May Newsletter

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Hello lovely people!

I hope you're all well and happy. Just wanted to share a few things with you for May as well as some inspiring information that I've recently come across.

The VTH Kitchen will be closed until the

17th May. 

Group Cooking Class

The next group cooking class will take place on Friday 27th May from 11:30 AM - 2 PM at my location on the Pearl and will focus on breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! There are only 8 spaces available so please email me if you're interested and would like to reserve your spot.

May Product List

Here is the

link

for our latest product list.

I will be taking orders upon my return on 17th May.

*Please note the delivery (Pearl and West Bay area only) and pick up days are now Mondays, Wednesday's and Friday's only and it takes a minimum of 48 hours to process orders.

Food Revolution Summit

It's the Food Revolution Summit again, sign up to access free interviews with leading health and nutrition experts. 

https://foodrevolutionsummit.org/

 It will be running until the 8th May so don't miss out your chance to gain free access. Today will be the 5th day of the summit but you can still listen to replays from the 1st and 4th day.

Help Raise Money for Syria

This Friday 6th May Aspire Katara Hospitality and Qatar Charity are teaming up to raise funds for Syrian's stuck in Aleppo. 100% of cash generated from customers dining at the list of restaurants will go to the campaign, here's the

link

to the Doha News article for more information.

*Just a side note, please be mindful of how much food you order and if you cannot eat it all then take it away and either save it for another meal or give it to someone who would appreciate it. It's a great shame to let food go to waste when there are so many people in this world who do not have access to food on a regular basis.

Articles worth reading

How 'Ugly' Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/03/global-food-waste-statistics/

8 Tips For Easier Plant Based Meals

http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/2012/06/30/8-tips-for-easier-plant-based-meals/

Your Easy Guide To Buying Organic Produce

http://foodmatters.tv/content/your-easy-guide-to-buying-organic-produce?utm_source=SocialSwaps+&utm_medium=FoodMattersFacebook&utm_campaign=FM

February Newsletter: Self-love

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Hello!

I hope January was good to you and that February has welcomed you into it's loving arms. This month is all about self-love, more than ever! We must love ourselves first before we are able to fully spread our love to those around us. This is the time to nourish ourselves and look out for own well being and happiness, something which is easily put on the sideline. Here are some ideas on how you can do that this month:

Qatar National Sports Day

This is a great excuse to be outdoors and get active, there will be a lot of different activities going on around town. I'll be starting my day by practising

Swasthi yoga

with Vishnu at 8:00am at the Sheraton Hotel, free of charge.

Here's a

link

with a lot of the activity details for tomorrow!

Shakti Circles: Miraculous Relationships

The second edition of the Shakti Circles will take place on Saturday 20th February from 4 - 7pm. Wala'a and I will be showing you how colour and food are effecting your relationships. Exploring how they effect your overall vibration to attract love, miraculous relationships with yourself and others including attracting your soulmate.

This workshop will include: - Meditation - Color exercises - Energy clearing - Food for love - Dinner made with love by me!

It will cost 350 riyals per person. Please email me to book your seats, we only have 12 spots for this one, so book early to guarantee your spot!

Recipe

Cook for yourself and your loved ones, I just posted a very comforting curry recipe, why not give it a go?! Here's the 

link

.

Products

Get yourself something from my product range to nourish your body with healthful treats as an alternative to processed factory made snacks. I've added a couple of new items such as a pink sauerkraut, which has a multitude of healing properties filled with natural probiotics which work wonders for your gut.

Here's the

link

for the new product list.

Articles

Some interesting articles I've been reading recently:

A Gut Feeling: How the bacteria inside us influence our weights, our immune systems and our brains.

12 Questions Answered Regarding Vitamin B-12

Understanding Food Waste, Hunger and Climate Change

Lots of love from the treetops!

Saba xx

January Newsletter - New Beginnings

Nayyira Waheed
Nayyira Waheed
Poem by Nayyira Waheed

Hello,

I hope you're all feeling fresh and ready to take on 2016 with a healthful mindset and lots of positive energy! So far it looks like it's going to be a wonderful year filled with lots of inspiration and collaborations for the Vegetarian Treehouse, of which I cannot wait to share with you.

Colour Your Plate

The first thing I wanted to share is an excerpt of a mini colouring cookbook I put together for the "Juicy Tips for a Healthy Child" Panel I was a part of during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival last month. Colour Your Plate was made with the intention to encourage both parents and kids to get more involved with healthy eating. It was printed in black and white so that the children could use it as a colouring book, while their parents use it as a reference for healthy recipes for their family.

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CYP2

For those of you who are interested in receiving the full PDF file, please email me and I'll forward it on to you.

Product Menu 

I've added a couple of savoury items to the new product menu, expect many more additions to come over the next few months. Here's the link.

Articles

A few very interesting articles I've read recently which are worth sharing:

How to relearn the art of eating

2016 the year of pulses

Shakti Cirlces

I will be teaming up with my wonderful friend Wala'a from The Color Recipe to host group sessions on how to empower yourself through food and colour. The confirmed calendar will be launched soon so stay tuned!

Remember to always love and respect the one home we were given to live in, our bodies.

Lots of love from the treetops,

Saba xx

Casita Verde's Aloe Vera & Mint Lemonade

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We landed in Ibiza on a hot and sunny Sunday morning. After getting our car, and finding the house we were staying at, road names don't really exist in the north of the island so you have to look out for different coloured rocks painted by the homeowners as indicators to turn down dirt tracks, we made our way to Casita Verde. Along more dirt tracks we went, following green hearts, which eventually lead us to this beautiful permaculture farm.

Casita Verde has been running for the past 20 years or so and every Sunday they open their doors and hearts to the public. You pay a small lifetime membership fee which includes the cost of your delicious vegan lunch. We had black beans, brown rice & pumpkin risotto, tomato salad, raw courgette and sprouted mung bean salad with some delicious wholewheat pumpkin seed bread, all made in house by the lovely volunteers that help run the place.

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There was a couple singing up on stage as we enjoyed our lunch under the shade of the trees. We needed something to quench our thirst so I bought an aloe vera & mint lemonade, one of their specialties, and it blew us away! I had tried aloe vera drinks in the past but this was completely different, I actually enjoyed it, and went for seconds. This again was all made in house using their own aloe vera, mint and lemons, and they had the recipe up on the wall so I took a photo as a reminder. After lunch you get a tour of the farm and they explain in detail what it is they do and how. Definitely a great place to visit when in Ibiza, and a wonderful example of how we can live and work in harmony with nature.

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Green heart

Aloe vera is great for digestion, helps support the immune system, works wonders for your hair and nails, has antibacterial properties and contains antioxidants. If applied topically the gel is great for acne and sunburn, all in all a good plant to have in your garden!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 medium aloe vera leaf
  • 2 medium lemons, juiced
  • 2 heaped tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 big handful of fresh mint
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Clean the aloe vera leaf by removing the spiky edges with a sharp knife. Clean the knife with water afterwards as this eliminates the bitter taste.

Cut the top of the skin off the leaf, going from the base to the tip, making sure you rinse the knife if you touch the outside of the skin. Remove the jelly by cutting it off the bottom skin, you will be left with a fillet of aloe vera. Dispose of the skin.

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Give the jelly a quick rinse and add to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey if needed. Serve chilled with ice, enjoy!

My Summer of Food, Love and Sunshine

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As I made my way to the airport, ready to embark on a 35 day summer holiday, I posted this image up on my social media pages. It was only the 1st of July, the 6th of August seemed like a lifetime away, and I had a list of places I had couldn't wait to discover! Mr. S and I were going to London, Ibiza & Formentera and in that time I wanted to get in as much good food & sunshine as possible.

**This is a slightly unusual post as there aren't any recipes, however, there are recommendations on places to eat & dishes I cooked with loved ones. Don't worry my crystal ball tells me that there will be plenty of recipes in blog posts to come, inspired by the wonderful meals I enjoyed!

London

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First we touched down in sunny London, which is a strange sight as the sun doesn't like to shine much over London, so we assumed we had brought a bit of it over from Doha with us, where is shines almost too much! Sunshine transforms London into a different city, you can eat outside in the park, on a rooftop, in someones back garden, by the canal, on a boat...the opportunities are endless. It's short-lived so everyone makes the most of the summer sun while it lasts. My first recommendation came as a bit of a surprise and here's why...

CRATE Brewery

We chose to go here for Mr. S's birthday celebration as it's got a big outdoor space on the canal, delicious pizzas and even more delicious beers! To be honest I was really looking forward to their sage and truffle pizza which I had tried last year but everything changed when I checked out their daily specials board....they had a lentil, lemon marinated broccoli, feta, baby plum tomatoes, onions, pumpkin seeds, lemon zest topped with BARBERRIES! Yes barberries, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what they are, they are tiny dried deliciously sour little red gems of goodness, and are primarily used in Persian cuisine paired with rice. I was curious to know how they tasted in a salad, and to my surprise it was absolutely amazing! Our friends all ordered pizzas and were just as satisfied, though the wait for food can be long on a Friday evening, once you get it all is forgotten.

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Nama Foods

This lovely little restaurant is set in the heart of Notting Hill and is completely raw, vegan, and gluten free. Mr. S and I decided to go there for breakfast as we were staying just down the road. We ordered Oosha's spiced coconut porridge and the savoury crepe. Both sounded great on paper however Mr. S was a bit skeptical about how a raw crepe would taste like and to our surprise, both of the dishes were delectable! We also had some cold pressed green juices, and I had a hemp milk matcha latte. We were so impressed by this place that we went back again and had their raw pancakes topped with banana ice cream, which just blew me away, they were incredible and kept me full almost all day long! I do have to say that their prices reflect that of the surrounding area but don't let that put you off, if you're looking to treat yourself then Nama is the place to go.

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Sesame

Sesame is the latest venture of the Ottolenghi team, serving Mediterranean & Middle Eastern inspired street food. The first thing I noticed were the beautiful geometric tiles which flowed from halfway up the wall, and covered the entire floor. The menu is very simple, however being a huge fan of Sami Tamimi & Yotam Ottolenghi, I knew that the flavours would be very bold and exciting. I had the Sabick pitta which has roasted aubergine & egg with mango pickle topped with some Zhoug, a Yemeni green chilli paste made with cardamom & cumin. We also shared a cauliflower, tahini & pomegranate salad, and some green beans with sesame & chilli, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of flavour in the cauliflower salad though the green beans made up for it. Overall we both had a scrumptious quick & affordable lunch, one that I would love to pop out the office for, or to have after a busy day of shopping around Covent Garden.

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Zardosht @ Cafe OTO

I had sampled some food from Zardosht at Broadway market while I was living in London, and I knew I had to have more when I was back. I did some research and found out that the lovely lady behind the delicious Persianesque inspired food, Soli Zardosht, does the food at Cafe OTO in Dalston everyday! So we ventured east and met our friend Nada for lunch. The space is designed very simply with irregular furniture and has large windows all round which fills the room up with lots of natural light. We checked out the daily specials and I got the lentil & chickpea stew with rice & yoghurt and Mr. S and my friend ordered their famous saffron chicken with couscous and yoghurt. My first bite took me back to our family dining table, the flavours were so familiar and warming it was just like eating home cooked food, made with lots of love and attention. It was refreshing to see quite a few vegetarian options on the menu too!

Mr. S and I were going to a show later that day and decided to take away a couple fritatta wraps to eat beforehand, and we were so glad we did because they were just perfect. Overall I would give this place a 10/10 review because everything was absolutely delicious!

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Zardosht

   Story Deli

Yet another East London restaurant recommended by my friend Tana, this family owned deli serves the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life. The crust is so thin it's almost like a cracker, and all the ingredients are organically sourced. The interiors look like something out of a design magazine, and transported me to somewhere in Scandinavia with the whitewashed simplicity. All the food is made by the husband and wife team and their son helps out sometimes too! We ordered a large portion of salad, which isn't on the menu but is exquisite and one Story margherita which is a margherita topped with their homemade pesto, one Simone which is a garlic roasted veggie pizza, and Mr. S and Tana had the Parma ham pizza which comes covered in a bed of rocket salad. I have never eaten such a delicious pizza in my life, it was definitely worth having even though i've been trying to reduce my gluten and dairy intake! Story Deli is a must when visiting London, there's no doubt about it.

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Story Deli

Home Cooked Meals with Friends

Our friend Dan invited us over to his place for dinner one night, and it reminded me of how much his father had gotten into growing his own veggies. They live in Kensal Rise but when as you approach their house you see hanging vines of string beans, rows of courgettes, fresh herbs and spinach, and that's just their front garden! Their back garden is filled with broad beans, a mini green house filled with cucumbers etc, the list is endless and they all taste exquisite! He made us one of his special salads which consists of all the fresh herbs he has in his garden such as coriander, parsely, chives, mint topped with fresh garlic, green chilli, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt & black pepper. Dan and I made a very simple courgette & garlic pasta topped with feta and chive stuffed courgette flowers, I mixed a bit of the salad into my pasta as it was quite intense to have on it's own, and it took the pasta to the next level. It just goes to show that if you use high quality, fresh ingredients, you don't need to add much to make a delicious meal!

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We decided to go to the countryside for my birthday weekend and my lovely friend Hagop's parents were kind enough to lend us their place for the weekend. So we ventured out of London into the lush green fields of Hampshire, on our way we stopped at a berry farm and picked our own raspberries. When we arrived at the house, the first thing I noticed was a beautiful vegetable patch which I was drawn to like a magnet! His parents had grown potatoes, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, an assortment of beans, spinach, sage, mint and courgettes. So we proceeded to pick some veggies to prepare for dinner that night. We roasted the potatoes & beetroot with garlic and sage, sauteed the courgettes with some garlic, stuffed the flowers with goats cheese, mint & chili, and flash cooked the beet greens with shallots and lots of lemon juice. Tana made a gluten free birthday cake with almond flour, coconut, vanilla, lemon, lots of love topped with the raspberries we had picked and some basil. It was a feast, there were only four of us, and it was only the first night!

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Hampshire

The next day we decided to have a vegetarian BBQ so we burnt a couple of whole aubergines on the fire to make baba ghanoush, smashed up some avocados for a huge guacamole, roasted some more sage & garlic potatoes and beetroot, made more of the goats cheese filling we had used for the courgette flowers, barbecued some courgettes, mushrooms, halloumi and grilled some bread. It was yet another feast, however there were now 7 of us and we managed to finish most of it. The next morning we made buckwheat banana & blueberry pancakes with a leftover potato, beetroot & beet green frittata, and off we went for a little hike in the forest before heading back to London. This was probably one of the best birthdays I've had, spent with good friends, eating good food and lots of walks in the countryside, what more could a girl ask for?!

Hampshire 1

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Summertime Homemade Popsicles

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I know I haven't had the chance to post a recipe up on the blog for a while... We went away on a family holiday to Jordan & Dubai and as soon as I got back I went straight into weekly special orders, my first ever group cooking class, followed by lots of catering orders and few new exciting developments which I'll hopefully be able to write about soon :)

I've been practising yoga on the balcony recently as the weather is absolutely beautiful over here at the moment, and this recipe idea came to me on one hot morning! It was a lot hotter than usual and after I finished I was drenched in sweat, all I could think of was having a nice fruity popsicle. I rummaged around the cupboards and found my old popsicle moulds, reached for the few ingredients we had in the fridge and decided to make some mango, coconut milk, lime, and ginger popsicles.

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Mangos are very alkaline, which help balance the acidity in your body, they are also high in antioxidants which help protect the body against certain types of cancers.

Coconut milk has a multitude of benefits so here are a few, it's anti-bacterial, high in good fats, and iron, which is especially good for women.

Limes are an amazing source of vitamin C, they also help keep the body's blood sugar levels balanced, which is a good combination with mango as they are high in natural sugars.

Finally, I love ginger, not only does it add a nice depth of flavour but it's so good for you too! It helps reduce inflammation, aids in digestion & nausea and has also been linked to studies which have shown that it kills cancer cells.

So not only will this popsicle cool you down in the summer heat, but it will also be doing a lot of good to your body, in contrast to the sugar and chemical filled popsicles you can by at the shops! Again, if you don't have all the ingredients, try experimenting with what you have at home.

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Ingredients (makes 6)

1 medium ripe mango

1 frozen ripe banana

1/2 cup coconut milk/cream

Juice of 1 lime

1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled

Method

Scoop the flesh out of the mango, place in a blender along with all the other ingredients and pulse until you have a nice smooth consistency.

Fill the moulds with the thick mixture, tap the moulds on the counter to make sure the mixture has been evenly dispersed, then place in the freezer for 4 hours, or over night.

Enjoy!

Group Cooking Classes

I've been quite busy doing my weekly specials, catering, and a tending to a few exciting new developments! I haven't had much time to write up any new recipes, I'm hoping to get round to doing so at some point this week!

But for now, I just wanted to mention my group cooking classes. I hosted my first group cooking class earlier this month and the response was so great that I have decided to host two more before the end of the month!

Here's the flyer for more details xx

Group cooking classes 20th & 21st April 2015

The Vegetarian Treehouse tries out catering!

KAC event  

The only independent art centre in Doha sadly may be closing it's doors soon so they decided to host an event to say farewell. This of course was devastating news as it is, in my opinion, one of the best things about Doha! I was chatting with my friend Faissal about how I feel like I'm not really doing what I truly want to be doing career wise, and when he asked me what I would ideally be doing, I realised that I am happiest when I am cooking, reading about food, researching and experimenting with recipes etc. So we somehow ended up with the wild idea of me offering to do the catering for the Katara Art Centre's closing event, for free, in support of all the amazing work they have done. So next thing I know I am pitching the idea to the art centre and writing up a menu! They were delighted with the offer and so I embarked on a mad rampage around town to find the bits and pieces I would need to make this work. The whole time thinking to myself, "I hope people will like my food"! Three days later, with minimal sleep and the help of my amazingly supportive friends, I was driving to the art centre with a car full of food, and some flowers in the cup holder hoping these strangers would like my food!

We managed to set up a table of my mini treats and it wasn't long after that people started arriving and curiously heading over to check out what was on offer. I was actually quite surprised and flattered by the number of people who were interested in knowing what everything was and where my "cafe" was located. It felt good to know that there are people in Doha who understand and appreciate clean eating habits. So overall the catering was a success and I was so happy I could do something in support of the Katara Art Centre, as well as evaluate how I would potentially move forward with pursuing my dream of working with food. Even though it was stressful, and tiring, it didn't matter, because I enjoyed every minute of it, and the best gift was that people liked it!

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A few days later I got a call from my friend Shaima, who is a pretty awesome human being/food blogger*, saying that she was interested in me doing a lunch at her work, The Doha Film Institute, to promote healthy eating during Ramadan. So I wrote up a menu and sent her the proposal and soon after got the go ahead to do it for 80 people!! Again I was going on 3 hours of sleep in 2 days but I didn't care because I was doing what I truly love doing, and for the first time I realised what it felt like to do something that I really have a passion for. I always have heard my dad say "if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life", which I never really understood until I decided to embark on this crazy catering adventure. However, I do have to say that it did feel great to just get home, meditate, and go to sleep after the countless hours on my feet and mad adrenaline rush of feeding and meeting complete strangers.

*You can check out Shaima's blog here

DFI

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These two experiences have taught me a lot and helped me understand and develop how I would like to move forward with making what started off as a hobby, into what may be a career. Only time and perseverance can tell what the future holds for the Vegetarian Tree House, however, for the meantime I will still be posting up recipes on here and quietly working away on my masterplan...