Rana Yassine

Founder of Zaatarandquinoa.com

25-year old Rana Yassine from Lebanon was born and bred in Dubai, and now works as a Twitter Account manager for Connect Ads. She lives in Jumeirah with her parents, twin brothers and grandmother, ‘Tata’. Rana is on a mission to promote healthy food and does this via her food blog Zaatar and Quinoa, where she showcases a selection of nutritious international dishes. But it isn’t just cooking and healthy eating she is fond of, Rana also enjoys Pilates a few times a week to keep fit.

About the blog

On Zaatarandquinoa.com, I feature healthy recipes that don’t cost an arm and leg, or take hours to make every day. I launched the blog in 2013, and the aim was to always keep the recipes simple and easy to create, but to make sure they all taste great and are actually good for the body too. I try to be as healthy as I can be, both in my lifestyle, and in what I eat, and I like that through my blog, my readers can find a number of nutritious recipes such as vegan fudge brownies and whole-wheat vegan banana bread.

Top tip

To peel hazelnuts quickly, boil it in 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 cups of water for 3 minutes – the skin comes right off.

A big day!

I’m getting married this month in Cyprus, and my menu for the wedding comprises of a mixture of Mediterranean dishes – I had to have a few healthy options! Guests will also get a bottle of Cypriot wine as a memento.

Tip: I use dates as a substitute for sugar when baking, and no one can tell there’s no sugar at all.

A super-easy bake

My Five-ingredient banana coconut cookies, which are the perfect combination of crunchy and sweet. To make it, blend together 2 eggs, 1 ripe banana and 1 apple until smooth. Add 1 cup of raw almonds and 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and mix until there are no lumps. Place the dough balls on a baking tray and bake at 160C for 30 mins.

Favourite cuisine

I love all Asian cuisines, but Thai has got to be one of my favourites! I try to incorporate the use of coconut milk in a lot of soups, and love cooking Thai red curry.

Culinary icons

Julia Child! She didn’t start cooking until she was 32, which goes to show it’s never too late to start learning anything in life.

Food luxury

Caviar! It’s not always in my pantry, but when it is, I cannot get enough of it. I eat it on toast with a squeeze of lemon.