The food that Natasha cooks is super healthy, based on alkaline food principles and is…deep breath… gluten, wheat and cow’s dairy free. These aren’t my usual dietary parameters (a meat eater who doesn’t cut anything out of their diet except for anchovies, I’m pretty sure I will never get on board with them). However, I am always keen to give something new a go and I am very glad that I did.
The venue was beautiful. Twinkly lights, green velvet banquettes and the most gorgeously decorated tables in a wonderfully light and airy space.
We were greeted with a goodie bag (oh, I do love a bag of swag – choccie, coconut water, nut butter, spices and a nut bar) and a gin cocktail (oh, I do love a cocktail!) which was so fresh and clean with cucumber, basil, apple and lime. There was also a Tequila Mockingbird which I was very tempted by which combined tequila with lime juice and mango chilli shrub.
The food was a smorgasbord of culinary delights starting off with nori chips and an avocado and tahini dip.
For starters, we ate an activated beetroot purée (meaning soaked in salted water to activate the germination process – my significantly more clued up dinner date got me up to speed) with marinated kohlrabi (cabbage-esque, again, thanks R) apple salad with cashew nigella seed cheese. The cheese was so tasty, the salad crisp and fresh and, in its way, really quite creamy.
For our main, we ate bunnernut butter (I loved this element in particular), beetroot lentil burger with a cucumber salsa and tahini dressing.
Dessert was an incredibly delicious, moist, citrusy marmalade polenta cake with “nice cream.” I loved the polenta cake, which I will definitely bake, but I wasn’t as keen on the nice cream which I felt neither added to nor detracted from the dessert.
After Natasha had finished cooking (she had previously introduced the evening (above)) she came to speak to all of the guests individually which was really nice. She was absolutely lovely and her passion for food is evident. I learned that the dinner she cooked brought together elements from various recipes in her cookbooks including Honestly Healthy in a Hurry.
Because M is allergic to peanuts, lentils and most beans (geeky fact, a peanut isn’t a nut but a legume which is why chickpeas are also on his no-go list) he also avoids most nuts, this means I’m pretty restricted in what I can try out at home but I have been online and I have found a whole host of dishes and ideas for me to try. So I will definitely be making a concerted effort to trying new things, new foods and new techniques. I particularly like the look of this bircher muesli which I can make before and take to work for breakfast.
The meal was utterly delicious and I left feeling full, but not uncomfortably stuffed, and the next morning even after the evening’s cocktail and half a bottle of Vouvray Sec (practising organic) I felt great.
Thank you Natasha and to R for letting me use her photos too. I’m off to buy your recipe book. You’ll find me behind a vat of butternut butter and a marmalade polenta cake!