Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Over the weekend we were blessed with a couple of days with snow and beautiful winter weather. Something we haven’t seen much of this winter here in Gothenburg. It was such a joy to see the kids rush out in the garden to play first thing Saturday morning, and yesterday we took a wonderful long walk surrounded by sunshine and white landscapes.

Today it’s all gone. Sadly. The rain patters on our windows and sheets of snow and ice are slipping down the roof, making scratchy noises.

It would be the perfect day to make this salad again.

Sunshine on a plate.

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I first made it a few weeks ago, when I had nothing in the fridge (well, almost…) but oranges and smoked salmon. And in the freezer I found a packet of frozen edamame beans. And bit by bit this recipe came alive on my kitchen counter.

Since that day I have perfected it with a little mint, alfalfa sprouts and a blood orange dressing. And I’m thinking this would be really good with some crumbled feta cheese or soft goat’s cheese on top as well.

It’s a no-cook recipe making it perfect for lunch on a stressful day or as a starter served on smaller plates.

I hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

Blood oranges :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Printable recipe

Blood orange and smoked salmon salad with mint dressing

serves 2-4

4 blood oranges
200 g cold smoked salmon, thinly sliced or torn into strips
1/2 cup edamame beans, or similar (thawed if frozen)
1 cup alfalfa sprouts, or similar
a handful fresh mint leaves

For the dressing:
juice from 2 blood oranges
1 tsp honey
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1) To make the dressing, put the orange juice and honey into a cup or small jug. Mix well using a fork and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste and lastly add the chopped mint.
2) Oranges: Cut the top and bottom off, then use a small sharp knife to remove all the skin and pith. Slice them thinly.
3) Arrange all ingredients on a plate (or individual smaller plates) and drizzle with the dressing. Top with fresh mint leaves.

Serve immediately with a slice of toasted rye bread.

TIP! If you’re a vegetarian try using e.g. avocado instead of salmon.

Blood orange, smoked salmon and edamame salad with mint dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

A little over a year has passed since I started writing this blog in English. For those of you who don’t know it was previously written in Swedish, and I have to say for me it’s been such an inspiring journey since the switch. I’ve received so many interesting comments, e-mails and cheering from all over the world. Thank you so much! What would a blog be without its readers?

I also receive a fair amount of e-mails requesting translations for recipes that were written during the Swedish time of the blog. And some of the most popular recipes mysteriously ;) seem to be the ones with chocolate in them.

Like these little pots de crème.

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

So I thought I’d just repost the recipe – this time in English. Because isn’t this what we all need in January – something chocolatey and comforting, but still good for you – just as important!

And because sometimes I have to remind myself of the recipes I posted long ago. I had almost forgotten about this healthier version of “pots de crème” which is such a treat, and healthy enough to eat as an evening snack (or even breakfast if you’re in the mood!) with berries or fruit. Enjoy!

Printable recipe

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème

makes 6-8 little “pots”

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

100 g dark chocolate of good quality, e.g. this one (my new favorite!)
1 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
a pinch of fine sea salt

cocoa nibs and/or coconut chips to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).
2) In a bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk with coconut sugar, vanilla seeds and cardamom until light and fluffy.
3) Finely chop the chocolate. Bring coconut milk to the boil, remove from the heat and add coconut oil and the chopped chocolate – whisking until well combined.
4) Add cacao powder and sea salt and pour the batter in small ramekins or jars — make sure to remove the foam that might have formed on top — and place them in a dish filled with hot water, so that they are half immersed.
5) Place the dish on the middle rack in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. When ready, the middle of the creams should still be moving a little — the creams will settle once they cool down. Take the jars (or ramekins) out and let them cool down. Place a plastic wrap on top and keep in the fridge to rest for at least an hour before eating.

Coconut and dark chocolate pots de crème :: Dagmar's Kitchen/Sonja Dahlgren

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Two healthy meals to start off the new year

Red beet buckwheat 'risotto' :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I hope you all had a great start to the new year. I certainly did.

A couple of days after Christmas me and my family left Sweden for a week of skiing in Austria, and I can’t think of a better way to end – or to begin – a year. We had a lovely week with lots of skiing, fresh air and last, but not least – good food of course.

And as always when I’m away from home and work (the two are hopelessly intertwined in my life – until I find the right studio place, that is…) I get inspired.

As so much in my life evolves around food, it is such a treat for me to leave the kitchen and all the dishes and just eat what somebody else cooked for a few days.

Inspired by travels :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

So after several hotel nights and restaurant meals I came back home filled with inspiration to cook in my own kitchen again. And I’ve come up with two simple and healthy vegetarian meals to start off the new year.

Fresh produce :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I am not a vegetarian, but I’ve always found veggies more intriguing than meat. And meat, fish or poultry is almost always just a tiny add-on to my meals. But far from always. Most of my meals are completely vegetarian, and I’m always trying to find new and interesting ways to cook my veg.

And if you’re looking for that too, perhaps these two recipes will help you in the right direction? Both are really simple to make, or to alter according to whatever ingredients you like, or have to hand.

The buckwheat ‘risotto’ is inspired by a recipe in Kimberley Hasselbrink’s brilliant book Vibrant Food. But this time I made it with buckwheat instead of rice (to add more protein) and some additional small alterations. That book by the way – you really should buy it if you’re looking for amazing, seasonal food-inspiration. It is such a gem!

The stuffed peppers were simply inspired by what I had in the fridge and the pantry – which is how food happen more or less every day around here. I used the green tops of the celery stalks instead of herbs in the stuffing, but if you have parsley or flat-leaf parsley you could use that too.

Spicy red lentil-stuffed peppers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I believe in everyday resolutions. And I believe in creating new habits, little by little. Bit by bit. And a new year is always a good time to start new habits, like eating more healthy food and think of the future and your health, right? And eating more veg and less meat will certainly benefit not only You, but the Planet as well.

So, let’s get cooking (scroll down for recipes)! And if you still need more inspiration to kick-start your 2015 I suggest you head over to Jamie Oliver at Youtube to check out his ’10 meals to kick-start a healthier 2015′ – that’s brilliant stuff over there!

Fresh produce for Red beet buckwheat 'risotto' :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Printable recipes

Red beet buckwheat ‘risotto’

serves 4

3 red beets, cooked peeled and diced

1 cup buckwheat groats
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small red onions, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice from 1 lemon (or a splash of white wine)
3 cups hot vegetable stock

2/3 cup (75 g) feta cheese, crumbled

sea salt to taste (be careful though, the stock and the feta cheese was enough for me)
freshly ground black pepper, olive oil, baby chard leaves and chopped parsley to serve

1) To cook the beets: Scrub well and add them to a pot with lightly salted water, just enough to cover the beets. Bring to a boil and cook until ‘al dente’ – when you can easily insert a knife in the middle they are ready. This usually takes 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat, rinse with cold water and when the beets are cool you can peel off the skin using a knife.
2) Rinse the buckwheat first under hot water, then cold. Drain in a colander.
3) Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are soft.
4) Add the buckwheat and stir to coat the grains evenly with oil for about 1 minute.
5) Add lemon juice (or wine) and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed into the buckwheat.
6) Begin adding the hot stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next ½ cup, reserving about ¼ cup of stock to add at the end if needed. Stir frequently to prevent the buckwheat from sticking.
7) After about 20 minutes when the buckwheat is al dente, add the remaining stock, feta cheese and the diced beets and stir vigorously until the risotto absorbs the juices of the beets and turns a bright shade of pink.
8) Add salt if needed and finish off with freshly ground pepper.
9) Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil, baby chard leaves and chopped parsley.

Red beet buckwheat 'risotto' :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Spicy red lentil-stuffed peppers

serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side

2 large yellow peppers

1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 celery stalk (including green tops if you like), diced
1/2 cup strained tomatoes + 2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
almond meal (or bread crumbs)
parsley or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1) Cook the lentils in vegetable stock for about 15 minutes and drain well.
2) Preheat the oven to 200° C (400 ° F). Halve the peppers lengthways, remove the seeds and place on a baking tray.
3) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and softened.
4) Add the celery and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the strained tomatoes + water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
5) Combine the above with the cooked lentils and spoon into the halved peppers. Top with almond meal (or bread crumbs if you prefer), finely chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes until the peppers are golden and soft to the touch.

Spicy red lentil-stuffed peppers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenSpicy red lentil-stuffed peppers :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts for Christmas

Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I’m sure you’re probably all set for Christmas by now. And I know you probably have enough of favorite family recipes for sweet treats that you make every Christmas. Am I right?

So I thought I’d share with you my latest invention in the kitchen – Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts – the perfect snack to go along with those super-sweet (and super-delish!) caramels on the Christmas candy table. These hazelnuts are delicately flavored, to be savored one by one, slowly. Raw hazelnuts are brined in a solution of salt, then lightly spiced and lastly dried and lightly roasted in a slow oven. Lots of flavor – not much effort needed.

And just imagine the fragrance in the kitchen while they roast!

Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I’m at home with the kids today – prepping for Christmas eve (24th), which is the big day here in Sweden. So I’m just leaving you with the recipe hoping that it might fill a gap in your Christmas snack repertoire this year.

And if you like the flavor of gingerbread but these nuts don’t do it for you, perhaps you could try this or this. Or head over to The Year in Food to try her Gluten free Gingerbread Cookies or to A Tasty Love Story to try her Gluten free Spicy Christmas Cookies dipped in dark Chocolate – Yum!

Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season. Take good care of each other, eat with sense, give something to someone in need, have some sweets (but not too many) and don’t forget to workout some in between gatherings.

Hope to see you again soon after the holidays!

Printable recipe

Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts

2 cups raw hazelnuts (preferably organic)
1,5 cup water + 4 tbsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper (or other chili pepper)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel + more to sprinkle
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tbsp maple syrup

1) Bring the water to a boil with 4 tbsp coarse sea salt. Remove from the heat and add the hazelnuts. Leave to soak in the salt solution for 30-45 minutes. Drain well.
2) Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F). In a large bowl mix the drained hazelnuts with all the spices, salt, oil and maple syrup and make sure all nuts are covered in spices.
3) Spread the nuts evenly on parchment paper on a baking tray. Sprinkle with more fleur de sel and roast for about 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the tray with the nuts to dry further until the oven is cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Gingerbread spiced hazelnuts :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Linda Lomelino’s “Sweet Food & Photography” giveaway

Linda Lomelino's

Isn’t it just lovely to see when creative and talented people get to put their work out into the world? Most of you are probably familiar with Linda Lomelino – and if not, do hurry over to her blog Call me Cupcake to check it out! I have been following her for quite some time now, and in May I also had the great honour to have her as a participant at one of my workshops. And she is just as lovely in person as she seems on her blog!

Linda Lomelino's

One of my favorite spreads

The book Sweet Food & Photography is Linda’s third book and it’s a true work of art! The styling and the photography is pure magic, and just looking at the photos makes me want to bake all of those cakes and sweets. Right away. The book is filled with tips and tricks, not just for baking, but also for styling and photographing your work. In other words the perfect book for that hard-core foodie that you probably are if you read my blog (haha!).

The book was recently published in Sweden (it’s in Swedish) and Linda has been kind enough to share three copies of the book with three lucky readers!

Linda Lomelino's

Thank you Linda for mentioning Dagmar’s Kitchen as a source of inspiration on page 96!

If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment below and share with us your favorite Christmas dish (sweet or savory doesn’t matter!). Make sure to leave your name and contact email so I can get in touch with you. Please note that only Swedish residents are eligible to join the giveaway. The giveaway will close on Wednesday, December 31st.

Linda Lomelino's

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