Monday, February 28, 2011

Recipe week! Vegan Skagen Mix

Skagen mix is a sticky mess named after the northernmost town in Denmark. Confusing enough, it's not a Danish invention but a Swedish one. It was created in the 50's by Tore Wretman, a famous Swedish chef who is otherwise mainly famous for making traditional food hip again. He's also supposed to have been the one to introduce the avocado to this northern country, and that itself is worth a golden star in my book. However, the Skagen mix is now everywhere. In it's original form, it consists of shrimps, mayonnaise and dill, and with possible add-ins such as fish, lemon and onion. As hopelessly based on animals as it might seem at first, it's very easy to make vegan with just a few changes.

Vegan Skagen mix

1/2 onion (preferably red, but yellow is also fine) chopped finely
500 g/1/2 pound firm tofu, crumbled
105 ml/7 tbs vegan mayonnaise
1 tbs soymilk
1 tbs lemon juice
1 1/4 tsp dríed dill
1/4 tsp salt
a dash of finely ground black pepper

Mix everything. Eat.

Serving suggestion:
- Toast Skagen. Probably one of the most common appetizers in Sweden. Toast a slice of white bread and top it with a generous amount of Skagen mix and garnish with a slice of lemon.
- Baked potato. Use it as a filling.
- Avocado appetizer. Slice the avocado in half, take away the seed and fill up the hole with Skagen mix.

Oh, what recipe week is? I wouldn't call myself a recipe maker, but this week I found myself having some recipes I really wanted to share, hope you will find it pleasant!

Look, I MADE this bag! It's a bit to big for grocery shopping though, but perffect for laundry!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favourites

Friday again! This week went on so fast, and I'm quite happy about it. Working in the evenings is NOT my favourite thing, so next week I will opt for more daytime work. I also have some fun food projects that I might share here next week. How about a killer orange-ginger tofu recipe? 

The Makers Project
This IS slightly connected to food, I promise! Jennifer Causy, who is the photographer behind this site also runs the blog Simply Breakfast, which I've been following for years. The project is all about handmade products in Brooklyn, and in every part you get an insight in a different makers work. Weather it's a florist, perfumer or a baker, they are beautifully showcased in a lot oh photographs. In my head, I'm already off to Brooklyn!

Apricot and Almond Yeast Braid
Mihl over at Seitan is my motor made the most lovely sweet braid this week. Filled with apricot and almonds, it looks like it would be perfect for the weekend.

Celine Steen is constantly sticking photos of muffins in my face here. Some kind of muffin-project is obviously in the making, and it looks as beautiful as ever.

The beautiful thing above is a chocolate version of the very traditional Swedish Semla. Usually it's no chocolate in there, but once it was. The Semla-day is coming up in less than two weeks, so you will not have to wait long for a post with recipe and all you need to know to indulge this sweet treat. Have you ever had a Semla?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Living up to my Sushi-resolutions

So, in January I made a promise to myself that I would eat more sushi this year. I'm a woman of my words, so sushi has been on the menu quite a few times. There is a great sushi restaurant in Reykjavík, but I'm trying to spend as little money as possible, and making it myself is definitely more economic. And it's fun too! I hate having the rice sticking to my fingers trying to make rice balls though, so today I got myself a helper! It's just a piece (actually, two pieces) of white plastic but it does a great job shaping the rice. Now for my favourite part, pictures!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Morning

Cinnamon overnight oats with banana chips and a fig and Icelandic rye bread with apricot marmalade.

This week I will be working in the evenings, which I'm not so fond of. But I will admit that it has it's up-sides. On of them is waking up by nine, reading for a while in bed, going up for breakfast, then looking back at the bed and the other person who's still sleeping deeply in it, and decide to get back in and sleep for some hours more. That's exactly what I did this morning.

Yesterday I met this cute little guy when I was out on a walk.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Favourites

We have a Friday tradition at work, at 11 we go swimming in the ocean. Swimming in the north Atlantic Ocean in February might sound crazy, and it is, but in such a good way! The water is merely above the freezing point, and makes your whole body go numb within seconds. That is, if you aren't used to it. There are men an women at this beach that is really used to it, and can be in there for more than 5 minutes. I'm very happy with 10-15 seconds thank you, then I'm heading straight to the steaming hot pot. That's the nice thing about doing this in Iceland, they heat there water with geothermal activity, so they can have hot pools outside even in winter for barely no costs. It's an amazing feeling sitting in the hot pot looking out over a beautiful Icelandic bay, in the middle of February. I will miss it so much when I leave here.

Speaking about Friday traditions, here's a new one of mine. Sharing the love a little for all those funny and a interesting things happening on the internet.

Bonzai Aphrodite - Diversity In A Vegan Diet
Sayward Rebhal writes the great blog Bonzai Aphrodite, and this week she wrote a blogpost named Diversity In A Vegan Diet. It's about showing how diverse a vegan diet can be, despite all the "restrictions". Check it out and feel inspired! Is your diet as diverse or do you eat the same things over and over?
Veganmage - Delicato ball eating contest
The Swedish Blogger Fido is hosting a contest where the challange is to eat as many Delicato Balls as possible in a row. That is, a super creamy and also extremely filling chocolate ball sold in Sweden, vegan by nature. The current record is 12. I would totally try to beat it, but they're not sold in Iceland.

Update Saturday 19 February: The record is now 1 KG, 18 balls. Hard to beat I would say.

Vegan Culinary Crusade
When Amber Shea, the author of the blog Almost Vegan, finished her education at the 105 Academy, I was sad. No more detailed stories and photos about her days in training, it felt a bit empty. Until I found another woman who is now in training there, and is blogging as detailed about all amazing things she's wipping up there. Just look at the raw chocolate chips!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Martin's Pasta Sauce with Lentils


The background story of the recipe today is not very spectacular, but don't let that fool you. Sometimes you need recipes that have been growing slowly, and in fact, for years. When I asked Martin to share his pasta sauce recipe I also asked for the story behind it. The answer was simple, the dish is something he has made regularly since he started cooking. It has gone from bland and watery to creamy and well seasoned. I guess. Actually I only know this dish from the last year or so. Other people had to put up with the blandness. If Martin would cook all meals himself, he says he would make this 2.5 times a week(My guess is: 4 times.). Even though I think it says more about him and his ambitions when it comes to cooking, he's really passionate about this sauce.

Martin's Pasta Sauce with Lentils
This is a very basic recipe, more like a method, but try it out and make it your own by varying spices, veggies and what not.

What you'll need:
1/2 cup red or yellow lentils
bullion cube
vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 big carrot or 1 bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
spices and herbs (choose what you like, for example: thyme+oregano, cumin+coriander+curry), by taste
1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
1 tsp granulated sugar
hot sauce (such as tabasco), a couple of splashes
salt and black pepper by taste

Boil the lentils in double amount of water together with the bullion cube. Keep the lid on, they're done when soft and the water has absorbed. Meanwhile, sauté the onion, garlic and vegetables in the oil in a pan until golden and somewhat softened. When the lentils are done, add them to the pan together with tomato paste and spices, and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and hot sauce and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, until some of the water from the tomatoes has gone away. Serve with pasta.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our kitchen in the apartment we have a room in (it's more like a dorm actually, only it's not) could be improved in many ways, the oven being a good example. I'm pretty sure no one has cleaned it for several years, judging from the amount of old food stuck in there. If I would live here for more than 3 months, I might have cleaned it, but now, I just use the oven at the office if needed to.

Today was one of those occasions, I needed to make granola, and for that, I needed an oven that wasn't full of chicken fat(?).  So I measured everything and during lunch today, I roasted it in the oven. The whole house smelled like cookies. Now I want to make granola bars. Can you point me in the direction to a recipe? It needs to be dead simple, I can't buy many ingredients. No rice/agave syrup for example.

Ooh, and look how sunny and green it was today! The streets may be covered in snow and wet puddles, but the sun is always a welcome sign for spring.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy from Vegan With A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moscowitz.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ginger Ale

I visited Sofia, Bulgaria after 3 weeks in Turkey and about 12 hour on a bus from Istanbul. It was June and extremely hot, and we had been living mostly on fruit, bread and tomato sauce due to a restricted budget, so our energy level was a bit low at the moment. Coming into the home of the two Bulgarians that let us stay on their sofa, was like an oasis. There apartment high up in a house in the outskirts of the city where cool, cosy and they treated us with a wonderful breakfast. That's just one of the advantages with living at peoples home, they might treat you with some home made sour dough bread.

Why I'm talking about Bulgaria? Well, first of all, from the little I've seen it's a beautiful country. Second of all, for the second morning we got a glass of their home made ginger ale. Dimiter, who had made it, said it was to stay healthy, and I'm sure he was right about that. The drink was extremely strong, with large chunks of ginger floating around. It was refreshing, but also left a slight feeling of pain in your mouth. When Martin decided he wanted to make some a few days ago, we agreed on making it in a more pleasant level of strength. It came out great, so I wanted to share it with you.

Ginger Ale

Do not use a glass bottle for this, I heard it might explode from the pressure. 

what you'll need:
a chunk of ginger, about 5 cm/2 inches long and 2 cm/0,8 inches across
1,5 medium sized lemons, juiced
200 ml granulated sugar
2 ml (a little less than 0,5 tsp) dry yeast

Peel and shred the ginger finely. Mix ginger, yeast, sugar and lemon juice in a 1,5 litre/ 50 oz plastic bottle. Fill up with cold water and make sure the tap is tightly on. Let sit in room temperature for 12-36 hours, until the bottle is very hard and it has reached your desired level of bubbles. Chill and strain before serving with a lot of ice and lemon slices.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet Food Porn

I'm trying to figure out this blog. I think I need to make it a bit more structured, especially now when my cooking and baking are a bit limited. If I plan more, I will also push myself more and it will be much more fun over here. In the meantime, look at those sweets! All of it where made more than 2 years ago, but I still remember making every single item. If you want a recipe for any of it, ask! I will try to direct you to it or maybe post it if it's my own.

I'm trying to collect lists with ideas for vegan food, such as "100 ideas for vegan breakfasts". I know they're out there, so if you know where they are hiding from me, share the link! I will make a post with all of them later. The idea to collect them came from Vegan Soul Power! who posted a fantastic list of 50 Vegan Sandwiches the other day.  Check it out!

Cookies with almond bottoms, filled with chocolate butter cream and dipped in chocolate.

Carrot cupcakes for my sisters birthday.

Strawberry cheesecake.

Passion fruit cheescake.

Chocolate Chip Brownie Waffles from The Veganomicon.

Vanilla raspberry panacotta.


Peanut butter carrot balls.