Quality of Life

#youngonesMy Fridays start colorful, aromatic, delicious and communicative. Coming to the farmers market at Jumeirah Emirates Towers beautiful garden here in Dubai is definitely enhancing my and many other’s quality of life. It is a true gem of a market, relaxed,intimate, beautiful, and filled with some of the best produce the region has to offer. I often come here for my personal grocery shopping and get the freshest organic locally grown vegetables, Yemeni honey, artisan bread, organic eggs, olive oil and amazing tahini. Not to forget the lovely chats along the shopping with the farmer’s and producers, fellow chefs and food bloggers, friends and colleagues.
Occasionally I also come here to inspire….Eat more vegetables! I show how I prepare  my healthy vegetarian dishes. Vegetable cooking benefits like any other cooking from that little bit of extra love and passion, seasoning, and creative combinations.
We all agree that “eating the colours of a rainbow” helps enormously in not missing out essential nutrients. However whilst many of us know exactly what to do with the bright ones yellow, orange, red and green, there is often a lack of imagination what to do creatively with the whites and (almost) blacks. That’s why this Friday fennel bulbs and eggplants took center stage on my demo. The dishes are not necessarily related, even though they have been presented together for the tasters.
Seeing people lining up to purchase fennel and more fennel after the show was awesome.
The benefits of fennel are manifold. There is a whole pharmacy in a fennel bulb. And eggplants are definitely the vegetable of choice for those watching their caloric intake. Especially when steamed, which hardly anyone does. Something to try!

Here are the recipes of yesterday’s Talisenutrition show cooking. Enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

Aromatic Fennel Puree
What to Buy for 2 portions
1 medium fennel bulb
1 clove garlic
1 small white onion
1 clove garlic
1 star anise
20 g Tahini (sesame paste)
5 cherry tomatoes
1 organic lemon (zest)
salt and pepper to taste
10 ml olive oil

How to Make It
Clean the fennel. keep the greens if they are fresh. Steam the fennel until soft. Meanwhile braise the garlic, onion and freshly ground star anise in olive oil. Blend the fennel with the aromatic oil-garlic-star anise mixture, the Tahini, lemon zest and add a splash of water if needed to get the blade of the blender running. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with fennel greens and cherry tomato halves.

Chef Gabi’s Tip:
This aromatic, velvety puree is very versatile. I use it as a bread dip, for crudites, spread it on grilled Portobello mushrooms, eggplant halves or serve it with a main course.

Eggplants with Pomegranate and Rosewater #workingmagic
What to Buy for 2 portions
2 small eggplants
3 gloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
5 ml olive oil
4 sprigs thyme or zaathar, leaves picked
30 ml rose water
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
10 g flaked almonds with the skin
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
salt and pepper to taste
for those who like it a little bit spicy: 1 small chili, seeds removed, chopped

How to Make It:
Pound garlic, cinnamon, chili, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper in amortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Transfer into a bowl. Add oil, rosewater, pomegranates, honey or maple syrup. Mix well.
Toast the almonds until they are golden.
Cut the eggplants in quarters and steam for around 3-5  minutes. Arrange steamed eggplants on plates and spoon the pomegranate dressing over. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Chef Gabi’s Tip:
I clearly love the middle eastern approach to cooking. Since living and cooking in Dubai for 8 years now I have definitely embraced being generous with aromatic seasonings. This combination brings out the best in eggplants. I can eat this every day.
You can add short braised kale or spinach to the dish as shown in the picture. Or cooked quinoa, black rice (my current favorite), or brown rice to make it a more filling main course.


A wellbeing chef’s perspective – my top 20 favorite ingredients

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I love my ingredients – every single one for a different reason. Being recently asked what I personally would put on a top grocery list, here is what you always find in my fridge or kitchen cupboard:


Extra virgin olive oil – for salads and infused oil preparations. Its a pity to heat this oil however I do it – occasionally.
Raw coconut oil – for cooking, baking and for beauty (yes, I put it on my skin every day)
Fresh avocado – a super basic for salads, salsas, smoothies, spreads and raw ice cream. Exceptional healthy fat.
Green lettucevitamin rich raw ‘rabbit food’ with high chlorophyll factor, good to improve oxygen absorption and digestion
Parsley – great for detoxification and of course for taste. I sometimes juice it with apple to a delicious green super juice. It is a main ingredient in my aromatic herb oil.
Tomatoes – for everything from salads, soups and broths, base for cooking healthy complex carbs such as quinoa. A very versatile vegetable I can’t live without. See here something ideal for a summer party!
Cucumbers – for their high water content, low calories and and fresh taste. And I use the juice as skin tonic too.
Pumpkin – for color, taste, smooth texture when cooked in purees and soups and for their support in kidney function. You should try one of my most famous recipes.
Almonds skin on – for non dairy milks, for baking, in muesli and for the extra crunch in salads and their good fats. The leftover pulp when I made almond milk is good face scrub by the way.
Himalaya salt – my favorite quality when it comes to salt. It has an almost sweet and mild taste, less aggressive than many other salts and great for cleansing too.
Bird’s eye Chillies – my personal every day favorite. The little hot and spicy devils I just put often in my home cooked dishes. I keep a home made chilli oil next to the basic salt and pepper, so I can drizzle a little dash on my salads.  For those less adventurous with spicy flavors: Sometimes a hint of chili brings the little something to soups and marinades, when used sparingly.
Artichokes – a little luxury and one delicacy I buy when i come across fresh and good quality ones. Although they need a little extra attention to clean and leave a somewhat brown color on the fingers, they are so delicious and support liver detoxification. I use them cooked in salads, or just braise them with garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and tomatoes.
Naked oats – I never buy flakes, but crush the oats freshly before use in mueslis, protein pancakes, quenelles and much more. Crushed oats mixed with honey and yoghurt make a great skin treatment too.
Quinoa and Amaranth – wholesome healthy protein packed powerhouses. I cook them, sprout them, puff them, bake with the flour….very versatile and taste delicious. My signature puffed Amaranth muesli featured at the Burj Al Arab.
Black Rice – this wholesome carbohydrate is a great asset in the kitchen, it turns into a dramatic deep purple shade when cooked. Rice has an alkalizing effect.
Cottage Cheese – low in fat, high in protein I mix it into pancakes, spreads and toppings. Together with diced tomato, cucumber and parsley a super snack. You can see it here on a super healthy beach breakfast after a yoga session at Madinat Jumeirah Resort.
Acacia honey – besides agave and maple syrup great to sweeten foods when necessary. Although I have not a sweet tooth, I often add a hint of honey to anything cooked with tomato to balance flavors.
Raspberries – fresh or frozen they add antioxidative power and a lovely taste to my herb water, non alcoholic punches and desserts.
Passion fruit – high in Vitamin C and the seeds add extra crunch. I love this fruit. Just 1 added to a fruit salad or muesli lifts tastes to new heights.
Lemon – without lemons I just can’t work, similar to tomatoes. They balance flavors, prevent from browning, add Vitamin C and their fresh taste to many food preparations.

Eat healthy, be balanced and stay fit!

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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!

Vegan is the new lifestyle

A few years ago vegan guests were an exception in restaurants, special requests once in a while. And now: More and more people prefer vegan food, and they dine out and demand it – a quite interesting change in the culinary landscape. Vegan seems to be the new cool lifestyle everywhere. See what I found recently in a German Magazine:


I love vegan food.  Despite I am not considering myself as a strict vegan person, because I am eating dairy once in a while I have to admit I feel much better without. Vegan often has a lighter and fresher approach to cooking and eating. For example the following recipe “Zucchini Spaghetti & Bean Sprout Roulade” is one of my favourites for summer, when there are great zucchinis, tomatoes and bell peppers. My recipe has been featured recently in Good Health Arabia Magazine, and here is the English version for all who don’t understand Arabic.
The Orange Salt mentioned in below recipe is a staple ingredient in my kitchen. I love to finish dishes with it on the plate. Look here for a detailed description how to make it.
Enjoy and stay healthy this summer!

Zucchini Spaghetti and Bean Sprout Roulade
2 portions

What to buy
Bean sprouts
Fenugreek leaves
Flat leave Parsley
Silken Tofu
Lemon juice
Dijon mustard
Olive oil

Orange Salt:
Orange zest

Agave syrup
Red pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Salt Pepper
To taste
How to   prepare it
Grate some skin off the orange and mix with 2 teaspoons of   salt. Keep this orange salt aside for garnish. Dice the tomato, ½ of the   carrot, ½ of the shallots and simmer in little olive oil with agave syrup and   balsamic to a relish. Crush the garlic. Deseed the red pepper, cut roughly   and roast in the oven at 200 degrees together with garlic, remaining carrots   and shallots, drizzled with olive oil until very soft. Blend with the oil to   a paste and press through a fine sieve. Season both sauces with salt and   pepper and keep aside.
Slice half of the zucchini very thin lengthwise and lay a 8×8 square on a   sheet of cling film. Blend tofu with lemon juice, little olive oil, mustard,   salt and pepper. Mix it with the bean sprouts and roll the mix in the   zucchini sheet. Cut the rolls in 3-5 cm pieces. Slice half of the zucchini to   spaghetti. Toss them in a hot pan with a few drops of olive oil for 1 minute.   Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on plate with fenugreek and orange salt   sprinkles.
Chef Gabi’s   Tip
Sprouts are so called Living Foods, and very beneficial to our   body system. Living Foods provide the purest energy available through food,   are packed with vitamins and minerals and are naturally high in fiber.


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?

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Talise Nutrition on Physique TV

Many ingredients from the vegetable sector are very healthy by nature. However, we can easily diminish their benefits by preparation. Deep frying is just one example.
Healthy food is not only the ingredient itself. I highly recommend looking also at how a dish is made.

Ideal are raw preparations and marinations, steaming, baking, grilling, short braising or sous vide cooking on low temperatures. Adding salt and fat as late as possible is a bonus too.

Please see here how one of my favorite dishes is made and what the benefits are. It is a good example how a minimum of loss of benefits and a maximum of flavor can be achieved. As well this dish is one of my favorites!

 This was a broadcast about Talise Nutrition at Madinat Jumeirah on Physique TV. Enjoy!


The Joy of Homemade Jam

I just wanted to share with you a simple recipe for a bit of healthier jam. Guilt free, almost!Honey sweetened and freshly made, it may make a great option for breakfast, cakes, cookies or desserts.

When ever I have some fruits or berries that are a bit on the softer and riper side, I combine them in a small sauce pan, add a slice of organic lemon with the skin, a small piece of vanilla pot and as much acacia honey as required to sweeten the fruits. This depends pretty much on the fruits and on your taste.

Then I simmer them on low temperature for around 10 – 15 minutes. This is enough to deconstruct the fruits and still leave them in a vivid color a flavor. After that I add a spoonful of either arrowroot, agar agar or tapioca flour, or  and stir that in for a last bubble up on the heat. Again here it depends on the pectine content of the fruits if I need a little bit more of the thickening agent or not. Rule of thumb: 1 teaspoon for around 350 – 400 ml of jam.

Now the jam is ready to be filled in a glass or bowl and it goes in the fridge, awaiting its final use! It keeps well for around 3-5 days when refrigerated. So I never produce too much of it. Making such a small amount of deliciously smelling jam in your kitchen is no work at all and so much pleasure. You should give it a try! I love to eat this jam with some fresh yoghurt for example when I am craving something sweet….