Perfect for a chilly winter day, this bowl of broth is packed with green goodness. Expect okra, green beans, baby corn, bean sprouts, mixed mushrooms, pineapple, coriander and basil in this Asian hot and sour soup. You can also add prawns if you want to throw some extra protein into your afternoon snack. Calories: 468 Dhs31.
Burritos might have a bad rep in the world of calories, but Under 500 is taking the sole responsibility of changing the way you look at this rice-packed wrap. First up, there’s no wheat in this; instead, it’s a deconstructed burrito in a bowl. Marinated chicken cubes are tossed with quinoa, avocado, diced tomatoes, organic beans, red onions, japaleños, and topped with low-fat feta cheese. As for the dressing, it’s nothing but freshly squeezed lemon juice to create that extra zest. You’ll forget what the real burrito tastes like after this one… Calories: 479
Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively were onto something when they told us to load our pantry with chia seeds back in 2014. Turns out, this staple has gone from hippie blogs into the big kitchens, and there are fewer tastier examples of the seeds’ potential than Tr!beca’s delicious Coconut Chia Pudding. This dessert (or some might say breakfast) is free of gluten, wheat, sugar and dairy, and filled with organic chia seeds, organic coconut milk, caramelised banana and walnuts. Calories: 390 Dhs45.
Made with real milk and yoghurt, swap this frozen treat in as your mid-shop pick-me-up. A small swirl of this non-fat, gluten-free yoghurt will zen you out, and without the guilt. Plus, green tea’s good for you, right? Calories: 110 From Dhs12 per scoop.
Dubai might not have a huge street food culture per se, but that’s not stopping contemporary restaurants from creating that bustling ambience in their own vicinity. This Mumbai street food classic has been remixed with Japanese spices and culinary techniques. The dish features thinly sliced Japanese yellow-tail amberjack marinated in a ceviche mix of Indian mangosteen, coriander and chilli, sprinkled with puffed rice. Each crunchy bite is fragranced with mustard oil, and the whole thing is served on a frozen rock plate. Calories: 387 Dhs80.
You can’t have a discussion about healthy food and not invite the president of the health food industry. To represent all things green and clean, we have an organic kale salad with freshly cut avocados from Intersect By Lexus. It’s seasoned with sunflower seeds and topped with homemade gluten-free sesame croutons that create an extra crunch. Calories: 130 Dhs45.
Those interested in bulking up in the New Year, or just after some #fitspiration, this chicken sandwich is the lunch of your dreams. Cubes of skinless, boneless chicken breast are marinated in a special blend of house spices and then wrapped in Lebanese brown bread before being grilled to healthy perfection. Grab this from any of the Kababji Grill outlets after a productive gym session. Your trainer will be proud… Calories: 377 Dhs20.
If your year has started in a whirlwind of madness, and on-the-go breakfast is all you can commit to in 2017, then this mixed berry muffin from the deli at Warwick Hotel is a fine choice. Baked on the hour, every hour, these soft, baked treats are packed with antioxidants and rich in fruity flavours. Calories: 243 Dhs10.
Why invite guilt over with a plate of regular spaghetti when this new JLT eatery is serving spiralised courgette noodles (courgetti) mixed with lemongrass, kaffir lime and cashew cream? This pasta-shaped vegetable is not only a healthier alternative to regular spaghetti, but also boasts half the cooking time of its carbohydrate-rich sister. This raw dish is perfect for a clean post-gym meal. Calories: 365 Dhs42.
How can mozzarella be healthy, you ask? Well, if it’s sitting on a bed of mixed greens and blanketed with fresh heirloom and sundried tomatoes, it’s good enough for us. While some might not consider that a valid argument, mozzarella cheese is full of calcium and a 30g serving contains up to 12g of protein. We would order this for the sake of bone health. The salad is drizzled in a light balsamic dressing for that extra punchiness. Calories: 280 Dhs47.
Raw food has been having a moment in the food industry for some time now. And just like edible flowers, this is going to remain a food trend that Dubai will continue to hold close well into the New Year. Being the natural algae that it is, seaweed has high protein and mineral content, and its natural iodine helps maintain a healthy thyroid function. So, when one of Dubai’s favourite health food cafés serves a raw pesto made of seaweed, avocado and plenty of fresh lime, foodies of the city take note. This seaweed recipe is a great detoxifier and assists in de-mineralising the body. It’s serv...
Packed with Vitamin A, C and calcium, this Asian-style salad needs to be your go-to if you’re starting that New Year cleanse this January. It boasts the good fats in the form of avocado and edamame, and the seaweed contributes to your day’s vitamin intake. Tip: go easy on the dressing if you want to limit your sodium allowance. Calories: 135 Dhs28.
Dear Carbs, our love/hate relationship is pretty intense, but this New Year, we promise to not keep you at bay. Especially when soba noodles come to play. This spiced tuna and soba noodle salad served at Tesoro in Taj Dubai is a fresh, fast and simple weeknight dinner option. Its no-nonsense ingredients include seared tuna, soba noodles, and fresh vegetables. There are so many textures and flavours in every bite, you’ll wonder why you ever cut carbs out of your life in the first place. Calories: 255 Dhs75.
If you’ve found yourself at the airport, looking for something other than butter croissants and deep-fried burgers, then visit giraffe at Terminal 3. On the breakfast menu, you’ll find this unique bowl of wheat-free organic oats, mixed with apple, sultanas, barley and rye flakes, apricot, raisins, dates, golden linseeds and superfood seeds. This filling bowl of muesli is served with fresh fruit, Greek-style yoghurt and honey. Just don’t get carried away and end up missing your flight… Calories: 437 Dhs34.
Calorie-conscious folks can never go wrong with a super serving of a superfood salad. This version is made up of slow-cooked quinoa, lentils, beetroot, butternut squash, baby spinach, pea shoots, kale, mixed seeds and an avocado dressing, all straight out of your lunch dreams. It will keep you full for hours and make sure you don’t dive into the office biscuit box mid-afternoon. Calories: 479 Dhs68.
This gourmet dish from Laluz is worth its 300-odd calories, to say the least. The ingredients of this tartar are slow-cooked for two hours in an oven, then turned and cooked for another two hours to bring out the sweetness of the shallots. The tomatoes, gherkin and capers form a tangy paste along with Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Calories: 340 Dhs55.
You know what they say about starting your day with the most nutritious meal possible, so that your metabolism gets a kick in the right direction? Forget that boring cereal box in the bottom of your desk drawer – tuck into a breakfast bowl from Pineapple Express. This one is made up of açaí (a South American superfood), coconut water, banana, fresh berries, spinach and twice-baked granola. Açaí berries are naturally rich in antioxidants, but the fruit is most widely found in the form of a frozen purée, giving it a texture similar to ice cream (but with none of the guilt). Oh, and if you nee...
This high-fibre dish tallies up to less than 200 calories per serving, and is an ideal palate cleanser. An entire celeriac is baked for an hour and then grilled with red chicory leaves and green tomato sauce. As it’s plated, the celeriac is topped with vegetable stock, basil salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bellissimo! Calories: 200 Dhs100.
Your teenage years might have taught you that chicken soup is good for the soul, but it’s also good to sip on when you’re following a clean, lean (and mean) diet. Served as a clear broth, with herbs and spices, this flavoursome concoction features pink peppercorn and organic free-range chicken that’s been marinated for 24 hours. It’s almost as good as the one Mum made for you on those sniffle days… almost! Calories: 390 Dhs70.
One of the most exciting openings of the past 12 months, Ají has injected fresh flair into Nikkei cuisine (a combination of Japanese and Peruvian techniques), and this fresh dish is not to be missed. Hokkaido scallop are sliced carpaccio-style, and served with lemongrass, black tobiko and a spicy sauce. Calories: 120 Dhs85.
The festive season might be over, but this delicious festive rice salad packed with organic red and wild rice, chestnuts, apricots, and a cranberry pomegranate dressing will bring back all the holiday memories. This salad from The Lime Tree Café is gluten-free and vegetarian as well. Calories: 460 Dhs32.
One of the key members of the healthy eating community in Dubai, Silvena Rowe prides herself on whipping up some of the most inventive, healthy and tasty dishes in town. This vegan creamed cauliflower, topped with quick roasted organic veggies and roasted crunchy cauliflower, is a celebration of local UAE produce, and has fewer than 200 calories. No wonder it’s the star of this magazine’s cover. What more could you ask for to start your New Year healthy eating plan? Calories: 159 Dhs59.
As the name suggests, this high-protein burger comes without the bread and packed with lean meat. The grass-fed beef patty is sandwiched between pickle relish, mustard, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon and, of course, shredded iceberg lettuce leaves. Despite the no-carb situation, if you’re feeling a little bloated after the burger, head over to the ping pong table for a match and to burn off a few calories. All the burgers at Kickers are grilled for extra flavour, and served with home-cooked kettle chips. Calories: 427 Dhs48.
Healthy eating doesn’t always have to be all about green leaves and quinoa. If you’ve been eating clean all week, then this beautifully simple pizza marinara, made with tomato sauce, anchovy fillets and oregano (and not a drop of cheese in sight), is just the cheat meal you’re looking for. It still fits within the calorie count radar (no stodgy stuffed crusts to be seen here), and hits all the right notes on the palate. Calories: 500 Dhs48.
Some evenings, you just want to tuck into a simple, fuss-free meal that doesn’t involve slaving in the kitchen for three hours, and then doing the dishes. This quinoa, avocado, dried cranberry, hazelnut, green chilli, carrot, tomato and clementine salad from Bazxar will do just the trick. Calories: 370 Dhs25.
If you’re part of the minority group in Dubai that’s missing summer, then this salad has your name written all over it. It’s simple, delicious and bursting with tangy goodness. If you’re particularly keen on watching your vegetable count for the day, then start your meal with this salad. It has five types of organic tomato, organic cucumber, onion and capsicum. The key to its earthy and refined taste comes from a good choice of ripe vegetables. Calories: 250 Dhs55.
One of the freshest and most detox-friendly cuisines in the world, Japanese food needs to be your go-to if you’re watching the calories this month. This fresh platter of crab rolls is delicious enough to make you forget what tempura even smells like. The Negi Yellow Crab Hamachi Roll uses thinly sliced, delicious hamachi fish on top of the maki roll, which is filled with jalapeño, wasabi peas, yamagobo, avocado, hari nori, spicy mayo and crab. Ask the kitchen to hold the mayo if you’re being really strict. Yes, it’ll still taste delicious without it. Calories: 295...
Not quite lasagne as you know it, this layered tower of vegetables has half the calories and double the flavour. Made with black lentils and mushroom mince (yes, it’s vegetarian-friendly too), the lasagne has layers of aubergine and courgette noodles. Even though its calorie count touches 300, we promise this is going to be your feel-good meal of the day – and probably the tastiest one. Calories: 319 Dhs64.