All posts tagged: organic

#13 Restaurant De broers van Julienne, Antwerp **

Restaurant review #13 – De Broers van Julienne is a restaurant in Antwerp well-known for its many vegetarian options. They mainly work with organic ingredients. Several sites list this as a vegetarian restaurant, but it is not (also serves fish). It also has some vegan options standardly available. I had been to De broers van Julienne on my own a couple of years ago, and wasn’t really impressed. It was on a cold snowy winter day, and although I had hoped to warm myself in the restaurant, it was unpleasantly cold inside. Don’t know whether their heating system was broke or if it was always like that, but there was a small heater placed in the middle of the room, that really couldn’t heat the spacious place. I remember a waitress who could hardly speak any Dutch, and replied to my question whether a certain dish was vegan: “gluten free?”. It wasn’t that reassuring and I can’t even remember what I had for lunch at that visit. I did remember the uncomfy chairs and slow …

The last harvest from the veg garden

Past Winter has been exceptionally mild in Belgium. We hardly had any frost nor snow. Which was a good thing for the remaining vegetables in our veg garden! And we are now enjoying lovely Spring weather! We’re now harvesting the last vegetables from last year and preparing the veg garden for a new season. I harvested plenty of kale (boerenkool), parsnip, celery and leeks. Remarkably, the parsley has survived Winter and is starting to grow again. Don’t really know whether these parsley plants will produce again this season. I’ll keep some and sow some new ones in another plot of the veg garden. Garlic which we planted last Fall is looking good! Rhubarb is also growing nicely.  

Selection of soy sauces

Shop review #3 – There’s a nice selection of soy sauces at the organic shop Origin’O in Bruges. Not only the standard tamari and shoyu, but also different flavoured ones. We normally use standard tamari and shoyu, but decided to give these special ones a go: the teriyaki (sweet soy sauce) and the coriander and wasabi tamari. Nice additions in our kitchen, with a more distinct flavour. The Teriyaki is a new addition in the range of organic LIMA products. Next to the coriander and wasabi, there are many other seasoned soy sauces from LIMA. We use quite a lot of soy sauce: in marinades (e.g. marinating tempeh or tofu or boiling TVP), in making seitan, in stews, as a sauce in woks or on rice, to fry sunflower seeds in, or just as a dip sauce for snacks.

Vegan organic wines at Biovita, Bruges

Shop review #2 – Wine possibly not vegan, you may ask? Indeed, not all wines are vegan. For ‘clearing’ or ‘fining’ the wine, animal-derived products may be used: isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes), casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil or gelatin. So although there is no animal product in the wine itself, it may be used during the winemaking process. Vegan wines don’t use these animal derived products, but alternatives suchs as carbon, bentonite clay or limestone. We haven’t encountered any clearly labelled vegan wines in regular shops in Belgium yet. Common available wines in Belgian shops have no label identifying them as vegan friendly or not. That doesn’t mean they don’t have any vegan wines on offer though. You can look up a brand at Barnivore, which has an extensive list of wines, beers and liquors, too check whether the brand is vegan friendly. We have encountered some brands in the organics shops, which are clearly marked as ‘vegan friendly’ or ‘suitable for vegans’. …

#4 Restaurant De Graankorrel, Ostend ****

Restaurant review #4 – De Graankorrel is a vegan/macrobiotic restaurant, in the city center of Ostend (29km from Bruges). It’s located behind the town hall, just a 10 minute walk from the sailing ship/museum ‘Mercator‘. Vegan Strangly, this place is not so well known among Belgian vegans. When asked about vegan restaurants in Belgium, most vegans will probably mention The Loving Hut in Louvain and Komkommertijd in Ghent. Most seem never to have heard of De Graankorrel, although it is very well known among Ostend locals since decades. I’ve also never encountered any tourists here.There also seems to be some confusion whether this restaurant is vegan – or even vegetarian – or not, some people saying the restaurant serves fish. I’ve visited this restaurant in Ostend several times during the last couple of years, and every time lunch was all vegan. I’ve enquired again on my last visit (January 2014), explicitly asking whether they sometimes serve fish or not and whether everything is vegan? The waitress (also the chef) assured me that everything is vegan and …