Continuing with vegetarian cooking, I decided to make the Turkish dish Imam Bayildi for dinner. Imam Bayildi contains my favorite veggies – oven roasted tomatoes and eggplant as well as caramelized onions. Yum!
The name Imam Bayildi literally translates into “the imam fainted”. There are a couple of stories behind the name:
1) A Turkish imam swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife and he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.
2) An imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant and her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening in an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.
After a long vacation I am always excited to get back in the kitchen! After so much meat and seafood I was ready for a few days of vegetarian dishes and headed to My New Roots in search of a delicious fall dish. The Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba caught my eye and didn’t disappoint. So delicious! In her recipe she recommends dried seaweed, but in Belgium it’s so easy to find different types of fresh seaweed – including my favorite, samphire – so nice and juicy!
For my birthday lunch we headed to Gent to eat at the 2 Michelin star Vrijmoed. Koen and I were both really excited to try the vegetarian menu, which was awarded Best Veggie Menu Benelux 2016 and 2017 by Gault Millau. And of course we ordered an extra dessert – the Stilton “sorbet” which was awarded dessert of the year 2017 by Gault Millau. So many award winning dishes to taste!
For our first dinner with Nicole and Adam, we chose the restaurant Graanmarkt 13. The food is seasonal, with a weekly menu based on what vegetables are in season. From the site: “Graanmarkt 13 offers a daily varying choice of fish or meat along with various vegetarian tapas-style dishes to share with your company.” Chef Seppe Nobels won the prize “Best Vegetable restaurant 2015 of Flanders” by Gault Millau. So this was the perfect place to take our guests!
One of the best things about traveling is bringing inspiration back home. Our first day in Moscow we visited a Georgian (the country!) restaurant and we fell in love with the cuisine. During the week we try to eat vegetarian, so why not try making pkhali ourselves?
My colleague let me have a look into her new cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi filled with vegetarian dishes. The first recipe to catch my eye was the Caramelized Garlic Tart. I love garlic and this quiche-like pie sounded sooo delicious. I wasn’t disappointed. The carmelized garlic with fresh herbs and goat cheese melts in your mouth. Mmm…
I’m a big fan of Courgetti and Zoodles, aka thinly sliced zucchini that looks like spaghetti noodles. I’ve tried courgetti with various sauces ranging from avocado to tomato, but this is the first time with mango! Mmm… The Mint & Mango Marinated Zucchini Spaghetti from Green Kitchen Stories is so delicious! I prepared the zoodles as a side dish with salmon with paired together perfectly.
A few of the ingredients for the Maple Tossed Rhubarb & Puy Salad
I recently discovered Green Kitchen Stories and one of the recipes that caught my eye is the Maple Tossed Rhubarb & Puy Salad. I love summer lentil salads, and the mixture of fruits and vegetables with goat cheese (my substitute for feta) and basil sounded so delicious! Koen’s family from Canada was visiting and I decided to make this salad. This was exciting for me, because I’ve actually never made anything with rhubarb before. I wasn’t even sure how it tasted – sour it turns out! Before making the salad I wanted to look up a few things about rhubarb:
Can you eat it raw? Yes.
Can you eat green rhubarb? Yes, but people like the red ones for aesthetics but the taste is the same.
The salad is really easy to make – just cooking the lentils and chopping the produce. What a great combination of flavors! There were no leftovers, so that’s always a great sign!
I love a good salad and Sprouted Kitchen’s Coconut Quinoa + Spinach Salad is delicious! So many flavors – raw spinach, quinoa cooked in coconut milk, shallots cooked in coconut oil, pistachios, pomegranate, and a lemon-thyme dressing. Fresh and perfect for the hot weather we’re having right now in Belgium! Although there aren’t too many ingredients it still takes time to make. First, I had to open all of the pistachio shells. Second, I never realized how hard it is to get all of the arils (the red drops holding the seeds) loose from the fruit. Normally I press the pomegranate for its juice and I wasn’t even sure you could eat the whole aril but luckily I have access to the internet and found out via Live Strong that not only are they edible but nutritious.