01 May, 2013

Spring Favorites 2013

As Spring should be in full swing in most places of in the northern hemisphere, I think it's time for another seasonal recipe round-up. Believe it or not, I don't go through my own recipes often enough. More often than not, I stick to the same old recipes (that I know by heart) while other good ones get lost and forgotten although they surely deserve more exposure. Needless to say that all the recipes below are superbly tasty and good for you.

My spring round-up this year turns out to be 100% vegetarian and grain free (if you allow buckwheat to be counted as a seed - as it is being used in the spinach tart and the lemon cake). It mirrors the two general directions in my diet that I feel most strongly about. These are dishes that make me feel healthy, energetic, strong, lean and satisfied.

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Broccoli Pistachio Soup:
there is many people who don't like soups when the weather gets warmer. This soup, however, is very light, yet full of flavor. The ground pistachios in there give it a cheesy taste, while being 100% dairy free. One of my new favorites.

Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds:
Cauliflower (besides broccoli) is probably one of the most difficult vegetables to feed to children. It's all a question of seasoning: with the right spices (and yes, the chili can be adjusted) you can make the blandest veggies interesting.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake:
This is by far our favorite chocolate cake. It's grain free, it uses palm sugar and olive oil (instead of copious amounts of butter and refined sugar). It's always gone within a day. And it's super versatile. Two layers of it with some chocolate ganache coating makes a very good birthday cake too.

Citrus Salad with Pomegranates and Mint:
Summer, here we come. Spring in Dubai means temperatures around 30C/86F. Warm enough for simple, light and refreshing fruits or fruit salads.
Raw, full of natural tang and sweetness.

Gluten-Free Spinach Goat Cheese Tart:
This is one of the recipes (as mentioned above) that deserves more exposure, as it is simply delicious and full of goodness. A gluten free tart shell filled with all the goodness of spinach, the strong flavors of goat cheese and and crunch of walnuts. Leftovers can be eaten as snacks or fill a lunchbox the next day.

Grandma's Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad:
Another refreshing and cooling salad, best be eaten cold from the fridge.  It's been a staple at my grandma's house, for as long as I can think. A true keeper.

Lemon Zucchini Cake:
Spring would not be spring without a lemon recipe. Lemon epitomizes Spring. And what would be a better place to use the flavors of lemon than a grain free cake that also has some hidden vegetables in it? Exactly, there is no better place.

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Mushrooms:
Another recipe from the category "How to make boring vegetables more interesting". Yes, you guessed it right: by spicing them. I love this recipe, because it's hardly any effort to make. And a delicious light meal or side dish at any time for any occasion.

Paleo Summer Wraps with Tahini:
Spring in Dubai is like summer in other places. Cool and refreshing, yet satisfying and filling meals and dishes need to be produced in vast quantities for several months. I particularly like the filling of these wraps consisting of chopped avocado, cucumber, some green leaves, chopped almonds - all held together by a tahini sauce.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt:
What would spring and approaching summer be without ice cream? My ice cream maker hasn't stopped working much over winter. But now it will have to get ready for some extra shifts. My kids love this vanilla-flavored plain frozen yogurt. Just three ingredients needed: yogurt, honey, vanilla.

Enjoy spring!


  1. Excellent roundup! Thx 4 making my menu plan for next week! Love that they are grain free.

  2. You make all healthy food seem delicious! Which I'm sure it is by the way!

    Very inspirational as usual!

  3. What a great round up with beautiful photos. Can't beat that Chocolate Olive Oil Cake though.

  4. Oh man. Citrus salad with pomegranate and mint is exactly what I need right now! Reminds me a bit of the Fattoush salad I recently posted about. Can't seem to get enough of the mint and pomegranate combination in warm weather...