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 🙂

  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.

 

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

ÂĽ 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

Thai Style Sweet Potato Zoodles

 

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Recently, I discovered the most amazing recipe for sweet potato noodles: (http://kristineskitchenblog.com/sweet-potato-noodles-with-peanut-sauce/) and I binged on them, big time. I made them for ladies nights, my kids, and for visitors. I ate them hot, cold, for dinner and lunch. Then I did allergy testing and found out I am intolerant to just about everything (whole other blog post) so I decided to work with the recipe to find a way to keep eating them. These noodles are gluten, soy, and peanut free.  Thank you to Kristine’s Kitchen Blog for giving me an amazing template to work with! * Note I usually double this sauce so that I can have extra to add to more zoodles or other vegetables. That’s sort of a lie, I just like things really saucey 🙂

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 inch piece of ginger, grated (adjust to your own taste)

2 limes, juiced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or hot sauce

2-4 T coconut milk if desired to thin sauce and add more Thai flavor

Assorted Zoodles ( I usually use 2-3 Sweet potatoes and 1 zucchini, I have also used butternut zoodles and beetroot zoodles, I play around with what I have on hand) but use about 5-6 cups of veggies

1 T coconut oil

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Toppings: chopped cilantro, green onions, and toasted sliced almonds or toasted sesame seeds

  1. Mix sauce ingredients together, dilute with coconut milk or water if desired.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or a large sauté pan.
  3. Stir fry until soft and water is released from veggies.
  4. Add the sauce and chickpeas, cook for several minutes to warm everything and blend the flavors.
  5. Add toppings and eat!

Cookies!!! Hazelnut Orange Chocolate Chip…

img_0409I eat pretty clean and healthy, but I  still crave treats, and nothing beats a cookie warm out of the oven. This recipe is adapted slightly from the back of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Flour. The original recipe calls for a flax seed and water mixture to replace an egg but I figured, if you’re already cutting out wheat and sugar, let’s keep the egg and live a little. This recipe is easily vegan by adding 2.5 T of water to the 1 T flax meal and letting it sit for a few minutes to thicken. I kept the flax in the recipe to make them extra healthy…

1 T flaxseed meal
1 cup Hazelnut flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 t baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup nut butter (I used a cashew, coconut, almond blend)
1/2 cup coconut oil (or veg oil)
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup grated, organic, raw chocolate or dark chocolate chips, I used a block of pana raw, vegan, orange flavored chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F or 176 C
  2. Mix dry ingredients together
  3. In another bowl, mix nut butter, oil, egg and vanilla until it’s uniform
  4. Fold in your chocolate source
  5. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment baking paper
  6. Scoop 1.5 T of cookie batter onto sheet, leaving 1 inch between each cookie
  7. Bake 15-18 min

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 sautĂ©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.