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Do you enjoy cooking healthy food? Then try our vegetarian and vegan recipes for serene vitality

 Healthy food happy people - Chantal Voets

Hello, nice of you to come and take glance at my recipe review. Here, I have made a fine selection of recipes and chefs. Amanprana and/or I has/have a special bond with each of them. We, for example, have cooked together and have the same vision of eating. Healthy, tasty and refreshing meals without fuss. Tasty meals to be healthy and happy. Ayurvedic cuisine, macrobiotics, raw food, vegan cooking and proper food combinations have inspired my recipes.

In the meantime, I have put together quite a few recipes. From appetizers to pancakes and from delicious snacks to smoothies. The emphasis is on pure and natural, without refined nutrients. Nutrition is your best medicine!

Signature chantal voets

Rineke Dijkinga

Healthy recipes by cookbook author Rineke Dijkinga

Rineke Dijkinga is specialist in orthomolecular medicine and naturotherapy and also knows an extraordinary amount about nutrition. She is firmly convinced of the beneficial effects of (organic) foods and believes that herbs and spices play a major role in our energy levels, our mood and our weight. To her, delicious food and healthy food are one and the same thing. Here at Amanprana we have had the opportunity to create and collect various recipes together with Rineke Dijkinga, author of "Alles draait om je hormone" (It's All About Your Hormones), "Weten van (h)eerlijk eten 1 & 2" (What You Need to Know About Fair Food) and Weetjes over (h)eerlijk eten (Fair Food, the Facts). Her main aims are to highlight how important herbs and spices are, that we should opt for organic food and that we should focus on the preventative in prevention.



A brief interview with cookbook author Rineke Dijkinga

I started cooking healthy meals because:

I started cooking healthy meals because every day I see patients who require specific nutrients, depending on the complaints they are dealing with. The messages 'Let food by thy medicine and medicine thy food' and 'the best doctor can be found in the kitchen' are actually the foundation of my work. Because most people confuse nutrition with food - which is logical, given that we never learnt anything about nutrition at school - I am convinced that there is a lot to be gained from this approach.

My most exciting culinary adventure:

I discover again and again that the best dishes are simply created because your garden or Mother Nature suddenly provides an abundance of foods. All my 'creativity' is then devoted to creating something delicious. Thanks to the present abundance of courgettes I have come up with at least ten different recipes, and when you use different herbs, spices and oils each time, you create a completely new taste sensation every time, even though the courgettes are still just the same courgettes.

My biggest culinary failure and what I learnt from it:

I can become very enthusiastic about a combination of healthy ingredients when I am working with a recipe. But sometimes it just doesn't work, whether because of the colour or, even worse, when the result has a dirty and unappetising look. No matter how nice a dish is, the eye needs to be pleased too. In order to turn every meal into a feast, the experience must be optimal in every respect!

Then there are a few other failures that I 'create' regularly:

- When making a fruit tart the ratio of fruit to agar-agar is very precise. Sometimes I'm too lazy to weigh the fruit and I add too little agar-agar. The outcome is a tart that is so runny it's like mush, and one you certainly don't want to serve to guests.
- Another regular and unpleasant surprise is when I'm in a rush and I accidently get the wrong spice jar from the cupboard and add it to a dish. I always think I know exactly where my spices are, even without looking. Recently I added ground vanilla instead of ground coriander to a delicious curry, rendering it inedible! ​

Tips for the novice cook:

- Learn to cook using your senses: look, taste, smell and pay attention to the texture. All the ready-made mixes mean that we have to some degree forgotten how to prepare our own meals and 'feel' what would make a great combination.
-Most people have developed a bit of a one-sided taste. Give your taste buds a few weeks to learn to enjoy other, pure flavours. Many of us are so accustomed to sugars and flavour enhancers that we no longer recognise true flavours. After a few weeks without those mixes, your taste buds will be much more sensitive and you will value nuanced flavours.

- When you cook for yourself, and especially when you use my recipes, you get more fibre, more healthy fats and more protein across the board. If you switch from convenience foods to cooking your own meals, you have to give your digestive system a chance to become accustomed to the new diet.
-Use your creativity and your preferences! I always think it's a great pity when I hear that people want to use a recipe in my cookbook but didn't because they might not have broccoli or garden herbs - just come up with a substitute for any ingredient you don't have!
- Always listen to your body and how it responds to foods. Certain fibres that are considered as being very good for you (such as those in wholegrain products) are not beneficial for everybody. And often people continue to eat them because they're 'so healthy'. But something is only healthy when it is good for you. That's why the old healers told us, 'It's not what you eat, but what you digest that makes you strong'.

What is indispensable in the kitchen:

- I love my mini-blender. In less than a minute I can create delicious spreads, tapenades and dressings. I'm crazy about tapenades and dressings and all their variations. I come up with at least one recipe a week just using what is available in my kitchen.
- Another thing I love, apart from the various herbs, spices and home-made herb mixes that I have - at least 40 of them - is a good collection of delicious oils. I've got at least eight bottles of oil that I use for endless variations. That's not just because each oil can give a dish a specific flavour, it's also because every oil contains its own fatty acids that allow you to 'play around' while focussing on your health. If you have more than one bottle of oil open, always pour the oil into small bottles made of dark glass, otherwise they will take too long to finish and will oxidise.

To me, the most important thing for living a healthy lifestyle is:

Where possible, always try to eat sustainably. We are surrounded by so many substances that degrade the environment and that harm us that I want to impress this on everybody: you cannot always directly influence the things happening around you, but you can for what you eat. Bad fats, E numbers, refined foods, all those artificial fried and baked products, pesticides, the excess of glucose and fructose, and so on - you can easily avoid them by taking matters into your own hands when it comes to cooking.
When you cook you choose what to eat - it's up to you. And why wouldn't you, when sustainable food can be so delicious? Healthy food is of course not the only cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and exercise and relaxation are also essentials. Every day I see people who are disappointed in their bodies because they eat healthy but still suffer from problems. They forget that exercise, relaxation and living life to the full are just as important!

How I would describe my inner chef:

I'm not a professional chef and, when compared to professionals, my approach is very different. My approach is based on a physical or emotional imbalance that I see daily in my practice. And that's why I come up with recipes that aim to cure these complaints. This includes people suffering from obstipation, high cholesterol levels and blood pressure, depression, PMS, etc.
My recipes must always comply with a few guidelines: sustainable ingredients, healthy fats, enough protein, as little disruption to blood sugar levels as possible, sufficient fibre and antioxidants, and they must contain as much of the healing force of herbs and spices as I can get into them. And what is probably most important of all: they must be easy to prepare and taste delicious and real - in other words, they must be better than convenience foods.

Aside from cooking, I also love to:

Garden, walk, cycle and eat out with friends. That is why I think it is a great pity that the food served when I'm out often leaves me disappointed. Why isn't the emphasis on lots of vegetables, delicious dressings on the salads and tasty oils? I hit rock-bottom recently at a trendy restaurant in Utrecht, where we were served five sprouts for the six people at the table. When we asked for more vegetables, we received an annoyed response and finally received another six or so sprouts.

My favourite dish:

There are two: my absolute favourite dish is African pumpkin soup with its incredible coconut aroma (the recipe is in Book 2) and wholemeal pancake filled with avocado, mango, sunflower seeds and Happy Perilla (also in Book 2). You could almost wake me up in the middle of the night for that. For special occasions I often make: I'm crazy about tapas, especially with Indonesian herbs. I love to taste many different flavours that fit together but are also highly contrasting.

The Noble House product that has won a place in my heart and kitchen is:

That's another difficult question, because I use so many different Amanprana products. But if I really had to choose I'd go for the Happy Perilla, not just because of its delicious and subtle flavour but also because I love the way the fatty acids have been brought together. There are too many trans fats and omega 6 in our diets, which has caused hormonal and other issues among many people, and that is why I also recommend it to many of my patients.