I have been immersing myself in raw food lately. The increased enzyme and vitamin intake of a predominantly raw food diet promises such benefits as more energy, better digestion and even clearer skin, and I experienced a renewed call to eat raw when my beautician told me excitedly about her recent David Wolfe experience.
Mere days after my beauty appointment, I discovered Club Zing.
Club Zing specialises in raw food, juices and natural therapies. It has offered whole body vibration, infrared sauna, bio resonance and thermal massage for around 4 years. The vegan/vegetarian raw food menu started 15 months ago.
This is yet another little nook that eluded me under my very nose for a ridiculously long time: owner-operator Amanda will tell you that you people find Club Zing when it is right for them, and I am inclined to believe her.
The salad-based menu features vegetable stacks, wraps, legume patties and other treats. It is rare to be able to order a fresh combination of salads with homemade ‘mayonnaise’ (a blend of avocado, cucumber, lemon juice, oil, salt & honey) for $5 in Perth these days.
The desserts, which include a no-bake carrot cake and ‘zinger balls’ (core ingredients: raw cacao and goji berry), are different and delightful. I can personally vouch for the $6.50 heart-shaped dessert, made from a base of fig, date and raw cacao. It gave me the mid-afternoon kick I needed, without the highs and lows of processed sugar or caffeine.
On my first visit, I ordered the broccoli and cauliflower salad on a cos leaf. This was served with side salads, homemade ‘mayonnaise’ and curry sauce. At ~$11, it was priced competitively with other meals available in the vicinity, and it gave me a more lasting energy boost. On another occasion, I ordered the lentil wrap — similarly delicious and excellent value at $9.
Club Zing’s location could be a minus for some — Midland is a little out of the way and its reputation has suffered in recent years — however it is only 25 minutes from Perth in non-peak hour traffic. Another huge plus: it is on the doorstep of the Swan Valley. This is wine country, folks!
Amanda’s response to my question of “why Midland?” is “because Midland needs this too” and I am so glad for her attitude. It means I have a healthy option for lunching out during my work week.
[Aside: it was through Amanda that I discovered Midland was a thriving market centre only 18 years ago. With many business and residential developments underway, I am hopeful that we will see its former glory restored.]
Inspired by Club Zing’s beetroot salad with mango, I decided to make my own version — with peach, as it’s in season and much lower in price. I also put the clock on myself before I started. Including time taken to wash, cut and grate the ingredients, this is a meal you can prepare in less than 15 minutes, which I think is pretty darn awesome.
Recipe #77: Beetroot and peach salad. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.
You will need:
► 2 medium-large, fresh beetroot, grated
► 2 very ripe peaches, cut into 1cm diced
► 2 sticks celery, sliced finely
► 1 large handful of sprouts [whichever you prefer — I used new sunflower sprouts because I love the flavour]
► ¼ of a medium-sized red onion, sliced wafer-thin
► a few sprigs of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
► 1 small handful of mint, chopped finely
► the juice of half a lemon
► a swirl of good olive oil
Prepare all ingredients as stated above, then combine well [I use my hands]. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve this crunchy salad as a side or snack, a lunch on its own or as a sandwich/roll/wrap filler.
Don’t cook or peel the beetroot before you prepare it; just wash it well prior to grating and remove the top and tail, and any stringy bits, as this is where much of the dirt will cling to.
Raw beetroot and peach may seem an adventurous combination — and maybe it is. These strange bedfellows really do harmonise smoothly in this dish and I sincerely hope you give it a go.
Thanks go to my generous friend Mandy for introducing me to Club Zing and helping me to reinvigorate my love for vegetarian food.