Vegan “Fish” Tacos With Breaded Celery Root, Cabbage and Lime Sauce

Vegan fish tacos on a plate

You can’t ever go wrong with tacos. Mike was the one to come up with the idea for these particular ones, when he was reminiscing about fish tacos in California and at Rockaway Beach in New York.

The concept of the crispy batter encasing something really tasty in the middle, some well thought-out toppings, a soft tortilla bread… ah, it’s easy to drift off in your thoughts and get on with daydreaming about delicious food, right?

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Winter Bowl with Spelt, Chickpeas and Veggies

A bowl cooked Spelt, Chickpeas and Veggies on a wooden table

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Vinterbowl med dinkel, svartkål och morötter

To us, it’s still rather unclear what makes a bowl with food in it a bowl vs. just… well, a bowl with food in it, but what is indeed clear is that they’re kind of hip and make for beautiful Instagram pictures. The concept seems much like that of a deconstructed salad, but maybe that doesn’t sound as fancy? Either way, we figured it could be fun to make one using only local produce and skip the mango cubes and perfectly sliced avocado for more eco-friendly options – so we did!

Obviously, making a “bowl” doesn’t quite require a recipe. You basically just throw whatever you have at home in a bowl and eat it with a yummy sauce on top, but this is the formula that we find interesting and delicious at the same time. The Jerusalem artichokes could be whatever roasted root veggie you like, and feel free to replace the chickpeas with any legumes on hand. Whole spelt is a relatively new discovery for us – it’s a little chewier and nuttier than wheat berries, and makes for an excellent brown rice replacement. We can get locally grown, organic spelt at our grocery store and now consider it a new staple ingredient. Hope you’ll enjoy it as well!

Serves 4

3 dl uncooked whole spelt, soaked overnight in 6 1/2 dl water
1/2 tbsp bouillon powder (or 1/2 cube)
300 g Jerusalem artichokes
150 g dino kale
150 g red cabbage
3 medium carrots (~300 g)
4 1/2 dl cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 dl toasted pumpkin seeds
Canola oil, salt and black pepper

Pickled red onions (optional topping but absolutely delicious)

2 medium red onions (~200 g), cut in half and then thinly sliced
1 1/2 dl white wine or apple cider vinegar (or a mix of both)
1 1/2 dl water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 large garlic cloves, peeled

Sauce

2 dl sour cream, Greek yogurt or something of the like
1 1/2 dl fresh/frozen chopped parsley (~30 g)
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/3 tsp salt
1 very small (or 1/2) garlic clove
Lots of black pepper

  1. Pickled onions Start with the pickled onions by placing the thinly sliced onions in a glass jar (any airtight, food grade container will do, but we prefer glass because it doesn’t hold smell). Choose a container that you’ll more or less fill up over one where you’ll only fill up the bottom. For this, a 5 dl/pint size jar is appropriate. In a small saucepan, stir together water, vinegar(s), salt and sugar. Add in garlic cloves and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour the hot liquid into the jar, filling up so it covers the onions entirely. Screw on a lid and allow to cool before placing it in the fridge (energy saving measure – in the winter, we always put food items to cool outside before placing them in the fridge). 
  2. Spelt Continue by preparing the spelt. After it’s been soaking overnight, bring it to a boil (using the same water and without adding any) and then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer for approx. 1 hr. Add the bouillon when about 10 min remain. The spelt is done when soft yet chewy and no water remains in the pot. Stir and set aside.
  3. Then set the oven to 200°C. Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes clean (no need to peel) and quarter them. Place them in an oven dish (preferably parchment paper covered) and then toss with a splash of canola oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast for about 30 min (or until soft), tossing them halfway through. Set aside when done.
  4. Move on to the dino kale. First, de-stem. Then, discard only the thickest part of the stems, and finely chop the rest of them. Roughly chop the leaves. Then either leave everything as is, or give the leaves a light “massage” with your hands until they turn darker and a little glossy. Set aside.
  5. Chop/slice the red cabbage into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  6. With the help of a vegetable peeler, make ribbons out of the carrots. Whatever “core” is left, please snack away at 🙂
  7. Stir together chickpeas with the smallest drizzle of canola oil, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Set aside.
  8. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. If too thick to drizzle, mix in a tiny amount of water too thin. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  9. Time to assemble! Either arrange the components one by one so it looks all pretty, or mix everything together except the pumpkin seeds, pickled red onions and sauce. Once in a bowl, sprinkle over the seeds, scoop up some onions and then drizzle a generous amount of sauce across the top. Bon appetite!
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Vegan Pad Thai

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Vegansk pad thai

The comfort food of all comfort foods: Pad Thai. Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like it? I can’t recall ever having. Our version isn’t very unlike all the others – hey, then it wouldn’t be as good! – but it’s plant based and doesn’t require a bunch of unusual ingredients. Really only one, and that is (drum roll) tamarind paste. Now, most regular grocery stores won’t carry it, but almost all ethnic food stores will. Paying a visit to one is hugely recommended if you never have before – we LOVE browsing these shops and feel as if we were just transported to a different part of the world (however it really mostly feels like New York!). Our favorite store back in the big apple is by far Kalustyan’s on Lexington Ave, between 28th and 29th St. However, we recently discovered our closest little town has a newly opened ethnic food store and went to check it out last week. It was awesome, and we came away with a giant tub of the best looking tahini and – of course – tamarind paste. It’ll last forever and doesn’t cost a fortune, so it’s one of those “investments” we’ll actually encourage. Well, that is if you like Pad Thai and plan on making it at home, of course 🙂

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Grilled Cabbage with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

För recept på svenska, scrolla nedåt eller klicka här: Grillad vitkål med yoghurt- och myntasås

Although evenings are still chilly and nighttime temperatures still flirt with frost, it’s without a doubt summer is on its way. We’ve had a week of quite glorious weather, and just couldn’t help ourselves – we had to grill something. With summer vegetables few and far between (read: not available at all here where we live, in mid-May), our choice fell on our most loyal cooking companion: green cabbage. Some doubters might still exist out there, but trust us when we tell you that grilled cabbage is exquisite. The somewhat sharp flavor mellows perfectly as the wedges slowly char, but the consistency remains crispy and refreshing. Topped with a yogurt sauce loaded with fresh mint (of which we have plenty growing already!) and lemon juice, this recipe really showcases a bright, nutrient-packed and beautiful side dish (plus it’s cheap – and climate friendly).

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30 Minute Green Curry Stir Fry

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Grön currywok på 30 minuter

It should really be called “No Fuss Green Curry Stir Fry”, this one. Because once you’re done with the fairly quick prepping of the vegetables, all that is left is some stirring and seasoning. And cooking up a grain on the side, of course, because what would a curry be without a accompanying grain? We usually shy away from rice due to the environmental impact of the farming methods, and opt for alternatives such as wheat berries, pearled wheat or spelt berries instead (the latter is what we like to serve this curry with). Even though a bowl of white rice can be utmost delicious, why not switch up at least now and then, and do both body and planet a service?

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Loaded Veggie Tacos

För recept på svenska, scrolla nedåt eller klicka här: Gröna supertacos

When I moved to New York, I learned a whole lot about tacos right from the start. The shredded lettuce, canned corn kernels and chopped tomato add ins of my childhood were all of a sudden nowhere to be seen – instead, the most elaborate combinations were served up and a food concept I had felt sort of “meh” about for a while became a new favorite. I recall this one conversation I had with Mike early on, where I sort of “explained” to him that in Sweden, we approach tacos in a much different way. I went on and on about the standard concept of ground beef, the aforementioned vegetables, the taco sauce or salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese – only to have Mike tell me afterwards that that’s how tacos are normally eaten in America too. Little did I know, back then, that I’d only been taken to these contemporary, trendy Mexican food places, where pickled red onions, thinly sliced radishes and habanero relish had just recently risen to the sky as the “new black” of taco toppings.

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Roasted Red Cabbage

This recipe will (humbly) serve as the first one in our little ‘stay local’ challenge we hope you’ll join us in throughout the month of February. This time of the year – here in the north – it’s easy to think produce options are few and far between and that one simply HAS to rely on imported vegetables to survive. While we always eat this way, we wanted to draw some extra attention to the plethora of storage friendly, amazing veggies we actually do get to choose from this cold, snowy time of the year, and really try to inspire all of you to… well, ‘stay local’. So join in, and opt for sustainable vegetable super heroes the coming month – and leave the asparagus, avocados and snap peas from afar be for bit. Instead, cook with potatoes, parsnips, beets, sunchokes, carrots, rutabaga, celery root, cabbage, kale, onions, kohlrabi, daikon, salsify, winter squash… the list is so long!

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