Oct
24
2011
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Rose hip in stews

What can you make with rose hip other than rose hip soup?

As I was picking the fruit of the thorny rose hip this autumn out on my island I kept wondering whether there was anything else simple – other than the usual rose hip soup – I could do with these fantastic vitamin-C rich fruits of the season. There are so many excellent flavor and health benefits of rose hip that it had to be possible to find other uses for them.

While preparing the spicy red cabbage stew (see Paavo’s Danish or Swedish red Christmas cabbage) we were going to enjoy as a vegetable dish with the season’s local lamb and boiled potatoes, it occurred to me that I might try throwing in a few rose hips and see what new flavor experiences might await. Removing the top and and many seeds can be a little bit of a challenge, but if you have some good music or your favorite radio program on in the kitchen, it is just a pleasure.

I am happy to report that the flavor addition was outstanding. After this experience, I can heartily recommend that you use rose hip in any one of a number of your autumn stews (vegetarian or not), which you would like to add a tangy flavor element to. Add the rose hip in the last 20 minutes or so of cooking. Simmer gently!

 

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.
Oct
22
2008
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The Rotten Cookbook for Good Health

Yummy Vegetables!

Tummy Trim Vegetables!

Oh dear. “What is she thinking now?”, you might wonder. Isn’t a title like “The Rotten Cookbook for Good Health” just naturalness gone too far? No, not really although I do agree that a book with that title might not make the bestseller lists.

This was just my crazy little way of calling your attention to the value of controlled fermentation in the kitchen for good health. Cultivating good bacteria in order to mature foods in ways that are good for our stomachs and that appeal to our palates is a very old art used in many parts of the world, including in the Nordic region. Lactic fermentation of root vegetables and cabbages is one good example. This technique was originally a means of preserving the vital nutrients that these vegetables could provide until the next warm season could deliver new nutrients. What is lactic fermentation? It means using the watery liquid (the whey) that is left when you drain out the creamy part of yogurt or other forms of ‘live’ dairy product. What is a ‘live’ dairy product? It is one that contains live bacteria good for maintaining your digestive flora (check the labels!).

When I thought of “The Rotten Cookbook for Good Health”, I thought of a whole host of foods that would fit in. All kinds of interesting combinations of tasty vegetables that could be fermented and bottled, wonderful sourdough breads, home-made yogurts and more. The idea just gets bigger all the time!

Now let’s get down to practicals. During the past days, I have made classic Nordic fermented root vegetables. A serving of this a day is guaranteed to keep your digestion in good form! Here is the basic recipe:

Tummy Trim Vegetables
(makes 3 liters or 3 quarts)

2 kg or 4.4 lbs root vegetables and cabbages of your choice (I used white cabbage, swede, carrots and turnip) roughly chopped
1 liter or 1 quart yogurt or buttermilk (filmjölk in Swedish) drained through a cheesecloth overnight
Salt
Water

Place the chopped vegetables into a large clean glass or ceramic container that can be sealed. Pour over the whey (the milky liquid) that has been separated from the cream. Mix the vegetables into this liquid and place a heavy weight on them (I use my limestone rock paper-weight) so that they are compressed and just covered with the liquid. Seal and leave to ferment in a warm place in the house for 12 hours. Open and add salt water if the vegetables are not covered in liquid. The recipe for salt water is 3 tsps to one liter or quart of water. Place the weight on the vegetables again and seal. Leave in the same place to ferment for 3 days this time. After this time you can bottle the vegetables and liquid as you like and refrigerate or keep in a cool place. In contrast to most foods, these just improve with time! Consume as a side dish with almost anything. For extra seasoning, add in paprikas, onions and your favorite herbs such as rosemary or dill on the first day of fermentation. This makes a mean “rotten” side salad!

Visit The Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook for a further selection of great recipes!

Oct
09
2008
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Scraping the Cabbage Bowl

Lovely White Cabbage

Lovely White Cabbage

Last night over dinner I thought I was hallucinating as I watched my 10-year-old son scraping the bottom of the empty cabbage salad bowl. “Mmmm….that was really good Mamma. Is there any more?” My jaw dropped as my daughter added in a complaint that everyone else had hogged the cabbage salad and she’d barely got any.

Cabbage isn’t exactly the thing that you expect your 10-year-olds to crave more of. In fact, it isn’t the sort of thing that most people crave more of. However, it is one of those things that all of us should be eating a lot more of. Healthwise, its benefits are second to none, particularly when eaten raw.

So, are you going to get your family to devour not only cabbage, but raw cabbage? Let’s take this one step back: how are you going to get yourself enthusiastic about it? Here is a recipe that won’t fail to stir the enthusiasm when served as a side dish or as a base filling in tacos, pita bread or wraps. It is VERY quick to make, VERY simple, VERY inexpensive, VERY good and VERY healthy. You cannot get more VERY!

Tangy White Cabbage Salad

1/4 large white cabbage, core cut away and chopped into small bite-sized pieces
1 dl or 1/2 cup olive oil or canola oil (rapeseed oil)
3 tbsps apple cider vinegar
2 tbsps water
2 tbsps light mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper

Prepare the cabbage. Mix together the remaining ingredients into a smooth dressing with a manual beater. pour over the cabbage and toss. Done!

For more great cabbage recipes visit The Nordic Wellbeing Cookbook!

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