So since my Facebook album ‘mona kitchen’ has got quite a few likes and comments such as
“Mona, you’re better than Jamie Oliver, xxx”,
“mona make a reciepe book haha mona’s meals”
“Your kitchen looks about as good as my bum.”
I thought I’d start documenting stuff in form of a blog.
  • Found this little chill out place, Seeds of Life, as we were strolling along a quiet side street. 

    This one was actually 100% raw & vegan, and we had a green smoothie and a slide of raw pizza. One day my living space is going to have these big cushions too… 

    What was different about this place is their dedication to the functions of their ingredients, mostly in their drinks. Their tonic bar is explained in detail on their menu, and in sum is a technology that allows the extraction of the most beneficial nutrients of selected herbs, which the cafe then uses to make their tonic drinks. The combination of plants and their effects have been carefully examined they say. Their variety and details on tea was interesting, too (although I didn’t actually try them).

    Science & food eh… gets a bit overwhelming, all of this to be healthy?

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  • Ubud market at 7am

    Haggle prices even if it’s for 3 tomatoes… ‘cause I ain’t paying 60p for that. 

  • Yep, I went for it - the much spoken about Luwak coffee or Kopi Luwak in Balinese. 

    I remember reading a Guardian article a few months ago about the hype around this particular type of coffee and feeling quite angry at the industry that sells these. In short, Kopi Luwak is: forest animal luwak eats the ripest coffee cherries, poos them out, those get picked up, cleaned, and processed into coffee beans. The appeal seems to be simply the rarity and novelty of drinking, err, poo beans. That’s also the only reason I drank it in Bali - it’s interesting. 

    I believe that this coffee is very controversial, and I am totally against the idea of exporting it for mass distribution. It’s too unrealistic to maintain the quality that it must’ve once had when it started over 20 years ago… Anyway, I drank it from a small coffee stall in the market place, where they claimed that they sourced it from wild luwaks instead of caged ones. I really hope that it’s true. 

    I’m not an expert in coffee, but the taste was a little sour and quite frankly not much different to normal coffee. I was tempted to buy a pack of the beans to take home, but then I thought, it’s just for the novelty factor, and ideally I don’t want to support this industry. Kind of crazy too that it was only around £7 and you’d get a free Bali coffee pack, too. 

    In sum, from a non-coffee expert, it was alright, but no need to get too excited about poo poo coffee especially if it harms these cute animals.

  • Clear Cafe, Ubud, Bali

    Quite simply our favourite eating spot while we were in Bali - this was also the first place we ate at , and it was my first step into seeing the variation of raw and vegan food available (especially in Ubud!). Although I’ve always been interested in the idea, I hadn’t given enough thought or time to understand the type of ingredients that can create such healthy and delicious dishes. 

    My first dish was the raw Love Lasagne. The use of cashews to recreate a ‘creamy cheese’ was an amazing discovery - for someone who loves cheese, it’s literally been one of the only things stopping me from trying out a week of eating vegan food.

    The only ‘downside’ for me personally, is that raw food is usually cold, because everything has to be cooked under around 40 °C to maintain the nutritional values of the foods… If this lasagne was warm, I could really swap it for a normal one. Although I was full having finished it, it wasn’t that kind of full stomach that drags on and makes you feel tired - can’t really deny the benefits of eating light. Might try recreate this but heat it up  - I don’t like being too strict with certain diets so I’ll just base it on this idea.

    My favourite dish, which unfortunately I only had as my last meal before leaving Ubud, was the Jamur Fettucchini - nutty and garlicy ‘cream’ sauce with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Can’t believe that this creaminess and richness is all vegan! Definitely one of the things I’ll give a go is making these ‘cheesy’ sauces when I get back. 

    Raw pizza was also interesting, although I’m not sure if I can pass a fire-wood oven pizza for a cold slice… 

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  • Pre-flight

  • Pesto again!

    Dad had a crazy big basil plant, so I’ve made some pesto from it. Half way through I remembered that the raw garlic was super strong and hot last time, but it tasted milder this time. Instead of blending the basil, I hand-chopped it, and after adding olive oil and garlic I massaged the mixture by hand so that the flavour combines well. No pine nuts but used sunflower seeds instead and it worked really well. Lots of shaved parmesan was added, too.

    Served with some pan-fried balsamic chicken strips.

  • Exotic smoothie

    Morning drink: dragon fruit (amazing colour!!!), guava, pineapple and carrots. Forgot the ice cubes, but it was delicious nonetheless. To make it even more healthy I probably would’ve added some spinach or something, but they only had massive bunches in the shop here. The guava was like an apple but a bit hard and sort of tasteless… maybe not ripe enough.

  • Very simple triple-green salad

    Had to use up my salad leaves, okra, spinach and cherry tomatoes. Boiled the spinach and okra, dash of soy sauce after draining. The rest is drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A quick ‘I need to eat something healthy’ sort of salad.

  • Lunch box

    Mix of healthy things - had to use up most of my food in the weeks coming up to moving out of Vauxhall. Salad leaf base, mix of couscous and quinoa, cherry tomatoes, grilled chilli halloumi with mint and smoked salmon on the side. 

    Didn’t season the couscous and quinoa (except for some black pepper) because of the strong flavours of the halloumi and salmon. Added a bit of balsamic vinegar on the whole salad.

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  • Spicy Korean pork slices on rice


    Mama visited from Japan so we made a ton of food. Miso soup and vegetables on the side, and some green tea.