Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Cooking without using mixes

This week there is a movement going on in the Netherlands about cooking without store bought mixes. This is started by Koken met Karin. She also has a cookbook on the subject. Why would you want to cook without using those store bought mixes? Well they often contain much more salt than is good for you. And then there are all kinds of other unhealthy things they slip in there. So it is worth to make the extra effort to make certain things yourself. A lot of people think that it is much more time consuming to cook yourself, but this is not always the case. Today I share with you an easy and fresh cucumber dipping sauce that you can eat with all kinds of snacks. I served it with samosas, for example.

The Black Pete is a part of Sinterklaas, a tradition in Dutch culture.
He is juggling some pre-bought mixes here. 

Cucumber Dipping Sauce
- 125ml yoghurt
- 1/4 cucumber, grated
- 1tsp ginger, grated
- some pepper and salt to taste
- juice of half a lime
- pinch of cumin

To make this very tasty dipping sauce, just mix all these ingredients together. That's it! It is just as easy as whipping up mix from a bag with some yoghurt :) I served them with Samosas I made but it will also taste great with these Spanakopita Triangles

To help you further on the way, I will link to some relevant recipes I posted earlier:
Creamy Mushroom Soup
Homemade Peanut Sauce
Quick Tomato Sauce

This post is part of Weekend Cooking. Please make sure that you check out the other participants! (Please note that I don't have a working internet connection at home atm. I will try to see if I can visit the blogs from my phone, but I probably won't be able to comment. I will also try to link back when the Weekend Cooking Post is up! But I am borrowing a very slow network from the neighbours now, so sadly I can't make any promises. But because of the occasion, I really wanted to blog this!)


  1. What a great idea! Mmm, haven't made those spinach triangles in a while, a cooling cucumber-yoghurt dip sounds like a great companion! I love how Karin focuses on cooking without storebought mixes: food tastes better (and is usually cheaper and healthier) when the dishes are made from scratch! :D

  2. I am trying to move away from packet mixes myself. I basically don't even look at them in the store anymore.

  3. well, while I not totally against using a mix now and then, they do tend to contain some strange chemicals and way too much salt and sugar.

  4. I try to avoid mixes as much as possible but I do buy curry pastes and some other sauces. Not only is it less expensive to make your own but you avoid all the chemicals.

  5. @ beth: It find it the case that some mixes are worse than others. I do love to buy pataks curry out of a jar, but if you look at the ingredient list, there is nothing weird in there. So if I happen to buy a mix, I always read the labels. I make most things myself these days :)

    @Caite: You did use a key word here: Now and then :) I find that a lot of people are relying on mixes daily and that isn't very good for your health. But I too think there is nothing wrong with using one now and then :)

  6. Sounds yummy, I love dips like this one!

  7. Way too many chemicals for my taste. It doesn't take all that much longer to make your own. Your dipping sauce sounds tasty! Have a good week.

  8. Great post! I'm trying to think more about eating "real," unprocessed foods, so this post is perfect!

  9. I agree with you about mixes. Some the main ingredient is salt. This recipe is so easy to make. I will have to try it. Thanks.

  10. Agree about the mixes! This looks easy and so good, love the flavors in your dip!

  11. I cook without mixes whenever possible. It's so much more fun, and it can save money in the long run.

    I love cucumber-yogurt dips, so I'll have to give this one a try.

  12. I love this movement. Way back when I became pregnant with my first child, I began to be much more aware and consequently critical of the food I ate and prepared for my husband and myself. I buy organic when I can, avoid processed and packaged foods and mixes, and generally try to make everything from scratch from as close to "whole foods" as possible when I can. I am by no means absolutely strict about this, but I know I am doing the right thing to do what I can to make sure my family eats healthfully.

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  13. From scratch and natural is the way to go. I agree it is just as easy to cook from scratch. thanks for this great little recipe!