Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2017

Ribbon Salad

This is the fresh, delicious salad I put together to counter the breaded-with-Cheetos chicken strips & cheese curds fry night on Christmas vacation. I think it lends itself easily to substitutions and/or leaving something out. One version had spinach in it. I made this combination after looking at a few different ribbon salads. The avocado and chèvre cheese add a nice creaminess that we all liked.

Ribbons are made by using a vegetable peeler length wise on the vegetable.

Put these prepared into a large bowl:
2 zucchini, ribbons
1 carrot, ribbons
1/2 - 1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, small cubed
1/4-1/2 c corn kernels, frozen-thawed
1/2 cucumber, ribbons
1/2 c golden raisins
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4-1/2 c chèvre cheese, crumbled

Mix dressing thoroughly and drizzle over salad:
1/4 c olive oil
3 t lemon juice
1-2 t minced garlic
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped fine
2 t honey
salt & pepper

Refrigerate or let sit for about 30 minutes to let the vegetables absorb the dressing.

Spinatsuppe - Spinach soup

I am removing the recipes from my other blog so all the food will be in one place and easier for you and me to find...

This is a traditional Scandinavian soup for a light dinner or a warm veggie side for this 'getting chilly' time of year. It's like a 'Swedish Miso' since you can add more to it to make it hearty or leave it light just spinach & broth instead of seaweed & soy.

Bring to a boil…
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
add 5-12 oz fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
Blanch spinach for 3-4 minutes then remove spinach with slotted spoon into a sieve.
Press spinach in sieve to remove as much liquid as possible, with the liquid draining back into the stock.  Chop the spinach more finely.
Pour remaining stock out of saucepan temporarily into a heat proof container
Melt 2 T unsalted butter in empty, hot saucepan
then stir in 2 T flour to make a roux.
Pour stock slowly back into saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously until all stock is incorporate…

Sillsallad - "Don't let the title scare you" Herring Salad

I love that in Sweden root vegetables are called rötfrukter, literally "root fruits" since nutritional speaking, this is truth.The liberal use of them in Scandinavia prompted me to experiment and I like more of them than I ever had believed I would. Once again, how you cook things makes all the difference!

Here is a recipe that changed my mind about BEETS ...and herring for that matter. Every classic Scandinavian food cookbook I have looked at has a version of this recipe. It is really a terrific potato/beet salad. Easily made ahead, transportable and a side or a complete meal on a warm summer day. Friends who think they are not going to like it are surprised that they do... and then they go get a second serving.

I thought I had posted this a long time ago. But I couldn't find it here so even though summer is over, I had to post it while I was thinking about it.

SILLSALLAD - Beet, Potato & Herring salad with a mustard sour cream sauce

Mix together:
1 cup herring, finely c…

Better Baked Lentils with eggplant

My legume experiments continue...
The original Australian recipe that inspired this one left out a few steps and also called for 2 hours of baking the eggplant... "ain't nobody got no time for that!"
Plus, it also required ingredients that I just can't get here in the states.
And you will still have to go to the store ahead of time for this meal.
It was so intriguing that I carried on and here is my version.
The eggplant (which I usually do not like) was so soft it was a nice contrast to the other ingredients that are an explosion of different flavors. I don't think I have ever eaten something so unique.
Dad wants to eat it once a month, he liked it so much. I would have never guessed!
E heard the word 'lentil' and his taste buds shut down. He still ate it. I am determined to find a legume he can be happy about if not excited for.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In 3 cups of water, boil
1/2 c dry lentils
for about 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
(I think…

Naan Salad 'Sandwich'

As you know, I have been experimenting with different legumes. I made dahl tonight and wanted to pair it with a good contrast. (when I find my favorite recipe for that, I will share.)
I found a fig salad that sounded intriguing but... I didn't have any figs (surprise- not!) But I did remember I had fig jam in the cupboard. So, this is what I came up with and we all loved it.

I am not going to put amounts because it's just an assembly.
Make one per person.

Layer a slice of Naan bread with a thin layer of fig jam
Then put a few torn pieces of goat cheese on top.
Layer some mixed baby greens on top of the cheese.
and drizzle with olive oil and Basalmic vinegar
Then lightly sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

*Dad added chicken to it the next day and said it was delicious so I guess it works as an entree too.

We ate it with dahl and grapes.
I folded mine in half and ate it like a sandwich.
It was delicious!
I am definitely making these again, so fast, so easy and a nice accompanime…

Dansk kartoffelsalat - Danish potato salad

Backstory is that B wanted to try some radishes so we had them in the fridge. When I saw a 1974 version of this classic salad that used radishes, I let it inspire me.
I especially appreciated that there was very little mayo and the herb infused vinegar give the potatoes a fresh, tangy taste.

Boil in salted water, until soft
1 lb new red potatoes cubed or l large red potato cubed (it's ok if it a bit more than 1 pound)
 Drain and immediately combine with dressing, the hot potatoes soaks up the flavor better.
 - see dressing instruction below

Meanwhile, make 2 just hard boiled eggs and chill them in ice water.

Separately combine and let sit about 10  minutes
1 t garlic, minced or crushed
2 T canola oil
In another bowl, combine
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1/2 t dill
1/2 t tarragon
1/2 t parsley
Add to garlic oil to make dressing,
Pour this dressing over the hot potatoes and chill immediately.

While the potatoes are chilling, prepare
3 large radishes, sliced thinly


European BBQ potato dinner

An interesting twist on sauce- we thought it tasted somewhere between orange chicken sauce and a tomato based BBQ sauce. I changed up the recipe into a quick dinner or side dish. You can add meat or not.
Make the sauce while you are cooking the potatoes.

In a hot skillet, fry
1 Tb butter
3 red potatoes, cut into thin slices
1/2 red onion, chopped
when the potatoes start to soften, push to one side and brown over med-hi heat
1/4-1/2 lb thinly sliced pork loin or chicken pieces
When the down side is brown (about 3 minutes),
sprinkle with salt and pepper then turn over and
sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
when browned on all sides, stir together into the potatoes and onions. Add
1 Tb dried or fresh rosemary, smashed in a mortar
Cover, reduce heat, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are done to your liking, I seasoned it with salt and pepper again.
I found the sauce to heavy and almost sweet so instead of adding it to the whole dish, I served it on the side as a condiment. You decide…

Norge Tacos

Yes, they called them tacos. I adapted this recipe to my ingredients, keeping the spices nearly the same. The flat bread you serve them on is up to you unless you want to quickly make some tunnebröd - but then they might be Swedish tacos!
It is a bit time consuming so I would recommend cooking the meat up the day before.
It was delicious even if it is nothing like anything we call tacos here in the western US.

Brown over med-hi heat
1/2 Tb butter, just to coat the bottom of the pan
1 lb pork belly, cut into small strips or cubes
(you may need to do it in two parts if you do not have a wide, flat bottomed pan)
When there is no longer any pink, add
1 onion, chopped
1 t cumin, ground
1 t allspice, ground
1 t cloves, ground
Stir together and reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook 1-1/2 hours or so, stirring regularly.
When all the pork is crispy, add
1 Tb red wine vinegar
1 Tb honey
generous sprinkling of truffle salt
about 10 grinds of fresh pepper
Combine well and set aside.


Nordic Barley 'Risotto'

I found some barley in the cupboard... haha I know I bought it in the bulk section but I couldn't remember why. So I searched around for something to make and found this take on risotto using barley instead of arborio rice. Dad loved it and took it for lunch the next day apologizing that he didn't leave any left for the rest of us. Honestly, B & E didn't mind. I thought it was quite tasty and it was definitely nutritious.

1 beet (red or golden), I use peeled, cooked beets from Costco to save time sometimes.

2 T butter
1/2 onion, chopped
When onion is glistening, add
1 c barley
1 parsnip, chopped
1 beet, cooked & chopped (from above or precooked)
allow everything to toast, slightly,
then add 1 c at a time,
3 c warmed chicken broth
wait to add each additional cup until the barley has soaked up the existing broth
When the barley is al dente, you can add cooked chicken if desired.
Finish off with a pat of butter, combining well so it is all thick and creamy.

Pumpkin Coconut Meatball Soup

I was looking for something to do with those vegetable balls we bought from IKEA that seem a bit dry by themselves. I found a meatball soup in Scandinavian cooking and thought, hmmm, this could work. So this is my adaptation for a tasty, veggie-rich meal. Of course, one could just use regular meatballs which likely add more flavoring. I was in the mood for a simple meal but I suggest experimenting with some different herbs and spices if you use the veggie balls.

Sauté in a bit of oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 parsnip, cubed
1 large granny smith apple, chopped
When they have softened, add
1 t garlic, minced
Stir well then add
1 15 oz can pumpkin purée
1 14 oz can coconut milk
a splash of lemon juice
Combine well and add
10-12 small meatballs (or IKEA veggie balls)
when the soup begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes Covered.
If the soup is too thick, add a cup of water or so, as needed.
Season generously with salt and pepper
Serve with torn pieces of chevre on top.

Stuffed Red Peppers

We had too many colored bell peppers so I searched around for something new to do with them. I found some recipes that stuffed them like green bell peppers (marinara, meat, cheese...) but I wanted something different so as usual, I mashed some ideas together. This is what I ended up with.  It's hard to write down a recipe that is not really measured, so much depends on the size of the peppers...but I have done my best with the ballpark amounts.

Slice 2 peppers (any color, I would just never use green) from stem to bottom and remove seeds
Place peppers face up in 1 cm of water in a covered microwave/oven safe dish, cook for five minutes.

1/2 large onion, chopped
1 Tb unsalted butter
1 Tb olive oil
1 t garlic, minced
until softened, then add
1/2 c cooked pumpkin, cubed or mashed ( I think any squash would work)
(if you don't have cooked, just steam some before adding to the pan)
salt and pepper to your taste and remove from heat.
Mix in about 1/2 c of cottage cheese
Next, scoop …


We tried a new Udon cafe in town.  It was good.  Yes, faint praise.  It was fine.  So Dad came home and read up on it.  Morimoto's recipe was FANTASTIC.  I simplified it and added some variety.  This is a quick version that is just right for 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry you are.  We ate it with a fresh sushi roll and some seaweed salad one night.  The next time, we just chowed down on a big bowl with some sushi ginger and a mochi or two as dessert.
You will likely need to go to an Asian market (or order online) for some of the ingredients.
But if not, Usukuchi is recommended since it is a soy sauce with more intense flavor and a lot more salt, but I think if you use regular soy sauce and add salt, you may still get the depth of flavor in the broth you need.
Bonito soup stock is basically fish bouillon so you might find it at the local store.  It may come in cubes instead of powder.  Don't worry, it smells like fish when you open the jar but the Udon doesn't have a…

Mexetti Squash

So I wanted to use the spaghetti squash but I wasn't in the mood for the usual Italian meatball pseudo-spaghetti. I also wanted something just as quick and easy so I browsed around on the internet and got an idea to use Mexican flavors. Here is what I served everyone tonight so we can remember it. There are no real measurements since every squash is a different size.

Cut a spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds.
In a microwaveable dish, place one half skin side down so it can be filled with:

cooked, cut up chicken
diced Hatch chiles
zucchini, chopped finely
red bell pepper, chopped finely
onion, chopped finely OR onion powder sprinkled on top

Sprinkle it all with a little salt, pepper and cumin
and shredded Jack, Manchego or other cheese
Pour some enchilada sauce over it all.
Add some heat with salsa, chile powder or whatever you like or not.
Cover and cook-
I microwaved a large half for about 15 minutes
The smaller half only took 10 minutes.

I served it with oranges.  It was ju…

Rainy day Farro with chicken

This tasted really good on this cold and rainy March evening.  I still had Farro (an Italian wheat cousin with more nutrition than brown rice) in the cupboard so I searched around for farro recipes and came up with this version. Your dad wants to eat it again (and me, too) so here it goes down on record.  I didn't really measure the ingredients so I will do my best to come up with good estimates.

Sprinkle generously
1/2 - 1lb cooked chicken in large chunks (off a rotisserie chicken works well)
with oregano, salt and pepper
and drizzle about 1 Tb apple cider vinegar & ! Tb canola oil over it & set aside.
I think warming it a bit will help the flavor soak in the chicken but it isn't necessary.

1 large colored bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 med onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
until glossy and softened
Add in
1 1/2 c uncooked Farro, rinsed
2 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 t cumin powder
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
drizzle some of the oil, too.
and the chicken from abov…