Earth Cafe, Manchester, UK

open             mon-fri  11am-4pm – sat 10am-5pm – sun CLOSED

address        16-20 turner street, manchester m4 1dz   

Perhaps my favourite cafe in Manchester.  Although in a cellar next door to the Buddhist centre, it has not been a part of the centre for 5 years now.   It still maintains the original Buddhist theme, with brass figurines of the Buddha and information about meditation to hand etc.

There is a mix of large and small wooden tables to sit at, as well as more intimate booths, perfect for a romantic occasion.

Always popular is the £6 food platter, which gets you 4 portions of food – up to 2 can be main courses, and the rest can be sides.  There are always gluten free choices available.  I tend to get the dahl, brown rice, carrot and apple salad, and roast potatoes.  The one criticism I have is that the variety of the food served rarely changes:  in other words, there is little variety.

Also available is an excellent smoothie and juice bar:  I often go for the Green Queen so I don’t miss out on my dose of green fruit and veg.

I can’t remember ever having any of the cakes, though they look good.  I rarely have enough room inside!

The atmosphere is that of a chilled canteen and the staff are friendly.


Lentils, Rice and Caramelised onions

A delicious, simple and cheap way of ensuring you get a good protein intake:



1 onion, peeled, sliced thinly,

1-2 tbs olive oil,

2 pints of water,

225g green or brown lentils,

50g brown basmati or long grain rice,

salt and pepper.


  • Fry onion in oil over a low heat for 20-30 mins, without burning.
  • While that’s cooking, boil the water in pan and add lentils.  Cook 20 mins/until tender with bite.
  • Add rice.  Cook 25-30 mins.  Drain.
  • Stir in half the onions and all the lentils.  Pile rest of the onions on top.




Happy Kitchen Brownies

I will start this off by recommending what is perhaps my favourite food-alternative, although really it is a food in its own right:  the Happy Kitchen Brownie.

 Happy Kitchen have sadly announced the closure of the canteen in their East London bakery (the bakery is still open).  Luckily they continue to make the best, richest brownies I have ever tasted –  so good even my dad likes them.

There are four lovely flavours:

chocolate on its own,

chocolate raspberry,

chocolate orange,

and, my favourite, the Pecan Brownie.

All are vegan and completely free of gluten.

I buy mine from 8th Day in Manchester.  They are thankfully available online from several website, including Goodness Direct

Chilli Lime Halloumi Salad


1 x 250 gram pack of Halloumi cheese,

Greens:  Spinach, Rocket, Lettuce,

1 Lime,

1 Red Chilli, chopped.


1 tsp Mustard,

1 tsp fruit sugar,

1 garlic clove,

1-2 tbsps wine vinegar,

6 tbsps olive oil,


Make the dressing in a bowl.  Add the salad and toss.

Cut the cheese into thick slices.  Fry 1-2 minutes per side until browned.

Drizzle the halloumi with chilli and lime.  Place on the salad. YUM YUM

Huevos Rancheros

This one’s a spicy Mexican dish, adapted to make sure you get a good intake of greens.


2 eggs,

4 lettuce leaves,

1 green chilli, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, sliced or crushed

pinch of paprika

extra virgin olive oil

Fry the eggs in oil.  In another pan, heat a glug of oil with a tablespoon of water.  Add the garlic.  Once that’s browned, add the onion, chilli and paprika.  Allow to boil then simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When the eggs are fried to your liking, sit each one atop a lettuce leaf on a plate.  Add the spicy onions on top – they will cook the eggs a little more.  Cover with the remaining leaves of lettuce.  Enjoy 🙂