TANYA SMART, EDEN RESTURANT

THE UPSIDE chatted to plant-based guru Tanya Smart who is 1 half of team behind the in-credible plant-based restaurant Eden, Bondi, about how she owns her morning, the vision behind Eden and the benefits of being plant-based, cue glowing skin and sparkly eyes. Is there a better time to try a plant-based diet? We think not!


First up what’s your sign?

I am an Aquarius.


THE UPSIDE is all about owning your morning, can you share with us your morning rituals and why these are important to get your day started?

I would love to say, 5:00 am wake up, meditate, watch the sunrise, do yoga and write in my journal with a herbal tea in hand whilst refraining from social media or emails but it’s not always the case. Generally, I wake up at 7:00am, cuddle with Simon and our two sausage dogs, Gnocchi & Peppe.
For breakfast, it’s generally a green smoothie which I make at home made from, frozen banana, blueberries, almond milk, either peanut or almond butter & and a hemp protein blend.
Once showered & dressed it’s out the door to grab a coffee from our local and then I take the dogs to the park, or go for a coastal walk. I love listening to an inspiring podcast in the morning as it helps get me in a good headspace. I usually then head off to Pilates, Yoga or weight training before getting stuck into the rest of my day.

Can you tell us some of the benefits of a plant-based diet?
By adopting a plant-based diet, studies show that you can significantly decrease your risk of developing chronic disease and increase longevity. It’s also incredible for the health of our planet. If you’re interested in learning more about plant-based nutrition, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Simon’s new book, The Proof Is In The Plants.

What are some of the changes you have seen in yourself since eating plant-based?
Brighter eyes, a ‘dewier’ and clearer complexion, fewer fine lines, more energy & a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment knowing I am contributing to a healthier planet.

How did you and Simon come up with the concept behind Eden?
We couldn’t find many vegan restaurants at the time which still provided delicious food & cocktails in a vibing atmosphere. There wasn’t really anything like it particularly in Bondi, so I guess we found a gap in the market.
I have always big a big foodie & lover of wining & dining and had made the assumption a vegan or plant-based diet was based on lettuce and just bland food in general. Following our travels in NYC and LA where the vegan scene is booming, my perception changed completely. I came home inspired to recreate old favourite classics by making them plant-based… I was just so excited to share these dishes with friends, family and the community. Opening a restaurant gave us the opportunity to do so.

Since the opening has the menu changed much and what are the 3 dishes that people keep coming back for?
The POPCORN CAULI. This is our most ordered dish by a country mile. This dish has been on our menu since day one. Then second the “Calamari” is made using an Asian Root Vegetable that mimics the texture of squid. We then marinate it in salt, a few different herbs & spices and serve it with a dairy-free tartare sauce. It’s delicious! The Charcoal ‘beef’ sliders are also a big hit!
We update our menu seasonally so our regulars always have something new to try but our staple dishes rarely change.

What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?
I love Parsley, fresh garlic, nutritional yeast and a really high-quality olive oil on almost everything. We go through a tonne of dark leafy greens and sweet potato plus have a pantry full of spices & condiments which make the world of difference when cooking.
We like to keep it simple during the week and have some favourites on heavy rotation like Massman Curry loaded with heaps of vegetables & legumes or a Mexican Bowl with beans, avocado, cashew cheese and tomato salsa.

What is one herb or spice you can’t live without?
I can’t choose one I don’t think but the top 3 are Nutritional yeast, parsley and chilli flakes.

The best advice I have received is?
Don’t hold onto the past or dream too far into the future. Focus on staying present and enjoy the little things in life. Practice gratitude, try not to take anything personally & always do your best.

TANYA'S MASSAMAN CURRY

Ingredients

CURRY PASTE
3 gloves fresh garlic
2- 3 dried chillies depending on hot you like it
1 fresh lime squeezed & also grate the skin for zest Half a bunch of fresh shallots chopped
a small piece of peeled ginger
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. salt
cracked pepper
1 tbsp. lemongrass powder (or fresh if you can find it!) 1 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. tamari


MASSMAN CURRY

1 onion
Fresh garlic
Olive oil
1/2 a sweet potato
1/2 white potato
1/4 cup snap peas
1/2 a Capsicum
1 can chickpeas
1 cup of water 300ml coconut milk


GARNISH

Lime
Chilli flakes

METHOD

Add all the curry paste ingredients to a food processor with a dash of water & blend to a paste. Set aside.

Add the onion & fresh garlic to a pot with olive oil & cook until lightly browned then add all the veggies. I always used canned chickpeas but If you’re using raw chickpeas remember to soak them overnight before boiling them.

Add about a cup of water, and coconut milk

Add your curry paste. Bring to boil and then lower to medium heat for 20-30 mins or until you can put a fork through the potato easily.

Serve over brown rice topped with fresh herbs, lime and chilli flakes. This will make a great lunch as well the next day as the flavours deepen overnight.

ENJOY!

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