Wholefoods for Wellness at Aboutlife

Teresa Cutter's 'Flower Pot Salad'

Teresa Cutter’s ‘Flower Pot Salad’

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Wholefood for Wellness evening at Aboutlife Double Bay.

Now, if you’re a lover of wholefoods and live in Sydney, then chances are you’re already familiar with this wonderful store. Aboutlife Natural Marketplace is Sydney’s biggest organic grocer and is truly a one-stop shop for natural products and wholefood nutrition. So even if you’re simply interested in trying to lead a healthier lifestyle for you and your family – believe me when I say that this is the place for you!

Each store has a supermarket with a wide selection of organic and chemical free produce, most of which is locally sourced. They also have a wonderful café with delicious meals, organic teas, smoothies/juices and raw desserts – all catering for a wide variety of dietary needs (particularly vegans, gluten-free and dairy-free peeps). There is also a Body Wellness Bar in each store which is serviced by in-house naturopaths and supplies a variety of natural medicines – and often where I go to restock on my supplements.

Self-serve food bar at Aboutlife Natural Marketplace Double Bay Self-serve food bar at Aboutlife Natural Marketplace Double Bay

For Sydney locals, I will say the Double Bay store has quickly become my new favourite. Not only due to the sheer size (it actually feels like you’re in a huge chain supermarket) but I love the self-service concepts with everything from a ‘make your own salad bar’, burrito and pizza bar, deli counter, hotpot counter and a flower stall, among other things!

The focus of the evening was to teach us about the benefits of clean, healthy living. Founder and director of Aboutlife Jodie Steward kicked off the discussion and her passion for spreading the awareness and increasing the accessibility of healthy, clean nutrition dense food resonated strongly.

We got to sample some tasty canapes including superfood crackers with raw hummus and bruschetta, crunchy daikon rolls and macadamia encrusted sustainable fish (my favourite!).

Aboutlife Canapes Aboutlife Canapes

Next, Aboutlife wellness ambassador Vladia Cobrdova showed us how to make a super simple and very healthy ‘Watermelon Cake’. So by simple, I mean simple! It consisted of cutting the skin off a whole watermelon; coating the outer layer of the watermelon with chia-coconut spread and topping the ‘cake’ with berries. Yum – and all in under 10 mins!

We then got to see ‘The Healthy Chef’ Teresa Cutter in action as she showed us how to create one of the most creative salads I’ve ever come across. Welcome the edible flower pot! So you basically start with a terracotta flower pot and load it up with a bunch of nutritious salad ingredients, getting as creative as you want! Everything from the soil to the garnish and ‘plants’ are edible. I have posted the recipe below, but you can also access it at the Healthy Chef’s site here.

I must admit it was actually really fun creating my flower pot – but I think I got a little too carried and almost over filled mine! One of my favourite layers in the flower pot was the roasted beetroot with pomegranate molasses – so good.

Teresa Cutter preparing her edible Flower Pot Salad

Teresa Cutter preparing her edible Flower Pot Salad

Flower Pot Salad

For dinner we also had some slowed cooked beef cheeks with cauliflower mash and a green lentil curry. Both were very warming and oh so nourishing!

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks on Cauliflower Mash

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks on Cauliflower Mash

More than just salt and pepper... Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper and Chia Seeds!

More than just salt and pepper… Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper and Chia Seeds!

Then my favourite part of the evening was the raw desserts – because of course there is always room for dessert! Spoilt for choice, we got to sample some of Aboutlife’s homemade caramel slice, carrot cake and cacao and beetroot slice. All made with natural wholefoods – vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free – wow were they good!

Raw Carrot Cake

Raw Carrot Cake

Raw Caramel Slice

I really loved this evening because not only was I able to mingle with some like-minded fellow ‘wholefoodies’ and hear from some of Australia’s leading experts in the field, but I was able to eat everything that was served as it was all within my standard daily diet. This might sound trivial, but I honestly can’t think of the last time I had a full course meal at an event and was able to eat everything that was served (without of course sounding like the fussy one who requests no gluten, dairy, soy or processed ingredients!).

I think one of the greatest pleasures in life is where you can finish a truly delicious meal feeling satisfied and also knowing that you were nourishing your body with quality ingredients with every mouthful. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come in the Aussie market for wholefoods!

If you’re interested in going to one of Aboutlife’s upcoming Wholefoods for Wellness classes, check out their site here or aboutlife.com.au.

with Aboutlife's Founder and Director Jodie Steward

with Aboutlife’s Founder and Director Jodie Steward

Teresa Cutter’s ‘Flower Pot Salad’

Recipe courtesy of The Healthy Chef at – http://www.thehealthychef.com/2014/08/flower-pot-salad/

TO ASSEMBLE YOUR FLOWER POT:

Wash the flower pot in hot water and dry.

Line the base of the flower pot with a little baking paper so that the ingredients don’t fall through the drainage hole at the end.

Pile in the kale salad to fill the pot up half way.

Add any other raw or roasted vegetables if using such as carrot and beetroot.

Sprinkle generously with my Dukkah (don’t use a preprepared version as it won’t be the same and may affect the end result )

Lay over cucumber ribbons.

Add dip.

Sprinkle over soil.

Garnish with raw vegetables.

Enjoy! (These flower pot salads will keep for 2 days in the fridge)

BASE:

Perfect Kale Salad

1 bunch kale or Cavolo Nero

pinch sea salt

1 lemon

2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil

4 spring onions, finely sliced

1 bunch mint, chopped

1 bunch parsley, chopped

handful pumpkin seeds

1 pomegranate

2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves

Remove tough stems from the kale leaves and wash well.

Shred finely and place into a large bowl.

Add lemon, olive oil and salt over the shredded kale leaves.

Massage the leaves gently for about 2 – 3 minutes. The leaves will slowly start to soften and wilt, relaxing the kale so so that the leaves become wonderfully tender.

Add the spring onion, parsley, mint, pumpkin seed, pomegranate.

Toss through baby spinach and refrigerate until ready to assemble the flower pots.

MIDDLE

Roasted or raw carrot or beetroot

Figs are also lovely here if they are in season and I scented my beetroot with a little pomegranate molasses.

Almond Dukkah adds crunch, flavour and texture

2 x Lebanese cucumber, cut into ribbons

Your choice of dip – See my favorite dip recipes here

SOIL

Now this is the finishing touch. I’ve used a combination of an earthy sprouted Rye bread from Pure Life that gave me the earthiness I was looking for but have a look at the notes below to see variations.

2 slices of sprouted Rye Bread

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly roasted

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

2 teaspoons black tahini (see notes)

Pinch sea salt

Combine rye and walnuts into a food processor.

Pulse the machine until you get a bread crumb like mixture.

Spoon into a mixing bowl.

Add black sesame seeds, tahini and salt.

Mix through gently with your fingertips until combined.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

GARNISH

Raw baby vegetables (carrots, radish, asparagus etc )

Snow pea shoots, herbs, micro greens, wheatgrass shoots etc.

Notes + Inspiration gluten free bread, LSA or black quinoa can be used in place of the sprouted rye.

Flower Pot Salad

Aboutlife's beautiful flower stall

Aboutlife’s beautiful flower stall

Selection of Aboutlife's favourite goodies

Selection of Aboutlife’s favourite goodies

Bianca x

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