Last week I was very kindly invited to sample the new spring menu at the Nourish restaurant in Leeds and I jumped at the chance as I'm all for supporting healthy and affordable food options. I've only eaten at Nourish once before so I was definitely up for trying out some more of the dishes.
Nourish pride themselves on being "healthy fast food" meaning all of their food is easy to pick up as part of a busy schedule - great for if you work in the city centre. However, the restaurant itself is a bright and airy inviting space that is equally as great for taking time out and enjoying lunch in. The food is freshly made every day from locally sourced ingredients and you can definitely tell this in the quality of each meal.
I think lots of people still have the opinion that healthy food is boring and will leave you feeling hungry or that its too expensive to eat on the go but Nourish has done a good job of disproving these ideas.
The extensive menu means there's plenty to choose from, with a wide range of vegetarian meals and gluten, wheat or dairy free options in both the salads and the hot food. The menu guide also tells you the meals that; contain superfoods, are high in protein or fibre and are low in carbohydrates, so if you're following a specific food plan this could come in handy.
On arrival we tried the new Strawberry Rhubarb Pie smoothie which was delicious, I'm a big smoothie fan and there's also the option on the menu to add extras such as whey protein, chia seeds or fresh spinach if you fancy an energy boost. Over the course of the evening we tasted three of the hot dishes and four of the new salads;
- Chicken and Red Pepper Tagine - with lentils, harissa and apricots
- Nourish Italian Meatballs - turkey mince with tomato and parmesan, tarragon and lemon
- Beef Rendang - slow cooked Yorkshire beef, malay spices, coconut and black beans
- Duck "Bang Bang" Salad - duck with rice noodles, almond ginger dressing, green beans and bok choy
- Mediterranean Sun Box Salad - roast peppers with cherry tomatoes marinated in garlic with mini mozzarella balls, kale pesto, spinach, baby gem and rocket
- Pea & Falafel Salad - peas and lentils with mint, onion and garlic, with spiced chickpeas, courgette noodles and tahini green beans
- Lift Yourself Box - beetroot spirals with buckwheat, feta and sesame
My favourite of all the meals was definitely the Beef Rendang. I sometimes find when buying healthy meals, as opposed to making my own, they don't deliver as much flavour but this dish was really tasty and filling too. If you wanted to make it an even lighter option you could also swap the rice for spiralised veg.
The Duck "Bang Bang" salad was another hit amongst us all, the unusual choice of almond dressing actually worked really well with the oriental flavours - it was almost as good as a crispy duck from the chinese takeaway (almost).
The one salad that really divided us was the Lift Yourself Box, personally I love beetroot and feta and thought it was a taste sensation, especially with the pieces of orange that added a zingy contrast to the feta. I know beetroot is one of those love or hate foods but if you haven't tried it before and want to try some new ingredients I'd recommend this salad box as a good place to start.
I'm not a huge fan of tarragon so the Nourish Italian Meatballs weren't my favourite but that's just down to personal preference. The turkey itself was really tasty which is probably due to the fact all the meat on the menu is free range. I know lots of other people loved the flavours of this dish so that just proves there's something for everyone.
I love the fact that the menu is so simple and lists every ingredient in each of the dishes - there's no hidden sugars or additives hiding in the small print, it's just fresh and simple food exactly the way it should be. The owner of Nourish, David, joined us at the event to tell us a bit about the background of the company and answer any questions which was really interesting. With a degree in nutrition and a passion for accessible healthy food it's clear to see how David helped to create such a diverse and varied menu that will suit almost anyone.
With everything from the ever so popular blogging favourite, avo on toast, to a "comfort food" style baked potato the new menu has something to suit any mood and without the designer price tag. Salads and hot meals start at £4.45, a fraction of the price of a Pret a Manger splurge and probably the same price as a Big Mac meal meaning you don't have to sway from your usual spending habits to try a healthy alternative.
At a time where healthy eating, exercise and looking after your body is at an all time high it's nice to see a brand that's really passionate about helping people maintain a healthy lifestyle easily and efficiently. I had a really lovely evening meeting some other bloggers and the staff at Nourish, including David the owner, were all great - it's refreshing to see employees really excited about the messages they're giving out.
Let me know in the comments if you've visited either of the Nourish restaurants in Leeds or Sheffield and what your thoughts were!