Well, it's been over a year since the last update and there are dozens of new supermarkets, malls and restaurants in the UAE. And probably plenty of us who have put dozens of pounds on, cooped up indoors in the extreme summer heat, barely able to walk from the carpark to the office.
Food is also getting more expensive. But it is still possible to eat affordably and healthily. Arabic food is the best for this, if you limit the bread/rice and deep-fried pastries. Excellent choices are:
Green but not mean, tabbouleh is nearly all fresh, nutritious chopped parsley with a bit of tomato. Don't go by the nutrition information online, because outside the Middle East, tabbouleh tends to be 90% cracked bulgar wheat with very little else. The regional (Levantine) version uses mainly parsley, hardly any wheat, is very low in calories, and thanks to the parsley is extremely high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folate.
Big fresh juicy chunks of tomato and cucumber with that lovely tangy sumac dressing. Cucumber is pretty much negligible in calories, but it does contain several nutrients. Tomatoes are also low calorie, but they are very rich in Vitamin C and lycopene, a very important anti-oxidant.
3. Mixed grill
The one drawback to mixed grills is they tend to be huge, so if you come from a World War II rations upbringing of "clean your plate" you will end up eating far too much. The best idea is usually to share between two people, if you feel uncomfortable leaving food. What they contain is wonderful. Lean lamb, chicken, grilled tomatoes and onion. Grilled fish is another great option.
Hummus is rich in calcium, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Thiamin, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus and Copper. It's also a superb great protein source for vegetarians. The fats in it are mainly healthy unsaturated fats, which lower cholesterol. And its rich, creamy taste is very satisfying.
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