Red spaghetti sauce recipe – recept ook in NL

Because we can only cook once a week, we cook bigger portions (usually for 8 people) and we’d like to use a lot of fresh vegetables. One of our favourite dishes is this spaghetti sauce we came up with. It’s still nice when you get it out of the freezer, especially when you make the spaghetti fresh. That’s a lot better than freezing the pasta in too.
Spaghetti is my favourite kind of pasta but my parents were never very good at making a nice one (they would use a package from the supermarket which was actually for macaroni). My partner isn’t a big fan of vegetables, but these are all approved by him 😉
Of course you can leave out or add your own ingredients, but maybe this recipe can help you to create the spaghetti sauce you like best (we like this one best ;)). The recipes are in Dutch and in English.

Rode spaghettisaus – 4 personen

500g gehakt (kippengehakt, of het goedkopere rundergehakt, is het minst vet)
1 courgette
1kg (vlees)tomaten
280g (2 grote blikjes) tomatenpuree
2 grote of 3 kleine champignons
2 tenen knoflook
Italiaanse kruiden
kristalsuiker als de verse tomaten zuur zijn.

1. Snijd de groentes: courgette en tomaat in kleine stukjes/blokjes en de champignons in kleine plakjes.
2. Doe de stukjes tomaat samen met de tomatenpuree in een beslagkom en mix het met de staafmixer tot een puree/saus.
3. Bak het gehakt in een grote koekenpan met een beetje olijfolie en 1 geperste teen knoflook. Hier naar eigen smaak Italiaanse kruiden, knoflookpoeder en zout toevoegen (wij gebruiken over het algemeen vrij veel Italiaanse kruiden en knoflook(poeder)). Bak het gehakt tot het voornamelijk grijs en nog een klein beetje licht roze is, want straks staat het nog een tijdje op. Op deze manier is het gehakt malser, dus wanneer het volledig grijs is, is hij eigenlijk te ver (maar ook nog prima te eten, alleen droger).
4. Doe de tomatenpuree/saus in een grote kookpan, pers 1 teen knoflook erdoorheen en laten pruttelen. Doe het gebakken gehakt hierbij.
5. Bak de champignons in de pan waar het gehakt in gebakken is, met wat olijolie en naar eigen smaak Italiaanse kruiden en knoflookpoeder erbij. Daarna de courgette toevoegen (deze hoeft minder lang te bakken). Wanneer het gebakken is, toevoegen aan de tomatensaus en een tijdje laten koken/pruttelen (ong. 20 minuten). Als het (licht) zuur proeft dan wat kristalsuiker toevoegen. En naar eigen smaak natuurlijk eventueel extra kruiden. Als de saus te dun blijft, ook nadat het een tijd heeft gekookt, kan je wat bloem of maizena toevoegen.

[Photo of a plate with spaghetti bolognese]. Note: this is not the dish from this recipe.

Red spaghetti sauce – 4 people

1 lb 2 oz (500g) of minced meat (chicken, or the cheaper one from cow, contain the least fat).
1 zucchini/squash
2lb 4 oz (1 kg)  of (beef) tomatoes
10 oz (280g/2 large cans) of tomato paste/puree
2 large or 3 small champignons
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
garlic powder
Italian herbs
sugar if the fresh tomatoes are (a bit) sour

1. Slice the vegetables: zucchini and tomatoes in small dices and the champignons in small slices.
2. Put the tomato dices together with the tomato paste in a bowl and blend it with the blender untill it’s all a paste/sauce.
3. Fry the minced meat in a big frying pan with a bit of olive oil and 1 pressed clove of garlic. Add to your own taste some Italian herbs, garlic powder and salt (we generally use quite a lot of Italian herbs and garlic (powder)). Fry it till it’s mostly grey but still has some pinkish spots, because it’ll be cooked for a longer period of time after this. If you fry the minced meat this way, it’ll be tender. So when it’s entirely grey, you’re actually too late (but you can still use it, it’ll just be more dry).
4. Put the tomato paste/sauce in a big cooking pot, press 1 clove of garlic through it and let it boil a bit. Add the fried minced meat.
5. Fry the champignons in the pan you used for the minced meat, with some olive oil and again to your own taste Italian herbs and garlic powder. Then add the zucchini (this doesn’t have to fry as long as the champignons). When it’s all fried, add this to the tomato sauce and let it boil a little for a while (about 20 minutes). If it tastes (slightly) sour, you can add some granulated sugar. And of course to your own taste some Italian herbs and garlic powder. If the sauce is too thin, even after boiling it for a while, you can add some flour or cornstarch.

Photo source


Left over rice recipe – recept ook in NL

This is something easy we make, when we cooked too much rice for dinner. For example when we made this curry. Depending on how much you’ve left, you can eat it as snack or for lunch or dinner.


Voor 2 personen:
overgebleven gekookte rijst (bijv. 200 gram)
2 eieren
zout (hoeveelheid naar smaak)
3 teentjes knoflook (of naar eigen smaak aanpassen)
Italiaanse kruiden (hoeveelheid naar smaak)
kaas (hoeveelheid en rijpheid naar smaak – wij gebruiken zeer gerijpte of oude 30+ kaas)

  1. Rasp de kaas. Warm de olijfolie goed op in een koekenpan. ‘Frituur’ de knoflook hierin.
  2. Zodra de knoflook een klein beetje bruin wordt, doe je de gekookte rijst erbij. Even bakken, totdat de rijst ook goed warm is.
  3. Breek 2 eieren boven de pan (op de rijst) en roer deze er goed doorheen.
  4. Zodra de eieren gebakken zijn, de geraspte kaas erdoorheen roeren en laten smelten.
  5. Daarna de kruiden en evt. zout toevoegen en het is klaar 🙂

dscn0225-1024x768 Photo of a bowl of rice with a broken raw egg on top of it].
(This is not a photo of this dish)


For 2 people:
Left over cooked rice (e.g. 200 grams)
2 eggs
salt (amount depends on your own taste)
3 cloves of garlic (or change the amount to your own taste)
Italian herbs (amount depends on your own taste)
olive oil
cheese (amount and maturity of the cheese depends on your own taste – we use very ripened cheese with less fat)

  1. Grate the cheese. Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the garlic in here.
  2. As soon as the garlic starts to become brown, you add the cooked rice. Fry it till the rice is heatened up well, too.
  3. Break 2 eggs above the pan (so it falls on the rice) and stir them well through the rice.
  4. When the eggs are fried, you stir the grated cheese in it and let it melt.
  5. Then you can add the herbs and salt and it’s done 🙂


Photo source

Lactose-free sweet curry with yams/sweet potato – Recept ook in NL

This time a recipe for a sweet curry, which I regularly eat. Yams are extremely healthy and usually easy to digest for people with IBS. They are also great for vegetarians. This recipe is lactose-free and you can easily make it vegetarian (leave the chicken out). It hardly has any spiceness, that’s why it’s suitable for me. You can always add some spiceness if you’d like!


1 (rode) ui
3 tenen knoflook
3 cm verse gember
400g zoete aardappelen
1 eetlepel garam masala
300g rode paprika’s
400ml kokosmelk (light) – dit bevat geen lactose
1 courgette
300g kipfilet

  1. Snipper de ui. Pel en pers de knoflook (knoflookpers). Schil en rasp de gember. Snijd de kipfilet in stukjes (ong. 2x2cm).
  2. Halveer de courgette en snijd in dunne plakjes. Schil de zoete aardappelen en snijd ze brunoise (blokjes ong. 1x1cm). Snijd de paprika fijn. Bak de paprika kort in wat olie.
  3. Pureer met de staafmixer (of keukenmachine) de paprika, samen met de kokosmelk. Doe het daarna in een grote kookpan.
  4. Verhit olie in een pan en bak de kip, samen met de ui, knoflook, gember, garam masala en wat kerriepoeder. Voeg het daarna toe in de kookpan.
  5. Bak daarna de zoete aardappel voor ong. 3 min. met wat knoflookpoeder, kerriepoeder en zout. Voeg het daarna toe in de kookpan.
  6. Bak tenslotte de courgette en voeg het toe in de kookpan.
  7. Laat ong. 20 minuten koken. Als het erg dun is, kan je wat bloem of maizena toevoegen. Serveren met rijst.

Indien gewenst kan je altijd meer of minder kruiden toevoegen. Je kan ook meer peper toevoegen (in garam masala zit een beetje peper) of koriander etc.

[Image of an orange curry in a pan]
This photo is not the same dish.


1 (red) onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 centimetres (1.181 inches) of fresh ginger
400 gramms of sweet potato/yam
1 tablespoon of garam masala
300 gramms of red paprika
400 millilitres of coconut milk (light) – this doesn’t contain lactose
1 zucchini
300 gramms of chicken breast/chicken fillet
curry powder
garlic powder

1. Peel and cut the onion. Peel and press the garlic (with garlic press). Peel and grate the ginger. Cut the chicken breast into pieces (2×2 centimetres/0.787×0.787 inches).
2. Halve the zucchini and cut into thin slices. Peel and cut the sweet potato(es) brunoise/small dice (about 1×1 centimetres/0.39×0.39 inches). Finely cut the paprika. Fry the paprika with some (olive) oil shortly.
3. Mash the paprika with the (immersion) blender, together with the coconut milk. Pour it into a large cooking pot.
4. Fry the chicken, together with onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala and some curry powder. When it’s done, put it into the cooking pot.
5. Fry the sweet potato(es) for about 3 minutes with some garlic powder, curry powder and salt. Add it to the cooking pot.
6. Fry the zucchini and add it to the cooking pot as well.
7. Let it cook for about 20 minutes. If it remains thin, then you could add some flour. Serve with rice.

You can always add more or less herbs and spices, according to your taste. You can add some more pepper for example (garam masala has some pepper).

Photo source



‘Freezer-cooking’ risotto + easy variation tip

I’ve posted my risotto recipe before, which is adapted to my liking and my financial situation (it really is a treat for us). I hope you enjoy that recipe. Feel free to adapt it to your style! Maybe you can also use ingredients or techniques in a different recipe and adapt that one. I find that being able to adapt things to your needs is very important in life, especially if you’re ‘not entirely normal’. That way you can still enjoy a lot of things 🙂

With our risotto recipe we make ‘too much’, but do this on purpose. We can’t cook by ourselves, because of our disabilities, so we can only cook once a week if there’s someone available. We freeze it in and then fry it in the pan. Sometimes add a little salt or italian herbs for the extra flavour, because you still lose it a little (and the structure will also get a bit lost). However, frying it in a pan is a lot better than putting it in the microwave, for both taste and structure 🙂 For other dishes I sometimes also add a fresh vegetable (for macaroni I usually fry a red paprika for the extra crunch) or bake an egg or add fresh cheese etc. It’s ok if you can’t use all fresh stuff, we can’t either and only buy it when it’s for sale. You can also make it delicious with less fresh goods.

Something we tried this week is baking (fresh) champignons in a different pan. Then you can eat it seperately or mix it through the risotto. So, for our champignons we slice champignons (obviously), then fry it in a pan with olive oil. We use this olive oil for the flavour, so despite ceramic pans we used oil this time. Then we added italian herbs and garlic powder (and a tiny bit of salt). It was delicious! You can also mix these champignons with other dishes, such as meatballs.
[Photo of champignons being fried in a pan]
Note: These aren’t the champignons we made.

It can be quite surprising how just a little bit of spices or herbs can make a dish taste really different. Especially for ‘freezer-cooking’ I find it essential to make it tasty. We always have fresh garlic and herbs/spices from the supermarket (we use salt, italian herbs and garlic powder  the most, but we also have a lot of others depending on the style of the dish we’re making). I hope you’ll enjoy experimenting with (easy) cooking!

Photo source

Recipe for simple, tasty, cheaper risotto, without alcohol – recept ook in NL

I love risotto, but it’s rather expensive. Making it yourself is still cheaper than in restaurants though. Another advantage is that you can make the dish exactly to your liking. And I don’t like alcohol at all, but usually they use white wine for risotto. Sure, it evaporates but you can still taste it and I just really don’t like it. Besides that, no wine makes it cheaper 🙂 And I find it more delicious, plus if you can’t have alcohol (even though it is said to evaporate) due to for example religious or medical reasons (for me, it’s medical reasons and I just don’t like it, nor need it) this is a nice recipe.

Besides wine, you usually use parmazan for risotto, which is also rather expensive. There was a time in Italy when the people were so poor they made risotto without cheese, even though we always eat it with cheese. So we bought a cheaper cheese, which we also like a lot. I love the older cheeses, because they have a stronger taste, but my fellow Hippo doesn’t like the really old ones so we bought one that was called ‘very ripen/very mature’ instead of ‘old’. And it tasted wonderful. Another reason why we make it ourselves, is that we both can’t handle fat well, due to IBS (irritable bowle syndrome). So we used a cheese with less fat (30+). We also chose less fat butter for example.

Risotto is all about the texture. That’s why it’s a good idea to make this one first, before you add other stuff. Stirring is very important for risotto and you need enough fluids. You can make the bouillon stronger or less strong, that doesn’t really matter. So you can use 1.5 or 2.5 litres but you really need to make sure that it’s enough. It has to become a bit sticky.

You can make so many risotto variations, vegetarian ones or with seafood or sausages etc. I wanted to make one with champignons but my fellow Hippo isn’t fond of vegetables, and I didn’t want to eat chicken this time, so we made it plain simple. And like I said, I thought it was delicious. A lovely taste and very delicate. Dishes with cheese in it are rather tricky for me, because I don’t like it when it’s au gratin. That’s when they put the cheese on top and the cheese becomes hard in the oven (and usually has a darker yellow/orange colour). For me, it tastes burned. So I was rather surprised that I actually loved thss cheese dish. This is the recipe we made, we thought it would be enough for 4 people, but we had enough for 8 so that was great news. Now it was even cheaper than we thought and we still have some left in the freezer to enjoy another time. The recipe’s in English and in Dutch.

[Photo of risotto on a deep plate and a little green leaf on top if it for decoration].
Note: this isn’t the risotto we made.


Basisrecept Risotto

1 ui, fijngesneden
circa 6 el roomboter
500g risottorijst (arborio)
2,5 l kippenbouillon – kan ook groentebouillon of runder
6 el geraspte kaas (wij gebruikten gerijpte kaas voor meer smaak)

  1. Fruit de ui in de helft van de boter, circa 10 min op hoog vuur (tot de boter zacht, maar niet bruin is).
  2. Roer de rijst erdoor en bak circa 5 min op middel vuur (tot de rijstkorrels ondoorzichtig worden en goed bedekt zijn met boter). Als de rijst bruin dreigt te worden, haal dan de pan even van het vuur.
  3. Voeg de eerste 3 scheppen hete bouillon toe en roer.
  4. Voeg al roerend de bouillon schep voor schep toe – laat de rijst na elke schep eerst de bouillon grotendeels absorberen.
  5. Roer de kaas en de rest van de boter erdoor, zodra de rijst bijna helemaal zacht en romig is.
  6. Breng op smaak met zout (en eventueel peper). Dek de risotto af en laat hem 3 min. staan voordat je hem serveert.


Basic recipe for risotto

1 onion, cut finely
about 6 tablespoons of butter
500 gramms of risotto rice (arborio)
2.5 litres of chicken bouillon (you can also use vegetable bouillon or cow)
6 tablespoons of grated cheese (we used mature cheese for more flavour)

  1. Fry the onion in half of the butter, for about 10 minutes on high fire (untill the butter is soft, but not brown).
  2. Stir the rice through and fry for about 5 minutes on middle fire (till the grains of rice are non-transparent and well covered in butter). If the rice tends to become brown: take the pan off the fire for a little while.
  3. Add the first three scoops of hot bouillon and stir.
  4. Add, while stirring, the rest of the bouillon, one scoop at a time. The rice needs to absorb the most of the bouillon first, before you add another scoop.
  5. Stir the cheese and the rest of the butter through, as soon as the rice is almost entirely soft and creamy.
  6. Season with salt (and if you’d like pepper). Cover the risotto and leave it for 3 minutes before you serve it.

Photo source



Baking + recipe (in 4 languages)

Baking is one of my hobbies as well. I’m not very creative or good with my hands (problems with motorics), but baking is something I can still enjoy. It can help me to empty my head a little and stop fretting. Often my cakes don’t look really beautiful, but taste better. Luckily, this is also according to my ‘philosophy’ about cooking/baking etc.: Taste is more important than how it looks. I’m often not really satisfied when I get a cake from the supermarket or the bakery, since it looks good but the flavour isn’t really there. I know you shouldn’t forget about the eyes, but there’s also where my physical disabilities come in again. However, that doesn’t matter to me. If someone doesn’t want to try it, because it doesn’t look like a palace that’s fine (I personally don’t like marsipan anyway, but it’s nice to look at the photos). There are also people who do like my ‘creations’.

I’ve made a couple adaptations for myself, so that I can still bake. I can hardly cut things (just a little thing with a special knife) and have a lot of trouble using my hands (it hurts a lot). I can’t stand for more than 2 minutes. However, with some help I can still enjoy it.
It does still hurt, but less, so it’s more acceptable and therefore more enjoyable for me as well. For example I do everything sitting at the dining table. And I’ve got a very light mixer. I also have to take breaks while baking and work very slowly. It goes even better when I have someone to help. Although I also bake by myself (since there’s not always someone available and you want to feel a bit independent as well). However, some things I can’t complete by myself, such as the recipe I’ve chosen to present today. So maybe you need some help with the kneading.


[Photo of little pieces of stuffed ginger cookie with an almond on top of it]

I surely didn’t pick an easy recipe to start with.. It’s a traditional Dutch recipe, which makes it hard to translate and hard for people to find the right ingredients. However, the special mixed spices can be found in certain big malls or special shops. I tried to translate it as well as I could (haven’t had language classes at school for a long time), but there are probably mistakes in it. Feel free to let me know what I should change. The recipe is in Dutch, English, French and German. It isn’t one of my best recipes (usually I have stronger flavours) and this is something you really like or you really don’t. My partner for example doesn’t like these kind of things at all (not just mine but also the ones from bakeries and shops), but my mother loves it. I think it tastes best when it’s a little warm.

Gevulde speculaas(taart)

  • 200 gr zelfrijzend bakmeel
  • 100 gr bruine basterdsuiker
  • 120 gr margarine
  • 1,5 eetlepel speculaaskruiden
  • 1 ei + Âœ losgeklopt ei (om mee te bestrijken)
  • 1/2 theelepel zout
  • 300 gr amandelspijs
  • 15 gram amandelschaafsel (om mee te garneren)
  1. Verwarm de heteluchtoven voor op 175 graden C.
  2. Meel en suiker mengen. Speculaaskruiden en zout toevoegen.
  3. De margarine in blokjes erbij doen en 1 ei toevoegen. Met een vork of mixer mengen, dan met de hand verder tot een samenhangend deeg kneden.
  4. Het deeg in twee gelijke ballen verdelen; beide uitrollen tot een plak van 1 cm dik (in totaal dus 2 plakken).
  5. EĂ©n plak op de bakplaat leggen en verdeel hierover de spijs. Daarna de tweede plak deeg er bovenop leggen. De taart versieren met het amandelschaafsel en bestrijken met ei.
  6. De speculaastaart in de voorverwarmde oven in 30 tot 40 minuten bakken.

Filled spice cake a.k.a. stuffed ginger cookie (pie)

200 grams self-raising flour a.k.a. self-rising flour
100 grams brown sugar
120 grams margarine
1.5 tablespoon ‘mix for spiced cookies’ (a.k.a. mixed spices)
1 egg + 1/2 stirred egg (for spreading over the dough)
œ teaspoon salt
300 grams almond paste
15 grams flaked almonds (for the garnish)

  1. Preheat the hot air oven at 347 degrees Fahrenheit/175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix the flour with the sugar. Add the mixed spices with salt.
  3. Cut the margarine in pieces and add it to the mixture, together with 1 egg. Mix it with a fork or mixer, then knead the dough by hand till it’s consistent.
  4. Divide the dough in two even balls; roll them both out till a slice of 0,393700787 inch/1 cm. (in total you’ll have 2 slices).
  5. Put one slice onto the baking tray (a.k.a. cookie sheet) and divide the almond paste on top of it. After that, put the second slice on top of that. Decorate the pie with the flaked almonds and spread egg over the pie.
  6. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes.Deutsch
    GefĂŒllte Spekulatius (torte)
    200 Gramm Backpulver
    100 Gramm braune Farinzucker
    120 Gramm Margarine
    1,5 Esslöffel SpekulatiuskrÀuter
    1 Ei + Âœ gerĂŒhrtes Ei (um den Teig zu bestreichen)
    Âœ Teelöffel Salz
    300 Gramm Mandelmasse
    15 Gramm Mandelstreusel (fĂŒr die Garnierung)

    1. WĂ€rmen Sie den Heisluftofen vor auf 175 Grad.
    2. Vermischen Sie das Backpulver mit dem Zucker. FĂŒgen Sie die SpekulatiuskrĂ€uter und das Salz hinzu.
    3. Die Margarine in StĂŒcke schneiden und fĂŒgen Sie mit 1 Ei hinzu. Vermisch es mit einer Gabel oder einem Mixer, danach manuell zu ein zusammenhĂ€ngender Teig kneten.
    4. Teilen Sie den Teig in 2 gleiche Kugeln; beide ausrollen zu einem StĂŒck von 1 Zentimeter dick (insgesamt 2 StĂŒcken).
    5. Legen Sie einen StĂŒck auf der Bratplatte. Teilen Sie die Mandelmasse hierĂŒber und legen Sie danach das zweite StĂŒck hier obenauf. SchmĂŒcken Sie die Torte mit dem Mandelstreusel und bestreich es mit Ei.
    6. Die Spekulatiustorte im Ofen in ungefĂ€hr 30 – 40 Minuten backen.

    Tarte du spéculos rempli
    200 grammes de poudre de levain
    100 grammes de sucre bĂątard (brun)
    120 grammes de margarine
    1,5 cuiller des épicer du spéculos
    1 Ɠuf + Âœ Ɠuf en remuant (pour enduire la tarte)
    œ petite cuiller du sel
    300 grammes de pĂątĂ© d’amandes
    15 grammes des rognures d’amandes

    1. Préchauffez le four à chaleur pulsée à 175 degrés.
    2. Mélangez la poudre de levain avec le sucre. Ajoutez les épicer du spéculos et le sel.
    3. Coupez la margarine en morceaux et ajoutez avec un Ɠuf. Combinez avec une fourchette ou un batteur, aprĂšs travaillez Ă  la main jusqu’à une pĂąte cohĂ©rent.
    4. Partagez la pĂąte en deux ; dĂ©roulez le deux jusqu’à un morceau du 1 centimĂštre gros (au total 2 morceaux).
    5. Mets un morceau sur le plaque Ă  frire. Partagez la pĂątĂ© d’amandes ci-dessus et aprĂšs mets le morceau deuxiĂšme au-dessus. DĂ©corez la tarte avec les rognures d’amandes et enduirez avec d’Ɠuf.
    6. Cuirez la tarte du spéculos rempli au four environ 30-40 minutes.

Photo source