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.
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
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
What should we demand more of desserts than being without added sugar, raw, and full of vitamins? Mango season is on here in Dubai and hence also my ice cream maker busy for this quick and easy treat:
What to Buy
1 ripe mango
1 pinch vanilla
juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
25 ml coconut milk
optional: agave, stevia or acacia honey
How to Make It
Peel the mango and cut the flesh off the stone (or is it called seed?).
Blend mango, the juices, coconut milk and vanilla to a smooth and silky cream and transfer in an ice cream maker to freeze.
Depending on volumes your sorbet should be ready within 10 -20 minutes.
Chef Gabi’s Tip:
Mangoes are high in Vitamin A, C and pectin, support digestion and alkalize. Fresh and ripe mangoes don’t even need to be sweetened, and their flesh pureed is smooth as silk. That’s why this sorbet always turns out picture perfect!
I have garnished my sorbet on this picture with freshly pureed raspberries (added a little lemon juice and a dash of agave or honey here), pistachios and fresh coconut. There is nothing better in my Dubai summer, seriously.
Discover the Flavors of Health. Wishing you all blessed Eid Holidays.
As a chef and passionate cook I am by nature a fan of all fancy kitchen gadgets. Needless to say I risk running out of space in my test kitchen…But I had a v e r y good excuse to buy myself a dehydrator recently (I kept my eyes on several models for quite a while) – needed it to develop more raw food recipes! Now I am excited to try some really delicious treats. With the side effect my friends get to try a lot at our FIFA world cup gatherings (yes I am watching football!).
Raw Spicy Flax Crackers
What to Buy 50 g golden flax seeds
10 g black chia seeds
20 g black sesame seeds
1/2 bunch fresh zaatar or thyme
50 g almonds with skin
1 garlic clove
1 red bell pepper
1 fennel bulb
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 small red chili (optional, leave it out if you don’t like it hot spicy)
5 ml olive oil
Salt to taste
150 ml water
How to Make It
Juice the fennel, the garlic and the red bell pepper. Grind the almonds in a food processor until they are fine. Chop the zaatar, garlic and the chili. Mix all ingredients and add as much water as needed until a semi soft and smooth dough is achieved. Season with salt. Spread the dough out thinly on parchment paper and place in the dehydrator at 45 degrees Celsius for 10 hours. Note: The thinner the dough, the better turn out the crackers.
Chef Gabi’s Tip:
Keep the crackers in an airtight container until use.
Once entirely dehydrated you can brake the crackers into desired size pieces (I love them unevenly broken, they look like we do this with baked Lavosh) and serve them either in bread basket or as pictured below topped with guacamole, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves as a healthy and delicious snack.
I had made a similar recipe into mini grissinis, for an event in Abu Dhabi Jumeirah at Etihad Towers recently, together with a chilled Carrot Vichysoisse. So good!
Being a cookbook author myself writing and developing recipes is one of my most loved tasks. I am currently experimenting a lot with raw, detoxing, vegan food for our Talise Spas. Because Spa food is by nature a light, detoxing, skin beautifying treat.
What more I need to say, take a look at my delicious edible wellness!
I am very proud that a selection of the dishes will be available soon through Talise Nutrition at Jumeirah Talise Spas in Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. I will keep you posted!
Have a blessed Ramadan everyone, be balanced, stay healthy, radiant and fit.
It’s time to get summer ready and have some light sunshine recipes on hand for optimal hydration and cooling effect.
Living and working in sunny Dubai I may have the perfect advise for you:
Keep your food fresh (means a certain percentage also raw), light (means not heavy on fat or carbohydrates), easy to digest, and as natural as possible. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Read more about drinking here and here.
There are food combinations that are close to ideal, because they satisfy the taste buds and our body nutritional requirements in the same time. Such as, for a hot summer day, below salad I often make and truly love:
Watermelon Feta Cheese Salad with Sprouted Nuts
What to buy for 2 portions 1 medium wedge water melon (about 300 g) 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked,washed, pat dried 120 g feta cheese
5 g sunflower seeds
5 g pumpkin seeds 1 lemon (juice) 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It Soak the nuts in water for minimum 2 hours or maximum over night. Strain and rinse them well before use.
Peel and deseed the watermelon. Cut it into 1-2 cm cubes. Crumble the feta cheese. Mix all ingredients carefully and season with salt and pepper.
Chef Gabi’s Tip This combination is so good, nutritious and hydrating. It can be ready in 5 minutes, and is absolutely great to take along packed in a cooling bag in case you plan a beach day. Try it and enjoy – the weekend is not far away!