Summer on your plate – what to cook with zucchini

Whoever has grown their own zucchini in the garden are familiar with the problem – there can be easily an oversupply of these low GI (glycemic index) and very versatile Mediterranean vegetable. And you find them aplenty now in the shops and organic markets. If you have made already too many ratatouilles in your life you may like to try these two of my favorite vegan and super light recipes. They are great when its hot outside and easy to digest food is all you crave: A soup made in literally 10 minutes and some no-flour veggie spaghetti that are done in an equal short time especially if you call a spiralizer your own (get it here when in Dubai). There is a youtube video about how to make the spaghetti too, thanks to the awesome collaboration with Dubai Holding Wellness. We filmed this sequence at Madinat Jumeirah Resort in Dubai.

On another note: We are taking up our cooking classes here in Dubai very soon again. Stay tuned! I will be delighted to meet you in person and cook with you more healthy & delicious food.
In the meantime: Enjoy summer and stay healthy. xx Chef Gabi

What to buy for 2 portionsavocado_estragon_veloute

300 g zucchini or rondini (round zucchini)
500 ml vegetable stock or water
Salt, pepper
4 sprigs fresh basil and ½ cup baby spinach
½ garlic clove
Topping:  1 tbsp walnuts or pistachios
¼ celery stick
¼ red bell pepper
½ tomato
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Photo courtesy Barbara Lutterbeck, who shot this for one of my cookbooks

How to Make it
Steam the zucchini for 3-5 minutes. Blend with water or vegetable stock, basil leaves, spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Dice all the remaining vegetables and braise them in olive oil together with the crushed nuts and cumin seeds to serve on top of the soup.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This smooth-textured low calorie soup has a delicious fresh taste, a chlorophyll and vitamin packed appetizer, lunch or dinner.
Green food nutrients support healthy blood and circulation. Iron, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B12, pyridoxine and protein are all vital for the formation and maintenance of adequate levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. In addition, chlorophyll, vitamin K, and calcium are all involved in blood clot formation and breakdown.

Chlorophyll helps to gently cleanse the body, balance pH levels, promote good digestion and fight free radicals. Active enzymes help digestion, promote energy production and support metabolism. Antioxidants support the immune system, healthy aging and cardiovascular function.

The benefit of the regular intake of chlorophyll rich food is increased energy levels, improved digestion, enhanced mental acuity, and better looking hair, skin and nails.

What to Buy for 2 portions
600 g zucchini
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 thyme sprig
salt and pepper to taste

1large red bell pepper
1 tomato
1 onion
½ Teaspoon arrowroot

How to Make it
Wash and clean the zucchini and slice it into spaghetti size strips using a mandolin slicer or vegetable spiral cutter.
In a large saucepan, heat one inch of water until it boils. Add in the garlic and the thyme with the zucchini.  Toss for max 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with sauces or cheese to your liking.
For the sauce steam all ingredients, blend with a little bit of water and pass through a fine sieve. Liquidize the arrowroot in 2 tablespoons cold water and add to the sauce, boil for a minute to bind the liquid gently.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This is an amazing, surprising and truly worth trying recipe if you love dishes that require pasta– here is the low carb and quick to make alternative!

Another recipe using zucchini raw can be found here. Enjoy!

Summer & how to stay hydrated

Water is life.
Water is the  most abundant ‘chemical’ found in living organisms. Water is needed for all chemical reactions to take place. The human body is composed of around 60% water.  It assists in bolstering the cells, physical and brain performance,  and cleansing from the inside out, helps against headaches and constipation to name  a few of its many benefits.
When it is hot in summer and we lose a certain amount of water due to sweating – refilling becomes even more important. Drinking every hour one large glass of clear water is a rule of thumb you could follow. Flavoring your water with aromatic fresh herbs and flowers will definitely upgrade your drinking and hydration experience. Not only taste-wise, herbs have many health and well-being boosting benefits. They play a central role in my kitchen. A refreshing mix of such as rosemary can make your morning, whilst a composition of relaxing herbs and flowers would help you unwind after a busy day and support a deep sleep.
Herb water_4
I am particularly proud of my collaboration with Dubai Holding Wellness on a series of Youtube clips about edible healthy lifestyle. See how some of our delicious Aromatic Herb Waters are made here. This video has been produced in Dubai and in summer (so I am very authentically sweating here while explaining how my herbal waters are made) at the stunning Resort Madinat Jumeirah, where you can see in the background the signature waterways and as well a glimpse of our flagship hotel Burj Al Arab, which is in the close vicinity. We also serve the waters in our Jumeirah Hotels. Try them when you visit!

Stay healthy and hydrated this summer – be it in Dubai or elsewhere! xx Chef Gabi


Living the Talise Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle and nutrition has gained so much momentum in the last years. It is great to see how everyone is much more aware how food choices affect health, wellbeing and look. I am honored to be able to share a great article about my healthy nutrition tips on the Top Food Trends 2016 written by Claire Hill on our hotel group’s very own blog. The blog is worth a look in all aspects, you may find very inspiring write ups on our luxury hotels across the globe. This is where I work! Who knows – maybe we meet in person one day somewhere in a beautiful Jumeirah hotel?
Read the article here.

Currently I am in Dubai where we have lovely winter weather with pleasant temperatures. All February I am running cooking workshops and health lectures during the first Talise Wellness Month in Madinat Jumeirah Resort, in Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in Jumeirah Emirates Towers and in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on Palm Jumeirah. Meet me at Talise Spa, Talise Fitness and enjoy healthy choices in our restaurants. We have planned our second Talise Wellness Month (last years experience can be viewed here, here and here) with an array of healthy activities in Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives end of March and it is safe to say we are also cooking up a visit in Jumeirah Frankfurt in spring this year. I will keep you posted.

Enjoy! xx Chef Gabi

by the way: Below pictures were taken at the iconic Burj Al Arab, our flagship hotel where Talise hosted a very exclusive Wellness Afternoon Tea including a practical cookery workshop with me.

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




How to Make It
Season the steamed celery slices with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Then dip each slice in this order in:

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.


Eating Healthy in Ramadan

Summer in Dubai. Hot climate.  2015 the high temperatures started early and this year Ramadan falls amidst the hottest period of summer. Muslims observe strict fasting on food and beverage from sunrise until sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.  When breaking the fast and during the night the intake of food and beverage can make a huge impact on health and wellbeing. Even though I am always advising in my cooking classes and consultations on the advantages of regular healthy food and liquid intake, I believe in this very specific fasting period healthy food can be enormous beneficial.

soup 1


What to Buy for 2 portions

60 g broccoli
300 ml vegetable stock or water
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
1 slice fresh garlic (less than a clove to not over power )
1 tsp pumpkin seeds oil
1/4 bunch chives or spring onions green, finely cut

optional: 4 cherry tomatoes, 20 g smoked tofu, cut in cubes and skewered on a bamboo stick

How to Make It
Steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes. Blend with water or vegetable stock and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and serve with a drizzle of aromatic pumpkin seeds oil and freshly cut chives. Divine!If you would like to do a little bit extra garnish, pan fry the skewer with cherry tomatoes and smoked tofu in a little bit of olive oil and serve with the soup.  This is optional, a bit more work but worth trying, especially if you have guests.
Chef Gabi’s Tip
This smooth-textured low calorie soup has a delicious fresh taste, a chlorophyll and vitamin packed appetizer, lunch or dinner.

If you wish to know what else to do with broccoli, per se a very healthy vegetable, read my blog post a bout Chlorophyll and  try my raw and vegan Broccoli Pesto here. Lovely to dip crudites in it, or wholesome bread, flax crackers or with zucchini pasta.
More soups I can recommend if you are fasting or not are the earlier published
Cauliflower Soup with Beluga Lentils
Carrot Soup with Oat Quenelles
Potato Vegetable Soup with Marjoram (Bavarian taste alert!)
and keep this one for winter: Red Cabbage Soup

Stay healthy this Summer & during Ramadan. xx Chef Gabi


Chef Gabi’s Wellness Tips – Chlorophyll

When I was a child my mother always was very strict with me eating some greens, ideally before anything else. (why eating something raw and ideally green before anything else is great read this).
I still remember our green juice cure, inspired by Kneipp. It was made from fresh pressed foraged stinging nettle.  And nothing else, which made the drink tasting like – erm – medicine. Well food is medicine, isn’t it? But does it have to taste like medicine? No, not necessarily. In our early years of experimenting with healthy eating, and if I say healthy eating I really mean the restrictive version of it, without exception and excuses, we didn’t care much.  At least my mother didn’t. I was a bit revolutionary about it though. (My mother can tell stories about me exchanging my healthy school breakfast she gave me with my schoolmates’ ones!).
The juice time wasn’t my favorite time of the day. Until the juice got enhanced by fresh pressed apple. Now I love it, this foamy green shot of chlorophyll and liver detox, a skin beautifier par excellence.
For those who are far away from fresh foraged nettles: Try green lemonade or the green mint drink for similar effect. Or maybe a homemade pesto? I reveal my latest green pesto recipe below – vegan and made with broccoli and kale.
We have started green juicing in Dubai in  Madinat Jumeirah (where most of my blog posts relate to as you may discover), Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in Jumeirah Emirates Towers and in the Maldives Jumeirah Vittaveli where I recently attended the launch of their ‘Wellness Month’. (below some photos from my recent Maldives work visit)

So now my wellness tip of today: Eat (or drink) your greens. Daily. Why?


Green food nutrients support healthy blood and circulation. Iron, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B12, pyridoxine and protein are all vital for the formation and maintenance of adequate levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. In addition, chlorophyll, vitamin K, and calcium are all involved in blood clot formation and breakdown.
Chlorophyll helps to gently cleanse the body, balance pH levels, promote good digestion and fight free radicals. Active enzymes help digestion, promote energy production and support metabolism. Antioxidants support the immune system, healthy aging and cardiovascular function.

Stay healthy and have some green food every day. xx Gabi

Broccoli and Kale Pesto – vegan
What to Buy for 2 portions

50 g Kale
50 g Broccoli
20 g Sunflower seeds or Cashew nuts
20 g Parsley
10 g fresh Zaathar or Basil
3 g Garlic
100 ml Olive oil
zest of ½ Organic lemon
Salt & crushed black pepper to taste

Optional: 1 small green chili, seeds removed (for those who like a spicy pesto)

How to Make It
Wash, pick and pat dry the leaves. Toast the sunflower seeds and cashew nuts to enhance flavor. Rough cut the broccoli and the kale leaves. Crush the garlic.
Prepare the pesto, using a blender: Garlic, lemon zest, toasted sunflower seeds and cashew nuts, basil or zaatar, parsley, broccoli, kale leaves and the olive oil, salt and pepper.  If you decided to add that spicy touch, also throw in the green chili.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This pesto is delicious as a dip with baked sweet potatoes, for crudités, for zucchini “noodles” or regular pasta, with a risotto, or on top of a bruschetta. Enjoy your greens!

Healthy Food on the go

What to do when you have busy schedule and want to maintain a healthy eating pattern on the run? I have written a book about food suitable for all busy bees out there, however it is in German language only, so here is a simple, wholesome and delicious dish out of it for all English speakers. It can be easily packed and taken along. Enjoy!

Buckwheat Taboulehimage

2 Portions

What to buy

50 g buckwheat
150 g tenderstem broccoli and 150 g cauliflower
150 g mango
2 tablespoons olive oil1 small chili
½ vanilla pod
1 lime (juice)
cress for garnish

How to Make It

Toast the buckwheat slightly in the oven.
Wash the broccoli and cauliflower and shred them. Peel the mango and dice it. Deseed the chili and chop it. Mix all ingredients and season with lime juice, olive oil, salt and vanilla. Serve topped with cress.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Buckwheat is a gluten free grain providing high dietary fiber, eight essential amino acids, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper. The grains are a rich supply of flavonoids, particularly Rutin.