Chilled Melon Soup

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1 Rock Melon (Honeydew), cut into chunks

A handful of Mint leaves

Lime juice from 2 limes

1 small red onion (you can use this or omit it, depending on your taste)

1/4 cup or more of Coconut cream

pinch of salt to taste

optional¬†add 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier swirled in before serving for a decadent appetizer or brunch addition ūüôā

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or strong blender. Garnish with extra mint or lime. You can also top with a dollop of coconut cream if you want!

Back in my university days, I worked as a waitresss every summer to finance my travels and my artsy lifestyle. One of the nicest restaurants I worked at was a country club on a golf course in Chatham, MA on the elbow of Cape Cod. I never had time to sit and eat while working so a bowl of their chilled fruit soups were one of my favorite quick snacks. They were refreshing, cooling, and just the right amount of food.

Right now, it’s still very hot in Dubai and this melon soup hit the spot today in between my school runs. Regional melon is quite delicious and cheap. The melon I used today was from Armenia. That’s just one of my many favorite things about Dubai, even our food knows no borders.

Enjoy and please comment with any fruit soup/gazpacho variations you love, I’m always looking for new ideas.

 

Pomelo Salad

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This post has been delayed quite a few times…because this salad is so yummy that I end up eating it before I can take a pretty picture. Also, it doesn’t photograph well but let’s not hold it against the poor salad. Looks aren’t everything!

So, if you know me, you know I try not to use any bottled sauces, except Sriracha-you’ll have to pry that from my dead hands. I also hate super sweet savory dishes. I like sugar, but in a dessert, not a salad. So, I think this salad is still under construction, I keep finding ways to make it better but I don’t want to keep it to myself because this soy free, vegan, sugar free, peanut free pomelo salad is delicious and it’s the perfect lunch for these hot Dubai afternoons! This salad takes minutes to make and tastes even better the next day. ¬†I used a combo of almond butter and tahini but feel free to use all of one nut butter or peanut butter.

Ingredients

1 pomelo, peeled and shredded

1-2 Limes, juiced (depending on size and your preference)

1 T Tahini

1 T almond butter

1/4-1/2 cup Coconut milk

2 cloves garlic

1-2 Thai green chilis, chopped

1 small red onion, slivered

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, dry toasted in a pan for a few minutes until golden and aromatic

Salt, to taste

Cilantro, chopped

  1. Put pomelo in a large bowl
  2. Mix lime juice, nut butters, coconut milk, and garlic to desired consistency
  3. Combine chilis,onion, and dried or desiccated coconut with pomelo and stir
  4. Pour dressing and combine well
  5. Top with salt, cilantro, and extra lime if needed
  6. You can add some hot sauce on top if desired (like sriracha).

 

Beef and Mango Lettuce Wraps

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Serves 4

Simple, spicy and a little sweet.

6-700 g ( 1.5lb) of  beef mince/ground beef (grass-fed, organic if possible)

1 red onion, chopped

1 T oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T ginger, minced

1 T vinegar

Crushed red pepper or cayenne to taste

Salt, tamarin or coconut aminos to taste

1 head big leaf lettuce (Boston, bibb or Iceberg), leaves separated and washed carefully to keep intact, store in layers in the fridge for extra crispness

¬ľ head of cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, shredded

1 mango, chopped

4-5 radishes, sliced very thinly

Cilantro, chopped

1 small lime, juiced

  • Heat a skillet over medium/medium high heat
  • Add oil
  • Saute beef and onions until your beef is no longer pink
  • Add garlic and ginger
  • Stir and cook for one minute
  • Stir in vinegar, spice, and salt
  • Make mango salsa with mangos, radishes, cilantro and lime juice
  • Spoon beef mixture into lettuce cups (4 per person)
  • Garnish with salsa and shredded cabbage

Super Food Pad Thai

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Super Foods Pad Thai
Pad Thai traditionally uses shrimp or chicken with tofu and speciality sauces. This speedy
plant based version packs in tons of anti-oxidant veggies with eggs and nuts for a protein kick. Easily adaptable for special diets. Simply omit the eggs if you are vegan and swap rice noodles for other grains or veggie noodles if you want.  Clean, high alkaline ingredients make this a great detox dish. Omit salt and increase citrus if you are avoiding salt/soy.
250 g rice or buckwheat noodles (Sub mixed veg noodles if paleo or grain free)
4 T tamari or coconut aminos
2 T peanut, almond or sesame butter
1 Lime, juiced
3 tbsp rice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 t turmeric
1 1/2 bunches spring onions, cut in 2 cm slices (white and
green pieces), divided
1 fresh Red Chili Pepper, sliced (remove seeds to reduce heat)
1 inch of  Ginger, grated
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1-2 T Cooking Oil (avocado, peanut, or coconut)
2-3 Eggs (omit if vegan)
2 cups spinach, chopped
300g or 2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded
300g or 2 cups kale (massage briefly with a bit of oil first)
1/2 cup or 100g chopped peanuts or almonds (toast first for max flavor)
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving
1)Cook the noodles for 3-5 minutes in boiling water
2)Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside
3)Combine tamari, nut butter,lime juice,vinegar, and turmeric in a small bowl.
Mash and stir to a uniform paste/sauce
4)Slice the spring onions and chili pepper, grate the ginger and garlic.
5)Heat oil over medium high heat.
6)Add garlic, chili, 1/2 of the spring onions and ginger
and fry for 1 minute, push aside
7)Crack eggs in pan and scramble until dry
8)Add the noodles to the pan and stir fry. Meanwhile,
chop the spinach, kale and shred the cabbage.
9)Add the sauce and the greens and cabbage. Stir fry for a minute or 2 to just wilt the veggies (if you want completely raw vegetables omit this step and add at end)
10)Chop (and toast) the nuts and cut the lime into wedges. Top with nuts and garnish with lime. Eat!!

Coconut Poached Fish with Tropical Cauliflower Rice

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 Poached Fish
7-800g  (approx 1.5 lb) White Fish (tilapia, nile perch)
Salt & Pepper
1 can Coconut Cream/Milk  reserve 1-2 T for Cauliflower Rice
1 Lime, zested and juiced
2 cloves Garlic,minced
¬Ĺ-1 Red Chili Pepper, chopped, remove all or some of the seeds to suit your taste for heat
1 Red Bell Pepper, removed seeds and sliced into strips
1 tbsp. Coconut/Cooking Oil
1 bunch Spinach, shredded
Cauliflower Rice
1 small Onion,chopped
1 Lime, zested and then cut in quarters for serving
1 head of Cauliflower florets,grated or riced in processor
1 T. Coconut/Cooking Oil (h)
1-2 T  reserved Coconut Cream
1/4 cup or more Shredded/Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)
1 bunch Spring Onions, chopped
1) Cut the fish into smaller pieces, and season with salt and pepper.
2) Zest and juice the lime and mince the garlic.
3) Combine coconut cream, lime juice and zest, minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. of salt in a bowl
and whisk.
4) Pour mixture over fish in a shallow dish and place in the fridge.
5) Prepare the chili and bell peppers. Chop the chili pepper and slice the bell peppers.
6) Heat oil in a pan.
7) Sauté chili and pepper slices until they become tender.
8) Pour fish and marinade into pan and poach fish fillets (6-10 m
minutes) until almost done.
9) Shred the spinach and add, cook until they begin to wilt and
fish is opaque.
While fish is poaching prepare cauliflower rice:
10)¬†Chop the onion, zest the lime, ¬†and process or finely slice the cauliflower to ‘rice’.
11) Heat 1 T of coconut/cooking oil in a wok or pan. Sauté the onion for two minutes, add lime zest and cauliflower rice, cook for 5-10 min until cauliflower is soft
12) Pour in coconut cream and grated coconut.
13) Chop the spring onion and cut the lime into quarters.
14) Serve fish on top of cauliflower rice and enjoy

Swedish Meatballs:Redesigned and Inspired

A year ago, when I was developing recipes for Dinnertime, I had a lot of fun developing paleo modifications for comfort classics. I have a husband that will eat almost anything that I put in front of him, he knows he’s lucky to get meals home cooked with love! He grew up with a mother that is a phenomenal cook and he has good taste. That said, he prefers meat and potato centered dishes. The higher the dairy and fat content, the better, in his eyes. So I really love taking a dish like Swedish Meatballs and making it healthier and free from dairy. I love it even more that he didn’t mind the changes at all. I know I’ve succeeded if he has seconds of a dish I have changed so much it actually deserves a whole new name.

When I first started eating dairy free, I struggled with the idea of everything tasting like coconuts or cashews. I have gotten over that fear and I am a little obsessed with coconuts, but I promise you this dish isn’t too coconutty… Traditionally, Swedish Meatballs are served with a ligonberry jam or sauce. Sure, I could drive to Ikea and get Ligonberries but I love replacing imported ingredients with locally abundant (i.e. cheaper) options. With fresh pomegranate seeds, you don’t need any sugar and they give the dish the perfect tart and sweet crunch it deserves.

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Swedish Meatballs over Cauliflower Mash 

800g or 1.7 lbs, Ground Beef (Grass Fed, organic if possible)

2 eggs

1 T parsley

1 t salt

1 t pepper

¬ľ t cinnamon

¬ľ t nutmeg

pinch of cloves

¬Ĺ sweet onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ¬Ĺ T coconut oil

Gravy

1/2 sweet onion, minced

1 garlic clove, mined

1 can coconut cream

2 cups beef broth or water

2 T oil or ghee

salt and pepper to taste

2 T arrowroot or tapioca flour

2t oil

1-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped in florets

1-2 T Coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pomegranate, seeded

  1. Mix beef, eggs, and seasoning in a bowl
  2. Heat ¬Ĺ T of oil in a pan
  3. Sauté garlic and onion until soft and add to meatball mixture, combine with your hands
  4. Form into balls with 2 T of meat mixture and place on a plate
  5. Heat ¬Ĺ T of oil at at time to fry meatballs in batches (about 10 at a time for 5-8 minutes)
  6. Drain meatballs on a strainer or on towels when finished cooking
  7. Make gravy by cooking onion and garlic in same skillet for one minute
  8. Add coconut milk, broth, ghee and salt and pepper
  9. Whisk and cook for 5 minutes
  10. Remove a ¬ľ cup of liquid and whisk in arrowroot, return to pan and simmer to thicken
  11. Add meatballs to pan and simmer gently while you make cauliflower rice
  12. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, stir for one minute on medium heat, set aside
  13. Steam cauliflower until a fork easily pierces the florets (this step can be done ahead of time)
  14. Blend cauliflower, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper to taste and/or desired consistency
  15. Top cauliflower mash with meatballs and gravy
  16. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

Beef and Broccoli or Chickpeas and Broccoli (15 min dinner)

I’m trying to be better about only buying what I need and using what I have…In an effort to do something unique with some frozen organic beef cubes I threw this together after school on Thursday. I served it with rice for my kiddos. For us, I briefly saut√©ed carrot and zucchini noodles in sesame oil with crushed red pepper. I tossed tons of green onion and toasted sesame seeds on top and ¬†called it dinner. For myself, because I am trying to eat more plant based I skipped the beef cubes and added chickpeas, there was enough sauce in the pan to season my beans.

Gluten Free, Paleo (beef version), Dairy Free, Grain Free, Vegan if you make the chickpea version 

1 lb beef cubes

1 big bunch of broccoli florets

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

5 cloves, garlic, minced

1 large chunk garlic, grated in microplane

3 T coconut oil

1 T sesame oil

Whisk together following ingredients:

1/4 cup Tamari or coconut aminos (still haven’t found these in Dubai and am still wondering wtf they are )

2 T cider vinegar

1 T arrowroot

1/2 lime, juiced

Toppings 

Green onions, diced

Sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan

  1. Heat oil in a non-coated pan
  2. Brown beef cubes
  3. Add broccoli, garlic and peppers to pan and sauté for a few minutes to soften
  4. Add liquid and arrowroot mixture
  5. Cook to desired temperature, sauce will thicken
  6. Top with green onions and sesame seeds

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I only got a photo of this while I was cooking so you’ll have to take my word for it, it looked pretty before I ate it.