Hello and happy new year! Or "godt nytt år" as they say in my home country *smiles*
I have not been seeking refugee in a cave for the last week and a half, I have just been to visit my family in, around and outside Bergen, Norway. It was lovely to see friends and family again, despite it raining most of the time. It has been so mild this Winter, otherwise it would probably have been snow non-stop. I didn't mind too much though, as I still went for some nice walks, I just got a little restless the last few days when I had to work from home. BUT! I have topped up on family and old friend times, which was much needed. I have eaten too much, as one should - like a hobbit, at this time of year. Both my dad and my uncle said something really clever; "It's not what you eat between Christmas and New Year that matters, it's what you eat between New Year and Christmas that does", which pretty much was my excuse!
After a turbulent ride back to Glasgow, I finally made it here, and I got home late last night. They say you should start the year the way you intent for it to continue throughout, and so I hope the bumpy ride was just the remnants of last year's rollercoaster-ness. I went through a break-up, moved twice, got to know myself a little, as I seemed to have gotten a little lost along the way, and I also made a lot of great new recipes!
That is one thing I missed when I have been gone, to cook! I made some nice breakfasts and snacks, but the dinners were usually concocted by the ones who lives in whoever's house I was - I don't say I mind having been treated through, quite the contrary!
I came across this lovely recipe today when I was searching for recipes I could use some soy beans, that I was curious about, in. It surprised me how much flavour a dish could have with so few ingredients and herbs! I had to tweak it a little bit, using rice vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, but it turned out lovely!
The recipe is vegan, but the muffins I have mentioned below aren't, just a little heads up!
Edamame Sloppy Joe's
(Serves 2, about 310 calories each, about 360 with brown sugar)
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil OR 1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
400g can soy/edamame beans, drained
150ml water (optional)
2 tbsp sukrin gold (erythritol & steviol) or brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or a small clove, finely chopped)
A pinch of cayenne or 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 small courgette (about 150g), chopped
70g corn, drained or cut off a corn ear
1 tbsp rice- or red wine vinegar
2tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread rolls to serve
(I doubled the amount of ingredients for the simple breakfast muffin, added a little bit of smoked paprika and dried basil to the mix, and baked it in the oven on 200ºC whilst the sloppy joe was simmering, easy peasy!)
- Start by heating the oil in a medium pan on medium high heat. Add the onion and soften for a few minutes.
- Then, tip in the soy beans, and water (if using) along with everything else apart from the courgette and pepper. Let it simmer for a few minutes before adding the last vegetables. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so and making sure it doesn't catch the bottom.
- Easy ey? Now where are those breadrolls? I hope you like it!
Also, I wanted to just mention that I noticed Läkerol, which is one of my favourite pastilles for sore throats seems to have started sweetening their products with stevia! Pretty good eh? I can't stand all those artificial sweetners *shudders*
At the airport, after I had gone through the security, I walked past this little book shop, and I saw a book I wanted to buy last time I was in Norway as well... "Brown Cheese, Please", which is a very stereotypical book about the Norwegians, and more times than I like to admit - it's pretty much spot on! It is written by an Australian who has family in Norway and who spent three lives there. I thought I'd show you two examples (All rights reserved Jenny K. Blake, the author of the book)
To the left you have "pinnekjøtt" which directly translated is "stick meat", what it really is though, is a dish that is commonly had for Christmas, sometimes New Year aaaand even Easter. I am used to having it for both Christmas and New Year, and this time was I know that's not the most vegetarian thing to add to this post, but it's tradition, and I am an omnivore after all. The picture to the right is a little less meaty, and basically just shows how versatile us Norwegians can be when it comes to breakfast. My eating habits has changed drastically, but when I was a kid, the picture wasn't far from the truth, but I loved it! Would probably have no exception either, and it was fantastic! What it really is, is salted, dried mutton (or lamb) ribs that you steam for about 3 hours until the meat almost comes off the bone, you serve it with mashed turnip, boiled potatoes, sausages and sometimes pickled red cabbage - it doesn't even need gravy as it is great just as it is!
swapped the jam for cheese or something more savoury though - a good slice of bread with tasty toppings is hard to beat first thing in the morning!
What was your highlight of last year? And did you get up to much around the festive season? I hope you had a lovely time, and wish you all the best for 2014 - I've got a good feeling about it!