Yoga Retreat breakfast 2

Another wonderful morning by the beach at Al Quasr Hotel….after a blissful workout a very healthy breakfast awaited our guests of our first Luxury Yoga Retreat at Madinat Jumeirah. Enjoy the pictures of the weekend and try my Amaranth Muesli!

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amaranth

 

Fresh cottage cheese, with tomato, cucumber and parsley waits to be dipped with wholesome arabic bread…..

cottage

…and my dairy free and gluten free Amaranth muesli for a perfect powerful start into the day – plenty of diced fruits like banana, apple, water melon, papaya, mango, orange topped by freshly puffed amaranth seeds.

amaranth2

 

How to hydrate in summer

In the hot Dubai summer my Aloe Vera grows bigger and bigger. At least one of us enjoys the climate…. !
Today I gave it a try to start reducing it a little bit, so it would not take all the place away:

I made a refreshing lemonade with jelly like pulp of the leaves. What to say, it turned out to be a delicious drink I will definitely have again!

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Aloe Vera Lemonade
1 portion

What To Buy
1 organic lime (juice)
1 teaspoon acacia honey or agave syrup
a small piece of an Aloe Vera leaf (about 3 cm)
250 ml still or sparkling water
Ice cubes

How To Make It
Press the lime juice and stir in the honey or agave syrup. Pour into a glass with ice cubes. Wash the Aloe leaf and peel it carefully. Dice the jelly like pulp finely and add to the lime juice. Top with water and stir well.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Aloe juice helps to improve digestion. It is good for cleansing and detoxifying the body due to antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Here is two versions of my drink, that is now a regular on my personal summer treats. Which one you like better?

aloe 3aloe 4

Luxurious Muesli – Start fresh into April!

I now can reveal the recipe for my latest favorite muesli, as shown and created for MBC1 The Green Apple Show, aired recently. View the video sequence here.
By the way, there is more healthy treats to come soon on this channel. Keep watching it.
To easy make and enjoy this perfect morning treat at home, please follow below recipe.
I am sure you will like it as much as I do!

Luxurious Layered Morning Muesli
2 portions

What To Buy
10g Buckwheat
5g Puffed Amaranth (it is easy to puff Amaranth, as shown in the video, if you want to do it yourself as I do it)
10g Oat flakesmuesli
10g Almonds with skin
50g Mango
50g Papaya
30g Pomegranate seeds
50g Strawberry
10g Passion fruit pulp with seeds
200ml low fat Yoghurt
5g Acacia honey

How To Make It
Toast the buckwheat, the oat flakes and the sunflower seeds slightly in a non stick pan without any fat. Toast the almonds the same way and crush them roughly. Mix the seeds and nuts with the puffed amaranth.

Peel the papaya and the mango. Dice strawberry, mango and papaya and keep separate.
Spoon the prepared ingredients layered into glasses, so you can display the colorful layers: Some seeds and nuts mix, top with yoghurt, one type of fruit. Repeat the same layers with a different type of fruit.

Serve topped with a drizzle of acacia honey.

mbc2Chef Gabi’s Tip
This morning treat is packed with nutrients supporting beautiful skin, shiny hair, strong nails and bones. In the same time it provides you with lots of energy for a fresh start in the day.
p.s. left is one “making of” picture with the presenter Howayda and me,  preparing the muesli. In the back you see beautiful Madinat Jumeirah Resort with its waterways, where guests are transported by boats …enjoy something truly  inspirational about it here.

Cold Weather – Hot Tea

With cold winds chilling even Dubai’s mild winter climate I made my favorite winter tea today. Something I only do back home in Bavaria, when it is “really” cold.
Maybe you also enjoy trying this recipe, regardless your location?

Apple Cranberry Tea
10 portions

What to Buy
4 red or yellow apples
1 organic lemon
5 gm ginger
15 gm cranberries
30 ml agave syrup
3 l water

How to Make It
Cut the apples in chunky pieces, leaving the skin on. Slice the ginger and lemon with their skin. Place the apples, cranberries, ginger, and lemon in a large pot, top with water and simmer on low heat for around 1 hour. Season with agave syrup to taste and strain before serving. You will see the tea being slightly thickened by the apples’ pectine.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
I often make this tea without cranberries, but with additional 1 quince, or some elderberries. Whatever is available. Also I sometimes replace the ginger with cinnamon stick.
Apples are rich in pectine and help to bind and flush out toxins. Ginger is great to strengthen immune power and aids digestion.
To learn more about cranberries please see also here.

The Magic Cabbage Soup

Even though I am far from recommending a diet restricting anything else than just one food item I admit that cabbage soup works wonders…..and is truly recommendable to be included in your healthy menu plan.
But I just wanted to use the headline. Because my cabbage soup is magic -  only look at this color! It is made of red cabbage. I love purple anyway. Purple in foods is due primarily to their anthocyanin content. The darker the blue hue, the higher the phytochemical concentration. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are particularly heart healthy and may help support healthy blood pressure. As a color is so special for food and a little bit irritating at times. But nothing to worry. Everything in the following recipe is natural. You can make it for a great entree in a menu, or just use it as the “Magic Soup”, that helps you to manage your weight and to detox. Enjoy!

Red Cabbage Capuccino
2 Portions

What to buy
300 gm red cabbage, chopped
1 shallot, diced
¼ apple, peeled, chopped
2 cloves
5 ml agave syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper
1 tablespoon apple vinegar
50 ml soy milk

How to Make It
Braise the shallot, cloves, apple and cabbage in olive oil and agave syrup. Add 300 ml water and simmer for around 20 minutes.  Blend the soup and work through a semi fine sieve. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Top the soup with soy milk foam.

New Year – New You

Who has not made some New Years resolutions that are related to a fitter, healthier body?

Detox is key after the festive season just concluded and some extra pounds gained! You can easily get back to a healthy and new you with some carefully selected food that helps to flush out the toxins and in the same time is nourishing your cells with the right amount of nutrients. Especially when working out we need to have some healthy proteins, good complex carbohydrates and plenty of vitamins with our food. In the same time it should be not so heavy on calories and fat. See here one of my favorite salads, that can make a complete lunch or dinner, and is even suitable to be taken to the office in a lunch box. Try this deliciouysly nourishing salad with cleansing beetroot, liver function supporting artichokes and vegetable protein providing lentils. In the same time this dish is vegan and free of gluten. Not to mention it is easy to make and tastes great….

Beetroot Lentil Salad

What to Buy
2 large or 4 smaller portions

50 g Du Puy Lentils
500 ml Vegetable stock
2 Cloves and 1 Bay leave
1 White Onion, peeled
500 gm Beetroot, cooked
1 Artichoke bottom, cleaned
8 ml Balsamic Vinegar
5 ml Lemon Juice
10 gm Parsley and Mint, leaves picked and washed
10 ml Olive oil
80 gm Mixed Lettuce, picked and washed
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

How to Make It
Stick the bay leave with the cloves on the onion surface. Cook the lentils with onion, cloves, bay leaf and vegetable stock. This may take up to 25 minutes to get them soft. In the meantime dice the beetroot, slice the artichoke bottom and mix olive oil, lemon juice and baslamic vinegar to a dessing.
Remove the onion with the bay leaf. Toss the warm lentils with beetroot, artichokes and the vinaigrette. Season to taste and arrange with lettuce and the herbs on plates.

lentil salad

To round up your resolutions and make them work much more effective, visit beautiful Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah. Be guided to a new glowing you by a consultation with Dr Erzebeth Makk and Kay Vosloo. Besides that we serve at the Spa carefully selected healthy dishes that restore energies and help to create that “feel good in the inside” supporting whatever treatment you choose.

Nevertheless as a chef I am running around all day, but specific training and guided movements are much more effective to tone muscles and build shape. I have started some workout recently and can only recommend it. Besides it is fun it makes you feel much better after only a few sessions already.
Have a look at what the new Talise Fitness at Madinat Jumeirah has on offer. I am sure there is something for everyone. And their new menu at Quay Cafe is tuned up with healthy options that suit and support deliciously your work out aspirations. Enjoy!

Wishing everyone a healthy, happy and successful New Year!

POTATOES – INCREASE ENERGY

The humble starchy vegetables are in season in autumn. When weather is cooler we tend to especially appreciate energy rich and warming food. Potatoes are underground tubers storing all the vitamins and minerals needed for growing new potato plants. Hence they are full of nutrients – the immune-boosting vitamin C, and also a rich source of vitamin B 6 (for cellular renewal, healthy nervous system and balanced mood), folate and potassium, magnesium and iron.
Potatoes are in particular worthy when eaten with their skin like in the following recipe. Enjoy!

Anna Potatoes

2 Portions

What to buy

300 g potatoes
1 onion
200 ml vegetable stock
10 ml olive oil
 Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It
Brush the potatoes under running water until their skin is clean. Then slice the potatoes with the skin thinly using a mandolin slicer. Dice the onions and braise them in some olive oil until they are translucent. Brush 10 oven proof cups with some olive oil. Arrange the potato slices and the onions in layers, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Pour as much vegetable stock over the potatoes as needed so that the stock appears when you press the potatoes down.           
Place the cups in a deep oven tray half filled with hot water and cover closely with aluminum foil. Bake the potatoes at 180 degrees Celsius for around 60 minutes.

Remove the Anna potatoes carefully from the cups and place them on plates.
Serve them for example with reduced beetroot juice, shaved fresh horseradish and bouillon turnips.                                                              

Chef Gabi’s Tip:  Anna potatoes are low in fat, a perfect dish to consider when you try to loose a little bit of weight but still need energy to work out.  And this dish can be easily prepared in advance when you cook for friends.                       

Autumn – Time to Strenghten Immune Power

With the most welcome weather change it is wise to prepare our immune system to fight off flu attacks. Vitamin C rich foods help to stengthen immune power best. With cranberries in season I made this a vitamin packed delicious smoothie in almost no time. It features a great combination of lactic protein, pectine to bind and eliminate toxins, plenty of vitamin C, which is besides a great immune shield also helping to burn fat if you work out, Provitamin A, and it is wholesome. Perfect.

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My Cranberry Smoothie

 2 PortionsDSCN3808

 What to buy
200 ml fresh pressed carrot juice
200 ml fresh pressed apple juice
200 ml low fat yoghurt or laban
2 Passion fruits – pulp and seeds
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons fresh or frozen cranberries
Crushed ice

How to Make It

Blend the cranberries with the agave syrup, the juices and the yoghurt or laban. Serve on crushed ice, toped with fresh passion fruit pulp.

Here are some interesting facts about cranberries:
The tart little red fruits are high vitamin and high health supportive phytonutrient wonders (phytonutrients are for example phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins – they are all impressive antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties) while they are extremely low in calories. They contain plenty of vitamin C, K, and E, manganese and fiber.

Wishing you a great and healthy UAE National Day – enjoy the festivities!

Heirloom Tomatoes and Sumac – a perfect match

Switching from cooler autumn weather in Munich to Dubai’s still summery temperatures with every day sunshine and a perfect blue sea in the close vicinity, I rediscover my love for light, vitamin rich, raw food.
Arabian flavors are a new favorite of mine – recently I incorporated more and more of the traditional ingredients and tastes into my cooking, thanks to the Jumeirah Munich Culinary Week I was proudly part of.
Try this easy to make salad I am now indulging at home quite often, being a fan of pomegranate since ever, this is really delicious and light. We had a similar dish in Munich served to the guests of Designreisen Deli and journalists alike:

HEIRLOOM TOMATO SALAD with Sumac vinaigrette
2 portions

What to Buy
6 Heirloom tomatoes
2 spring onions (green part)
2 sprigs fresh zaatar
1/2 bunch basil leaves, picked
1/2 pomegranate
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or acacia honey
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt
1 teaspoon sumac powder

How to Make It
Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Pick and wash the aromatic basil and zaathar leaves. Slice the spring onion green into very thin stripes and place them for 5 minutes in ice water. Strain them after they have curled up. Open the pomegranate and release the ruby red kernels. Peel the garlic clove and mash it with the salt using the flat side of a knife. Mix balsamic vinegar, agave syrup, sumac, olive oil and garlic mash to a vinaigrette. Arrange the tomatoes on plates, garnish with the aromatic leaves, spring onions, and pomegranate. Drizzle generously the dressing over the salad, sprinkle some extra sumac over it and enjoy! 

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Sumac is a red powder with a taste resembling of citrus fruits. It is made from the fruits of shrub called rhus and a very popular ingredient in Middle eastern cuisine. It is perfect in salads to add that special fruity fresh note.
Zaatar is a strong aromatic herb from the oregano family. I love to use it fresh in salads and in dishes with potoes and green beans! It supports digestion, has antiseptic properties and provides chlorophyll.

By the way …. In Munich we met Bavarian institution, Chef Alfons Schuhbeck in his famous place “Das Platzl”, where guests can indulge in an extensive speciality tea shop, well stocked spice shop, very special chocolates, home made ice cream (with fancy flavors like lichee pepper pistachio or Wies’n beer – which I gave a try of course – yum), a  relaxed coffee shop and his famous gourmet restaurant and cookery school. I am now even prouder to have had the chance to cook twice next to him at Germany’s well known Friday night cooking show “Lanz kocht” !

Summer Treat with Zucchini the Arabian Way

It was lovely being home in Bavaria, with some rainy days, cool air and the impressive nature scenery I grew up with. As you could see I indulged extensively in my favorite mushroom hunting, and all culinary experience related to it. It was just wonderful.  Now I am already a couple of days back to Dubai, with everyday sunshine, sand, sea and a still very warm summer! No question my food reflects on the weather …..
Try my middle eastern inspired squash recipe, glutenfree, vegan, light and very summer! (taken from one of my cookbooks, Ludwig Verlag Germany, also the image) 

Basmati Rice and Pomegranate stuffed Rondini
4 Portions

What to buy
8 rondini (or optional small zucchini)
200 gr brown Basmati rice
500 ml vegetable stock
1 onion
20 g pistachios
1 organic orange
5 g agave syrup
10 ml olive oil
1 g saffron
1 pomegranate
1 bunch dill
1 bunch spring onions

How to Make It
Wash the orange and grate some of the skin off. Press the juice. Peel the onion and dice it finely.Wash the dill and the spring onions, pat dry and cut finely. Open and clean the pomegranate. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the basmati rice. Cover and simmer on low temperature for around 15 – 20 minutes. Prepare the rondini or zucchini to be filled: Cut a lid off and scrape out the inside with a small spoon. Steam the rondini or zucchini until semi soft for around 3 minutes. Braise the onions in olive oil and agave syrup until golden. Add the orange juice, skin and saffron. Season the rice with this mixture and some salt. Add dill, spring onions and pistachios. Spoon the stuffing into the rondini and keep warm until you serve them.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Zucchini bring summer on our plates –   they are easy to prepare and taste just great when temperatures outside are still high. Zucchini and all summer squashes are hydrating, very low in calories, and easy to digest. They contain a significant amount of vitamin A, potassium, manganese and folate.