Calling this a ratatouille might be a stretch, we know. And even though Wikipedia’s definition is forgivingly vague (“Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper and some combination of leafy green herbs”), I feel like maybe we should have just called it a winter stew?
Anyway, here it is – and it’s rather divine. Not particularly French, perhaps, but divine nonetheless. Soft cubes of butternut squash in a creamy tomato sauce, boosted with kidney beans, kale and warming spices. Served over a bed of chewy wheat berries, it’s one of those comforting dishes that this time of year asks for time upon time. We like to make a big batch on a Sunday evening and then rest assured that we have at least a few dinners prepared for the week right there. And as with most stews, this one only gets better after a day or two, when the flavors have really blended and the creaminess somehow multiplied.
One of our favorite soups all categories, and one we make sure to make often during the season of Swedish leeks. We like it blended as well as not, creamy as well as with a clear broth, and love to supplement a steaming bowl of it with a thick slice of homemade bread on the side.
When we had it most recently, we actually splurged and pulled out fall chanterelles from the freezer, and made mushroom toasts to go with. We both love how you can cook and enjoy food that feels like such a treat and makes such a beautiful scene at the dining table, yet keep costs and climate footprint so low. Potatoes, leeks, bread and foraged mushrooms – no obvious extravagance there – yet when you sit down to eat, you feel like the richest person in the world. That warms my heart endlessly.
In Sweden, we have one week off from school around late February, and this particular break is referred to as “Sports break”. Needless to say, it’s a break where everyone typically takes to the outdoors and goes skiing, ice skating etc.
My own sport breaks meant a loaded car, half a backpack full of tapes (my brother and I had a large collection to listen to during the ride) and everyone’s eyes set on a week up north. When finally there, we’d normally spend half the week downhill skiing and half the week cross-country skiing, and for breakfast, we were allowed to have as much store-bought, sweetened granola as we wanted. Dinners were wonderfully simple and widely popular among us kids – fish fingers and mashed potatoes, meatballs and pasta, and pancakes right, left and center. No prestige, no expectations. Instead, we popped into the local grocery store in colorful ski jackets and blushed cheeks every late afternoon to pick up whatever felt quick and easy after a full day outside.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Rostade rotfrukter med dill, vita bönor och grönkål
Ah, the simplicity of a one-dish meal. No piles of dishes to clean up, no chaos going on when too many pots are being used at the same time. Nah, cooking an entire meal in one dish in the oven is pure bliss, and this one here turned into something particularly pleasant. Filling potatoes, sweet carrots, heaping amounts of dill. A match made in heaven, really, if you ask us. With slices of semi-pickled red onions on top, this dish could almost be blamed for flirting with summer cuisine. But February it still is, yet look at the colorfulness of it all – isn’t it remarkable we can cook something this pretty in the midst of winter, only relying on what’s in season? (Well, the lemon juice is certainly from elsewhere, but that’s a detail small enough to look past, wouldn’t you agree?)
A couple of quick, simple pasta dishes up one’s sleeve and almost any weeknight can be saved. This might be the quickest and simplest one yet in our repertoire, and one of the yummiest at that.
Frozen green peas is a staple in our household, and primarily so during the colder half of the year. They’re grown in Sweden, cost practically nothing and can really boost any meal by bringing protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals to the game. To us, it’s the perfect thing to have a couple of bags of in the freezer.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Veganska blomkålstacos med majs
We’ve managed to grow our own corn this year! Wow. How we’ve been longing for fresher-than-freshest corn ever since we moved from America. You can definitely lay your hands on great corn here in Sweden too, but due to the fact that we live more than a stone’s throw away from the closest farmer’s market, we haven’t had any for two whole years. Corn season in New York is a wonderful time, and we have so many fond memories of eating ear after ear, dinner after dinner, during that precious late summer-early fall time.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Bruschetta med tomat, basilika och vita bönor
How do you like your bruschetta? Or, should we say: how do you like the bread-part of bruschetta? We’re on team “a little on the softer side, please”. We just don’t like it when the bread is so crispy it risks tearing the roof of my mouth up, if you know what I mean? Mike toasts the bread to (our version of) perfection here, leaving the center nice and chewy but edges crispy golden. Of course, you choose whatever level of crispiness you like!
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Spenatsallad med bönor och ingefärsvinägrett
One simply cannot have too many simple yet delicious summer-style salads up one’s sleeve, correct? This one here has become a go-to over the past few weeks, when our spinach supply has been ample and our desire to spend lots of time in the kitchen limited. Nutritious and colorful often go hand in hand – here thanks to freshly picked spinach, bright orange carrot ribbons, black beans and pumpkin seeds. A tasty dressing to top it all off and this summer side salad dish is ready to serve.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Veganska citron- och kokosrutor
This whole baking with beans-concept is definitely here to stay. Not that we typically search for reasons to justify eating sweets (we just eat them), but as the devoted legume lovers as we are… well, we need no persuasion. If we can get some of you on board as well, then even better! This recipe balances the line between lemon bar and lemon flavored blondie, and in all honesty, it doesn’t really know where it belongs. But that’s ok! It tastes delicious regardless, and packs some extra nutrients on top of that. We have some whole grain goodness from oats, besides the white beans obviously, which means you can count on these holding you over for a good while. A refreshing lemon flavor, perfect amount of sweetness and chewy consistency added to the mix and we can’t possibly ask for anything else (except another piece, that is). If you’re interested in more recipes for baked goods where beans are used, have a look at these Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies and Black Bean Brownies.
För recept på svenska, klicka här: Veganska blondies med jordnötssmör och mörk choklad
We just couldn’t help ourselves – after we got completely hooked on these Black Bean Brownies we made a few months back, we’ve been eager to experiment with white beans in baking. While brownies are delicious, so are blondies – and all the testing in the kitchen eventually paid off. These peanut butter-chocolate blondies are both decadent and filling, and also give you a nice little boost of nutrients – plus, the recipe comes together quickly and doesn’t require a long list of ingredients either. We can’t get enough of these and hope you’ll like them just as much as we do – and hey, we love hearing about the recipes you try from here so let us know what you’ve made (and hopefully liked)! If you’re on Instagram, using #liveslowrunfar is an easy way to share with us what you’ve been cooking up. Otherwise, the comment section is all yours. That’s all!