Green Genie Falafel Bowl with Tabouleh & White Bean Hummus

 
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Even irresistible to vegan puppers like Nacho, this falafel bowl ticks some serious flavour boxes! This recipe was inspired by my friend and vegan sister-from-another-mister, the very talented Aliza Strock of Shakti Fresh (what a cool name, right!?). She shared this recipe on her awesome instagram feed recently and I just had to try it out! I've made a few tweaks to the recipe and, of course, added my killer hummus recipe – I used white beans to make it creamier and lighter in flavour than it would with chickpeas, and also, there's enough chickpeas already, am I right??

ingredients

for the hummus
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 heaped tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
water, as needed

for the grain-free tabouleh
1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
a handful of spring onion, finely sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

for the falafels
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed and shredded
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup spring onions
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 heaped tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

...and for the salad, lots of leafy green lettuce, red cabbage, cucumber and fresh tomato with extra lemon wedges and olive oil. You could also make a nice vegan lemon & dill yoghurt dressing too!

method

For the hummus, I simply dump everything into a food processor and blast until creamy. Then set aside while you work on the tabouleh. That's simple too – just throw everything into a bowl and toss until the flavours are combined.

Now for the falafels. Place all ingredients EXCEPT the sesame seeds and breadcrumbs into a food processor and pulse until everything is mixed well, scraping down the sides occasionally. You want a chunky green mixture, not paste, but not crumbly, so go easy!

Once that's looking good, remove the falafel mixture from the food processor and into a mixing bowl, then mix through the sesame seeds (you can use your hands for this – it's fun and squishy!).

Place the breadcrumbs on a large plate. Use a tablespoon to measure out a portion of falafel mixture then, using another tablespoon, form into an oval and plop it onto the breadcrumbs. Roll it around gently and set aside. Continue until you have all your falafels lined up.

If you have time to pop them into the fridge for a few hours, this will help them hold their shape when you cook them, but otherwise, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large, deep pan. When the oil is hot, fry the falafels until golden and crispy, turning a few times to cook evenly. This recipe makes about 16 falafels.

Now it's time to arrange everything into your salad bowls and get down to the business of eating!! And yeah, be generous with that hummus, it's the BOMB!

 

Shakti Eats: Two Trees Eatery

 
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There are so many things I love about Two Trees Eatery, but the story of it's co-creators is especially cute! Two girls of the same age, growing up in the same small town in the South West of France, with the same friends and same interests... yet they had never met. 30 years later, they found each other in paradise and have been inseparable ever since! They describe this magical meeting beautifully on their website: "two seeds which were planted in the same soil, got blown away by the wind in the same direction and were waiting to meet and grow together, like two beautiful trees in a spiritual land".

And together, they have created something truly unique and special! It may just be my favourite café in the 'Gu – and, if you've been around this scene a bit, you'll know that's a BIG call! There's just something about the flavours here! Every dish is lovingly curated with only the best ingredients. You can really tell that attention to detail is important – from the presentation to the unique flavour pairings, the decor (there's a bazillion beautiful plants so you feel like you're having lunch in a sunny little garden!) to the menu design.

But what to eat? Well, gee! There's so many great vegan options – there's a vegan chickpea omelette with thyme baby potatoes, spinach and vegan melting mozzarella (hello!), the 'Magic Mushroom' gourmet sandwich on country sourdough with rocket and vegan parmesan, the 'Sunny Days' smoothie with superfoods turmeric and coconut oil (sure to leave you feeling full of sunshine!), the 'Nori Burrito' with BBQ tempeh, some of Bali's most rockin' Kombucha, Watermelon Poke bowls and... then there's 'The Cacao Ceremony'. A raw cacao, date and chia seed slice with sweet potato ice cream, fresh coconut and raspberry salad. Mic drop.

Gosh, I'm so glad those two beautiful Frenchies, Chloe and Laura, found each other. Thank you for delighting my tastebuds and making my new island home that little bit more special. See you there, 'Gu gang!

Take me there

Two Trees Eatery
99, Jl. Pantai Berawa, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

 

Shakti Stays: Villa Nosara

 
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The best part about Villa Nosara was feeling instantly at home. I arrived around 1am feeling frazzled and gross after a hectic two x layover flight, had a luscious hot shower and just crashed into this bed as if were a fluffy white cloud; a cloud in heaven, even! If I weren't such a crazy-gypsy, world-wandering digital nomad, and I actually had a bedroom of my own, it would look exactly like this! White, white and white with gorgeous neutral touches, just the perfect amount of throw pillows (ummm, like 8 or 9!) and pretty curiosities, candles, picture frames and potted plants. And it's no wonder I felt right at home, since the host is an interior decorator – we are two little creatives on the same page, you see!!

Okay, enough about the decor... no wait! I almost forget the comfy papasan chair on the patio – perfect for sipping your morning coconut coffee, feeling the gentle breeze floating over the rice paddies, and catching up on Instagram! There's a lovely sparkling-blue pool to enjoy, and a neat little kitchenette, which means you can prepare a nice tropical fruit platter for breakfast each day, or a nommy tempeh bowl if you felt like staying in! Nice for professional travellers like me! Believe it or not, even with all the action of Bali on your doorstep, you start to crave a night in – especially when your villa is this cosy!

Let's move on to the location! Villa Nosara is located on my favourite street in Canggu, Jalan Padang Linjong – right next door to Samadi Bali yoga centre (handy for the Sunday market and your daily practice!), and a short walk or scooter ride from Copenhagen, Bali Buda (for your healthy hippie groceries!), Rise & Shine, Crate Café and more. You can read more about all my favourite places to eat and practice in 'The Luxe Yogi's Guide to Canggu'.

Take me there...

Villa Nosara
Jl. Padang Linjong No.47, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

 

Shakti Stays: LĪLĀ Boutik Residence

 
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I fell in love with Lila Boutik Residence from the moment I spotted the beautiful photos on Airbnb. The 'luxe nomad' in me was instantly enchanted by the interiors, the cute little design touches, the colour palette and, of course, the sparkling pool. And the unicorn pool floatie sealed the deal. Yes, I'm still a little kid at heart! I must say, I had two of my best night's sleep in this gorgeous room and the bathroom was perfect too. A 'luxe yogi' always needs a good place to plug in the ol' hair straightener, am I right?

Just as the pictures described, this was one stylish little BnB, with a Morocca-meets-Ibiza kinda vibe, decorated beautifully by a couple of artist expats (couldn't you guess?). It provided a cool little haven in the middle of Canggu's hippest northern fringe, right next door to Samadi Bali yoga centre, and just a short stroll from eateries like Crate Café, Copenhagen, Bali Buda and Rise & Shine – all of which will serve you up a coconut milk latte and a smoothie bowl to die for! 

Of course, you could always just chill by the pool here, which has a cute little kitchen/bar that feels like a tropical cabana where you can order simple treats like coffee, juices and smoothie bowls through the day. Truly, this stay had such a nice vibe, charming hosts and a great position, in a quiet lane beside the rice paddies but still so close to the action. So many stars!

For more tips on where to eat, stay and practice in Canggu, check out 'The Luxe Yogi's Guide to Canggu'. 

Take me there...

Lila Boutik Residence
Jl. Padang Linjong No.25A, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

 

The Luxe Yogi's Guide to Canggu

 
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Canggu Beach is a coastal village and an up-and-coming resort area that is roughly situated between Bali's Seminyak and Tanah Lot. In recent years, tourism has boomed here and it's attracting a pretty cool crowd of surfers, hipsters, yogis and travellers looking for affordable luxury and a taste of the chilled-out tropical lifestyle. So, Canggu is a paradise for anyone with the same interests as me – boho-luxe boutique accomodation, delicious vegan food, sunsets, surf beaches and, of course, somewhere beautiful to practice yoga! We came for five nights and stayed for almost three weeks because there was just too much to do – and too much to eat! After just a week away, we decided to come back and stay even longer! So it's safe to say we fell in love with Canggu – and you will too!

First of all, with a little practice and a dash of courage, you can learn to ride a scooter from place to place. It's a fun and easy way to get around and will set you back as little as $4 a day! If you're a bit of a chicken like me, hire a bicycle – it's a wonderful way to see Canggu, tone those legs and feel the wind in your hair. Otherwise, find somewhere to stay around the main streets and, as long as you don't mind getting a little sweaty, you can walk along the beach to get from street to street.

where to stay

There are plenty of cool places to stay in Canggu, ranging from cheap and cheerful home stays to all-out luxury villas, but I have chosen three favourites based on their vicinity to great yoga studios and vegan cafés, and their stylish decor – after all, we are luxe yogis, right?

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Vassani Stay

Jl. Munduk Catu No.1, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 

Vassani Stay is the ideal place for any 'luxe yogi' to stay in Canggu. Not only is it perfectly located within walking distance from Canggu's best yoga studios, stylish boutique stores and endless options for vegan foodies – it is also one of the cleanest, most stylish rooms around with all the little touches that will make your stay amazing. The pool is pure bliss too! I could spend days just lounging beside it. Read more about this chic and stylish Airbnb in this post.

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Lila Boutik Residence

Jl. Padang Linjong No.25A, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

This gorgeous little Airbnb is tucked away in a quiet street on the way to Echo Beach, a few doors down from Samadi Bali yoga centre (which has an awesome Sunday market!) and a short walk to some of Canggu's best vegan eateries. Aside from it's fantastic location, it's also incredibly cute! It has a Morocca-meets-Ibiza vibe, with a handful of stylishly decorated rooms huddled around a crystal clear pool (with a unicorn pool floatie, of course!). Read more about this luxe little stay in this post.

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Villa Nosara

Jl. Padang Linjong No.47, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

The last little stay to hit my 'luxe yogi' radar is the quiet little Villa Nosara, nestled among rice paddies at the end of a quiet lane off Padang Linjong, but walking distance (or a quick scooter ride, for some!) from all the yoga and vegan foodie action of Canggu. I enjoyed watching sunsets from my room, which was chic, spotless and stylishly decorated. I LOVE white and so this place felt like total #bedroomgoals. Finally, the little kitchenette allowed me to make my morning fruit platters and coffee, and enjoy it by the pool. Heavenly! Read more about this lovely, ultra chill stay in this post .

where to eat

Honestly, in all my time in Canggu, I've rarely had a bad meal and I don't recall ever reading a menu here without at least half a dozen good vegan options! It truly is a paradise for vegan foodies. On the nutrition side, you won't be missing out on anything, as is often the case when you travel. I'd wager many of you will even leave feeling healthier than when you arrived! Here are my top five cafés... but there are so many more, I am already planning a sequel to this post!

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Two Trees Eatery

 99, Jl. Pantai Berawa, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

A newcomer to the Canggu foodie scene, Two Trees Eatery tops my list of great places to eat in the 'Gu! Why? Because the menu is so damn clever! Pictured above is the Watermelon Poke – somehow these culinary wizards have marinated (pickled??) the watermelon in a way that gives it the exact same look and texture as raw tuna!! Whaaaaat!? Mind blown. Also, don't go past their amazing Kombucha, the 'Sunny Days' smoothie, the unicorn lattes and the icing on the cake (literally!) is the epic 'Cacao Ceremony' for dessert. Click here to read the full review and see more photos of their awesome menu.

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The Shady Shack

 Jl. Tanah Barak No.57, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

Vegan vibers in Canggu CAN NOT MISS this epic café slinging burgers, tempeh bowls, wraps, smoothie bowls, nachos, tacos and so much more... straight out of your plant-lovin' dreams! You must try the 'Shack Attack' beetroot burger served with the naughtiest crunchy baby potatoes and my favourite 'Tempeh Bowl' on the island. The Shack never disappoints!

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The Avocado Factory

 Jl. Tanah Barak, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

Next up we have The Avocado Factory. Really, the name says it all. Do you have any further questions? Honestly this place is an avo-holics wet dream. There's avocado matcha lattes, avocado roses on toast, soft tacos with guacamole, avo smash (of course!), avo smoothies, avo smoothie bowls and avocado desserts... just avo everything. And it's perfectly positioned between two little rice paddies at the Deus-end-of-town.

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Peloton Super Shop

Jl. Pantai Berawa No.46, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

You simply cannot come to Canggu and miss this vegan foodie's paradise! If you're into eating the rainbow, and you're looking for some seriously insta-grammable and compassionate munchies, this is the spot. The burgers alone are worth the visit, whether filled with jackfruit or 'tricken' schnitzel and topped with lots of lovely rainbow salad in a charcoal bun – they're always served with sweet potato fries on the side. Yes. Please. There's also some great salad bowls with your usual faves; quinoa, tempeh, rocket, hummus etc, as well as delicious smoothie bowls, kombucha, tacos, nachos and more... all kind to your body, the planet and the animals.

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Debbie Does Salad

Jl. Pura Batu Mejan n.4, Echo Beach, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

Slinging some of Canggu's best salad bowls, smoothie bowls and delicious coffee by Expat Roasters, this micro-sized café near Echo Beach is a newcomer to the scene, and although the menu might be as small as the hole-in-the-wall café itself, I'd still call it a must stop for 'luxe yogis' like me. You can get creative and make your own salad (down and dirty DIY style!) and the choice of sauces, sides and superfoods, is pretty epic. Fast and fresh; simple and tasty. It's everything you want in a salad bowl.

where to practice

Okay so finally, it wouldn't be a 'luxe yogis' guide to Canggu without tips on where to practice. And if it's a luxe studio you are after, then what do we want? No scruffy mats, grubby-looking studios and vague, shady teachers rocking up late. If I wanted an ashram, I'd go to India. I'm not saying yoga isn't about transcending the physical realm and letting go of the superficial, but if I'm going to step outside my body for a while, I'd like to leave it in a safe, clean place.

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The Practice

 Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.94, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali

The Practice is Canggu's newest and most incredible purpose built yoga studio, offering lots of interesting Sun, Fire and Moon-themed Hatha classes, afternoon Yin, and special events and workshops. You'll discover some inspirational and truly talented teachers and deepen your practice here. I found it re-ignited my passion for practice after a little plateau and a case of the travel 'blahs'. It is set in a rice paddy, with a cool lounge area, little kiosk and shop, and pretty gardens to chill in before and after practice.

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Samadi Bali

Jl. Padang Linjong No.39, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Balu

Whether you're an experienced Ashtangi yogi, or just looking to dip your feet into this ancient yoga style, Samadi Bali is the perfect place to expand your practice in paradise. Specialising in the traditional Mysore style, but also offering other yoga styles to suit a variety of levels and mindsets, there's something for everyone here! There's also a great wholefoods café on site, as well as massage therapies available. Oh, and don't miss Samadi's Sunday market, featuring yummy vegan treats, fresh organic fruit and vegetables, local produce and all sort of conscious-community goodies.

but there's so much more...

It took me almost a month to finish this blog post, simply because I kept discovering new places in Canggu that I couldn't leave out of my guide. I've been scootering around with my camera from café to café just trying to cover everything that this magical place has to offer. And STILL new places are popping up – like another awesome mindful movement yoga studio just about to open! It's quite clear I can't fit it everything in one post, so watch this space for the sequel! Gosh, maybe it will be a trilogy at this rate?!

 

 

 

Shakti Stays: Vassani Stay

 
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I couldn't have asked for a more perfect location than Vassani Stay for exploring Canggu. Everything I needed was within walking distance; from the healthy cafes to the yoga studios, the boutique stores to the tattoo parlour. It definitely hit the top of my list of places to stay in the Luxe Yogi's Guide to Canggu. But the location was the icing on the cake. The place was immaculately clean, stylishly decorated and featured all the thoughtful touches that a nomad needs - universal power points in convenient locations in the room, a tea and coffee making station right outside the room (with stylish coffee mugs and wooden spoons!), pool towels, a writing desk, coat hangers and shelves, a mini fridge and water jug for cool water top-ups... these may seem like insignificant details but trust me, as a frequent traveller, going without these basics can be super frustrating! I was delighted to find nothing was missing at Vassani - in fact, not only was my every need pre-empted and provided for, it was done in a super-stylish way. No boring cushion covers, ugly power adaptors and daggy coffee mugs in sight!

The pool area, is of course, simply divine and you're likely to have it all to yourself much of the time, since Vassani is perfectly petite. With just a handful of rooms, sightings of other guests are rare, and the whole place is blissfully quiet and private. I think it attracts the low-key kind of guest. In the same building, you'll be delighted to find Gypsy Kitchen & Bar serving up some delicious food and great coffees, so you need not go far to get your morning pre-yoga caffeine fix.

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The Practice Yoga studio is a short walk past some of Canggu's best boutique shops (I dare you not to buy a bikini or a cute top on your way to the studio!) and Samadi isn't too far either - both studios have an incredible line-up of Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin and other classes. But, if you prefer to practice solo (sometimes this is really the best for me when I'm travelling and tired!) there is actually room to roll out your yoga mat on the cool, polished concrete beside the bed.

Nearby, don't miss The Avocado Factory, The Shady Shack, The Loft, Pizza Fabbrica and Café Organic. All have amazing options for plant-loving foodies! For more on the seemingly limitless things for a luxe yogi to do and eat in Canggu, read my ultimate travel guide here.

Take me there...

Vassani Stay
Jl. Munduk Catu #1, Badung, Bali

 

Shakti Stays: Fivelements

 
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I wasn’t sure what to expect on my return to Fivelements; the healing retreat in magical Ubud where my journey into the healing arts and my love affair with tropical life, yoga, raw food and spirituality began. Almost 7 years had passed since I last visited this place, and I knew that most things in life never stay the same. If you’ve ever tried to re-create an incredible experience, you’ll know that it is next to impossible! I also wondered, since I’ve travelled so much and tasted so many amazing raw vegan dishes over the past few years, would I be as impressed as I was back then, as a total newbie to the scene? After all, Fivelements was the first place I ever tasted raw chocolate and zucchini noodles! And, had my first ever Balinese massage and herbal bath. It was also the first time I really began to sense an undercurrent of the healing power of nature; of it’s magic. And the flickerings of intuition and the calling of my dharma began to stir there in the quiet, by the sacred river. Fivelements had a lot to live up to! I really wasn’t sure I’d have the same feelings of awe and wonder...

Well... I am amazed and delighted to report that not only has Fivelements retained that special magic over the years (everything was just as perfect as I remembered it) it has actually evolved!

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The property itself is nothing short of paradise. It is so peaceful. The watery murmur of the sacred Ayung river flowing past seems to permeate the entire place, offering subtle sound healing to the subconscious mind. 

We began our Fivelements healing journey with a Balinese Fire Blessing where we chanted the ancient Gayatri Mantra, meditated and made offerings to the fire gods. As the smoke swirled around us, we were cleansed of negative energies and blessed by this ancient ritual.

Next we were treated to a luxurious Balinese Beauty Ritual with essential oils and coconut scrubs, finished off with a herbal bath overlooking the river, filled with lime, lemongrass, ginger, pandan leaves and mineral salts; an absolutely blissful experience leaving us both completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

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Finally, with great anticipation we headed to the Sakti Dining Room to see if the food was as mind-blowing as I’d remembered. I had been talking it up to Mr. Jungle Shakti for months (he's a total food snob and tends to get the sulks if we ever have a bad meal!), so I had my fingers crossed.

Again, I was enchanted! The menu is now even more sophisticated. It is obvious that the chefs take great care in refining the flavours and presentation, and are passionate about raw cuisine! We enjoyed a decadent banquet of raw lasagne, pearl barley risotto, fresh avocado and cashew nut salads, silken tofu canapés, scrumptious tacos, superfood smoothies, and a trio of raw chocolate desserts and a coconut panna cotta served with assorted ice creams and sorbets. It really was the ultimate raw vegan foodies lunch. Fivelements Sakti Dining Room is a raw food lover’s heaven, serving up beautiful living cuisine at its finest. Don't miss this if you're planning a trip to Ubud.

Take me there...

Fivelements
Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, 
Mambal, Bali, Indonesia 80352
 

 

Papaya & Coconut Sorbet Nana Bowls

 
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It's feelin' hot, hot, hot in the tropics today and the best way to cool down? Frozen banana smoothie bowls! These are just so quick and easy to make, and you can play around with different flavours and toppings to your heart's content. For these ones, I used papaya too 'coz I'm kinda crushing on this fruit lately. Not only does it look and taste like a sweet sunset in paradise, it's full of enzymes that support and maintain digestive health. It's also a beauty food; naturally hydrating and high in skin-boosting vitamins. 

ingredients

1 fresh coconut
1/4 large papaya
1-2 frozen bananas, sliced
1/4 cup coconut water or milk (your choice!)
a handful of toasted coconut flakes
fruity toppings like: extra papaya, strawberry, passionfruit, raspberries

method

First we need to crack open the coconut to make our 'bowl', being careful to save that precious water to pop into your papaya sorbet. Holding the coconut with a towel, firmly tap it with a meat mallet or hammer, turning as needed, until the shell starts cracking in half. Split the shell, then pour the coconut water into a glass and set aside. Sounds easy, but I always need someone to help me with this!

Next place the papaya, frozen banana and coconut water into a high-powered blender and pulse until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached. It should look a bit like soft-serve ice cream now. Simply spoon the sorbet into the coconut shell 'bowls' and top with toasted coconut flakes and fruit. Consume immediately while it's still nice and cold. Yum, am I right?