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Nutrient-Rich Recipes from the Netherlands

How to Cook with Whole Foods to Look Better & Live Longer

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Nutrient-Rich Recipes from the Netherlands

Sauteed Curly Kale

Photo © Sven Benjamins for Mo Media
We're always sceptical of food fads, and now that the term superfoods has become a marketing tool to sell processed junk and sugar-laden drinks as 'health food', we're over it. The truth is that many everyday supermarket items are jam-packed with the nutrients we need to live healthier lives. Simply avoid processed foods and shop in the produce aisle, or better yet at whole foods markets, to look and feel better and live longer.

Of course, it's one thing to know what's good for us in theory, but quite another to incorporate these healthy ingredients into our daily diets. Sometimes in the mad dash of an industrious day, we simply reach for what's convenient. But, aside from the obvious health benefits of incorporating more wholesome foods into your cooking, doing so is also much more delicious than popping a vitamin pill.

That's why we've created a list of recipes incorporating many of the most nutrient-packed ingredients you'll find at your local supermarket. Our list contains ideas for soups, salads, mains, sides, snacks and even a few desserts. Many of the recipes come from the Dutch kitchen, but we've also borrowed a few recipes from around the world. We've taken a realistic approach and have also included some more indulgent recipes in our list, too. Enjoy these in moderation. After all, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a small slice of savory tart, if you balance it out with a big green salad.

Allium Recipes

While alliums such as onions, leeks and garlics are most loved for the full-on flavor they bring to our food, they're also packed with antibiotic properties and can help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and fight cancer.

  • Low-Fat Leek & Potato Soup
  • Pan-Fried Pointed Cabbage with Leeks & Bacon
  • Red Onion, Belgian Endive & Chevre Tart
  • Tarts with Goat's Cheese, Leeks & Mushrooms
  • Leek, Cashew Nut and Red Pepper Lasagne
  • Grilled Spring Onions
  • Gratineed Onion Soup Recipe

    Carrot & Sweet Potato recipes

    Orange veggies, such as sweet potatoes and carrots, are loaded with beta-carotene, which may lower the risk of certain cancers, and they're flush with vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy skin and hair. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants, which fight aging free radicals in your body. And, sweet potatoes contain phytonutrients that are said to boost your immune system and improve the health of your heart and eyes.

  • Roasted Hutspot Recipe
  • Sweet Potato & Caraway Soup with Argan Oil
  • Pumpkin, Butternut, Carrot & Saffron Soup
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Mussels with Carrots, Leeks & Samphire

    Recipes with Cruciferous Veggies

    Cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and broccoli, are said to contain a powerful range of cancer-fighting properties.

  • Cauliflower Salad
  • Spring Vegetable Soup
  • Steamed Cauliflower with Pastrami, Goat's Cheese & Arugula
  • Pan-Fried Pointed Cabbage with Leeks & Bacon
  • Two-Cabbage Coleslaw
  • Low Carb Cauliflower Mash
  • Stewed Red Cabbage with Apples

    Dark Chocolate Recipes

    Filled with flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant, dark chocolate is now considered a health food.

  • Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate Fondue with Fruit
  • Hazelnut & Dark Chocolate Sandwich Spread
  • Chili with Dark Chocolate
  • Fresh Figs and Raspberries with Chocolate-Mint Sauce
  • Chocolate-Covered Kruidnoten Cookies

    Recipes with Dark Leafy Greens

    Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, (curly) kale, watercress, purslane, turnip tops and Swiss chard are an excellent source of vitamins A and C. They're also rich in iron and omega-3s, and contain powerful cancer-preventing compounds.

  • Sauteed Curly Kale
  • Pan-Fried Salmon with Witlof, Spinach & Fennel
  • Omelet with Turnip Greens, Goat's Cheese & Chili
  • Purslane Salad with Yogurt and Capers
  • Lemony Chicken Breasts with Brown Bean & Spinach Salad
  • VOC-Spiced Duck Breasts with Turnip Greens & Asparagus

    Egg Recipes

    Forget those old wives' tales about eggs, they're one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. Rich in protein and packed with essential nutrients, such as vitamins D and B12, eggs are also a good source of iron, selenium, choline and biotin. And, according to new research published in the Nutrition and Food Science journal, eggs can even help you to lose weight.

  • Uitsmijter (Dutch Fried Egg & Ham Breakfast)
  • Telor Besengek Recipe (Eggs in Coconut Sauce)
  • Omelet with Turnip Greens, Goat's Cheese & Chili
  • White Asparagus Soup with Ham & Egg
  • Spring Salad Mash with Fried Eggs (Stamppot Sla)
  • Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Blackberry Bluff (Haagse Bluf)
  • Red Grapefruit & Lime Curd Recipe
  • Steamed Asparagus with Ham, Egg, Potatoes & Butter Sauce
  • Keftas with Tomato
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • Advocaat Liqueur

    Recipes with Fatty Fish

    We probably don't have to tell you that fatty fish such as herring, tuna, salmon and mackerel contain omega-3s, which play a beneficial role in cardiovascular health. But did you know that these nutrients are also essential for glowing skin? You could say that eating fatty fish is like slathering on moisturiser from within.

  • Smoked Mackerel Salad
  • Poached Salmon with Chive Sour Cream & Fresh Potato Salad
  • Herring & Herb Relish
  • Pan-Fried Salmon with Witlof, Spinach & Fennel
  • Smoked Salmon on Toast with Chive Sour Cream
  • Pancake Stars with Smoked Fish & Three Sauces
  • Smoked Mackerel Spread
  • Smoked Fish Platter
  • Spice-Rubbed Seared Tuna Steaks with Balsamic Reduction

    Recipes with Forest Fruits, Red Grapes & Cranberries

    Almost any edible fruit with a blue or red hue is good for you. This includes familiar fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, redcurrants, strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and cranberries, but also the more exotic pomegranate, acai berry and goji berry. These foodstuffs contain so-called phytochemicals, which are said to have cancer-fighting properties and are a rich source of antioxidants, which fight damage from wrinkle-causing free radicals.

  • Witlof salad with blue cheese, red grapes and hazelnuts
  • Blackberry Bluff (Haagse Bluf)
  • Strawberry & Chevre Salad
  • Redcurrant Relish
  • Hangop with Raspberries
  • Blackberry Meringue Mess
  • Redcurrant & Feta Salad
  • Roast Pigeon with Black Grapes
  • Summer Berry Soup
  • Ostrich Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Blackberry Sauce

    Lean Beef Recipes

    Beef has received a lot of bad press in recent years, but lean beef is actually one of the best sources of iron, which you need to build healthy red blood cells and strengthen your muscles, bones and nails. Lean beef cuts are often quite tough, which makes them ideally suited to stews. The longer cooking time allows for the meat to become tender, juicy and full of flavor.

  • Draadjesvlees (Traditional Dutch Slow-Braised Beef)
  • Braised Beef with Bischopswijn & Boerenjongens
  • Rendang Padang Recipe (Beef in Spicy Coconut Sauce)
  • Slow-Braised Beef with Brown Beer
  • Dutch Beef Stew with Bockbier & Winter Vegetables
  • Jachtschotel (Hunter's Dish)

    Legume Recipes

    Legumes, such as brown beans, broad beans (fava beans) and split peas are a good source of fiber and phosphorus, which is important for healthy bone and hair growth. Many beans are also packed with protein, an essential nutrient for good health.

  • Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup
  • Brown Bean Soup
  • Crostini with Borlotti Bean Puree
  • Foamy Fava Bean Soup with Basil-Avocado Cream
  • Brown Bean Salad
  • Sweet Potato & Caraway Soup with Fava Beans

    Red Beet Recipes

    The much maligned beet is actually a nutritional superstar, thanks to a phytonutrient called betacyanin, which is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also happens to give red beets their vibrant color. Beets are also high in fiber and beta-carotene and packed with folate, which protects against birth defects, osteoporosis and some cancers.

  • Beet & Pear Smoothie
  • Roast Beet Salad with Chèvre
  • Pink Beet & Orange Soup
  • Pickled Beet Salad with Ash-Coated Goat's Cheese
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Forgotten Vegetable Soup

    Recipes with Red Wine

    The magic ingredient in red wine is called resveratrol, which is known for its cancer-fighting properties. A glass a day should keep the doctor away.

  • Dutch Hare Stew with Red Wine
  • Bischopswijn (Mulled Wine)
  • Braised Beef with Bischopswijn & Boerenjongens
  • Red Beans with Wine
  • Pears Poached in Red Wine
  • Venison Stew with Red Wine
  • Red Cabbage in Wine

    Spice Rack Recipes

    The amazing nutritional benefits of common herbs and spices are often overlooked. Did you know, for instance, that cinnamon, perhaps the most beloved spice in the Netherlands, is packed with antioxidants and helps to regulate blood sugar levels? Or that ginger and black pepper contain gingerols, piperine and capsaicin, which are said to boost metabolism? We've also heard it said that one teaspoon of dried oregano has about the same level of antioxidants as six cups of spinach.

  • Dry Rub with Spices from the Dutch East India Company
  • Glazed Carrots with Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Ice Cream
  • Apple & Pear Chutney with Speculaas Spices & Ginger
  • Baked Quinces with Cinnamon-Spiced Hangop & Honey, Vanilla & Lemon Syrup
  • Baked Sardines with Oregano & Garlic

    Tomato Recipes

    Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is believed to have certain anti-aging effects. It is also said to lower cholesterols and prevent heart disease and certain cancers. While eating tomatoes in any way, shape or form is probably a good idea, lycopene has been proven most effective when cooked.

  • Keftas with Tomatoes
  • Turkish Kisir Recipe
  • Easy Tomato Gazpacho
  • North Sea Gurnard with Grape & Tomato Salsa
  • Braised Beef with Bischopswijn & Boerenjongens
  • Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Homemade Ketchup

    Recipes with Whole Grains

    Whole grains, including buckwheat, barley, oats, rye, quinoa, brown and wild rice, and whole wheat (including varieties such as bulghur and spelt), are high in fibers, B vitamins, magnesium and manganese.

  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Classic Buckwheat Poffertjes
  • Crockpot Apple Oatmeal
  • Turkish Kisir Recipe
  • Low Fat Quinoa Salad
  • Taboulleh (Bulghur Wheat Salad)
  • Barley, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Scallions

    Yogurt Recipes

    Buy real, unsweetened yogurt to benefit from probiotics, the good bacteria that are said to boost your immune system by helping your digestive system function better. Yogurt is also a healthy source of protein, and contains high levels of calcium and phosphorus, for stronger bones and teeth, and vitamin A for beautiful skin.

  • Herbed Hangop
  • Baked Quinces with Spiced Hangop & Honey, Vanilla & Lemon Syrup
  • Strained Yogurt with Raspberries
  • Easy Gazpacho with Basil Yogurt
  • Lamb & Yogurt Curry
  • Quick & Easy Frozen Yogurt

    Nut Recipes

    High in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, most nuts are excellent little energy bombs, bursting with goodness. Almonds are rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E. Brazil nuts contain selenium, a mineral that helps the body to make glutathione, which is said to slow down the skin's aging process. Walnuts are packed with antioxidants, magnesium, selenium and vitamin E and contain alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol and may reduce arterial inflammation.

  • Green Beans with Almonds
  • Macerated Walnut Salad with Pickled Chilli Peppers
  • Witlof, Walnut & Goat's Cheese Bites
  • Roast Beet Salad with Chèvre & Walnuts
  • Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Brazil Nuts
  • Roasted Almonds with Rosemary
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