I spent some of my memorable university days with a beautiful girl from South Africa, Antonia De Luca, but as time went by we were only left with a very brief association on Facebook. I always found myself looking through Antonia’s pictures of her café in Johannesburg. The place looked so enticing that one day I decided to go through her website and learn more about what she does and this incredible restaurant she has created.
Leafy Greens, tucked away alongside Casilinga restaurant in Muldersdrift, South Africa, is a quaint boutique café that serves the freshest produce from its organic farm and prides on the partly raw and vegan menu. It’s not difficult to sense the pure passion and love she puts into her food and her dedication in sharing her knowledge through events, workshops and conferences. The master of raw food himself, David Wolfe has been a part of it!
I decided to buy her very first recipe book and as I went through the pages I was blown away by the seamless integration of fruits and vegetables to create mouth watering delicious dishes. I love the simplicity and pure respect for each ingredient. For those who know me, cooking is definitely not my forte but this I’m tempted to try.
According to me there is no better person to give her point of view about running a vegan restaurant, being vegan herself and all the misconceptions around it.
- Did you ever encounter an “aha” moment or did you always know that one day you will open a healthy beautiful café such as this? I was in the USA at Hippocrates Health Institute when I realized the importance of health and the message that I had to come home to share with others. It was such an “aha” moment that I called my dad back home in South Africa and told him that I had had an epiphany and that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, the message was so strong!
- Running a restaurant is not the easiest of jobs and you have decided to create one that is partly raw and vegan. Didn’t you ever think it was too risky? Yes, I did think it was risky but the pull was so strong that I didn’t give it too much thought. I never gave it a negative thought! EVER! I believed in what I was going to do from the start and I did see a gap in the market, I researched the market well too.
- What would you say are the positive outcomes of being vegan? Health, sustainability, living a long and vibrant life. Lots of positives.
- Protein plays an imperative role in building and sustaining muscle; some of the major protein sources are egg whites, meat and dairy. What are equally strong substitutes in a vegan diet? Sprouts, wheatgrass, pea greens, sunflower sprouts, sprouted brown rice protein, Goji berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, hemp powder, help oil, tofu, kale, spinach, there is protein in everything we eat!
- How important do you think your diet plays in disease prevention and reversal? An absolute integral part, so important to eat clean and well to keep the immune system strong so that it can fight diseases.
- In today’s day and age, do you think you will ever be successful in trying to spread the knowledge and awareness about the benefits of a vegan diet? Yes, I do, so many people are sick and tired and sick and tired of being sick and tired. Cancer is so rife, people have to change. The way we eat is not sustainable for the future either, we have too much of a big appetite for meat.
- How do you manage when you don’t have access to a raw food restaurant or even organic produce? I eat salad, I drink tea, I eat fruit, I always find something to eat. It’s really not such a big deal.
- What is your favorite dish on your menu? I love quinoa, I mix cooked chopped vegetables into it with a few cashew nuts and sesame seeds and a drop of sesame oil. I love kale salad too. And any delicious superfood smoothie.
- What is your future plan? I want to manufacture health foods so it is easier for the busy housewife to provide healthy food for her family. Perhaps open a few juice bars, called Leafy Greens Express. Write a few more books. Lots of potential for the future.
- Lastly and very importantly, how do you convince a meat eater to give up meat and dairy and turn towards a vegan diet? I don’t convince anyone to do anything. It is up to them. I educate. I encourage. I supply the good, tasty food. The rest is up to them!
So if you’re thinking of opening your own health food restaurant, or just becoming a bit healthier yourself or even visiting Johannesburg at anytime, you know what to do!
If you want to liven up your taste buds with the healthiest yet most delicious recipes from Leafy Greens recipe book you can get in touch with me at email@example.com
For more information you can visit http://www.leafygreens.co.za/