Monthly Archive February 10, 2021

ByIESA Shift

Winter activity: Shakshuka Recipe

In this cold weather, you want a meal that will keep you warm and contains enough energy to power you on your epic ice-skating trips or winter city walks! Shakshuka is a simple one pan dish which fulfills these requirements perfectly. There are a lot of different ways of making it, so don’t limit yourself to this recipe, you can add all the different veggies you like! For example zucchini, kale or carrot go very well with this dish. This version includes falafel to provide you with that extra bit of power. Although the eggs are one of the main features of any shakshuka the falafel allows for you to  take them out and make it a vegan dish. It is best served with some bread, couscous, or bulgur. 

Ingredients (2 people) 

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 gloves of garlic 
  • 200 gr falafel
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh  parsley 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 100 gr white feta cheese (optional)


Cut the onion, eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes and  feta into pieces. Heat a bit of olive oil in a big pan and fry the onion and bell pepper for a few minutes. Add the herbs (except for the parsley) with the eggplant and fry for a few more minutes. Then add the tomatoes, the tomato paste and maybe a cup of water. Leave this to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Use this time to fry the falafel and prepare the side dishes.  Then, break two eggs over the vegetable mixture, close the lid and let them cook for 5-6 minutes. Garnish with the fresh parsley and optionally the feta cheese.

ByIESA Shift

Random Acts of Kindness week! (February 14-20)


After Sinterklaas, Christmas and New Years it is now time for…. Valentine’s Day! Wait, wait, before you tell me all about how it is a commercial holiday (although I love that the chocolate is on sale the day after that) or that it is impossible to have a date during this crisis: it is also the start of a week I had no knowledge of before writing this piece, but is really important: Random Acts of Kindness Week!

While I was writing on the importance of love in all its forms: love for your partner, but also your family or the people around you, this week is all about that, and gives you a broader look on what Valentine’s day could be!

During this crisis, it’s even more important than ever, to look out for each other and help each other. And I think that’s where all these holidays are for: sometimes we are so stuck in our daily lives, that we forget the amazing things around us, and during these holidays, we can stop for a minute and appreciate what we have.

And, it’s for a good reason! Did you know that by helping others, you find happiness yourself? So, if you are a bit down due to the current situation (like most of us)… stop for a minute, and look around you. Is there someone who needs a hand?

We’re educated to think about the world around us, but sometimes we get so focused on that, that we forget to appreciate the little things around us. Therefore I would like to invite you to focus this week on different kinds of love, by doing random acts of kindness.

Some love for… the world

–        Pick up some litter

–        Help mapping for a good cause

–        Volunteer somewhere

–        Replace something in your house for a zero-waste alternative

Some love for… random people

–        Everyone takes some walks nowadays to refresh their minds. So if you are a bit sad, a smile of someone can do a lot! When you go for a walk, say hi and smile!

–        Start a conversation with a random person.

–        Leave a book in one of the many shared book points.

–        Write some happy note on the pavement with chalk, or paint a rock and hide it somewhere for a random person to be found!

Some love for… your family/friends/housemates

–        Bake something nice, and hand it out to them!

–        Just… listen. Ask them about their day and really listen to what they say.

–        Send a text message to a person you haven’t talked to in a while

–        Send a postcard to someone

–        Call your grandparents

–        Volunteer to do something for someone: baby sit, help studying, etc.

–        Give someone a compliment

Some love for… yourself

–        Stop and smell the roses: like literally: go for a walk, but enjoy the moment and look around you! Watch the sun reflecting on the water, or how birds are flying over you, and realize, spring is coming.

–        Meditate: you’ve got a lot of nice apps to start with this

–        Exercise: also a lot of apps, for which you will feel better even after 5 minutes.

–        Just buy that nice dessert you’ve been looking at for the past 10 minutes.

–        Take a spa day at home

–        Make a list of all the things you want to do, when we’re allowed to do so again.

–        Read a great book

–        Try something you’ve always wanted to do: that fancy recipe, paint something just for fun or start balcony garden.

You can find a lot of ideas at the Random Acts of Kindness Site.

Although we learned that everything on this planet is finite, there is one exception: “happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it” (Albert Schweitzer).

Do you have more ideas or did some of them? Send your story/picture to us, and we might show it in the next newsletter!

Picture: altered from a picture of: Foto door Lisa Fotios via Pexels.