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Healthy Vegetarian

From meat eater to vegetarian

Roasted cauliflower with quinoa |

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. I love animals and I am having a hard time getting my head around the way animals are treated in the meat industry. We always tend to look towards the mass meat industry but even in the more sustainable small farms, the animals are killed at some point.

Don’t get me wrong: I am no saint and I love meat. But I was having more and more problems with how things are going in the world. And than last week I watched three documentaries on that subject Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives and Food choices. By that time I had already made the decision but those docu’s confirmed I really wanted to go forward with this.

And it maybe sounds simple; stop eating meat and fish but it’s not entirely as simple as that. I didn’t eat a lot of meat to begin with, but moving from small amounts to non at all is a bigger step than even I suspected. Plus I live together with a dude aka a meatlover. Plus I shoot lots of meat for my job. Which I will still do of course.

Roasted cauliflower with quinoa |

I’m now in my first week as a vegetarian. 🙂 I keep a record of what I eat so that I know if I eat enough. Without the bulk and proteins that meat provides you need to make sure to get enough nutrients in. Vegetables and fruit provide a great deal of that but don’t provide as much in calories. I don’t intend to keep a food journal forever but for now it’s a good way of checking how I am doing in terms of macro-nutrients.

I even thought of going all out vegan but for now that is too big a step. There is also lots wrong with the dairy industry but I will try and choose organic where ever possible.

On top of that and not necessarily related, I am starting school for my degree in nutrition next month. Really looking forward to learning all there is to learn about food! The course is one year, after which you are officially allowed to run a practice but my idea is to continue with other courses after that. Or I might be sick and tired of school. Haha.. Who knows?

For now I am sharing this great recipe with you which is delicious and can be eaten warm or cold.

Roasted cauliflower with quinoa

This recipe uses white almond paste but of course you can substitute for the regular brown paste if you want


  • 150 gr quinoa
  • 1/2 cauliflower in florets
  • 100 gr green asparagus
  • 20 gram pumpkin seeds
  • 20 gr sunflower seeds
  • 50 gr roasted almonds
  • 40 gr lamb's lettuce
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


  • 2 tbsp almond butter, white
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pepper
  • salt


  1. Preheat the oven to  200˚C.
  2. Place the cauliflower on a large baking tray and sprinkle with oliveoil. Add some turmeric, chiliflakes and pepper and salt. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Drain and leave to cool.
  4. Add the roasted vegetables, the sunflower seeds, roasted almonds and the pumpkin seeds to the quinoa and make the dressing by mixing the ingredients. Add the lamb's lettuce as the last item and serve immediately.

About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer


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  • I just went through this transition myself! Something just kind of clicked and I can’t eat meat anymore. It helps that my husband adopted a vegetarian diet recently. What’s funny is we each did it for different reasons; he was more motivated by the environmental effects and it was more the ethical/animal aspect for me. I hear you on the vegan thing, I considered it too but it’s just too hard! For now I am committed to buying local pasture raised eggs and dairy. Anyway, congrats and way to go! 
    As for the recipe, when you say almond paste do you mean the kind you bake with? That’s the only almond paste I am familiar with but it has added sugar that seems an odd fit for this salad. Looks delicious!

    • He Meg! Ah good to know you also moved to vegetarian! I wish my husband would be vegetarian too, that would be easier. He’s supportive enough so no complaining there but he still eats meat.
      I think I should change the almond paste to almond butter. We call it paste in the Netherlands as we’re not allowed to call it “butter” here (apparently that is not legal for whatever reason) but it definitely doesn’t have sugar in it. It is just almonds. ground together until it forms a butter. That’s all. Nothing added. I’ll change it in the recipe!

  • I love meat, but could easily become vegetarian. I figure it’d take a lifetime just to work through all the wonderful Indian vegetarian dishes! Vegan would be hard, though — I’d miss butter and cheese. Anyway, lovely dish — thanks.

Welcome In Simone’s Kitchen

Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.
I am based in the Netherlands.

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