Turkey roulade

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Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes

The Ingredients: for 4 persons

  • 800 g turkey roulade
  • 400-500 g canned pineapple slices (in syrup or in juice)
  • butter
  • peanut oil
  • port wine
  • 1 cube chicken stock
  • corn-starch
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Heat a bit of butter and some peanut oil in a pot, and bake the turkey roulade on all sides nicely brown. Season the meat with salt and pepper.

Add the pineapple slices with the juice and a small glass of port wine (shot). Also add a cube of stock. Turn back the heat and close lid. The roulade is cooked when the inside temperature of the meat gets to 90°C. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, the time to cook a roulade will take about 50-50 minutes.

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Put the meat aside to cut it in slices. Take out the pineapple slices for a moment and thicken the sauce to your liking using cornstarch. Put the pineapple and the slices of meat back into the sauce to keep them warm.

Serve some slices of meat with some pineapple on top.

The tip:

Turkey is very light meat. So if you want this dish to be almost completely calorie free, then use pineapple in juice instead of syrup and serve the dish with a  cooked potato .instead of potato croquettes.

The secret:

Two secrets this time for novice cooks…

Always mix corn-starch in a small amount of water first before adding it slowly to the boiling sauce (e.g. 1 table spoon of corn-starch in a 3rd of a glass of water). This way you avoid clotting and you can control the thickness of the sauce you’re making exactly to your liking. Always stir while you add the corn-starch. The same process applies if you use potato starch instead of corn starch.

If you have to bake meat for a longer time then it is important to choose fat which can stand heat. This is why we use half butter half peanut oil. The peanut oil can resist heat much better and the meat browns but doesn’t burn.

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Stuffed Zucchini

stuffed courgettes

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

The ingredients: for 4 persons

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 600 g minced beef (“américain”, we call it in Flanders)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red chilli pepper (small one)
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Pre-heat the oven at 180° C.

Wash the zucchinis and cut them in 2, lengthwise. Steam the courgettes until they are just done. Don’t overcook them at this time, they still need to go in the oven for a while.

Put the meat in a bowl together with the seasoning. Cut the onion and the pepper extremely fine, press or grate the garlic, and mix all of this with the meat. I just use a fork to mix it all together.


When the courgettes are steamed, take out the seeds of the zucchini with a spoon. By doing this you create a small gutter for the meat. This does not have to be too deep, otherwise your zucchini will lose its strength and you may run into trouble serving it.

DSC00476Once you’ve filled the courgettes with the meat mix, put them in an oven dish and cook them for 20 minutes in the oven. Check if the meat is not red anymore to figure out cooking time.

The Tip:
We serve this with a jacket potato with sour cream.

This is also an ideal recipe when you’re trying to avoid calories. You can easily make a calorie friendly version limiting the meat to 100 g per person and serving the potato without the sour cream.

The Secret:

You probably also have days when you think ‘what am I going to cook tonight?’ or ‘what are we going to eat this time?’. Since i often have to go out for business diners, I have taken the habit of asking people – when appropriate of course – what they like to cook or what their favourite dish is. It also starts up the conversation again, when everybody start to get tired talking about work items.

It has inspired me quite often and brought the greatest ideas to the table. The recipes handed over like this often shined in simplicity and great taste.

Looking for inspiration one day, I popped the question during work lunch with colleagues ‘and what would you like to eat tonight?’ One of our engineers said… ‘it’s nothing fancy but at least I can cook this for my wife…’ and he explained about his stuffed zucchinis. Since then, thanks to Jürgen, the stuffed zucchinis are a returning item during lean weekdays .

Tomato-Paprika Soup

DSC00471Preparation time: 45-60 minutes

The ingredients: for 6 persons

  • 4 big red tomatoes
  • 1 green paprika
  • 1 red paprika
  • 1 white part of leek
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 small can tomato paste (70 g)
  • 2 cubes low fat meat bouillon
  • salt & pepper

The Work:

Peal the tomatoes, take out the seeds and cut them in pieces. Take out the seeds of the paprikas and cut them up as well. Cut the white of leak, the carrots and the shallots in small cubes. Put all these vegetables in a cooking pot. Add 1 L of water, the 2 cubes of bouillon and let boil.

Once the soup boils, turn lower the heat so that the soup boils softly for the rest of the cooking time. The paprikas will need about 45 minutes until they are tender. To strengthen the taste of the soup, add some spoons of tomato paste at the end of the cooking time and stir until the paste is melted in the soup.

Mix the soup using a mixer or blender and add some extra water if necessary, to give the soup the right consistency. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

The Tip:
To get velvety soup it is advised to peel the tomatoes. If you are pressed for time, you can skip this.

The combination of a green en red paprika gives the soup a bitter touch. If you rather have a softer taste, use 2 red paprikas instead of 1 green and 1 red.

The Secret:

This soup is really a diet recipe I got from my sister in law, but the flavours and the consistency are so rich that I’ve served it on family diners as well. Nobody every dared to assume this was zero calorie.

If your kids don’t like vegetables but they do like tomato soup with meat balls, then this is a perfect veggie boost in disguise… just make sure they never see you add all these ‘bad’ ingredients.