Saturday, 7 September 2013

Kale tabbouleh

Healthy and almost no calories, no surprise it's been a hit on menus in California and LA. But did you know your grandparents ate it too?

Welcome to the revival of kale! On Pinterest you find a whole range of kale recipes: kale chips, kale pesto, kale lasagne, kale smoothies, kale pizza, ...
It's kale galore!

Kale is full of minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and fiber and has almost 4x as much iron as a steak. It's my superfood from now. Here's a first of many kale recipes to come: in fusion kitchen style, kale tabbouleh.

Kale tabbouleh 
for 6-8 persons

100 gr kale
100 gr bulghar wheat
handful mix of fresh mintleaves and flat parsley, chopped
3 spring onions
1/2 cucumber cubed
3 tomatoes cubed
6 tablespoons olive oil
fresh emon juice
five spices of all spice
ground cumin
feta cheese
baby gem lettuce leaves
black pepper

Wash the kale and take the leaves of the stem. Put the kale leaves in a food processor and pulse to finely chop.
Perpare the bulghar acccording to package directions. Leave to cool.
Stir the kale, mint, spring onions, cucumber and tomatoes through the bulghar wheat. Season with the cumin and allspice, then dress with the olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Scatter over the lemon zest and feta. Fill the leaves of baby gem lettuce with the tabbouleh and eat with your hands. 

Nice with a glass of chilled rosé to keep that summer feeling lasting. 

Source: BBC Good Food Magazine, January 2013

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Dierendonck meets Balls & Glory pop up store

Great pop-up restaurant in Nieuwpoort at the Belgian seaside: Balls & Glory the meatballs restaurant from Ghent sets up shop until the end of the summer with Atelier Dierendonck, one of Belgian's best butchers.
Not to be missed, these two are huge fans!

Atelier Dierendonck
Albert I Laan 106
8260 Nieuwpoort
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Memories of Greek holidays


Years ago I bought the Greek doctor's diet book and now every summer when I cook Greek food I think I am on a diet. Could be possible if it wasn't for the bottle of rosé on the table... anyhow, this recipe brings me in an instant holiday mood.

We first tasted this years ago on a sisters' holiday on the island of Chios. Everytime I see the red sweet peppers in the shop, I think of that great holiday. Food and memories - ah!

Sweet pepper stuffed with feta and couscous

2 red sweet peppers
feta cheese
flat leaf parsley
green olives
olive oil

Prepare the couscous according to package instructions (I had enough with couscous for one person). Pour a tablespoon olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice over the couscous and fluff up with a fork.
Add chopped olives, chopped parsley leaves and crumbled feta cheese to the couscous. I also like to give it a twist of freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Cut the top of the peppers and cut out the seeds and core. Fill the whole pepper with the couscous and put them in an oven dish, brush the peppers with a little olive oil.
Bake the peppers in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (mine took even longer, depends on your oven, but don't let them go black)

Delicous with a roasted sweet potato and argula salad!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Two sangria's por favor

Sangria always throws me back to the eighties: long hot summer holidays filled with MTV and BBQ evenings. I always liked the white sangria best. Here's a recipe you can make in the white or the red version, both with apple cider.

One for you, one for me!

Sangria with apple cider

White sangria : pour a few bottles of Somersby apple cider in a jug and top up with white wine (a fresh Pinot Grigio does the trick), apple and pear slices and ice cubes.

Red sangria: pour a few bottles of Somersby apple cider in a jug and top up with red wine (a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon is great), apple and pear slices and ice cubes.

Make them even stronger with a dash of brandy!

The other Greek salad


For all of us who are not sitting in a Greek taverna overlooking a turquoize sea, flip flops in the sand... here's a Greek salad recipe to compensate.

Orzo salad with feta and fresh oregano

150 gr orzo
punnet of cherry tomatoes
Fresh oregano leaves chopped
feta cheese
spring onions, thinly sliced
olive oil
dijon mustard
1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Boil the orzo in lightly salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil. Leave to cool.
Put the argula leaves, the cherry tomatoes cut into four, crumbled feta cheese, cubed cucumber and spring onions in the orzo plate.
Garnish with fresh oregano and pour dressing over it.

Mix two tablespoons olive oil with one teaspoon mustard, two tablespoons lemon juice and zeste of 1/2 lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Simply Recipes
Muziek: Haris Alexiou

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

White bean dip

it's a dip, with avocado, but it isn't guacamole!

White bean and thyme dip

1 avocado
50 gr rinsed white beans
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mosterd
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon zeste
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender, blend and flavour with pepper and salt.

Now pour yourself a nice glass of vino bianco and read your book in the shade. Occasionally dipping a piece of baguette in the dippy dunky dip.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Barista Coffeehouse in Ghent

My favourite spot in Ghent to read the weekendpapers with a perfect cup of coffee and a heavenly piece of cake is Barista.

Next to a little bridge over the canal you get easily distracted by the city waking up on the other side of the window. The vintage decor with 'grandma's' wallpaper also displays photos and prints of contemporary local artists on the walls. But it is especially the long counter when you walk through the door that will draw your attention: devilish good looking homemade cakes and muffins that you simply can't resist. You must try the 'broodpudding' a traditional Flemish recipe. 
This house used to be a grain mill, the sacks of grain were shipped in via the canal, you can still see the cable that lifted them up. No wonder they take special pride in their great sandwiches here: they are made with bread from local organic bakery De Trog, where they have been baking spelt and sourdough breads long before any hype. The goat cheese baguette with apple and honey is my favourite!

Meerseniersstraat 16
9000 Gent
T 0470 523 651
Tue-Fri 0800-1800
Sat-Sun 0930-1800
Mon Closed

There is also a Barista in Ghent Zuid:
Hippoliet Lippenslaan 25
9000 Gent

Friday, 19 July 2013

Mastelle & Co

Bagels in New York, baguettes in Parijs, panini's in Rome and now mastelles in Ghent!

The recipe dates from the 11th century and when you say 'mastelle' you immediately think of Ghent. This is the place where the small soft round breads with a hint of cinnamon originate from. Up until a few months ago you could only find them at fairs and festivals celebrating Ghent's history, where they traditionally were prepared with ... an iron! The bread rolls are cut in two halves, buttered and sprinkled with brown sugar and then ironed between two sheets of tin foil until the sugar and butter have melted together in a sweet feast.

These exceptional treats can now be bought in the smallest shop of Ghent: Mastelle & Co. In a doorway, barely 1 m² big but with the biggest smile of the whole city, Younes Benzaza 'irons' the mastelles now panini style. You can buy the traditional sweet version with butter and sugar and even for the extra sweet tooth, with chocolate on top.  Or try the savoury version with cream cheese and salmon or brie and salted nuts. I have let myself be seduced by the caramelised sugar this time, but I can't wait to try the savoury ones, the flavours combined with the cinnamon in the bread must be divine!

A must for everybody visiting Ghent: Mastelle & Co!

Mastelle & Co
Jan Breydelstraat 32
9000 Gent
Opening hours: keep an eye on the Facebook page!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Healthy breakfast


Opening the windows this morning and seeing blue skies gave me such a boost. Still a bit nippy at 11° C but my god have we missed that sun! 
Such fantastic weather asks for a health kick breakfast: oranges, kiwis and pears with a few leaves of fresh mint and a drizzle of acacia honey. Serve with low fat yoghurt. Yum!

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