My fraud kitchen

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Believe it or not, some people want to know what the insides of my fridge and cupboards look like. So here they are… and sorry to disappoint as is it is not quite as exciting as some might think!

After almost proudly showing how empty my fridge was to a friend who came to visit my apartment, he reminded me of an old saying that goes, ‘in the house of a steel maker, the knives are made of wood’. This is so very true especially when it comes to my fridge, which is probably one of the saddest ones in Ibiza. And it has been like this for almost the last three years! Since I opened my second restaurant and then the third and then the forth and so on, I have totally stopped eating at home. I could easily be storing shoes in my oven too. This is how much I use it.

So my fridge is really not impressive, but you may say my cupboards are. This is when people who are peeking at what I have in my kitchen go, ‘wow’! It’s like a nature supplement pharmacy in there. I have so much stuff that it is not humanly possible to consume it all of it in its recommended doses in a week, let alone in a day.

 

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When I have the pleasure of owning a blender (I say this as I have so far ‘lost’ six Vitamixes and three Nutribullets to my cafes – it’s always my own blender that saves the day when the others break down due to so much use!). Right now I am without one so instead of bedtime cookies or superfood elixirs, I’m sent to bed with a couple of handfuls of pills. But hey, it’s all good stuff. A few healthy pills a day keep the wrinkles away!

Right now I’m ‘on’ Pearl, He Shou Wu, Schizandra, Krill oil, Turmeric Formula, Magnesium and my favourite, Mega Hydrate. When it comes to supplements, superfoods and protein powders I really try to source the best ones, made with integrity and by companies I trust.

 

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All these superfoods and superherbs do is provide me with complex nutrition on a cellular level but they don’t stop my cravings or hunger very often, so when I get home I’m often cursing myself for not bringing a take away from Passion or in the very least an apple or something! There is seriously NO food in my house, almost ever! Every time I think of picking up something from my cafes that I can eat at home later, I’m like ‘nah, I won’t be hungry’. Then I get home and the typical scenario happens: me opening my empty fridge for the 20th time hoping a quinoa salad will show up by some miracle.

My brother always jokes with me, “People would think you are this perfect domestic goddess but you are a total fraud”. Ha ha ha… Don’t you just love how family always tells you things directly as they are? He also always tells me, “Whatever you do within at least the first month of dating a guy, if you manage to date someone for more than a month, [thanks bro again!], do not bring him home and to your kitchen.”

But at least my coffee situation is now well taken care of. I’m the proud owner of super swanky home coffee machine that every morning makes me a mean Americano with Passion’s own coffee blend. This makes me so happy and sets up my days just fine.

And if I cannot impress a guy with my ‘homey’ kitchen, I can always impress him with a good espresso… yes or no?

Peace, love and everything else!

 

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New year vision, no resolutions

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Once upon a time, I wrote New Year’s resolutions. I wrote so many of them that by the following year, when I bumped into the list that had been hiding amongst the pages of a book for over 300 days, I got so depressed, seeing I had only managed to execute maybe only five of 50 of my resolutions. My New Year’s resolution since then? No resolutions!

I simply do not want to fill my life with goals until I am emotionally constipated and physically exhausted. Instead of making resolutions at New Year, I now spend a day or two playing with scissors, a glue stick and magazine cutouts creating my vision board.

I do get carried away, very often ending up with two of them! There is so much that inspires me in my professional life that it always leaves very little space for my private one (well, this is my real life story anyway!). I used to dedicate 10-percent of the lower right corner to health, wellbeing, spirituality, green juice, my dream home and that dream guy, but last year I was more generous with myself and so those ‘things’ I just mentioned got a whole board to themselves. Somehow the dream guy still only got 10-percent of the lower right hand corner. Oh my, oh my, what does that mean? I hear ya… I’ll give ‘him’ more space this year.

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Vision boards are great. Not only are they are quite decorative and bring out the artist in you, but they also they really do let you dream big and wide. And as they say, a picture tells more than a thousands words. Vision boards are put up on your wall where you can see them everyday, study them, admire them, dream with them and get inspired day after day with endless possibilities. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’,” said Audrey Hepburn.

My home is also filled with positive affirmation cards. I have plenty of them and cannot put them all out at once so every New Year I like to pick up a few new ones that resonate with me and what I feel will be needed to remind me on a daily basis to pursue my dreams.

So often things would happen to me and I would look at my vision boards and gasp, ‘Crap, this just happened!’ Things can be small or big, more or less significant, but many do happen as your vision is clear, you know what you want and you project it out there to the Universe on a daily basis. It is like placing an order in a restaurant! How will the chef know what would you like to eat if you do not decide what you want and order it?

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The best thing is seeing the things you really wanted to happen at some point actually not happening at all and then you sigh a big sigh of relief! ‘Thank you Universe for not giving me what I asked for! What was I thinking?’

I also like to reflect on the year gone by and see what I have learned from it. Instead of just pushing forward we need to stop and reflect on the things we have learned, the cosmic messages we have downloaded, process what just happened, analyse it, learn from it, accept it, take a note and move on.

Life can be a real challenge and we need tools to help us along the way and keep us going. For me, these tools are my vision boards, my affirmation cards and my reminder to have a massage – my favourite pastime at least twice a month! It doesn’t always happen but it keeps reminding me that I must take that ‘me time’ and all those dreams I have glued onto my boards will come at the right time. Trust and believe and the Universe will conspire to give you just what you need.

Peace, love and vision!

Lana the Christmas Grinch

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Before you proclaim me a real party pooper, hear me out. It’s kind of not my fault I ain’t keen on Christmas!

You see, I was born and raised in the communist country of Yugoslavia. Apart from my grandparents, who were born before the First World War, all of my family members were sucked into communism. Nothing too extreme but we were not churchgoers or religious holiday obsessed. Yes, we would have a Christmas tree but we didn’t get into the habit or make the effort to have all the family meet around the dinner table for that ‘magical time of the year’, nor did we buy presents for each other or anyone else for that matter. Even Santa Claus, when translated from Djed Mraz in Croatian, means Grandfather Frost – there’s hardly anything saintly about that!

My Christmas present or shall we say the sock (and I mean not any fancy stocking, just my own plain sock) that would get filled by Djed Mraz, would barely have space for a chocolate bar and couple of oranges, which was all that my splendid Christmas presents ever were. I lived alone with my mum, and we were not well off, most of the time we were on the border of fridge poverty, so I would mostly enjoy any special Christmas foods at my grandparents’ house.

My favourite thing was my grandma’s homemade type of fettuccini lookalike pasta with ground walnuts and sugar and ‘Saran’, river fish oven baked whole with sweet onion and rice, with ‘Kajmak’ (something like crème fraiche) poured over it. Those were the foods that were traditionally made for Christmas Eve, a kind of ‘fasting time’ that actually meant one was not supposed to eat meat that day. And because my grandparents were religious they would give me extra pocket money at Christmas, which I would give to my mum on coming home to buy food for us.

Please do not think that I was so poor and hungry at any time! It is just that things were tight, financially very tight, my life was super simple and so was my mum’s. We had just about enough, but nothing more than that.

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Upon leaving my country and moving to London, Christmases got to me hard. Christmas in the UK is a big thing – people started talking about it in August! You could buy Christmas decorations in August too. All the friends I made were buying plane tickets to go home for Christmas and others were planning to spend those dreaded longest three days of the year (for me personally) with their loved ones. Every Christmas I would end up alone, missing my family more than ever and there was no option to go back home, as after the war most of my family were accommodated in different places (my mum lived in a hostel and my brother in a city hotel for years before they were given an apartment to live in), and we did not have one big table we could all meet around. And this is when I would always think of my mum’s wish… to have a big table and to have all of us sitting around it together. I wonder why each of my Passions has at least one big communal table?

But from another point of view, the reason why I dislike this time of year – though not necessarily Christmas itself – is the consumerism that goes with it these days. It is horrible! Christmas is so bloody good for the Chinese economy! Such overspending on the most ridiculous level, so much waste from all the decorative wrapping, so much food, overeating, overdrinking and over-consuming in the western world. This is time of the year when you really feel the imbalance of people starving or dying of hunger and all the excesses of Christmas that others can afford. This is always a sad fact, but Christmas brings it to another level…

I have witnessed people stressing over how many presents they need to buy and getting into credit card debt that makes them even more stressed about repaying it. I am also a workaholic, we all know that, so having that length of time off from all of the institutions I need to be open and running to keep working myself seems like forever! Banks are closed, my gestoria is closed, my printers are closed, the post is not delivering, my masseur is out of the country, so are all of my staff and I cannot keep my Passions open for Christmas just so that I have something else to do other than think about how Christmas sucks for me. But hey… I’m being super honest with you as always.

Deep down, I’m slightly envious that you are flying home for Christmas and that you will be spending your days eating mince pies and being merry with your family. And I’m happy for each one of you. This Christmas my family is getting around a table together but I simply cannot make it due to work overload. Now that we have a big table, I cannot make it! The irony of it all…

Wishing you all wonderful holidays wherever you are, whoever you are with and whatever you do. Just go easy on all trimmings!

Peace, love and Djed Mraz.

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Winter warmers

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The reason I could never be a raw foodist is winter. Warming things just slightly or adding lots of spice to my food and drink to make them more ‘warming’ for my system is not something I have ever warmed up to.

The Croatian in me loves hot things which you can eat with a spoon, but without slurping (Eastern Europeans love to slurp!) and raising my body temperature when those winter chills kick in.

Luckily in Ibiza we do not have a very cold winter period but man, when it is cold, it is cold! The majority of houses and apartments are not equipped with heating systems to keep us pleasantly warm when it is oh-so-cold outside. My air conditioning unit at home is ok.  I switch it on and it is super hot within minutes.  But when I switch it off it gets cold again in minutes – even before you can say minestrone.

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So at my home and in my Passions I make sure that hot stuff is on hand! I have an impressive selection of teas (I love my Teapigs!), but I also love making my own tea from herbs, roots, citrus and spices. Recently, one of my favourite teas has been rose tea, which I’m so proud we will be serving in all Passions. Just a few rose buds, add hot water and voila!

By now maybe you have noticed that I’m huge fan of orange blossom, rose water, dates, halva, and other middle eastern inspired ingredients. I am quite simply obsessed with the flavors, textures, and exotic ingredients of the orient.

But, back to winter warmers..!

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Our customers love to keep warm, as shown by the endless chai teas and chai lattes we have been selling in Passion, along with hot turmeric tonics, matcha teas and lattes, gojichinnos, lemon, honey and ginger teas, and my absolute winter favourite hot apple juice with cinnamon (it’s just like drinking apple pie!)

We have been having lots of fun in our new Passion Pantry with the creation of our deli plate and the soups that go with it. Every day we come up with a new concoction. Day one – red lentil and pumpkin, day two – cauliflower, curry and coconut, day three – creamy peas soup or simply a chunky mixed veggie soup with chickpeas and day four – one of my favourites which is fennel and oat milk soup.  We make a mean kale stew too. All so inspiring and so very good!

As far as I am concerned, winters are for soups and I could live on them. We normally make a huge pot and you can see me going back to the kitchen every couple of hours or so, picking up the bowl and loading up a ladle or two for yet another bowl.

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As I don’t cook at home, I have been eating in my restaurants constantly for three years now.  Our homemade winter soups are feeling really good as we are not so busy in the winter months and I can eat in peace and really savour the flavours. You may say lucky me, eating in Passion all day long, and I do agree.  We have superbly fresh food from high integrity ingredients but I hardly ever eat in peace as my mouthfuls are interrupted by people talking to me, answering e-mails, all while swallowing my broccoli without chewing it!

Sometimes I push my plate away half way through my meal, fed up with chewing because I have so many things to do! I’m serious. I get bored eating and chewing… so much for people thinking I must be a real gourmand. Not at all! I eat because I have to, but I like to create food so this is all it matters, I create, you eat! I hope we have good deal 😉

Wishing you lots of nice hot stuff, warm socks and fluffy snoring dogs (or another form of human hot water bottle) in those long dark winter nights.

Peace, love & warmth

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A lot on your plate

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Deli plate of the day at Passion pantry.

Well, well, well…our deli plate of the day at our newly opened Passion Pantry is proving super popular already! It’s not the easiest thing to make people try it as they are tempted by walking over to their beloved Passion Marina, but once they do… it is love at the first sight (and bite!).

Our deli plate contains a plethora of goodness, vibrant colors, textures and flavors, all on one plate.  Start with creamy pumpkin, lentil and coconut soup to get your appetite going, warming you up on those cold Ibiza days.  Follow this with mouthfuls of quinoa flavoured with chopped up oven roasted root veggies, parsley, toasted almonds and a light dressing.  Next try the edamame hummus and our homemade socca chickpea bread (gluten free of course!), chili and coriander aubergine, courgette fritter, sautéed red cabbage with walnuts and raisins.

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With a choice of vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian (meaning some fish) options, the deli plate is ideal for everyone. And just so you will never get bored, the plate is constantly changing.  Think beautifully marinated tofu steak, grilled goat cheese, or a green thai curry salmon burger to complete your meal. Our daily plate is inspired by veggies of the season and items in our bio shop – expect stuffed organic pita bread with sweet potato burger and black bean hummus, or soba noodles with cashews, mango, coriander and soft aubergine (Lana’s favorite dish!), tandoori tofu bites with coconut quinoa… list goes on!

When Miss Love is creating menu and recipes, expect nothing but variety, someone open Lana her own Harrods food hall, por favor! Our favourite moment is when she storms in the kitchen and in one breath explains six recipes in her ridiculously rapid English, that sometimes even she struggles to understand! Imagine the frustration of our Spanish staff trying to understand that there is no enough chopped up parsley, that the aubergine is not cooked to perfection, or that there’s too much garlic in hummus! But at Passion we don’t stress, we are just passionate about doing everything well.
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Lana has an innate ability to fix what anyone else would find unfixable. She often repeats a sentence she learned in her acting classes – which were centuries ago, but don’t tell her we told you that! – ‘When I’m in a creative state of mind there is no such thing as a distraction, only potential inspiration’. So now you know why every time Lana makes power balls they never taste the same! And while Lana is in the Passion Pantry, until summer woos her to other Passionate locations, you can expect the unexpected on your deli plates!

One of the new creations of Miss I Make The Best Porridge Ever (which we have to agree is so far true or we haven’t tried any better, yet), is our new Threesome porridge. An absolutely delicious blend of oats, quinoa and chia in nut milk and topped with cinnamon poached pear and apple, almond butter, whipped coconut cream, toasted almonds and maple syrup. A must try!

Come and visit us on our new corner! Passion Pantry is so cute, people go wow when they walk in and their eyes turns into little hearts! We love to create, innovate, cook, chop and blend. All you need to do is eat!

Peace, love and porridge

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Discovering Raw Passion

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The first time I tried raw food was actually in Ibiza, believe it or not!

Those of you who have been in Ibiza for a few years might remember a little deli on the roadside next to Bambuddha Grove. I loved that place. I still miss it! There was a sweet couple running it and I have to thank them for allowing me to eating raw courgette pasta and trying raw wraps for the first time in my life. I spent a lot of time there drinking my acai smoothies and absorbing the whole super natural atmosphere and the food alchemy that was so new to me. I remember seeing them spreading orange paste so thinly onto plastic sheets (they were making carrot wraps), totally bewildered. I was like, whaaaat? How do you do that? What’s in it?

I used to go there often with my boyfriend at the time, who was only happy to accompany me, but every time upon leaving the place he would put his arm around my shoulders and sweetly ask me, “OK, that was nice, but where are we going for a lunch now?” The meat and potato Portugeezer didn’t even consider this type of food as a starter but more like an appetizer! Lots of guys still look at raw food as such. My brothers are first in line to laugh at the whole concept. You can go and influence and inspire thousands of people you don’t even know to change or upgrade their diets, but you may not ever succeed with your own family. And this is my true story to this day. My brothers are laughing at my business of ‘selling grass’ – that’s their way of looking at Passion salads.

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Afterwards, the restaurant Parawdiso opened in Santa Gertrudis (not to the amusement of my ‘handsome-gym-going-carrots-don’t-give-you-muscles’ Portugeezer). It was here that I discovered raw desserts. Even though their raw carrot cake hardly matched the Passion carrot cake, it was ‘interesting’ to me. I looked on in horror at the already pre-juiced concoctions in the jugs, thinking, ‘they pre juice! Ugrh’! But I was kindly informed those juices were juiced using a slow extracting juice machine that kept all their nutrients intact. Hmm, I did not buy that instantly, but I was totally clueless at the time about the whole concept. And so the (raw) Pandora box was opened for Lana Love…

I was intrigued, I wanted to know more, I liked the concept, I liked nut balls! I decided to go on a raw diet as back in those days my diet of coffee and croissants was getting out of control. I was so ‘sorry’ to bin any unsold croissants at Passion at the end of each day, I though it made sense for me to eat them all. Oh my dear God! Imagine!

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So, the nice people in Parawdiso were supplying me with their awesome onion bread, raw crepes and those nut balls. I did not even attempt to try and make anything myself in those days, it was just too alien to me and the whole ritual of driving to Santa Gerturdis from Playa d’en Bossa and picking up my raw goodies was awesome. I started losing weight like crazy. It was almost like one kilogram a day! It was a great change and new outlook on the way I was eating. And the rest is history… I discovered David Wolfe, I discovered superfoods, I discovered raw food recipes and voila! Now I make raw food free handedly without even following recipes anymore. Nut balls are now the famous Passion power balls… don’t you just love them?

I have never been a raw foodist, I love oven-roasted veggies and sweet potato mash way too much, but I do love having as much as raw food possible in my diet: fresh, simple, without too much seasoning, vibrant and colourful.

Peace, love and power balls!

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Jack Sparrow: The Passion boss and king of my heart

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As I’m writing this, Jack Sparrow is snoring his paws off after waking up and realising once again that a dog’s life is ‘too hard’ and thus he has gone straight back to bed. Not a virtue of The Boss but certainly one of the undisputed king of my heart – served, petted, adored, worshipped, cuddled, fretted upon and loved so incredibly much. There are very few Passion goers who do not know Jack and even fewer who are not enamoured by him.

His ‘Frenchie background’, that face, that look in his eyes, his permanently kind of sad face that wants you to do anything to make it look happier, his head tilted on one side like he is trying to hear what you are saying (but he will never be able to do that as my furball was born without the ability to hear), him positioning himself tight to you (or between your legs if you allow him too!), when you are eating your burger with look on his face saying ‘help, they never feed me’. The little bugger has been in the restaurant business for eight years and has perfected the art of begging for food!

It’s not that he is hungry. It’s more like he is bored of his prescribed hypoallergenic food as alas, his posh Frenchie skin is a bit sensitive and means he must be on a beauty diet. Mummy is the one who is most responsible for breaking this diet (just like her own!) by passing him crumbles of her croissants or buying him an ice cream cone while she munches on the stuff that goes on top of it. Hey, in Passion we always say life is too short for rice cakes, so we have to walk our four-legged talk now, don’t we!

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I will never forget the moment I first laid my eyes on the 45-day old puppy Jack. Talking about love at first sight. As many dog owners think their dog is the best, prettiest, smartest and the most special, I naturally also think that about my Jack. You will always hear me saying ‘not because he is mine but because he is the most beautiful Frenchie I ever saw’ and by far the softest one! But this is also what everyone else who knows Jack says. And it’s not just his everlasting beauty that makes him so special, it is his good heart, his nature, his devotion, his friendliness and the endless love that he gives – not just to me but to so many strangers too.

He has this ability to make you fall in love with him before you can even say Sparrow. I have never ever seen Jack show his teeth or even the slightest amount of aggression. I have never seen him barking at anything unless he is upset with you because you didn’t come over and say hello to him – that is especially the case with people he knows. He gets really offended and is not going to hide it. You must go and say hello otherwise he will bark at you until you do. Bless. The coolest thing about Jack is that when other dogs bark at him or are not happy with his presence, unable to hear them, he just gives them a look and then lifts up his leg to mark something, giving his own unique point of view on that aggressive behaviour.

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Writing a blog about Jack is super hard as there is an entire book that could be written about him! Yes, he is just a dog, but to me, he is more than I could have ever asked for. I have never loved anything or anyone with this intensity. It is a special kind of love (just in case my mother reads this!). To look at Jack and simply start crying (more like sobbing!) because I love him so much, to hug him so tight hoping that by some miracle he will stay with me forever, worshipping every minute I lay my eyes on him, burying my nose in his soft neck, and receiving his wiggly bottom of uncontrollable happiness because he saw me exiting the room and just ten minutes afterwards I’m back.

In the first year of Jack’s life, we shared it with his daddy and for the last seven years it has been just him and me. We are each other’s everything. I’m everything he has and he is the only 24-hour comfort, companion, friend, and therapy that I need. I have worked very hard for the things I do and have in my life, so luck does not have much to do with it, but if there is one thing I can say that I’m incredibly lucky and fortunate with, is that the Universe made Jack choose me to be his mummy. I couldn’t be more grateful. And I could not love him more than I already do. Hail to my furry King.

Peace, love and Jack.

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Changing the world one Passion at a time

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There are hardly any words to describe the excitement of creating and opening my new Passion concept, Passion Pantry and Passion Juicery, all under one roof! This kind of place has been my dream for a long time but just like everything in life, there is the matter of timing and the right location too.

To tell you quite honestly, I always knew a cold-pressed Passion Juicery would happen – I just didn’t know it would happen so soon. This was mainly due to the reason we are already in the process of opening our fifth Passion location in San Jose, set for February 2016, and that one is massive!

So while we’re working on Passion San Jose, this new baby is happening too. Well, I was kind of getting into the habit of working on two new Passions at the same time anyway. Passion BFit and Passion Santa Eularia were opened just four months apart. You see, this is my favourite part, working on new projects.22668435499_5f1b63c22f_k
I don’t actually call what I do designing – it’s more like putting things together without any plans, drawings, or computer images of how the finished places will look, nor do I even I know the exact dishes and drinks I’ll be serving. Things just happen daily and the final results are our Passions as you see them today. I’m the world’s worst planner and organiser, I function (even though it can be very stressful!) in an ‘organized chaos’. I change my mind so many times and I think the colour schemes I base my projects on can be totally changed last-minute-dot-com. Luckily my builders are cool dudes!

I’m also the person who, when I’m opening a new place, doesn’t think only about myself; pushing my things or the things I like. I look where my café is going to be, identify who the clientele will be, and see what offer is missing in the area – among other things. And this is why Passion Pantry is happening now.

I noticed Ibiza becoming more and more ‘business orientated’. Many people, even those on holiday, are in a rush! Many who work here – especially in the summer – do not have one hour or more to spend in a restaurant having their lunch (and yes, I’m even talking about my restaurant in the Marina where you can wait 40 minutes for a salad, I hear you!). Many also neglect their health and aren’t fueling their bodies with the right foods and drinks while being so caught up in all the work and crazy hours we do in the summer. In wintertime, we all want to detox, or we have days that we won’t cook, can’t cook, or even have 365 days of the year when we just simply don’t know how to cook!

I wanted to offer Ibiza residents a place to go and grab a quick and healthy lunch on the go, one that could be enjoyed in our deli or taken away. A place where you could grab a few different deli pots and cold pressed juices, nut milks, soups or porridge and healthy desserts to stock up your fridge with and enjoy them for a few days without worrying if you will end up being stuck with shop-bought pizza for dinner again. Mums on the run can stop by before picking their kids from school for a healthy snack and juice for the little ones, giving themselves more me time instead of spending time in the kitchen preparing the kids’ tea.

Passion Pantry and Passion Juicery are also places where you can order your detoxes for as many days as you want. Whether you want juice only, liquids only, alkalising, enriching, energising, combined with some raw or cooked foods or a combo of all of the above, we are here to make it happen. It is truly exciting to offer you all of this under one roof: cold-pressed juices packed in glass bottles, a bio shop, deli, café, take away, chill and eat in, breakfast, lunch, dinner, time in between, deli plate of the day, detoxes, cleanses, supper clubs, workshops… health and happiness!

This new place is only two minutes walk from Passion Marina so when you see us crazy busy there and you’re in a rush, you can just walk down the road to our Pantry and enjoy your Passion goodies there. Our food in the deli will be totally different recipes than on the menus in our restaurants but it will still keep the Passion feel, so no worries! You are going to LOVE it. Saying that, all of our cakes will also be available at the deli plus things like our hummus, granola, and a few other popular pieces of Passion yumminess. We cannot wait to welcome you to our latest corner!

Passion Pantry… making busy people eat well.

Peace, love and cold pressed juice.

Avocado panic!

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Great news for many is that our Passion Café in Santa Eularia will not be closing this year for two weeks over Christmas, so you can still lounge around like two legged lizards on our sunny seafront corner while sipping your honey, lemon and ginger teas.

We are also about to launch our new winter menu and as always we have a few new exciting things for you, our regular customers, to eat, which means something new for our chefs to cook. They love that!

But the big shocker is… avocado is now off the menu entirely! Only a couple of dishes with deli-bought guacamole will remain. What? Why? How? Until when? Forever? Don’t panic! It’s just that avocado is seriously out of season –we’ve been throwing entire boxes of avos out recently as their normally beautiful green flesh has turned into nasty, veiny, brown mush. And we cannot feed you that now, can we?

At Passion we like to use as much as seasonal and local produce as possible, especially in the wintertime when veggie-wise there is an abundance of green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, squash and wonderful root vegetables. In winter it’s also much nicer to eat beautifully roasted carrots, parsnips and beetroots than raw ones. I personally LOVE oven-roasted veggies, I could eat them three times a day, every day of the week. So as I’m the one writing the menus you’ll find them in quite a few of our dishes from now until springtime, when we’ll play with arrival of the next lot of seasonal produce.

For now, our raw beetroot carpaccio has been replaced with chunky oven-roasted beetroot; avocado and asparagus are swapped with sautéed Brussels sprouts, while raw carrots, and cucumbers and tomatoes make way for oven-roasted root veggies in warm brown rice and quinoa salads and bowls. Fruit-wise, it’s bye bye watermelon and strawberries, hello tangerines and kiwis!

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Now is also the time to drink your oranges, grapefruits, apples and pears. I love everything apple-ish in winter, especially the hot drink we’ll have for you: warmed up, freshly extracted apple juice with a touch of cinnamon. Such comforting, sweet and feel good goodness in a mug. And then there are the baked apples stuffed with nuts that we serve with whipped coconut cream and of course our special apple pie that we love to make more like a crumble with its crunchy oat and almond crust.

In smoothies we have substituted avocado with chia seeds so you’ll still be able to enjoy your Superman smoothie and co. With all of these new yummy things we hope to be able to distract you well from the unfortunate absence of Mr Avocado!

Until end of this month however, you may still fulfill your avocado fetish in Passion Marina, that is, when the avocado boxes that arrive are having a good day. We are not changing the menu there, as we will be closing for the month of December for some renovation, painting and decorating after another busy season. As soon as we have dusted ourselves off, we will start all over again in 2016, welcoming you back to the home of health and happiness in Ibiza’s very own Beverly Hills.

The best news of all is that only two minutes from Passion Marina we are opening a brand new Passion concept this November that you will… LOVE. But that’s whole new blog! Until then…

Peace, love and Brussels sprouts.

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Ibiza is my new LA

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My recent trip to Los Angeles was a story not unlike ‘The Alchemist’. I went in search of something only to realise (again) that everything I’d been looking for I have right here in Ibiza… without the jet lag! Especially food wise, as almost everything I found in the healthy LA eateries I already have in my own cafes and can find in some new healthy spots on island. But I wanted to go and ‘change the air’ a bit, have some time away, far away, in the sun and experience healthy vegan food on tap. I don’t always eat only vegan food but when you’re in LA, it’s super easy as it is on every corner so I like to take advantage of that fact.

Having healthy food readily available when I travel is really important to me, so made sense to go and spend some me time in LA. But this was the best part, the availability of it. Quality wise, I was hugely disappointed on this particular trip. Maybe when I previously went there most of these foods were hardly available anywhere else. I myself was jumping on the raw vegan wagon at the time and I thought that everything was great, but now I know so much about it and can make it myself, this bubble of some foods and places I thought were great, has burst.

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I went to so many places and was enchanted by the choices and all of the interesting things on offer but once those foods hit my palate or I would just scan the freshness of it or see how much attention and finesse they were (or weren’t) made with, the excitement would fizzle out. Particularly disappointing was a popular vegan place I went to with my friend, who is an amazing chef and cookbook author, only to see stodgy dishes being served all over with five ingredients such as sweet potato, corn tacos, guacamole, black beans and cashew sour cream in 36 different combinations! Of course, it didn’t help that on this trip I was trying so hard to stick to my sugar-free diet and what this entire ‘health orientated’ restaurant offered was sugary carbs.

My friend was even less impressed than I was, hardly eating any of her food as it was totally lacking in… love and passion (her words). Another of my favorite cafes in LA that now has a few locations has also gone kind of industrial and mass produced, bland, not fresh and with one particular highlight that was the bill appearing instantly from behind the server’s back when you say you do not want dessert, with a circle around the highest option for 25% recommended tips with hearts drawn around it, kindly asking you to fork out $15 in tips for a really average meal and just two trips they made to your table. Uh, I didn’t like that.

There were few other mishaps in other places I visited but hey, let’s concentrate on positive! Mind you, overall I was expecting more from the Mecca of healthy and conscious eating, but when you expect a lot you can expect to get truly disappointed too. It’s part of the game but the good thing is that I did enjoy few highlights too.

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I thought that the raw cheese board at Plant Food and Wine was out of this world. So was their chick pea frittata. Rawvolution served me with the best coconut yoghurt ever. Au Lac simply blew my mind with vegan ‘shrimps’. I had to ask the waiter twice to confirm that what I was biting into were not actual shrimps but chef Ito’s magical creation. This is not what you call cooking, this was magic! I really loved a place called Moon Juice, with all kinds of raw vegan and high integrity ingredient-based goodies and great cold pressed juices. Another two places that served mean cold pressed concoctions were Make Out Everyday and LA Juice. Lush!

But after all vegan food galore, more often healthy but not delicious, I was craving some good old (well, not literally old!) scrambled eggs. And a good night’s sleep. The jet lag was brutal both ways! It’s nice to travel and do something different but when you have your own kind of Santa Monica (aka a long strip of sandy, beautiful Ibiza beach) outside your apartment, sunshine all year around, amazing quality produce like we are blessed with here, and soulful healthy cafes on your own island, including those where you can take your your dog with you, it is not a surprise we Ibiza residents are very hard to please elsewhere.

Peace, love, organic scrambled eggs and Ibiza.

 

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