Pumpkin and Polenta Stars, Cranberry Cabbage

Festive season includes often overeating on food that is not so good for us. Let us show you delicious dishes that are light, nutritiously healthy and bring the typical festive flavors to your plate!

Pumpkin & Polenta Stars, Cranberry Cabbage

What to Buy for 4 portions

50g Polenta
150 ml Milk and water each
10 g Butter
80 g Savoy Cabbage
300 g Butternut
50 ml Orange juice
5 g Agave Syrup
1 g Cinnamon Stick
1 Onion and 1 Garlic
5 ml Olive oil
5 g Rock Salt
10 g Parsley

How to Make   It

Bring water and milk to a boil  and stir in the polenta. Cook for 5 minutes, add the butter and season with   salt. Spread the polenta on a tray to chill and cut out stars. Put then   either in the oven to bake until golden or pan fry them in little olive oil.
Peel and slice the pumpkin. Cut stars from the pumpkin slices and simmer them   in a non stick pan with some olive oil, a dash of agave syrup and little   orange juice.
Dice garlic and onion, cut savoy cabbage and sauté them together with olive   oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. In a separate pan simmer the   cranberries with the remaining agave syrup.
Arrange on plates and enjoy!image
This is how we presented the tasters at the Festive Market – sorry for the picture quality but I do hope it gives you at least an idea of it.
Chef Gabi’s   Tip

This dish is great to prepare and needs only a few final touches before serving.

Dubai TV filming at Talise Wellness, Madinat Jumeirah

It is a busy season indeed. Healthy food is much in demand! Here is a sneak peak into our recent filming for “Daleelok Show” on Dubai TV. It was all about healthy living and Talise – enjoy the pictures. We will let you know when it will be aired soon!

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Summer flavors to stay in shape

It is still summer here in Dubai, but now with pleasant temperatures outside again. Just lovely for the beginning beach season. Light an low fat food helps to stay in perfect bikini shape!
If you don’t want to sacrifice lean cuisine to flavor, you should try my Aromatic Tomato Agar Agar, topped with spiced vegetables and fried sage leaves and an encapsuled yoghurt dollop –  all vegetarian summer flavors. Delicious! I serve this at Madinat Jumeirah on special occasions and show how to make it in my cooking classes. To register, please drop me an email gabriele.kurz@jumeirah.com

Tomato Jelly

Raw Food is Pure Goodness!

Add some RAW FOOD to you life and stay healthy and energetic. You can also read about its significant benefits here…. Needless to say living in sunny and warm Dubai eating Raw is just a great thing to do in this climate!

Detox Rolls

Below delicious and pure Detox Rolls, made from grated organic roots vegetables, wheat grass vinaigrette and paper thin cucumber slices have been served at the Madinat Jumeirah Luxury Yoga Retreat last weekend!

First Talise Luxury Yoga Retreat – save the date!

At Madinat Jumeirah Talise Spa and Talise Nutrition team up for the First Talise Luxury Yoga Retreat. As wellbeing and beauty stems from within, healthy food is as important as perfectly executed asanas!
I am looking forward to cooking with and for you and share tips and recipes for delicious and nutritious food.

To read more and for bookings please log onto www.jumeirah.com/mjyogaretreat. For more details please call Talise Spa on +9714-3666818.

Keep balance this weekend and see you at Madinat Jumeirah!

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Sharing my recipes – Cooking Classes

I love to share my recipes. Not only because I am not seeing cooking meant to be a secret science behind closed doors. Also I believe we don’t give away our souls with recipes. It is a creative thing. Food and food recipes constantly develop and change. There are always new ideas waiting to come live.  So why not share the current favorites?
There is a funny thing about recipes: You can give the same recipe to 5 people and let them execute it, what is on the plate can be 5 times different! Sometimes a cooking demo gives much more confidence. And consistency, if desired. One can see how a dish is developed, get involved in the steps needed to build and complete it, learn how to mise-en-place for it and lastly serve and present it. And you can always pick up some extra tips and hints that come along during such culinary sessions.

Written recipes are helpful – in particular in the beginning. In my cooking classes I always hand out recipes….and then we do the cooking, tasting, some dertours and extras. This is when a recipe becomes more: A story. At this stage you are half way to an even more interesting field, to creativity. You will start to enjoy free style cooking, based on the stories you have in mind.


This week we concluded the “season” for cooking classes in Madinat Jumeirah with a few really lovely group team buildings and demos that have been very nice and fun – thank you all for attending! I hope to see you back after the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile please keep reading my Blog. I will continue to share tips, thoughts and recipes around healthy lifestyle.
Ramadan Kareem.

About Parsley and Hand Made Pesto

Herbs are such a wealth in the kitchen. I love using them plentiful. Being a dedicated herb lover (with a very own organic garden here in Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah, we do even composting) I recently showed in one of my cooking classes a hand made parsley pesto which is versatile for many dishes and food preparations. It turns out so much better with mortar, pestle and muscle power than the soft and smooth puree you get when you make it in a blender. The original would be with basil though, but made with parsley it is equally delicious and worth trying.
And so beneficial!
Parsley is providing a generous portion of vitamin C, A and K, and chlorophyll (helping your body to absorb oxygen). It is good for your bones, strengthens the immune system, helps you getting radiant skin, is detoxing in general and supports kidney function. So many reasons to eat parsley as often as possible. Cheers to Arabic food having invented parsley packed and lovely Tabouleh!

So now back to the kitchen: We used a stone mortar and pestle, in the best spirit of the word “pesto” rooting from “pestare”….! This makes in my opinion the best pesto ever. It is worth all the effort.

A pesto can be used as bread dip (get one easy bread recipe here),  with grilled vegetables, oven potatoes, or pasta…
In this class we prepared  Purple Potato Vegetable Kebabs with Parsley Pesto, they were served along with Green Pea Gazpacho (see recipe here) and made a great summer starter.

4 Portions
What to Buy
PESTO
40 g parmesan cheese, grated
15 g pine nuts, toasted
1 organic lemon for a little bit of lemon skin, grated
1 small chili (optional)
½ garlic clove, peeled
½ bunch parsley
8 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
 KEBABS
4 bamboo skewers
2 baby capsicum
4 cherry tomatoes
100 g purple potatoes (you can also use white potatoes or sweet potatoes instead)
½ zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil

How to Make It
Cut the potatoes and the zucchini into 2×2 cm and steam them for around 2 minutes al dente. Also steam the capsicum for 2 minutes (and cut them only if they are too big). Stick all vegetables on the skewers. For the pesto chop the parsley coarsely and, if you like it hot, a little bit of chili or some more…. Combine the ingredients for the pesto in a mortar and pestle starting to mash with very little salt (because parmesan is salty too) the garlic, lemon skin and chili. Then constantly sprinkle in small portions of pine nuts, parmesan and parsley, and top each helping with a drizzle of the olive oil. Continue until all ingredients are used up and the pesto looks shiny, creamy, but with small bits and pieces in it. Check seasoning and add some coarsely ground black pepper, and salt if necessary.
Braise the skewers in olive oil in a non stick pan for 2 minutes on all sides and serve them warm with the room temperature pesto on top. Truly convincing flavors!

Chef Gabi’s TIP:
This dish is great for MISE EN PLACE – a magic word in the restaurant kitchen and so is at home if you expect guests. Pesto can keep in the fridge for some days.  However: I am not a fan of keeping it for more than 24 hours as its flavor is best when it is fresh. I always serve it at room temperature for optimum flavor, so don’t forget to take it out of the fridge on time.
The skewers can be prepared a couple of hours in advance and you are ready to serve your guests without standing in the kitchen for long time. You just need to do the pan frying part à la minute, that’s all.
This recipe works with many vegetables, whatever is available – spring onions, fennel, potatoes, snow peas, eggplants, mushrooms…have fun playing with it!