Dec 162014
Recipe: Noodle, Kale and Orange Salad with Plum Sauce Dressing

  Rice noodles are probably one of the easiest things to cook ever. Well, maybe ‘cook’ is an overstatement. Rice noodles simply need to rest in a pot of boiled water for 2-3 minutes and they are good to go. Make sure not to leave them in the water for too long otherwise they may turn mushy.   The nice thing about noodle salads is that they are more filling than many other types of salads and they don’t get soggy, so they are a great little treat to keep in the fridge for a few days. They are also handy to have when you have house guests staying with you, so they can graze on the salad whenever they feel like it.   Noodle salads are extremely versatile and there are so many different combinations of flavors and vegetables that work. In this recipe, I used kale, spring onions, bell peppers, [Read more…]

Nov 252014
Restaurant Review: Balance Cafe, Dubai (UAE)

    Total Salads’ verdict: Balance Cafe is a good restaurant for anyone looking to eat a healthy meal at a reasonable price. They offer many popular international dishes cooked in a contemporary healthy way. The unique thing about Balance Cafe is that it follows Ayurvedic dietary principles. According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes which must be present in a dish for it to be considered well-balanced: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. It is believed that if a person eats a dish with all six tastes, then they are less likely to find themselves snacking or craving more food because all of their taste-buds have been satisfied. Balance Cafe’s commitment to promoting healthier eating goes beyond their restaurant – they also offer cooking classes (daytime and evening) and a door-to-door meal plan food delivery service.   Restaurant: Balance Cafe   Location: 3rd floor, Oasis Centre Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE [Read more…]

Nov 182014
Restaurant Review: Vogue Cafe, Dubai (UAE)

      Total Salads’ verdict: Vogue Cafe is a calm haven hidden away in Dubai Mall’s Level Shoe District. The quality of the food is excellent and the presentation is worthy of a Vogue cover. Like the fashion world, Vogue Cafe plans on changing their menu every season. I tried their Winter 2014/2015 Menu and I was glad to see there are many healthy options to choose between. I love Vogue Cafe’s approach to Main Course salads this season, offering four types of salads plus the option to add some freshly grilled protein to create a balanced, filling and healthy meal. I really wish more restaurants did this. I would recommend Vogue Cafe to anyone who wants to eat well and is looking to escape the hectic crowds of Dubai Mall.    Restaurant: Vogue Cafe   Location: Shoe Level District, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE   Price Range: The price range varies considerably depending on what you order. [Read more…]

Nov 142014
Recipe: Citrus Salad with Shrikhand

      My recipe ‘Citrus Salad with Shrikhand’ was featured in The Guardian (UK) and was winner of the Beat Diabetes Healthy 3-Course Meal Challenge.      Wintertime is prime citrus season and you can find a great variety of citrus fruits in the market these days. I usually stick to clementines, my all-time favorite, but I wanted to incorporate other citrus fruits into my diet as well. This salad forced me out of my comfort-zone to try pomelo (for the first time), grapefruit (after a long time), and navel oranges (I forgot how good they could be!).   My recipe for Citrus Salad with Shrikhand is a wonderful way to make a fruit salad which is more then simply tossed fruit. By slicing up the citrus fruit and laying it out flat, you get to see the beautiful array of colors which each fruit brings. My method for slicing citrus fruit is very quick and [Read more…]

Nov 102014
Recipe: Puy Lentil Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic

    It’s that time of year again (autumn/winter) when pumpkins and winter squash are piled high in farmer’s markets and supermarkets. I love seeing all the different varieties of pumpkins, some with smooth bright orange skin, others with knobbly green skin, and some pale yellow or even white.    My favorite variety of winter squash has to be butternut squash. I use it in soups, pasta sauce, pumpkin pie and of course I roast it to use in salads. Remember not to throw out your pumpkin seeds. They are packed with zinc and excellent for helping you fight off infections and germs which are so prevalent throughout the colder months. Here is my easy recipe for How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds.   When roasting butternut squash, I often throw in a couple of heads of garlic cut in half. The garlic cooks at the same pace as the pumpkin, so they are ready at [Read more…]

Oct 292014
Restaurant Review: The Cycle Bistro, Dubai (UAE)

  Total Salads’ verdict: The Cycle Bistro is a Paleo restaurant located inside a bicycle shop which serves honest, wholesome, tasty food. They offer a variety of creatively made dishes to work around the Paleo dietary requirements (ie. ‘Vegetable Spaghetti’ made from shredded vegetables and ‘Wraps’ made from coconut flour and eggs). A lot of their Breakfast and Main Course dishes come with a generous salad, so ordering one of those is the same as ordering a salad. The Cycle Bistro also serves some Bistro Salads but the two that I tried were disappointing compared to other dishes on their menu, so you are probably better off choosing one of their Breakfast or Main Course dishes which come with a big salad.   Restaurant: The Cycle Bistro   Location: The Cycle Bistro in The Cycle Hub, Dubai Autodrome Grandstand Shop B6, Motor City, Dubai   Price range: Main course dishes cost between AED32 and AED78; Fresh smoothies cost [Read more…]

Oct 242014
Recipe: Beetroot and Walnut Dip

      Pink October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an international initiative organized by several breast cancer charities to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer. People are encouraged to show support by thinking ‘Pink’. From wearing pink clothes to baking pink cupcakes to buying the iconic pink ribbon pin, people actively show support for this month.   Of course, the main idea which must not get lost amongst this flush of pink is that women should remember to get checked by a medical professional for breast cancer and also to learn how to regularly check themselves.   In honor of Pink October, I decided to make a healthy screaming pink Dip, packed with foods which are good for your body such as walnuts, beetroot, garlic, lemon, tahini and extra virgin olive oil. Blend everything together and you get my delicious ‘Beetroot and Walnut Dip’.       BEETROOT and [Read more…]

Oct 192014
Restaurant Review: Baker & Spice, Dubai (UAE)

  Total Salads’ verdict: For salad lovers, Baker & Spice is a 10/10. Their delicious seasonal salads are made from mostly fresh local organic ingredients and offer so much variety that you’re spoilt for choice  The Salad Platter allows you to choose 4 salads from behind the counter (from a choice of around 15 freshly made salads). Their laid-back atmosphere makes this one of my favorite casual restaurants for any meal of the day.   Restaurant: Baker & Spice (Dubai)   Location: 3 branches in Dubai – Souk Al Bahar (8am-11pm) / Souk Al Manzil (7am-11pm) / Marina Promenade (8am-11pm). Baker & Spice also organizes The Farmers Market on the Terrace at Jumeirah Emirates Tower, Dubai (Fridays 9am-1pm during the UAE growing season, which is roughly November to May).   Price range: Plate of 4 Salads from the Counter (300g) – AED58; Shakshouka Matboukha for two to share  – AED 95; organic teas and coffees – [Read more…]

Oct 142014
Recipe: Beetroot and Nectarine Salad with Hazelnut-Rosewater Dressing

    If you’re the sort of person who likes to control everything, here’s something you should try.   I recently ordered a box of organic fruit and vegetables to be delivered to my house by the local UAE company Greenheart Organic Farms. I know people have been ordering boxes from them since 2012, but I keep hesitating to place my order for one reason and one reason alone: I am a control freak and I like to know exactly what I’m getting.   I try to buy seasonal organic produce as much as possible, but I have always preferred to go to a shop myself to choose what I buy (and how much) rather than order a box packed by someone else. You see, I’ve got recipes in my head when I’m grocery shopping and I need to make sure that I get the right amount of ingredients to make those specific recipes.   Last week, I decided [Read more…]

Oct 052014
Recipe: Almond Crumble with Seasonal Fruit

    There is scientific evidence that hugging is good for your health. It increases oxytocin (the ‘love hormone’ which promotes relaxation, trust, and a feeling of stability) and reduces blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone).   A Japanese company called UniCare has created the “tranquility chair”, which is essentially a soft larger-than-life fabric doll built onto a rocking chair. The doll has a soft hat, friendly smiling face, and long arms that wrap around the user in an affectionate hug. Although anyone can use the chair, it has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the rising elderly population in Japan. It is currently being sold for JPY46,000 (USD420).   In the foodie world, the equivalent of a “hug” is a warm seasonal fruit crumble fresh out of the oven. Fruit crumble is so easy and versatile, and as long as you keep a few staple ingredients in your kitchen you can decide to make it on [Read more…]