Welcome to Belgian Foodie®
The Belgian Foodie® site aims to be a place for everyone to find recipes and to share information and advice concerning food-related topics, including nutrition and health. Click on the Recipes tab in the menu bar on the top of page to explore all the recipes available on this site.
It's also a place to find reviews of restaurants, hotels, products, merchants and events. Click the Reviews tab in the menu bar to discover all the reviews.
The Belgian Foodie® site will feature the Belgian Foodie® blog, which started in 2014 on the Belgian Foodie® Facebook page. It will also highlight recipes from the Belgian Foodie® Pinterest boards, Tools & Tips and much more!
Please take your time to discover all the resources available on this site. We hope you will come back often to visit us. Feel welcome to share recipes with your friends and to invite them to come visit this site as well.
Share with us your feedback in the comments below so we can make this site truly wonderful! Thanks!
Who is behind Belgian Foodie®?
Hi, I'm Brad, the main person behind Belgian Foodie®. I was a charity lawyer for more than 25 years in Brussels, Belgium. More importantly I am a proud father of two adult children currently living in Belgium. I've recently moved back to Los Angeles, California, where I'm fortunate to still have my parents and brothers. It's been more than 35 years since I've lived in Los Angeles so I'm loving discovering my "new" home. The food scene in Los Angeles is magnificently diverse, with a fair emphasis on healthy natural ingredients.
I've always been interested in food: eating, cooking and talking about food.
I love cookbooks. Reading recipes in cookbooks somehow relaxes me and satisfies my appetite. As I read recipes I can imagine the steps being taken, the smells of the ingredients and the taste of the final dish prepared. And voilà I'm no longer hungry or in search to make something to eat.
I started cooking as a child making milkshakes after school with my brothers. We would put all kinds of ingredients into a blender and then turn it on (usually with the cover on!). Making shakes became a fun activity as we began to innovate with new ingredients trying to come up with the best creations possible. I remember once adding in red licorice and other sweets we had in the house. The possibilities seemed endless.
As a young adult I started making desserts to bring to potlucks or to other occasions. My "better-than-sex" cake had quite a few fans. My mother still calls this "Brad's cake" when she makes it. Later as a young father I branched out to other desserts and gradually to other dishes as well.
Today I enjoy making all kinds of food. I try to diversify my repertoire as much as possible. I especially like making anything that involves a dough, such as pasta, bread, pies, dim sum, dumplings, etc. If I can use my hands to knead the dough, even better!
My cooking has evolved from using a lot of shortcuts, such as cake mixes, prepared soups, and other convenient items, to preparing dishes from scratch. Starting from scratch helps me ensure the quality of the ingredients used. There are so many meals that can be prepared in less than an hour from scratch and taste so much better than something purchased, yet at a lower cost.
The recipes on the Belgian Foodie® site will usually describe each step to make a dish from scratch. Yet, you are free to use substitutes if you wish, for example, store-bought pastry dough instead of homemade dough. No judgment made for using these convenient substitutes; I use them myself when needed. Yet my goals for this site are to provide you with recipes that are fairly straight-forward to make, use quality ingredients, are on the most part healthy (or at least a healthy version of the dish), and are tasty. Read more about the Belgian Foodie® approach in the next column.
What is the Belgian Foodie® approach?
As someone interested in food, I've had to work hard to maintain my weight and to stay physically fit. Sometimes I am winning the fight, sometimes I'm losing. But from my battles I've learned a few tricks to prepare tasty healthy food that require no more time or money than "quick, less healthy options". I've also had to read up on nutrition, fitness and other health issues relating to food. Like most of us, I've learned basically from my own from experience, reading and sharing.
There is no single truth about what works and what does not. We each need to find what works for us and try to integrate this diet into our lifestyle.
Diet, nutrition, healthy-eating and taste are all very personal and subjective topics. What I may consider healthy or tasty, you may not. All I can do is share my experiences and recipes with you and let you decide how to use this information.
When it comes to food choices, we must try to respect each other's choices and to accommodate (within reason) the choices of our friends. By helping our friends adhere to their choices, we support them to be the healthy, fit person they want to be. In this spirit of mutual respect, we can share our choices with each other and discuss them together so we understand better the impact of these choices on our nutrition, health, and the environment.
The Belgian Foodie® approach is therefore to create an open and respectful space where we can share our experiences, celebrate our victories, and support each other in facing our challenges. In following this approach, hopefully we can make our lifestyles more healthy while maintaining our passion for food.
Why I'm Vegan Before 6:00
In May 2013 I started following Mark Bittman's VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 diet, based on his book with almost the same name published in April 2013.
This diet seemed to be ideal for me because it favors non-animal products, while still allowing me to eat animal products if I want. This flexibility allows me to eat with others out in restaurants or in their homes without having to require them to make special arrangements for me. This built-in flexibility makes it more likely that I maintain this diet for a long time. For me, VB6 is a lifestyle choice rather than a diet.
After 2 years on the VB6 diet, I became healthier (according to my blood tests) and lost more than 50 lbs (22 kilos). I lost the weight pretty much in the first year and maintained it while I followed this diet.
I'm sharing this experience so that you understand why I post many plant-based recipes while still sharing recipes with animal products. I'm not suggesting, however, that VB6 diet is the best choice for you or that you would have the same results as I have. I don't believe there is a single diet that suits everyone.
My Goals for this Site
My goals for the Belgian Foodie® website are fairly simple:
- Gather recipes, tools, tips, and other resources that you will find useful (i.e., hopefully my posting them here will save you time);
- Create a positive and user-friendly space for sharing recipes as well as other food-related information and experiences;
- Stimulate discussion and sharing in both directions while building a community around common interests;
- Encourage visitors and users of my site to share whatever they like here with their friends, family, co-workers and others in their communities through the social media links, share buttons and printing functions; and
- Share recipes that are healthy(ish). For me, healthy is:
- using quality products (fresh, organic and whole foods),
- reducing consumption of fat, however, recognizing that we must eat fat and that there are good fats and bad fats; and
- avoiding processed and refined sugar.
Although one of my aims is to share healthy(ish) recipes, I may still sometimes display recipes that call for sugar or butter. However, my recipes will more likely call for less of these ingredients than other recipes for the same dish or will offer healthier alternatives.