We are finally in Dubai winters! Loving the breezy evenings, but not so much the cough and flu that’s been going around. With a 7 year-old in the house, we are guaranteed lovely pesky viral bugs that she picks up from the school run, and the past week has seen a slow-down in our weekend activities as we recuperate. 

My little girl loves Thai cuisine as much as I do (not surprising given the amount of Thai dishes I wolfed down through my pregnancy!). So when I told her I’d make her a soup to combat her cold, she demanded a bowl of Tom Yum.

I have this special, super easy Tom Yum Soup recipe up my sleeve, but it needs a little modification for my bub. She doesn’t like shrimps, and obviously can’t take Thai hot like I can. As a sneaky mummy, I also decided to add a handful of other healthful ingredients, and prayed hard she wouldn’t sniff out the difference. This soup is far from photogenic, but tastes great and is full of nutritional value if I may say so myself! 

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Mango + Coconut = Tropical Dreams Come True

This super sweet and satisfyingly refreshing combination of flavors is just the kick-start I need for a busy, sunny day of work.

I hope you love this smoothie as much as I do. For starters, its super quick and easy to do (under 5 minutes… time me!), is totally vegan, gluten-free and packed with all-natural goodness.

Cracked wheat comes in various forms. Bulghur (or Burghul) is the most popularly used variant in Middle eastern cooking. Bulghar is essentially parboiled whole grain wheat, and the Indian variation is called Dalia.

Dalia is very similar to Bulghur, but I find it to be far softer in texture. Bulghur is used for all courses of the day, whereas in India, dalia is predominantly a breakfast staple.

This is not to be confused with Couscous. Unlike bulgur, couscous is not whole grain, and comes from a husked and crushed wheat called semolina. Couscous was originally made from millet, not wheat.

Coming back to Dalia, I love the versatility of this grain. You can replace it with Bulghur when not available, but do keep in mind that bulghur is more al dente.

For the past month, my early morning breakfast ritual has had a wee beauty tweak. I start my mornings unscrewing a tiny gold-topped bottle, and sip down its contents daintily. It tastes tangy, sweet and peachy all at once.

This wee drink is not your regular health tonic, but promises be the next generation in skincare. The key ingredient is collagen, the building block for youthful skin, hair and nails. Many expensive creams and potions claim the benefits of collagen, but ingesting it into the system is believed to deliver faster, more permanent results.

On a recent trip to India, my husband had a chance encounter with Dalia. No need to get excited, this clandestine affair is strictly one of gluttony (or rather, the need to stray away from it). Dalia is not a pretty young lady, but rather a form of broken wheat. It is near identical to the Middle Eastern Bulghar (although I couldn’t find any articles online that confirmed the two to be the same).

Dalia is high in fibre, low in fat, and its slow absorption keeps you fuller longer and even stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Being so high up in terms of health benefits, you’d think it tastes pretty bland too. However, my husband came home with a super tasty (and super simple) recipe that is ideal for a wholesome breakfast or lunch. 

My father, God bless his soul, was an advocate of Apple Cider Vinegar and would have a spoonful blended in his first glass of water every morning he woke. Many may detest the taste, but I have a love for sourness, and happily inherited this healthful habit.

Are you swigging Apple Cider Vinegar? If not, you might be missing out. Read on for more.

 

Last week I spent a really fun-filled afternoon in Ikea, and no, I wasn’t shopping for home improvements!

This Swedish home furnishings giant has built a solid reputation over the last few decades, but what makes the brand even more endearing is their stance at being accessible to all, and their very core idea that family comes first. Apart from affordably priced furniture with (almost) easy DIY assembling steps, Ikea’s inbuilt restaurant is almost always packed. 

Because the standard Ladies’ Night at a pub with a few diluted drinks is so cliché… treat yourself and your besties to a laidback session of pampering and massages at Fairmont Dubai. Every Tuesday, from 2 to 10 pm, The Spa at Fairmont Dubai offers a highly discounted package inclusive of a leisurely lunch by the poolside, an hour-long session of yoga and meditation, access to the sauna and steam room, and a rejuvenating treatment of your choice. And how much would you expect for all this at one of Dubai’s finest hotel establishments? Hold your breath… it costs a mere AED 349 per person! Envy us boys!