Published in Harpers Bazaar Interiors, September 2016

With dishes named Beyond Belief and Melt In Your Mouth, Colour My Plate serves up an offering that aims to be at once sassy, healthy and delectable, says Priyanka Pradhan

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The more colour on your plate, the more nutritious your meal is!”says dietician Hala Barghout, as she explains the concept for her Dubai-based healthy meals startup.

As a newbie in its category, Colour My Plate aims to differentiate itself in little details that go a long way in making a difference for both the serious calorie counters as well as those looking for an occasional, guilt-free parfait.

“Firstly, we’re all about ‘balance’, which means we focus on the right amount of lean protein, carbs and vitamins – we involve all major food groups in one meal, hence the different colours on a plate,” she says. “Secondly, our concept is to use clean, unprocessed and unrefined ingredients that ultimately make a huge difference in nutrition and taste.”

For example she makes her own peanut butter for her recipes at Colour My Plate from scratch.
“Nothing is store-bought,” says Hala. “We also use raw honey and organic maple syrup as opposed to the ones from supermarket shelves. So this makes it easier to customise meals to make them gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb or dairy-free because all the ingredients are made in our own kitchen, including wraps and breads.”

Barghout’s personal favorites are the Melt In Your Mouth Avocado Brownie, a breakfast of egg-white bagel with avocado, tomato and spinach and the chicken teriyaki bowl – a main course with a base of black rice and quinoa topped with broccoli and salad.
If this sounds experimental, blame it on her roving eye for recipes from around the world and her adventurous kitchen persona. “I love researching new recipes and then experimenting with them on my own,” she says. “For example, I came across an Indian spicy rice and lentil salad to which I added more colour with carrots, cauliflowers, some greens and peppers – and fine-tuned it to taste delicious!”

Hala’s passion for food is palpable as she quips about her plans for a health food café. She wants to offer the local community a wider array of options and experimental and gourmet recipes on-demand. She is also concerned with the importance of education on healthy living and offers talks and lectures in schools, events and corporations.

Hala’s vision is simple – to help the community feel better, live longer and enjoy meals. And she aims to meet her goals, one colourful plate at a time.