Ordering Organic Food in Brussels

Yesterday I got two steps closer to become the more health and environment conscious human being I always wanted to be.

First, I bought myself a yoga mat in decathlon. Second, I have just found a perfect way to get fresh organic food quickly, with no fuss at all. I order it in surprise boxes.

What are the most common problems I encountered when started clean eating?

  • eating the same things over and over again, no variety
  • not consuming enough fruit and vegetables
  • not in the mood for going out shopping, then to cook after
  • while out shopping, sneaking around and buying fast food because it is quicker

Be fair. Most of us know about 10 recipes by heart, and when there is limited time to make something quickly in the evening, no one ever gets adventurous with new, never tried recipes. After a long day of work, the least I want to do is to google recipes, buy ingredients and start cooking at 8PM. We tried to have a list of meals we wanted to eat each week beforehand, but we ended up putting the same menu over and over again. So I figured, that variety in cooking needs inspiration, surprise and a wider choice of ingredients. And we need to cut out shopping time.

To solve the problem of not eating enough fruit and veg I opted in for pushing fruit and veg on us harder. If it enters our flat by itself it will have to be eaten.

So I ordered from Reason2.be.

So it got delivered.

Last evening we received our first box (actually, it arrived in 2 boxes and a bag) of food, and it contained a huge cut of rump steak, chicken legs, smoked beef slices, 6 eggs, a litre of milk and all this fruit and veg heaven:

essentials box from reason2be

This is the smallest order possible for the essentials package. I also ordered some healthy snacks which contained nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. The content of the box is pre-set and changes every week depending on what is in season. You cannot change what is in there, but you can set a dislike list. Anything that is on the list will never be sent. The contents of the box is not a complete mystery, as there is an option on the page to look in the boxes but I prefer not to. When the box arrives it is Christmas all over again 😉

You can manually add extra items, such as yoghurts, beer, organic wines, jams, the list seems endless. There is a wide variety of boxes: fruit only, veg only, benelux only, organic essentials, recipe boxes (I will try this once, for sure), beers and wine mixes, meat boxes, grill boxes, snack boxes and so on.

What I really like about this, that we receive and are forced to eat food that we would probably never ever have otherwise. For example, yesterday evening I made leek, mushroom and smoked beef omelette with a salad of endives and leek. It was the best omelette we had in years, but this is not something you walk into the local Delhaize for. The amount of fruit seem immense to us, I don’t think we ever had this much at home. I am contemplating to make a fruit salad later. 🙂 For today, half of the chicken legs is next on the list, they will be roasted and eaten with some potato mash tonight. I am saving the steaks for the weekend, will make one more omelette and a vegetable curry, too.

Soon, there will be Wednesday again, for my mystery box to arrive. Can’t wait 🙂

 

How To Make Perfect Roast Potatoes

Now, if you are English you might just frown at me. What on Earth does a foreigner know about roasts of any kind? Well. Not much.

I fell in love with roast potatoes and Hungary is not the country where you can just sit in _any_ bar and get them. If you want them, you make them. End of story. So I looked up about 200 recipes and tried quite some of those before settling for this one. From one suggesting that potatoes must be raw, to ones including fluor, goose fat and cinnamon. Yes. That, too.

I would not say mine is average but I learnt to avoid the extremes.

Perfect Roast Potatoes

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

– 7-8 new potatoes

– 5 cloves of garlic

– fresh rosemary leaves (in full, not minced or dried and ground)

– tablespoon of fresh lemon peel

– salt and pepper to taste

– olive oil and butter

 

Instructions:

Boil the peeled potatoes until semi-coocked. Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in, heat until it sizzles. Add the rosmary, garlic, lemon peel and the potatoes. Season it, and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook them until golden brown. The lemon peel and the rosmary will add the incredible taste, and the olive oil will give the roasties some crust. Once you tried this, you might never return to your old roast potato recipe. 🙂

 

This is how mine looked like (please excuse the mess and the quality of the pic).

how to make perfect roast potatoes
roast dinner

Enjoy!

Frozen Yogurt – Bliss All Year Round!

I decided to share one of my all time favorites with you all.

I am well aware, that it is now wintertime and cold outside. This time of the year, most people are craving hot desserts, brownies and steam sponges, but I am an ice cream girl, I can’t help it. I can crave ice cream even on the coldest days of January.

Most ice creams you can buy in your local store are not very healthy (usually full of sugar and fat) and most of the ingredients I don’t even recognize… I love fruit ice creams and sorbets, however many of those never seen real fruit.. or any… 😀

So I have my own little recipe, that is full of fruits, flavours, colors and is always fresh. Never failed to make me smile.

Here is how to make awesome frozen yogurt:

1. get some frozen fruit (any really, your taste determines it all) and some plain yogurt (try to aim for low fat organic if you can, I sinned this time)

frozen yogurt ingredients
Ingredients

2. put them all in a mixing bowl (or anything you can mix it in)

frozen yogurt ingredients
All set

3. get a blender (hand-held is perfect) and blend the frozen fruit with the yogurt, if you have a sweet tooth, add a teaspoon of honey and syrup

mixing frozen yogurt
mixing

4. serve and enjoy!

strawberry frozen yogurt
TADA!

 

 

Chinese At Home – Is it mission impossible?

When it comes to making chinese at home people tend to freak out. It is something we rather have delivered from „professionals” than to try and make it at home. Most of us haven’t even got the idea of what herbs and spices are used, and many of those are a hassle to find at the local grocery shop.

I was contemplating the idea for years but always ended up going to my favorite take-away. Making good chinese seemed to be a hard task to accomplish; it felt time consuming and complicated, not to mention the prices. When I calculated the estimate spendings on a meal I was better off ordering for half the price.

But the other day Jamie changed my life again. He made sticky chicken in the 15 minute meals series, and it looked quick, cheap and edible.

I made the chicken as it is described in the recipe however I changed the noodles a bit and completely left out the salad (soooorryyy). I have a huge wok at home which I haven’t used once, so it was high time. I made the salad dressing as told by Jamie, but added more soy sauce and doubled the amount of fish sauce. I first fried some onions and slices of carrots in hot olive oil, added the salad dressing with the sauces and finally added the cooked noodles. It turned out to be an amazing Asian „side dish noodle”, we all loved it.

Here is what mine looked like.  🙂

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Enjoy 🙂

Diet Project Overview – With Infographic

Trying out a new diet is never easy. Especially if it is so far from what you are used to. Some diets simply can not fit into a working lifestyle and for me it is very hard to find the time to eat properly. So I was looking for a diet where food does not drag me down, makes me totally sleepy, fat and unhealthy.

If you are a full-time working person you probably go to work early in the morning and finish late afternoon. You probably have a lunch break of an hour (in my country you are in luck to have one of those long ones) and that’s it for the day.

Let’s use my schedule as an example. I wake up at seven, get ready by eight and usually make it in to the office by 9. I have my lunch break from noon to one, and I finish work at six. Home by seven. If I don’t have to go to the shop. If I do, I am home by eight-ish. Cooking anything takes between one or two hours with all the preparing. Yes, I have watched Jamie’s 30 minute meals, but somehow I never manage to have everything prepared and given to my hands, so even those take an hour. Not to mention the whole lot of washing up. So I would have food ready by 10PM if I am quick.

Well, that is not really a healthy time to have dinner, is it? Even more, it is said that the best is to have dinner before 6PM. Who on Earth can do that?

So whatever I cook in the evening, must be the following day’s lunch, and I have to settle for the same meal for two days in a row if I don’t want to cook every day and go to bed at midnight. So for me, the only diet I can stick to is what I can squeeze into this tight schedule.

Processed food and fast food must be out. I am also not the kind of person who is physically able to count calories nor the one who enjoys starving. So those diets are out, too. Considering my options, I basically went for the manageable choice that could also solve my symptoms of bad digestion and sleepyness – gluten free. I don’t have to lose a lot of weight, 5 kilos tops, so I don’t mind it is not so radical, it not about the weight loss.

I have a list of things that contain gluten and I read the labels to make sure a desired product is celiac-friendly. There is an incredible amount of pre-packaged meat that is not suitable so I get all meat (excluding ham and cold-cuts) at the farmers market. I make sure I have plenty of veg and fruits at home, because I have „the nibbles” often. Millet balls and dried apple crisps are awesome for this. Popcorn can be eaten, too. Sweets are not prohibited, as long as they are gluten free. Apart from that, my biggest fear was loosing noodles. I am a huge fan of those. All kinds. Luckily enough, on the second day of my diet I found gluten free spaghetti in the local Lidl and this just assured me that I have finally found the perfect diet where I won’t miss a thing and doesn’t feel like something I have to do.

So I started it about a week ago. Did it once for a few weeks, but I must admit I did not do it properly. Suprisingly enough, I still managed to loose 4 kilograms. Two came back since, but I blame Lidl and their incredibly tasty choclet donuts I ate 3 times a week lately. Yes, I know, not a great example I am.

But this is a good start, and I ’ll keep you posted about how I manage it and what the results are.
For now, here is an infographic for you to learn more about the gluten free diet. It has some very useful info, but I still don’t agree with the part where it says this is bad for your overall health and should not be used if you are not diagnosed with celiac disease. Many people never get diagnosed, but feel whole new after going gluten free. In my opinion, it should not be used for the sole reason of losing weight, but to feel better and give more attention to what we eat. 🙂

The Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Living

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Dubarry Style Chicken

So, it is blogging about food again. I love cooking and surprisingly enough, I cook well.

We have a line of amazing chefs in our family. As far as I know my grandmother inherited the recipes and the talent from her granny, and it had been continued by my dad and now, me. My boyfriend can stand next to me the whole time while I am preparing and cooking, and he says he gets hungry by looking and smelling only.

Dubarry style usually means a dish made with cauliflower and milk. If it involves meat, it is usually pork and Bechamel sauce is added. I have a traditional recipe from my Gran, which is extremely tasty, but I am not a fan of pork and have serious issues eating (or matter of fact, drinking) anything that contains raw milk. So I kind of came up with my own recipe, and it turned out to be really good.

Dubarry Style Chicken

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Shopping list 

–          Big, organic chicken breast

–          0,3 l sour cream

–          A smaller cauliflower

–          20 dkg cheese

–          Worchester sauce

–          Sesame oil (tastes absolutely fab, but can use normal sunflower oil as well, but make sure not to use olive oil, as it burns quicker)

For seasoning, make sure to have:

–          Rosemary (not ground!)

–          Marjoram

–          Salt and black pepper

–          Stock-cube (for chicken)

–          Fresh chives

–          Some roast chicken seasoning (not necessary)

Cut up to smaller pieces and wash the cauliflower. Put some water on the stove to boil and when boiling add the chicken-stock and the cauliflower. Don’t leave them in there for more than 5 minutes, it only needs to be half cooked. Drip them and let them cool.

Slice the chicken, aim to have longer slices and they are cooking well if they are as thick as your finger. Put them in a bowl and add the a pinch of salt, pepper, half of the cut up chives and if you have roast chicken pre-made seasoning, add a teaspoon of that, too. Add two teaspoons of the Worchester and the sesame oil, mix well. Make sure all the chicken slices are well-covered. Put them on the side for 10 minutes.

Empty the sour cream into a mixing bowl. Add a pinch on salt and pepper to it, the leftover chives, a teaspoon of rosemary and marjoram. Each. Don’t worry, it won’t be too spicy, as the sour cream smoothens the taste.

When all done, heat up a non-stick (ceramic, if you can) pan. Make sure it is sizzling hot. Do not put anything in there (no fat, oil or butter). Leave the heat on max for the whole time. Start putting the chicken in there. It only needs about 20 seconds per side, the middle should still stay raw. When all half ready put a few drops of sesame (or sunflower) oil in a roasting tin. Put the chicken in and carefully place the cauliflower on top. Pour the mixed sour cream on the cauliflowers and make sure to cover each one. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top generously.

Set the oven for 200 C and cook it for 15-20 minutes. By that time it should be soft and golden brown.

photo(2)

Enjoy!

Ratatouille – the not traditional way

I have seen quite some recipes about this French dish, and it is made differently everywhere I looked.

According to the traditional recipes, it consists of aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and onions basically cooked together. Not only it is totally vegetarian, gluten and lactose-free, but a very healthy option.

 

Now, I am still in the process of transforming to a healthy eater. I got to the stage where I try to balance my fat, sugar and gluten intake, but I still like to eat what I truly love. I am almost completely off fast food (oh, some chinese take-away still somehow magically makes its way to my home) and I swapped my crisps to millet balls. I do try my best. I don’t eat out anymore (unless it is an occasion and/or some pre-booked restaurant pampering with the Man), as I figured I can only trust the food I make. So tonight’s meal will be ratatouille. Not the way the French make it, BBC Kitchen makes it, or as it is seen in the matching named cartoon. I make it as my grandmother did. Maybe a little less healthy but the taste gives back for it all.

lecsó mouse

 

Grandmother's Ratatouille

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

– 1 medium onion

– 4 tomatoes

– 5 green peppers

– 1 hot pepper

– 6 German/English sausages

– 1 traditional Hungarian sausage (optional, but this gives the great taste, and can be bought in several shops around Europe, even Tescos and Sainsbury’s have it.)

– paprika spice

– salt and pepper to taste

– olive oil

Peel the onion and cut it finely. If you have the Hungarian sausage, dice it up, too. Tomatoes and Peppers don’t have to be peeled, and can be cut to any shapes you like.

Get a medium sized pan and heat some olive oil. Add the chopped onions and cook them on medium heat until they look caramelized. Add a teaspoon of paprika spice (pay attention to it, as if it burns it tastes awful) and quickly add the diced Hungarian sausage. Give it a few minutes until it cooks a bit and add the tomatoes and a tiny splash of water. Cover it up and let it cook until it looks like a fine tomato sauce. At that point, add the peppers and let it cooked (covered) until the peppers are half raw. Add the sausages (can be cut in halves, diced however you like it to be) and cook until ready.

I usually eat it with some prokorn bread.

lecsó_friss_kenyérrel

 

Enjoy!