July 8, 2015

My new book LIMONADE is out!!!

cover limonade

My book has been in stores for a week now and I could not have been more excited about it! With the hot weather here in Belgium so many of you already got it and send me the first wonderful pics and messages about the drinks you made! They make my days and make it all worth doing! THANK YOU!!!

For those of you missed my posts about the book, it’s a budle of over 50 of my original & healthy recipes for lemonades, ice teas and infused water. There is a section with syrups in there that includes basic syrups based on sweeteners, agave, honey and cane sugar, herb syrups as well as other syrups such as vanilla, lavender or ginger.  You will also fine a lot of tips on how to make perfect homemade drinks this summer!

The book has been published by Davidsfonds, is in Dutch, it’s €19.99 and it’s available in stores & online. If you want a signed copy, don’t be shy – just shoot me an email at fourplaybook@gmail.com and it will be on your way!

Below 3 recipes to make you thirsty!

CHEERS AND HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!

limonade1limonade3limonade5

June 10, 2015

Philips Airfryer Review

Hi friends,

One thing you know right away when you read my blog is that I like things to be simple. In cooking that is. I don’t do overcomplicated recipes and I don’t cook many meals where I need to use devices other than my stove, my oven and my kitchen robot. I have been lucky to try a lot of devices in the past few years but disappointingly not many of them conquered a permanent spot in my kitchen. That’s because too often, they did not deliver on their promise and are for that reason stored and stacked in my garage (I might think of doing a garage sale soon hehe). So I’m not really the first person in line to try yet another device but I must admit I had been eyeing the Philips Airfryer or a little while and when I was asked if I wanted to test and review the device I said yes straight away. And it was for one very important reason: Fries.

Fries are the one weakness of this healthy geek and through the years they have also played an important role in our little family life. As you see, I never ate fries before I came to Belgium. OK, I did but probably not more than a handful of times and they would not have made my list of top 100 favourite foods for shizzle. 8 years ago, my first date with Dieter (aka husband), changed that. Since he had just come back from travelling the world and was pretty much broke, he took me out to eat fries. Not a way to impress a foodie hihi but to his credit, they were the best fries in Brussels. And they completely changed my mind about fries. Turned out I did love fries after all; I just never had the ‘real deal’. That date was the first of the many important fries moment in our life such as munching on fries while having only one hour to decide whether we should buy a piece of land after just seeing it only once, to serving fries at our Belgian wedding (you might remember we had three of those – we like to partay). In the meantime, my husband also became this household’s CFO (Chief Frietjes Officer) and always makes Belgian fries when we have visitors from abroad. And I can honestly say they are the best.

philips airfryer fries

So when the Airfryer arrived, I knew that the real test would be to see if Dieter would actually consider the fries from the Airfryer as a worthy alternative to his homemade deep-fried fries.

Before we even tasted the fries, I was already delighted that the intense frying odour wasn’t present. We have an open space downstairs so frying usually means the smell takes over not only the kitchen but also the living room and our office space. So no odour is a big plus.

Then came the time for the taste test. Fries came out looking golden and like they should but it wasn’t till I heard my husband say “not bad, not bad at all” that I knew Airfryer passed the ‘real deal’ test. He admitted he’s a fan so those fries had to be good. And they were. They were not greasy at all which I loved but they were still crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and tasted like fries should taste. Just with less fat. Happy face.

Philips Airfryer Belgian fries

The second thing that I couldn’t wait to make in the Airfryer were my rustic sweet potato fries. I am pretty much obsessed with them and could eat them all the time. I don’t really eat them that often though, because as much as I love them, it takes me over an hour to bake them in the oven and when I have a craving (and I have been having those a lot lately carrying this little munchkin in my belly), I just simply can’t wait that long. So making my fries in just 15-20 minutes and with only 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil sounded really tempting and almost too good to be true. But it wasn’t. When they came out, they were still my dear sweet potato fries but healthier. Who knew that was possible! Happy face #2.

Philips Airfryer sweet potato fries

The device is easy to use too: you heat it up to the desired temperature (between 60-200 degrees) in just 3 minutes, set the time, throw in your fries and impatiently wait till they are done so you can munch on them already. And no cleaning necessary afterwards as the parts of the Airfryer go straight in to the dishwasher. Woop!

Fries were my top of mind when wanting to test the Airfryer but when I got it, it turned out you can do so much more with it – bake, roast and grill – which I fully intend to do now I found a permanent spot for it in in my kitchen. First baking test coming this weekend as I need to do something with all that rhubarb growing in our garden.

For more info on the Philips Airfryer, click here.

May 22, 2015

Délio Good For You … and you… and you!

Hey busy bees out there! I am super excited to let you know that I have become an ambassador for the new scrumptious products from Délio called Délio Good for You. Good for you as the two salads that have recently hit the stores are packed with nutritious and wholesome ingredients and even better for me as some of those are my favourite things in the world (and when I say favourite things in the world you should already know that the sweet potato is definitely involved in the matter). The idea behind the salads is to give go-getters like I know some of you are an alternative for a balanced and nutritious afternoon snack or lunch on those days where you just don’t seem to find time to prepare fresh meal but still want something wholesome that will give you energy and make you feel good. I know something about these days as no matter how much I tell myself to take it easier and do less project the following month, I always end up running around trying to cook and shoot trillion things and meet all deadlines. So yes, speaking from experience here.

delio good for youdelio good for you

First salad is (indeed) starring my all time friend, the sweet potato. I love that it’s combined with quinoa and goji berries not only because it’s a great taste combination but it also gets rid of both my sweet and savoury craving. The second salad goes back to my Polish roots and features red beet. Have you heard of mulberries? I usually use them in my granola but they taste so good with red beet and walnuts in the second salad that I started using them in savory dishes now as well.

Curious about the salads already? I hope so! I am definitely excited and eager to start sharing my little ideas on what to eat the salads with and what to add to make them even more awesome. Since I got to try the salads last year I have experimented with some cool flavor combinations and easy editions that will make this nutritious snack into an exciting and fulfilling lunch. Stay tuned!!

delio good for you

The salads are available in Colruyt and Albert Heijn supermarkets. Check out Délio Facebook page for more info.

May 19, 2015

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

Hi friends,

You might have noticed that we are expecting a little sprout to join our little family soon. I couldn’t have been more excited and happy about it! My pregnancy started with almost 4 months of severe nausea that have prevented me from eating my favorite foods and definitely from experimenting with new ones. It’s been a little bit of a struggle, especially professionally as yeah, preparing, styling and shooting food has turned out to be impossible hehe. Luckily that’s all behind me now, I’m feeling so much better and I must admit I have found cooking even more exciting lately! Just the idea that I am feeding another person inside me makes me prepare every meal with extra consideration, making sure all ingredients are organic and off best quality. I also feel more eager than ever to try out new things and start introducing my little munchkin to a variety of veggies and fruit as early as possible (yes, that means in the womb hihi). The fact that I have no naughty cravings but crave things like avocado, or quinoa or tomatoes really help too! I hope it stays that way!

Recently I have fallen in love with chard (in Dutch called warmoes or snijbiet). It was first the gorgeous colors of the raw chard that caught my eye and even though those colors disappear when cooked, chard has turned out to be so scrumptious it has joined the list of my favorite veggies. So more chard recipes might join the club here soon!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

2 portions

Needed:
1 medium cauliflower head
350 g chard
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp herb salt
2 tbsp pine nuts

That’s how you make it:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the cauliflower and use a knife to segregate the large florets from the roots. Cut the cauliflower into smaller florets. Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stem. Cut the leaves roughly and put the leaves aside. Cut the stem in 3-4cm pieces.

Put the cauliflower florets and the stem pieces into an ovenproof dish. Add olive oil and sea salt and mix thoroughly. Put in the oven for 40 minutes. Take out the dish, add the chard leaves and mix. Put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Dry roast the pine nuts on a pan. Serve the cauliflower and chard with roasted pine nuts.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

May 11, 2015

NEWS: MY NEW BOOK IS COMING OUT THIS SUMMER!!!

OMG my second book is coming out soon! And this time it’s all about drinking! OK OK, drinking lemonades. And iced teas. And infused waters. You know, I’m pregnant so my kind of drinking! HEHE

The book, called LIMONADE, will be in Dutch and will hit the stores in June, right on time for the summer = the lemonade season. I will teach you how to make basic syrups and syrups with cool flavours (all without the usual white sugar used in lemonade syrups) and will share over 50 recipes for fun lemonades like grilled pineapple lemonade, kiwi lemonade, blueberry and mint lemonade as well as adventurous iced teas like camomile and passion fruit and  some of my favourite infused waters.

Are you excited yet? NO? Ok, here is a little sneak peek of what’s coming in the book. Now get excited please!

Limonade

May 4, 2015

CHICHE!: The French edition of FOURPLAY

chiche

Bonjour les amis! This news makes me so happy – FOURPLAY, my first cookbook, my culinary baby, has been recently published in French and is now available both in stores and online!

It has been brought out on the market by a lovely French-speaking publisher Renaissance du Livre (thank you guys, it was a pleasure working with you!) and can be purchased directly from their website and book stores in the French speaking part of Belgium. The French version is soft cover and the price is €19,90.

I know many of you are waiting for the English version, fingers crossed that this one will be next!!

Lots of love,

Marta

chichechichechiche

January 10, 2015

Vegan Banana Bread with Superfoods

My husband really loves bananas. I mean he REALLY loves them. He loves bananas so much that when he does groceries he gets overenthusiastic about buying them. So enthusiastic that he unconsciously gave me a new hobby and it’s called ‘what the heck can I make with super overripe bananas”?

So this is what I made this time and it’s so delicious I had to share it with you right away! It’s vegan, made with superfoods and sweetened with maple syrup. You’re welcome.

vegan banana bread with superfoods

You will need:
5 very ripe bananas
250 g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
50 g coconut oil, liquified (you can do it by briefly warming it up)
150 ml soy milk
75 ml maple syrup

Superfoods, seeds and nuts
(but you can use any of your favorites or even add chocolate chips):
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 tablespoons mulberries
2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
1 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons almond shavings

That’s how you make it:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the peeled bananas into your food processor and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and soya milk en mix till well incorporated. In a bowl, mix spelt flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix till smooth batter. Add the superfoods, seeds and nuts and mix again.
Pour the batter into a 22cm x 22cm baking tin (sprayed with baking spray or lined with parchment paper) and sprinkle the top with some hemp seeds, chia seeds and almond shavings. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve.

vegan banana bread with superfoods

December 17, 2014

Xmas Gift Time: An awesome HP Pavilion x360 + Xmas Cinnamon Granola!

Hey friends,

I am playing Santa and I have something red for you! If you are on my ‘Nice’ list this year and got my book FOURPLAY, you are making a chance to win an awesome, convertible laptop from HP! And a jar of my homemade cinnamon granola! In an awesome Christmas bag! I promise, you want it! It makes me freaking happy as it is a way for me to give back to one to you who have supported me in this super crazy year!

I have been using the HP Pavilion x360 since summer and it has become my ‘kitchen computer’. It has a cool food section where I get to easily save all my recipes while I’m cooking instead of putting it on a piece of paper that I later loose or cover in fat. And thanks to it I finally have a proper directory of all recipes in a digital form, seriously, I really needed it! It has an 11.6-inch touchscreen and what’s super duper about it is that by twisting the screen, you can convert it into a tablet! Did I mention you really want it?

Xmas Giveaway

I can’t wait to see who will get it but if you won’t be the lucky one, I am still sharing my favorite Christmas granola recipe with you! Because just the smell of it will cheer you up! I promise, it will!

Xmas Cinnamon Granola

Needed for a big jar:
150 g oats
50 g goji berries
20 g sunflower seeds
20 g pumpkin seeds
50 g almonds, chopped
50 g hazelnuts, chopped
50 g walnuts, chopped
150 ml maple syrup
1 tbsp cinnamon

That’s how make it:
Preheat oven to 160°C. Put oats, maple syrup, nuts and cinnamon in a bowl and ingredients in a bowl mix well till all ingredients are covered in maple syrup. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the granola mixture on it. Bake for about 15-20 min or until golden and starting to harden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Break the granola with hands, add Goji berries and seeds and toss. Put in a nice glass jar and pack as a gift or if you’re keeping it for yourself, store it in any airtight jar or container.

So let’s get to business! How can you become an owner of the HP Pavilion x360 (and a jar of granola hehe)? It’s simple!

If you got my book FOURPLAY this year, take a fun picture with it or a picture of the recipe you made (yes you can reuse the ones you guys already sent me in the past few months!) and send it to fourplaybook@gmail.com! I will pick the coolest photo (OMG I already know I will have to get my girlfriends to help me judge coz I know I will like all of them!)! You have time till December 23 at midnight! I will let the winner know on the December 24 and if you’re the one with the coolest photo, you will get your package in January! Only Belgian addresses (so sowwy if you live abroad, I can only send it within the frietjes land!)

Up for it? I hope so!! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS Y’ALL!!!!!

November 20, 2014

FOURPLAY: Vegan Coconut Ice Cream with Butternut Squash & Macadamia Nuts

Hi friends, since some of you asked for this recipe in English I thought I’d share it on the blog! It’s one of my favorite fall recipes from my book and definitely my favorite dessert! If you think it’s strange to eat ice cream in fall, you will change your mind after you tried this vegan awesomeness.

For most of my recipes you don’t need any equipment except for a mixer but these ice cream are best made in an ice cream maker. I have the simplest kind, I got it for about 40 euro but it’s such a worthy investment. In the spring and summer, I literally never buy ice cream anymore – I just throw some fresh seasonal fruit and soy yoghurt or coconut milk in the ice cream maker and soon after I have the most delicious, refreshing and healthy treat to keep me cool on hot days. And then I find ways to use it throughout the entire year, like with the pumpkin ice cream, or chestnut ice cream. You just can’t go wrong with ice cream.

If you like the recipe and want more, you should totally get my book. That is if you speak Dutch. Then seriously. You should. ;)

2014-11-20_0004

You will need:
300 g butternut squash
800 ml coconut milk
120 ml agave syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
100g macadamia nuts, dry roasted

That’s how you make them:
Heat the coconut milk over low heat. Add the agave syrup and cinnamon. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Peel and deseed the butternut squash and cut it into small cubes. Spread the pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until the squash is soft and lightly browned on the corners. Put the coconut mixture into the ice cream maker and wait till ice cream forms. Add the macadamia nuts and roasted squash, mix and serve immediately.

Pompoen-Kokosijs

This is the original page form my book. It’s fun, isn’t it?

November 17, 2014

Libelle Lekker Foodbloggers Contest: 2 x Breakfast from Christmas Leftovers

Final entry for the Libelle Lekker Foodbloggers Contest. It’s the big finale and it’s cooking with leftovers.

cooking with christmas leftovers_blog

NL (scroll down for the English version):

Ik ben een echt ochtendmens. Ik sta vroeg op en drink in alle rust en stilte mijn kopje groene thee. De ochtend na de kerstavond, als iedereen nog aan het slapen is, maak ik in mijn kerstpyjama ontbijt voor mijn familie. Ja, ik heb een kerstpyjama. En 26 kersttruien. Ik heb zelfs een kerstonderbroek. Dat ik van kerst hou is een understatement.

Mijn ontbijt is inderdaad gemaakt van restjes. Het begon als verassing voor mijn familie, maar ondertussen verwacht mijn familie niets anders meer. Ik vind het helemaal niet erg om ontbijt te maken voor de hele familie, want ik vind het altijd heel leuk om creatief aan de slag te gaan met de restjes. Een tweede leven aan iets geven, dat vind ik geweldig. Hier zijn twee lekkere ontbijtideetjes om je restjes puree of appeltjes met veenbessenssaus te verwerken in een smakelijk ontbijt.

Muffins Recept Blog

Wafels Recept Blog

EN: 

I am an early bird. I like to get up in the morning and drink my cup of green tea in peace and quiet. The morning after the Christmas Eve, when everyone is still sleeping, I always make breakfast for my family. Wearing my Christmas pyjamas. Yep, I have a Christmas pyjamas. And 26 Christmas sweaters. I even have Christmas underpants. Saying that I love Christmas is an understatement.

My Christmas morning breakfast is always made from leftovers. What started as a nice surprise for my family,  is now pretty much an expectation ;) But I don’t mind. Cooking with leftovers is one of my biggest joys and one of the best way I can express myself creatively in the kitchen. Giving something its second life, what’s not to love about it! Here are two tasty ideas to transform your leftover puree and apples with cranberry sauce into a delicious breakfast.

SWEET: BREAKFAST MUFFINS FROM APPLES  WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

Needed for 12 muffins:
1-3 apple halves with cranberries (if you only have cranberry sauce left, use 3 tablespoons of it)
200 g spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
25 ml olive oil
100 ml honey
1 egg
150 ml almond milk
2 tablespoons oats or granola

That’s how you make them:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the cranberry apples into small pieces. Mix spelt flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Mix the egg with the olive oil, honey and almond milk. Add both mixtures together and mix briefly (do not overmix). Add the apples with cranberries and stir gently. Take a muffin tin and fill it with the batter. Sprinkle with oats or granola. Bake the muffins 15-20 minutes or until golden.

SAVORY: WAFFLES FROM PUREE LEFTOVERS

Needed for 12-15 waffles:
400 g celeriac puree (also works with mashed potatoes or parsnip puree)
150 g spelt flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon melted ghee (or butter)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
100 ml soy milk
1 tablespoon thyme
Pinch of sea salt

That’s how you make them:
In a bowl, mix butter, soy milk and puree. Beat eggs until light and foamy and add to the puree to it. Mix spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, thyme and salt in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon. Heat the waffle iron. Bake the waffles golden for about 3 minutes each. Serve with a little bit of melted ghee (or butter) and thyme.

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