Tag Archives: vegetarian

The one about the Cat

Mona likes it when people prepare food.
She always thinks there might be something in it for her so she meows and she cuddles and she darts around your legs (hoping you’ll fall and she can get to the food easier, no doubt).

I always tell her she won’t be pleased with the stuff I have to offer when I’m cooking, with me being vegetarian and all, but apparently Mona thinks eating vegetarian is a very appropriate thing for a cat to do.

We already knew she was crazy for sweet corn and chickpeas, but today she took it up another notch:

She was hooking up with some lamb’s lettuce!

Love, M.


Food in Rome

Italians are a bit weird about vegetarianism: they have a lot of amazing dishes that do not have any meat in them, but as soon as you announce you’re a vegetarian they get a bit confused and the only thing they seem to be able to offer you is a plate of lettuce with some tomato slices.

Yeah, that happened on our trip in Rome… several times.
But there were also times we got more lucky.

For lunch we either had a panini on the go (on the photograph: a panini with mozzarella, zucchini and aubergine. I even had one with green beans,mushrooms and cauliflower once) or we had a picknick with nice Italian bread, cheese,cherry tomatoes and fruit.

I think I enjoyed lunch most because that was the meal we got to choose ourselves. I’m usually a big fan of breakfast but the breakfast we got in the hotel wasn’t that great: buns with butter and jelly (if you got lucky you got a different jelly flavour than you had the day before). We did have breakfast in a cosy, little coffeeshop a couple of times which was awesome: a steaming cappuchini and a croissant, njam!

Typical foodstand with panini and drinks

Real Romans eat pizza!

And not just normal pizza, they eat giant pizza.

The best thing about dinner was that we got dessert every time, sometimes we got fruit  but most of the time we got some not very tasting looking pudding (sometimes it was actually meant to be pudding, other times it was meant to be pannacotta). I even bargained my way into getting some tiramusi from someone who was lucky enough to get a serving of that since they were all out of pudding.

And don’t forget about the gelati and the frozen yoghurt!

Love, M.

Shopping Spree

Every girl needs a good shopping trip to get her mind off of things and re-energize from time to time!

Today I went shopping with the mom and the sis, here’s my loot:

1 pair of jeans and a blue dress (Mango), 3 sweaters (Springfield), socks and tights (H&M) and a new purse since the old one got mutilated in Rome (Only).

Close up of the shirts. I love these kind of shirts: it’s not really a shirt, but not really a sweater either, long-sleeved,super soft and comfortable.

Another bonus today: shopping lunch and coffee.

Veggie sandwich with carrots,lettuce,tomato,cucumber,red beets and spice cheese with a salad on the side. And a cappuccino in the background.
I’m having trouble staying away from cappuccino, even though it’s not nearly as good in Belgium as it was in Italy.. well, I only had 2 today so I guess you can call that improvement.

Love, M.

Monday: many Highlights, one Low

The Highlights

Green apples are back in my life!!
Though I’d say I’m a sweet tooth and I would never give up my favourite Gala apples for any other kind in the world (so far), I really enjoy a tangy green apple from time to time.

My promoter just handed my over this baby, more info for my bachelor paper!

Quinoa salad with tomato and chickpeas, hmmm yummy in my tummy!

My fridge looks rather happy as well, don’t you think?
It’s star components:

Hummus, you always manage to make me smile!

Tofu for tomorrow’s experiment..
Marinate and (with a bit of luck ;)) eat

Pretty vintage shoes!
I found these while cleaning up in my grandma’s attic when they were packing all of their stuff cause they were going to move, I also confiscated a purple pair of shoes… that was a good day.

One very,very,very low…

I’m actually quite ashamed to tell you this…

I still feel so bad about it!
So, this afternoon I decided to grab a coup of instant soup, I still had a new package with peas and croutons lying around in my cabinet and I took that one.
I ate a couple of spoonfuls and something just tasted funny, a bit off.. it tasted a bit like ham or bacon…. (can you see where this is going?!)
I immediately went to check the container, and yes, it was indeed containing ham (ie. pork…. ie. meat!!)

and even though I only ate a couple of spoonfuls, I still feel so bad about it !

I should have checked the package before I ate it, but I remember buying it and taking this one on purpose because it didn’t seem to have meat in it, all of the others had things like ‘with chicken’ on it in big letters on the front of the packages so I thought it was safe…
So yeah, I’m feeling a bit like a vegetarian failure now…

Love, M.

Friday Night Burgers

Every family has certain rituals when it comes to food.
In my family it’s been a habit to eat fries from the chip shop (or for the Flemish people ‘frietjes van de frituur’ ;)) on Friday evenings for as long as I can remember.

Keep in mind that fries, even though they’re called French fries in English, are something typical of Belgium (just like the waffles and the chocolate)

Here’s what my sister eats on a typical Friday night.
I had to take a quick “kitchen table shot”, my sister doesn’t appreciate her dinner getting cold because of me trying to take ‘pretty’ pictures of it.

I’m really not  into eating a greasy bag of fries every week, they leave me feeling heavy,bloated and gross for the rest of the weekend..
but I do enjoy a nice burger from time to time…

And no, I’m not talking about a burger from the chip shop!

Even though you can hardly call that processed stuff “meat”, it still is meat… kind of … most of it anyway 😉

I’m talking about my favourite burger: a chickpea burger!

‘Chickpea Burger’

makes 3 medium patties 

  • half a can of chickpeas (about 80 grams), mashed
  • 3 T of oats
  • 2 T of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg white
  • 6 almonds, chopped
  • pepper and salt
  • half a carrot, grated
  • olive oil

Rest of the stuff it takes to assemble a burger
  • burger bun
  • half a tomato
  • piece of zucchini
  • lettuce
  • ketchup or pesto ( or any other dressing/sauce you prefer)
Mash the chickpeas, add the grated carrot, the almonds, oats and breadcrumbs.
Add the egg white and mix everything together, if the mixture isn’t sticky enough you can add a bit of water to make it blend a bit better.
Make 3 patties (easier when you have wet hands) and fry them in olive oil in a skillet.

Burger without to top so you guys can have a better look at the pattie

Before I ‘assembled’ the burger, I fried the zucchini pieces a bit. I like to eat this burgers with some tomato ketchup, but I tried it with pesto a couple of weeks ago and that was gorgeous too, so it’s really up to you and your own taste.
Of course you can also eat these burgers with some rice or veggies or mashed potatoes.

Does your family have ‘food rituals’ as well?
Love M. 

A Tale of two Pasta Sauces

Once upon a time there was a girl who really liked pasta…
Maybe that’s an understatement: she absolutely adored pasta!

She enjoyed her mum’s mac and cheese with pieces of ham in it, spaghetti carbonara with lots of bacon and her grandma’s famous spaghetti bolognese (with an overload of minced beef of course).
But one day she became a vegetarian and felt like she couldn’t enjoy the delights of pasta anymore…

Until she decided to come up with her own, vegetarian pasta sauce recipes!

Pasta sauce with lots of colour and goodies

This girl sometimes loved to take her time and spent an entire afternoon cooking but being busy with school and sports on other times, she was also in need of a quick and easy sauce recipe.

Inspired by her grandma’s bolognese sauce she came up with two modified version: one in slow cooking style but still very easy, and one that came in handy when she was pressed for time.

‘Slow Bolognese Sauce’

In fact you don’t have to spent a lot of time actually ‘cooking’ with this recipe, it just needs enough time to simmer to get it to taste perfect 🙂

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • a cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • half a zucchini, diced
  • half a yellow pepper, diced
  • a can of tomatoes
  • a few tablespoon concentrated tomato purée
  • any spice you like! I used pepper, dried garlic, oregano and an Italian herb mix
  • olive oil
In a casserole fry the onion in the olive oil until it has a bit of colour, add the carrots and yellow pepper and let it simmer a bit until the carrot is soft.
Add the mushrooms and zucchini, let it simmer a bit more before you add the can of tomatoes. Add some water if the sauce is too thick or some tomato purée if it’s not thick enough, add spices.
Put the fire on low and let it simmer for a couple of hours.

‘Quick Semi – Bolognese Sauce’

  • one tomato
  • half a zucchini
  • half a can of chickpeas
  • optional: some peppers, some mushrooms…
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto
  • vegetable broth
  • olive oil
In a casserole fry the veggies in olive oil until tender , add pesto and stir. Add some vegetable broth until sauce reaches the desired consistency, et voila!
Which one do you prefer: slow and relaxing or quick and easy?
Love, M.