Vegan food at Keltfest and Castlefest

Week 4 of the Vegan Month of Food was about special occasions and holidays. This got me reminiscing about my favourite meals of the summer, so I thought I’d share the excellent vegan food I had at Keltfest and Castlefest earlier this year. These are two separate festivals (Keltfest is smaller and focuses on Celtic culture, while Castlefest has more of a medieval/fantasy theme) but they’re similar in a lot of ways — and both events have great vegan food. :)

Keltfest food

I’ve been to Keltfest three times now, and I’ve always found plenty of vegan options. Here’s what we ate this year:

Baklust falafel plate
My boyfriend and I shared a falafel plate from Bakblik, which included some incredibly delicious beer-battered mushrooms. I believe the sides were hummus, smoked tomato sauce and a beetroot & bulgur salad.

Tofu satay bowl + fried bananas
We also shared this delicious tofu satay bowl and a plate of deep-fried bananas. According to Keltfest’s website, the name of this stall was Grill-Zilla. If I recall correctly, they’re not exclusively vegan but they did have a separate stall serving vegan Indonesian dishes. These were both so good!

Wietses pie
Wietse’s pies offered two vegan options: a mushroom pie and a curry lentil pie. I’ve tried and enjoyed both. This was the curry pie.

Keltfest fruit salad and red velvet cake
Finally, I bought a fruit salad from a smoothie stall and a slice of red velvet cake from another stall (unfortunately I don’t remember what they were called). I always love a fruit salad, especially on a hot day, and I was excited to find vegan cake!

Castlefest food

This was my second time visiting Castlefest. Last year, I remember having a delicious vegan kapsalon by the Seitan Chefs. This year, we mainly ate at a German stall called Vegan Spirit. I’d tried their food a few years ago at Keltfest and I really like them! These dishes were all from Vegan Spirit:

Vegan Sprit spinach and cheese toastie
This was a cheese and spinach toastie served with mango sauce and tomato sauce (because I couldn’t pick one). The filling was nice and melty — I think they used Wilmersburger cheese — and the outside had been battered and fried, which, it turns out, is an excellent idea. This was a delicious lunch/snack.

Vegan Spirit paella + curry
For dinner, I had Vegan Spirit’s paella plate and my boyfriend had their Thai curry. Other options included chilli, falafel, and an Ayurvedic plate.

Keltfest goodies

Market stalls and other activities

But of course we weren’t just there for the food! There’s always music, workshops, demos, a big market, and probably lots of other activities that I haven’t discovered yet. I feel like I could spend hours just browsing all the different market stalls selling art, clothes, books, board games, and more. This year, we participated in a fun one-off D&D session at the Jack of Dice stall at Keltfest and tried out various board games in Castlefest’s games tent. The above picture shows some of the goodies I picked up at Keltfest: loose-leaf herbal tea from Eleoflora, a set of dice I got as a birthday gift for my boyfriend, and a tote bag, a calendar and cute donkey-shaped soap from Melief (an animal sanctuary in Sögel, Germany).

Both events have already taken place this year, but in case you’re interested in visiting them in the future: Keltfest takes place at the end of May, and Castlefest takes place during the first weekend of August. There’s also going to be a Castlefest Winter Edition on November 24th and 25th, 2018.

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Vegan Month of Food, day 22: Fancy but frugal

Today’s VeganMoFo theme is Fancy but Frugal. You definitely do not need to spend a lot of money to make a meal feel fancy. There are some vegetables that I rarely buy in supermarkets because they tend to be quite expensive, but from time to time I’ll find them at the outdoor market for a reasonable price, so that’s when I buy them! Case in point: these artichokes, asparagus and several types of leafy greens:

market haul - asparagus, artichokes, purslane
Rocket, red onions, tomatoes, beetroot leaves, baby dinosaur kale (I think?), nectarines, strawberries, sweet potatoes, asparagus, purslane, fresh herbs, and artichokes.

fresh parsley and coriander
Ideally, the first thing I do after buying fresh herbs is to wash and store them properly. I don’t always remember to do this, but it really seems to help to keep them fresh! I like to store fresh coriander/cilantro wrapped in a damp tea towel inside an airtight container in the fridge. Parsley seems to keep best when I trim off the ends and put it in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag, also in the fridge. (I try to wash and reuse the bags — I think this one originally had tofu in it and it was just the right size.)

roasted asparagus over sweet potato mash
The person who sold me the sweet potatoes recommended a recipe and I’m so glad she did, because this was amazing. I think she told me to mash them with walnuts and spring onions — I didn’t have spring onions, so I used fresh chives and sautéed red onions instead. I topped the mash with roasted asparagus and tempeh. This was so good! I’m sure the sweet potatoes would be great with other toppings too, so I want to make them again soon.

purslane salad
I combined the purslane with rocket, tomatoes, green lentils and red onion to make this salad. So summery and refreshing.

tempeh pesto pasta - strawberry mint water
On the left: a quick pesto pasta bowl with tomatoes and more tempeh. Not very fancy, but delicious nonetheless. On the right: water flavoured with fresh mint and strawberries. I mostly just drink plain tap water so this did feel slightly fancy! (:

kale crisps - chickpea dish
These kale crisps were based on the Cool Ranch Kale Crisps from Jessica Nadel’s book Greens 24/7. I haven’t made a lot of kale crisps because where I live, kale is often sold shredded into small pieces, and in general the crisps don’t seem worth the effort to me. But since I did have whole kale leaves now, I thought I’d give this recipe a try. I like that the leaves are coated in a cashew dressing that adds flavour and texture. Maybe that’s just because I didn’t blend it properly but I liked the extra crunch!

On the right is a dish with chickpeas, rocket and sweet potatoes. I’m sure it was delicious, but to be honest that’s all I remember about this particular dish.

artichokes and potatoesFinally, artichokes always feel fancy to me. I had this one with a vinaigrette for dipping and a spinach and lentil salad and roast potatoes on the side. Eating this meal was actually kind of a challenge, because this cute little guy kept trying to steal my artichoke leaves and potatoes:

Noxnox
This is Nox, who sometimes stays with us when his own humans are on holiday. In addition to being cute, he’s also very clever and a highly skilled thief! We tried to keep him off the kitchen counters (at least while we were in there, haha), so he loved this spot on the window sill where he could look out the window as well as oversee everything we were cooking. I think he also used these moments to decide which foods he was going to try to steal first. :D

Link of the day

Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil has been reviewing recipes from cookbooks and, for the past week, focusing on complete menus in particular. I love this idea because I don’t think I’ve ever actually made a full menu from a cookbook, and now I want to. This also matches today’s fancy meal theme! I’d love to try this autumn-themed menu from Miyoko Schinner’s book Japanese Cooking.

Bento lunches: sushi bowl, risotto, pumpkin naan, bean balls and a stuffed courgette

[EN/NL]

Hi there! I hope everyone is enjoying this year’s Vegan Month of Food. :) I’ve mostly been participating through Instagram, but I thought I’d also share another blog post today. For those following VeganMoFo’s daily or weekly prompts, this week is Budget Week. One way to save money is to pack home-cooked meals instead of eating out, so here are a few vegan lunch box ideas! (I personally don’t need to pack meals very often at the moment because I work from home, but I love my rabbit-themed box and bentos make me happy, so why not?)

These bentos are made up of leftovers as well as other bits and bobs I happened to have in my kitchen at the time. There’s some overlap with the meals in my previous post — and again, it’s been a while since I took these pictures, so I hope I still remember most of the ingredients!

Bento #1: sushi bowl leftovers

Bento #1: sushi bowl leftovers
These were the leftovers from the sushi bowls I posted about earlier this month: vinegared sushi rice with baked tofu, thinly sliced raw courgettes, roasted mini tomatoes, marinated yellow tomatoes, pumpkin kinpira and mashed avocado. I loved this lunch! In addition to being delicious, the vinegar helps the rice keep longer if you need to store the box unrefrigerated for a while. 

Bento #2: tomato risotto

Bento #2: tomato risotto
More leftovers. Bottom tier: risotto with mini tomatoes; top tier: green lentil salad + courgette, yellow tomatoes and more tiny red tomatoes.

Bento #3: deconstructed naan sandwiches

Bento #3: deconstructed naan sandwiches
This was a deconstructed mini version of the naan sandwiches from my previous post: pumpkin naan, seitan chunks and lettuce in the bottom tier, guacamole and a chickpea and tomato salad in the top tier. 

Bento #4: bean balls and pancakes

Bento #4: bean balls and pancakes
On the bottom tier, we’ve got homemade bean/veggie balls with lettuce and roasted tomatoes. I think the dips on the side were mashed avocado with sriracha and yellow tomato chutney. The top tier holds a leftover pancake with strawberry jam, grapes and apple slices, and a tiny cup of soya yoghurt with more fruit. I thought it might be nice to include a dessert. It was good, but I prefer savoury dishes and fresh fruit. If I’m going to have yoghurt, I’d rather just have a normal-sized bowl instead of a mini portion.

Bento #5: stuffed courgettes

Bento #5: stuffed courgettes
I’d bought round courgettes and stuffed them with a tofu spinach filling, and they were just the right size to fit into my bento box! Also pictured: sliced apples, a white bean and artichoke salad, cherry tomatoes and some of the courgette innards that I was left with after stuffing them (I think I cooked those separately with olive oil and garlic).

Links of the day

– The blog Food for Dissertating has been posting about packed lunches all month! I especially love the look of this taco salad.
– I can’t wait to try this vegan Vietnamese fish dipping sauce by Ann Mai from Plant Crush.
This Spanish tortilla by Angie/Ladyfunk25 looks so good. I bet the leftovers would be delicious served cold in a bento box as well. (Recipe here.)

Tiny tomatoes, sushi bowls, and pumpkin naan + VeganMoFo 2018

It’s that time of year again. Today is the first day of the Vegan Month of Food! In case you’re not familiar, VeganMoFo is an annual blogging event that challenges you to post about vegan food every day for a month. There are weekly and daily themes to inspire you. The prompt for day one: introduce you!

My name is Bonnie, I live in the Netherlands, and this is my eighth (I think?) time participating in VeganMoFo — although I’m pretty sure I only managed 31 blog posts during one of those years. This year I’ve decided to participate through Instagram instead of my blog, hoping this will give me lots of time to check out other people’s posts in addition to making my own. I had meant to plan ahead and photograph lots of meals in advance, but I’ve been ill and have had very little interest in food — not ideal. So we’ll see how this goes! You may just be seeing a lot of pictures of vegetable soup. :) Luckily, I also have a little backlog of photos I haven’t shared before.

As you may know, one of my favourite ways to cook is to go to the outdoor market, pick up beautiful and inexpensive fruits and vegetables, sit down with all my cookbooks to decide what I’m going to cook throughout the week, then prepare a bunch of new dishes and take pictures for my blog. In reality, of course, I don’t always have the time — so I often end up making the same recipes again and again. Still, I love trying new things when I get the chance! Here’s a market haul from two years ago (oops) that I didn’t get around to posting at the time:

market-haul
Kabocha pumpkins, avocados, small courgettes, yellow tomatoes, red onions, fresh parsley and coriander, dried oregano, risotto/paella rice, tiny red tomatoes and mushrooms. It’s been so long that I don’t remember the total cost, but it’s usually €1 per vegetable.

avocado-crispbread-pumpkin-soup
I loved these tiny tomatoes so much! They’re small enough that you can stir them into a dish without chopping them, and I just think they look so festive. In the picture above, I used some to top my avocado crispbread next to a bowl of pumpkin soup.

tomatoes-risotto
On the left: I roasted some of the tomatoes to concentrate the flavour and make them last a little longer. On the right: risotto with more tiny tomatoes, green lentils and roasted courgettes.

sushi-bowl
My favourite thing I made were these sushi bowls. This was vinegared rice (I think I used the paella rice from the first picture), sliced avocado, baked tofu, pumpkin kinpira made from one of the kabochas, roasted tiny red tomatoes, marinated yellow tomatoes, and sliced courgettes tossed in rice vinegar. I just loved this combination of flavours — especially the avocado, pumpkin and tofu.

pumpkin-naan
I used some kabocha puree to make this flatbread. I call it pumpkin naan because I think I just used a naan recipe and replaced the yoghurt with pumpkin puree.

avocado-seitan-flatbread
Finally, we turned some of the flatbread into sandwiches filled with guacamole, lettuce, seitan crumbles and tomato salad. The seitan was a variation on the Seitan Chorizo Crumbles from 500 Vegan Recipes, one of my favourite recipes because it’s super quick and versatile.

I’m hoping to write a few more blog posts this month — otherwise, maybe I’ll see you on Instagram?

Links of the day

– Not everyone is following the themes provided by VeganMoFo HQ. This page has a list of participants with their own themes. I’m looking forward to reading more!
– YouTube kept recommending this kitten live stream (and this one) from a feral cat rescue organisation so I couldn’t resist. Of course now I can’t stop watching. I’ve found the kittens especially soothing being ill and stuck on the couch, and I’m also learning new things about feral cats. Check them out if that sounds interesting to you too! :)

Go green! (March MiniMoFo)

[EN/NL]

Hi there. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I miss blogging! There are a few half-finished posts in my drafts that I’m hoping to get to at some point, but in the meantime, I wanted to show you what I’ve been cooking lately. I incorporated this month’s MiniMoFo theme*, Go green, into my most recent market haul:

P1270726g
I got fennel, leeks, fresh parsley and coriander, bok choy, spring onions, Brussels sprouts, baby courgettes, and mangoes (I needed some fruit so I chose green ones to match the colour scheme, ha). I bought this at the Haagse Markt, where produce is generally very affordable (this was €8.00 total).

venkelrisotto, paksoisoep b
The courgettes were a bit past their prime already, so I wanted to use those ASAP. I roasted them in the oven with olive oil and salt, and had them with a fennel risotto topped with Vivera’s vegan bacon pieces. I adore anything with fennel – this risotto was no exception and the bacon pieces made a great addition.

It hasn’t quite felt like spring yet, so I’ve been making a lot of soup. The one pictured above, with bok choy, tofu, sweet potato, spring onions and sambal, is perfect for cold spring days: a spicy broth to warm you up, and plenty of crunchy vegetables in case you’re already craving fresh, summery food.

green soup and parsley bread d
I accidentally stored half the bok choy in the wrong spot in my refrigerator, and it came out partially frozen and limp. Not ideal for a crunchy stir-fry, but fine for a creamy soup. I paired it with leeks and basil, then stirred in some soya yoghurt and spring onions at the end.

The bread is Isa Chandra’s olive oil bread (one of my favourites). I added a parsley pesto swirl this time, because green!

fennel spread and leek pasta b
I try to always have some kind of savoury spread or dip in the fridge. This time I made one using sunflower seeds and sautéed fennel. It was pretty good – especially on crackers with sliced tomatoes and gherkins – but not quite fennel-y enough for my taste. Next time, I think I’ll caramelise the fennel for a while to really concentrate the flavour.

Looking for a way to use up all those leeks (I think I bought about ten), I realised I rarely use them as the main ingredient of a dish. This recipe from The Kitchn has you cook them in the oven with white wine, garlic, and stock (I used Bio Today’s vegan chicken flavour stock) and then serve them over pasta. This was surprisingly tasty for such a simple dish, so if you find yourself with a surplus of leeks, this would be a good recipe to make and freeze for later.

P1280159cThe Brussels sprouts started out as a salad. I made a big bowl of it – thinly sliced Brussels, sweet potato cubes, spring onions, toasted sunflower seeds and a fresh coriander dressing – thinking I would be eating this salad all week and feeling very healthy as a result. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t very good. I’m sure Brussels sprout salads can be delicious and I’d like to try a different recipe, but this one – meh. After a few days of it sitting there untouched, I decided to turn it into something else.

The new dish was a savoury galette with a crunchy whole wheat crust, a creamy filling made with sunflower seeds and soya yoghurt, and the Brussels sprouts on top. This was actually really good. I’d like to write down the full recipe because I definitely want to make it again. It may not have been quite as healthy as the original salad – but hey, food can only be healthy if you’re actually going to eat it, and this was so much more delicious.

* MiniMoFos are monthly blogging challenges from the organiser of the Vegan Month of Food. I haven’t managed to do VeganMoFo (i.e. blog every day for a month) for the past few years, but the monthly themes seem like a great way to participate whenever inspiration strikes. If you’d like to join in too, visit VeganMoFo.com for monthly themes and round-up posts!

Five bento lunches

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Bento box
It’s day 19 of VeganMoFo! Today’s topic is “lunch on the go”. I have this adorable bento box with rabbits on it that I love, but I don’t eat from it very often, so I went through some old bento photos in an attempt to motivate myself to use it more. They’re over a year old, but I’ve never posted them on here, so I hope you still like them!

Bento: orange and rocket salad, stuffed potatoes
On the left: orange and rocket salad with poppy seed dressing.
On the right: small twice-baked potatoes stuffed with peas, leeks, and Proviand bacon cubes; carrot sticks.

Bento: pizza leftovers and roasted chickpeas
On the left: cucumber, radishes, carrot.
On the right: pizza leftovers (vegetables, tomatoes, rocket, tofu ricotta) and roasted chickpeas.

Bento: pancakes, vegetables and fruit
On the left: cucumber; cinnamon apple pancakes; chickpea flour pancakes with tofu ricotta, sweet potato, and parsley pesto; seitan nuggets; radishes; tofu ricotta in a cucumber cup; tiny carrot sticks; courgette; yellow pepper; tomato.
On the right: some kind of curry that I don’t really remember the ingredients of; apple pieces with cinnamon.

(If you’re wondering why this lunch seems more elaborate than the others, I was participating in the Dutch ritual of gourmetten, so when I’d eaten enough I just kept making little dishes to add to my bento.) :)

Bento: orange quinoa salad + veggies & dip
On the left: tofu and parsley dip with cucumber, radishes, and yellow peppers; seitan bits to add to the salad on the right.
On the right: quinoa salad with rocket, fennel, orange segments, and pomegranate seeds.

Bento: salad and samosas
On the left: dill hummus with purple carrots; lentil samosas with pineapple chutney.
On the right: fennel, carrot, and chickpea salad.

Just a note in case you’re curious: I actually ate all of these at home, so I didn’t really worry about the calorie content or how filling these meals would be. They were just a fun way to get a few extra vegetables into my day.

Links of the day

More lunches on the go! I wish I could try this vegan ploughman’s lunch with Tyne Chease nut cheese by Joey from Flicking the Vs. These two lunches on Instagram come with beautiful views: piri piri falafel and hummus by Amy and spring rolls and sushi by Pepa Jobo.

Vegan bitterballen with mushroom filling

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Vegan bitterballen

The 17th topic for this year’s Vegan Month of Food is traditional local dishes! This seems like the perfect occasion to post my vegan recipe for Dutch bitterballen. These crispy fried snacks are usually filled with a thick meat-based sauce, and you’ll often see them served as snacks alongside a drink (hence the name: they’re balls that you serve with bitters).

If you’ve never had a bitterbal before, here’s what they look like on the inside:

Vegan bitterballen

Standard recipes for bitterballen (I’ve used this one as a reference) are actually surprisingly easy to veganise. I make my roux with oil instead of butter, I use cornstarch slurry instead of eggs in the breading, and I fill my bitterballen with mushrooms instead of meat. I’m sure this recipe would also work with seitan, TVP, or certain vegetables, but I like the mushroom version so much that I haven’t gotten to other variations yet.

I’ve got a full recipe at the end of this post, but it may look more complicated than it is, so I’ll talk you through it first.

Chopped mushrooms, garlic, dried thyme, fresh parsley

Start by chopping the mushrooms. The pieces should be relatively small so the filling is easy to roll into balls and the mushrooms won’t try to poke through the breading.

Homemade bitterballen: sautéed mushrooms and roux

Fry the mushrooms with garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Adding a splash of white wine and letting it evaporate near the end of the cooking time would probably make these even more delicious, but I haven’t had the chance to try that yet.

When the mushrooms are nicely browned, transfer them to a bowl, and use the same pan to make a roux: melt the oil, stir in the flour, and let them cook until bubbly. Mix in the vegetable stock.

Homemade bitterballen: mushroom filling

Once the sauce is smooth and glossy, mix in the mushrooms, parsley, and nutmeg.

Homemade bitterballen: mushroom filling

Now you have your filling! Chill the mixture before you shape it into balls. You can speed up the cooling process by spreading the sauce out over a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

When the mixture has cooled completely, you can start shaping and breading the bitterballen. Take three shallow bowls (I used small bowls in some of the photos, but bigger ones are better if you don’t want to make a complete mess) and fill them with flour, breadcrumbs, and a cornflour/cornstarch slurry.

Homemade bitterballen

Take a tablespoon-sized portion of the filling, coat it in flour, and roll it into a ball.

Homemade bitterballen: slurry and breadcrumbs

Submerge the ball in the slurry and cover it in breadcrumbs. Do this twice to ensure a good, sturdy crust. Repeat these steps until you run out of filling; then you can freeze the balls to fry them later.

Here’s a quick (and rather messy) video of the breading steps.

I’ve found the filling to be really easy to work with when I made it with coconut oil or margarine. When I used sunflower oil, however, the roux would soften and I’d end up with flat-bottomed bitterballen. That’s why I started storing them in this ice cube tray I bought at the market for €1:

Ice cube moulds (that also work for bitterballen!)

It keeps the bottoms of the bitterballen round and it also makes sure that they don’t stick together in the freezer. I imagine a cake pop mould would work as well. You don’t really need one, though — my ice cube tray only holds 13 ballen so I put the rest in a regular container and they’re fine, especially when I make the recipe with a solid fat.

Now, on to the recipe! Wait, just a few more notes:
– The worst thing a bitterbal can do, in my opinion, is to burst open and leak filling into your deep fryer. I haven’t had that happen with this recipe, as long as I 1. freeze the balls first so they’re firm when I go to fry them; 2. apply a double layer of breading; and 3. chop the mushrooms small enough that they don’t poke through.
– As I said, the filling is much easier to work with if you use fat that solidifies as it cools, like coconut oil or margarine. I’ve also made these with sunflower oil, though, and they were delicious, just a bit harder to shape.
– Deep frying is really the best way to cook these. I’ve also had good results cooking them in a frying pan (more tips at the end of the recipe). I’ve tried baking them too, but the results weren’t pretty.

Vegan bitterballen with mushroom filling (makes 26)
Adapted from the Van Dobben recipe

Ingredients

For the mushrooms:
1 tablespoon oil
400 g white mushrooms, chopped into cubes no larger than 1 cm (1/2 inch) (about 5 cups after chopping)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
a pinch of salt
a pinch of black pepper

For the filling:
4 tablespoons oil (preferably coconut oil) or margarine
60 g (1/2 cup) plain flour
500 ml (2 generous cups) salted vegetable stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
a pinch of nutmeg

For the breading:
120 g (1 cup) plain flour
120 g (1 cup) breadcrumbs
50 g (6 tablespoons) cornflour (cornstarch) or chickpea flour
180 ml (3/4 cup) water

Oil for frying
Mustard for serving

Instructions

1. Over medium heat, preheat a wok or frying pan with the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and fry them for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly browned — 10-15 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and put the pan back on the heat.

2. Turn the heat down to low. Add the 4 tablespoons of oil or margarine to the pan, let them melt, then stir in the flour a tablespoon at a time to make a roux. Let the roux bubble for a few minutes, then gradually add in the vegetable stock. It may be lumpy at first, but keep stirring until you have a smooth and glossy sauce — 5 minutes or so.

3. Take the pan off the heat and mix the mushrooms, parsley, and nutmeg into the roux. Taste for salt and pepper. Now let the mixture cool completely: either transfer it to a sealed container to refrigerate for later, or spread it out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour.

4. Once the filling has chilled completely, set out your breading ingredients. Take three shallow bowls. Place the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate bowls, then mix together the cornstarch and water in the third. You may want to start with a smaller amount of flour and breadcrumbs and add more as needed. Get a flat container ready (or a mould with round indentations) for your finished bitterballen.

5. Now it’s time to shape the bitterballen! Use two spoons to scoop up a tablespoon-sized blob of the filling and drop it into the bowl of flour. Dust it with flour, then use your hands to shape it into a ball. Submerge the ball in the cornstarch slurry and transfer it to the breadcrumbs, using a spoon to coat it completely. Cover it in cornstarch slurry once more, then give it a final coating of breadcrumbs. Place it in the container or in the ice cube tray while you prepare the rest of the bitterballen.

7. Repeat step 5 until you’ve used up all the filling: flour, cornflour slurry, breadcrumbs, slurry, breadcrumbs. Freeze the bitterballen until solid — at least a few hours. If you don’t want to cook them all right away, store them in a sealed container in the freezer.

8. To fry the bitterballen in a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 180°C (350°F). Add them to the oil a few at a time (depending on the size of your fryer), and fry them for 6-10 minutes, or until they’re nicely browned and hot all the way through to the middle. You definitely don’t want them to have frozen centres, so take one out and cut it in half if you want to make sure.

If you don’t want to deep-fry, I’ve actually had pretty good results cooking these in a frying pan as well. You probably won’t be able to keep them perfectly spherical, but you can still get them nice and crispy. Use a good layer of oil, add a few bitterballen and tilt the pan to coat them in the oil, then turn them often enough to get the outside nice and browned. I like to cover the pan with a lid to make sure the insides thaw completely, but make sure you finish cooking them uncovered to ensure maximum crispiness.

If you know in advance that you’re going to cook them in a frying pan, though, I actually recommend making burger shapes instead of balls:

Bitterballen, burgers, kroketten

The flat patties are easier to cook all the way through and easier to manage with a spatula. I’ve also used this recipe to make kroketten (the sausage-shaped versions pictured above), but I’ve found that to be the hardest shape to work with, so I wouldn’t recommend those if you’re making the filling with a liquid oil.

Links of the day

Long post, I know, but I have to tell you about a few dishes from other parts of the world that MoFo bloggers have veganised! I loved this Bakewell tart from Derbyshire by Emma from Walks, Talks and Eats; this Bavarian plum cake by Sonja from Tartes and Recreation, and these Chicago-style deep dish pizzas by Kelly from Seitan Beats your Meat.

Vegan bitterballen