Tag: vegan

Waitrose has launched a new range of healthy foods which have been inspired by the ever increasing trend for nutritious foods that are innovative, trendy and of course good for you. Look out for breakfast salads, sorghum and new vegan products from the popular supermarket.

We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the new Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine (269 kcals and 281 kcals respectively) breakfast salads are a great source of protein and make a change to the typical ‘busy’ breakfasts of porridge or toast. The breakfast salads contain spinach, red rice, quinoa, egg and dollop of hollandaise.

Waitrose Eggs Benedict Breakfast Salad Waitrose Eggs Florentine Breakfast Salad
Soghum, a grain that is being tipped as the new quinoa can be found in Waitrose’s Vegan Grains and Raw Vegetables Salad which as the name implies ticks a few other health trends too. The low fat salad contains raw shredded butternut squash and beetroot and mixed with a vegan raw carrot and miso dressing.

Waitrose Vegan Grains and Raw VegetablesWaitrose Wholewheat Noodles and Vegetable Stir Fry

According to Simona Cohen-Vida, Product Developer at Waitrose, ‘What healthy eaters consume in the US, British shoppers will usually follow. There’s a movement towards not cutting down or taking things out of your diet. The best way to keep health intentions on track is to add new ingredients to dishes. By adding this variety, mealtimes remain interesting and help you get natural goodness from your food, with the vegetables making it easier to reach your five a day. All of our new range is either ready-made or ready to cook so they’ll save time in the kitchen too’.

In addition to breakfast salads and sorghum, Waitrose have also responded to customer demands by adapting their stir fry meals with runner beans and broccoli cut into noodle shapes to make dishes lower in carbs. They also now sell quinoa fried rice and are the first UK supermarket to sell fresh wholewheat noodles.

Well done, Waitrose, well done.

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.



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:


Find out more about the Raw Chocolate Company here:

caribbean food week

It’s Caribbean Food Week! The UK’s BIGGEST celebration of Caribbean Food & Drink is well underway and Notting Hill Carnival is just around the corner. The Caribbean is renowned for producing vibrant music and equally vibrant food.

This bank holiday weekend you’ll be sure to find an array of Caribbean cuisine on the road this bank holiday weekend – jerk chicken, patties, roti and more.

So how does a Balanced Busy Body manoeuvre through a Caribbean menu? We’ve done some research for ya!

Rhythm Kitchen Jerk Chicken SaladTraditional jerk chicken is marinated with a variety of spices before it is cooked over hot coals and pimento wood. Many Caribbean restaurants in the UK restaurants are unlikely to be able to prepare their jerk chicken exactly as they would back home, but most do grill their jerk chicken, giving Balanced Busy Bodies a naturally low fat option when eating out at Caribbean restaurants. Rhythm Kitchen in Westfield Stratford City, pride themselves on marinating their meat for 24 hours before grilling. www.rhytmkitchen.co

Greenz Restaurant Vegetable GateauWe appreciate that not everyone eats meat, so you’ll be pleased to know that vegetarianism is common in the Caribbean. Whether due to the presence of Rastafarianism or the sheer abundance of fruits and vegetables in the region, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy Caribbean flavour – minus the meat. Greenz Restaurant in Tulse Hill specialise in vegetarian and vegan food inspired by their travels and their Caribbean heritage. Some items on the menu are also suitable for those on a gluten free diet. www.greenzrestaurant.com

KTmuttonIf you’re looking for an eat-in option, you should definitely get down to Sainsbury’s or Tesco and look for the Kingston Town Range. The range includes popular Jamaican favourites such as Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas, Curry Mutton with Rice and Chicken Fricassee with Rice and Peas.

The meals are free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and hydrogenated fats. The list of ingredients are easy in the meals are easy to pronounce which is always a plus in our eyes

Ocado are currently running a Caribbean Meal Deal promotion – buy 2 Kingstontown meals and 2 Port Royal patties for £8

Hope you all have a great Carnival Weekend!

Lupita East exterior

In short

Authentic Mexican restaurant that doesn’t patronise diners who have specialist requirements.


Mexican food has been elbowing its way onto the London dining scene for the last few years with some hits and some misses so when we passed newcomer Lupita we thought we’d pop in to find out if it was a hit or a miss.

We visited Lupita East, which is located just a few minutes’ walk away from Aldgate East Station. The décor was minimal yet authentic, but the true beauty of the restaurant lies on the menu which offers a wide range of Mexican fare from burritos and tacos to soups and totopos Not only is the food authentic, it provides reasonable options for diners with specialist diet requirements.

You’ll find great options for vegetarians which include ingredients such as nopales (cactus), flor de calabaza (squash flour blossoms) and huitlacoche (Mexican truffles).

Coeliacs can request corn tortillas for dishes that are made with flour tortillas (except burritos). Our server explained that the restaurant will always try to modify a dish to meet your needs. However, requests should be reasonable – there have been requests in the past for quesadillas with no cheese…

Calorie counters can obtain calorie information on meals if you ask in advance. We took it upon ourselves to do a little enquiring and learned that the following dishes are below 400 calories:

  • Tostada Ceviche
  • Tostada Tuna
  • Tacos de Hongos ( Mushrooms)
  • Tacos Gobernador (asked with half portion of cheese)
  • Tortilla Soup, no avocado, no sour cream,
  • Sopa de Verduras
  • Prawn Nopales Salad
  • Ensalada Maya
  • Arroz ala Mexicana ( no sour Cream)

All in all this was a great Mexican experience and we would recommend Lupita to anyone who appreciates Mexican food – specialist requirements or not!

What we tried:

Chicharron de Queso y Guacamole

A tunnel of cheese served with guacamole. Heaven for cheese lovers.

Chicharron de Queso








Nopales tacos with corn tortillas (top)

Flor de calabaza quesadillas with corn tortillas (bottom)

Lupita tacos








Flan de cajeta (top)

Almond Daim chocolate tart (bottom)

Lupita desserts











What we liked

The authenticity of the menu from start to finish

The guacamole was the best we’ve tasted for a long time

The staff have a great understanding of the menu and confidently responded to diet specific queries

What we would do differently

Add a little more kick to one of the salsas

Include more of the nutritional attributes to their website

Who can eat here?

Lupita profile breakdown (592x834)















Value for money

Definitely. Two people can have a starter, main and drink for around £20 per head.


Lupita Central 13 – 15 Villiers Street, WC2N 6ND

Lupita East 60 – 62 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6LT

Find out more




If your only experience of Caribbean food is from the streets of Ladbroke Grove towards the end of an eventful Notting Hill Carnival, you’d be forgiven for querying the nutritional friendliness of a typical Caribbean meal. However, a visit to Rhythm Kitchen in Westfield Stratford may challenge that opinion.

Located in one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, Rhythm Kitchen serves a Caribbean menu with a slightly modern twist.

The ‘I jerked the sheriff’ printed boldly on the back of staff shirts and website warnings that chickens will be jerked on site are humorous on the one hand but indicative of how integral Caribbean seasoning is to the menu.

Expect basics like jerk chicken, jerk pork and braised oxtail alongside modern additions such as the jerk chicken burger and jerk chips.

This establishment seems to be conscious of their halal diners, which calls into question the inclusion of jerk pork on the menu.

We also noticed that there is only one dish on the menu that has been specifically created for vegetarians…

We tried:

Jerk chicken breast pieces with a side salad and coleslaw

Jerk pork with rice and peas and coleslaw

Lamb roti

This is definitely not a stereotypical Caribbean offering. The flavours were combined a little differently than we were expecting from the jerk pork and jerk chicken but the authenticity was not compromised.

The same couldn’t be said for the lamb roti which had the right seasoning but lacked the depth of flavour that a roti should have.

Regardless of the taste, food is prepared without excess oil, well presented and served in sensible portions.

Value for money
At £7.25 for a ¼ chicken with 2 sides it’s a touch more expensive than your average Caribbean meal but that’s to be expected given its high profile location.

Good for: Halal diners

Ok for: Vegetarian, vegan and carb conscious diners

Not so good for: calorie counters, coeliacs

What we liked
The modern twist to a traditional offering

The preparation area plainly visible

What we would do differently
Remove jerk pork from the menu

Add at least one more vegetarian dish to the menu

Either revisit the recipe for the lamb roti or remove it from the menu and stick to what they do best – jerk

What they said:
We e-mailed Rhythm Kitchen to find out what assurance they can give to their halal diners that there is no risk of cross contamination.

We’re still waiting on a response but will update you as soon as they come back to us.

Find out more: