Netherlands – Haarlem

949321F5-BE94-494B-8711-7961B39AB69BLast Xmas, my mum, sister, niece and I went to Haarlem. It’s the city my family is from and where almost everyone from my family is born. Once a year we try to visit one city in the Netherlands together. To spend some quality time, do a bit of shopping and to try lots of yummy food. I really wanted to see what kind of vegan places Haarlem has to offer. There are not a lot of all vegan places, but I did find some nice ones that are worth going to. We went by train, so we did not have to worry about parking the car. We left Assen midmorning and around noon we arrived in Haarlem. We needed lunch!

IMG_4652People recommended some places via Instagram and one of them was Chickpea. It was recommended by a girl who works there. So nice! And because another place I really wanted to go, Freaking Vegan, was still closed and we were all really hungry, we decided to have lunch at Chickpea. Chickpea offers very delicious falafel. Served in/with pita bread or as a salad, with lots of salad options you can choose from. They are all vegan and it was very delicious. Beforehand my mum said that she didn’t like falafel as it’s always so dry. Now she knows what good falafel tastes like and she loved it! I definitely recommend this place. It’s great for lunch, but you can also have a lighter bite for a snack. And it was so nice to meet one of my followers at the same time.

C97157FB-5889-499C-B2BD-FF2606BFDEBCWe walked around Haarlem, through big shopping streets and some really nice cosy alleys and I loved it. When we were in a sports store, suddenly there was a lovely smell.. there was a lady walking around with fresh Turkish bread. I asked where she got it from, because the smell was irrisistable. She told me where to get it and that they were still warm. Oh my!! I rushed there and was lucky, because there were only 3 left. It was sooooo tasty. The shops closed early as it was Xmas evening, but luckily I managed to find some nice big golden hoops for in my ears, just in time. I was looking for these already for a while. We wanted to visit a place called Mica Coffeebar, to have a little break, but it 7E5E8920-F6CF-475B-AFE4-95AA262B0D74turned out that a lot of cafes and little restaurants closed at 16:00, because of Xmas evening. We didn’t know this and by the time we got there we only had 10 min. So we tried to look for something else, because my mum asked an old school friend to meet us for coffee. We ended up in a really chic place, that was open until late, but didn’t have any plant based milk. So I just ordered a water. I mean, what is the point of drinking tea without milk? We met my mum’s friend, had a nice chat. We then tried to look for a place to have some dinner.

IMG_4655We were able to use the train tickets we had from 18:30 again, but everything was closed at 16:00 already. I tried calling several places, including the place Freaking Vegan, that I really wanted to go to, but I got their voice mail and I assumed that they were closed too. So we tried to see if there maybe was a pizza place somewhere that was going to be open until longer. When we looked for that, we happened to walk passed Freaking Vegan and it looked like it was open! When I asked inside, the very friendly guy said they were open until 21:00! Woohoo!! It’s a IMG_4654small place and obviously no one was there on Xmas evening, so we had the whole place for ourselves. It’s all vegan junkfood and we ordered a ‘kapsalon’ (chips, a meat substitute that looks like shawarma and salad), a burger, onion rings and chicken style nuggets. We were so happy to find a place that was open. I was so happy I got to go here and best of all, the food was soooo nice! The onion rings were the best I ever tasted, the portions were big and everyone enjoyed it a lot. We got a hot chocolate to share in the end and without rushing or getting bored, we left perfectly in time for the train.

The train was on time and everything seemed to go well. But when we needed to change to our second train, all trains were cancelled, because of a defect somewhere. So we had to get a bus to Lelystad and from there we were able to continue our journey. The bus journey took long, but was hilarious as we made friend, who we had so much fun with. I really enjoyed it! All together, everything took an hour longer though and my niece really started to get tired, she is only 5. She fell asleep in the last 5 min (isn’t it always like that?), but we did all get home safely.

ACAF9AF2-BBE4-45F1-AD77-0DE2E5631A22Haarlem is a beautiful city, especially around Xmas time. There are so many lights everywhere, a big Xmas tree and of course the beautiful and impressive St. Bavo Church in the central market square. I had great fun taking some nice pictures of this beautiful city. I wish we had more time and I had 2 stomachs to try more good vegan food. But I will definitely go back to add to the hotspot list. For now, these are definitely nice places to check out when you visit Haarlem:

HOTSPOT LIST:
– Chickpea: Kleine Houtstraat 2A.
– Mica Coffeebar: Kleine Houtstraat 103.
– Freaking Vegan: Botermarkt 29.

Have you been to Haarlem yet? Or would you like to visit this beautiful city? Please let me know! I would love to hear about your experience and what nice places you discover. You can do this down below or let me know on Instagram via @freedomevermore. Thank you! X

Stamp-Pot

img_8328Living in London, I often get the question ‘What is typical Dutch dish?’. Well.. There are not a lot of Dutch dishes. Of course there are the famous ‘stroopwafels’ and ‘speculaas’, but the only thing I can come up with is stamppot. What is basically mashed potatoes with vegetables mashed in it and a piece of meat on the side. There are different combinations (with kale as the most popular). It’s not a dish to be super proud of. This must be the reason that Holland is famous for a lot of things, but definitely not for the Dutch kitchen. Stamppot is an ok dish though, people eat it mostly in the winter. It’s a typical winter-dish in Holland. I thought it will be a nice dish on the last day of March. To really finish off the winter. I’m so ready for lots of sun! I was never a huge fan, but as I am a huge fan of Asian kitchen, I made a combination of the two. The one with potatoes, carrots and onions is called ‘hutspot’ and if I had to choose, then that is my favourite, so I used this one for todays recipe. I happened to really love it now, haha! I hope you will love it too.

img_8331STAMP-POT

Serves: 2 

-4 big potatoes (chopped)
-3 carrots (chopped)
-2 big hands spinach
-1 onion (chopped)
-3 tbs milk
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-1 tbs sesame seed oil
-1/2 tsp coriander (ground)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-salt/pepper (to taste)
-2 Vivera fillet steaks*

-Put the potatoes, the carrots and 1/4 of the onion in a pan and let it boil for 20 min. Until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
-Fry the onion until the edges start to get brown. Add the garlic, the coriander and the cumin and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spinach in the last minute and until it slinks.
-Add this mixture, the sesame seed oil and the milk to the potato-carrot mix.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Serve with Vivera fillet steaks*.

*The fillet steak on the picture is from the brand Vivera. They do not sell this in the UK yet, but they soon will. It’s an amazing brand I’m sure you will love. So stay tuned! If you want to make this dish now, I recommend eating it on it’s own or to replace it with something else, like sausages. 

Did you have stamppot as a Dutch dish before? Are you going to try this Dutch-Asian stamppot? Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Dutchie Pie

img_8155This Sunday, the 12th of March, Planet Manel will celebrate it’s first anniversary! Yay!! That means: CAKE! So I made this typical Dutch cake for you. It’s the ‘Authentic Apple Pie’. The cake itself is a bit like biscuits and a bit like cake, with a filling of apples, raisins and cinnamon. It has always been my favourite cake. I only like the home-made ones though, because pre-made, they’re not tasty at all. I actually don’t like any pre-made cakes, so that explains. On every birthday I went as a child and also when I was older, I’d choose home-made apple pie. On all my own birthdays I always made an apple pie. Though they never really turned out perfect. My sister is a lot better at it than me. So when I decided to veganise this pie I was a bit nervous. Very surprisingly the pie turned out to be more than perfect. I was so proud of myself that I finally made a good one after 15 years of trying. Vegan Power!! WARNING: This pie is not healthy, haha! ..but super super delicious though!

applDUTCHIE PIE

Serves: 8

dough
3 cups plain flower
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs flaxseed (+ 6 el soy milk)
2/3 cup liquid butter
pinch of salt
filling
5 big apples (peeled/chopped)
1/3 cup raisins
4 tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

img_8156-Preheat the over at 180C.
-Mix the flaxseed and the soy milk and let it stand for about 15 minutes. In the meantime you can make the filling:
-Mix the apples, the sugar, the cinnamon, the lemon juice and the raisins in a bowl. Make sure the juice on the bottom of the bowl, coming from the apples, is taken out before pouring it into the cake tin.
-Put the flower, the baking powder, the sugar, the salt in a big bowl (or use a food processor) and mix well.
-Then also mix in the flaxseed mixture and the butter and knead it until it forms a firm dough. It should not be sticking to everything: too wet ..or flaking: too dry. Add a little bit of flower/butter in case it’s too wet or too dry.
-Spread the dough over the bottom and the side of the cake tin, but make sure you keep about 1/4 of the dough for the top of the cake.
-Put the filling on the dough and spread it out nicely. Don’t press too hard, but make sure it’s even everywhere.
-Form 8 strips out of the left over dough to cover the top of the pie.
-Put the pie in the oven for 55-60 minutes.
-Let it cool down before cutting it into pieces.

Are you going to give this very tasty recipe a go and celebrate Planet Manel’s 1st anniversary with me? Please let me know! And I’d love to see some beautiful pictures. Please share them with me on Instagram using #PlanetManel ! Thank you! X

Sint Twist

img_2682In the Netherlands, every year, we celebrate ‘Sinterklaas’. A lot of people confuse this Dutch tradition with Christmas. Some people even think we celebrate Christmas earlier in the Netherlands, but Sinterklaas is very much separate from Christmas. Though there are similarities: It’s both in December, Sinterklaas en Santa Claus do look like each other a bit, it’s important you’ve been good all year, it’s also with presents and nice food and children love it. We celebrate Sinterklaas on the 5th of December, but as we officially welcome him to the Netherlands about 2 weeks before this date, there is something else we do. You can put your shoe in front of the fireplace, sing a song, leave some treats for his horse and write him a letter if you like. The next morning it’s swapped for a present. So exciting for children!

img_2683On the day itself a lot of people have a nice meal together and after that it’s time.. The presents are waiting at the door and somebody(a family member, friend or neighbour for example) will ring or knock the door really loud. Children will run to the door and of course there is nobody there. When the presents are all inside it’s time to open them and it’s just so much fun! A typical sweet what is given by his helpers, are ‘pepernoten’. It’s like little biscuits. They’re delicious! I thought it would be nice to give you a little recipe today for a ‘pepernoten milkshake’. Very simple, very yummy!

SINT TWIST

Serves 1

200 ml oat milk
1/4 cup pepernoten
1/2 banana
1/2 tbsp palm sugar

-Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth.
-Sprinkle a crushed pepernoot on top.
tip: you can get pepernoten in the Dutch shop ‘Hema’.

Did you know what Sinterklaas was already? Have you tried pepernoten before and are you going to give this recipe a go? Please let me know in the comments below or share a picture on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X