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Annabel Karmel’s Delicious Dishes using Local UAE Veggies

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We’re sure you’ve visited the Ripe Market, found the local veg section in the supermarket or subscribed to one of the many amazing organic box deliveries here in Dubai mama, and with Annabel Karmel’s help, we’ve found some ways for you to take the local produce from market to table. With a number of super kid-friendly meals outlined for you in easy step-by-step recipes below, you’ll definitely want to be stocking up on peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes – all grown right here in the UAE. Prepare to say yum!


Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta

Uses peppers, tomatoes, basil. Makes three portions.

Ahh, peppers! These brightly coloured vegetables grow incredibly well in this region despite the crazy climate and when mixed up with some tasty tomatoes (another bit of local veg), they make for a more complex spin on a regular pasta sauce. We’re sure this one’s gonna be a hit with the kids.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 75g roasted skinned red pepper from a jar, chopped
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sundried tomato paste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 175g spaghetti or mafaldine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus a few whole leaves, to garnish
  • Grated parmesan, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, then add the peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and sugar and some seasoning.
  3. Bring up to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or so, then blend using a hand blender.
  5. While you’re making the sauce, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling lightly salted water according to the packet instructions.
  6. Drain, then tip the pasta into the sauce with the basil.
  7. Toss the coat then serve scattered with the basil leaves and parmesan.

cheesy food

Courgette and Carrot Risotto

Uses courgette. Makes four portions.

Courgettes – or zucchinis – are a UAE staple that Annabel Karmel’s definitely a big fan of. Give boring lunches a miss and go local with this healthy courgette and carrot risotto; how good does that picture look, mama?


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 courgette, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 250g packet of express basmati rice
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 30g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and courgette. Fry for about 8 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Cook the rice in a microwave according to the instructions.
  5. Add to the pan with the stock and stir for one minute, then add the herbs and parmesan.
  6. Season to taste. 


Potato Pizzette Bites

Uses potatoes, tomatoes. Makes two portions.

Guaranteed to have your kiddos licking their fingers, these pizzette bites trade out traditional dough for slivers of another local UAE root vegetable – the potato. All it takes is a dash of tomato sauce and a (generous) sprinkling of cheese to make these treats that nobody’s going to be forgetting any time soon.


  • 1 large (200g) waxy-type potato, skin on and thoroughly washed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 55g grated cheddar or mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c/400°F/Gas 6.
  2. Cut 8 large slices of potato, cutting crosswise from the centre of the potato, each around 2mm/1/10in thick. You won’t need the thinner end bits of the potato but these will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, covered with cold water, and can be used for mashed or boiled potatoes.
  3. Brush each potato slice with oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn the slices over and bake for a further 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp. Watch carefully for the last 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Top each potato slice with around 1 tsp tomato sauce and scatter over the cheese. Bake for a further 5-7 minutes, or grill 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Cool slightly before serving.


For more recipe inspiration download Annabel’s Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler app. Access more than 200 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features to keep your family on track and enjoying meal times. Download the new version from the App Store now or visit

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