Tag Archives: healthy

Purple Matters!

Purple Kale Salad_mainIf colour means anything let purple take control. It’s always interesting to see what happens if you let a colour decide on the dish. Obviously, make sure the other ingredients go well with it. This one is colorful and tasteful like a dynamite!


Bunch of purple kale
Bunch of palm cabbage
1 Radicchio
1 Beetroot
2 Purple carrot
2 Spring onions
1 Avocado
3 x3 cm Ginger
Black sesame
Rice vinegar
Sea salt
Ground pepper


1. Bake the beetroot, or use pre cooked beets. Pre-heat the oven to 200c, rub the beets in some olive oil and wrap in foil. Toss them in the oven for 1 hour, depending on their size. Take out and let cool in the foil. Once cool enough to handle, remove their skin and cut in segments, set aside.

2. Was and discard the kale in cold water. Transfer to a pan and blanch in just boiled water for 20 seconds, finish with cold water. Squeeze out all the water, drop in a bowl and fluff with a fork.

3. Peel the carrot and ginger cut in in the carrot strips and the ginger in matches. Heat up a wok, add some sesame oil and fry the ginger for a minute or 2. Save 1/4 of the carrot strips and add the rest to the ginger and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Take out and set aside.

4. Finely slice the spring onion, slice the celeriac, grate a lemon and finely chop the red pepper. Add tot the carrot/ginger mixture and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Purple Kale Salad_done

The Almighty Miso Soup

almighty miso soupStock up on some miso paste and kombu, wack it in your freezer and you are 30 minutes away from a quick miso, all year round. Miso is easy to adjust and fits with summer and winter ingredients. The soup, back in the days named misoshiru is high in minerals and protein, so slurp away I would say!

[highlight]INGREDIENTS [/highlight]

Kombu, 5×5 cm cut in strips
handful shiitake
1 cup spinach or palm kale
1 small broccoli
1 carrot
2 or 3 shallots
2 big tablespoons miso paste
bunch celery leaves
soy, if desired
sea salt
ground pepper


1. Cut a sheet of kombu into small strips and drop them in a pan with plenty of water, about 1.5 liter, bring to a boil. This will be your stock.

2. Whilst the stock is warming up thinly slice the shallots and carrot. Tear the shiitake and spinach leaves and cut the broccoli in small roses.  Reduce the heat and drop all the ingredients, but the spinach leaves, in the soup, simmer for 10 minutes.

3. When the vegetables  are softened spoon in the miso paste and stir until the paste is completely dissolved. Add the spinach leaves to the soup and bring to taste with salt,  pepper and perhaps some drops of soy sauce. Be carefull it doesnt become too salty. When the soup is done  add the celery leaves and serve in bowls.

* You can serve the soup with kale chips! Wash as small bunch of kale, discard the core and chop it in small bits. Toss with some olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and transfer to a baking tray. Bake in a low temp oven (60c) for up to 15 minutes, or until crisp but not burned!

finished miso

Punk Kale Salad

Punk Kale salad

Kale is the thing to eat now in cities like London and New York, spiced up in a salad or as side. Here in Holland kale is a popular winter number, originally mashed up with potatoes. Our urban Rooftop in Rotterdam was overloaded with the green stuff and since the weather was still not cold enough to long for that steamy pot of mash I came up with a salad, new style. Believe me, this will make you want to skip winter altogether…

serves 4
5 to 6 bunches of kale
mint leaves
a mix of sultanas and raisins
dried apricot
red onion
roasted and salted almonds

1 tp lemon juice
2 ts  honey
1 ts horseradish
2 ts oil
3 ts cider or white wine vinegar
mixed ground pepper
course sea salt

1.Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, remove the outer skin from the onion, chop in 4 and wrap in foil. Throw in the oven for up to 20 minutes. Remove, let it cool, segment the onion and set aside.

2. Soak the sultanas and raisins in water for 20 minutes and drain, set aside.

3. Remove stalks from the kale, chop roughly and wash under cold water. Drop the kale in the sink and pour boiled water on top, stir for 20 seconds, drain and splash with cold water. Squeeze out all the water, drop in a bole and fluff with a fork.

4. Chop the apricots and almonds, set aside.

5. Prepare a dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients.

6. Mix kale with onion, sultanas, apricots, almonds and toss. Pour the dressing over the kale, mix well and serve. Awesome as a side dish with veggie fries or as a lunch salad.

Kale salad-done


rtichoke_Chicory saladNot one that you will spot on your plate everyday, or listed on a menu. A first recollection as a child: “is it a cactus?” A giant green sunflower?” Will I find a frog in the heart?”

Mediterranean kids did not ask such questions, they where familiar with artichoke. It is in the warmer countries where they grow but it where in fact the Dutch who introduced it to England. To get to the heart you nibble the fleshy leaves first, they are taster of what to expect from the hidden gem inside. Not to mention it looks great on a plate.


1 yellow carrot
2 artichoke
2 red chicory
1 Lemon
handful golden raisons
150 g cottage cheese
300 g couscous
table spoon honey
mixed nuts
olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 200 c

2. Mix couscous with chilli flakes, olive oil, juice of half a lemon and cover with boiling water so there is about 1 cm above the line, let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

3. Swell the raisins, shave the carrot and roughly chop the nuts and add to the couscous.

4. Cut the chicory at the roots, gently wash the separate leaves and dry them. Fill the leaves with a spoon full of the couscous mixture and place in a lightly buttered oven dish. Finish each leaf with a teaspoon of cottage cheese, a drop of honey and pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

5. To prepare the artichoke, cut of the tips of the leaves. Add a slice of lemon to the boiling water and steam the artichoke for 25 to 35 minutes or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.

6. Drizzle some olive oil over the artichoke, add a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper and serve like a flower with the baked chicory. A simple green, tomato salad goes nicely on the side.

Loaf_artichoke salad_done                       Loaf_artichoke salad_done2

Flower & Broad Bean Salad

Broad bean flower salad_main

So here is proof that flowers are not only pretty things to look at, they can be the eye candy for your   dish too. Now don’t start picking any flower you come across, check first what’s growing in your garden.  Our rooftop here in Rotterdam still grow flowers and its november! This palette was based on flavours that go so well together. Rainbow beet with punchy black tomatoes and fresh broad beans. The flowers bring in a colour punch and give a slight lavender taste, awesome..

serves 4

200g podded broad beans, about (1kg unpodded weight)
300 g mixed cherry tomatoes
2 (rainbow) beets
1 garlic
little bunch of edible flowers
bunch of rocket salad
50 g hazelnuts
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
ground pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180 c. Peel off any excess paper around the edges of the garlic. Cut the top part off, sprinkle with a little salt and oil and wrap in foil. Toss in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
2. Clean the beets, rub with some oil, wrap in foil and toss in the oven with the garlic for 40 minutes.
3. Boil a pan of water, add the broad beans and boil for 2-3 mins. Drain and plunge into iced water, leave to cool a little before removing the skins.
4. Cut the  the tomatoes in quarters and put aside.
5 .Once the beets are cooled, remove the skin and cut in slices.
6. Cut the garlic in two or 4.
7. Whisk the honey, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a dressing.
8 Toss together the rocket, tomatoes, beets and broad beans.
9. Place the garlic on top, drizzle with some dressing and scatter chopped walnuts and flowers on top.
10. Serve with some Indian naan bread or on its own.

Broad bean flower salad_02   Broad bean flower salad_plate

Mashed up mash!

Mashed up mash_main

Its great to mash things up. Throw in some other chopped up bits and you’ll have a delicious mess. Its so easy and the thumbs always go up.  

The sweet potato is well shaped to be mashed and whilst it was summer I picked the super healthy chard as a side kick. Pink was sort of the theme color here so I chose beets, red spring onions and salmon for extra toppings. Result? They are a smashing team!  

serves 2

2 sweet potatoes
2 chard stems
1 beetroot
1 bunch of red spring onions
200 g smoked salmon
50 g parmesan cheese
olive oil
sea salt,  mixed ground pepper


1. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes, Steam for 5 minutes or until soft.

2. Rub the beet with a little olive oil and wrap in foil,  bake in the oven for one hour. Skip this step if you use pre cooked beets. Let it cool, remove the skin en chop in small cubes.

3. Wash and shred the chard in thin strips.

4. Mash the sweet patato with a drop of olive oil, grated parmezan cheese, ground pepper and sea salt.

5. Gently fold in the beet and shredded chard to one mixture. Put the lid on to keep it warm.

7. Grill the salmon in its own oil in a hot grill pan and then shred. Continue to grill the spring onions

8. Divide the mash over the plates and serve with the salmon and spring onions. Now indulge and scrape the pan!

14__Mashed up mash_post  14__Mashed up mash__post3  Mashed up mash__post


Baked Beetroot

Baked Beetroot

Because beets are the most versatile vegetables. They are so fantastic in whatever form or shape:  baked, steamed, mashed or in fluid. Throw them in the oven wrapped in foil for an hour or so and you will get such a juicy thing. Mash it with sweet potato or turn it into a juice with avocado, celery and apple. Beetroot is rock and roll in the kitchen!


4 mixed beetroot and their greens
200 g smoked salmon
100 g goat cheese
soya cooking cream
1/2 avocado
small handful olives
pistachio nuts
sea salt
ground pepper
2 tablespoons dutch apple syrup
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C. Remove the greens from the beets by twisting, dont cut!

2 .Wash the beetroots and wrap individually in foil and bake them in the oven: small beets take one hour, big ones up to 2 hours. They have be soft,  check by squeezing a little. Let them cool, peel off the outer skin and shave or cut in thin slices. If you use pre-cooked beets so can slice them straight away.

3. Mince the salmon and finely chop 1/4 of the avocado. Mix well and add seasoning. Cover and put away in the fridge.

4. Prepare the vinaigrette:  Blitz together the vinegar, mustard, honey olive oil and little salt until one smooth sauce. Do you have fresh basil? Add and blitz as well. Stir in the capers.

6. In a little saucepan warm up the cream, when it start to boils take of the heat and whisk in crumbled goat cheese and if you have blue cheese to a slight stiff substance.

7. Wash and tear the beet greens and mix with other leaves like rocket or.

8. Slice the remaining avocado, halve the olives and mix them with the salad leaves.

9. Remove the salmon from the fridge

10. Pile a firm amount of salad on your plate. Use a cooking ring to make your salmon tartar. Then make your beetroot tower with the cooking ring. Alter layers of beetroot with the cheese cream, start and finish with beetroot slices, make sure you carefully lift the ring.

11. Warm up the syrup and drop a spoonful of melted syrup on top of the tower. Drizzle vinaigrette over your salad and a little on the salmon and serve up!!


Baked Beetroot_result_done  Baked Beetroot_result_done_03  Baked Beetroot_result_done_02


Sweet Potato CroqsIt is a habit to revamp a traditional recipe by substituting the main ingredient with a surprising alternative. Potato croquettes..an old fashioned side snack that you will find in the old-school buffet dinners. Next to the almost grey looking Brussels sprouts and ever overcooked carrots. Brrr, they gave me the shivers. 

Nevertheless, I had decided to make a new style of croquette.
Earlier in the week I had made mash and veggie fries, if you mix mash and fries you sort of end up with a croquette. So.. idea born.
The orange coloured flesh of the sweet potato needed a strong sidekick so I mixed in purslane which is as green as grass. Purslane is considered a weed but contains a lot of omega 3  so say hello to that!


2 or 3 sweet potatoes
50 g crumbled goat cheese
2 eggs
handful purslane or baby spinach leaves
50 g plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
100 g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
paprika  powder
coarse sea salt
ground pepper


1. Peel the potatoes and boil in a pan for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Mash the potatoes in a bowl until smooth, use a little (soya)milk if necessary. Mix in the goat cheese, grated garlic, roughly torn purslane and season with paprika power, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to one creamy substance.

2. Roll the potato mixture into small ball sized balls and dip each croquette into the flour, dusting off any excess, then dip in the beaten eggs and finish in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with each croquette until you have used up all of the potato mixture. Place onto a tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before cooking.

4. Pour the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan until half full and heat until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden-brown in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the croquettes, in batches, for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

5. Serve with a yoghurt mayonnaise and/or homemade tapenade. Or..like my cousin did, dip the croquettes in your soup! There are no rules, simply enjoy.

Sweet Potato Croqs_done2  Sweet Potato Croqs_done

Aubergine and quinoa roll ups

11_aubergine roll ups_main

That’s the difficulty when a veg has different names in different countries. An aubergine is also called a zucchini, which means courgette in French. A recipe that meant to start with a purple egg shape thing ended up with his green alter ego. I gave up, until I moved back to the Netherlands where things are called what they are. I learned that aubergine is an incredible versatile ingredient that lends itself in many varied ways. Rolled up for example, with little kumquats on the side, nice!


1 Aubergine
10 oyster mushrooms
3 kumquats
200 g Quinoa
handful yellow raisins
handful hazelnuts
flat leaf parsley
100 g goat cheese, mixed with 30 g parmesan
handful purple sprouts
olive oil
Salt &  ground Pepper
herbal stock cube

[highlight] INSTRUCTIONS[/highlight]

1. Prepare a veggie broth and bring to boil, reduce to simmer and add the quinoa. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

 2. Slice the aubergine with a cheese slicer in thin  strips, leave out the two end pieces with their skin on.  Sprinkle the strips with a little salt and heat up a grill pan. Once the pan is hot grill the slices on both sides for about 2 minutes or when brown (not black) stripes appear. Put aside and start the stuffing.

3. Heat up a pan, cut the remaining aubergine ends to small pieces and tear the mushrooms. Add some oil to the pan and start with the aubergine. After 3 minutes add the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes. Then add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir to one mixture and season with salt & pepper. Fill the grilled aubergine slices by adding some of the stuffing to the thicker end (about a dessert spoon), and roll it up.

4. Once cooked transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and squeeze in some cumquat juice, then add chopped hazelnuts, raisins, parsley and finish with a good pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Serve with the rolled up aubergine and garnish with purple sprouts and kumquat. No need to peel, you can eat the skin of kumquats.

Rolled up Aubergine_result_doneRolled up Aubergine_done2Rolled up Aubergine_done3