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Arjuna and Rainbow Cafe

February 26, 2011

Hello – I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. I’m visiting Peter in Cambridge this weekend and have been (over)indulging my penchant for healthy food. As I sit here writing this post I’m absolutely stuffed up to my eyeballs with food from my favourite restaurant ever. In fact, besides the fact that my boyfriend lives here, it’s one of the reasons I love to visit Cambridge.

The Rainbow Cafe is the only vegetarian restaurant in Cambridge and specialises in gluten free and vegan food. Neither Peter nor I are actually vegetarian, but we both love Rainbow because it just serves really good food. From a vegetarian’s point of view it must be great to go somewhere that serves meals that are balanced and healthy. So often cafes, pubs and restaurants serve carb-based veggie meals with no protein or dishes smothered in cheese. However, because the food is so delicious and I only get to go there a few times a year I did overdo it a bit and feeling rather the worse for it. To start I shared some of Peter’s goat’s cheese salad with a homemade wholemeal roll. For my main course I had one of the daily specials – Giant Cous Cous “Marrakech”, which was mixed vegetables and butter beans cooked in tomatoes with Moroccan spices on a bed of giant cous cous and chopped dates. All the cous cous and pasta dishes can be served with brown rice if you’re gluten-intolerant. Peter had his usual – three bean chilli with brown rice and side salad. We indulged in puddings too! I had a vegan, gluten free banana cake with vegan ice-cream, which was VERY yummy and not too sweet at all (I’m not sure if it was sugar free). Peter had one of their famous Rainbow apple pies with vegan ice-cream. If you’re ever in Cambridge I really recommend trying this restaurant out. It’s only small and always busy, so we always go outside of traditional meal times (we went at about 4:30pm today and still struggled to get a table).

I love to go Cambridge for another reason – around the corner from Peter’s house there is a great wholefood shop, Arjuna. It sells a lot of stuff that my local health food shop in Leeds doesn’t and as I consequence I managed to spend a small fortune on relatively few things:


(There’s a computer on every surface at Peter’s house – he shares with two other engineers)

I see chia seeds, maca powder and nutritional yeast used so often in recipes on other blogs that I couldn’t help but buy them to try them out. I’ve nearly run out of hazelnut butter, so I thought I’d give almond butter a try. The bread is sprouted wheat and date, which I can wait to try as dates are fast becoming my new food crush. I’m intrigued by raw chocolate and have never tried it, so I thought I’d give the ombar a go, although I’m not going to make it a regular habit as it’s so expensive! I bought the tropical wholefoods bar to try as a change to my normal Nakd bar addiction and the Rachel’s natural yoghurt is just because I can’t go a day without eating yoghurt.

When I got home I was quite hungry so I instantly (after taking these photos!) opened the tropical wholefoods bar:



(My hands look very wrinkly in this picture – I’m blaming Peter’s lens for being too fancy!)

This bar had a really strong mango flavour, which wasn’t unpleasant, but the brazil nuts were hard to detect, which was disappointing because I really love them! It was also very sweet – the ingredients list showed brown rice syrup as the second ingredient (20% of the bar), which isn’t something that I’d normally go for. I’m surprised how much I’ve got out of the sweet habit – this would have been heaven to me a few months ago. So, in conclusion, I think I’ll stick to my Nakd bars unless anyone has any other suggestions?

Just a quick injury update – I went to the podiatrist yesterday to get the casting for my orthotics done. He did a gait analysis on a treadmill and a hip and back examination. The outlook is good – he thinks once I’ve broken the orthotics in I should be able to start walking longer distances again and building up to running SmileThat’s probably still a couple of months away, but still good news. However, he thinks my right hip joint has limited mobility and that needs to be treated before I run again because that would cause more damage to it. So, I’m going to see the chiropractor next week before I get my orthotics. The clinic I go to also has a physio, but the podiatrist believes that I’ll get better and quicker results with a chiropractor. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has been to a chiropractor as there’s been quite a backlash against them since the Simon Singh case last year. I believe he was questioning their effectiveness with conditions such as asthma and colic rather than musculoskeletal problems like mine. However I’ve heard of lots of people seeing physios, but not many seeing chiropractors. I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2011 11:43 pm

    I have offically added Arjuna to my list of must-see/go to places in Cambridge when I visit in September this year. I’d already been excited about Rainbow Cafe since you mentioned it in your last post but now I’m having foodie apperplexy because I read their menu and they have two specials that are vegan, gluten free but also onion and garlic free. I have NEVER come across a place that directly lists this as an option on the menu, let alone as a main dish. I’m in love with the place and haven’t even seen it…no wonder it’s so busy. If I do get to go then I have to try the Vegan Artichoke Parcel and the Gado Gado. I’ll cry if they’re not still making those come September…

    Your health food shopping looks quite restrained ~ I think you did well! Everyone deserves a little splurge but I agree about no bars comparing to Nakds at all and being oversweet. Pulsin products are very nice though.

    Good news about the injury ~ I’ve never seen a chiropractor but I don’t necessarily think they warrent the bad rep they’ve been getting recently. I’ll be intrigued to see what others think…


  2. February 27, 2011 3:11 am

    I love vegetarian restaurants! Obviously, because I’m a vegetarian ( 🙂 ) but you’re right- most vegetarian meals in regular restaurants are really heavy, cheesy meals.

  3. February 27, 2011 5:57 am

    Yum, that cafe sounds great, I love veggie food places whenever I’m in a new city I like to scope out the veggie spots! Your wholefoods haul looks great too, engevita is one of my favourite ingredients, you’ve just reminded me I need to buy a new tub!

  4. February 27, 2011 9:10 am

    That’s great news from the podiatrist! And thanks for the review of The Rainbow Cafe. A good friend of mine lives in Cambridge, and since I went vegan she loves to find places for us to go where I can eat cake. I’ll let her know about this for next time I visit! And it’s so true what you say about the balanced meals and variety. As a veggie/vegan you get so used to just eating whatever is available, rather than what is healthy or what you want. It’s so exciting to go somewhere where you have options!

    Enjoy the almond butter — is a close second to cashew nut for me!

  5. DonnyFan permalink
    February 27, 2011 9:10 am

    I live in Swindon and it’s a constant source of much disappointment and irritiation that (to the best of my knowledge) we have no decent food restaurants or health food shops here!

    We have the usual pub chain restaurants and the usual H&B, but they just don’t DO the sort of stuff I want!

    So when I get to read stuff like this I soak it up 🙂

  6. February 27, 2011 10:19 pm

    I visited Arjuna when I was in Cambridge last summer. It was such a great find and that is where my health food addiction began. They have some great product ranges there.

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