Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Gluten – Friend of Foe?

I was thinking recently how much is too much. I am following mostly gluten free diet most of time. My intolerance test showed that my gluten intolerance only 1 point out of 3 point scale. Is it high or low? And lately i decided to keep mostly wheat free diet then gluten free. I figured that i might start introducing organic barely and rye into my diet – like maybe will start of once a week and see how it feels.

As for now – there is some pretty interesting read on “Gluten” . As for myself now, i am sure of one thing – non organic wheat is bad. It is being homogenized and modified for mass production and definitely lost many of whole grain qualities, but gains dozen of pesticides.

I sure feel much better without gluten – i wake up fresh and get less tired during the day. My abs flatter without it and my digestion greatly improved. Now is the time to experiment – will i be feeling as good with some of above grains included in my diet or my intolerance is to all gluten product other then only wheat.

Some recent Gluten Free Meals of the day:

Buckwheat Pancakes from “Organ” Ready Mix 

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 Package “Organ” Pancake Mix

3 Organic Eggs (Or substitute)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup Rice Milk

Baked on the pan sprinkled with Organic Coconut Oil.

My Lunch was – Zinc and Vitamin B6 loaded.

Baked Eggs with Spinach

Baked Eggs - My Favorite Lately

Ingredients:

3 Organic Free Range Eggs

250 gr. frozen spinach, unthawed

Goat Gaude Cheese

1 Goat Labneh Ball

1/4 red onion

1 garlic clove

1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Sweat choped onions and crashed garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add spinach and stir fry till spinach welts – 3 minutes

3. Turn off the heat, mix in 1 goat labneh ball. Spread spinach mixture over baking dish.

Lebanese Goat Labneh Balls in Olive Oil

5. Whisk eggs with salt, pepper and oregano. Pour eggs mixture over spinach.

6. Sprinkle some goat gaud a on top and bake for 20 minutes.

7. I also added some Organic Salsa on top =) really loving it.

Saaaaalsa! mmmmm......

Post lunch snack aka My Mother-In-Law’ s favorite “diet” dessert

Pomegranate and Banana Mix

Pom. Banana. Yammmmm!

Method of preparation: Just mix hit up! =) And indulge!… Will give you a boost prior to work out too – full of antioxidants, vitamin C and Potassium.

It was the day -) all of the above, plus some apples and some dinner eats as feel – which were not pictures, but were definitely gluten and sugar free 😉

Some cakes posts are coming up next =)

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Hidden Gems

Hi,

How is it going. I hope that everybody are healthy an in the good mood =)

My mood is just great – i wake up happy to see the Sun, I spend all day laughing and joking and fall a sleep with a smile on my face looking back to the beautiful day behind. It is a lovely lovely feeling…  

Today i woke up and had few pieces of Fresh Papaya, made beautiful Breakfast Cocktail for Mr. R – his favorite combo – banana and milk and through in there few frozen bluberries, pear and papaya. He loves his shake in the morning – what makes it even easier for me to make him a breakfast 😉

I packed my overnight Cookie Dough Cereal with me to yoga – i always have proper breakfast after the class – it keeps me going till lunch. I was running a little late and was really hoping to make it in time. It is really impolite to be late for yoga and miss breathing and then disturb the others with voice of placing your mat etc.. But hey, petrol light in my car went on right after leaving the house. “it always happens in the worthiest time possible – i thought, blaming myself for not filling it up the day before. I took another root to Fitness Center and hoped not gas station just to find out that i left my wallet at home. So – here i realized that i am not making it for yoga. I turned around and came back home. But hey, determination is the key! I searched the schedules for other close-by Yoga Centers and – going to try new Yoga Class at Zen Yoga! (which i would definitely not have time to try if situation would not be same).

So, with  a right attitude even the bad things turn to  a Good Luck =) Way to go !

Other then this would like to share my recent eats –

Baked Egg and Buckwheat

(good recipe to sneak in some super foods into the plate of Mr. R, since he is not a fan of those 😉 

Our Quick Lunch

I adapted this recipe from The Healthy Foodie with a very slight modification and adjustments suitable for my food preferences.

1/2 cup of Buckwheat Groats (not toasted)

2 Tbsp Amaranth

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (yey – it was sneaked in to his plate)

2 cups of water

1/4 tsp salt

Wash and drain grains. Bring salty water to boil, add all dry ingredients and bring to boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and cook for 15-18 minutes.

1/2 medium red onion

1 Tbs Olive Oil

1-2 Tbsp Pine seeds

Salt and Pepper

Cook over medium heat until translucent.

Add:

250 gr spinach

And stir for 1-2 minutes until done.

Remove from heat and

Mix in for HIM: 2 Tbsp Labneh, 1 Tbsp Cheddar cheese

Mr.R's plate

Mix in for Myself: 1 Tbsp of Goat Labneh (i used i ball of Lebanese Goat Labneh from Goodies)

Divide buckwheat mixture between two oven proof dishes. Place spinach and cheeses on top. Make a well in the center of each plate and crack the egg in this little well. Season with salt and pepper. And bake in the preheated to 190 C oven for 15 minutes or until egg is set.

Layers of Foodgasmzzzz =)

He loved it =) Which i think is achievement considering the Hidden Gems in there – Chia Seeds

Egg was a bit gooey and made it all come together nicely

Off to yoga now =) and then shoes shopping at Dubai Mall.

 

I still have some picses to share from Photography workshop with Fellow Foodies – so promise to make it up in the next Post.

 

Happy,

 

Elena

 

 

 

 

 

Lazy Weekend Meals

So, weekend is over in Dubai! How was yours?

We finally watched “X-men First Class” and totally loved it! Such a treat for fans.
Then we hanged around the mall and had a a very pleasant dinner with family after all.

Mr.R was overly occupied with his new game and I was happily spending my time at the kitchen, enjoying it after a few days break because of the finger healing process.

Miso Glazed Salmon with Red Rice and Baked Vegetables

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Baked vegetables:
I chopped a lot of different Low Glycemic vegetables (avoiding potato of course): baby zucchinis, red cabbage, white cabbage, carrot, celery, broccoli, red onion, baby eggplant. In small sauce pan added 1/3 cup of olive oil and placed pot on medium fire. Added 4 minced garlic cloves and fried it until just fragrant, removed from fire and let it stand for 20 mins to absorb more flares into oil. Chopped fresh basil leaves and fresh rosemary leaves, mixed it with oil too. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Poured oil dressing over chopped vegetables and mixed to coat evenly. Baked in preheated to 220 C oven for 40 minutes, mixing once.

Red rice from Organic supermarket has an amazing nutty taste which is so pretty different to the regular brown rice variety. But it requires much longer cooking time. I washed and drained 1 cup of red rice and 1/2 cup of brown rice (to make it more colorful). Added rice to 4 cups salted boiling water, covered with a lid so no steam can escape, reduced heat to minimum and left it for 40 minutes on the stove, without opening or stirring. After that, removed from heat, opened it, fluffed it with a spatula and covered again. Let it rest for 15 mins, while was preparing salmon.

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Miso Glazed Salmon was a bit of a down part of the dish – since it was my first ever experiment with miso dressing (other then mKing miso soup). But still was pretty eatable -)) I mixed 1 tbsp of Organic Brown Rice miso paste (did not have white miso paste a hugely regretted it after tasting – it must be with white paste – it would be milder) with 1 tsp of Gluten Free Organic Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp of fresh minced ginger and 1 tsp of sesame oil, added just a small drizzle of Raw Organic Blue Agave And mixed it all very well. Marinated salmon for 30 minutes in this mixture and then baked under broiler at 220 C for 4 minutes on each side. It was ok, but next time will make the paste milder and use White Miso. Will be experimenting with it, so Improved versions will be coming soon -))

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Saturday morning went to Yoga after 2 days break and felt great! Did powered up Sun Salutation and really worked on those abs and core, which always make me break into sweat and loving it more an more. My favorite pose for core straightening is Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)

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Through this pose in the middle part of our practice and hold it for at least 30 seconds, repeat twice and you will feel your abs burning.

Tomorrow will be new yoga mat shopping – yey! Can’t wait to finally have my Manduka Eco Light Mat in cherry color.

Cheers,

Elena

Sick leave

I cut my finger filly bad recently. Was rushing to separate slices of frozen corn bread for snack and the knife went right through my finger. The cut was really dip and doctor even recommended to stitch it. I preferred to let it heal naturally though and just being very careful with it now.
Down line: no rush when you have a knife in your hand.
Since I am cut of of cooking for a couple of days – keeping it simple and nutritional.

Mighty Cereal Breakfast – my fav lately – mix of organic brown rice, millet and corn.

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I boil little less then 1/2 cup of this cereal in 1,5 cups of water for 10 minutes, add 2 tbsp of sesame seeds paste, Raw Organic Protein, and mix in the following: chia seeds or hemp seeds for omegas, goji berries or other berries for antioxidant, Lucuma or Maca or Yacon syrup or stevia powder for sweetness. That is all all tastes very good, plenty of whole grains and protein.

For lunch I made Salmon with spicy Lentil salad.

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Seasoned salmon – 200 gr. Fillet – with salt and pepper and some turmeric. Grilled in the oven for 15 minutes. Boiled French lentils for 20 minutes, added chopped red onion and coriander. Dressed it with lemon-walnut oil and Garam Masala dressing.
Really good lunch and really great for one person.

Fr dinner we headed to the Mexican Restaurant on Jumeirah and I was hugely disappointed to discover that they have not prepared Tamale for that day, so we ended up sharing beef corn taco with guacamole and salsa. I even purchased some of their home made corn tortillas and brought them home with me for a quick fix later.

I miss yoga and did simple stretches and few poses just to keep my muscles stretched, sincei and not going for the classes lately (no to put any pressure on the cut finger).

Hope everyone is healthy,

Elena.

Socca Al-Arabia and a little more

Hello,

How is the week going? Mine is full of cooking so far. I made beautiful lunch the other day – all what my cravings were asking for. Thinking of the post of a fellow blogger regarding cravings i decided to incorporate all of them and at one in a wholesome protein rich food and as a package gluten free.

While sun is shining in Dubai, you do not really feel eating heavy loaded meals. We do not require here heavy loaded meals to keep our bodies warm, like some people need in northern countries. But our bodies still require good dose of protein and healthy fats to be injected regular. So here is the challenge comes to place – how to create protein reach food omitting huge amounts of meat or protein powders (even though my relationship with protein powder is beyond believe – do not feel that breakfast can be more fulfilling without it). But, even though – natural sources are all there too, so why not to stock up from your nearest grocery and make it into meal!

I was running late that day. After yoga I had to go for a quick grocery sopping and reached home by around 1 pm. Lunch had to be done in minutes.

Here is the 1 Hour – 3 Course – Wholesome Meal:

Salad- Sprouted Beans Salad (adapted from http://sumanjsingh.wordpress.com/ )

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I diced carrot, tomato, onion and cucumber, mixed with mixed sprouted beans and chopped coriander and parsley. Mixed 1 Tbsp of olive oil and juice of 1 lemon, seasoned it with Garam Masala and pureed over the salad, mixed it well and let it stand in the fridge while was preparing the rest of the dishes.

Starter – Chicken Livers in Pomegranate Molases (typical arabic “Mezze”)

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I soaked chicken liver (about 250 gr) in room temperature water for 1/2 hour. Then dried it up with paper towel and kept aside. Chopped onions into quarter rings. Heated some olive oil in the pan and dried them for 4 minutes on law heat so they will just become very soft and transparent. Added 1 minced clove of garlic and chicken livers. Stir died on low heat until livers became very pale and cooked through. Discarded extra fat and oil from the pan and return to fire. Added 2 Tbsp of Pomegranate Molasses, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice and 1/4-1/2 cups of water. Made it come to light simmer and waited till sauce got thicker up to our liking. Removed from fire and covered with foil to keep it warm.

Main – Socca (“Farinata”) Al-Arabia

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I discovered this lovely gluten free bread like goodness via website of two beautiful twins, girls who became one of my inspirations to change my lifestyle and eat healthy – this is their website Pure2Raw and all about Socca. Now there is a story of my relationship with Socca.

I made it first time 6 month ago during my annual vacation in Russia. That time i was not so much into healthy eating habits and did not know how easy it is to find Chickpea flour in Dubai. So, back in Russia, i suddenly found Green Pea Flour and was happy to give it a try. It was delicious even though completely not authentic. With time passed I found out that chickpea flour is sold in every grocery in dubai and called “Gram Flour” – so it was my pleasure to follow authentic recipe. i also found out there are millions of way to top it too 😉 so i got creative and felt like i just had to make it with Arabic Twist – it really is reminding me of taste of “Falafel” but just does not take such an effort of making it 😉

I mixed 1 cup of Garbazo Bean Flour with 1 cup of water and 1/8 tsp of salt, 1 tsp (or more) of ground cumin and Arabic Twist #1 – 1/2 tsp of “Baharat” (arabic All-Spice Mix) in the morning before yoga and kept it at room temperature. When i came back i checked the dough and added just 1 or 2 Tbsp of water more to thin it out. Preheated oven to 200 C. Added 4 Tbsp of Olive oil into 10 inch round pie pan (yeah, it is a shame, but i do not have that fancy cast iron pans). Sprinkled fresh rosemary leaves on top of the oil and placed it in the oven for 5 mins till oil becomes bubbly but not smoking. Took it out and pour the batter evenly spreading it around the pan. Returned back to oven and baked for 20-30 minutes, until it became nicely browned with crispy edges.

Took it out from the pan and cut in to portions.

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Now the Arabic Twist # 2 – this is very popular sauce saved with Falafel, fish or Kofta Dishes! Mixed 2 tsp of Tahineh with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice (i like it zesty 😉 and added some water to thin it out. Spread evenly on top of my socca.

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Diced some Tomatoes and placed them on top.

And, Arabic Twist #3 – sprinkled some Sumac (Arab’s fave – zesty spice added to salads, onions, spinach and on top of Tomato slices).

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It was so good, so light, so wholesome and completely Sugar Free and Gluten Free! Is in’t it perfect combination?

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So here it was – lunch of three dishes, ready in just one hour and all under the dietary guidelines. and so tasty too!

Tasted and approved by Mr. R (not big fan of healthy eating, i would tell you)

Hope you will try it out at home and enjoy it as much as We Did.

Feeling like short in time to cook too? What are your quick fix lunch ideas?

L-weekend -)

Hi there!
How was your weekend? I finished spent mine by lazing on the sofa and watching last episodes of “The L Word” – such a cool TV show – loved every bit of it!
It made me think of some different things like –
– to be gay – is it genetics or fashion
– what if your child will turn gay
– society disapproval – how difficult it might by!
– transitional people (like when girl want to become full on guy and otherwise) will never regret going through the surgical procedure and removing unwanted parts forever?

We do not have so many gays in Dubai, or they are just not very obvious like in different countries. But is it right for society to neglect sexual orientation of others? Would you be more comfortable to raise your kids around gays or not?
Me personally I do not care what orientation person is, as long as the person has a good hart. And I truly believe that orientation of the person is their own choice and right. And I really feel bad for all gay people for getting punished sometimes discriminated by society for being what they are.

Some recent eats (between watching tv show):
– breakfast cookie dough cereal for after yoga breakfast
– millet cereal
– quinoa pilaf for lunch

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1 cup of washed quinoa add to 2 cups of salted boiling water, reduce heat and simmer on lo for 15 minutes or until quinoa will become fluffy. Steam 1 chicken breast for 20 mins turning half way through. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in pan, fry some chopped onions and garlic, add broccoli florets and stir fry for 3 minutes, add 1 cup of each – green peas and spinach and stir fry for about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add 1 tsp of Garam Masala spice mix, chicken (shredded) and quinoa. Stir on low heat for 3 minutes. Enjoy! Serves 4 and approximately 400 kcal per portion wi mighty 18 gr of protein!

Getting reday to head for afternoon work out:
– cardio 10 mins
– tricep dips x12
– push ups x8
– squat thrusts x12
– sit ups x12
– reverse sit-ups x8
Repeat 3 times
– cardio 5 mins
– gently yoga – 1 hour

Have a nice day all!

Elena

Fishy dayzzz

So, it is one more beautiful day in sunny Dubai! It is wonderful to have sun 365 days a year – you wake up and look at the garden full of sun and birds – it is just lifts all your spirits at once! Time to hang out!
I headed to yoga at the morning and we really worked on strains ing our back – which I love to do since the core muscles support our spines and if we have healthy strong back for longer is always a benefit. I did not prepare any after work out snack – and hugely regretted it, since I had only water before yoga. Note: always have snack after yoga, or a fruit before work out (as per advice of Fitnessista ). During Ramadan – there is no coffee shops operating during day time for dine-in and only few are open for take-away. I would love to go to the house and have a wholesome breakfast, but had to do some grocery shopping at Organic Supermarket (which is really close by to my gym). So completely desperate for some nutrients for my body – I hoped in closest supermarket and got really frustrated in terms of which breakfast I can get here and not to slide of my gluten and sugar free eating :-/ After contemplating between walnuts, natural yogurt and avocado – just got them all -))) and ate it in privacy of my tented windows car in the far away lot of underground parking (what a criminal me -)). These snacks saved my grocery shopping that time 😉

After returning home (I was still hungry though, since did not have my doze of healthy grains in the morning) went right into making lunch.

“Blackened” Nile trout and greeeenz

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Just sprinkled 200 grams filet of mile trout with salt and pepper, cumin, turmeric and a bit of paprika (I am so into paprika after our trip to Spain) and pan fried it with a drizzle of coconut oil.

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On the side I had boiled green beans with dressing of onions and garlic pan seared in olive oil.

The lunch was just what I needed and spices on the fish made it really special -)