Avocado: Athens

A little piece of heaven in the big city.

A little piece of heaven in the big city.

There’s just something about travelling… of course most of us love the adventure of being in a foreign place and experiencing new sights and people. But as a plant-based foodie I’m sure you’ll agree that one of the best parts of traveling is getting to visit those earthy cafes you stumble upon in a big city!

I was fortunate enough to travel to Greece in July during my winter uni break. I traveled with two of my best friends, it really was a dream! We arrived in Athens and had only 2 days in the city before our real island hopping adventure began. In hindsight, we really only needed about a day in Athens, but nonetheless no time was ever wasted and we explored every inch of the city on our feet! Being typical tourists, we were often distracted by any  beautiful sight we came across. Whether that be a cobbled road with sweet little coffee or juice bars, shops or  side streets with mini markets selling handcrafted jewellery and shoes- we were there! This often led to a “girls, where are we?” question… much to our delight my friend Emma discovered the trusty trip advisor app that began guiding our adventures- we even made use of its compass which was a rather funny experience too!

Naturally, the first thing I did was type ‘vegan restaurants’ into the search bar on the app. I didn’t want to be too hopeful and I wasn’t expecting much to pop up. There are tons of juice/ smoothie bars around the city, but we were yet to stumble upon a restaurant/ cafe with a vegan menu!  Correctly so there was limited choice, however, Avocado popped up as a recommendation and it looked like an utter gem!

A little wall art for a menu.

A little wall art for a menu.

I can’t be certain as to where it location is in relation to the city centre, but you can definitely walk there and make use of the apps compass 😉 In all seriousness though, Athens is quite small which makes it is so great to explore on your feet! So after an afternoon walk in the summer heat, (which felt like a solid hour because I was so damn excited to get there), we arrived at the perfect and unassuming little Avocado cafe. Just from my 5 second glimpse of the drinks menu behind the barista I knew this place was going to be an absolute treat.

Trying to hide my excitement...

Trying to hide my excitement…

The cafe was full of veggie- eating humans and I think we got the last table during the lunch hour! I always get so happy seeing places like this full of like- minded people making conscious decisions to look after their health and the planet! We were seated at our table and handed the menu… it’s at moments like this my determined attitude does away with me and I’m left feeling like a 2 year old- utterly incapable of making any decisions! After many uhms and ahs and a thorough analysis of the options, I pulled myself together and placed my order. You know when you just get it right, the no- regrets order? Yep, that was me!

Falafel sandwich with nachos and guac! Dreamy much?

Falafel sandwich with nachos and guac! Dreamy much?

I ordered a falafel type sandwich which came with lots of avo, fresh tomato, micro greens and spices, all served with nachos and guac. Emma ordered Avocado’s Burger, which was made from sweet potato, chickpeas and loads of fresh herbs and spices all drowned in a delicious peanut and spicy tomato sauce! It was all too dreamy and our plates were licked clean!

Avocado Burger.

Avocado Burger.

I hope to be back again soon and get a taste of that coconut milkshake I missed out on! If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit to this lovely cafe if you want to experience real food- food for life as they call it!

PS: give yourself some extra time to visit the incredible health store so conveniently placed next door. Strategic much? 😉

– Alice

Advertisements

VANILLA NANA ICE-CREAM DREAM

It’s official, my banana obsession has begun! Their sweetness, creaminess, convenience, versatility, nutrition.. Ah, they’re just INCREDIBLE!

Banana Ice- cream.

The ultimate vanilla banana ice- cream

I’m not joking when I say that I’ve been going through kilograms of bananas in just a few days. I’ve been enjoying them in my smoothies, oats and of course the best way, as ice- cream! Who would have thought you could enjoy ice- cream for breakfast (and lunch if you wish ;)) and still be healthy! The best part though? You can eat as much as your heart desires! Not only is this nana ice- cream a complete bowl of deliciousness, but it’s super simple to make too! It’s also such an adaptable recipe that you can add pretty much anything you like to it. You’ll find some suggestions below, and for all you chocoholics out there, (myself included yes), there’s a recipe for a sneaky little chocolate sauce you can drizzle on top too if you wish! So feel free to add the chocolate sauce and change up the flavours or the toppings. Just experiment, you can make it as cheeky as you like! So here it goes. The most nutritious, satisfying, delicious creamy-dreamy ice- cream ever…

The creamy dream!

The creamy dream!

For the ice- cream:

  • 4-5 frozen bananas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder (Totally optional, but this stuff really is a magical powder that adds a delicious caramel creaminess. You can read about its superpowers here)
  • Dash of water (optional)

Top tips: Use very ripe spotty bananas- these are much sweeter and are also far easier for your body to digest. Also, make sure you peel the bananas before you freeze them and cut them into chunks to make blending easier.

Simply put all the ingredients into a blender and whiz it up. I find a food processor works better than a smoothie machine, but it does take time to get going. So just be patient and don’t be tempted to add water right away to speed it up. You’ll just end up with a watery (still delicious) mush! If you’re in the mood for chocolate ice-cream, simply add about 1 tbsp cacao or carob powder. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even throw some frozen berries or frozen mango into the mix! Although creativity is always encouraged, be careful not to mix too many fruity flavours… less is always more!

For the chocolate sauce topping: 

  • 4-5 dates soaked in water overnight
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp carob

Add all the ingredients in a blender, including the water you soaked the dates in, and blend up your chocolate sauce. It’s that simple! To serve: Simply spoon the ice- cream into a bowl and drizzle the chocolate sauce over. I like a little crunch with mine too, so I sprinkle some cacao nibs, hemp seeds, buckwheat or oats on top. Some fresh fruit also makes a great topping, I mean who could ever say no to more banana ? – Alice

LITTLE KIND CAFE: MUNICH

Little Kind Cafe - TableI recently travelled to Montreal to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships and wanting to book the cheapest possible ticket meant I had a day long layover in Munich. The first thing I do when planning a trip to somewhere new is log onto happycow.net to research what vegan restaurants are in the area, naturally!

This trip was no different, and boy did I stumble upon something truly marvellous! Enter Little Kind Cafe – a little gem of a coffee shop tucked away in the side streets of Munich not very far from the hustle and bustle of the tourists but far enough so that you wouldn’t exactly stumble upon it if you took a wrong turn. Continue reading

CRISPY CAYENNE KALE CHIPS

Crispy, Cayenne Kale Chips!

Crispy, Cayenne Kale Chips!

Kale is one of the most nutrition packed vegetables on the planet. I suppose just by looking at its rich dark green tones you could guess that! It’s packed with protein, fibre and vitamins A, C and K, just to name a few. Most people are quite unfamiliar with this strange looking plant, so don’t feel shy if this is the first time you’re hearing about it!

Despite its distinct, peppery taste, it is a versatile veggie that can be prepared in so many cool ways! Kale chips, smoothies and juices are probably the most popular ways to eat kale. But if you’re new to the kale life and unfamiliar with its taste, then these chips are the best place to start. Continue reading

QUINOA AND THE GREENS

Just the other day I felt a distinct craving for steamed veggies, particularly broccoli, which I’d had in the fridge for a few days! So I got to work on something that I could whip together in reasonably quick time and that ticked all the boxes for a “balanced meal”. There’s something about steamed broccoli that just makes my taste buds sing, in addition it’s packed with vitamin A, K and D – ideal for office dwellers and everyone coming out of a sun deprived winter. Broccoli also has a hugely positive impact on your body’s detoxification system! Need I say more? Continue reading

BANANA PANCAKES WITH CHOC-PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE

Banana Pancakes - Plates

Contrary to popular belief, the week of a student is rather chaotic and stressful to say the least! So when that alarm goes off before the sun has remembered to rise its tough squeezing in a moment to make a pretty breakfast and have the time to actually enjoy it. That’s why when a Sunday rolls around I grab the opportunity to do just that! Because we all deserve a (healthy) treat and a slow start sometimes… At least I think so!

If you’re lucky enough to have more time in the mornings than I do, go ahead and enjoy these any and everyday of the week if you wish. Either way, I hope these pancakes treat you well! Continue reading