Raw Spicy Crackers

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
dehydrator 1dehydrator 2dough spreaddehydrator 3dehydratorcrackers ready

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.
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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!
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Stay balanced, healthy and fit this Ramadan.

 

Delicious Edible Wellness – raw vegan!

Being a cookbook author myself writing and developing recipes is one of my most loved tasks. I am currently experimenting a lot with raw, detoxing, vegan food for our Talise Spas. Because Spa food is by nature a light, detoxing, skin beautifying treat.

What more I need to say, take a look at my delicious edible wellness!

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I am very proud that a selection of the dishes will be available soon through Talise Nutrition at Jumeirah Talise Spas in Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. I will keep you posted!

Have a blessed Ramadan everyone, be balanced, stay healthy, radiant and fit.

Healthy Eating Tips for Ramadan

To ensure good health and fitness during the time of fasting, Talise Fitness and
Talise Nutrition have teamed up with health tips around the holy month of Ramadan.
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A booklet of healthy lifestyle tips will be available in any Talise Fitness comprising my recipes, a meal plan recommendation and below generic tips to help maintain good health and optimal nutrition.

I hope you enjoy reading my tips, stay healthy and energized.

Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed Ramadan.

 

When breaking the fast in Ramadan, the quality of the food for Iftar and Suhoor is very important.


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Food provides our bodies with the fuel source to manufacture energy. We often forget the importance of a healthy food in producing energy. The key to having a diet which produces high levels of energy is to avoid refined foods. Basically the more food is refined, the more energy deficient it becomes.

Ramadan 1 newThe second element related to diet is the amount we eat. Digestion takes up over 50% of our energy reserves. So overeating is one of the largest energy drainers on the body.

 

Ramadan 1 newFinally is lifestyle. Balance is the key. The most important element to lifestyle is ensuring adequate sleep. Sleep is when our bodies repair.
Look after yourself, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and maintain a positive, happy outlook on life. Your body will produce bounds of excessive energy, heal itself and you will feel and look ten years younger.

Add variety, but avoid volumes. Maintain balance. Embrace healthier foods.

VARIETY Ideal is eating a rainbow of colors, including black as for example black berries over purple like red cabbage and purple potatoes to white e.g. white radish or dairy

POWER PROTEIN We recommend to eat high quality, low fat protein. Prefer low purine meats such as white fish and poultry over red marbled meats prepared with very little fat (grilled, steamed, baked). For vegetarians: mushrooms, soy bean products, pulses, eggs, dairy, nuts and super grains quinoa and amaranth provide high quality protein.

HIGH FIBRE & WHOLESOME
Many vegetables are fibruous, and hence help digestion and detoxification. Look for broccoli, green beans, spinach leaves, savoy cabbage, pak choy, kale.

Eat a small to medium amount of good carbs which support slow and constant energy supply into the bloodstream, digestion and detoxification in all hulled starches and whole grains such as unpeeled rice, or quinoa, nuts and seeds. Avoid or reduce the bad carbs like white sugar, white flour, peeled rice etc.).

LOW FAT and LOW SUGAR
Avoid cream sauces and soups, deep fried and breaded foods, fatty cheeses, creamy desserts, and all things made with white sugar and white flour. Have fruits for dessert instead, and pick the wholegrain bread rolls from the basket.

BALANCE A 35 % raw 65% cooked food ratio is beneficial to avoid pH imbalance or over acidity. Have Something RAW in the beginning of a meal – you can start with a salad and a light dressing, or have some crudités with light dips, a cold soup (gazpacho) or fruits (for Suhoor).

MODERATE Eating very slowly and chewing well helps to consume moderate portions and optimal nutrient absorption. Don’t “clean the plate” – stop eating when you feel you are satisfied.

 

 

Healthy eating on the rise

This week I was extremely honored to be invited to a panel discussion at the Hospitality Business Summit Middle East. The topic:  ‘The perfect menu – trends in dining’.
Healthy eating has become a mainstream trend. But definitely not one of those trends that lasts only one season. It’s a lifestyle followed by many. Good to see it broadly influencing the food offerings of the business.
This is why Talise Nutrition is one of the 3 core pillars of Talise, Jumeirah Group’s Wellness brand. Healthy food is an essential source for a healthy body. Because we are what we eat. Together with Talise Fitness and Talise Spa it is the destination of good living:

Eat – Move – Relax.

Hospitality Business Summit june 2014

 

Healthy Sweet Treat

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:

Coconut Macaroons

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.

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Talise Nutrition at The Swim Around Burj Al Arab Event

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!

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Delicious Whole Spelt Galette

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.

Serve with winter lettuce on the side.

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Delicious Cardamom Saffron Cookies

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 cookiesimage
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
1 Egg
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.

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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!

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.

Festive Cooking in Souk Madinat

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Souk Madinat Jumeirah has every year a beautiful Festive Market, but this year topped it all! Built on a stage above the water, visitors can truly experience festive flair with stunning views and more entertainment and food.

Talise Nutrition healthy food preparations were showcased too of course – with delicious and preparable Christmas Flavors.

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Wishing you all Merry Christmas!

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