Valley View, Golden Grove, Whitby, YO22 5HH   |   07962 505906   | |


Cooking plant based food

While there are many different opinions on what constitutes a healthy diet, it is accepted that we should all eat more vegetables. A major theme of Lorraine‘s book, ‘Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories‘ is that in China the word ‘cai’ means both a dish of food and a vegetable. In China ‘the vegetables are the dishes’. This is central to our ethos at Valley View.  We offer vegan, vegetarian and Ayurvedic cooking. And we use Chinese, Indian – and our own home grown – herbs and spices. We look at how to balance flavours to nourish the whole body at different times of year. Our Wellness sessions include recommendations on how to combine foods to aid digestion. Moreover we can help you understand what to eat for different ‘Dosha’ or body mind types.

The dishes we make and teach are not time consuming, although some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar. Introducing ingredients and helping to source them, or suitable substitutes, is a key part of what we do.

Home grown

We serve home grown and plant-based food at all our retreats and events.  The vegetable gardens at Valley View are extensive.  Our ethos is vegetarian and we are big supporters of Compassion in World Farming. The Go Vegan movement is terrific as it has brought a new awareness to environmental and animal welfare issues.  Most of our cuisine is vegan. However we do currently use a few carefully sourced dairy products in some dishes. And we use eggs from our very happy ducks and chickens.


This simple nutritious dish can be varied to use any vegetables you have in the fridge, and it is great when made in a slow cooker. Served with rice it provides complete protein just like the Kitchari recipe. This stew reheats very well too and can be frozen if you...


We use whatever is coming through in our Spring recipes. This is where you have to be creative and use subtle seasonings to give the dish a depth of flavour. In this simple stir fry I have used mainly radish leaves, then added a few young beetroot leaves and some...


This is a simple idea for a side dish from China—surprisingly delicious and easy to make. It uses the idea of ‘cooking’ a raw vegetable with hot oil and spices. For this recipe it is best to use kohlrabi that is not too ‘woody’. Serves 4 as a side | Prep time: 10 mins...


Beetroots are an Ayurvedic superfood, especially when cooked and not pickled. They are easy to grow at home too. This recipe is an unusually quick way to make a meal of them. If you wish you can make an even quicker version, though the flavours will not be as deep....


This dish is traditionally made with the large cabbage usually sold as ‘Chinese leaves’ and sometimes as ‘Peking cabbage’ in the west, but it is also delicious made with our own home-grown sweetheart cabbage. You can make it at any time of year but we like it in...


The addition of vegetables make this into a complete meal. Carrot can be quite ‘pitta’/ heating, but is balanced out by the coriander which is cooling. Or chose your own         vegetable combination! Courgette and sweet potatoes are good in winter or to lower ‘vata’...


Serves 4  |  Prep time: 10 mins (+ 2 hrs soaking time) | Cooking time: 30 mins  ½ cup yellow split mung dal1 cup basmati rice3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil½ tsp black mustard seeds1 tsp cumin seeds¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)1 tsp turmeric½ tsp salt (or veg stock cube...


Serves 3-4 | Prep time: 20 mins (+ overnight soaking) | Cooking time: 1 hr 25 mins100g dried soup mix (usually pearl barley, dried peas, split peas and lentils) 2 tsp cumin 2 tsp mixed dried or fresh herbs 1 small onion 4 white mushrooms 1 leek 2 celery sticks 1...


When you grow your own food there is always a gap between the end of the winter crop  and the bounty of the new season, but this is the time when you can enjoy foraging for natures offerings. The wild leaves in these next two Spring recipes are delicate in flavour but...

Ayurvedic Eggs

So long as you buy free range eggs from a known source where the hens are genuinely cared for eggs can be a good source of protein, though they are considered ‘heating’ in Ayurveda. This now familiar combination of herbs makes them more digestible—and    delicious.2...

Vegan nutrition

If you are a vegan who worries about getting enough nutrients, we can help you at our Wellness Retreats.  Or if you are considering a vegan lifestyle then we can teach you tasty and nutritious plant based dishes.  Moreover,  if you are neither vegan nor vegetarian we hope we can inspire you to include more vegetables in your diet.  And we will show you how to present them in tasty and interesting ways.

Gut health

 There are strong arguments for plant-based diets for optimum gut health, and in particular, eating locally grown food in season. The food we grow at Valley View is truly fresh – usually picked the same day.  There is an Asian influence in our cuisine and we create balance and harmony in each meal with different flavours, textures and colours to help nourish the whole body without overloading the gut.  Our Ayurvedic recipes use spices to help you absorb vitamins and minerals and often combine rice and pulses to make a complete protein.  For these reasons they are ideal for vegans.

Another key aspect of good gut health is avoiding incompatible food combinations, or foods which are heavy to digest, as these can often cause  chronic health conditions along with food sensitivities. So sometimes you can be eating ‘healthy’ food and still feeling uncomfortable. This is often the case when people convert to a vegan or even a healthier diet.  we can make recommendations for simple changes to your diet that will make a big difference.


‘Grow your own’ and wildlife cultivation

At Valley View we grow  enough organic vegetables to feed ourselves and our guests all year round.  At the same time we foster the amazing array of wildlife in our protected site.  Mark is passionate about these subjects. He gives informal tours or more structured workshops.

Once you have tasted our food you may well be tempted to grow your own too.  Mark offers advice  on growing herbs, fruits and vegetables at home. He has lots of foraging knowledge and experience too.  Mark can also help you manage your own garden in a way that encourages wildlife and minimises environmental impact.

Eating for health

Total Wellness Retreat and Women’s Wellness week-ends all include food and cooking workshops with emphasis on eating for health. A home grown and home made lunch is provided at all our Day Events. And if you want to learn how to eat in line with your mind body type, individual recommendations are part of a Wellness Consultation.