grapefruit and spinach smoothie

Grapefruit is one of those foods, isn’t it? You either like or loath it. A lot of people find it too bitter. Others think it tastes great. Some people douse it in sugar to be able to eat it. To be honest, if that’s the case I don’t really understand why you don’t just take an orange instead. (Yes, I know the flavour is different, but you’re masking the flavour with sugar anyway.) It’s like when I worked as a nanny and one of the children wanted to pour sugar over fresh pineapple. I was speechless.

Anyway, if you do like grapefruit, this is a really fresh smoothie. The grapefruit brings that slightly sour citrusiness while the spinach makes it a bit earthy, and then there are pops of ginger every so often.


20160818_071426 (2).JPGIngredients (1 portion)

2 pcs grapefruit

45g spinach

1 cm fresh ginger (grated)

6 ice-cubes


20160818_073107 (2).JPGI juiced my grapefruit when I made this – mostly because I didn’t have time to peel it and split it up into wedges – but the original recipe says to keep it whole. I can see the pros with both – with the juice it obviously becomes more fluid and with the wedges more solid. I did keep most of the pulp in mine though.

You can also use more ice-cubes to get more of a slush texture. I didn’t add more ice-cubes this time because it’s a 20 minute ride to work, so I figured they would melt and just make it more watery. But if I make this on a weekend I might add more, to get that texture.

With two large grapefruits that gave me 500 ml juice, this smoothie came to 202 kcal.

/t

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veal curry with broccoli

My recipe collection on Ica has a recipe for veal meatballs in a plum cream sauce, which I’m dying to try. For this week I already had a lot of leftovers, and one four portion meal planned, when I was browsing through, and though the veal meatballs were calling out to me, I couldn’t quite gather up the enthusiasm and energy I knew it would take to make it.

So instead I got the ingredients for this meal – a veal mince curry. It called for a lot less prep work (just mince, broccoli, Thai curry sauce in a jar, and rice – and I already had two of those) and seemed like an easier dish to divide into portions and bring to work for lunch. But I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I don’t know if it’s because I should have used more sauce (I used what the recipe called for) or if I should have bought a different sauce, but I didn’t think it tasted of much. When you say ‘curry’ you have a certain spice explosion in mind (or at least the gentle creamy taste of a Korma) but this was just plain and, to be honest, a bit boring.

If I made it again I would probably replace the veal with beef and I would definitely get another curry sauce. One that says ‘hot’ and looks like it has a lot of spices in it.


20160823_180940 (2).JPGIngredients (4 portions)

500g veal mince

1 jar Thai curry sauce (490g)

250g broccoli

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Rice to serve


20160823_180933 (2).JPGCook the rice according to the instructions.

I used frozen broccoli because that’s what I had at home, so I started by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok and stir-frying the broccoli until hot. If you use fresh broccoli, cut into florets and boil or steam until tender.

Then brown the mince with some oil, salt, and pepper in a wok (or large frying pan) and once done, add the Thai curry sauce and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Throw in the broccoli florets with the mince and sauce, mix well, and serve with rice.


For lunch at work I have kept the curry and the rice separate, but since I don’t have a microwave at home and needed to reheat it in the wok, I mixed it up for dinner. I actually think mixing it up was a little bit nicer taste-wise, though it doesn’t make for a very enticing picture.

/t

strawberry basil smoothie

A couple of weeks ago I had a friend over for dinner and we made Shakshouka. I’ve seen it online but never made it before. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d like it, because I don’t like egg yolk. (I know, I’m a child). It’s ok if it’s an omelette or the egg is similarly whisked/mixed, but if I get a boiled egg I only eat the white, and the same usually goes for fried eggs. And don’t get me started on runny egg yolks – yuck!

Since T said she really wanted to try this recipe and since it looked like the egg completely baked (i.e. I could remove the egg yolk when eating) I said I was up for it, and I did actually quite like it. It was kind of like a thick tomato soup with an egg and some bread.

Anyway, we were meant to garnish the Shakshouka with basil, but completely forgot, which meant I had a whole basil pot at home and nothing to do with it. I figured there must be some smoothie recipes out there involving basil, and got to Googling. I did find a few, and decided my first try should be this strawberry and basil smoothie, which felt like a safe choice.


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150g strawberries

50g spinach

6 fresh basil leaves

250 ml oat milk


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Unfortunately strawberry and basil doesn’t mix that well colour-wise, but trust me – it tasted a lot better than it looked! This big smoothie came to only 151 kcal.

/t

sunrise smoothie (ie blackberry and orange)

The name of this smoothie feels very fitting. The orange juice and the dark blackberries make me think of the colours of the sun rising, and it’s a very fresh start to your morning.

I’ve had a lot of experience berry-picking when I was little, and we’ve always had loads in our garden and in the nearby forests. But one thing I don’t know if I’ve ever come across in Sweden is wild blackberries. In my part of London they grow everywhere, but I’ve never seen blackberries in Stockholm. I wonder why this is.

I’ve also realised that though I don’t write this out, I almost exclusively use frozen berries (and mango) in my smoothies. You’ll see this from the pictures of course, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. You can use fresh if you want, but frozen are so much more convenient and obviously keep better, as well as the fact that they give the smoothie a different texture.

 


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Ingredients (1 portion)

150g blackberries

2 oranges (medium) (juice)

150g quark or natural yogurt

 


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Another easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy, recipe from me. You don’t need quite as large oranges for this smoothie as you do for some other, as you only need 200 ml of juice instead of 250 ml. With those stats, the smoothie comes to 272 kcal.

/t

Tranquil Tarn

I love green, but for some reason I don’t actually own that many green things. I have one green t-shirt (casual, non-work wear), one patterned dress in green and black (dark so not ‘too obviously’ green), one olive green dress with tan telephones on it (also not ‘too obviously’ green), and a pair of green sandals. When I actually realised how little green I have in my wardrobe, I went out and bought a pair of bright green chinos that I had been lusting over for a while – so they’re now my most green thing!

I also like green nails – mainly olive, khaki, or darker shades – but didn’t have a green nail polish either. Then recently I was in H&M and they were clearing out last season’s nail polishes. (H&M do cosmetics in some countries, but not in all unfortunately.) I bought this lovely shade of light yellow (same thing there – love yellow but only have three yellow items of clothing) that was perfect for those last weeks of summer. When I showed it to my mum, she said she’d been looking for a shade like that, so I went on a hunt for it in the other H&Ms in town, and while I did, I found this.

It’s called Tranquil Tarn and it’s a lovely dark evergreen shade – it’s almost so dark it looks like it has some petroleum blue in it in certain lights. I think it’s a perfect shade to bring in the autumn, and it’s a change from my usual pink and red palette.

On the nail front otherwise I’m doing rather well. My nails got really, really long a week or so ago, and I had a minor fall-back, nibbling them a little. But I told myself off, filed them down to a more manageable length, and got back on the nail polish wagon. My only problem is that my polish chips after one or two days (usually after having a shower or doing the dishes – so I know it’s moisture related) so I have to keep repainting them over and over!

This is two coats of Tranquil Tarn with a top coat.

/t

oat pancakes

I feel like many of my posts begin like this – but I love pancakes! In Sweden we don’t just have pancakes as dessert – like people seem to in the UK – but you can have them (with sweet toppings) for lunch or dinner as well. S thinks I’m crazy when I say I want pancakes for dinner, haha.

We also don’t do this sugar and lemon thing. Oh no. Pancakes deserve real toppings. Different jams, apple sauce maybe, sugar and cinnamon, or, if you’re really feeling it, fresh fruit and whipped cream or ice-cream. And don’t get me started on Swedish waffles.

But, pancakes are not the most healthy lunch/dinner, and when I got the craving last weekend, I was thinking that I should try swapping my milk for oat milk. That in itself doesn’t make any difference really, but then I thought someone must have made pancakes with oats in them. So I Googled, and found a recipe where they’d replaced the flour with ground oats. So I thought why not try it.


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Ingredients (2 portions)

200 ml oats (ca 70g)

200 ml oat milk

2 pcs eggs

0.5 tsp salt

butter (to fry)


Start by putting the oats in a blender and blending until you have a flour-like texture. Mix oats and salt with milk and then add the eggs.

Fry in butter on a high heat.


First of all, yes, I ate two portions. With apple sauce. And it was delicious.

Second, you don’t want to make these too large, because they don’t hold together as well as regular pancakes, so they might break when you try to flip them. I got six pancakes out of this mix, and they’re slightly thicker than normal ones.

As for the healthiness, they do have slightly less calories than normal pancakes, where 200 ml (120g white flour) contain 423 kcal, 200 ml (70g) oats contain 258 kcal. So the calorie count is slightly lower, and the fibre content higher. If you want the most health benefits from these pancakes though, you should fry them in as little butter as possible and enjoy them with fresh fruits. Or possibly just a pinch of cinnamon.

/t

makaronilåda

Makaronilåda (literally ‘macaroni box’ – can also be called makaronipudding, which I’ll leave you to figure out yourselves) is a Swedish kind of pasta bake, and it’s something I used to eat a lot when I was a kid. It’s a real nostalgia-meal and whenever I have it I remember being a kid. It’s such a feel-good food!

(And I apologise in advance that the photo is not the best. It was very dark and difficult to get a good picture.)

The difference between a Swedish pasta bake and an English pasta bake is that the Swedish one is ‘kept together’ with äggstanning, which you apparently can’t translate into English, but which is a mix of eggs and milk like you use in a quiche, instead of a tomato-based pasta sauce. You can use any kind of pasta really (but I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti) and either keep it vegetarian with the äggstanning only, or add bacon or sausage bits. It’s quick and easy and great to freeze, so I usually make four portions to have in the freezer for those lazy days and nostalgic lunches.


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Ingredients (4 portions)

200g pasta

140g bacon

95g cheese

3 pcs eggs

300 ml milk

Salt

Pepper


Boil the pasta as per the instructions.

Fry the bacon until crisp.

Mix the eggs with the milk, some salt and pepper, and whisk.

Pour the pasta and bacon into a greased tin and pour over the äggstanning. Cover with shredded cheese and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius until set (approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how deep your tin is).


The best thing to serve this dish with is – of course – lingonsylt. Lingonsylt (lingonberry jam) is a very Swedish (Nordic?) thing, and if you want to be ‘convenient’ it’s a bit similar to cranberry sauce. Swedes eat it with meatballs (as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to IKEA), meatloaf, black pudding, oven pancake (another Swedish thing), kroppkakor (another Swedish thing), etc. It is the best thing. Ever. I might even make a whole post about lingonberries in the future.

/t