Where to eat in Bath: The Green Rocket, Yak Yeti Yak, Chapel Arts Café

Bath_eatsWhen it came to choosing places to eat while visiting Bath, we were spoiled for choice. Well known for being a foodie destination, the city attracts restaurants serving up just about every cuisine you can think of.  Our limited time meant we had to be selective about the places we ate, so we ended up choosing places that we felt offered something unique – and weren’t disappointed.

We made a beeline for our first lunch stop as soon as we stepped off the train; Chapel Arts Café was conveniently located halfway between the station and our hotel. Although it’s right in the centre of town, you’d be forgiven for skipping past this quaint little vegetarian joint, which is hidden away in the basement of St James’s Memorial Hall on Lower Borough Walls.

delicious-the-farmerVenturing in from the stone steps outside, the space is a hip and cosy combo of mismatched tables and chairs, gig posters, chalkboard menus and artsy knick-knacks. The café’s signature is its wood fired flatbreads, so naturally we both opted for one. Mine was was topped with a perfect balance of goats cheese, caramelised onion and roasted veg, while Amy’s was a spicy concoction of houmous, harissa, salsa and tabbouleh. Both were delicious, and combined with a coffee and a cuppa came to £20 – not bad for a wholesome lunch in one of England’s poshest cities.

This filled us up nicely until our evening meal at the hotel (I could write many more paragraphs on how incredible that was, but you should probably just check out the review I wrote here).

Lunch at Thermae Bath Spa’s Springs Café the next day took relaxed dining to a new level. Straight from the steam rooms and into the light, airy eatery, we sat eating serrano ham sandwiches and an olive salad in our robes and slippers, surrounded by similarly dressed down guests. The salted caramel and chocolate cheesecake at the end of the meal was undoubtedly the highlight – an extra slice of indulgence that I couldn’t resist in the midst of a seriously decadent day.

yakyetiyakBy dinnertime we were feeling adventurous, so decided to mix things up with a cuisine neither of us had tried before: Nepalese, courtesy of Yak Yeti Yak. Similar to Indian food but switching the blistering heat of traditional curry houses with subtle and smoky spice combinations, it was exciting to visit a restaurant where veggie food received equal billing to the meaty choices. Our mains consisted of Chyauko Tarkari (stir-fried mushrooms with earthy spices and tomato) and Pork Sag Aloo (slow cooked with potato, spinach and coriander). Both, however, were outshined by their irresistible accompaniment, Musurko Dal (mildly spiced orange lentils and garlic infused vegan ghee). It was so moreish that we had to order an extra portion.

We probably saved the best for last by squeezing in a visit to award winning café The Green Rocket before catching our train back to Cardiff. This vegetarian and vegan wonderland serves up an unpretentious array of fresh, healthy and original recipes, from satisfying mains to tempting home baked cakes.

IMG_7564IMG_7542 IMG_7545Everything on the lunchtime menu sounded good, but our individual choices really stood out to our respective tastebuds. Amy’s mezze offered a refreshingly different variety of light bites, from the mild and smooth baba ghanoush to the warm and soft dukkah flatbread. It looked incredible, but nothing could distract me from my awesome mushroom, sundried tomato and basil rice burger. Combined with halloumi and a cool green salad, even the stubbornest hamburger purists couldn’t have turned down this animal-free winner.

There were so many highly rated restaurants in Bath that we couldn’t possibly visit them all, and we’re already hungry for our next trip back to this flavoursome city. We’d love to hear about your foodie recommendations in a comment or a tweet @Creative_Hacks.

Matt

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Café Pure: guilt-free indulgent food in Cardiff Bay

dumbell
If healthy eating summons up images of protein-guzzling hulks downing their powdery shakes during a relentless gym sesh, it’s time you paid Café Pure a visit. This Cardiff Bay eatery has a varied menu of super nutritious breakfasts and lunches, packing barrowloads of flavour into every portion.

Good health and good eating are combined here. Every meal on the menu is accompanied by a clear indication of its nutritional information, with a massive grid at the back indicating the presence of common allergens. If only all restaurants were this considerate.

paleo

This labeling system also means you won’t necessarily feel guilted into going for the salad after a particularly gluttonous Christmas period – more or less everything on the menu makes for a well-balanced treat. That said, salad was the first choice for both of us. I’m not usually one to go for leafy greens over a burger or pizza, but the Paleo Fuel option mixed up loads of my favourite things in one massive salad – topped with a tuna steak and served with a sweet teriyaki dressing on the side, it was seriously scrummy.

superfood
Amy’s Superfood salad with tofu and ‘Café Pure Sauce’ (a surprisingly nice blend of berries and balsamic vinegar) went down just as well – it’s always refreshing to eat somewhere with an abundance of choice for vegans, and she wasn’t disappointed here.

smoothies
Both our meals were washed down with vitamin packed drinks – the Berry Beauty smoothie and Tutti Fruitti juice jar were filled with anti-oxidants and meant we both had the majority of our five a day in a single delicious drink.


Feeling brave after such a wholesome lunch, we both decided to try one of Café Pure’s signatures before leaving: wheatgrass shots, squeezed from blades of the plant grown on-site and served with a juicy slice of orange to counteract the bitterness. Each shot contains the same nutritional clout of 2.5 pounds of dark green vegetables. It wasn’t the tastiest of tipples – Amy definitely wasn’t keen on the earthy tang or potency – but it did leave me feeling energised and ready to face the bracing Bay weather outside.

upstairs
A quote on the back wall of Café Pure reads “You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.” A visit here means you can fill yourself up with a nutritionally balanced meal made from fresh ingredients, prepared with care and full of natural flavours.

Matt

How to make protein packed vegan bean burgers with spicy sweet potato wedges

It’s National Burger Day, wahoo! What’s that you say? “I can’t join in because I don’t like greasy meat patties in sugary white buns?” Worry not, friends. We have a recipe for you that is so tasty, it blows the beef out of those minced slabs.

What’s more, it’s super healthy. Behold: low fat, low calorie, high protein, vegan, kosher, nut free, clean eating glory.

Ingredients

(makes four burgers and two servings of wedges)
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3 carrots, grated
Sunflower oil (we use the spray kind for minimum greasiness)
1 vegetable stock cube
Cumin seeds
Smoked paprika
Ground coriander
1 small tin of sweetcorn
1 small pepper, diced
Garam masala
Dried mixed herbs
Plain or wholewheat flour
Soy sauce
Tomato puree
Chilli puree (optional)
1 tin of kidney beans
1 large sweet potato
Salt
Ground black pepper

Before you start, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. As with all cooking, times and temperatures may vary, so keep an eye on anything that you are heating up so that it doesn’t burn.

Method

For the bean burgers
1. Fry the onion, garlic and half of the grated carrots in a drizzle of sunflower oil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2. After about five minutes, crumble half of the stock cube over the pan then add a teaspoon of cumin seeds, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a teaspoon of coriander. Fry for a further three minutes then take the pan off the heat.

3. Take a large mixing bowl. Add the fried onion mixture, sweetcorn, diced pepper, remaining grated carrots, two teaspoons of garam masala, a shake of dried mixed herbs, three tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons of soy sauce, the remaining half of the stock cube and two tablespoons of tomato puree. If you like things spicy, add a few squirts of chilli puree too. Mix the contents of the bowl together with a wooden spoon, then give it a taste. Season as desired.

4. Drain almost all of the water from the can of kidney beans, then transfer the beans and remaining water to a separate bowl. Put the bowl in a microwave for one minute, then roughly crush the beans before adding them to the large mixing bowl and combining.

5. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour onto a plate. Divide the contents of the mixing bowl into four using the spoon, then get stuck in: one quarter at a time, use your hands to scoop out some of the mixture and shape into patties. Use the flour on the plate to lightly coat the patties and help them hold together.

6. Put a little bit more oil in the pan, add the four patties and put onto a medium-high heat. As a guide, our hob has nine heat options, so we turned the dial to seven.

7. Allow the patties to cook for a few minutes, then take off the heat and flip using a spatula. Continue this process of cooking and flipping for a further twelve minutes, or a little longer if you want the outside of the burgers to be more dry and crispy. Serve with fresh iceberg lettuce in a wholegrain roll.

For the spiced sweet potato wedges
1. Wash the potato under running water and remove any nasty looking bits. Cut the potato into wedges. Don’t worry if they are uneven – call it the rustic effect.

2. Parboil the wedges by putting them in a microwavable bowl with enough water to cover half of the height of the contents and microwaving them for four minutes. This lessens the time they will need in the oven (and the time you have to wait before eating them).

3. Drain the wedges, then scatter them onto a baking tray that has been lightly sprinkled with smoked paprika, ground pepper and cumin seeds. If you want crispy wedges, you can add a little bit of oil here. Rub the spices into the wedges then put in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove when they are golden brown with a subtly smoky aroma.

We hope you enjoy National Burger Day. Fun fact: any day can be a burger day when you cook these guys. Please leave us a comment if you like what you see/taste, and feel free to share the fun in a bun!