I was SO nervous!
Finally in Christchurch *love heart eyes*
First stop, Black & White Coffee Cartel where a little printed sign advised us there’d be no avocado (two words which should never be together) this season. Alas, our bagels were delicious and S particularly liked the NZ bacon nomnom.
Next, one for the bucket-list. Though rather simple, I had always dreamt of visiting the Riccarton Farmers’ Market with bae. It is truly one of my most favourite places in Christchurch.
If tea is a hug in a cup, porridge is a cuddle in a bowl, I say. Alll better. Full tummies and grateful hearts. I got the rsf, V, and df option and S ordered the spiced apple, toffee sauce, and walnut crumble porridge.
When S sent the above photo to his family group chat, his brother asked if that was an egg atop my porridge…Hehe nope! Just honey and yoghurt.
Things have been pretty surreal, neither of us can actually believe S is finally here. Last night we dined at Tutto Bene. The food was good and the company even greater. We had a lovely French waitress and S mentioned the wonderful paradox of having a French waitress, working at an Italian restaurant in New Zealand serving a table of Persian, Kiwi, and American diners. How beautiful is that? Unity in diversity.
When A Woman Becomes Her Own Best Friend Life Is Easier
Except my momma is my best-friend. Here’s a lovely green-smoothie bowl recipe I made for her and I earlier this week: simply blend 1 banana, 1 kiwifruit, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt and 1 tsp cinnamon until smooth then top with favourite toppings. When I sent this photo to Soroosh, as I often do of my random daily snaps, he said: “tell your momma the days of smoothie-bowls are over, I’m coming for it!” Yep, don’t blame him. Twas delish.
In addition to purelyinstagramworthyflowers, I topped them with my homemade gluten-free muesli which is basically a concoction of mixed nuts and seeds, buckwheat puffs, brown rice puffs and quinoa flakes – all individually bought and mixed together.
Posted this fatty on Instagram. My friend Chris commented: “Garfield, is that you?”
If you haven’t read Flow magazine, you’re missing something big. So lovely, so delicate, and so inspiring.
BearLion Foods have the best salads in Christchurch. This is a fact. Pictured is a mix of two wholesome vegetarian salads bought on my to work from the Riccarton Bush Saturday Market and enjoyed on my lunch-break in sunny Sumner.
When it comes to organic food stores, I lack serious self-control. I want to buy everything. The trouble is, I can hardly afford one thing! I think this was $6 something. ARGH why so expensive? Alas, it was heavenly. So good that I recreated it myself the next day ;) Simply warm 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, and some orange zest in a small pot on medium heat. Once hot, stir in 1-2 tsp of honey or coconut sugar.
Heaven is a place on earth. UTOPIA ICE is simply the best. I mean come on, where else can you get 5+ vegan options including: passionfruit coconut ice-cream and raspberry and saffron sorbet?!
Sorry for the copyright Flow Magazine but I just couldn’t agree more! “Coming out of a period of scarcity, we have now reached a point where we have too many things, and it’s damaging our health.” True dat. Pad Thai selfie from my family’s all-time favourite: Zab Thai.
In case you missed my infamous bathroom selfies with the glorious towel backgrounds.
Back To Food Blogging
Persian breakfasting at the Persian household with organic buckwheat bread.
I’m so happy I got to go to the Riccarton Farmers’ Market this Saturday. I love farmers’ markets and I especially love the one at Riccarton. The river.. the ducks.. the roses.. the smells! My oh my, am I in heaven! You know, the thing I keep telling everyone and myself, is just how much more I appreciate NZ after being away. There’s no place like it. Nil.
Posh porridge with my best friend.
Tis officially stone-fruit season in NZ!
Look Japanese friends! Here we have my gorgeous friend Ayumi serving me vegetarian Gyoza! Yes, Vegetarian! Mmmm!
Yum Yum Gyoza!
After 2 years.. healthy Sunday pancakes at the Kazemis! Recipe HERE.
My mama made me my favorite: vegan Persian dolmeh and boiled broad beans with salt and lemon. Dolmeh recipe HERE.
Last but not least, I’m back at work at Cafe Valentino again and it’s looking like a crazy busy Christmas season. In the mean time, I am actively looking for a writing career.
I’m Youth I’m Joy
“Pan, who and what art thou?” he cried huskily.
“I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answered at a venture, “I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg.” ~J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Not your typical he surprised me by making me a romantic breakfast picture. He made me breakfast because it’s been one hell of a challenging time figuring out our lives together and how we’re going to make this work with all the crazy distance – which made it that much more delicious. There’s always two sides to everything, and to a picture. I hope we can all rise above the tests and difficulties we encounter and to keep strong our faith. On a lighter note, he is the sweetest.
Outfit of the day: green-stone necklace form NZ, top, skirt and bag from Osaka, Japan. $8 shoes from H&M in Nashville, USA because my regular sandals had given me super painful blisters. Ring from a chain clothing store in France and watch from my sister and brother-in-law (NZ) as a thank-you gift for having hosted them in Japan last year.
Such a delicious burger! I love vegetarian.
It’s a small world. This is the epic Persian (and vegetarian) food spread lovingly prepared by my father’s first cousin who happened to read here that I am in Nashville and invited me and my host-family over for dinner. I am so happy I was able to meet her, her husband and her beautiful daughter.
Pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate sea-salt. Worth every single calorie. From Five Daughters Bakery.
If I Don’t Have Red, I Use Blue.
Today’s plan was to visit The Musee Picasso. Unfortunately, it was closed. Google tells me they re-open tomorrow. So. Stay tuned.
Instead, I walked through the old town, familiarising myself. I tried to look. Really, look. As an artist would, for you (and for me, too). In the words of Sinclair Lewis: “He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.”
Here’s what I found:
If I don’t have red, I use blue. (Pablo Picasso)
Hey sis! I’m thinking of you.
The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. (Pablo Picasso)Look ladies (you too, Anisa) a “big” beautiful woman in 1927 by Henri Mattise. The “ideal” woman is an ever-changing phenomenon and we don’t have to keep up. Nomad, a man of letters looking out over the Mediterranean. As Anita’s mom tells me, it represents openness and unity. A world citizen. More info HERE.
I’ve only YOU in mind, Lavanya. HASHTAGginger.
I made a bulgur lentil and herb salad. Served with dark olive baguette, cherry tomatoes, greens, walnuts and fresh mozzarella. All organic.
Vegetarian Food In Europe
Apparently California is the place for vegan and vegetarian food but compared to NZ and Japan, Europe is pretty good, too. Mostly Belgium and Switzerland though not so much Spain and France. Here’s a list:
Moon Food (Brussels, Belgium)
This place is completely vegan. There are two buffets, one cooked and one raw. You fill your plate then pay as according to weight. This is also the case for the next two places (Hiltl and Vert). Moon Food was probably my favourite restaurant. The interior is so pretty! Wooden and minimalistic. I wished so bad to be living and working in Brussels just so I could take my lunch breaks here. EVERYDAY. Laura also loved it and she’s not really into vegan.
Hummus (I can hear Oz singing the hummus song)
Featuring zoodles (zucchini noodles), raw felafel, guacamole and slaw.
Hiltl (Zurich, Switzerland)
According to “Guinness World Records” Hiltl is the first vegetarian restaurant in the world. The company was founded in 1898 by Ambrosius Hiltl and is now run by the fourth generation of the Hiltl family. It offers around 500 dishes and includes, in addition to the à la carte restaurant and Hiltl buffet, self-service and takeaway, a bar-lounge, a club, a cooking studio and a shop. The interior is really extravagant. White with hanging chandeliers. Definitely a place to take your mother. Some also do breakfast.
Featuring edamame salad, dahl, lentil salad, mango and pineapple.
Vert Attitude (Geneva, Switzerland)
Probably the most expensive but rightly so. The food was of the highest quality and delicious. Only problem, the lighting isn’t good for an Instagram-worthy image (hehe)
(Obvs not my photo – my plate, which is not pretty enough to post here contained broccoli salad, carrot salad, guacamole, lentil salad and dahl dal or dhal)
Greenway (Ghent, Belgium)
Both vegan and vegetarian options: wraps, burgers, salads etc. But it’s a chain so it’s not THAT great. But it’s good still. It has a Subway vibe like it’s cozy and colourful but it’s not a restaurant.
Maison Blunt (Zurich, Switzerland)
Just had a soy chai here but it was goooooood. Also the interior, very moroccan very cute. Free wifi (no password), comfy couches and many vegan and vegetarian options (some meat dishes too shhhh!).
These I did not have the time, stomach-space or money to try out. But, they’re on my list. Maybe you’ll get to try them on my behalf:
Qibi (Geneva, Switzerland)
YOGIFOOD – The Power of Raw (Geneva, Switzerland)
Avalon (Ghent, Belgium)
Dolma (Brussels, Belgium)
Early summer in Japan is brilliant because the weather is dry and the mornings and evenings, cool. It’s mid summer when things go to shit and the insects come out and the weather enters humid hell. Anyways, believe it or not, I have started eating less and lighter and feeling as radiant as summer itself.
From top to bottom: granola (ft. Wild Friends almond butter and ViBERi freeze-dried blackcurrants), BBQ (a common Japanese summer event always ft. fireworks), the vegan nacho salad I made to take to it (the BBQ – with chia-seed chips), more granola this time with passion-fruit (if only you could have shared my excitement when I found the thing in a Japanese supermarket!), wholewheat pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and blue cheese stuffed olives alongside mix seed crackers from The Breadman Organic Bakery all the way from Christchurch (NZ), a simple kidney bean, cougette, cucumber and chickpea salad dressed only in lemon juice with a side of my zucchini banana cake, pay-day treats, vegan black rice sushi and last but not least, today’s bento: asian-style salad of carrot, cucumber, capsicum (red and yellow), peanuts and black sesame seeds dressed with a little soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil next to a humble free-range boiled egg and two purely-decorative flowers which have no reason to be there.
A Celebration Post
Savvy Tokyo has given me the amazing opportunity to be a part of their team! Can you believe it? Finally a chance to do what I love most outside of my blog. Please please with a cherry on top (literally) take a look at THIS link and share it with all of your friends so that my bosses will be super happy to have me! <3
To celebrate, I ordered takeaway curry for sweet Ashleigh and me.
I started looking at what other foodies were tagging their Instagram photos with and this one, #weekendvibes seemed especially popular. So, I started using it and voila! 20+ followers! Hehe. Are YOU following my Instagram yet? The following are pictures from my weekend or vibes of my weekend or the weekend of my vibes?
And, I’ve started utilizing Instagram in other ways. Maybe you hardcore foodies already do this but I began searching particular places (as opposed to specific tags), like “Tottori City” and that way, came across many a delicious foodie pictures taken at quirky restaurants and cafes that I would have otherwise never have known existed. That’s how Yasuko and I ended up at Moco Lifestyle – so stylish!
The salad is simply a cup of cooked wholewheat couscous, mixed with a can of mixed beans (drained and rinsed), cooked asparagus, raw cucumber, juicy green sultanas, a splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, sea salt and ground pepper. Delishas.
Frittata For Dummies
I have the lovely Laura (aka Yoooya) from Belgium staying with me for a few days and I couldn’t be more grateful! Not only has she been absolutely lovely and great company but also, my lab mouse. Last night I baked us my very first frittata and she said it was delicious! Providing Laura actually meant it and wasn’t just saying it for free accommodation, you too, can create this deliciousness.
This fool-proof recipe can be easily doubled and adapted:
6 free-range eggs
1/4 cup of full-fat dairy (milk, sour-cream, creme fraiche, coconut cream or yoghurt)
sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (or cheddar)
1/2 white onion, diced small
2 cups potato, peeled and diced small (or sweet potato, or pumpkin)
1 cup of spinach, torn (or broccoli or any other vegetable like asparagus, edamame beans, mushroom, etc)
handful of fresh mint, torn (or basil, parsley and coriander)
1/4 cup blue cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
The trick to a good frittata says the internet, is to fully cook the add-ins so…
Beat the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl then set aside
Next brown the onion (usually on medium heat with a little oil in a frying pan).
Add potato, cook until tender (about 10 minutes).
Add spinach and mint, cook for a minute.
Combine vegetables with egg mixture.
Pour into an oven-proof dish.
Top with torn blue cheese, pine nuts and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Bake at 200C for 20-22 minutes (keep an eye on it!)
Serve hot or cold but always with salad!