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).

 

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!!

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 ūüôā

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!

Coconut Corn Chowder

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Winter in Dubai…it’s mild, and fleeting but these cloudy and windy days are a great excuse for a warm soup.

This soup is a vegan take on a classic comfort soup. Using coconut cream and
chili, this soup has hints of Thai flavors. Served with smashed chickpeas and
roasted garlic on toast (or as a salad).
Chowder 
1 T coconut or olive oil (ghee can be used as well)
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Chili, chopped, to taste (use half or no seeds if you want it less spicy)
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 sticks Celery, diced
1 large sweet or white potato, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp Cooking Oil or Butter
1 pinch of chili powder, optional
2 tsp dried thyme
¬Ĺ-1 tsp. Salt
300-500 ml Water
1 can Coconut Cream
2 cans Sweet Corn (sub bell pepper or chopped leeks if paleo)
1 bunch Spring Onions, chopped
1 bunch Parsley, chopped
Smashed Chickpea and Garlic Toasts 
1 head of Garlic, cut in half
2 tbsps. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Vinegar
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Nice thick bread of choice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, cut the whole garlic in half, drizzle
with olive oil and wrap in foil
Place on a tray and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, while chopping
ingredients and preparing soup
Chop the onion, green chili and three cloves of garlic. Dice the celery. Peel and
dice the potato.
Heat the oil or ghee  in a large, heavy bottom saucepan
Sauté onion, garlic, celery, chili, chili powder, thyme and salt until they brown
Add potato and water, bring to boil and simmer until potatoes soften
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic and chickpea toasts;
Remove garlic from oven and squeeze out roasted garlic
Whisk garlic with oil and vinegar
Drain, rinse and partially mash the chickpeas with a fork
in a bowl.
Chop the red bell pepper.
Add the bell pepper, and mix with the roasted garlic dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice and toast the bread
When the soup is done, blend or emulsify soup if desired, return to pot
Stir coconut milk and sweet corn into soup and gently simmer until warm and
thick
Add salt and pepper to taste
Garnish soup with chopped spring onions and fresh parsley
Smother toast with chickpea mixture or eat over lettuce if eating low carb, paleo, or grain free.

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

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cashew Creamed Kale
This is a paleo version of a classic American comfort food that traditionally uses lots of
dairy and fat. This version has all of the flavour, without the empty ingredients.
200 g  or 1 cup Cashews
Coconut/Cooking Oil
Coarse Salt
Black Pepper
4 Sweet Potatoes, cut in half
2 bunches of Kale, center stalk removed, coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp  Nutmeg
3-4 T coconut oil, ghee, or butter
10 Shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
Soak cashews in enough water to completely cover them, 4 hours
to overnight (the longer the better. If  needed, soak in hot water for
30 mins).
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper
Drizzle with oil and salt and pepper
Cut sweet potatoes in halves (or quarters if very big). Dredge and coat both sides of
sweet potatoes with oil and salt and pepper
Roast skin side up for 20 minutes or until soft
Bring a salted pot of water to boil and cook kale until tender (10-15 minutes)
Prepare cashew cream by draining cashews and rinsing well
Blend with 200-250 ml of water, or more until you have a toothpaste consistency
Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper
Drain kale and mix with cashew cream to warm and mix flavors
Saute shallots in 3-4 T of oil until they golden and crispy (can be done ahead of time and stored in an airtight container). ¬†These totally make the dish so don’t skip this step!
Serve sweet potatoes with creamed kale on top and sprinkle them with the crispy shallots.
The creamed kale with crispy shallots is amazing as a Thanksgiving side too…just saying ūüôā

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.