Do you have dishes you just whipped up randomly one day that then became staples of your cooking repertoire? We have a few, and most of them are results of wanting to finish off a bunch of opened containers of various things in the fridge.
Creamy lentils, as we call them, would fit perfectly into that category. Lack of time and inspiration to cook often make us reach for lentils, as these need no soaking and are quick to prepare. Add to that some leftover creme fraiche asking to be taken care of and some staple flavorings, and this dish had come about. Lentils are typically used in “wet” contexts – either soups, stews or sauces – and can’t really be enjoyed by themselves. Beans are a little more versatile in that sense. But this way, when you make it a creamy concoction, the lentil part of the plate is really quite yummy and doesn’t feel one bit dry or boring. No necessary evil vibes whatsoever.
Can you even make a galette with carrots? Of course you can! Carrots make up one of our primary vegetable staples during the colder half of the year, and we turn to them almost daily for different applications.
We developed this recipe for our Easter Buffet, in hopes it would inspire to choose the in season produce over for example asparagus. Because the truth is, we’re still some weeks away from when the (locally grown) spring produce starts to arrive, and we better do Mother Earth the favor of staying away from veggies flown in from the other side of the world.
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?)
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!
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
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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chop/slice the red cabbage into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- With the help of a vegetable peeler, make ribbons out of the carrots. Whatever “core” is left, please snack away at 🙂
- Stir together chickpeas with the smallest drizzle of canola oil, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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!
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 🙂
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 mellanmålsmuffins med morot och äpple
Muffins! Muffins galore! It’s certainly hard to find a more convenient and to go-friendly sweet treat, as well as one where flavor combinations are more abundant. This will most likely be our last muffin batch that has a fall/winter feel to them for this season, so bear with us – it’ll be all berries and fresh fruit in no time, but for now, just a little more of that warming cinnamon smell and crunchy nuts, ok? These are on the more nutritious and hearty side of the spectrum, with whole grain flours, grated carrots and a fairly anonymous amount of sugar, making them the perfect snack any time, any day of the week. They’ll last for months in the freezer and defrost quickly, no need to hold back on the batch size here. Oh, and they’re entirely plant-based, but that you’ll see as soon as you read the ingredient list. Hope you’ll like these as much as we do!
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?
För recept på svenska, scrolla nedåt eller klicka här: Snabblagad bönsallad med crunch
In all honesty, this wasn’t meant to become a share-worthy recipe. We were making dinner a few weeks ago, and the scene was really a whole mishmash of leftovers, summer veggies pulled from the freezer and some potatoes from the pantry. We were lacking sufficient protein, so I decided to whip up a side salad with beans as the main ingredient, while Mike was managing the rest of the pots and pans. The outcome exceeded our expectations, reminded us of a dish we used to cook often back in New York, and left us if not hungry for more that day, as least interested in making it again. So we did. And then a third time. And after that, we deemed it recipe-worthy, so… here it is.