Watermelon & Cucumber Granita


Watermelon & Cucumber Granita

It’s August and its HOT in Dubai! It’s currently 41 C but due to humidity levels hitting 90%, last week was meant to feel like 64 C…and it will only get worse I imagine. Even though it gets so blistering hot, I have to admit we are quite spoilt here, surviving in air conditioned everything. We get into our air conditioned cars parked in basements to our air-conditioned offices and air-conditioned malls and restaurants to air-conditioned bus stops even, barely feeling the summer heat.The hardest part of the day sometimes is the first 5 minutes of getting in to your car that’s parked outdoors when the fear of accidently cattle pressing your self with the seatbelt buckle strikes (this is a real problem, I am not kidding)

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Goat’s Cheese, Date & Thyme Baklava

Goats Cheese Date and Thyme Savoury Baklava 2

I was excited when I received an email from the editor of Thooq Magazine, the UAEs first home grown culinary magazine to contribute to Issue 6. The theme was Middle Eastern with a modern twist and a focus on sharing.

That is totally up my alley, I thought. Being a third culture kid has definitely influenced my cooking style as I find myself trying new things in the kitchen. So, I decided on a recipe that embraces local taste and ingredients with a modern twist – A little like myself I would like to think.

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Black Sesame Coconut Ice Cream

Black Sesame Coconut Ice Cream

I’ve been a bit obsessed with black sesame lately. The nuttiness, the hint of savoury in a sesame dessert and the gorgeous colour. Black sesame is used commonly in Chinese and Japanese desserts and is known for it’s many health benefits. It is said to have anti-aging properties that can fight grey hair (high in vitamin B), is great for hair and skin and bones (high in vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium)  and is rich in substances known as sesamin and sesamolin known to lower cholesterol. (I’m definitely going to be incorporating more of it into my diet especially since I’ve started to notice one too many grey hairs sprout).

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Overnight Oats & Chia Pudding

Overnight Oats and Raspberry Chia P

I’ve been a bit MIA off late. January was a tough month. Post holiday blues, getting back to work after a nice long break and and add a burnt down workplace to the equation and you’ve got a stress eating mess. Next thing you know, its March!! I’m finally back after a long hiatus and things are now finally back on track. The most challenging part of not having a routine is the potential to slip up in terms of food. Poor preparation only gives rise to the opportunity to eat anything that comes your way to satisfy hunger pangs . This is when easy recipes that you can put together that don’t require much prep time comes in handy (especially in the mornings). I love a breakfast I can grab and go as much I would love a long sit down leisurely breakfast every morning, which let’s face it is a struggle most mornings.

I love how delicious and easy this oat and chia pudding breakfast parfait is. Throw the ingredients together in a bowl at night, pop it in the refrigerator, wake up in the morning layer it in a glass and you’re good to go.

Overnight Oats & Raspberry Chia Pudding Parfait
  • ½ cup steal cut rolled oats
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • a handful of frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  1. In a bowl, mix together the oats, ½ cup coconut milk, ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon of honey.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the other ½ cup of coconut milk, chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of honey Place both bowls in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Set aside the frozen raspberries in a bowl to defrost (you want the berries frozen so it oozes out the liquid, fresh although delicious will not do)
  4. In the morning, mash up the raspberries with a fork to make a puree and add to the chia pudding. Adjust sweetness, however 1 teaspoon of honey should be fine
  5. Layer the oat mixture and the raspberry chia mixture





Middle Eastern Spiced Granola

Middle Eastern Spiced Granola

Granola for breakfast is always a great idea. The homemade kind even better because you can control how much sugar goes in (honey in this recipe) as opposed to shocking amounts in store-bought granolas. It is also so versatile because you can add many different ingredients to flavour it each time so it doesn’t get boring and monotonous.

In this recipe, I play with ingredients typically used in daily middle eastern cooking like pomegranate, cardamom, pistachio, rose water and the combination of this together with the crunchiness of the oats is just delicious.

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Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella)

If you’ve read my post on my BuckOat pancakes you will know that I went through a fat phase where I would eat a huge stack of pancakes every Sunday. I also went thorough a Nutella phase at the sometime. Nutella on anything is delicious but it’s not surprising to find that most of the ingredients are unhealthy and high in saturated fats. It consists only of 13% hazelnuts and 7% cocoa, the rest of which is made up of large amounts of palm oil and topped with more additives.

It’s super easy to whip up your own batch of chocolate hazelnut spread. It doesn’t taste exactly the same but it’s as addictive and I mean that in a good way. I only realised when I found myself spreading it on everything. I even kept a jar of it in my drawer pantry at the office to have the occasional spoonful when those sweet cravings kick in (yes I have a drawer full of food at my desk).

These also make great giveaways for the festive season.

Chocolate Hazelnut spread / Nutella

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10 hours in Paris

I recently visited Portugal and what a beautiful country it is but let me save that for another post. On my way to Lisbon I decided to stop over in Paris for breakfast and am I glad I did. Who wouldn’t want to stop in Paris for breakfast? 10 hours isn’t a whole lot of time but I managed to get a good taste of Paris (pun intended).

My trip was planned in such a way so I arrive in Paris at 6:30 am, when the city just awakes, the tourists’ still sound asleep and just in time for the Boulangeries and Patisseries that toil away through the early hours of the morning to open their doors to the public.
Paris city is well linked by train and metro making travel from the airport extremely convenient albeit the stations do smell funky. First stop was Du Pain Et Des Idees, a beautiful, quaint boulangerie, probably one of the best in Paris.

To get to Du Pain Et Des Idees, hop on the RER B from Charles De Gaulle Airport towards Robinson and get off at Gare du Nord.  Once at Gare du Nord hop on the Metro (M5) towards Palace d’Italie and get off at Republique only 4 stops away.

This little gem is not too far a walk from the station. It’s located on 34 Rue Yves Toudic at the corner of Rue de Marseille.


Photo of Du Pain et Des Idess in Paris

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As soon as I walked in, the sweet smell of freshly baked pastry and vanilla engulfed the air. I stocked up on Pain au Chocolat, L’escargot Chocolat Pistache (chocolate and pistachio escargot) and the Tarte Fine aux Figues Fraiches (Fresh fig tart). There was so much more I wanted to try but there is only so much my stomach can handle in such a short span….

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Almond Milk Recipe: How to make almond milk in 2 minutes

Almond Milk Manna Eats

Here’s a hack to making almond milk that I figured out while cleaning my food processor. The traditional way of making almond milk is to soak the almonds, blend the soaked almonds along with water and then strain the mixture through a sieve, muslin cloth or a nut milk bag (yes that is an actual thing and I did not make that up) leaving you with left over almond pulp. This is not too time consuming but requires making a batch at a time which only lasts about 3 days in the fridge. I have a easier method which can be used to make it as you need. It is a lot easier especially when it comes to making smoothies etc when  you only require a little at a time. Moreover, the packaged nut milks are handy but often are heat treated and include thickening agents like lecithin and xanathan gums which I usually try to avoid. If you can’t pronounce it you probably don’t want to eat it.

I  always have a batch of homemade Almond butter sitting around at work and at home. It makes a great snack spread on toast, in my muesli, as a dip for apples or straight out of the jar by the spoonful. After making this particular batch of almond butter, I poured in a cup of water and started to pulse to clean the hard to get areas. I noticed the water turning a milky colour and this post was born.

This only works if you have almond butter lying around but it is easy, quick and there is no wasted almond pulp at the end.

5 minute Almond Milk
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter per cup of water
  1. Blend the almond butter and water (I use my nutribullet).
  2. Refrigerate.
The almond residue will settle at the bottom of the jar so there is no need to strain the milk. I like to leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to infuse for a creamier product.


DIY Juice Cleanse


A few months ago my fitness levels were at a all time high which resulted in me letting go a little bit telling my self ‘I’ts ok just go ahead and eat whatever you like, you work hard enough’ which I think is important every once in a while, however, I got a little carried away. A two week holiday which generally involves stuffing my face didn’t really help either.

I still managed to get in a few workouts but at also noticed my pants getting tighter. Not surprisingly, I put on 4 kilos. The best way for me to get back into eating healthy is to reset completely with a juice cleanse.

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