“Everyone says that you need to eat healthy to stay fit. But healthy food isn’t tasty right?” That’s a notion that most of us have in our minds. I won’t blame you, as that’s how most of us have grown up. Healthy food always meant unpalatable taste, devoid of colours, no spices and mostly raw. While the healthy eating regime has kicked in, for many the notion still remains the same.
So when I was at Vibrant Living a few days ago, I wasn’t there just to eat healthy food but to understand that healthy food can be tasty, and beautiful too!
Vibrant Living – The Concept
Terms like Wholistic, Wholesome weren’t attributed to food a decade ago. If you used any of those in a crowded room, you probably would be sitting alone in the corner. Today, these are mainstream. One major reason is that people are opting for a healthier lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle requires physical activity and nutritious food.
Vibrant Living started out as a family and friends dinner which has grown into an entity synonymous with natural & organic food. They serve ready to eat, ready to make foods that are made from natural, organic ingredients. The ingredients they use are sourced either from their own garden or the farmers they work with.
The person behind Vibrant Living is Sridevi Jasti. A nutritionist who has travelled the world. From staying in the US and spending time in the alleys of Italy, she has an immense understanding of a variety of food. And that’s pretty evident from the dishes on offer at Vibrant Living.
During my visit here, not only I got to taste some of the wholesome food but also shared the table with Sridevi who shared interesting anecdotes.
Vibrant Living – The Place
Located in an apartment in Khajaguda, Vibrant Living has got a new address. Amidst the rather dusty environment, the place is quite clean, calm and away from the city noises. On the first floor, they have their store. One can find fresh, organic and exotic vegetables on sale. Apart from that they also have a variety of wholesome snacks, chocolates, dips, bread and much more. Most (if not all) of these are vegan and gluten-free. For instance, their bread is devoid of Atta, Maida and are prepared from healthier alternatives.
On the second floor, they have a small seating area along with a kitchen and dining area. The kitchen is a well equipped one and is mostly used for shoots. Sridevi also conducts free cookery classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 am. Everyone is free to attend those. Apart from that they also have a good collection of books and plants alike.
Our Wholesome & Delicious Lunch
One thing that you are guaranteed at Vibrant Living is nutritious and wholesome food. Sridevi has crafted different menus that one can choose from. These menus are a carefully curated list of dishes ranging from starters to desserts. You can also choose the specials of the day that is mentioned at the counter.
For someone like me who prefers roti, subzi and dal, the menu I got was rather different. The welcome drink to dessert menu was crafted keeping in mind our taste whilst being as nutritious as it can get.
Starters and Soup
We started our meal with Chia Citrus Berry Ambrosia which was a blend of seasonal berries. The Chia seeds ensured that I didn’t gulp down the drink and took it sip by sip. It was perfect for the hot weather in Hyderabad.
The next item we had was Greens Tom Yum. Tom Yum is a Thai soup for all of you who don’t know. It was prepared from seasonal greens, lemongrass, ginger and coconut. It was paired with a crisp laced with grains. It was creamy, had a good body and texture along with a very balanced taste. The tinge of lemongrass and ginger was perfect. A must-try for sure.
The pace of the dishes was nicely timed as we had breaks in between when we talked about food. Sridevi’s Italy chronicles and my dislike for Sushi. Soon we were served a platter of the main course and it looked like it was straight out of Instagram! The colourful platter consisted of Chickpea Flatbread Pizza, Stuffed Mushroom, Baked Vegetable & Green Peas Croquet along with Lettuce Bowl and Pumpkin and Kale Ravioli.
The lettuce bowl couldn’t get any fresher. It had nicely julienned bell peppers, sports and was drizzled with cashew tahini. Chickpea Pizza was a nice firangi take on the besan chilla. The gluten-free base was loaded with veggies and homemade pesto. Stuffed Mushrooms were juicy and filled with vegan cream and melted in the mouth.
My favourite however was the Green Peas Croquet. These chatpata croquets were spiced with Indian spices and the crispy millet flakes made it even better. It was so good that I ditched the chutney that was served. Jowar Ravioli was a healthy take on the standard Ravioli. It was stuffed with pumpkin and kale and served in a tomato and basil based ragout. Quite unique and delicious.
We were served a no-bake, no flour unique pie. Something that I was having for the first time. The Mocha Raw Food Pie was made using seeds, nuts and dry fruits along with coffee. We also had a Buckwheat (Kuttu Atta) based dessert which had bananas and strawberries. I’m not fond of Kuttu and hence didn’t quite enjoy this one. Nonetheless, these are truly guilt-free desserts that you can relish. The pie is worth a try!
Learn and relish wholesome food
I quite didn’t expect it but the lunch turned out to be a rather interesting one. Not only eating something healthy, wholesome and delicious but also learning about the benefits of each one of it. We had the privilege of sharing our table with Sridevi who knows her food. A nutritionist by profession and foodie at heart, you’ll love her experiments at Vibrant Living. The best part about was that none of us felt full after the meal. And that’s the reality of having food that’s prepared to keep health in mind. If I were to pick my favourites it would be the Chia Citrus Berry drink, Tom Tum, Peas Croquet, Lettuce Bowl and the Mocha dessert.
The in house store is also a wonderful place to grab some healthy munchies and dips for yourself. I was gifted a pack nuts based namkeen, choco almond dip along with a bottle of amla juice and nut bars. It’s quite a busy place. and a lot of people come here for their daily needs. So if you are in and around the area, do drop by the place. Even if you’re not convinced about healthy food being delicious, have a meal here and I’m sure your views might change.