Monday, May 23rd, 2016
Last week Roberto hosted the first edition of Roberto’s Osteria at De Keuken van Greendelicious. He cooked vegetarian Italian dishes, mostly from our region, Liguria, for twelve people who had reserved a place.
It was such a nice day, it was a test in a way of how we work together and also to me it was amazing to see how this guy manages stress.
This season is quite the low season in Italy’s vegetable world, so we had to pick the few things people eat while waiting for the richness of the warmer days: nettle, turnip tops, broad beans, and of course, asparagus.
ON THE MENU:
We spend the day cooking and preparing and when the guests came it was showtime for Roberto. The guests were happy and liked the dishes. Hopeing there will be a second edition, here is a glimpse into the first one.
Friday, May 6th, 2016
I have been vegan for five months now and I thought it would be a good idea to evaluate how that has of hasn’t affected our life and relationship, because after all a cook dating a vegan sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?
The meat eater stage.
Roberto and I met almost nine years ago. When we first met we were both meat eaters. I had been vegetarian for a couple of years during my childhood, but since doctors told my parents meat was important for my growth and health (*facepalm*), I figured they were right and, despite being reluctant, I ate meat every now and then.
The first summer we spent together, we used to go out and very often and we would end up at a kebab place in the middle of the night, having a big fat kebab, usually with fries. I still kept in the back of my head that those were animals who had been slaughtered, so I often felt guilty afterwards; however, I wanted to fit in and being the shy girl I was, I didn’t want to expose myself and my beliefs.
Around the end of my first year at university I decided to stop acting so hypocritically, the thought of animals being killed kept haunting me, so I decided I would never have meat again. Unfortunately, next to that decision I developed an eating disorder, which lasted three years. I ate very little and run on coffee, I exercised compulsively and kept comparing myself to any other girl I saw. Roberto was there for me all those year, during the worst moments, and I will never thank him enough for that.
To get out of the disordered routine I had created for myself I knew I had to make a drastic change. After I graduated Roberto and I moved to the Netherlands and I slowly started gaining the faith in myself and the love of life back (along with some weight).
When we moved Roberto started working as a cook. It was out of necessity, but he realised he actually liked it. His passion for cooking grew as he could express his creativity through it. He worked at several restaurants and he started learning more and more.
During that period we talked about vegetarianism a lot and quite honestly I confronted him with the facts, and he decided to give it a try. At that time he was working 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and the new lifestyle he didn’t even know how to manage yet made him become very weak and thin. We know now that he wasn’t eating enough, but actually we both really thought that maybe some people couldn’t handle being a vegetarian. With some pressure from the families he jumped back on the meat wagon.
People used to say “but you’re not vegan, right? Because that’s pretty crazy, that’s so restrictive!”; and I totally agreed with them! I would say I would never become a vegan, and I really didn’t understand why you would ever get to the point of becoming a vegan. And yet, here I am.
I started watching some videos about veganism and vegan people and they all seemed to make sense. So I watched a few documentaries (Forks over Knives, Earthlings, Cowspiracy) and I felt so stupid for not seeing it all along, for not realising that the baby cow is taken away from the cow for us to get milk, that animals live in terrible conditions even for our eggs and cheese, and that animal agriculture is causing more pollution than anything else.
The first month I challenged myself to live vegan for some time; I wasn’t sure I could do it, I thought I loved cheese, eggs and ice cream too much to let them go. But it was exactly the opposite, it was so easy. Literally anything can be replaced, and after realising the truth, I just couldn’t have animal products anymore without feeling guilty. This time I wasn’t a shy adolescent and I just started living a happy vegan life.
Meanwhile, Roberto watched those documentaries with me. He stopped eating meat a while ago, but when in social circumstances he will still have some every now and then, especially around the family (he’s Italian, and vegetarianism is almost not an option in the mind of many Italians). At work he still has to prepare dishes with meat and fish. He loves his job and I love that he dreams of working in a vegetarian restaurant.
What does he think about veganism and what do I think about working with meat.
When I went vegetarian I did it for ethical reasons only. I wasn’t really involved with the vegetarian community and I just ate everything except the meat or fish. Veganism made me much more involved and informed. I want to know so that I can spread the message, with kindness. I am so passionate I sometimes am overwhelmed, I want people to see the truth, to realise killing animals is not normal, it is an atrocity.
Roberto silently watched me make all these changes. He has accepted and understood why I did it, and guys, he cooks vegan for us every evening. Sometimes he will add some cheese to his meal or bake an egg. I will look at him with crazy eyes, but I cannot force him to do something he doesn’t want to.
Veganism made me a happier person, and I hope I can share it with as many people as possible. Secretly I hope Roberto will be confident enough to make that extra step. I know it’s not the ethical connection he hasn’t made, for him it’s a lot about culture and habits (still, that is not an excuse). It makes me really angry sometimes, seeing how people react to my choice, because I feel that it’s not me who has to justify herself.
Roberto still works with meat and serves it, that’s the part I like the least. But he loves his job, he loves his colleagues and I cannot force them to become a vegan restaurant 🙂 So I am just doing my best to spread the word.
I see Roberto and I as an amazing team, despite our differences. We have both made big changes over the past few years and more are to come. Meanwhile, we will be sharing mostly vegan recipes over here and maybe some tips and tricks on traveling as a vegan/vegetarian.
Sunday, May 1st, 2016
It seems like April was just one long rainfall with some hail in between. Miraculously this first of May has brought us a little sun, I am hoping it will last a little while because I could use some vitamin D. In May we have again very busy working schedules, but our main plans are to visit the tulip fields which we never visited (and we have been living in the Netherlands for 4 and a half years now, shame on us!) and to have at least one day off together to spend exploring.
Also, Roberto will organise his very own Roberto’s osteria: which means he will be cooking for a group of people and if they want they can help him preparing the food with his help. I am so excited for that day, and I can’t wait to see how it goes!
On the other hand, I will be working towards the end of our cookbook. I can’t wait to get to work at that again, starting tomorrow.
So, what are your plans for this month? Any travel plans ahead?
Saturday, April 30th, 2016
It’s time for another monthly review!
Travel. Half of this month it has been raining here in the Netherlands, so we’ve been wondering and dreaming about our travels a lot. We’ve organised our trip back to Italy in September, so we’ve finally decided where we want to travel to at the beginning of next year; it was a tough choice, but now we agreed and we’ll be planning more the upcoming months.
Food. We’ve been wondering a lot about what we should do here on the evening glow regarding recipes: Roberto is vegetarian (according to him at 99%) and I am a vegan. The food we will publish here will therefore mainly be vegan and sometimes you might see some vegetarian options, or see some photos with some cheese for example. So, it’s actually the contrary of what happens in most restaurant, here you get everything vegan except some vegetarian options, and no meat.
Music. We’ve seen Radical Face perform live in a very smaal church in Amsterdam and it was great. We’ve been listening to a lot of cool music as well (click here for this month’s playlist).
This moth has been all about work for us and about the cookbook I am photographing for me. It’s starting to look like we will get to the end of this year’s worth of work and have a really great cookbook in our hands, I can’t wait to share more!
Sunday, April 24th, 2016
Have you ever made one yourself, a mixtape? Honestly, I haven’t, but I had plenty at home. I remember rewinding the cassette and always forgetting on which side I was, A or B. I still have one cassette my best friend Omar and I recorded when we were about six years old. We were talking to the radio, telling stories, singing, telling jokes and interviewing people. His first son was born a few days back, which made me feel so terribly happy, and so terribly old.
This month’s playlist is again a mixed one with picks from both me and Roberto. From “7 years” by Lukas Graham which we have been singing non stop, to the somewhat older “Africa” by Toto which we listened to when my mum was visiting from Italy. From “Here with me” by Susie Suh which was played in one of the first episode of The Blacklist, to “Wrapped in Piano Strings” by Radical Face, who we saw live a few days ago.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Roberto has been wanting to make a colourful Mediterranean cous cous for a while. He wanted it fresh and on the sweet side, filling, but light. This cous cous is perfect for a warm spring day, for your first picknick or just as a side dish. It’s very easy to make, the hardest part is getting to the store and buy the ingredients.
A dish like this makes me happy, because there are so many colours, it’s healthy, it’s vegan, and it’s just something different that your ordinary pasta with tomato sauce (which I love too, by the way).
Mediterranean Cous Cous
200 g cous cous
200 ml boiling water
zest and juice of one orange
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
100 g raisins
a handful mint leaves
Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, pour the (still dry) cous cous in a big bowl and add orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.
When the water boils, take away from the heat and pour on the cous cous. Mix well with a fork. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Remove the pomegranate seeds over a small bowl (we always do it like shown here). Cut the mint thinly and rinse the raisins.
Take off the cling film from the cous cous, mix again with a fork and add pomegranate seeds, mint and raisins. Mix well and add salt, pepper and olive oil to taste, if needed. Put in the fridge for half an hour.
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
We’re already almost a week into April and we are finally feeling spring. Sunday was amazingly sunny and in the Netherlands that means everyone sits outside having a drink on the boat terraces. We haven’t been able to really appreciate the day since we were working, but since we both work in contact with people and in the city centre, we see happy customers and that makes us smile as well.
April makes me feel like the endless winter has gone, and as much as I like seasons, I’d definitely pick winter as my least favourite. Now it’s time for the heavy rainfalls, with a few beautiful sunny days in between, and we’ll move to the summery days in a while.
This April we want to focus on getting as much sun on our skin as we can, being with friends, doing little things for ourselves and be positive. Let’s see how that goes 🙂
(images are from Pinterest)
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Hello there! We know, this month there was tumbleweed flying around in this blog and we apologise for it.
I honestly don’t even know what took our time, this month has just flown by so fast. So, here’s a little summary of what has happened this past month.
Monday, March 28th, 2016
We’re back with a new playlist! This month we’ve found a few new artists, like Roo Panes and Bear’s Den. We’re really enjoying their songs, especially Indigo Home and Above the Clouds of Pompeii, which we are playing non-stop, mostly in the car, while singing along.
Soon we’ll be seeing Radical Face live, so we’ve been catching up on his songs too. I can’t wait to see him playing in Amsterdam next month.
I am curious to know what songs you like at the moment, which are the ones you set on repeat?
Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
We’re back from a few days in Italy. It feels like I am repeating myself, but going back home will never get boring; the beautiful nature, the diversity, the calm, the space, it all makes me feel like I can breathe again.
We flew from Amsterdam to Milan on a wednesday morning. The night before we had been to a concert in Amsterdam, so we were excited, but tired. In Milan we had to wait a few hours at the central station. There we found out Italy has made huge steps in the field of healthy and conscious eating, which made me feel happy and hopeful. We took the train from Milan to Sanremo and in a few hours we were home.
In the few days we spent there we did so many nice things: I went hiking with my dad through the woods to a neighbour village (see photos) and visited my childhood friend, then together with Roberto we walked up to the house I grew up in which is in the middle of the most amazing nature, but very far from the civilised world. We spent time with my six-year old nephew with whom we drove up the mountains to “put some snow in a bag to bring to grandma”. Up there we got stuck with the car, and I had to push the car out of the snow with my power fueled by fruits and vegetables (or so my nephew said).
We celebrated a new life and a new family. We spent hours with my parents and hours with Roberto’s big family. We went for a walk on the beach and we met some friends for a drink.
Soon we will post a short vlog showing all these things. First we just want to set everything on our new YouTube channel. We hope you will like these videos we made on the road, and that you will want to follow us while we are exploring on and off the beaten track.
Hello, we are Roberto and Juliette, an Italian cook and a Dutch food and portrait photographer. Welcome to the evening glow, where we share stories, recipes and adventures.