All posts tagged: seitan

#32 Vegan dining at restaurant Mykene, Leuven ***

Restaurant review #32 Mykene is a traditional restaurant in the city center of Leuven (Louvain). But unlike most other traditional restaurants, it has several vegan options standardly available! Leuven is about 15 minutes away from Europe’s capital. Mykene is a very large restaurant, with a terrace in front on the street and a spacious private terrace at the back. The photos below give you an impression of the interior. We had been at restaurant Mykene a couple of years ago, but at that time their vegan options were still rather limited (adjusting the vegetarian options, e.g. by leaving out the cheese), but now they have a seperate vegan category on the menu card (and yes, the “Belgian cheese” mentioned in one of the vegan dishes is vegan cheese, we asked 😉 ). Our vegan lunch at Mykene It’s nice they have freshly squeezed orange juice, although it was quite expensive for this little glass: 6€. For starters we had the soup of the day (leek soup, 5€) and the vegan salad caprese, with mozzarella and rucola (11,50€). Both were very …

#29 Fanny Thai, Brussels *

Restaurant review #29 – A bad restaurant experience. Every vegan has had one or will encounter one at one point. At least if you go out for dinner every once in a while (I know there are vegans who don’t, precisely because they have had such bad experiences, or they just want to avoid any risk of eating non vegan items). So before you read on, just know that we are not recommending this place. Fanny Thai is – obviously – a Thai restaurant in the city center of Brussels. It is located near the Stock Market (Beurs/Bourse) and the concert Hall Ancienne Belgique. There are several Eastern style restaurants in this area (Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai). We had been at Fanny Thai a couple of years ago, before going to a show at the Ancienne Belgique. I remember it stood out because they had a large variety of vegetarian dishes with tofu and with seitan (the latter not being so commonly served in Asian restaurants in Belgium). We didn’t remember the name of the restaurant anymore, but …

#27 – Restaurant Vegaverso, Leuven ****

Restaurant review #27 – Vegaverso is a new addition in Louvain. Louvain or Leuven is a university city about 30km from Belgium’s capital Brussels and 130 km from Bruges. Vegaverso opened in the Summer of 2014 and is an all vegan restaurant. It is actually not a restaurant for elaborate wining and dining, but more a lunch/sandwich type bar with self-service (it also closes at 6PM, so not open for dinner). Vegaverso also offers take-away. But there’s plenty of space inside and outside to sit down and enjoy your lunch. The Loving Hut (vegan restaurant part of a worldwide chain) is just across the street and newly open vegan shop SHAVT is just around the corner (blog to follow!). A small vegan hub in the city center of Leuven! Yeah! 🙂 Vegaverso offers a wide variety of vegan sandwiches. And we’re not used to having such an alaborate menu card to choose from! In traditional restaurants or sandwich bars, a quick glance at the menu cards tells there’s hardly anything available for vegans. So having so many items to choose …

#26 – Restaurant Water en Vuur, Diksmuide ****

Restaurant review #26 – Water & Vuur is a restaurant at the foot of the IJzertoren (Flemish peace monument) in Diksmuide (48km from Bruges). The restaurant is situated in a renovated cargo boat, on the banks of the IJzer (Yser). During World War I, the front was mainly situated along the banks of the Yser. 2km from the restaurant, you can visit the ‘Dodengang‘ (Trenches of Death), with galleries and trenches in which soldiers fought during WWI (see photos below). Water & Vuur is 23km from Ypres. The restaurant is well know among vegans in the area, because it is one of the few restaurants (or actually maybe the only restaurant) in the area that standardly has vegan options available. The menu also explicitly states that fries are baked in vegetable oil (beware, in Belgian restaurants and fast food stalls, fries are often baked in animal fat, see our page with general tips). It’s nice Water & Vuur offers a variety of fresh juices. On this visit, we ordered a Water & Vuur juice (6,5€), which is with apple, pear, red berrie, orange, elderberry syrup and …

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, …

#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 …

#10 Bistro Pastis, Bruges ***

Restaurant review #10 – Bistro Pastis is one of the few places in Bruges which standardly has vegan main dishes available. We received this tip from vegan friends who had already been here for dinner. There are four vegetarian main dishes standardly available on their menu, of which two are without dairy and eggs. We had previously mailed with the question if we could get a vegan menu, explicitating what we do and don’t eat, and we got an affirmative reply. We went there on a friday evening, some months ago (November 2013). Remarkably, there were hardly any tourists, but a lot of locals. Although Pastis is very close to ‘t Zand, there seems to be little tourist traffic in the Speelmansrei. That night it was very quiet on the street. But the restaurant soon packed. So we do advise you to make a reservation. Tables are spaciously situated, which gives it a calm and more restaurant atmosphere than a bistro impression (at least downstairs, we don’t know about upstairs). Appetizer There’s nothing vegan to choose from on …

Homemade: braised seitan, kale, brussels sprouts and sundried tomatoes

This is a pretty straightforward one pot meal, which doesn’t take too much work. And with kale from our garden! It is from one of our favourite cookbooks Veganomicon (Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero). You can serve it with couscous or quinoa, or even with rice if you prefer. Kale is not so easy to find in Belgian shops (‘boerenkool’ in Dutch), so we grow it ourselves! It is a winter vegetable, and this variety (Westlandse Winter) can stand frost. We haven’t had a hard winter in Belgium this year. In fact, we haven’t had any real ‘freezing’ day at all, which is a new record again. Still plenty of kale in our garden. These are the ingredients for “braised seitan, brussels sprouts, kale and sundried tomatoes”: 2 tbs olive oil 6 shallots, sliced 2 cups seitan (homemade is the best!), in pieces 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered (= 2 cups) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 ts dried thyme 1/2 ts dried basil 1/4 ts dried tarragon 1/2 ts salt pinches ground black pepper 1/2 …

13 Foods that’ll make you want to visit Belgium, but not if you’re vegan!

This overview of 13 typical Belgian foods appeared in The Huffington Post recently. They are listed as thé tourist attraction and appealing feature to come and visit Belgium: the food! Although the Huffington Post has spent a good deal of attention to the rise of veganism in the US (see this overview with keyword vegan), it’s obvious the author of this article clearly wasn’t thinking about the growing popularity of plant based foods or veganism in general. Let’s take a closer look at these 13 typical Belgian foods, and see whether there’s something for vegans in there. 1. Endives in slices of ham, covered in cheese sauce. You could try and veganise the dish, but it’ll take quite some years to come before any traditional restaurant will standardly have a vegan version of this dish on their menu! 2. Mussles with fries. Nope. Mussles are animals. I don’t now if ‘faux vegan mussles’ even exist, but I wouldn’t fancy them anyway! 3. Belgian waffles. Dairy and eggs. Of course you make these vegan yourselves, but …

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.