All posts tagged: featured

#156 Fine dining at ‘t Aards Paradijs, Nevele

restaurant review #156 – ‘t Aards Paradijs is a gastronomic restaurant in Nevele, which is just outside of Ghent and 40km from Bruges. In 2010, chef Lieven Lootens was awarded the title of best vegetable chef of the year (beste Groentekok) and I had seen ‘t Aards Paradijs mentionned in a facebook group as a place where one could ask a vegan menu. And so we did! I inquired before making the reservation and it was said to be no problem. The lady of the house warmly welcomed us, and later on the chef also personally came to greet us. He inquired how strict vegan we are (which we do find an odd question, see this post). We chatted a bit about vegan dining out, products and he also showed some products which he planned on using in the dishes, and asked us if these were OK (some brands of soy and rice milk which we hadn’t seen before). He was very welcoming, friendly and open to our questions and suggestions. It felt reassuring. This was …

Drop the ‘strict’

Words are not simply neutral  expressions of how we experience or want to describe reality. They shape and give meaning to our thoughts and ideas, and even though we think we are giving an objective account of reality, our choice of words often has a very subjective interpretation. Here are a few texts about veganism (or a vegan diet). Note the use of ‘strict’.   The repeated use of the word ‘strict’, portrays veganism (even more) as something extreme and hard. Don’t make it sound more difficult than it is, and drop the use of the word ‘strict’.

Inspiring: pig farmer turns vegan and now grows vegetables

This is the kind of story that makes me happy. That shows that change is possible! While there is an increasing amount of positive stories about veganism in the media, most of those reports are about the growing number of vegans, vegan celebrities, or the emerging offer of vegan products in shops. So mainly about the consumption side of the story. But the ultimate goal is the abolishment of the use of animals, for food, clothing, entertainment and other purposes. Circussen without animals, food production without the exploitation of animals. It’s not just about getting consumers to choose vegan options, but about getting farmers to practice veganic agriculture.  So their company makes the transition to veganic farming (without the use of animals, and also without animal products such as manure). So that no animals are used and exploited. The story of Swedish farmer Gustaf Söderfeldt is a great example! ‘Humane’ meat Gustaf and his partner Caroline wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and settled on the countryside, where they started …

A critical note about vegan (friendly) places? Don’t you dare!

This is a comment that often comes up on vegan forums when somebody gives a negative comment about a vegan (friendly) place. You shouldn’t criticise them! You should be supportive. At least they are making an effort, don’t be so negative. They need our love and support, not criticism. The reasoning behind it is that these vegan (friendly) places already have a hard time surviving in a predominantly non-vegan catering world, and we should not be making it any harder on them, but only encourage them and support them, and as such, not criticise them. Of course we support vegan places and wish them the best and try to visit as many of these places as we can! We hope their numbers will increase rapidly in the future. Whenever we see a new vegan place opening, we are excited to go try it out and we give it our support. And when non-vegan places start offering vegan options, we encourage their efforts! We have had plenty of positive experiences over the years and have documented them in our reviews. But just the fact of being a vegan business or …

Want some kale? Our 2015 veg harvest and lessons learned!

Our garden has produced plenty of fruits and vegetables this year! I planned on putting together a quick blogpost with a collection of harvest photos that I have posted on Instagram the last couple of months. When looking up the photos of vegetables and fruits, it turns out I posted quite a few pics from our 2015 harvest! It’s quite the collection. And I don’t even take a pic of every harvest from the garden 😉 This is the evolution of the cabbages, from seeding – seedlings – to harvest! An overview of the fruits: And other things grown in our garden: Lessons learned: most pumpkins DO need a couple of square meters. so do not squeeze another plant in there, they will be too close together! 3 courgette plants (zucchinis) produces way more zucchinis than the two of us can handle 😀 cauliflower and romanescu are the more difficult cabbages. Brussels sprouts, red and savoy cabbage are relatively easy, kale is very easy to grow. thin the carrots in time, when they are still very small, or even, don’t seed them …

A museum filled with beach rubbish. Our visit to the Juttersmuseum in Texel (NL)

Growing up along the Belgian coast, I remember Winter beach walks and finding all sorts of stuff washed ashore. From ropes to driftwood, large barrels to plastic bottles. I didn’t know there are people who actually have a full time hobby collecting these items: beach combers. In Dutch they are called ‘strandjutters’ or ‘jutters’, hence the name of the museum on Texel: Juttersmuseum. It is said to be the largest collection of material collected through beach combing (jutten), with items found on the beaches of Texel over 75 years. Several beach combers donated their individual collection to the museum. If you think the only thing you would find at the Juttersmuseum are plastic bottles or boat ropes, think again. Just about everything has been found on the beaches of Texel: from TV’s to shoes, from helmets to bicycles, cars, inflatable dolls, bottles, children’s toys and even drugs. You name, it’s there. The barracks are literally packed from floor to ceiling and even the sheds themselves are (mainly) made from material found on the beaches. Some of the stuff is ‘accidentally’ lost into the ocean (washed overboard …