My Week in Food: High Mood Food's Joey O'Hare

Judy Johnson 21 May 2018
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My week in food

Healthy food brand and cafe  High Mood Food  was created by Joey O’Hare and Ursel Barnes. Joey, a chef who made it to the final twelve on Masterchef the Professionals, champions fermented foods and ‘vegcentric’ cooking - here she shares her week on a plate…

"I use the word ‘vegcentric’ to describe how I eat, and the style and ethos of our food at High. This doesn’t advocate any one way of eating or subscribe to any diet or label, but it’s a way of thinking about food. It inverts the proportions of the Western diet by putting seasonal veggies and plant-based food at the centre, and animal protein very much on the periphery, if one chooses to include it.  For me, this is a healthy and sustainable way of eating, and when laced with the complex flavours of fermented foods it’s the tastiest too!"

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Breakfast: I had supper late on Sunday evening and didn’t wake up very hungry… I had a bullet coffee around 9:30 at High Mood Food. This is a double espresso blended with a little organic butter and extra virgin coconut oil; the good fats mean that the caffeine is absorbed slowly, I get a gentle and sustained ‘high’ throughout the morning and feel really focused and level.

Morning: 2 herbal teas throughout the morning and an apple and some walnuts. I am obsessed with Joe’s Teas Feisty Turmeric Guru which we sell at High!

Lunch: I ‘built-my-own’ High Bowl from our salad bar and went with a combination of quinoa & beetroot salads with our miso-tahini dressing and plenty of Kraut!

Afternoon: Maca-hot-chocolate made with almond milk

Supper: Supper at a friend’s house was some simple crudités and hummus, followed by a big chickpea, spinach and coconut curry which she had made; I brought some kefir and cucumber raita we had from the café and this went brilliantly! We had some dark chocolate and red grapes for pudding.

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Breakfast: 2 soft-boiled eggs and a thick slice of happy tummy bread drizzled with my favourite olive oil and salt & pepper. Super simple but really nourishing.

Lunch: I was working from home and so made a really easy salad of flaked smoked mackerel, cucumber, watercress and High Kraut, with lots of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. For pudding I snacked on some Brazil nuts and a whole punnet of blueberries!

Afternoon: I headed to the café in the afternoon and had a juice – we have a new cucumber, fennel & mint juice which is so delicious – and a vegan dark chocolate button too. These we make with extra virgin coconut oil, organic cacao, just a tiny drop of maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. They are very low in sugar and hit the spot entirely – probably my favourite of all of our sweet treats!

Supper: I was in the mood to cook when I got home, and revisited a recipe I wrote for Great British Chefs last year; we are serving this to Conde Nast on Friday. It includes buckwheat, cherries, cucumber and loads of fresh mint and dill, and I use Kraut brine as a dressing to incorporate the beneficial live bacteria and brilliant flavour of fermentation. I crumbled in a little feta too as I had this is in the fridge.

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Breakfast: Organic Cru coffee with organic dairy milk and a bowl of “Kefir Slow Seeds” – a mix of ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and ground goji berries, soaked in home-brewed organic kefir - topped with with cacao nibs and toasted coconut paleo granola.

Lunch: High’s red lentil dhal with a couple tempeh falafel, kale salad and toasted seeds… it’s a bit odd but a soup/salad hybrid is awesome! Our curried coleslaw kraut is my favourite ferment we make at the moment… we include some grated carrots and sliced onions as well as ginger, turmeric and toasted curried spices, it’s huge! I had this on the side as well.

Snack: A matcha and lime vegan cheesecake pot and a Plenish water+ in the 5 minutes of sunshine we had all day… we’ve just got some cute café tables for outside and I was determined to make the most of the break in the rain.

Dinner: Staying late today at the café today and so took home some delicious bits from the salad bar, including biotic eggs, which I had with watercress and loads of live ACV for a quick salad. Always topped with our activated dukka… such an easy way to inject so much flavour and awesome texture to any easy salad.

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Breakfast: In the kitchen today and it’s an early start… I’m obsessed with bananas in the morning and had a bowl of sliced banana, kefir, and activated walnuts – so simple, but perhaps my three favourite things combined! 2 green teas throughout the morning as well.

Lunch: A High Bowl with black barley, miso & lime salad, egg and Kimchi and fermented hot sauce dressing… I had a coffee as well, again with dairy over almond milk as I prefer the flavour of whole organic dairy with coffee.

Dinner: I went out to Salon in Brixton with friends this evening, one of my favoruite restaurants in London. We had various sharing plates, and my favourite was a super creamy Hampshire burrata with confit leeks and fresh herbs. We shared a delicious chocolate-y pudding and I had a decaf espresso… a habit I’m trying to break but I completely love the flavour of coffee after dinner. It’s great that healthier, or at least more naturally processed, decaf coffees are becoming available, but I’m certain I drink too much...

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Breakfast: An ‘Alkalise’ – this is a creamy blend of extra virgin coconut oil and lemon which we whizz in a Nutribullet. We use the whole lemon rather than just the juice so the flavor is slightly bitter which I love. It’s really creamy and satisfying. I did that horrible thing of eating in front of a laptop without really paying attention… I had a slice of buckwheat banana bread with vanilla labneh – it’s only sweetened with the bananas themselves so isn’t too sweet for a breakfast option!

Morning: Daily Dose green juice – these guys use wonky fruits and vegetables to make their juices which I think is so brilliant.

Lunch: Lunch was a hotchpotch of salads eaten in the kitchens over a team meeting. I had a little chicken today which is dressed in salsa verde, and some of the cannellini bean salad too.

Afternoon: We’re refining our smoothie menu at the moment, so this made for the perfect afternoon snack! We’ve got a prebiotic banana one… a ‘High Summer’ one with coyo, berries, vanilla and chia seeds, and a low-sugar ‘Greens-to-Go’ one with a little avo. All three were awesome but I felt super full afterwards!

Dinner: I took 2 Pescatarian High Bowls for my sis and I for dinner as we’re taking the train home together for the weekend, as well as a couple of brownies! When we got home late mum had made some tomato soup for us, so we had a mug of soup and slice of sourdough as a midnight feast!

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Breakfast: A bowl of homemade granola, yogurt and berries.

Lunch: At home we often do an ‘empty-the-fridge’ lunch – basically a delicious mash up of fresh bread, cheeses (we had some amazing local Suffolk cheeses today!), a salad made from whatever is in the veggie draw... I made a quick asparagus salad with boiled eggs, and used some of our Biotic Mayo as dressing.

Afternoon: 2 Aspall’s organic cider with plenty of ice in the garden in the sunshine!

Dinner: A veggie tagine with calui puree, wilted greens and a liberal sprinkling of High’s activated dukka on top! A super tasty ‘tv dinner’ as we watched a film. Also some left-over chocolate from Easter for pudding.

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Brunch: Soft scrambled eggs, with wilted greens and sliced avo. I love extra chilli and lemon both through the wilted greens and on top. Lots of rooibos tea throughout the morning with organic milk and local honey.

Late Lunch: Before driving back to London I made one of my favourite seasonal vegan salads, one I wrote last year for Great British Chefs… it’s Marmite-roasted new potatoes with a watercress and cashew sauce. Our local green grocer had wonderfully fresh Jersey Royals, watercress and local radishes – the flavours of each were amazing.

Afternoon: We made some of my lemon and coconut balls (a super easy blend and roll recipe of ground almonds, extra virgin coconut oil, a little maple syrup, and lots of lemon zest and juice). We snacked on a few of these on the drive home.

Dinner: A big bowl of soup and a slice of Happy Tummy Bread, both grabbed from the freezer.