This is no shortage of indulgent social opportunities in Dubai – champagne brunches, gourmet restaurants, roof-top bars, weekend pool parties. The options are endless and so are the reasons for indulging – birthdays, weddings, new houses, new babies, Canada Day, Independence Day, National Day, so-and-so just moved to Dubai, so-and-so is moving to Singapore/Africa/Kansas, so-and-so is going on/returning from holiday, Canadian Thanksgiving, US Thanksgiving, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha, Christmas, New Year’s, Diwali, The World Cup, The Royal Wedding, It’s Friday, It’s Tuesday, It’s a holiday somewhere in some obscure country where a friend of a friend is from… Balance is necessary.
In an effort to be more healthy in between celebrations, I recently discovered Ripe.
Drinking lots of water, going to the gym and even cutting back on sweets are doable but I have always found it difficult to consume the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables. This wonderful company makes it easy to eat fresh, locally grown organic produce by delivering it right to your doorstep. When my box of Ripe assorted vegetables arrives, it becomes a fun challenge (okay, maybe fun is not the right word but I’m trying) to figure out how to eat everything in the box while it is still fresh.
Salads can get pretty boring and since the box often includes veggies I’m not familiar with cooking like eggplant, pumpkin or koosa, I have been encouraged to try new things. This has led to a few kitchen disasters (like my first attempt at (tasteless dried out) pumpkin and (soggy) lentil salad) but has also led to some new vegetarian favourites including baked breaded eggplant parmesan and quinoa, fennel and pomegranate salad that even my husband likes.
And when you forget to order your veggie box, you can visit the Ripe Food & Crafts Market at The Courtyard in Al Quoz on Saturday mornings to pick out your own. The market is quite cute and you always end up picking up something else from one of the little stands. Last time I was there I bought a whole box of Perry Court Farm Air Dried Fruit Crisps which are my new addiction. I don’t like eating apples but I do like eating chips. These little bags of goodness are almost as healthy as eating an apple but somehow have the same comforting effect as mindlessly inhaling a little bag of chips (almost). On a slightly less healthy note, I also gave in and bought a bag of Awesome Jassim (it rhymes) chocolate chip cookies which really are awesome. I just couldn’t resist the friendly sales pitch and matching smile from Mr. Awesome Jassim himself.
My consumption of vegetables has definitely gone up since ordering from Ripe and while organic veggies may not be the key to a balanced lifestyle in Dubai, they certainly help. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go meet some fabulous friends for Champagne Brunch at Zuma!