raw temptations and working lunches

August 30, 2009

I’m so used to working from home now that the idea of taking a “lunch hour” like regular folk fills me with both excitement and dread.  On the one hand it’s what I most look forward to; on the other I don’t have the luxury (and control) of my fridge and my Vita-Mix.  But I’ve been reporting to an office for the past two weeks, and it’s the first time since switching to a high-raw diet.

Have I been high raw at the office?  Kinda sorta.  Here’s how it goes:

-I start the day with a breakfast bowl packed with fruit (recipe to come).  That’s all raw.
-I blend up a big green smoothie before I leave and put it into my Sigg bottle, then I down it the minute I settle into my desk and power up the PC (massive culture shock for a Mac user).

So far, so raw.  This particular office has the added touch of fruit bowls in the kitchen, but the bananas are terribly unripe, and you know how I feel about that.  And crunching an apple in an open office space just doesn’t feel right.  So what do I do?  I’d love to tell you that I gamely scoop out the neglected tangerines in the bottom of the bowl.  Nope.  Not since I discovered that the vending machine stocks Green & Blacks 70% chocolate.  Someone in Human Resources is very smart.

Yes, folks, that’s right, I’ve been having one of those 30g mini bars every day.  What’s this thing Natalia Rose says about having a square of dark chocolate?  Who the heck can have just a square?  Notice how she doesn’t specify what size such square should be.  The bar comes out of the vending machine cold, so I also got in the habit of setting it atop a mug of tea to warm it up.  Oh boy.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because between the green smoothie and the square(s) is lunch.  Except for when I have the chocolate in the morning, and that only happened once, when I had bought a large bar of dark chocolate from Marks & Spencer, ate half of it, and “hid” it under some papers for the following afternoon…

Anyway, lunch.  Raw options in Farringdon where I’ve been working are not easy to come by, but I’ve found a few things that are pretty close:

First up is Abokado, an airy little sushi place where, surprisingly, they had this salad box with falafel.  Nice and colorful, just how I like it.
abokado

Cute, eh?

And then on Friday I headed over to Exmouth Market again to Spinach & Agushi, the Ghanaian stall.  I love, love this place.  Not only am I overcome by the smell of frying plantains – a frequent presence in my Cuban upbringing – but the staff are very warm, and the food is fantastic.  The menu is simple: pick a stew or two, and ask for it with the plantains or red rice.  I went for the rice with spinach  & agushi plus black-eyed bean stew. The agushi looks like ground beef but is actually made with crushed pomegranate seeds.  Everything is layered in a box and then topped with an optional “garnish” of shredded carrots:

jollof

Oh, wow, I could have this at any hour of the day.  Add “Ghanaian recipes” to my list of things to look up.

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comments

  1. Jess December 9, 2009 at 21:34

    Thanks, Carla!

  2. Carla December 4, 2009 at 02:06

    Hi, just to let you know that ‘Agushi’ is actually crushed pumpkin seeds, not pomegranate. Kind regards

  3. Jess September 11, 2009 at 11:45

    Good point, Nina, thanks. It is pretty silly of them!

  4. Nina September 10, 2009 at 13:35

    Just wanted to point out that Green & Black’s use whole milk powder in their dark chocolate, no idea why they’d do such a thing.

  5. Jess September 1, 2009 at 08:00

    Thanks for that link, EM. Mine is actually a Sigg look-alike. Hmm.
    And Linda, yes, you’d love it. When you go be sure to check out St. Etheldreda in Farringdon, too. It’s where Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon. A beautiful little church with a French cafe.

  6. Acme September 1, 2009 at 03:59

    Wow, that food looks delicious! Put Spinach & Agushi on my foodie list for next visit to London.

  7. EarthMother - In The Raw August 30, 2009 at 17:25

    LOL at the “square of dark chocolate.” I’m with you! It’s just not natural to eat only one lil’ piece of chocolate, although I have a friend who does just that. A bar of Green & Black lasts an eternity in her freezer. Imagine!

    Hope your Sigg bottle wasn’t manufactured prior to last summer, or there’s more in your green smoothie than just fresh fruit and veggies. Eeek!

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