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

image

 

 

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.

image

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.

#dish

Raw Fruit Tartlets

For all those loving some sweet bites guilt free and raw – this is one of my favorite little numbers for a sweet bite. Great to snack on or for Canapés.

 

RAW FRUIT TARTLETS

imageWhat to buy

Tartlet Shortcrust
1oo g whole spelt flour
60 g hazelnuts, ground
salt
150 ml water

Cream
2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
Juice of 1 organic orange
1 tablespoon honey
vanilla
2 tablespoons crushed ice

Mixed fruits and berries like strawberries, raspberries, grapes, figs, pomegranates…..

How to make it
Combine the ingredients for the dough. Press the dough into small non-stick tartlet forms and allow air drying for around 6 hours or using a dehydrator for about 3 hours. Carefully remove the shells from the forms. For the cream combine and puree all ingredients in a blender. Pipe the cream into the tartlet shells and garnish with fruits and berries. Serve immediately.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Prepare tartlet shells in advance, as well the nut cream. The tartlets are easily assembled a la minute short before serving.
This recipe is from my mother’s book, Die Vegetarische Kochschule,  titled “Best Vegetarian Cookbook” at the Gourmand Cookbook Awards in Paris.

Healthy Food for Running

running

Dubai Holding annual Womens Run is coming up soon, hence I have been asked to give some tips how to nourish the body in preparation, during and after running a marathon.
Nourishing the body and eating smart is always a good idea. It can help in many ways to be better, support sports performance, look great, feel good every day.

Read the article here.
dscn17421As the good carbs play a role when it comes to endurance sport performance
this simple and delicious recipe might be of interest!

Stay healthy and enjoy life!

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.
crackers avocado

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!
vichysoisse 2 bettersetting up AD

Stay balanced, healthy and fit this Ramadan.

 

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

#blog 1

 

 

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!

Instagram 001 new

 

Currently working on some raw food

I posted on this Blog already often about RAW food. This very special, delicious, highly nutritious way of eating is much more than only salads and smoothies. Today I am preparing delicious, savory, crunchy, spicy dehydrated raw Mini Grissini for an upcoming prestigious event  at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Need to start early, dehydrating at low temperature takes time.
I am looking forward to a trip to the capital and serving Talise Nutrition food!dehydrator 1 dehydrator 2dehydrator 3


#station2#station in the making