Internationals inspiring in the kitchen
2018-11-23 | By Olivia van den Broek-Neri
A well-balanced lifestyle includes good, tasty food! There are many cookbooks available to help guide us through the trials of getting a cooked meal on the table. In this article, we share cookbooks written by internationals living —or who have lived—in the Netherlands. Each author has her own unique story about her motivations to share delicious, healthy recipes.
To introduce new cuisines
When Ebere Akadiri moved from Nigeria to The Hague five years ago, she realised that many people were unfamiliar with West African cuisines. To help introduce her culture and cuisine to her new neighbours, she organised cooking workshops, teaching, for example, that in her culture, people eat together. “We welcome people with food!” says Ebere.
What else? “The Dutch people eat potatoes and we eat rice,” she says. West African cuisines also use different types of spices. “The aroma drives you!”
Her cookbook Vibrant West African Cuisine is also a way she gives back to her native country. All proceeds from book sales go to the Beauty In Every Life’s “Keep Dignity Alive” campaign, to help educate young Nigerian women and girls, and teach them entrepreneurial skills. (Read more about Beauty In Every Life in the International Community article, page 37.)
To help busy families
Bojana Snijders-Nikodijević developed an approach for home cooks to use the principles of professional kitchens’ efficiency in their own homes. These time-saving tools can help anyone who struggles with get- ting a well-balanced meal on the table.
Originally from Serbia, Bojana moved to the Netherlands to complete her Master’s degree. After working in the corporate world for more than 10 years, she suffered from burnout. That is when Bojana turned to cooking. In 2014, she made it to the finals on MasterChef Nederland and decided to dedicate herself to cooking full time.
The methods used in her cookbook can help save time and reduce stress that can come along with cooking. The meals can be tweaked on an individual level to accommodate any lifestyle.
“What I’ve learned… as a chef could be very useful for parents who struggle to get this done,” says Bojana. “It draws upon my professional kitchen experience and my insider knowledge of what is it like to be a mom who feeds her family every day.”
To get teens eating healthily
Alessandra Peters is a self-proclaimed “health nut and real-food blogger” who studied at The British School in the Netherlands. She started The Foodie Teen blog to inspire others to eat more healthily.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease and suffer- ing food intolerances, Alessandra started to research food and learn about nutrition. “I taught myself how to cook using real food,” she says. She also saw how her new diet positively affected her energy and well- being. “The Foodie Teen is all about healthy cooking for teenagers, with delicious, nutritious recipes,” says Alessandra. “They not only taste wonderful, but will make you feel incredible!”
The Foodie Teen cookbook showcases more than 100 gluten-free and dairy-free dishes and includes tips to help you de-stress.
To inspire a better lunch at the office
Vicky Hampton’s Working Lunch was written for working people who desire a nice, balanced meal, that may even make your colleagues jealous! This cookbook is for those “bored of overpriced ham-and-cheese sandwiches and packet soups from the canteen,” says Vicky, originally from the UK. Her book includes 50 recipes for salads, soups, sandwiches, couscous and more.
Vicky explains how to prepare lunches—at your workplace—using a chopping board, kettle or toaster. There are simple meals as well as gourmet- style lunches that may be a bit more difficult to pre- pare during a short lunch, but would be great for a dinner at home!
About the author
Olivia van den Broek-Neri has lived in the Netherlands for over 10 years and is currently Project Coordinator for Communications & Events at Holland Expat Center South.