22 July, 2009

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

I grew up in East Germany where peanut butter, like other stuff as bananas, oranges, kiwis or other exotic fruit and vegetables, were not available. In fact, I had no idea that there was something like peanut butter out there. When I came across it the first time, I must have been in my late teens or early twenties, I found the smell alone quite gross. I could not imagine that people could be crazy after peanut butter jam sandwiches.
Perhaps it was the combination with sweet jam that just did not fit into my ideas of food combination.
Recently I came across a few noodle salads that used peanut butter in their dressings. They sounded yummy somehow and since I had a glass of peanut butter in the pantry, I though I give it a try. I mixed bits and pieces of several recipes together and I must say I really liked the result.
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SPICY PEANUT NOODLE SALAD

250g noodles (egg noodles, wholewheat noodles or soba noodles)
5 spring onions
1 red capsicorn pepper
150g mangetouts
150g bean sprouts
20g sesame seeds
1 handful of coriander leaves

Dressing
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons of red curry paste
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
100g peanut butter
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Cook the noodles according to the instructions. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and stir until it becomes a smooth paste. Add the dressing to the cooked noodles and stir carefully until they are thoroughly coated with the peanut paste. Cut the pepper and spring onion into fine slices, and the mangetouts into halves. Add them to the noodles and sprinkle sesame seeds and coriander leaves on top to garnish.
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19 July, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always try to cook and bake with little or no sugar, However, sometimes I cannot resist. Especially when it comes to cookies. Chocolate Cookies!! Please forgive me. However, I can assure you that all other ingredients can perfectly be used with a clear conscience! I will try this recipe with agave syrup one day, and may update this recipe if the result is as good as the sugar version.
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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups wholemeal pastry flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
80g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)
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Heat the butter until liquid and let cool down. Combine sugar and egg and stir well. Stir in butter and vanilla extract . In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Add slowly to the butter mixture constantly stirring until well incorporated.
Shave the chocolate into tiny pieces and gently fold into the dough.
Place teaspoon-sized dollops of dough on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 12 minutes.

Makes about 40 cookies
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Roast Chicken


As a child I was always put off cooking and anything related by the amount of time that my mother used to spend in the kitchen to prepare meals, especially the big lunches on the weekend. I have realized only now that perfect Sunday meals can be done with almost no effort in terms of time and involvement in the cooking process. Well, I was a kid 25 years ago. Gender roles might have been a little different then. But I will never forget that my mom normally started doing lunch shortly after breakfast. For me as a kid it only meant that she was not available to play with us.

A few months ago, I had my first organic chicken, barbequed by South African friends of ours. I rediscovered the true taste of chicken, I cannot remember when I last tasted it. Ever since I make roast chicken for us about once per month. The organic chickens are quite expensive here, but they are worth every penny and I haven't dared to prepare them in any other way. Just roasting them in the oven brings out the true unspoilt taste. Simply yummy!

Now back to the time being spent in the kitchen: almost none with a roast chicken! Stuff it and put it in the oven. Can't get much easier than that.

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ROAST CHICKEN

1 whole chicken (organic if possible)
1 onion
1 lemon
1 garlic bulb
1-2 handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano....)
olive oil
salt and pepper
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Cut the onion and lemon into chunks ( no need to peel). Chop the herbs. Cut the garlic bulb ( no need to peel either) into half horizontally. Stuff the chicken with onion, lemon and herbs. Rub the whole chicken with olive oil and season deliberately with salt and pepper.

Put the chicken on a baking tray and cover it loosely with aluminium foil to avoid burning the skin. Cook at 250 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour. Take out the aluminium foil and roast for another 20 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crispy.
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Roasted Vegetables


Since I started cooking, I have realized I like especially two things when doing so: foods that don't need many dishes that have to be washed afterwards and foods that don't need much of my time. Roasted vegetables fall in both categories. Just a baking tray is needed and apart from cutting the vegetables, I am not needed in the kitchen.
I am going to publish quite a few recipes on this blog that include oven-toasted vegetables. They usage is so versatile, be it part of a salad, sandwich, or side dish, be it warm or cold..... either way, they are absolutely delicious. They can also be made in advance and in big amounts and kept in the fridge for various uses. Another reason to just love them.
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OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES

1 onion
1 big bell pepper (yellow or green)
1 medium-sized courgette
250g pumpkin
250g cauliflower
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to season
fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, coriander, whatever you like...)
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Peel and cut all vegetables in bite-sized chunks. Place them on a baking tray. Chop the fresh herbs and add. Salt generously. Then drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and stir thoroughly so that everything is covered thinly in the oil. That prevents it from sticking to the pan. Place in the oven and bake at 250 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes or vegetables are cooked.
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17 July, 2009

Muesli Triangle Cookies


I used to eat ready-made unsweetened muesli with milk for breakfast. That kind of muesli with all sorts of cereals, raisins and seeds. I have had this pack of muesli standing in my pantry for ages now, and I was looking for another way to use it (first and foremost to make more space in my pantry). Another question: Can muesli go off? Anyway, I found (yet another) recipe for cookies that I could tweak a little and that would use up my muesli nicely. The result is in fact very yummy, a nice and crunchy, not-so-sweet muesli cookie. Perfect for breakfast or as a healthy snack in between and on the go. In fact, I will keep a few in my car as this is often the only place during the day where I sit and have some peace and quiet.

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MUESLI TRIANGLE COOKIES

100g wholegrain pastry flour
250g Muesli (with raisins, seeds, nuts)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons maple honey
125ml water
2 teapoons cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
rolled oats
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Combine muesli, flour and cinnamon in one bowl. Separate the egg yolk and egg white. Stir together egg yolk, oil, honey and water and add to the dry ingredients. Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff and fold them gently into the dough.

Lay out baking paper on a baking tray and spread the dough evenly. Keep it about 1cm thick. Sprinkle the oats over the dough. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. Cut triangle shapes out of the dough as soon as you take it out of the oven. Let cool down and keep in dry airtight container.

If your muesli does not contain raisins or other dried fruits, add a hand full as they provide some sweetness.

Makes 8 big cookies
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15 July, 2009

Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Vegetables

In summer we often have a bowl of roasted vegetables in the fridge. They are cold as good as fresh out of the oven, perfect on a sandwich or in a salad. We kind of got stuck with , bell peppers, onions, pumpkin, all of them very sweet in taste and cauliflower and courgettes.
I am currently trying out all sorts of grains that I have never eaten, not to speak cooked with before. Buckwheat is one of them. They make a perfect base for a salad and can also be made in advance as it keeps in the fridge for a couple of days.
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BUCKWHEAT SALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Roasted Vegetables
1 onion
1 big bell pepper (yellow or green)
1 medium-sized courgette
250g pumpkin
250g cauliflower
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to season
fresh herbs (e.g coriander, oregano, whatever you like...)

Buckwheat
1 cup buckwheat
2 cups of water

Salad Dressing
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 clove crushed garlic

1 handful of toasted pistacchio kernels
coriander leaves to garnish
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Peel and cut all vegetables in bite-sized chunks. Place them on a baking tray. Chop the fresh herbs and add. Salt generously. Then drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables and stir thoroughly so that everything is covered thinly in the oil. That prevents it from sticking to the pan. Place in the oven and bake at 250 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes or vegetables are cooked.

Bring the buckwheat groats to boil in salted water, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Most of the water should be absorbed by the buckwheat. Check regularly for doneness, as the buckwheat should always have a bite. Overcooked buckwheat looses its shape and texture.

Mix all ingredients for the dressing just before adding to the salad.

Add roasted vegetables (either hot or cold) to the buckwheat (also either hot or cold) add the dressing and sprinkle the pistachio kernels and coriander leaves on top.
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Apricot Date Jam

We live in the Middle East where dates (and other dried fruit)are a very important and common food. Dates specifically play a big role during the holy month of Ramadan. During that time, people traditionally break their fast after sunset with three dates.

Dates come in all sorts of colors, shapes and grades of sweetness. There are three main groups of dates: soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', 'Deglet Noor', 'Zahidi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory'). The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content.

One of our neighbours got a date palm tree in her garden that is full of ripe dates. She dropped me a bag the other day, and although fresh, they tasted pretty much as sweet as dried dates.
I decided to make jam out of it, combining them with dried apricots as this combination does not need any added sugar.


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APRICOT DATE JAM 
2 cups of dried apricots
1 cup of apple juice
2 cups of dates

Yields 2 jars of jam
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Soak the dried apricots in the juice overnight. Cut them into smaller chunks. Bring them to boil in a heavy pot, then let simmer until soft and tender. Add the cut-up dates and blend in a food processor. Fill into jars and let cool completely. Keep refrigerated.


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Carrot Soup


My soup cooking career started with carrot soup, years ago. It was such a revelation to me when I found out that making soup was simply boiling vegetables of my choice in some veggie stock and then blend it and add some cream and it's ready to serve. Next thing I did was buying a blender. The following weeks I tried to make soup out of everything that cannot be nailed to the wall (as a German would say).
Soup is always such a nice meal, I love its freshness and lightness, it can even be used to clear the fridge from close-to-rotting vegetables. Serve it with some nice fresh bread. Plain or wholemeal baguette always works very well.
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CARROT SOUP WITH GINGER

1kg carrots
1 litre water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cubes of vegetable stock
1 piece of ginger (size of a thumb)
50ml single cream
sesame seeds
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Wash the carrots and cut them into chunks. Heat the olive oil in a big pan. Add carrots and grated ginger and fry for a few minutes. Add the water and vegetable stock and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer until carrot chunks are cooked. Let it cool down, then blend until smooth. Add some water if the soup is too thick. Heat the soup again. Stir in the cream. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the soup when served in bowls.

Serves 3
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14 July, 2009

Fruit Bread


Here is one of our all-time no-added-sugar favorite breakfast cakes. Over the time, I experimented a bit with the ingredients, especially the dried fruit. I found raisins and dried apricots not as yummy as dried figs and dates. And I prefer walnuts over Cashew kernels. But in general, any sweet dried fruit and any nut or mixture of nuts will do.
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FRUIT BREAD
180g dried figs
180g dried dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
50ml juice (or alternatively Rum)
100g walnuts
275g wholegrain pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
170ml milk

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Cut the figs and dates into small chunks. Mix them with the cinnamon in a bowl and let them soak in the fruit juice for about 15-20 minutes. Cut the walnuts into chunks and combine them with flour and baking powder and add to the dried fruit mixture. Add the milk and stir thoroughly, making sure that the dried fruit don't stick together in big chunks. Fill in a buttered form and bake at 180 degrees for about 1 hour in the lower third of the oven.
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Falafel

I lived in Berlin for many years and I miss it a lot these days. It is, in my opinion, the most open and tolerant city in Germany. Everything is allowed. I loved its multicultural aspects, Berlin has got the biggest Turkish community outside Turkey. As part of that I learned to enjoy certain foods from there, in particular Falafel.
However, Falafel can taste absolutely horrible when bought in the wrong place. In most snack points the Falafel is pre-fried and then heated in a microwave. The result is some very dry, tasteless something that is very hard to swallow.
My favourite place for fresh Falafel was in Berlin-Mitte, in Grosse Hamburger Strasse opposite that hat designer shop (no clue if either of them is still there).
Now I have been living in the Middle East for 5 years, and thought it was about time to do some Arab cooking myself at home. My Hummus attempts were pretty successful, so I dared to try some Falafel the other day.

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FALAFEL

200g dry chick peas
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 handful of parsley or coriander
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
Tahini Sauce
2 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons yoghurt
water
pinch of salt

Yields ca. 12
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Soak the chick peas in lots of water overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Drain the chick peas. Peel the onions and garlic and cut them into chunks. Wash the parsley/coriander and pull of the leaves. Blend chick peas, onions, garlic and herbs in a food processor.

Season the pureed chick peas with the ground coriander, cumin, salt and pepper according to taste. Knead flour and baking powder into the mixture. Form little balls (size of a walnut) out of the dough.

Heat lots of oil in a pan and deep-fry the Falafel balls for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Put them on a kitchen towel and pat them dry afterwards. A healthier alternative is to bake them in the oven. Brush some oil onto the tray, so the Falafels will not stick. Place the tray in the upper third of the oven and bake at 250 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the balls halfway through.

Tahini Sauce
Mix the Tahini and the yoghurt and then add water little by little until you get some viscous consistency. Add salt for seasoning.

Serve with and Tahini sauce and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers wrapped in Arabic bread or Tortilla bread.
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10 July, 2009

German-Style Wholegrain Bread


I am a German national, belonging to those folks that are known as the biggest bread-eaters on earth. We basically have bread with at least two meals per day. That is bread according to the German definition of bread.
For the past 5 years, I've been living in Dubai and in South Africa. The "breads" that are available here, are often not what a German would call a "bread". They would be far too fluffy, too white, too sweet. The crust too thin and too hard, the inside too soft or not dense enough, the bread tasteless, the bread not edible after day one, I could go on forever.....

Baking bread is an art in itself that I have never even attempted. However, this bread recipe is really easy and quick AND fulfills a German's requirements of a bread.


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GERMAN-STYLE WHOLEGRAIN BREAD

(Print Recipe)
500g whole wheat or whole spelt flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon bread spice* (optional)

50g linseed
50g sesame seeds
50g sunflower kernels

1 tablespoon apple cider (or other fruit) vinegar
450ml lukewarm water

*Bread Spice
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ani seeds
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Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add vinegar and the water to dry ingredients and stir thoroughly. Place the dough into a lightly buttered form and put into an COLD oven. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 min.
If you want the outside of the bread golden brown and crusty and the inside not too wet, take the bread out of the form after 30 minutes, and place the bread loaf on a grill in the oven for the remaining time.

Bread Spice
Grind the spices in a spice or coffee mill until finely ground. Store in airtight container.



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09 July, 2009

Seaweed Salad


When I was a kid, my family and I lived in China for two years. Many things that I tasted then, never crossed my palate again. Those were unique tastes, a totally different cuisine to what I was used to (that is heavy meat-loaded German home-style cooking). The Chinese Restaurants that popped up everywhere in East Germany after the German reunification didn't do any justice to their original cuisine.
However, one very particular taste returned. My now-husband took me to a Chinese restaurant in Johannesburg/South Africa on our first date. He ordered a seaweed salad as a starter, and there it was again!!!! Hadn't tasted it for about 20 years. In fact, I had totally forgotten about. But it was delicious.
Another five or six years have passed. We have been living here in Dubai for a few years, and if there is one good thing to be said about Dubai, then it is the variety of foods available in the supermarkets. Since expats here come from all corners of the world, the supermarkets are bound to serve all needs: Far East Asian, Indian, Arabic, African, American, European...you name it. Here I come across a packet of dried seaweed. After a few tries I got the taste of the salad like I knew from when I was a kid. It's all in the dressing!
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SEAWEED SALAD

25g/1oz dried Wakamame or Kombu seaweed
water

Dressing
1 clove garlic
1 1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 red chili (deseeded) (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

Optional
150g firm tofu
1 tablespoon pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Serves 2
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Soak the dried seaweed in about 200ml water for about 8-10 minutes. The seaweed should turn leafy and green. Discard excess water, even wring the seaweed. Cut into slim slivers.

For the dressing: mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar with the honey. Finely chop deseeded chili into small pieces and add together with the finely grated ginger, and crushed garlic. Pour the dressing over the seaweed. Keep in the fridge for half an hour. Serve cold. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

To make it a proper meal or lunch you can add toasted tofu and some nuts. Cut the tofu into cubes and toast them in a non-stick pan over medium heat until the sides turn golden brown.
Toast the pistachio kernels in a dry pan over medium heat. Both tofu and roughly chopped pistachios can be added warm to the cold salad.
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08 July, 2009

Granola Bars

When I met my husband years ago, his typical breakfast used to be a chocolate bar and a coke. He's got a sweet tooth, no doubt, but since I started enjoying cooking and baking healthy foods myself, I could get him to enjoy healthier and naturally sweet and homemade alternatives for breakfast.
These granola bars are full of whole grains and seeds, sweetened with dried fruit and a little honey. I played around with the dried fruit for some time and got stuck with dates and prunes. I find that dates provide the sweetness and prunes give a little tang to it.
They will be a perfect and substantial start for the day that keeps you going until lunch. It's a good breakfast on the go if you are in a hurry, or otherwise is a nice snack between the meals.
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GRANOLA BARS


(Printable Recipe)

1 cup rolled oats (quick cooking)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coconut flakes

1 cup dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup prunes, pitted
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons date honey (or regular honey or agave/maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of cocoa powder (optional)

Yields about 16-20
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Preheat oven to 175C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix all dry ingredients (incl. cocoa powder if you prefer a chocolate-y flavor) together in a bowl. Set aside. Combine dates, prunes, olive oil, vanilla extract in a food processor and blend until it becomes a smooth paste. Combine the date oil mixture with the dry ingredients. It will be quite a stiff dough. Make sure everything is well blended.
Press the dough onto a baking sheet, it should be about 1 cm high. Alternatively, Place a cookie cutter onto the baking sheet. Press 1-2 tablespoons of the batter into the cutter. The dough should also be about 1cm (1/2 inch high). Gently remove the cutter to preserve the shape.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. If you baked the dough in one big piece, cut them into small bars after they have cooled down. Keep the bars in an airtight container in a dry place.
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Dubai Women's Run 5k 2013

Start of the 5k race: Spot my blue Saucony trainers, that's me.
The Dubai Women’s Run always coincides with the Abu Dhabi Half Marathon. In the last two years, I went to Abu Dhabi. This year, after having run the Berlin marathon just a month ago, I opted for the shorter distance. The Dubai running season would still be very long and I already had trained for and run a marathon. 

Calculating as I am, I checked the results of previous years of the women’s 5k and 10k to see where I had the biggest chances of getting into the prizes. The Dubai Women’s run has monetary prizes for the Top 10. It’s well known that they fly in some elite runners for both races. But there was always space for Dubai based runners at the bottom of the Top 10. This is where I wanted to see my name.


I signed up for the 5k race. My time of 41:22 at the Abras 10k three weeks ago  made me believe I could run a time close to 20:00 in the 5k. 


The races took place at Meydan racecourse, an ideal place to hold events of that size. Apparently, 3.000 women had signed up. Meydan could accommodate them easily with plenty of parking and enough space for everyone to get ready. 


At the bib number collection I saw what the majority of the 3.000 people were about: very much concerned if the free t-shirt would fit properly. As it was only women picking up their numbers, the hall looked like a huge changing room. I got my bib number changed for an elite bib number, so I wouldn’t have to fight my way past slower runners at the start line.


I arrived early at Meydan. The place looked like a huge market place with plenty of stalls to pick up freebies from. The vibe was more that of a fun run. There was no follow up email from the organizers as to when the two races would start. Both at the same time? One after the other? I struggled to find someone who could tell me, until I saw marshals which turned out to be volunteers from one of the local running clubs. They seemed to be the only knowledgeable people on the course. It turned out the 10k race would start at 7am and the 5k at 7.15am.

After the 10k people set off,  the 5k people had to line up. Now it was time to check the elites and the familiar fast Dubai-based runners. I counted 8 elites from Africa and Eastern Europe. Then there were three fast runners from local running clubs and myself. So twelve of us. 

There were so many latecomers of the 10k race that set off 10-15 minutes after the initial start gun, that our race only started at 7:20am. I found it quite warm and humid. However, weather always affects everyone, so no excuses for that. The elites ran off at their stupendous pace. I stuck with Debbie, one of the local club runners at a 4:00 minute pace for the first 1k. Another one of us local runners, Tatiana,  was in front of us. I know that she usually runs off very fast. My hope was to catch her later. Another girl overtook me on the first km. I didn’t know her, so wasn’t sure how to take it. She was unexpected in my calculation. Debbie got in front of me too (no surprise although she ensured me several times before the race that she is very unfit... sure, Debbie!!). This setting got me stuck in 12th position. 


I couldn’t get much closer to the others for more than half the race. Tatiana and Debbie were out of reach, although I could see them. Only towards the end, I caught up to the girl that overtook me in the beginning. Another 100m and I would have got her. I finished one second behind her in 20:25, believing that I was in 12th position. Tatiana was the first Dubai based runner finishing in 20:03, followed by Debbie in 20:12. 

Knowing that I was not in the prizes I went to collect my freebies at the stalls and went home. Checking the results online, I learned that I was in fact in 11th position, missing the Top 10 by only one second. Oh damn, how stupid was that? Would I have tried harder to catch that girl in front of me if I had known that it would get me into the Top 10? I don’t know. I think I did all I could. My pace was even, I even got faster towards the end.  My lungs were burning on the last half km (something I hate about the short distance races). 


Perhaps I should practice my counting. Obviously, there were only seven elites. Never mind, it is what it is. Still enjoyed the race, and am very happy for Tatiana to have done so well.
Another bitter pill to swallow after missing out on the prizes at the Dubai Women’s Run was that a whole bunch of running mates had beaten my half marathon PB in Abu Dhabi. They had fantastic conditions and a nice flat new course. Well done guys, but the war is on now :)! I want my crown back.
Continue Reading>>

07 July, 2009

Warm Wheat Berry Breakfast


I  can't understand why people always need to eat cold stuff in summer and warm stuff in winter. I live in Dubai, It's July, one of the two hottest months of the year (besides August) with temperatures between 38 and 43 degrees Celsius during the day and never less than 30 degrees at night. It is hot outside, yes, but modern technology has provided us with air-conditioners and no-one with common sense would spend more time than necessary outside anyway. People have their coffees and teas hot all year round, so what's the fuss about hot and cold food in summer and winter? So why not eat something nice and warm to start the day in my nicely down to 23 degrees cooled down kitchen to start the day?
Since my teenage years I have always liked the chewy taste of whole grains in various yogurts. Only recently I found a recipe on another blog (The Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl on 101 cookbooks - my absolute favorite food blog of all times), where those chewy grains where part of a hearty breakfast. Here is my tweaked version of it:


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CREAMY WHEAT BERRIES WITH BANANA AND GRAPES

1/2 cup of wheat berries
1 banana (mashed)
1 splash of single cream
1 handful of grapes (or other fruit) (cut into chunky bits)

Serves 1
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Cook the wheat berries in water (1 part berries, three parts water, half a teaspoon of salt) for about an hour. If the berries are soft and chewy they are ready. This can be done in advance and in even bigger amounts the evening before.
At breakfast time, mash a banana in a bowl, add the desired amount of wheat berries (depending on your hunger) and a splash of cream. Cut the grapes into halves or quarters and sprinkle them on top. Stir everything and heat it up a little (not to boiling point - just enough to make it a warm breakfast) and serve immediately.
The wheat berries can be replaced by a mix of whole grain berries, like barley, rye, oats. The fruit to sprinkle on top are also replaceable. I had this breakfast with cut-up mango, pears, strawberries and it all worked fine. They should be rather sweet though, since the sweetness comes out even better when the fruit is slightly warm. The mashed banana, however, is irreplaceable to me. They give a nice sweetness that makes all other sorts of sweeteners like syrups etc. unnecessary.

Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking 
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