All posts filed under: vegan products

A look inside La Vie est Belle, Oostkamp. Organic vegetarian company.

La Vie est Belle is a Belgian company that produces organic vegetarian and vegan burgers. They are located in Oostkamp, which is just outside of Bruges. A couple of months ago, there was a press conference and reception for the launch of the RizRiz burger, a new product of La Vie est Belle. The RizRiz burger was launched to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company. Unfortunately we could not attend this event, but we were invited to come take a look inside La Vie est Belle in Oostkamp. An invitation which we gladly accepted, as it is not every day one gets a chance to look behind the curtains! La Vie est Belle started as a small family bussiness run from the home kitchen, making rice balls and vegetarian burgers for friends and family. The founders, had experimented with vegetarian cooking and organic farming in Africa, more or less out of necesssity. The company steadily grew, together with the rise and expansion of organic shops in Belgium, and fuelled by the demand for vegetarian products …

Vegan ‘koffiekoeken’ and pie from Bakkerij Filip, Kuurne

Shop review #30 – Bakkerij Filip is a local bakery in Kuurne, which is a small town just next to Kortrijk (Courtrai) in the south of Flanders. I had already seen several posts on facebook and Instagram of their vegan pastry and cakes. Yeah! Vegan pastry is still a rarity in Belgian bakeries, and I have only been able to buy it on one ocasion before, at Bakkerij Frimout in Ghent (see blog here). So when we planned a trip to Kortrijk a couple of weeks ago, I definitely wanted to check out Bakkerij Filip! There is a selection of vegan items for sale at the bakery, among which some specialties that are not so easily found in regular shops in Belgium. Like this omelet mix (still need to try it). I also bought some cookies and other goodies (some very nice lemon cookies and veganaise). The wife of bakery Filip, Liraz – vegan herself, gave us a tour of the bakery downstairs, which still runs with some real antique machines (and more modern ones too of …

Vegan caviar on toast!

Recently bought this orange and black ‘vegan caviar’ in Ghent.  It’s made of – among other things – seaweed extract and guar gum (see list of ingredients on photo). The website of the brand Vegetarian Caviar Club also lists a green version (with wasabi), but that one wasn’t available at the store (Moor & Moor). I liked this vegan caviar because of its taste, looks and texture. And of course because there are no animal rights violations involved. Traditional stealing of fish eggs from beluga or other fish for caviar involves killing the fish. This has led to the near extinction of beluga, which has prompted the development of fish farms for the production of caviar (which of course also entails environmental and animal rights issues). I really cannot tell whether it tastes similar to fish eggs or not. I once tasted a drop of caviar in my teenage years, but the taste did not leave a lasting impression (at least not to last 30 years afterwards 😉 But for me measuring up to the ‘real thing’ is absolutely not a prerequisite. We were both more fond …

‘Boterkoeken’ and ‘suissen’ from Bakery Frimout in Ghent!

Shop review #27 – I went to Ghent, and I bought ‘koffiekoeken’. Yeah!! 🙂 These are called ‘koffiekoeken’ in Dutch, which translates as ‘coffee cookies or coffee pastry’. But ‘koffiekoeken’ are not really cookies, nor pastry, nor cakes, so that doesn’t really cover it. If someone knows a better appropriate English term, do let me know! ‘Koffiekoeken’ can be eaten on any occasion, mostly for breakfast or brunch, but also as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee. They come in different shapes and sizes, from the standard ‘boterkoeken’ (butter pastry or cookies) with or without chocolate, raisins, … to round shaped ‘suisses’ or pudding filled ‘Boules de Berlin’. They are sold in every bakery in Belgium, but unfortunately they are not vegan … So it was more than 6 years ago that I had eaten koffiekoeken from a Belgian bakery! In comes bakery Frimout in Ghent! After a request from a vegan living in the neighbourhood a cuple of months ago, Dieter Frimout started making vegan koffiekoeken. He now sells them on a daily basis (next to his …

I’m now also on Instagram!

I finally made an account on Instagram! I will mostly be posting photos of vegan products, impressions of restaurant visits, things I see on the road, pictures from my garden and of course photos from in my kitchen. I’ll still be posting reviews and other thoughts on my blog of course, either here or on our Dutch blog veggieleven.be (or sometimes on both). My account is trudi_brugesvegan Are you on instagram? Let me know! Do you have any tips about instagram (which hashtags to use, etc), please tell me, as I am a total newbie 😉

Linda McCartney sausages

We found these sausages at the British shop Stonemanor in Everberg (in between Leuven en Brussels). Stonemanor sells a variety of frozen Linda McCartney products, which are unfortunately not commonly found in Belgian shops. We were happy to also discover some items that are labelled suitable for vegans. One of the things we bought were these boxes with sausages. The sausages are wheat based, and tasted quite good. We just baked them in a pan, with some onions rings, and served them in a bun with some tomato sauce, with iceberg salad on the side. A real fast food snack. But delicious nonetheless. I wish Stonemanor was closer by, I think we would buy these on a regular basis. Linda McCartney sausages, labelled suitable for vegans 1 box with six sausages, frozen, 3,25€ bought at Stonemanor, March 2015

A visit to the Alpro factory in Wevelgem (Be)

A couple of months ago, I visited Alpro in Wevelgem (near Kortrijk, Belgium). The visit to the factory was organised by EVA West, a local division of vegetarian organisation EVA. Alpro makes plant based products, made of soy, almond, hazelnut, rice, … Their soymilk, coconutmilk, pudding and yofu’s are omnipresent in about every Belgian supermarket and are also sold around the world. The factory is Wevelgem (Belgium) is the main factory of Alpro. We got an introduction of about half an hour by a PR-manager, followed by the opportunity to ask some questions. Afterwards we visited the production units inside the factory. 

Vegan ‘chicken chunks’ with peanut sauce

Don’t be misled by the name! Yes, these ‘chicken chunks’ are vegan! We aren’t really into ‘meat’ or ‘fish’ replacers like vegan scampis and such, but these soy based chunks from Dutch company The Vegetarian Butcher are really yummy. And very easy to use in all sorts of dishes, from stews to woks, or on sates or as filling in wraps. Do they taste like chicken? I can’t really tell, because – luckily – it’s been so long since I’ve actually tasted chicken. But I can say that we have served these to family and friends when having them over for dinner, and without exception everybody likes them, both the texture and the taste. Big advantage is you can find these vegan chicken chunks in Delhaize, one of the largets supermarket chains in Belgium. We served this recipe as an appetizer, for 4 persons. So each person gets two satays. Or you can serve it as a main dish, with rice on the side (for 2 persons). satays vegan chicken chunks, with peanut sauce Make 8 satays, …

Vegan chocolates from Confiserie Jonas

We bought this selection of vegan chocolates on our last visit to restaurant Vegaverso in Leuven. They are made by Confiserie Jonas, a vegan chocolatier from Oudenaarde (we also bought his vegan ‘neuzekes or cuberdons, you can see those here). The leafy ones are with coconut caramel, the little bears with hazelnut praliné and the heart shaped ones with cuberdon syrup (a red raspberry candy). I especially liked the praliné ones, and the coconut caramel. The combination of cuberdon and chocolate wasn’t really my thing, although the other half of the bruges vegan happily ate all of those 🙂   Vegan chocolates from Confiserie Jonas 4 chocolates at 2,50€ bought at Vegaverso Leuven, March 2015