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Sides, All Recipes

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. read more

Gluten-Free, Sides, All Recipes

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. read more

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

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! read more

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

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. read more

Mains, Sides, All Recipes, 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. read more

Gluten-Free, Sides, All Recipes

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. read more

Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes

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.

Roasted

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. read more

Sides, All Recipes, BBQ

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. read more

Sides, All Recipes, BBQ

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 :). read more

Gluten-Free, Sides, All Recipes, Snacks

Polenta ‘Fries’

Polenta Fries

Have you ever had polenta before? Polenta is not an ingredient, as some people might think. It actually is a dish made from cooking coarsely-ground yellow cornmeal into a kind of mash. It can be eaten like porridge or mashed potato. I won’t go into the details of the classic dish right now, that will be for some other time.

Grilled polenta

If you let the polenta cool though, the consistency changes and the ‘porridge’ or ‘mash’ firms up so that you can ultimately cut it into pieces, like squares or wedges. When cut into pieces, you can perfectly grill them on the BBQ, roast them in the oven or fry in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Add a few spices and you have a prefect side dish for your grilled chicken or steak. Now I’ve made these patties or cakes on several occasions, but a few weeks ago I saw this recipe for polenta ‘fries’ on Boter, Kaas & Eieren Blog, a fun food blog with great recipes. I really thought this was a fun idea. Why I have never thought about ‘fries’ myself before, is beyond me. And since the boys are crazy about fries, I set to work (almost) immediately. I have made a different version, but you can find the original recipe here (a must-try!). read more

Mains, Sides, All Recipes

Nasi Goreng with Chicken, Broccoli & Tofu

Nasi Goreng with Chicken, Broccoli & Tofu

Nasi Goreng, Indonesian fried rice… a versatile dish that can be adapted to your own liking.

‘Nasi Goreng’ is a famous Indonesian dish and is very much loved by many Dutch people. ‘Nasi’ means ‘cooked’ and ‘Goreng’ means fried, so literally it means ‘fried rice’. Fried rice is of course known in many cuisines, but ‘Nasi Goreng’ mainly refers to the Indonesian variety. What sets it off from other types of fried rice, are the spices and the combination typically used in Indonesian cooking, like Djahé (ground ginger root), Ketumbar (koriander), Sereh (lemon rass), Laos (Galangal root) and Terasi (or Trassi, fermented shrimp paste). read more

Low Carb, Mains, Sides, All Recipes

Korean Beef & Curried Cauli-Rice

Koreaans Gehakt & Kerrie Bloemkoolrijst

I absolutely love Asian cuisine. Chinese, Thai, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean… I love them all. All have their own typical tastes, a great variety but also similarities. I love the simplicity of stir-fry’s, but also the complexity of stews.

Busy household

In a busy household, with school, work, sports, hobbies and social activities, having dinner ready in a minimum of time is often crucial. And home-cooked meals can be a challenge. We do eat take-out once in a while or go to a fast food-restaurant, but we try to keep that to an absolute minimum. read more

Gluten-Free, Mains, Sides, All Recipes

Easiest Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal

To me, cooking with dried legumes was always kind of a daunting idea. I love to cook, no doubt about that. And I don’t mind spending a lot of time in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I LOVE spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But… with our busy lives, dishes should preferably be easy and fast to prepare and cook. No time (or better: patience) to soak some dried beans for hours, before cooking them… for hours. Until I realized that lentils are a different matter. Especially red lentils. read more

Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Mains, Sides, All Recipes

Low Carb Spinach Risotto

Spinach Risotto

If you’re trying to cut down your carb intake, you most likely start with omitting pasta and rice from your evening meals. You might be familiar with substituting rice with cauliflower, like I did in this very simple coconut rice or curried rice. It’s prefect for Asian dishes. But have you tried risotto yet?

Carbohydrates

Risotto was one of those dishes, I had not tried yet. I love a good creamy risotto. And although we’re not strictly on a low carb diet, we try to eat less of those little buggers. Mind you, carbohydrates aren’t bad, it’s just that we eat way too much carbohydrates for our bodies to burn up (and all the excess is stored as fat). Unless you’re an athlete burning thousands of calories a day. Which I am obviously not. So, I have to watch how much I consume. read more

Appetizers, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes

Spinach Patties – low carb & gluten free

Spinazieschijfjes / Spinach Patties

Low carb & gluten free Spinach Patties, delicious as appetizer or as a side dish!

This was on my to-do list for quite a while. I wanted to create a spinach patty that’s low carb. But it got so low on my list of things I want to try/doctor up, that I completely forgot about it. Until I saw a picture of spinach balls a couple of days ago. Usually, these patties/balls/tots are made with flour and/or bread crumbs. And I figured that I could easily swap these for another low carb option. read more

Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes

Celeriac Noodles in Tomato Sauce

Celeriac Noodles in Tomato Sauce

Celeriac is a great winter vegetable. Around here, it’s readily available during winter months and it’s fairly cheap. It’s great as addition to or a sub for mashed potatoes and it makes a great comforting soup. Or cut into cubes and roasted in the oven, it makes another great side. It really is a versatile root. And as I’m kind of into spiralizing these days, I thought I’d put my spiralizer to work and make celeriac noodles. read more

Dairy Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes

Chickpea Pancakes

Chickpea Pancakes

We love shawarma. But we hardly ever eat it. Traditionally, it’s eaten with pita bread, with the meat stuffed inside the bread, along with lettuce, coleslaw and sauces. So, the biggest part of that meal, is a bread.

Pita bread

Just until recently, the boys didn’t care much for pita bread. And as I try to balance my carb intake, I’m not too keen to eat bread for dinner (I’m not strictly on low carb, though). But when I did our groceries, I got drawn to this week’s promo… 1 kg of shawarma. I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy it. read more

Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes

Spinach & Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower is my new favorite veg. Well, it’s not new. And I do have more favourites. I just love it. A lot. And that love is growing bigger every day. Why? It’s so extremely versatile. Not only is it a star just on its own, it can be used as a stand-in for so many other things, such as rice.

Stand-in

One of our favourites is to use it as a stand-in for potatoes. People often wonder if you don’t taste too much of the cauliflower. Or that you’d miss the potatoes. Actually, you don’t. Of course, it depends a bit on what you add to it, but you’d be surprised at how little of its own particular flavour shines through. read more

Dairy Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Sides, All Recipes, Vegan

Coconut Cauli-Rice

Coconut Cauli-Rice

I have always loved pasta and rice dishes. I still do. I could eat them every single day. Several times a day. Comforting Italian pasta dishes, spicy Asian rice dishes, there are so many great recipes. But when you’re trying to cut down on your carb intake, those dishes won’t exactly help you with that.

However, there is a great alternative. Cauliflower!

Growing up, I only knew one way to eat cauliflower and it actually made me hate it: cooked to mush and smothered in a floury béchamel sauce. It wasn’t until sometime in my twenties, that I discovered also other ways to eat cauliflower. Raw with a dip, cooked al dente with various spices and sauces, au gratin… And so I learned to appreciate this veg. But never would I have thought that cauliflower, one day, might become one of my favorite vegetables. Yet it just might get there. read more