aw food (i.e. food that has not been cooked, treated or processed in any way above 115°F) seems to be all the craze at the moment with the idea that above this selected temperature food starts to loose essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. However, with a background in physiological science and a keen interest in nutrition I am fully aware of the nutrients that our bodies need and so for me (although a keen health freak and yogi) it is hard to see the true benefits of a 100% raw diet. Saying that, dabbling in the craze can only leave you happy, full, and downright smug and righteous.
So last weekend in the hot and sunny weather and with the influence of Wimbledon’s top athletes competing as we ate, I took my sceptical mother to Nama, Notting hill an artisan raw food ‘oasis’ for lunch. And I was hugely pleased and excited by it! Albeit we chose well, I would not have been left as happy had I chosen the raw ‘pizza’ (courgette and walnut cracker base topped with vegetables). However, a hearty salad and a falafel raw ‘wrap’ left us nourished and smiling as we washed it down with pear, cucumber, cinnamon, maple and apple juice and matcha lattes.
So home again and inspired I headed to the kitchen to use some of Nama’s influence in my mid week dinner. Influence is the word here. This is not technically ‘raw’ but its a damn good compromise.
Makes about 4 (with leftovers)
- 1 small red cabbage
- 1 yellow courgette
- 1 green courgette
- Large bunch mint, coriander and parsley
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
- 1-2 limes
- 1 x hummus recipe
- 2 avocados
- 1 x packet roasted seaweed sheets (Nori sheets)
Spiced herby Hummus
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 red chilli
- 1 bunch coriander and in addition, either mint, parsley, basil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 red chilli, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp yoghurt
- Salt and pepper
- Splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ heaped tsp of the following mix of ground spices (For the ground mix, toast 1tbsp of each fennel, cumin, coriander , black mustard and fenugreek seed with 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cardamon pods and 1 star anise in a dry frying pan until hot, fragrant and beginning to pop. Remove and grind in a pestle and mortar until fine).
- Start with the vegetable ‘slaw’. In a processor, shred the cabbage and courgettes until fine and mix well. Finely chop the herbs and add these with some seasoning. Add the sesame seeds and lime juice and set aside.
- Make the hummus. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a processor (expect the oil) and pulse to a coarse paste. You may need to wipe the sides down as you go. Add a splash of oil to loosen if you like.
- Cut your avocados in halve and then slice each halve into chunky chip shaped sliced.
- Now assemble! Spread a layer of hummus in the middle of a sheet of Nori. Top with the slices of avocado and then with a layer of slaw.
- Fold the short ends in and then roll (with the long end facing you) the nori seaweed wrapper over the filling tightly and press together.
- Slice in halve on the diagonal and enjoy!