Monthly Archives: September 2011

Chef and Steward “Fresh Mystery Basket” Challenge

The whole idea is to give us all a challenge to shake things up a bit in our home kitchens. Consider it our very own version of a Mystery Basket, forcing us to cook with fresh produce daily. This Challenge is for any valid for 7 days during Friday, Sept 9, 2011 – Friday, Sept 16, 2011. This is to facilitate the difference in weekend days in the different countries in which participants are in.

The aim is to REALLY challenge ourselves to be spontaneous in the kitchen and to cook as fresh as possible!
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Ease into your day with Can’t Be Beet Oatmeal

As the weather promises to get cooler (more in theory than in reality in this still hot Middle East, the palate begins to crave foods associated with the cooler fall/winter season. Oatmeal, especially the non-quick-cooking-rolled-jumbo whole grain rolled and unprocessed oats as well as the even more intact steel cut variety, is a great meal any time of day. Traditionally served for breakfast, lovers of oats will have it whenever the mood calls for it and it is a pretty event-free meal.

If you are gluten-intolerant or sensitive, you need not do without oats anymore. There is a Gluten Free version of wholegrain rolled oats by Bob’s Red Mill that you may use. If you are living in Dubai, you can find this at the Organic Foods & Cafe stores.

This recipe is also diabetic-friendly (for those who can handle grains and beets).
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Salad as a Meal- Smoked Salmon, Capers & Cucumbers with a Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

Smoked salmon is great for breakfast. They are great with eggs as well as bagels and cream. It’s also delightful in sandwiches and in small portions for canapes or hors d’oeuvre but when the party is over and you want something new, use smoked salmon to jazz up a salad and make a delicious meal.

Salmon is a great source of heart, skin, and mood boosting Omega 3.  Just be sure to get Wild Salmon and not the farmed ones from Norway that are sold in most supermarkets and in the markets because of the high levels of toxicity in farmed salmon.  It is more expensive, but a little goes a long way and it is better to eat the wild stuff less often and in smaller portions than loads of the farmed stuff.  Plus it tastes better! Don’t take our word for it… do it at home with your eyes closed. It really is that simple. Why do you think we eat so many salads as meals?
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Spice up your menu

I often write 
about finding inspiration to cook in this column, for good reason. If you have to cook more often than once per week or some rare special occasion, you will understand how grandiose an effort it is to cook everyday. Days blur into one another and meals become as unsurprising as the experience of cooking itself. But it need not be so.

I once had an aunt whose house I would often visit after school to play with my cousins until it was time to go home. She had a wonderful nanny who took good care of us but was annoyingly predictable in the kitchen. I would soon recite the menu for the week because it was the same menu for each day of the week, every single week.

I think it was that experience — dreading the days where I did not fancy the menu — that has made me so keen on always changing things up and having wild spontaneous fun in the kitchen. Variety is the spice of life. I believe we were given different tastes on our tongues so that we can enjoy countless combinations while we nourish ourselves.
… more from Kari’s weekly column for the Khaleej Times “When Hunger Strikes


Bringing style to the plate

Foodies at Tavola: (From left to right) Suzanne Husseini, cookbook author; Sally Prosser of; Fiona Archibold, food stylist and chef; Kari Heron; Arva Ahmed of; Wakami Saab, Tavola retail manager; and Claudine Dierickx, customer care manager, Tavola

I have had an amazingly awesome week.  Do you know those weeks when you are so busy that you do not have time to scratch your head and are tired but energized at the same time?  I had one of those.

It was for good cause that I was so busy and yet so intrigued.  I had bitten off a lot and I was actually chewing without choking.

You see, this past week I became super-human Kari. Well, of sorts.

Read more of Kari’s weekly column “When Hunger Strikes.”