It’s finally December and I can’t wait to share some of my favourite Christmas recipes. What better way to start off festive season with these honey dipped beauties – Melomakarona. They are often baked at Christmas time, have all the usual flavours of Christmas – cinnamon, orange zest and honey.

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Quinoa bowl

Quinoa. It’s one of the staple carbohydrates in a “free-from” diet and one of the easiest to find in a supermarket these days. On its own, it’s not the most interesting food to eat, its flavor sits somewhere between couscous and brown rice but when paired with other ingredients and whole foods, it makes a wonderful base for pilafs, a side dish for stews and roasts and an excellent ingredient in salads.

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Louvana (yellow split pea soup)

Nutritious soups make everything better. From seasonal viruses to the common cold or even if the weather has started to change (in Dubai it finally cools down in November), having a few homemade soup recipes is an easy way to get your five a day and make the most of the seasons’ vegetables. The recipe I’m sharing below is a nourishing Greek Cypriot soup made with yellow split peas called Louvana.

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Nourishing SoupsIrini Savva
Fudgy chocolate brownies

“True strength is when you can break a bar of chocolate into four pieces with your bare hands – then just eat one.” – Unknown

For chocolate lovers, the struggle between balancing your cravings for more versus what you really should eat can be a little frustrating. Since my boys discovered the enchanting world of chocolate, it’s been a constant challenge to try and make all things chocolate a little healthier.

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They say learning something new is good for your brain as well as your self-confidence. In celebration of World Food Day, I decided to learn a new recipe using as many locally or regionally sourced ingredients as I could find. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization hopes to achieve zero hunger by wasting less, eating healthier and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. The recipe, Ratatouille, is ideal as the ingredients are very simple and inexpensive. Fortunately one of my neighbour’s, whose family lives in South of France, was willing to teach me her family’s version of this classic dish.

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Brown rice and lentil pilaf (Fages)

One of my favourite Cypriot meat-free meals from my childhood, is Fages. This humble dish, also known as Moutzentra or Fagi as my mother called it, is a Greek pilaf traditionally cooked with green lentils and white long grain rice. Some families add other vegetables to the dish like carrots, others make it saucier (with more water or stock).

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Main MealsIrini Savva
Basic granola recipe

How are your healthy cooking goals coming along? By now you've probably realised that healthy cooking is so much more than just a trip to the farmer's market. It's also about understanding how to navigate your way through a supermarket without getting tricked into buying "healthy" fake food, how to save time in the kitchen, or perhaps meal prep is more helpful to you.

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