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Indische Biefburgers met Sambalsaus

Indische burgers met sambalsaus

Indische biefburgers met sambalsaus

De zomer is echt begonnen en dat betekent elke dag heerlijk buiten kunnen eten. Wij waren nooit zo’n BBQ’ers, maar sinds wij een Kamado-model BBQ hebben zijn wij echt fan geworden. De afgelopen weken hebben wij bijna elke dag wel de BBQ aangestoken. En om ervoor te zorgen dat het niet saai wordt proberen we ook steeds weer nieuwe grillgerechten te bedenken, zoals deze heerlijke Indische biefburgers met sambalsaus. read more

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Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fired vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with freekeh

Stir-fried vegetables with what? Exactly. That’s the reaction I got when I answered the boys’ daily question ‘what’s for dinner’. Freekeh seemed to gain on popularity a couple of years ago and was even called the ‘new quinoa’. But to me, it seems it’s already losing ground and is disappearing from the shelves in supermarkets. Which is a pity, if you ask me. Fortunately, I still had one box stashed away in the pantry and I made this delicious side with it.


Now what is freekeh? Actually, it’s simply wheat but harvested when it has not ripened yet. It’s dried on the land with the chaff and then set to fire. Might seem a strange process, but due to the high moisture of the unripe kernels, only the chaff and straw are burnt. The kernels remain and get a nicely toasted flavour. Freekeh is chuck full of nutrients and fibre which makes this grain a healthy supplement to your diet.



Freekeh is cooked like rice and can then be used in a wide variety of dishes, hot and cold. The cooking time is a bit longer compared to other types of grain and rice. The instructions say 15 minutes, but I usually cook it quite a bit longer. But even after cooking it longer, the texture remains quite chewy. I use stock to cook it in, which gives it even more flavour.

Flat beans

I went even a bit further than this extraordinary grain, by adding a less obvious vegetable to the stir-fry: flat green beans. As it is, I happen to love flat beans, but rarely prepare them. When I spotted fresh flat beans at the store, I had to buy them (without thinking about what I would make). So, when I stood in front of the fridge, contemplating what I would make for dinner, I figured I could use them in a stir-fry. And I think this really is a nice addition.

Middle East

Freekeh finds its origins in the Middle East. It is often added as a filling to soups and stews. But it is also a great addition to salads or stuffed vegetables. As I used it in this stir-fry with peppers and flat beans, I figured that a Middle Eastern spice mix was just fitting: Baharat. With only a handful ingredients, you’ll get this fragrant and delicious side everyone will love.


200 g freekeh

2 chicken stock cubes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

400 g flat beans

1 à 2 tsp Baharat

2 tbsp vegetable oil


Put the freekeh with 1 litre water and the chicken stock cubes in a pan and bring to a boil.

Let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Cut the peppers and flat beans into 1-2 cm pieces.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the vegetables with a pinch of salt, pepper and the Baharat spice mix.

Preparing the freekeh and the vegetables

Drain the freekeh and add to the vegetables.

Stir and fry for one more minute.

We served the freekeh with lamb burgers and a fresh salad. I actually saved the cooking liquid as it had become this gorgeous, thick and tasty broth. Would have been a sin to just throw it out. Added a small can of tomato puree and let it reduce a little bit. Then a bit of sugar and pepper to taste and we ended up having a wonderful, rich tasting tomato sauce with our meal.

If you don’t have Baharat at home or you don’t like the taste, simply add your favourite spices. Anything goes, really.

Geroerbakte groente met freekeh

Have you ever tried freekeh?


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All Recipes, Gluten-Free, Sides

Smashed Potatoes – crispy, oven fried potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed potatoes, say what? That’s one of the most common reactions around here, as this dish is fairly unknown outside the UK or the US. But they’re gaining ground as there are quite a few chefs (like Jamie Oliver) are putting smashed potatoes on the world map. And I can tell you, they are a big hit in our house. I’ve never seen potatoes disappear that fast, not even French fries.

New potatoes

A friend brought over some new potatoes, new harvest, straight from the field. My initial thought was to make potato salad, but these gorgeous new potatoes did deserve a more prominent role than that. And as we don’t like boiled potatoes all too much, frying or baking them came to mind.

Smashed potatoes

Smashed potatoes had been on my must-make list for quite a while, since I first saw a recipe online a couple of years ago (yes, it did take me that long, but my must-make list really is quite extensive). So, it was about time. And boy, did they turn out good. Better than good. They were gone in the blink of an eye. Even though I had made more potatoes than I usually did, there wasn’t a teeny tiny crumb left. The wonderful flavour of the new potatoes most likely did play a role here too, but this way of preparing them definitely is a winner. The boys asked, no demanded, that I make them much more often. Luckily, they are a breeze to make.


1,5 kg potatoes (or more/less, depending on how much you would normally make)

Olive oil


50 g Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thoroughly clean the potatoes.

If you have some bigger potatoes, cut them in half or quarters.

Put the potatoes in a bowl, add a tablespoon of olive oil and coat all potatoes.

Divide the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.

Aardappelen wassen en eventueel doorsnijden

Roast in the middle of the oven until the potatoes are cooked and have turned golden brown.

Aardappelen zijn geroosterd

Carefully take the potatoes out of the oven and smash them with the bottom of a glass or cup.

Pletten van de aardappelen

Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil on top, season with salt and pepper and scatter the Parmesan cheese generously on top of the potatoes.

Zout, peper en kaas erover

Put back int the oven for an extra ten minutes or so.

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

These smashed potatoes are delicious with meat or fish, with the BBQ, as part of a buffet… Try some variations by adding herbs or spices, add some bacon or use a different kind of cheese. The possibilities to ‘pimp’ these potatoes are endless.

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

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All Recipes, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free, Miscellanious, Sides, Snacks, Vegan

Vegan Cheese with Bear’s Garlic

Vegan Cheese with Bear's Garlicmet daslook

Cheese – that’s this month’s theme at the FOODBLOG EVENT organized by Foodbloggers BENELUX. And that theme can be interpreted in the broadest sense of the word. So, anything goes. I’ve thought long and hard about what I could make with cheese. Should I make something sweet of rather go for savoury? What kind of course will it be? Should I cook or bake? What kind of cheese should I use? There are so many ways to go with cheese!

Make it yourself

It’s been on my to-do list for quite a while: making cheese. And when I thought about that, I also thought about the fact that I wanted to try vegan cheese as well. Not because I want to become vegan, but I have a curious nature and I simply wanted to know what vegan cheese tastes like. Is it good? Does it in any way resemble cheese?

Vegan cheese

I had read a few things about making vegan cheese. What’s it based on, what makes it ‘cheesy’? In most cases, cashews are used as basic ingredient and nutritional yeast is used to give it a hearty flavour. Furthermore, a bit of lemon juice and you’re on the right track of making vegan cheese. But I wanted to add a bit more zest to it.

Bear’s garlic

You may not have heard of Bear’s garlic before, as it’s mostly known in Europe, where it grows in the wild in spring. In the US, it’s more known by the name of wild garlic or ramson and it can easily be grown at home. I came across fresh Bear’s garlic at a supermarket in Germany, when we recently went for a short visit to the farm in the Eifel.

To me, its taste is like a cross between garlic and spring onion. It has a much milder taste than garlic and can be used in various dishes. You can use it raw in salads or make a pesto with it. But you can also use it in warm dishes or use it in marinades. Or cheese for that matter.

Verse daslook

Vegan cheese with Bear’s garlic

The idea of vegan cheese with Bear’s garlic was born. And I have to say: I’m thrilled with the result. Does it taste like real cheese? Honestly, I don’t think so. But I do think it’s a very tasty spread that can be used instead of cream cheese. Delicious on bread, but also very tasty as a dip. Idea’s for using this ‘cheese’ in various dishes are bubbling up (thinking of stuffed mini peppers, zoodles…. yum yum).

Other additions

It could be a challenge to get your hands on Bear’s garlic. In that case, you could very well use a bit of garlic and fresh herbs, such as chives and parsley. Which is a perfect combination as well for a very tasty ‘cream cheese’ with herbs.


200 g raw cashews

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp water

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

12 leaves of Bear’s garlic

Salt to taste


Let the cashews soak overnight.

Drain the cashews and put them in a blender or food processor, together with the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Blend until it reaches a very smooth consistency.

Ingrediënten voor de vegan kaas met daslook

That can take up to 5 minutes or more. Scrape the sides as needed.

Add, once you’ve reached the desired consistency, the Bear’s garlic and salt to taste. Pulse a couple of times until it’s mixed in well.

Start with just a little bit of salt and add more if needed.

Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Vegan kaas met daslook

Refrigerated, the ‘cheese’ will keep well for about a week.

Delicious on a cracker, slathered on some fresh bread or as a dip for flatbread or tortilla chips.

Vegan kaas met daslook op een cracker


Vegan Cheese with Bear's garlic

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All Recipes, Appetizers, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Miscellanious, Sides, Snacks, Vegan

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Geroosterde Wortel Hummus

Roasted Carrot Hummus

It’s almost April and King’s Day is approaching fast. Many schools in the Netherlands have held the King’s Plays last Friday and everything turned orange. We are not such King’s Day fanatics, partly because we are living in Belgium since a couple of years and the kids attend school here. The 27th of April is just a normal day for us.

That doesn’t mean we’re not participating in all that orange madness, though. I am again participating in the Foodblog Event organised by Foodbloggers BENELUX and the theme this time (obviously) is: King’s Day. The colour orange is quite essential then. And I came with a recipe I had never made before: Roasted Carrot Hummus.

Bright orange

Thinking about orange food, pumpkin soup and carrot mash came to mind. Most people will associate these dishes with autumn or winter. What about something with oranges, a beautiful dessert or a refreshing summer drink. At the organic supermarket, I had bought a bunch of beautiful orange carrots and wanted to use these for the challenge. And the wonderful temperatures of the last couple of days made me think of summer and… BBQ. A salad or a dip. So, dip it is: a creamy hummus with roasted carrots.

Falvours of the Middel East

Instead of cooking the carrots, I roasted them in the oven. Roasting gives the vegetables a much richer taste and makes them slightly sweet. Hummus is an essential part of the Middle Eastern cuisine and I figured that regional spices would fit this dip perfectly.


I wanted to use Za’atar in my hummus. There are spice mixes available at most supermarkets, but most of them aren’t quite authentic. Or so I learned the hard way. Without even checking the label, I bought the first jar I came across. At home, I started searching for the origins of Za’atar and was actually amazed by what I found. Za’atar actually is a herb, but is mostly sold in a mix. That mix is called Za’atar as well.

Thing is though, the mixes found at the supermarkets don’t contain what gives the mix its name: Za’atar. How strange is that? Slight consolation: the real za’atar very much resembles a cross between thyme and oregano. So, lacking the real thing, you can always go for a combination of those two.

Anything goes

As far as this hummus is concerned: anything goes. Use whatever spices or herbs you like. I very much liked this Za’atar mix. Omitting it, will be just as good. The roasted carrots are what makes this hummus taste great. Just adding salt and pepper will be fine. But adding spices and herbs gives it a totally different dimension.


2 (organic) carrots

Freshly ground salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can of chick peas (400g, net weight: 240 g)

1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Za’atar

75 ml water

1 tbsp ginger syrup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

Salt/pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel the carrots and cut into small slices.

Put the carrots in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Shake to cover all pieces.

Spread on the baking sheet and roast for about 20-30 minutes, until the carrot pieces are soft.

Geroosterde Wortel Hummus - voorbereiding

Let cool.

Drain the chick peas. You can keep the liquid for other purposes, such as vegan mayo.

Put the chick peas, carrots, lemon juice, ginger syrup, garlic, olive oil and Za’atar in a blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. If it’s too dry, just add a little bit of water (1 tablespoon at a time).

Geroosterde Wortel Hummus - bereiding

Then add salt and pepper to taste.

This hummus is delicious as a dip with your BBQ, on pita bread, in a wrap (like on this chili tortilla with fresh green leaves and vegan ‘chicken’ shawarma) or as a dip for fresh bread or vegetables.

Geroosterde Wortel Hummus

Geroosterde Wortel Hummus met brood


Roasted Carrot Hummus

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All Recipes, Mains, Sides, BBQ

Fennel Salad with Apple & Smoked Chicken Breast

Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Fennel salad

It was during our holiday at the farm last year, when I first made this salad. We had a BBQ with all the other guests at the farm and everybody had to bring something. I addition to the couscous salad with roasted vegetables, I made this deliciously fresh and crisp fennel salad.

Crisp and sweet

The fennel itself has a sweet, aniseed flavour. The crisp, tangy flavour of the apple and the smoky saltiness of the chicken match perfectly. You can make this of course completely vegetarian/vegan by omitting the chicken. This salad actually doesn’t really need it. Just the fennel with apple is such a great combination.


1 fennel bulb

1 green apple (Granny Smith)

1 smoked chicken breast (single)

1 shallot

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

3 tbsp vinegar

6 tbsp oil

A few drops liquid sweetener (optional)


Cut the shallot in very fine strips. You could use a mandolin for that.

Then cut the apple au julienne. No need to peel it.

Appel voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

First cut the green from the fennel and chop it up a bit. Set aside.

Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the tough heart.

Thinly slice up the fennel. You can again use the mandolin to do that.

Venkelgroen voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Venkel voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Gesneden venkel voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Make the dressing by mixing vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and a little bit of liquid sweetener. The sweetener is optional, but it lifts this dressing to the next level.

Mix the shallot and the fennel greens into the dressing.

Add the apple and the fennel and mix well. Let sit for about an hour.

Dressing voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Just before serving, cut the smoked chicken breast into small pieces or slices and mix through the salad.

Gerookte kipfilet voor Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

This salad is delicious as a side to a BBQ, but it can also serve as a main along with some fresh bread.

Venkelsalade met Appel & Gerookte Kipfilet

Fennel Salad with Apple & Smoked Chicken Breast

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Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Feta

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

I had made this Pumpkin Quinoa Salad for Noah’s birthday party with the family, back in October. That weekend, we (again) had the most beautiful weather and were sitting outside all afternoon. I always make food, that can easily be prepared or made beforehand and that will feed a crowd. The kids had hotdogs (always a winner) and for the adults, I had made a large Shepherd’s Pie and this lovely, seasonal salad.

Rave reviews

The salad got rave reviews from everyone. There’s sweet roasted pumpkin, flavorful quinoa (cooked in chicken or vegetable stock), spinach leaves and salty feta, all mixed with a simple dressing. When we planned a get together with the family for Sinterklaas, where everyone would bring food, this salad was requested. And once again, everyone loved it. So it was about time that I sat down and write the recipe to share with you all.

Simple and delicious

It really is a very simple recipe. Roasting the pumpkin takes up most of the time, the rest is just assembling. Now for the quinoa, I always use chicken or vegetable stock to cook it in. I also do that when I prepare couscous and sometimes when I cook rice. As the quinoa, just as couscous and rice, absorb a lot of liquid, it absorbs the taste of the stock as well. What you get, is very flavorful quinoa that doesn’t need any other spices to be tasty. It’s tasty all in itself.


500 g pumpkin (about half a butternut pumpkin)

1 tbsp olive oil


150 g uncooked quinoa

2 shallots

200 g fresh spinach

200 g feta cheese

4 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp vinegar

1/2 tsp liquid sweetener*

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Optional: 50 g chopped walnuts

*Can be swapped for 1 tsp sugar.


Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut the pumpkin in equal parts.

Put the pumpkin in a bowl and add salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss to coat.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

Spread out pumpkin on the prepared baking tray and roast ca. 30-40 minutes.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

Take out and let cool.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

Prepare the quinoa according to instructions on the packaging. Instead of water, I use chicken or vegetable stock for flavor.

Drain the quinoa and set aside to cool.

For the dressing, mix together oil, vinegar, liquid sweetener, salt and pepper. If you’d like, you could also add some fresh or dried herbs, such as parsley, basil or chives.

Thinly slice the shallots and add to the dressing.

To assemble, put the quinoa and spinach in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

Add the roasted pumpkin and half of the feta cheese and gently fold it in.

Crumble the rest of the feta on top.

Optional: sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.

Pumpkin Quinoa Slad

This salad is a perfect side (f.e. with a stew) or simply eat it as a meal with fresh bread.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Spinach & Feta

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All Recipes, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides

Roasted Fennel

Geroosterde Venkel

Have you ever tried fennel before? It is a wonderful vegetable, with a very distinct flavor that reminds you of anise. Some even associate the flavor with licorice. Fennel can be eaten raw in a salad or fried, grilled or roasted. It pairs great with all kinds of food: meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.


I love fennel that has been soaking in a nice vinaigrette for a couple of hours, almost liked pickled fennel. It’s also great sauteed, but my absolute favorite way to eat it, is roasted. Its easy, it’s fast and delicious. Prep time is maybe 5 minutes and you need just a couple of ingredients. Roast it to your preference and you’re ready to dish up.


2 – 3 fennel bulbs

50 g freshly grated Parmesan

1 tbsp olive oil



Preheat oven to 200°C.

Remove the fennel fronds but don’t throw them away.

Roasted Fennel

Cut the bulb in half and remove the hard part.

Roasted Fennel

Then cut in thin strips. I just used a knife, but you can also use a grater or food processor.

Roasted Fennel

I use freshly grated Parmesan in this recipe, but you could also use store bought grated Parmesan (but it’s dryer and doesn’t melt as well as freshly grated cheese).

Roasted Fennel

Mix fennel, cheese and olive oil in a bowl and add some salt and pepper.

Roasted Fennel

Roasted Fennel

Transfer to an oven dish.

Roasted Fennel

Bake ca. 30 – 45 minutes, the exact time depends on how soft or how crunchy you like your fennel.

Roasted Fennel

Serve with some of the fennel fronds sprinkled on top.


PS: the fennel fronds are also great in salads. Or make a dip with Greek yogurt, finely chopped fennel fronds, crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Roasted Fennel

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All Recipes, Sides

Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are available at supermarkets all year round, but only now is the right season for super tasty and juicy tomatoes that have soaked up all the summer sun. Now, they are at their best. There is so much you can do with tomatoes, but you know what I like best? A simple tomato salad, where that juicy tomato is the star.

The most simple way of course, is a delicious Caprese salad. Sliced tomato, with Mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of good olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, and if desired a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Nothing more. And all with minimum effort, just slice it up, dress on a plate, dig in.

With just a teeny tiny bit more effort, you can make my all time favorite tomato salad. It’s really simple, with just a few ingredients. You can use any type of tomato. Cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, plum tomatoes… Just use the type of tomato you like best. I like vine tomatoes, specifically the little ones, but I just got these ultra delicious plum tomatoes and I had to use them.

First, finely dice or slice a small shallot. You can use a white or red onion as well, but shallots taste really great in a salad.

Finely diced shallots

Then mix all ingredients for the salad dressing in a bowl:

  • 4 tbsp veg. oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh or dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp sugar or liquid sweetener

You might wonder about the sugar/sweetener, but believe me, it makes all the difference. Add the shallots and and crush them a little bit in the dressing, using a fork or the back of a spoon.


Slice your tomatoes. I used 6 plum tomatoes.

Plum tomatoes

Add to the bowl and toss. You can eat it right away, but it’s at it’s best if you let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Tomato Salad


PS: looking for another salad? Give this Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables a try.

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Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Couscous Salad & Roasted Vegetables

Couscous salad is a staple in our house for parties and barbecues. You can add basically anything you want, but my absolute favorite is couscous with roasted or grilled vegetables. And feta. The feta is optional of course. If you have eaters that don’t like feta or cheese in general, simply serve it as a separate topping, so everyone can add it if they want to.

We had a barbecue with all the guests at the farm, where we’re staying during our holiday, and everyone brought something. There was potato salad, bell pepper salad, egg salad, macaroni salad, garlic bread and more. And I decided to make this couscous salad. I usually grill the vegetables, but as I did not have a griddle or grilling pan, I roasted them. Which is just as delicious! Got raving reviews from the other guests and more than a few asked for the recipe. So I decided to share it with everyone :).

Simple ingredients, bold flavors. That’s what makes this salad so awesome. What do you need?

For the salad:

  • 500g couscous
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 250g (wild) mushrooms
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 shallots
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 400g feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 75ml vinegar
  • 175ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • sugar or sweetener to taste

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You could also use a large oven dish. Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the package. Instead of water, I use chicken broth for extra flavor, but that is optional. Set aside.

Cut the zucchini, mushrooms and aubergine in roughly same-sized pieces. Toss these with vegetable oil, paprika, pepper and salt and spread on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the middle of the oven for ca. 30-45 minutes.

Couscous Salad Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad Couscous Salad

Take out of the oven and let cool.

Cut the shallots into small pieces or strips. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing and add the shallots. Cut the cherry tomatoes and add as well.

Take out of the oven and let cool. Take out of the oven and let cool.

Add couscous and the roasted vegetables and toss. Crumble the feta cheese and add to the salad.

Couscous Salad Cut the cherry tomatoes and add as well.

Couscous Salad Couscous salad

Then serve and enjoy 🙂

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