Kofta b’siniyah is hands down one of my favorite new recipes I’ve tried this year! The flavor combinations are so new and interesting – nutmeg, cinnamon, pinenuts, chilli pepper, etc. This recipe was recommended by a colleague who has been trying out recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I had never had Israeli/Palestinian food before, but now I want to try more! Many of the ingredients for this dish I had in my kitchen from the Roasted Eggplant Pizza (tahini) and the Lentil “Meatballs” and Lemon pesto (pinenuts, parsley). I will definitely make this dish again!
Lentil “Meatballs” in Lemon Pesto (and quinoa pasta)
My sister-in-law Barbara came over for dinner this week and I decided to try the Sprouted Kitchen‘s Lentil “Meatballs” in Lemon Pesto. The “meatballs” were delicious, but i made them a but too big (it was also my first time using beluga lentils!). My favorite part of the dish was the lemon pesto. I tweaked her instructions a bit and instead of using a food processor to blend the garlic, pinenuts and basil, I used my pestle and mortar. Next time I will make more pesto and smaller lentil “meatballs”! For dessert Barbara baked a delicious pear and apricot pie!
When I initially browsed the Sprouted Kitchen website, I bookmarked the Roasted Eggplant and Za’atar Pizza as a recipe I wanted to try. I love eggplant, onions, and herbs. Finding za’atar was impossible, but luckily on My New Roots there is a recipe to make your own. But even with the make your own, I didn’t have any sumac on hand, so I basically just added a lot of dried oregano and thyme over the tahini spread. I was a bit lazy and bought already made pizza bottoms, but the results were really delicious, especially with the fresh thyme sprinkled on top!
This past weekend Koen and I visited his parents in Roosendaal and Sunday we were able to cook dinner for everyone. Koen decided on a porchetta paupiette and to accompany it, I found a mayo-free recipe for Apple Coleslaw on the Paleo Plan’s website. Originally I just wanted a recipe for apple coleslaw, but the first suggested search items included the paleo diet, so I thought I’d give it a try! The Paleolithic diet is also called the Cave Man diet, because it’s based on what our ancestors’ diet. The coleslaw was light and fresh, and paired nicely with the porchetta.
After making the Gado Gado, I had a lot of peanuts leftover. I was trying to figure out how to use them and Koen suggested making an Indonesian dish – kipsaté. Kipsaté is Dutch for chicken satay, which is marinated chicken on skewers covered in satésaus which is an Indonesian peanut sauce. To make the sauce, you need peanut butter and I found a recipe on My New Roots for DIY nut butter! I made my satésaus to early and when I reheated it the texture changed and became a bit clumpy. So now I know for next time to make the sauce last!
When my sister-in-law Barbara came to visit we had to decide where to lunch. I have a long (and growing) list of restaurants I’d like to try and Lombardia was on it! Lombardia serves organic, natural, eco-friendly food and drinks and is most known for it’s drink Ginger Love. The Wall Street Journal even listed the drink in its top 5 to-do list for Antwerp! Barbara and I enjoyed huge sandwiches loaded with vegetables and I of course ordered a Ginger Love!
After using the pestle and mortar for the Gado Gado dressing, I realized I don’t use it enough! When I think of the cooking tool, the first dish that comes to mind is pesto – and I’d never tried it before. Surprisingly, maybe just to me, pesto is easy to make. Really. I served Jamie Oliver‘s basic pesto recipe with white fish and pasta. Delcious and simple flavors!
On Sundays Koen spoils me with homemade breakfasts. Most recently Koen made kaasbroodjes and worstenbroodjes from scratch! Yum!! Basically it’s cheese (kaas) and sausage (worst) baked in a pastry in the oven.
A few weeks ago I’ve also been experimenting with making my own granola to eat in the mornings. Usually I make a smoothie, but sometimes it’s nice to have something quick on hand if I’m running late. Lately I’ve seen a lot of people eating quinoa granola and found a delicious recipe from Brooklyn Atlas – Coconut Quinoa Granola! The results have been fantastic and it’s super easy to make, so I’ve made extra batches for my sister-in-laws and colleagues.
For my next recipe I really wanted to try cooking an Indonesian dish from scratch. I was at a loss of where to begin but luckily after googling Indonesian recipes, I found a great website with a lot of photos and instructions, Indochine Kitchen, and after searching a while I settled on Gado Gado. I chose this recipe for a number of reasons – I love peanut sauces and dressings, kroepoek, and salads. Gado Gado is basically a boiled salad – the cabbage, the bean sprouts, and the eggs were all boiled and then mixed with cucumber and spring onions. After making the tofu veggie ramen bowl, Koen didn’t want anymore tofu, so I left it out of the recipe.
I am very proud of my peanut dressing! I fried the peanuts myself and then painstakingly crushed them with my pestle and mortar (Koen had to help when I got tired) along with the other ingredients. It was perfect on top of all of the vegetables and rice. We scattered fried onions on top – yum!
Bourla, the building with the orange awning and outdoor seating
My colleagues and I finally celebrated Christmas dinner! Although the late dinner is attributed to scheduling conflicts, we wound up really enjoying the sunny weather by eating outside. The Bourla is located in the Graanmarkt, alongside many other cafés and restaurants – it’s nice area to relax for a drink, lunch, or dinner. Because the weather was warm outside, my menu consisted mostly of North Sea Shrimp!