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

Coconut, Almond, and Lime Crusted Fish

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 Coconut, Almond, and Lime Crusted Fish
I just love the combination of limes and coconut and I’m always looking for new ways to use these flavors in food! I serve this dish with extra lime wedges (never enough in my house) and last night I improvised a salsa made from chopped Thai green chilis, lime juice, red onion, and cilantro as a topping and it was fantastic extra kick.
100 g or 1/2 cup fresh or dried shredded coconut (desiccated)
2 Limes, zested, one juiced and one cut in wedges for later
100 g or 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
1 pinch Black Pepper
1/2 can Coconut Cream/Milk
Cooking Oil/Spray
500-600 g (approximately 1 lb)White Fish Fillets, cut into portion size pieces, I used Nile Perch
Salt, to taste
1) Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 425 F
2) Meanwhile, dry toast the fresh shredded coconut in a pan over medium
high heat until golden (5 minutes, while preparing other ingredients). Repeat same process with almonds.
3) Zest the limes and juice one lime
4) Blend coconut, almonds, lime zest,and black pepper in
a food processor or crush almonds in a bag and mix well with other
two. Set aside.
5) In a baking dish mix coconut cream/milk and lime juice, set aside.
6) Spray a baking dish large enough for fish with cooking spray. Dry
the fish fillets very thoroughly using paper towels, cut in four pieces, then
salt.
7) Dip in the lime and coconut mixture and place in baking dish. Top each fillet with the almond mixture to create a thick crust. Lightly spray or brush/drizzle the tops with oil.
8) Bake 12-17 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Topping
should be golden and fish should flake easily.
Serve with blanched asparagus, roasted broccoli or any vegetable of your choice! I love the tropical tastes of this fish. It’s a perfect light lunch or refreshing dinner in the summer.

Grain Free Paleo Waffles

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I woke up this morning craving waffles. I also promised my friend Becky the recipe a LONG time ago. So, I figured I only have to pack for 5 people to go to South Africa and make a little birthday movie for my grandmother. I totally have time to mess around with a recipe for waffles I am trying to perfect. The kids loved them so that made it worth the time.

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk ( I used a coconut almond mix that I’m obsessed with)

1 t. apple cider vinegar

3 eggs

1 t. vanilla

2 T coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

  1. Mix the teaspoon of vinegar in with the almond milk. Let sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients. This makes a vegan version of buttermilk, and buttermilk makes everything richer and moist.
  2. Whisk eggs with vanilla and coconut oil in a bowl. I added fresh vanilla bean paste too to make them extra yummy.
  3. Whisk flours together very well in a large bowl.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients and whisk again.
  5. Add milk to egg mixture.
  6. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Mix well.
  7. Pour into a preheated, greased (I used coconut oil spray) waffle iron and cook
  8. My recipe made 5 large waffles.
  9. Top with berries, coconut syrup, maple syrup, grated apple, cinnamon or whatever you desire. If I hadn’t been so hungry I would have blended some berries and coconut cream together but I didn’t. I just dipped mine in good, old-fashioned maple syrup.
  10. This recipe does not call for any added sugar in the batter. You can add 1-2 T coconut sugar or sugar if you like your waffles sweeter.  If you want your waffles even lighter, add more tapioca flour and less coconut or almond flour.

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