EAT

Antwerp, the healthy guide

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Cooking your own meals is all well and good but sometimes you just want to go somewhere, order something nice from the menu and enjoy someone else doing all the hard work.  Antwerp has a lot of interesting restaurants offering healthy plant based food that are high on flavour.  Subscribe to our newsletter for a free map you can download to your computer, phone or any other device and read on for our top 5 favourite places below.

1. Have a plant based dinner at Simone's Kitchen

We recently discovered this place which serves a new fixed menu every week.  Dishes are plant based and can be vegetarian or vegan.  Keep an eye out for their famous chocolate mousse tart with marzipan. Oh and they have a beautiful garden to eat in...

Simone's kitchen

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2. A HEALTHY BREAKFAST SHAKSHUKA AT MURNIFOOD

We love this place whose food so reminds us of our favourite place in London (Ottolenghi).  Owner Elke and her husband Zury cook gluten and lactose free and always have vegetarian and vegan options.  If you are expecting bland food you'll be surprised: there are many flavours from Israeli to Nepalese, Thai and Sri Lankan food.

Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish where eggs are cooked into tomato sauce. Bliss!

Murnifood

3.enjoy the flavours at camino 

The smoked eggplant with ponzu and sesame are amazing, so are the Korean mussels, and so is everything else....  Don't forget to book as this place is packed during the weekend!

Camino

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4. seasonal vegetables at extra fika

This simple place offers fresh, seasonal vegetables with local origin. 

Their sunday brunches are amazing. In summer, they occasionally move to summer bar Kamyon so check their website first.

Extra Fika

5.sunday brunch at het bos

A little off the beaten path, the two women making up the Otark food collective cook the most amazing brunch at het bos on sundays (not during the holidays check the website to make sure it is on).  Expect home made yummy dishes such as flatbread with wildflower honey, labne and walnuts, kimchi pancakes or white almond gazpacho.

Otark

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6. have a gin and tonic at wild project

We could tell you all about the amazing food like sweet potato fritters and spicy warm hummus with home made seeds crackers or socca with spring veggies, Japanese parsley and cashew lime sour cream. But really there is only one thing you need to know: the owners are so obsessed with plants and all things organic they make their own tonic. Enough said.... 

Wild project

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Instant noodle pot lunch

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In winter I am always looking for easy lunch recipes that are high on vegetables, easy to make and substantial.  Meet the 'instant noodle': throw some leftovers in a glass container and add some courgette noodles.  At lunch, just add hot water and enjoy a warming meal.   

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serves 2

 

instructions

1 courgette, spiralised
1 handful baby spinach, chopped
6 mushrooms, sliced
salmon, cooked
1 spring onion, sliced
curry paste
1 red chili, sliced

 
  1. Layer all the ingredients in a heatproof container starting with the curry paste and building up.
  2. When you are ready to eat: fill the container with boiling water, leave for 5 minutes, enjoy!

notes

  • Use whatever you have left from dinner.  Good combinations are: 2 vegetables, a protein (salmon, chicken...) and some curry paste or miso

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FIVE WAYS TO HALVE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE TODAY

The new guidelines for sugar consumption by the World Health Organisation is a recommended consumption of maximum 24gr or six teaspoons. Here's how you can easily cut 68gr today


1. Have a green smoothie

Instead of drinking a glass of orange juice at breakfast (22gr of sugar in Tropicana juice), make a vegetable smoothie (5gr of sugar)

2. Go dark

Replace a snackbar (33gr of sugar in a Mars bar) with 2 squares of dark chocolate (6gr in two squares of Lindt 70% chocolate)

3. Swap muesli for porridge

A store bought muesli can have 10gr of sugar (or more) vs 0gr of sugar in porridge

4. Go for the olive oil

Heinz tomato ketchup has 3.5gr of sugar per serving.  Drizzle your vegetables with olive oil instead (0gr)

5. Go nuts

Peanut butter has only 9gr of sugar per serving vs 20gr for Nutella.

Total amount of sugar at the end of the day: 20gr vs 88gr

The perfect green smoothie

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There is no easier way to up your vegetable intake than a morning green smoothie.   Compared to juices, smoothies have the added advantage of containing the whole of the vegetable including the fibres which are crucial for gut health.  I try to include at least two vegetables and prefer to use coconut water instead of (nut)milk for a lighter tasting result.   

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serves 2

 

instructions

1 cucumber, cut in 4
1 handful baby spinach
1 handful kale
1/4 frozen banana
small piece of ginger
250ml coconut water
mint
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 serving protein powder
a few icecubes

 
  1. Blend all the ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.
  2. Add more coconut water if the smoothie is too thick.

notes

  • This is a very flexible recipe: don't have spinach? use lettuce or kale. don't like mango? use apple
  • If you find the taste of a vegetable based smoothie hard to get used to add some more fruit then gradually reduce fruit and add more vegetables

Chocolate banana bread

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After we cut out sugar and gluten, baking became a real challenge. I find the secret is using butter instead of the often substituted coconut oil.  This recipe is hiding a secret ingredient: courgette!  Rest assured no one will guess it's there though!  

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makes 1

 

instructions

Wet ingredients
300gr bananas
80ml nut milk (1/3 cup)
50gr butter
1 teasp vanilla extract
2 eggs
150gr courgette

Dry ingredients
60gr buckwheat flour (1/2 cup)
60gr almond flour (1/2 cup)
1.5 teasp baking powder
1/2 teasp baking soda
5 tblsp cacao powder
100gr chocolate (min 80%), roughly chopped

Add ons
Banana

 
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in a blender until smooth
  3. Add dry ingredients to blender and mix loosely until just combined
  4. Pour into a cake in
  5. Add a thin slices of banana to the top
  6. Cook for 45 minutes
  7. Let cool slightly before removing from tin and slicing.

notes

  • Slices freeze really well separated with baking paper.  Toast in the oven, no need to defrost.