Stamppot: a typical Dutch dinner with a vegetarian twist

In the Netherlands, people eat a lot of mashed potatoes mixed with different vegetables, especially in the Fall and Winter. which we call "stamppot". It is a typical Dutch dish and it is very easy to make. I think it is delicious! I am showing you a healthy and tasty version with kale. 

Vegan or vegetarian stamppot

You can make stamppot a vegetarian dish by adding a vegetarian meat substitute and vegetarian gravy. But most Dutch cook meat balls in their own gravy (jus) to accompany the stamppot. When they make the stamppot dish, they put it on a plate in a shape of a mountain, and dig a hole in the middle of the stamppot and add the gravy in that hole.

Check out the recipe below for stamppot with a vegan/vegetarian gravy. But you can also make your own (grass fed) meatballs, sausage or another of your favorite piece of meat and use the juice of the meat to make your own meat-based gravy.

Love, Lonneke

Stamppot: a typical Dutch dinner with a vegetarian twist
A typical dutch "stamppot" but a healthier version!

Cuisine: dutch
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

  • 6 Handfuls of large white and sweet potatoes cut and peeled.
  • 500 gr of shredded and washed kale, without the stems.
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sauce:
  • 3 large diced onions
  • 4 handfuls of mushrooms of your choice cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tbsp organic soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 tbsp organic balsamic vinegar
  • 300 ml water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • honey
  • olive oil
  • Add your favorite meatballs, bratwurst, sausage or a favorite vegetarian variety. (pictures is a vegetarian meatball made with organic soy)

  1. Cook the potatoes until they are soft, and add the kale on top to steam.
  2. Get rid of the excess water and mash the kale and potatoes together.
  3. Take pot of heat and keep lid closed to keep the mash warm.
  4. You can add some olive oil to make the mash smoother.
  5. For the sauce:
  6. Stir fry the cut mushrooms and put aside on a plate.
  7. Then stir fry the onions in the pan you used for the mushrooms, with olive oil, salt, pepper until golden brown.
  8. Add the soy sauce, water, balsamic vinegar, honey and stir.
  9. Use a blender to blend it all together.
  10. Use a sieve to remove the large parts so a sauce remains (the onions you can use for something else like a soup, or stew)
  11. Taste the sauce and add any of the ingredients to make it taste more to your liking. Extra honey means sweeter, extra salt means saltier, extra balsamic vinegar means more sour, etc, more water means thinner sauce etc.
  12. Add the mushrooms.
  13. Let it simmer on lower heat for a while with your (vegetarian) meat balls in this sauce until cooked.
  14. Serve the mash on a plate, and make a dent in the middle in which you pour the sauce.
  15. Meatball on the side: Enjoy!

Use a large pot to cook your potatoes and kale.
You can add only white potatoes or only sweet potatoes for a twist.
You can make the mash smoother by adding a bit of butter, or milk, or olive oil.
You can also make the mash smoother by adding dices of your favorite hard cheese and mix it together until they become chewy. It gives a nice surprise of flavor and texture when eating the mash. ( I added organic cheese with rosemary from a local organic farm in my hometown)
It tastes great with some nice organic mustard.

stamppot 2

In vitro meat

There are a lot of problems with the meat industry these days, no one can deny that. But what is the best way to a solution?

Around the World there are many animal factories where "farmers" grow their cows, pigs and chickens in a record time to adulthood. With medication, hormones and food that contains ingredients they would normally never eat. Sometimes these animals grow so fast, that they cannot even stand on their legs. So raising them in a healthy way is not really happening at most farms, because getting them to a slaughterhouse one day sooner, will have the farmers cash their "product" faster. In these days: time is money.

Most people do not see the animal anymore when they eat a piece of meat. They look at the price, and the cheaper the meat is, the better. Most people do not think about how these animals are raised and slaughtered, and in what conditions. Because if they would see it and think about it, a normal person would have difficulty eating the meat. Linda & Paul McCartney used to say: "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian".So most people leave their feelings and heart at the door of the Supermarket and buy products for their price and not much their quality. Because it can go only one way: price or quality. You can't have it both ways. We can all agree that chickens that can barely stand on their own feet because of the weight they have to carry with them, are probably not as healthy as organically raised chicken that are given time, the proper care and the right nutrition. The same goes for every other animal that is raised in a factory-way for their meat.

So is in vitro meat the solution?

We have to realize with everything we do, that WE ARE THE SOLUTION. Every time we buy something, we give a signal to that particular producer to keep making that product. A consumer is the King. Whatever we want, companies will produce.

So if you keep buying cheap meat, they will continue to offer cheap meat with all the bad production methods that come with it. It is all about what the market is asking of producers to make, and this counts for every kind of product. So if you start buying organic meat, you are giving the signal to the farmer that you want that product. And more companies will see that and want to offer the same product. This way the product will eventually get cheaper too, because right now organic meat is still very expensive for most people. (Remember: quality costs money, so organic meat will always cost more than the inhumanly raised cattle meat) But to be honest: you don't need to eat meat every day to get the right nutrition, so if you would stop eating meat daily, to only twice a week and making it organic, in the end you are spending the same amount of money, but in the right way! Organic just has better energy around it, and will be better for your karma!

A lot of people are also drastically changing their eating habits, and stop eating meat all together. Mostly because they don't agree with what the World has become and how we treat our animals.Like any drastic change in diet is hard on the body, just stop eating meat from one day to another, is not so good either. You need time to adjust. But what if there are other ways besides organic meat, that are so animal friendly that no animal would be harmed, would they consume that?

One recent development is that a Dutch laboratory from the Maastricht University has managed to grow "in vitro meat', or cultured beef as they call it,  by using stem cells/muscle cells from a cow, and growing it in the laboratory. Professor Mark Post was the one initiating and working on this project. This "Frankenburger"  was very expensive to make ( Pounds) took 5 years to develop, and has about 40 billion cells. It was said that Google entrepreneur Sergey Brin came up with the first investment for this cultured beef. It is very expensive now, but once this development continues, they will get the price down.

[youtube id="gdMQND4TPqM" align="center"]

Is that the solution? Growing in vitro meat in a laboratory? If the nutritional values are the same as regular meat, and no animals are hurt, will animal organizations be supportive? And what about the ethical aspects: Is it weird or o.k. to eat meat that was grown in a laboratory. Is it healthy for humans to consume this? Are any hormones or medications added? And foremost: how will it taste? Many questions need to be answered before this can be produced on a large scale, but it is definitely interesting. Besides the options: meat-eater, organic meat eater and no meat eater, there will be an option in vitro meateater.

And if this in vitro meat can be produced on a large scale, will this be a solution, and will it end all the many cattle farms around the World? Will it stop a large part of daily animal abuse we are all getting used to? Will that also be a positive influence on nature and the climate? Because the methane producing cattle is one of the biggest contributing factors in the recent climate change scientists claim.

cultured burgerThe überexpensive cultured beef burger today.

I watched  Professor Mark Post present this first in vitro meat burger made of "cultured beef" to the public  in London on August 5th. A chef grilled the burger, and a test panel of 3 people (including professor Mark Post) tried the burger. The result: the texture was quite similar to regular meat, and since it is only made of muscle cells, it was very lean. (this could be food that the fitness world will love for that reason!) After that there was a Q &A with Professor Mark Post. He mentioned it would take about 10 to 20 years before this cultured meat can get on to the market. But it could be a solution in his eyes to the arising problems of feeding the World that will become more problematic in the future.

One quote that stuck with me by Professor Mark Post: "being vegetarian is still better for the environment than eating meat, but cultured beef is a good alternative for the environment".

Later on there will be a taste "battle" between their in vitro meat and the vegetarian hamburger of " De Vegetarische Slager" from the Hague I read on their website. I tried hat MC2 hamburger from De Vegetarische Slager (Vegetarian Butcher) and it was really delicious I must say! I have been not eating meat for almost 8 years now, and I don't miss the texture or flavor at all. I stopped eating meat mostly because it gave me a stomach ache a lot of times. But I have to say, the way we treat these animals was definitely also a deciding factor. So far this vegetarian burger was a good alternative to a burger for me, I am sure it can fool meat eaters too.

MC2 burgerPicture:  the MC2 burger, and lupin fake chicken satay I ate during my last visit to The Vegetarian Butcher in The Hague, the Netherlands.

I think everyone should decide for themselves what diet works best , but I think we can all agree that almost every person who eats meat would want to eat meat without animal abuse and torture. It is just common sense. So maybe this cultured beef/ in vitro meat is not that bad of a development. We will stay tuned to see if this in vitro meat/cultured beef/cultured burger will come on the market.

Love, Lonneke

Follow #Culturedbeef & #Culturedburger on Twitter and instagram

Read more:

Vegetarian Butcher | Maastricht University | The Guardian

Vegetarian meat

mc2burger & chicken satay sandwich

If you change from eating meat to a vegetarian diet, it is a big change. But it is worth it. But what happens is that you usually crave some kinds of meat still. I changed about 8 years ago to an 90% vegetarian diet, with a bit of good fish once a while. But I still missed eating a good hamburger (not the ones from fast-food restaurants FYI) once a while . I am still not sure if it was because of the meat, or the bun and all the toppings that accompany a good burger.... Besides that, the texture of chicken meat I did like too so I craved that too.

We all know the truth about that most people eat TOO MUCH MEAT and that that's not good for our health. We just don't need that much protein. Also, the way we produce meat is so devastating for our environment, and the abuse of the animals is so common and awful, that The Earth needs a change if we want our kids to live on a livable planet with clean water, air and biodiversity. Even if you don't eat meat for just 1 day a week, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. The amount of energy it takes to produce one piece of meat on your plate is mind-blowing. And the carbon footprint of a meat eating person is many, many times higher than that of a vegetarian person. So if you want to help make a difference (remember every little effort counts if you add them all up!) you can do that by switching your meat dishes and using meat replacement products if you crave the flavor and texture of the meat.

Because there is a solution for these cravings! Until now vegetarian substitutes for meat where not that great to put it middy, and therefore some vegetarians were a bit sad. But thankfully some people took matters in their own hands and started to find new, all plant based, meat substitutes!

There is a vegetarian butcher in The Hague, the Netherlands. (yes that is a VEGETARIAN butcher, meaning: without animals being hurt, but with all the good taste) "De Vegetarische Slager". I already wrote about them once before and you can read that story HERE. They are in fact the first of their kind in the World. Mark Bittman, the renowned food critic from the NY Times even came to visit the shop once, and loved what he discovered.

So Animal cruelty free, vegetarian friendly, that sounds good to me! I love their products and they sell their prepackaged products already in 200+ stores all across the Netherlands, in health food stores but even mainstream supermarkets are joining in. (You can also order online.)

I spoke to Paul Bom, who is one of the geniuses behind the products, and who is present at their concept store in The Hague at the Spui 167A almost everyday. (across from the City Hall of the Hague). I asked him if their products include soy and if yes, if they are GMO free. He said thesoy used is organic and also gmo free! One other thing they use a lot is a plant called "Lupin" for their meat-like products.

The taste and texture of their products is really good. The chicken pieces are great to fool people thinking they eat real chicken. They also have a range of shawarma (shoarma in Dutch) made of lupin, minced meat, meat balls, and even have a selection of non-fish products. Also the fish products are great to fool someone. I LOVE the non-tuna spread "Tonyn". The mackarel one tastes like mackarel but is a bit too strong for me.

In the store you can buy all these meat products, as well as ready-to-go meals (love the typical dutch dish "Hutspot", a mix of mashed potatoes, onions & carrots accompanied by a meatball in a sauce). You can also buy super foods, olive oils, wines and juices. All of course organic.

The recently introduced their new "mc2burger", which is the name of their hamburger, to the people of France, at an exhibition in Paris. (The name is derived from E=MC2 from Einstein). I think the taste is really good as I got a sneak peak from their burger when I visited The Hague for work.

Besides that I am obsessed with their bread roll made of lupin, with their fake chicken in satay sauce! It is a bit naughty, meaning not that great for the thighs, but very delicious. Hey, models eat bad food too once a while ;-) See picture on top!

Also, today marks the opening of the first ever all vegetarian snackbar, also in the Hague. The MC2burger is available under the name "Vegabom" as well as other "Vegetarische Slager" products.  News item about the opening(In Dutch.)

You can follow de Vegetarische Snackbar on Twitter: @Vegasnackbar

and also "De Vegetarische Slager" on Twitter: @Vegaslager  & Paul Bom: @PaulBom,

I love it that people all around the World are thinking twice about the products they eat, and try to create new delicious vegetarian foods & dishes that can get the pressure off the Planet a little bit.

Love, Lonneke