As a chef and passionate cook I am by nature a fan of all fancy kitchen gadgets. Needless to say I risk running out of space in my test kitchen…But I had a v e r y good excuse to buy myself a dehydrator recently (I kept my eyes on several models for quite a while) – needed it to develop more raw food recipes! Now I am excited to try some really delicious treats. With the side effect my friends get to try a lot at our FIFA world cup gatherings (yes I am watching football!).
Raw Spicy Flax Crackers
What to Buy 50 g golden flax seeds
10 g black chia seeds
20 g black sesame seeds
1/2 bunch fresh zaatar or thyme
50 g almonds with skin
1 garlic clove
1 red bell pepper
1 fennel bulb
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 small red chili (optional, leave it out if you don’t like it hot spicy)
5 ml olive oil
Salt to taste
150 ml water
How to Make It
Juice the fennel, the garlic and the red bell pepper. Grind the almonds in a food processor until they are fine. Chop the zaatar, garlic and the chili. Mix all ingredients and add as much water as needed until a semi soft and smooth dough is achieved. Season with salt. Spread the dough out thinly on parchment paper and place in the dehydrator at 45 degrees Celsius for 10 hours. Note: The thinner the dough, the better turn out the crackers.
Chef Gabi’s Tip:
Keep the crackers in an airtight container until use.
Once entirely dehydrated you can brake the crackers into desired size pieces (I love them unevenly broken, they look like we do this with baked Lavosh) and serve them either in bread basket or as pictured below topped with guacamole, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves as a healthy and delicious snack.
I had made a similar recipe into mini grissinis, for an event in Abu Dhabi Jumeirah at Etihad Towers recently, together with a chilled Carrot Vichysoisse. So good!
It’s time to get summer ready and have some light sunshine recipes on hand for optimal hydration and cooling effect.
Living and working in sunny Dubai I may have the perfect advise for you:
Keep your food fresh (means a certain percentage also raw), light (means not heavy on fat or carbohydrates), easy to digest, and as natural as possible. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Read more about drinking here and here.
There are food combinations that are close to ideal, because they satisfy the taste buds and our body nutritional requirements in the same time. Such as, for a hot summer day, below salad I often make and truly love:
Watermelon Feta Cheese Salad with Sprouted Nuts
What to buy for 2 portions 1 medium wedge water melon (about 300 g) 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked,washed, pat dried 120 g feta cheese
5 g sunflower seeds
5 g pumpkin seeds 1 lemon (juice) 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It Soak the nuts in water for minimum 2 hours or maximum over night. Strain and rinse them well before use.
Peel and deseed the watermelon. Cut it into 1-2 cm cubes. Crumble the feta cheese. Mix all ingredients carefully and season with salt and pepper.
Chef Gabi’s Tip This combination is so good, nutritious and hydrating. It can be ready in 5 minutes, and is absolutely great to take along packed in a cooling bag in case you plan a beach day. Try it and enjoy – the weekend is not far away!
In my consultations people often ask for healthy, guilt free, weight friendly sweets. Well, sweets are not healthy when eaten regularly. But there are some that contain less fat than others. Try my favorite little treat I recommend to those who find it difficult to resist eating something sweet once in a while:
What To Buy
What to Buy for 20-25 pieces 4 egg whites 1 pinch salt ½ vanilla bean seeds scraped out 150 g Acacia honey 1 drop bitter almond oil 65 g low fat quark cheese 200 g coconut desiccated 80 g honey black berry jam
How To Make It Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, almond oil and the vanilla seeds until firm.
Cook the honey in a small pot for around 3 minutes. Gradually add the hot honey into the egg whites while continue whisking. Then carefully fold under the quark and coconut, do not stir too much to retain the foamy texture. Transfer the dough with two teaspoons in dollops (size of a walnut) onto the parchment paper on the baking tray. Make a small whole in each cookie and fill it with a little bit of jam. Close the dough over the jam. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.
The biscuits can be kept in a box and cool and dry place for up to 3 days.
Chef Gabi’s Tip There is no “healthy” cakes and biscuits to be precise. However above recipe is very low fat, high protein and better carb. Keep this for exceptions when you allow yourself to satisfy sweet cravings, but don’t consume them daily or in larger quantities.
A little detox once in a while is very helpful to maintain good health, radiant beauty and to stay in shape. What better time to tackle the issue than spring?
I recently rediscovered juicing and here is my new favorite – a pale powder rose, fragrant juice I serve in small shots that gives you that extra boost of goodness in a minute!
Pink Grapefruit Fennel Juice
What To Buy for 1 large or 4 small portions
1 medium fennel bulb
1 pink grapefruit
2 yellow apples
1 tablespoon flax seed oil
How To Make It
Peel the citrus fruits. Juice the fruits and the fennel. Stir in the flax seed oil and enjoy immediately.
Chef Gabi’s Tip
Flax seed oil or freshly crushed flax seeds ( I prefer the golden ones with their great nutty flavor on my salads, muesli, smoothies) contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to the essential Omega 3 fatty acid and is said to help lower cholesterol and tryglicerides.
Last weekend Burj Al Arab hosted their annual “Swim around Burj Al Arab” event with a Talise Nutrition treats filled breakfast at their stunning garden. Spot my luxurious layered morning muesli (recipe) and other delicious goodness to refuel the healthy way after workout!
This recipe provides the good carbohydrates, and plenty of healthy goodness paired with delicious taste. I use my basic recipe for the base.
What To Buy for 1 Galette ( serves 4-6)
150 ml water
200g Whole Spelt flour
5g Fresh yeast
1/2 tsp acacia honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
I topped the dough with the sauteed slices of 1 onion, 1 fennel bulb and a mix of 80 g low fat quark cheese with 5 g grated smoked tofu. All that goes in the preheated oven at 220 degrees for around 15 minutes until the dough is crispy and the surface golden.
Baking the healthy way! It is the season for cookies and here is one new favorite of mine, definitely with Arabian flavors, and wholesome of course. They are quickly made and so delicious. If you wish to try your hand on baking, here is the recipe:
Cardamom Saffron Cookies
What to Buy for 40 small cookies
1 g Cardamom seeds, roughly ground with mortar and pestle
0.1 g Saffron
150 g Butter (room temperature)
80 g Acacia honey
Organic orange zest (from 1 orange)
50 ml Orange juice
225 g Finely ground whole spelt flour
1 pinch Salt
100 g Finely ground almonds
120 g Dark chocolate
How to Make It
Warm up the orange juice and dissolve the saffron in it. Whisk the butter with honey, cardamom, orange zest, and a little bit salt to a creamy texture. Add the egg and continue stirring. When mixed well add flour, almonds and saffron-orange-mix and fold under. Form small cookies of the soft dough mixture with the help of a piping bag on a baking tray lined with pergament paper and chill for a minimum of one hour or over night before baking.
Bake the cookies at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 – 7 minutes. Once the cookies are chilled, dip the tips in melted dark chocolate.
Chef Gabi’s Tip
They taste best freshly baked. However I recommend to keep the remaining cookies in an airtight container and refrigerated for further use.
Enjoy and have a lovely winter day!