Jan
17
2009
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Not done with cabbage yet!

More Cabbage!

More Cabbage!

Just when you thought that I couldn’t possibly come up with another cabbage recipe, here it is! This isn’t just any old cabbage recipe, it must be my absolute favorite and fits well with so many savoury dishes. Since you know all about the fantastic health benefits of eating raw cabbage (mainly heart and cancer protection), I know I don’t have to convince you. Dill, by the way, was once used a means of getting small children to sleep better – it might work on you too!. Here it is:

 

Dill White Cabbage Salad

1/4 head of white cabbage, center cut away and chopped into small, bite-size slivers
fresh dill, a handful chopped finely
1 dl or 1/3 cup olive or canola oil
4 tbsps apple vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste 

Place the cabbage in a large salad bowl. In a small mixing bowl, blend the liquid ingredients and dill with a manual beater. Pour over the cabbage. Add salt and pepper. Toss, taste, add more salt and pepper if needed.

 Serve as a healthful and delicious side dish.
Jan
17
2009
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Hot Blueberry Crumble

Dalarna Blueberries

Dalarna Blueberries

I love the very cold spells that we still have down in Stockholm (despite the grape-growing climate that the warming of the planet seems to promise us). It gives the lake ice a chance to become thick enough for us to skate on so that we can explore the islands of Lake Mälaren the way that people used to do in the winter. Our bay is an enormous ice skating rink at the moment and you don’t have to wonder what we will be doing with our Saturday morning!

Don’t go unprepared! Pack some Maple Roasted Nuts and hot chocolate as a snack. Whatever you pack, do expect everyone to be starving and ready to eat your right arm when you get home. The cold has a habit of making us feel truly hungry (a good thing). In this situation, I usually have ready some Chicken Soup for the Cold with a nice dill white cabbage salad (see the next entry!) on the side.

The crowning glory of the day, however, will be this dessert recipe for Hot Blueberry Crumble which everyone will lap up with a warm cup of coffee or tea. Don’t expect there to be any leftovers. If you didn’t know it already blueberries are a superfood packed with antioxidants (cancer shield) and good for eye health. As always, and hard as it may be with something so delicious, eat in moderation since this dish doesn’t just consist of blueberries!

Hot Blueberry Crumble

500 g or 1.1 lbs frozen blueberries
2 tbsps potato or corn starch
1 tsp vanilla sugar
4 tbsps sugar
rind of one lemon which has been rinsed and dried
100 g or 3.5 oz. butter
3 dl 1 1/3 cups oats
1 dl or 1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 dl or 1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 200 C or 390 F. Grease a medium-sized casserole dish. Blend the blueberries, starch, vanilla sugar, sugar and lemon rind in a bowl and pour into the casserole dish. Wipe out the bowl and combine remaining dry ingredients in it. Add the butter in chunks and rub it into the dry ingredients so that a crumble forms. If it is too dry take a little more butter. Scatter the crumble evenly on top of the blueberries. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a spoon of Turkish yogurt.

Remember to visit the Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook which is a continually growing directory of recipes for your good health this 2009!

Jan
03
2009
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Light-on-the-Butter Salmon Casserole

Hello Mr. Salmon

Hello Mr. Salmon

Laxpudding or Salmon Casserole is one of those absolute staples of the Swedish kitchen. If you don’t eat it once a week, things aren’t really ‘kosher’.This thinking heralds from a time when salmon was at one point in Swedish history the staple food of the peasantry. The servants ate it on most days.

One of my problems with Laxpudding is that it can become rather buttery and can feel heavy. That adoration of melting butter over everything might also be a little hangover from peasant culture where it was a luxurious food item to be eaten sparingly.

Here is my best shot at Laxpudding, maintaining its traditional ingredients, but lightening it up a bit and keeping an eye on the butter.

Laxpudding or Salmon Casserole

300 g or  11 oz. gravad lax or dill-cured salmon, sliced into strips
1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
10 medium cooked potatoes, thinly sliced
1 dl 1/2 cup chopped dill
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps butter or margarine
2 dl or 3/4 cup light creme fraiche
3.5 dl or 1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
salt and white pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200 C or 390 F. Gently saute the onion and zucchini in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Layer the potatoes, zucchini, onion, salmon and dill in a greased casserole dish, starting and finishing with a layer of potato. Blend the creme fraiche with a small quantity of the milk and then gradually add in all of the milk. Add eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until even and pour over the mixture in the casserole dish. Dot with butter or margarine. Bake for 45 minutes or until fully set. Serve with a green salad.

Just a little added note concerning new books out on Husmanskost (the food of the common man). If you read Swedish, I can very warmly recommend ICA’s new book Hela Sverige’s Husman (ICA AB, 2008) which is packed full of the best recipes for traditional Swedish food that I have tried so far (and that is a lot!). Why? Because it truly gathers together the best recipes of the common people FROM everyday people! If you do not read Swedish stick to our Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook and you’ll find a treasure trove of new and old Nordic cuisine for your good health there!

Jan
03
2009
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Yellow Pea Soup

Peas, like the other pulses and grains of Scandinavia are great heart food!

Peas, like the other pulses and grains of Scandinavia are great heart food!

If you’re feeling a little overloaded after all of the festivities, you’ll want to take it a little easy on the food front. However, latest research supports what we have always known: crash dieting isn’t the answer! Particularly during this sneezy time of year, you expose yourself to flu by reducing your intake of nutritious foods.

What you need at this time of year is pea soup. Sounds terrible, but if you make it from scratch, it is everything but terrible. Garnished with a few slivers of left-over smoked salmon or (dare we say it) that Christmas ham, it is a true January delight that will be your guardian against nasty colds.

While pea soup seems like it takes a long time to prepare, the reality is that the actual time spent working in the kitchen is very short. You just need to plan a bit for soaking overnight and allowing the soup to cook. Here’s how with a few modifications to the traditional recipe.

Yellow Pea Soup

5 dl or a little over 2 cups of dried yellow peas
2.5 dl or 1 cup water or as much as is needed for the yellow peas to be completely soaked
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsps olive oil
1.5 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tbsps chopped fresh thyme or marjoram
Pinch of sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

For garnishing:
Smoked salmon or cooked ham cut into slivers
Extra fresh marjoram

Rinse the peas and allow them to soak in water overnight. If the peas look dry in the morning, add a little more water so that there is something to cook them in (the peas should still be covered in water). Remove any of the husks that have floated up to the top of the water. Saute chopped onion in olive oil in a cooking pot. Add cloves, chopped marjoram and 2 cloves crushed garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Pour in the soaked beans and water, and add stock cubes. Stir. Allow the soup to simmer, reduce to low heat and cover. Allow peas to cook for approximately two hours. Check after an hour to make sure that the peas are not sticking to the bottom of the cooking pan. If so, add a bit of water. Once the peas are soft, add a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra marjoram and slivers of smoked salmon or ham. Serve with wholemeal bread.

Jan
03
2009
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Gröt Glorious Gröt!

The Glorious Filling Grains & Pulses of the Nordic Kitchen

The Glorious Filling Grains & Pulses of the Nordic Kitchen

Gröt or porridge doesn’t seem like the sexiest of dishes but things aren’t always what they seem. Porridge in all of its most innovative and traditional forms is being served up as fine cuisine in some of the most fashionable restaurants in Scandinavia. Why? It’s healthy, fresh and delicious.

My own porridge recipe is as simple as it is delicious. Enjoy with some fresh berries, nuts or raisins strewn on top:

Julie’s Porridge for a Happy Morning or a Satifying Evening

4 dl or 1 3/4 cups oatmeal
8 dl or 3 cups milk
3-4 tablespoons honey

Warm all ingredients in a pot, stirring slowly over medium heat with a wooden spoon. Once thickened, and just beginning to simmer, remove from heat. Lap up and enjoy the warmth surging through your body! You can use water or milk substitutes as an alternative to milk if you are allergic.

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