All posts tagged: organic

#68 Vegan lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, Hasselt ***

Restaurant review #68 – A couple of weeks ago, we were in Hasselt and had lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. It is located in the city center of Hasselt, just a 2 minutes walk from the market square. Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ) is a world wide chain of organic bistros, founded by Belgian Alain Coumont. We already wrote a review of our visit to LPQ in the city center of Bruges, you can read that review here. Alain Coumont has recently also started a vegan branch of bistros, Le Botaniste, of which we visited the one in Ghent recently (see our review here). Pain Quotidien is French for Daily Bread. LPQ sells a wide variety of bread over the counter, and you can also sit down for breakfast, lunch or just a coffee with some baked goodies. There’s always something vegan available and vegan items are clearly marked on the menu. Most of the breads are also vegan (see our blogpost about LPQ in Bruges). We were there early and ordered some drinks to start with. The drinks came swiftly. 45 …

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 …

#40 Our vegan lunch at vegetarian resto Nectar, Kortrijk / Courtrai **

Restaurant review #40 – Nectar is a organic vegetarian restaurant in Kortrijk / Courtrai, a city in the south of Flanders (60km from Bruges). Restaurant Nectar is only open for lunch, during weekdays, a common feature among vegetarian restaurants with a typical ‘plat du jour’ offer (similar vegetarian plat du jour restaurants, which are also only open for lunch are for example De Bron in Bruges, Grenoble in Sint-Niklaas, De Graankorrel in Ostend and Avalon in Ghent). We sometimes jokingly refer to these types of restaurants as ‘toefjesrestaurants‘, because they typically serve a variety of little heaps (=toefjes) of several vegetables and grains on one plate (macrobiotic inspired). As stated above, it is a vegetarian restaurant, and not a vegan restaurant. I had read conflicting posts on social media about whether or not you should ask for vegan in advance (some stating you have to make a reservation and specifically ask for vegan, other saying you can just drop in). We were in Kortrijk some weeks ago and had no set plans for lunch yet, so we decided to …

Tofu croquettes with pearl couscous, beans and kuri pumpkin

These tofu croquettes are from Abinda, a company making organic vegetarian products, located no so far from Bruges in Oostkamp. I visited their factory in 2011, you can see a review from that visit on my Dutch blog here. Many of Abinda’s products are vegan. Their products are commonly sold in organic shops across Belgium. You can see the ingredients of the tofu croquettes here. Preparation of the tofucroquetes is very easy, just fry them for a couple of minutes and they are ready. These tofu croquettes are nice and crunchy, but I would like them to be a bit more creamy on the inside to make them even better. This time I served them with pearl couscous, azuki beans and uchiki kuri pumpkin from my garden topped with Mediterranean spices! Abinda tofu croquettes, 1 pack with 9 croquettes (=225g), fridge bought at Biovita Bruges, March 2015 5,54€

shop Biovita, Sint-Kruis, Bruges

Shop review #6 – Biovita is an organic shop, just outside the city center of Bruges. They actually have two shops, one in Sint-Kruis (Maalsesteenweg) and one in Sint-Andries (Torhoutsesteenweg). They plan to open a third shop at the end of October 2014 in Roeselare (41km from Bruges). This blog is about the shop in Sint-Kruis (Maalsesteenweg). It is the smaller one of the two in Bruges, but as it is the closest one for me, I mostly go to this one. To give you an idea about how far it is from the city center, it is 1,9km (a large mile) from the Kruispoortbrug at the Eastern side of Bruges, which would probably be a 25 minute walk. It is on a busy road, with many shops from larger chains (supermarkets, clothing shops, media shops). There’s easy parking in front of the shop. Biovita in Bruges is not a vegan shop, but sells many vegan products which you won’t find so easily in ‘regular’ shops. To give you and idea: special cereals, sweeteners (agave, maple syrup, rice syrup, etc), nutrionial yeast, …

Summer abundance in our vegetable garden!

We’ve tried to put more variety into our vegetable garden this year. Different sorts of cabbages, a wide variety of lettuce, five different sorts of haricots…  Not everything has been evenly succesfull (cauliflower the size of an orange 😉 ), but we are pretty happy with what we have harvested so far! And the pumpkin plants, zucchini, cabbages are not store bought, but are all home grown from organic seeds! We buy most of it through the ecological gardening association VELT. The vegetable garden: Pics of the Summer harvest. Some of them are too pretty to eat, don’t you think? Most of the lettuce varieties we have in our vegetable garden are ‘grow and pick’ lettuce. You just pick as much as you need, and have fresh lettuce every day! Wheras a head of lettuce has to be harvested fully when it’s grown, and can be too much at once. The flowers in the pic are edible too: nasturtium (Tropaeolum). PS: does spitskool really translate as ‘ox heart cabbage’? Maybe that’s why I don’t like it very …

#21 Le Pain Quotidien, Bruges **

Restaurant review #21 – Chances are you’ve probably been in one of the many establishments worldwide of Le Pain Quotidien. Or at least you’ve seen one of them! There is also one in the heart of Bruges, near the central market place and the Burg. Pain Quotidien is French for Daily Bread. They sell a wide variety of bread over the counter, and you can also sit down for breakfast, lunch or just a coffee with some baked goodies. The restaurant always has one large communal table (for 10 people or more), but also other tables for 2 if you want to have a more private conversation. There’s always something vegan available and vegan items are clearly marked on the menu card. Le Pain Quotidien confirmed to us that the bread served at the table is always vegan. Most of the breads sold over the counter are also vegan, but the raisin bread (kramiek), sugar bread and brioche are non-vegan. UPDATE – see below We were at Le Pain Quotidien in Bruges for lunch on a Friday, and the …

On birds, CD’s and windmills in our vegetable garden

I love birds in the garden! I don’t mind sharing our produce from the vegetable garden with them, but I don’t want them to eat of all of the peas, lettuce, bean shoots, and other crops! Because of the risk of birds getting entangled, we’re no fans of bird netting. But I’ve found other ways to keep our vegetables safe. Put some windmills here and there (they sell these windmills in toy shops and shops at the beach, and also in some garden centers). Save your defect CD’s and DVD’s and hang plenty to dangle in the vegetable garden. The flickering lights apparently deter the birds. And when there’s a slight breeze, the somewhat 30 discs tickering away against the chesnut fence produce a relaxing and meditating atmosphere. Not 100%proof, but works good enough for us. And for the birds 🙂

#19 Restaurant Lombardia, Antwerp **

Restaurant review #19 – Restaurant Lombardia is a well know place in Antwerp. (Update – SEE NOTE BELOW) Despite the announcement on their website (“Our menu card is more than 80% vegetarian, so we can proudly call ourselves a vegetarian restaurant“), Lombardia is not a vegetarian restaurant, since they also serve fish (tuna) and meat. They do have vegan and gluten free options standardly available. It is only open till 6 PM, so no dinner. There’s also the option of take-away. We’ve been here a couple of times over the years. Last time was some weeks ago. We actually wanted to try out raw food restaurant Eten Vol Leven, but unfortunately that was closed. The Lombardia experience Least that can be said is that Lombardia’s interior is very colourful. The walls are decorated with scraps and clippings from magazines and newspapers, often boasting about the restaurant or its owner, and enlarged printed tweets from (pseudo-) famous people mentioning their visit to wonderful Lombardia. It’s a chaotic patchwork of different bits and pieces glued together. The place is jammed packed with different types of …

#15 Restaurant Rosenobel, Antwerp ***

Restaurant review #15 – Rosenobel just opened a couple of months ago. It was announced in several media as being a vegetarian restaurant, although they also serve non-veg items. On their website they state to have a ‘vegetarian inspired kitchen’. We had already emailed to ask whether they also have vegan items standardly available and got an affirmative reply. Great! The restaurant is located at the foot of the cathedral in Antwerp, and although we knew this, we walked by several times in search for this restaurant. There is no sign on the front wall with the name of the restaurant, and given the lounge seatings behind the front windows it’s not really apparent this is a restaurant. To be clear and prevent you from wandering in the cold like we did: if you are facing the front entrance of the cathedral, restaurant Rosenobel is located on your left. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and the restaurant was remarkably quiet (just one other table besides us). Vegan items are not indicated on the menu …