My raw food epiphany

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.

beetroot and peach salad, freshly tossed

Mere days after my beauty appointment, I discovered Club Zing.

Club Zing on Urbanspoon

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.

a therapeutic oasis

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.

the Club Zing salad bar

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.

my cruciferous salad was cupped in cos lettuce leaves

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 the “why Midland?” question 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.

my dinner: beetroot & peach salad
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 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
► salt
► pepper

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.

H 🙂

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh Hannah you big meany, telling me about this great place in Midland, which is completely out of my way. Perhaps we can talk them into starting a franchise.

    “because Midland needs this too” – what a great response

    I love the colours in your salad! I wonder how it would be with some (un-raw) pumpkin and goat cheese too? Perhaps wouldn’t be quite so poppingly fresh.

  2. Josh Jones says:

    There’s definitely a lot to be said for eating raw. But when it looks as good as your beetroot salad little needs to be said. I love beetroot and will have to give this a whirl. Perth’s weather is a little more salad friendly than London’s right now though. 😉 xo

  3. Hannah says:

    Conor, you are just going to have to visit! We will also have to discuss that franchise idea of yours… I also like the idea of the goat’s cheese and pumpkin. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Thanks for your visit, Josh. I hadn’t tried raw beetroot until recently and I am now addicted to its naturally sweet taste and rich-soil-after-summer-rain smell. [Btw, I will soon be posting some warming recipes that should better suit your current climate.]

    H 🙂

  4. Aileen Sforcina says:

    Hannah, you are a delightful inspiration. Thank you for your raw ideas. All the best with your journey, both for yourself and in helping others. You’re doing a great job. Love Mum

    1. Hannah says:

      Love you, Mum 🙂

  5. Alison says:

    Hi Hannah, isn’t it funny how the world works. I was doing a search on Club Zing to find their phone number after coming home from meeting you at Kate’s cooking course in Chittering today and as I was looking I was trying to remember the name of your blog only to realise that that was exactly what I was looking at. Can’t wait for the new season peaches to come in so I can try your salad.Cheers. Alison

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment, Alison! The world does work in mysterious ways 🙂

      Kate’s recipes were just awesome and on a different level entirely. I hope you also enjoy this simple, refreshing salad.

      H 🙂

  6. Kate says:

    Hi there, great recipe – and what a fantastic cafe (wish they had franchises all over Perth, I’d go there everyday!). I also totally agree with you about the benefits of eating raw, and zing is a great word for how eating raw makes me feel! Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find any sunflower sprouts – where do you buy them from?

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kate.

      Sunflower sprouts are available from many grocers/markets, however you can sprout your own from seed, should you feel so inclined. Creating your own sprouts is fun (you can hear them growing!) and the best way to maximise their nutritional value.

      H 🙂

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