meals and get a 10” small hummus free

Buy 12 meals and get a 14” regular hummus free

Locations

Soho – 88 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TH

Holborn – Victoria House, 37-63 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4DA

St Paul’s – 128 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6BT

Exmouth Market – 62 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE

Find out more

www.hbros.co.uk