2-bean Vegan Chili


Meatless Monday Vegetarian Chili dish.jpeg

So I love me a good bowl of chili as much as the next person, but how do you change this heavenly Mexican comfort food so that it is healthy, quick and easy to make? First, start by making a vegetarian version of it for Jamie Oliver’s famous Meatless Monday movement. Second, by making it so effing good, you won’t even mind that it’s not it’s normal fatty cheesy self.

I did just that by trying to pinpoint what it is about a good bowl of chili that I love so much. I love the creamy avocado, I love the pickled spicy jalapenos, I love the meaty, chunky flavor of the actual chili sauce–now how can I translate that to veg, low fat and all around healthy chili goodness? Well, here’s how


  1. 2 cans of organic diced tomatoes
  2. 1 bunch of fresh spring onions
  3. 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  4. 4 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 cube of Kallo’s organic mushroom stock bouillon cube
  6. 1 can of organic cannellini (white beans)
  7. 1 can of black beans
  8. water as needed
  9. 1 teaspoon of cumin
  10. Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  11. 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
  12. Chopped bell peppers (whatever colors you can find)


Here’s how to put this bad boy together:

  • First, chop up your bell peppers and place in a large non stick skillet with no oil on a high heat and let the bell peppers get all char-grilled (let the skin get nice and black so it has a nice charred flavor).
  • Then, add your garlic and fry off until golden.
  • After that, add the rest of your ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Once the sauce is boiling, lower the heat to a medium-high and cover so it can cook.
  • That’s it! Can you believe how simple that was?

I served my chili with some mixed quinoa, ripe avocado, more spring onions and coriander, shredded iceberg lettuce and a dollop of labneh and some nice crumbly cornbread. You can add whatever the heck you feel like adding. Make some toasted corn tortillas? Queso fresco or sharp cheddar cheese on top? All hell to the yes! Mmm…I think I’m going to try that with the leftovers right now!

Brb going to go do that.

In the meantime, go straight-up bananas with me and give this recipe a shot and let me know if you have any of your own twists to add!

Oh, and follow me on Instagram by clicking here!




Seafood aplenty, seafood galore! 🐟🐠🐡🐙

I think I may have over ate today. I’m hideous. Turn away. 🙈🙈

#straightupbananas #yum #delicious #hungry #eat #food #foodporn #foodgasm #dubaifood #dubaifoodie #foodblogger #seafood #apronsandhammers #uaefood #uae #foodcoma #eatwithme #zomato #zomatouae #jbr #thewalk #beach #summer #lunch #mydubai (at Aprons And Hammers)

One for him and one for me. Today’s breakfast in bed is a strawberry, honey and vanilla chia seed pudding topped with fresh fruit, dried coconut and pumpkin seeds.

#food #foodgasm #foodporn #raw #vegan #fruit #fruitporn #gloobyfood #uae #uaefood #straightupbananas #yum #healthy #delicious #hungry #eat #dubaifood #dubai #mydubai #breakfast (at Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

A pale pink raspberry, goji berry and coconut smoothie and it is a winner!
I feel like licking the blender clean! Haha

It’s got:
-2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed
-grated ginger
-a handful of frozen raspberries
-a pinch of goji berries
-grated coconut
-a date
-500 ml of any kind of milk

For more check out Www.straight-upbananas.com

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Trying raw quail egg and beef tartare for the first time at @cutdubai

Amazing brunch, beautiful setting, and wonderful service!

Check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

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Healthy 10-minute Asian tin-foiled salmon

The year is 2015.

It’s a sunny Thursday afternoon, and the weekend is approaching.

You want to impress your significant other with your cooking skills. Pretend you were slaving away at the stove for hours. Just to cook something delicious and healthy just for them.

I’ve got your back, son.

This meal is my favorite because:

A) It requires NO DISH WASHING
B) It’s done in 20 minutes
C) It’s delicious
D) Need I go on?


  • any colored sliced bell peppers
  • sliced onions OR spring onions (whatever you’ve got in your fridge)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 carrot sliced into matchsticks 
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • coriander stalks
  • 2 fresh salmon fillets, skinless
  • a splash of soy sauce
  • a splash of sesame oil
  • 2 long rectangles of tin foil
  • optional: chili flakes

I know the ingredients may seem like a lot of work, but trust me once you’ve got everything out on the counter top in front of you, it’s just a matter of splashing this there, and throwing that here.

The Method to My Madness:

1. Preheat your oven to a medium heat
2. Grab your tin-foil rectangles and place the salmon fillets in them
3. Throw the onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, celery, and peppers on top of the   salmon
4. Splash soy sauce, sesame oil, and coriander leaves
5. Shape tinfoil into a pocket or parcel and make sure it’s shut tight (when in doubt, double cover it with tin foil)
6. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes

And voila! You’ve got yourself a steamy, juicy salmon fillet inside. Just serve at the table still inside the foil, and for a dramatic affect, cut it open AT the table.

Be careful! The steam may burn you if you’re not!

Serve topped with sesame seeds and coriander if you’d like.

I like to serve this with some soba noodles tossed in soy sauce and tofu! Yum!

Why don’t you go straight- up bananas with me and give this recipe a shot! I’d love to hear from you!

Also, since you’re here, why not follow me on Instagram @straightupbananas

Easy and Healthy Salmon Teriyaki Dinner

In a previous post I had talked about the wonderland that is the Jumeirah fish market in Dubai. If you didn’t get to read it click here http://tinyurl.com/jumeirahfishmarket 

This post is going to be about how I got those fishies to sing “under da sea” in my belly. Here’s a quick and easy salmon recipe.

I made teriyaki salmon with a simple yet healthy soba-noodle salad and it was mighty fine if I do say so myself. It’s an easy and healthy dinner/lunch recipe to have in your culinary repertoire.



–          Salmon fillet

–          Soba noodles

–          Bell peppers

–          Fresh ginger

–          A handful of cashews

–          Coriander

–          Soy sauce

–          Chili flakes

–          Spring onions

–          Garlic

–          Sesame seeds

–          Honey

–          Sesame oil

So first things first, you need to get the salmon in a marinade and let it soak up all those flavors for at least 30 minutes before cooking. The longer the better.

–          For the marinade, grab a Ziploc baggie, and pour in ¼ cup of soy sauce, a swig of honey, a pinch of chili flakes, some grated ginger and a grated clove of garlic and just let those babies dye themselves  in the soy sauce.

–          As for the soba noodle salad, I promise you it could not be easier. Soba noodles need exactly 6-7 minutes to cook so if you’re a slow chopper, I suggest you cut everything up before you put the noodles to cook.

–          Slice the garlic, spring onions, ginger, and bell peppers as finely as you possible can. (If you’ve got any other veggies on hand and would like to add them…why the heck not? You could add broccoli, zuchinni..basically any thing you want.)

–          Boil the noodles and after they are cooked drain them and wash with cold water.

–          Get started on the salmon, just braising it by searing it on a high heat on both sides and then pouring the marinade liquid to let boil gently until just flaky and cooked.

–          On a high heat (and preferably in a wok pan) pour some sesame oil and cook the bell peppers for 1 minute; then, add the ginger and garlic and noodles. Flip a few times, then add some soy sauce and toss a few more times. Then turn off the heat, and sprinkle sesame seeds, spring onions, and coriander and you are in business.

–          You could serve in a giant romaine lettuce leaf and top with toasted cashews and salmon fillet. Voila

These quick and easy salmon or seafood recipes are really good to have on you if you’re swamped and hungry–so you have a quick lunch or dinner to put together! 

Swim into My Belly, Little Fishies!

So there’s nothing I love doing in the world more than shopping for fresh ingredients to cook with, and my trips to the fish market at dusk are no exception. 

A lot of people I know have asked me about the fish markets here in Dubai–the location, cost, and what you can get; so I thought I’d just focus on that in today’s post. (The exact location will be posted below.)

So there are two fish markets (that I know of) here in Dubai, one giant one in Deira, and one smaller, but equally fresh and well priced, here in Jumeirah. I’m telling you, once you go to the fish market and see the difference in quality and price, you will never ever EVER order fish out again!




 The one in Jumeirah is located right across from the Customs office. It is crazy clean. In the front, you’ve got the vendors selling their daily catch and in the back you’ve got the fish cleaning area. 


The market is right on the fishing-boats marina–so you know that when you get those fish, they’re going to be as fresh as it gets.

Here’s a few general rules when going to the fish market:

1- ALWAYS heckle the fish monger! We bought a kilo of salmon for 40 aed, he originally suggested we pay 65 aed lol.

2- The earlier in the day you can go, the fresher the fish.

3- The later in the day you go, the better the price you can get because they just want to get rid of whatever they have and go home. I know the situation’s a bit of a Catch-22 but you get to choose: fresher or cheaper?

4- Always make sure the seafood is fresh because unfortunately, sometimes, they will try to get rid of the older fish to make room for the fresher. 

Remember! Fresh fish always has clear eyes as opposed to cloudy. Smells like the sea, NEVER fishy.                                                             Has super red gills.                                                                                                             The fish shouldn’t be floppy, it should stand up straight if held upright.   Got it? Okay!



My husband and I bought 1 kilo and a half of wild salmon for 50 aed, 1 kilo of tiger prawns for 60, and a kilo of hamour (reef cod) for 40 aed. Now you tell me what restaurant in Dubai serves 1 kilo of the freshest shrimps around for 60? I think it’s also worth mentioning that if you buy big quantities, you’ll get better prices per kilo.

Now to the cleaning station.

My friend Omar is a king! He’s the sweetest, and he always takes extra care of us. He’ll clean the seafood you just bought–scaling, skinning, deboning, deveining, filleting–you name it! the cleaning area charges 5 aed per kilo of whatever and saves you the trouble of having to go home and start messing with fish eyeballs and poop. Yes. I went there.


Lastly, I pinpointed the exact location today! You’re welcome! 


Just copy and paste the coordinates on Googlemap or click the link  http://tinyurl.com/fishmarketumsuqiem 

You should be good to go!

If you go, let me know how much you liked it! 

Can’t think of a quick, easy, and healthy recipe for lunch time?  I’m having a spinach, water cress, beetroot, carrot, and tuna salad for lunch! What about you?

Hey! Check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

#foodporn #food #nomnomnom #tumblrfood #uae #ksa #dubai #dubaifood #foodgasm #picoftheday #instagood #instafood #uaefood #mydubai #healthy #healthyeating #dxb #fit #lunch #salad #saladbar #fastfood #easyrecipe #دبي #الامارات #ابوظبي

Today’s lunch is courtesy of my brother and sister in law! @rayanhasan @sarham88

They selflessy shared some fresh spinach they picked up from the farmer’s market and I just couldn’t resist cooking it right away!

This was an easy pasta recipe that was quick and healthy to make! It’s quinoa spaghetti with a healthy twist on pasta primavera! 

Check out my blog Www.straight-upbananas.com

#foodporn #foodgasm #nomnom #nomnomnom #tumblrfood #uae #ksa #cleaneating #dubai #dubaifood #dubaiblogger #uaefood #mydubai #healthy #healthyeating #dxb #fit #vegetarian #vegetables #دبي #الامارات #ابوظبي #دبي #jamieoliver #pastarecipes #hungry #nofilter #foodphotography #delicious