A breach of silence

We’ve been very quiet the last couple of months, except for the odd Instagram post every now and then. Why I hear you ask? Well, we’ve had our reasons… Allow me to elaborate a little..

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Last summer was one to never forget for the both of us. Temperatures seemed to never drop under 25 degrees (Celsius, that is), which did have us spend pretty much every day outside, near a lake or ocean, from dawn till dusk. Therefore we never really got behind our computers. Actually we started learning to SUP (Stand-Up Paddle), and I also gave it a shot to teach Stefanie how to keep a little balance on a skateboard/longboard. For some strange reason her balance on the water is A LOT better than her balance on land. Maybe the difference in impact when falling has something to do with that, I’m not sure.

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Ofcourse we discovered, and rediscovered, some great food in different Belgian cities too. Recently, in my hometown (Overpelt), an organisation named VeggiePelt, started to convince local bars, pubs, restaurants to put at least 3 vegetarian meals on their menu, and also at least 1 vegan option. For a small town, with probably not a lot of vegans in it, that’s a huge thing. I was, and still am thrilled for it, and i wholeheartedly hope that this temporary project ends in a permanent thing! It’s a start!

Me and Stefanie also quit our jobs, and started new ones this summer.
I started working more locally, still driving a truck, and delivering beer and other beverages to local bars, pubs, cafés…
Stefanie also returned to Beringen, (where we live), to work as a communications coordinator for the city. With us both working really close to home, we can probably get rid of one of our cars soon, and do a lot more by bicycle

We move into our new house! We’re done building it, and we moved in just two weeks ago. We’re still stumbling over some cardboard boxes, but things are finally falling into place (not litteraly).  We’ll probably do a virtual house tour on Instagram, or something like that, because we’re really proud of it. Especially the kitchen area! We finally have one that really fits our needs, and allows us to invite more guests, and share a lot more photos of our culinary endeavors.

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Probably the most significant event of the summer: We got married.
July 20th was our day, and we had an amazing, unforgettable time with our friends and family. We’ll dedicate an entire post on the subject, and the short but sweet honeymoon, soon!!

So I think everyone can imagine we’ve had a lot on our plate the last months. For once i’m not talking about food specifically!!
We do hope everyone had a great summer, and will forgive us for our absense. We’re picking it up where we left it, and will share a lot more in the following weeks!

 

Take care!!
Kristof.

An Invitation To Indulge: Greenway Foods

Last friday we got invited to the launch party for the brand new veggie barbecue package from Greenway Foods The event was held at their Antwerp restaurant, smack in the middle of the city, At the ‘Groenplaats’. The package contains a burger, a sausage and a skewer. (Note: Only the burger is vegan at the moment. They are stlll working on getting the saucage and the skewer vegan too.)

Greenway has 4 restaurants in Belgium (Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven and Brussels), which gives us a chance to visit these on the regular, when we’re in either one of these cities, wether it is for business or pleasure.

This event in particular had Paul Florizoone (founder/owner of Greenway) showing his cooking skills on the barbecue for a select group of people, mainly press, (food)bloggers and influencers.
While chatting and networking with the other guests, we were presented with a welcoming drink. The refreshing homemade kefir lemonade, was a good start to this event.

But then.. the food…
To be frank, it was fingerlicking good!
Vegan garlic bread with melted cheese for starters.
(Greenway Foods is developing a new vegan cheese especially for melting, and let me tell you… it is divine! Can’t wait to buy it in stores!!)
Marinated miso eggplant. A kimchi salad with ‘licorice’ herbs. Vegan tartare sauce. Salt-crusted beetroot (Kristof didn’t succeed in the last couple of years, but Paul did. He turned me in to a beetroot lover! #beetrootrules #beetloversunite )
And ofcourse the burger. It’s a well seasoned spicy burger that works perfect on the bbq, and could be combined with a plethora of cuisines.
You can easily make it work with Mexican, Greek or Asian dishes. Or as an all American vegan burger with for instance, some pickles and corn on the cobb. It would taste great either way!

Since i’m equipped with a rather small stomach, i couldn’t possibly try every side presented on the table, so i limited myseld to the ones i thought the most interesting to try ourselves, at home. Everything looked amazing, and judging by the comments across the table, everything tasted wonderful!

And if that wasn’t enough, out came the desserts…
A perfect vegan lemoncurd cheesecake, which was super flavourful, and light at the same time, and a moist coconut chocolate cake to top things off in a pretty decadent way.

For this event i was joined by my sister Eline. Kristof had no way of ensuring he could get there in time, due to his work. He would have stuck out like a sore thumb too, because all the guest were female.

Thank you so much Greenway Foods and Greenway Antwerp for having us. We had a blast! (And gained ten pounds!!)

What is your favorite bbq recipe? Gimme!
Love, Stefanie

LET US TELL YOU ALL ABOUT EVE

We can imagine that a lot of our fellow vegans are familiar with this.
Non-vegan friends come across a facebook event, a promotional campaign, or basically anything containing the word “vegan”, and without blinking, send us a link, give us a shout, text us like: “Hey, this looks like something for you guys!”
Well, a lot of people gave us a heads up about the opening of a new concept store in our province’s capital Hasselt, that holds the idea of sustainability in high regard.
Safe to say, that we were all ears!

Yesterday was the day of the grand opening, and we wanted to check it out immediately.
The first real cold snap of the year was on it’s last legs, but still ice and a little snow made conditions a bit sketchy. However, that didn’t keep us from going. Carefull not to fall on our faces we made our way to the little shop called All About Eve.

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All About Eve is dainty shop that offers a wide range of cosmetics, skin care products, make-up, perfumes, … all of which are vegan. Evelien, the host, is  a very experienced make-up artist and truly passionate about natural, sustainable vegan products, and is very happy to supply you with the best advice and expertise, as well as giving you pointers in how to apply said products. Stefanie is probably coming back for her wedding make-up 😀

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Upon entering we were offered a complementary drink. We both settled for a non-alcoholic aperitif, a fruity sparkling drink with a raspberry in it!
Our curiosity took us upstairs to the domain of chef Bhumi.
We knew that they would serve some vegan dishes, sandwiches and a fine selection of teas, but had no idea what to expect really. We immediately noticed the very large table in the center of the room, which is an awesome way to seat people, and induce conversation between different guests, and create a very open and home-like atmosphere.
We’re always very keen on mingling with other people, hear about their experiences and stories, and more than happy to tell our own.
From the menu, we selected a delicious coconut chocolate milk to brush off the cold.
We couldn’t be happier with that decision. I want to make a special note about the biscuits that were served with the hot drinks. They are home made, and to die for, really.
If they would sell them seperately, I’d buy them by the truckload.
We took our time to inspect the menu further.

Stefanie opted for the “Aussie Brekkie”: A couple of pieces of toast, with mixed grilled veggies (Mushroom, Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomatoes), a marinated salad with pine nuts, and some sliced avocado.
Kristof’s choice, the Tiny Tempeh (not the rapper), a sandwich containing some marinated tempeh slices, romanesco, lettuce, tomato, veganaise, and ofcourse also some avocado. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and are compelled to visit this place very, very regularly.

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The menu also has a selection of bowl dishes on it, and even some pancakes with vegan ice cream and other stuff. We saw the reaction of the other guests when they had their bowl served before them, and we could tell that everyone was very excited, and so were we.. we’ll have to try out the rest of the menu when we come back. Soon.

 

 

DUNKIRK, A JUMP ACROSS THE BORDER.

Kristof is a gentle fella, but has a weak spot for pretty much everything that has anything to do with either the first or second world war.
Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk (IMDB) made him want to visit the city of Dunkirk, and see some of the locations the movie was shot for himself.
Dunkirk played a key role in one of the most memorable events of WWII. I don’t want to spoil it for the people that haven’t seen the movie, but the evacuation of troops locked in by the German forces closing in, was quite the feat.

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Dunkirk is pretty close to the Belgian border, but we decided to leave the car at home (the motorcycle too… it was too cold anyway). We opted to go by train. We hopped on the Thalys train from Brussels to Lille, and took a taxi from Lille to Dunkirk. We booked a room at the Hotel Borel, a 4 star accomodiation near the city centre.
Upon arrival we dumped our stuff at said hotel, and made our way to the beachfront for some fresh air. We walked the entire seawall gazing into the grey skies, and green seas on one side, and little bars, bistro’s and shops on the other side. We came across numerous signs that displayed various events and information about Operation Dynamo, the operaction depicted in the movie Dunkirk.

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We also kept our eyes peeled for menu’s that had any vegan options available, but were a little bummed out by the lack of anything even remotely vegan. We understand that the market may be small for our diet of choice, but no options whatsoever… we weren’t really expected.
Luckily Stefanie always has quite the supply of snacks on her, so we obviously didn’t have to rely too heavily on finding a restaurant. We did however find a recommendation on our Happy Cow app, for the next day. Sweet!

On day two we were lucky enough to get a exclusive tour in Fort Des Dunes.
The fort played a key role during Operation Dynamo in WWII. Operation Dynamo evacuated 338.000 allied soldiers. We were a part of the first guided tour in English, and the whole organisation and touristic exploitation of the Fort is pretty new. They are still on a learning curve, but every beginning is difficult. We did get a lot of wonderful information and we’re sure that this hidden gem will become a very interesting and informative attraction very soon.

If you are interested in WWII history we can also recommend a visit to the Atlantikwall at Raversyde (more info, click here!). Their exposition and guided tours (and audio tours) are available in multiple languages, and can give you a more complete experience. Located about an hour drive from Dunkirk, along the Belgian shore, near Ostend.

We went for a meal in the city centre.
Oponopono restaurant had several veggie options.
There was one vegan burger: the “Steak au legumes”. It’s a vegetable burger with parsnip puree, red onion and fries. Pretty good! Friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere.

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Afterwards we went for a stroll in the city centre, but the cold was a little too much at times. We went back to the hotel for a warm and cosy evening in our hotel room.
In the morning we checked out. A taxi brought us back to Lille, where the Thalys train awaited us to take us home.

 

If you want to share your war tips with Kristof? Let us know here!

 

2017, YOU HAVE BEEN KIND TO US

With the year coming to a close, we find ourselves remeniscent about what has past 365 days have brought us, while pondering future endeavours.

We went on some amazing trips throughout Europe.
In July we took the bike out for a spin and visited Goes in The Netherlands.
Barcelona was a home to us for a couple of days in september. Sun, sea, beautiful architecture, amazing food AND a proposal, made it a trip to remember for eternity.
Seeing how London is only a trainride away from us in Belgium, we went there for a luxurious weekend in November.

We had some of our favorite food this year on these trips.
The avocado starter and the sweet carrot curry at De Zeeuwse Hemel in Middelburg (The Netherlands).
The Korean BBQ Báhn Mì baguette from Eat Chay at Hackney Downs Market.
I still dream of that baguette!
And the Kare Burosu ramen at Wagamama hit the spot on a cold evening.
We might just plan a trip to London for the food, but end up shopping our proverbial asses off in the process

What were your favorite foodspots this year? Dishes you remember? Places you’ll never forget?

Best wishes for the new year!
We wish you a year filled with laughter, good friends, amazing food an beautiful places!

See you in 2018!