After a long vacation I am always excited to get back in the kitchen! After so much meat and seafood I was ready for a few days of vegetarian dishes and headed to My New Roots in search of a delicious fall dish. The Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba caught my eye and didn’t disappoint. So delicious! In her recipe she recommends dried seaweed, but in Belgium it’s so easy to find different types of fresh seaweed – including my favorite, samphire – so nice and juicy!
For the third year in a row Koen and I celebrated Christmas Eve at the De Feijter home. Everyone – all the parents and children – create and bring delicious food to share while catching up and playing games. In 2012 Koen and I made mini tomate aux crevettes with grapefruit, 2013 we made meatballs, and now for 2014 we took it to the next level with: parma ham wrapped smoked duck and Belgian endive on top of nut and seed bread with quince peer jelly. Koen smoked the duck and made the quince pear jelly and I made the nut and seed bread! Mmm mmm mmm. The nut and seed bread recipe comes from My New Roots and I’ve already made it again because it was so delicious!
Every week I look forward to Sundays. Sunday is the only day in the week that Koen and I are both off from work together. So we like to make the most of it. That involves sleeping in and making special brunches. Every week we like to try something different.
Last month Chris and Hannah got married! After more than 10 years together, they finally tied the knot! Koen and I wanted to do something special for them, so we came up with the idea of a Sushi Workshop Bridal Shower – a honeymoon theme because Chris and Hannah were leaving for Japan after the wedding. Bridal showers are traditionally only done in the United States and United Kingdom, so we wanted to bring our version to the Netherlands – a fun way to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of our good friends!
I recently discovered Green Kitchen Stories and one of the recipes that caught my eye is the Maple Tossed Rhubarb & Puy Salad. I love summer lentil salads, and the mixture of fruits and vegetables with goat cheese (my substitute for feta) and basil sounded so delicious! Koen’s family from Canada was visiting and I decided to make this salad. This was exciting for me, because I’ve actually never made anything with rhubarb before. I wasn’t even sure how it tasted – sour it turns out! Before making the salad I wanted to look up a few things about rhubarb:
- Can you eat it raw? Yes.
- Can you eat green rhubarb? Yes, but people like the red ones for aesthetics but the taste is the same.
The salad is really easy to make – just cooking the lentils and chopping the produce. What a great combination of flavors! There were no leftovers, so that’s always a great sign!
In Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, late April to late June is white asparagus season. During this period I always try to eat as much white asparagus as possible – we’ve already had them 4 times! Compared to green asparagus, the white ones are more tender and less bitter. Normally Koen and I always eat them the Dutch way, with Hollandais sauce, ham, smoked salmon and a boiled egg. This season we’ve been experimenting. A few tips from Jeroen Meus to keep in mind when preparing asparagus:
- Poke the bottom of the asparagus with your thumbnail; if moisture comes, they’re fresh
- Rub the asparagus together; if they make a squeaky sound, they’re fresh
- Rather than cutting the end off, break it off with your hands; that way you don’t accidentally cut off any of the tender asparagus
I love checking My New Roots for new ideas to try in the kitchen. This time I was inspired to make my own almond milk after watching her video and seeing how simple the process is! It is really unbelievable how easy it is to make your own nut milk – I think next time I am going to try oats or another sort of nut, maybe I’ll even go a little crazy and try combinations, who knows. I was surprised by how strongly the almond milk smelled and tasted like amaretto. Delicious! The only difference I could really taste between the homemade milk and store-bought milk is that mine isn’t sweetened. I don’t think I’ll add any sugar in the future, because I always use almond milk in my breakfast smoothies that already have fruit, so natural sweeteners.
Normally when I’m on My New Roots, I search the site for a vegetable or grain I’d like to try. But this time, the Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup was a new entry on the home page. I had never tried pea soup and wanted to give it a try! The recipe is super easy and full of flavor. Koen came up with great addition of the bacon pieces! Yum!
Ever since I saw this recipe on My New Roots, I have been dying to try it! I finally found the time on a day off to make the Fully-Loaded Spring Samosas with Sweet n’ Spicy Mint Chutney. The filling, the coconut on top, the mint chutney (the sauce especially!), everything was so flavorful and delicious!
I can’t get enough of My New Roots! So many new flavors and combinations I never thought to make and they’re all so healthy! To make the dressing, I had to go out and buy a lot of the dried herbs which was more difficult than I expected because I forgot to translate them first! Who knew that clove is kruidnagel in Dutch? That literally translates into herb nail (like fingernail, not hammer and nail). The dressing was delicious and spicy. The recipe is more for a lentil salad base, with a lot of freedom for what actually goes into it.