A vegetarian take on Bavarian cuisine

We have been pioneering healthy lifestyle and cooking ever since I can remember. However – being brought up in a place where staple food is clearly much on the meat side and the cuisine rich and heavy this is not so obvious.
I am from Bavaria. Vegetarians and health food enthusiasts were a minority when I was a teenager. Nevertheless my mother had a well run Bio Hotel with exzellent vegetarian food since the 1980’s there, amidst the alpine area of Berchtesgaden and despite a beer brewer, meat eater husband. Well. That must be why she created lovely recipes of Bavarian food with a healthy and vegetarian twist. Let me share one favorite of mine with you, which I learnt is nowadays a new hype in New York City too. I claim we have invented it though! ;) I can proof it: When I opened my vegetarian restaurant in Dubai, in Madinat Jumeirah, I had exactly this dish on the menu in 2008, much loved by our guests.
Trust me it is a worth trying dish. So delicious. Serve it with a side of potato salad. Recipe here. If you are missing the “weeds” used in this recipe, go for the classic lambs lettuce. You will love it too! The recipe can be prepared, and tastes also very good when cold. Ideal for Iftar preparations, as we have still the holy month of Ramadan.
Stay healthy during Ramadan and the hot summer. xx Chef Gabi (currently herself in Bavaria hence the Bavarian flavored Blog post).

Celery Schnitzel
2 portionsimage
What to Buy

1 small Celery root, sliced in 0.5 cm thick, and steamed al dente
20 g whole spelt bread crumbs
20 g whole spelt flour
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
20 ml cream
salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil for frying

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How to Make It
Season the steamed celery slices with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Then dip each slice in this order in:
Cream
Flour
Egg
Breadcrumbs.

Preheat a non stick pan. Bake the Schnitzel in coconut oil on both sides until golden and crispy.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Place the celery Schnitzel after baking on kitchen tissues to absorb extra coconut oil.
I serve them with a lemon slice and potato salad. But they also make a great center of a sandwich with pickles for example.

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Chef Gabi’s Wellness Tips – Chlorophyll

When I was a child my mother always was very strict with me eating some greens, ideally before anything else. (why eating something raw and ideally green before anything else is great read this).
I still remember our green juice cure, inspired by Kneipp. It was made from fresh pressed foraged stinging nettle.  And nothing else, which made the drink tasting like – erm – medicine. Well food is medicine, isn’t it? But does it have to taste like medicine? No, not necessarily. In our early years of experimenting with healthy eating, and if I say healthy eating I really mean the restrictive version of it, without exception and excuses, we didn’t care much.  At least my mother didn’t. I was a bit revolutionary about it though. (My mother can tell stories about me exchanging my healthy school breakfast she gave me with my schoolmates’ ones!).
The juice time wasn’t my favorite time of the day. Until the juice got enhanced by fresh pressed apple. Now I love it, this foamy green shot of chlorophyll and liver detox, a skin beautifier par excellence.
For those who are far away from fresh foraged nettles: Try green lemonade or the green mint drink for similar effect. Or maybe a homemade pesto? I reveal my latest green pesto recipe below – vegan and made with broccoli and kale.
We have started green juicing in Dubai in  Madinat Jumeirah (where most of my blog posts relate to as you may discover), Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in Jumeirah Emirates Towers and in the Maldives Jumeirah Vittaveli where I recently attended the launch of their ‘Wellness Month’. (below some photos from my recent Maldives work visit)
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So now my wellness tip of today: Eat (or drink) your greens. Daily. Why?

CHLLOROPHYLL

Green food nutrients support healthy blood and circulation. Iron, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B12, pyridoxine and protein are all vital for the formation and maintenance of adequate levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. In addition, chlorophyll, vitamin K, and calcium are all involved in blood clot formation and breakdown.
Chlorophyll helps to gently cleanse the body, balance pH levels, promote good digestion and fight free radicals. Active enzymes help digestion, promote energy production and support metabolism. Antioxidants support the immune system, healthy aging and cardiovascular function.

Stay healthy and have some green food every day. xx Gabi

Broccoli and Kale Pesto – vegan
What to Buy for 2 portions

50 g Kale
50 g Broccoli
20 g Sunflower seeds or Cashew nuts
20 g Parsley
10 g fresh Zaathar or Basil
3 g Garlic
100 ml Olive oil
zest of ½ Organic lemon
Salt & crushed black pepper to taste

Optional: 1 small green chili, seeds removed (for those who like a spicy pesto)

How to Make It
Wash, pick and pat dry the leaves. Toast the sunflower seeds and cashew nuts to enhance flavor. Rough cut the broccoli and the kale leaves. Crush the garlic.
Prepare the pesto, using a blender: Garlic, lemon zest, toasted sunflower seeds and cashew nuts, basil or zaatar, parsley, broccoli, kale leaves and the olive oil, salt and pepper.  If you decided to add that spicy touch, also throw in the green chili.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This pesto is delicious as a dip with baked sweet potatoes, for crudités, for zucchini “noodles” or regular pasta, with a risotto, or on top of a bruschetta. Enjoy your greens!

Spring Detox

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
1 lemon
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.

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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.

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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Tai Chi and Healthy Food

Any workout and good, healthy food is a perfect match. However – here is something special and a holistic exercise you must try: Tai Chi.

You can learn from and train with the expert: Madinat Jumeirah’s Master Can from the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy in the Henan Province of China. Exclusive to Talise Spa from 1st November 2013 until 31st April 2014, Master Can will pass on his knowledge of the ancient Chinese martial art by giving individual and group classes of Kung Fu and Tai Chi. For bookings or enquiries, please call + 9714-3666818 or email MJtalise@jumeirah.com.

Today morning I witnessed this very special workout and prepared a healthy treat for the participants afterwards.

What a better way to start your morning with a calm and meditative workout by the beach followed by a very healthy breakfast – young coconut, puffed amaranth muesli, fresh cut fruits and yoghurt!

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master Khan Tai Chi