Tag Archives: lactose free

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

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

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!

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Wild garlic pancakes

wild garlic pancakes_mainWhere the wild things are? Everywhere! but the fantastic wild garlic can be picked mainly in spring time. So something to look forward to then, its almost winter now.
But the pancakes are easy peasy and why not change the wild garlic for chives or another herb. Basically, use the season ingredients and this way we can have 4 variations. But because spring is my favourite season I am kicking off with this one


makes 16 pancakes

250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp groundnut or sunflower oil
200ml boiling water
4 tbsp roasted sesame oil
50g wild garlic, finely chopped
garden peas
groundnut or sunflower oil, for frying

Mushroom ragout:
mixed mushrooms
tomato paste
red wine
spring vegetable stock


1.Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and water and mix well using a wooden spoon or spatula to a soft sticky dough. Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it start to get to sticky. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and rest for 20 minutes.

2. Lightly dust the working surface with more flour and roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut with a knife to divide into 16 pieces.

3. Steam or quickly boil the peas in 2 minutes

4. Place a piece of the dough cut side down and roll it out to a rough 10 cm circle with a rolling pin. Brush the surface liberally with sesame oil and scatter over the chopped wild garlic and garden peas. Start rolling the dough to form a sausage, pinch both ends to sealed in the wild garlic and sesame oil. Lightly flatten the roll and then roll it up again from one end like a snail. Press lightly to sealed the end.  Set aside while you repeat with the rest. Cover with a clean kitchen towel again and rest for another 20 minutes.

5. In the mean time start your mushroom ragout. Roughly tear and chop your mushrooms. Add some thin sliced garlic to a hot pan and fry in little oil. Then add the mushroom and gently stir for a few minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, thyme, red wine and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the stock and stir well, leave for 20 minutes so all the flavours are enhanced. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently.

6. Place each roll flat on a lightly floured work surface and press down with the palm of you hand to flatten and roll to a 10 cm circle with a rolling pin. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with the rest of the rolls. Stack each pancakes between sheets of baking paper to stop them from sticking.

7. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and brush with some groundnut or sunflower oil. Add 2-3 pancakes at a time. Fry for 2-3 minutes before turning and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on some kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the rest of the pancakes. These are best serve immediately straight from the pan with the mushroom ragout.

wild garlic pancakes_done3  wild garlic pancakes_done2  wild garlic pancakes_done



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.

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