My brown snack staples

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Slow roasted granola – always in my pantry to go along with seasonal berries or fruit

Sorry again for the long blog absence. Life and work are keeping me busy and even if I love so much to post here I just haven’t gotten to it lately. Today I thought I’d share with you something that’s really close to my heart and something that I eat several times a day.

Snacks. Healthy, nutritious and delicious snacks.

Snacks that keep you going for hours, and that can be prepared in very little time to make sure your pantry is always stocked with a healthy nibble or small healthy meal.

A peek into my pantry :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

A peek into my pantry – gluten free seed crackers, granola and salt toasted almonds on the lower shelf

You see, I’m a true believer of having a well stocked pantry and fridge in order to eat better and more healthily. Because we tend to eat what we happen to have at hand. Are you with me?

And, with my brown snack staples you always have a grab-and-go breakfast or a healthy snack option on hand. Yes, they may all be brown and a bit dull looking on their own – but oh so good! And combined with juicy, colorful berries or fruits, seeds and honey they are quickly transformed into mouth-watering nibbles.

Apart from my brown snack staples I always keep my pantry and fridge stocked with the following for fast and delicious snacks:

• Skyr yoghurt or Turkish/Greek yoghurt
• Organic raw honey
• Fresh seasonal berries (or frozen)
• Seasonal fruit
• Avocados and bananas
• Hemp seeds (raw)
• Toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
• Cacao nibs
• Boiled eggs
• Hoummus (delicious as a spread on seed crackers)
• Protein powder (usually hemp, rice or pea) for smoothies

I’m pretty sure you have a favorite snack too? Tell us about it in the comments!

But let’s get to the recipes shall we?

Enjoy and happy snacking! Be back soon.

First and foremost – granola. What would a pantry be without good granola? I always have a jar of homemade granola in my pantry. It is my go-to breakfast or snack with Skyr yoghurt, almond butter and berries or fruit. I slow-roast my granola because I found it is the best way to get that perfectly crunchy granola every time. No burning and always perfectly clustered.

You’ll find my recipe here – and do try to make a batch with olive oil instead of rapeseed oil, maple syrup instead of apple syrup, a dash of cinnamon and vanilla instead of rosehip powder and walnuts instead of hazelnuts. Add some pumpkin seeds too and raisins once it’s cooled. Absolutely delicious!

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenSlow roasted apple and rosehip granola :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Slow roasted apple and rosehip granola

Almond butter
Making your own nut or almond butter is so easy and way better than the store bought varieties (even if there are some pretty good ones there too), and I always keep a jar of homemade almond butter in my fridge. I use it for simple things like spreading over seed crackers (recipe below) with berries or apple slices on top, in smoothies or a dollop on my yoghurt. You’ll find my recipe for almond butter here (scroll down to find the recipe).

Homemade almond butter :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Almond butter with vanilla and cardamom – always in my fridge 

Gluten free seed crackers
I have only posted this recipe before in Swedish, so today I thought I’d share it with you in English too. It is just too good to keep it from you guys! It takes 10 minutes to throw together and after an hour in the oven you have a jar full of lovely scented, crunchy and salty crackers to go along with anything from cheese to almond butter (below). I have only one more thing to say – just make them!

Gluten free seed crackers fresh from the oven :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

A batch of freshly baked gluten free seed crackers

Gluten free seed crackers
6 tbsp corn flour
6 tbsp quinoa flour
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
3 tbsp flaxseed
6 tbsp sesame seeds (preferably unhulled)
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup + 4 tbsp boiling water
3 tbsp olive oil + more for oiling

fleur de sel and sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) – preferably fan-assisted oven. If you don’t have a fan-assisted oven, raise the temperature to 175°C (350° F). Oil a rimmed baking sheet with a thin layer olive oil and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients. Bring the water to a boil and then pour it along with the olive oil over the dry ingredients.
3) Use a fork to stir until well mixed and then use your hands to flatten the dough out evenly over the rimmed (oiled) baking sheet. If the dough sticks to your hands it helps to use a parchment paper between your hands and the dough. Sprinkle the surface with fleur de sel and sesame seeds and bake on the middle rack for 50-55 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the crackers cool in the oven to dry completely. Once cooled, break the crackers into smaller pieces and keep them in an airtight glass jar.

Gluten free seed crackers with almond butter, strawberries and cacao nibs :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Seed crackers with almond butter, strawberries and cacao nibs – SO good!

Salt toasted almonds
This may be the simplest of recipes but such a life saver to have a jar in your hand bag for those late afternoon snack cravings at work. I often make them with salt only because then my kids will eat them too, but sometimes I spice them up with some cayenne pepper, chili pepper and ground paprika.

2 cups raw almonds

6 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil
fleur de sel to sprinkle

1) Rinse and drain the almonds in cold water. Bring water and coarse sea salt to a boil and remove from heat. Add the almonds to the salt water and soak for 30-45 minutes. Drain well and wipe off any excess water.
2) Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the drained almonds on a parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1 tbsp olive oil + a few pinches fleur de sel and with your hands, make sure the almonds are covered in oil/salt. Toast on the middle rack for 15 minutes, stir and continue toasting for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and light brown on the inside.
3) Remove from oven and let cool completely before you place them in an airtight jar.

Salt toasted almonds :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Salt toasted almonds – a life saver for those late afternoon snacking needs at work

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Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Spring has finally arrived here in Gothenburg and even if it’s still a bit chilly, the temperature is starting to rise. Little by little every day now. Undoubtedly spring is the time for asparagus and wild garlic, and this comforting noodle dish has become one my favorite easy recipes for those April days when there is still a little chill in the air.

This dish is all about the quality of the ingredients, so try to source the best possible you can find. These are my favorite gluten-free noodles, but you could also use a good quality whole wheat pasta. If you can’t find wild garlic (ramps) for the pesto – try experimenting with a mix of chives, baby spinach and garlic. And if you can – try to source organic ingredients. The season for asparagus in Sweden is not quite here yet, so for now I buy mine (organic from Spain) here. This is also where I get my wild garlic, as we don’t have any wild growing nearby.

This dish is super simple to throw together once you have made the pesto. And I call it a pesto, even if I omitted the parmesan cheese and replaced the classic pine nuts with sunflower seeds. And be sure to hand crush your peppercorns (in a pestle and mortar) and it will add a classy touch to this simple dish!


Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's KitchenBrown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese

serves 4

For the pesto
50 g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
80 g (about 2 cups) wild garlic leaves
1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
1/3 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp hand crushed black pepper corns

1) Preheat the oven to 150° C (300° F). Rinse the sunflower seeds under running water and drain well.
2) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer. Place on the middle rack of oven and toast for 10-12 minutes. Stir and continue toasting for another 10-12 minutes until fragrant.
3) Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
4) Rinse the wild garlic and drain well. Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and blitz for a minute or two until well blended. If needed, stop to scrape the pesto down the sides.

You won’t need all of this pesto for 4 people, so keep the leftovers in a jar and place in the fridge for later use. Keeps for 1-2 weeks when completely covered with oil.

For the noodles
250 g brown rice noodles (or pasta of your choice)

500 g (2 bunches) fresh asparagus, the tops (keep the stems for e.g. a soup)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of fine sea salt
pinch of hand crushed black pepper corns

100 g soft goats cheese, crumbled
chives (optional), finely chopped
toasted sunflower seeds (optional)

1) Cook the noodles according to instructions on the package. Keep noodles in the pot with lid on until using.
2) Rinse and cut the tops off of the asparagus and save the stems for e.g. a soup. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the asparagus tops. Stir fry until just tender and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3) In the noodle pot add about 5-6 tbsp of the wild garlic pesto and stir until all noodles are coated.
4) Divide the noodles in four big pasta bowls and top with asparagus, goat’s cheese, chives, toasted sunflower seeds and crushed black pepper corns.

Brown rice noodles with wild garlic pesto, asparagus and soft goats cheese :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Matfoto & matstyling – workshop i Göteborg 22/5 2015 :: A food photography & food styling workshop

Spring :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I am so excited to finally announce this workshop that will be my only class this spring, and I hope to see some of you there! It will be held in Swedish – hence the info below in Swedish. But please don’t hesitate to contact me should you be interested in participating anyway!

Det är fantastiskt kul att äntligen kunna öppna anmälan för den här workshopen! Det här blir min enda workshop i vår och den här gången kör jag en lite kortare variant, men med färre deltagarantal än vanligt. Och jag vet att lördagar är populära för er som har “vanliga” jobb, men eftersom jag inte har lyckats frigöra några lördagar under våren blir det en fredag den här gången – och jag hoppas att just Du kan komma!

Det kommer att bli en dag fylld av inspiration och ny kunskap i en inspirerande miljö, styling- och fototips samt massor av vacker och fräsch säsongsmat att fota – och äta. Vi kommer att styla och fota två sköna vårinspirerade rätter (en matig och en dessert) och om våren sköter sig kan vi även botanisera bland färska rädisor, rabarber och gröna blad från köksträdgården! Och så äter vi förstås upp maten när vi har fotat den.

A Spring food photography & food styling workshop :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

***Workshopen är slutsåld!***

Plats & Tid
Workshopen kommer att hållas i GöteborgTandkullegatan 40, Västra Frölunda – den 22/5 klockan 9.30-14. Du tar dig enkelt hit med spårvagn nummer 11 eller med bil.

Pris: 2 500 sek (inkl. moms) – fika, två rätters lunch och kursmaterial ingår.

Vi kommer bland annat att gå igenom
• Mitt arbetsflöde från val av rekvisita och råvara till färdig bild – jag visar steg för steg hur en typisk matfotografering kan se ut
• Naturligt ljus – hur använder man det på bästa sätt?
• Tips och tricks – styling, komposition, färg och textur m.m.
• Kamerainställningar, vinklar, utrustning m.m.
• Efterbehandling (Lightroom, Photoshop)

Förkunskaper och mål
Workshopen riktar sig till dig som har ett stort intresse för mat och att fotografera den. Du vill utvecklas i att använda naturligt (befintligt) ljus och rekvisita för att på ett enkelt sätt kunna fota mat hemma. Egen kamera (helst SLR) samt baskunskaper om den krävs för att kunna hänga med i tempot.

Gör så här för att anmäla dig
Mejla din anmälan till eller ring på +46(0)705 505 501. Ange ditt fullständiga namn samt postadress och telefonnummer. Ange också om du har någon matallergi eller preferens.

Max antal deltagare är sex personer.

Villkor för anmälan
Anmälan är bindande och kursavgiften betalas via faktura (10 dagar) vid anmälningstillfället. Ej betald avgift efter påminnelse kan innebära avbokning av platsen. För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än tre veckor före kursstart debiteras halva kursavgiften. För avbokning (som ej beror på sjukdom) mindre än en vecka före kursstart debiteras hela kursavgiften.

Om Dagmar’s Kitchen (Sonja Dahlgren) av någon anledning skulle bli tvungen att ställa in workshopen (allvarlig sjukdom, familjeangelägenhet etc.) återbetalas hela det inbetalade beloppet.

Vid färre än fyra anmälda förbehåller Dagmar’s Kitchen sig rätten att ställa in workshopen och återbetalar i så fall hela det redan inbetalade beloppet.

Varmt välkommen med din anmälan!

Spring plate :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

First of all my apologies for not posting here in a while. Time passes so quickly (don’t you agree?) and work and family have kept me busy.

This past week it seems like the light is finally returning (happy spring dance here!) and that spring might be around the corner. We’ve actually already seen some proof of spring in the form of pretty little snowdrops and crocuses in the garden – and the birds’ song in the evening. I love that birds’ song.

Have you seen any signs of spring where you are?

Spring :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

The recipe that I’m sharing today is actually inspired by a favorite childhood recipe of mine. The original recipe uses more sugar (refined) and regular all-purpose flour, and the shape of the original cookies were squared (flattened out on a baking sheet) and with a very sweet butter cream chocolate frosting on top.

Delicious, but a little on the sweet side for me these days.

So, nothing really resembles the original here – except for the great flavor and the chewy yet crunchy texture. And that texture is what I wanted to achieve in this recipe, because that’s what make these cookies special really.

I used coconut sugar and a tiny bit of dark muscovado sugar instead of the refined counterpart, and I replaced the white flour with wholemeal spelt flour.

It’s still a sweet treat that you might want to reserve for those rare occasions. But with the rounded nuttiness of wholemeal spelt flour, the somewhat bitter crunch of the cacao nibs and the whole hazelnuts, it is so much more satisfying than the original.

And perhaps best of all – you can easily make these cookies happen in less than 30 minutes. Even if I like them best semi-thawed from the freezer…

Coming up soon is also an announcement for a new food styling and photography workshop – the only workshop I will be holding this spring – so keep an eye open!

Enjoy and happy Friday!

Printable recipe

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel

makes 12-14 cookies

100 g butter (one stick minus two teaspoons), melted

1/3 cup (60 g) coconut sugar
1/4 cup (35 g) muscovado sugar (light or dark, see note below)
3/4 cup (90 g) regular rolled oats
1 cup (110 g) wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp powdered vanilla
2 tbsp (raw) cacao
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp cacao nibs
1/3 cup raw hazelnuts (whole)

2 tbsp date syrup or maple syrup
2 tbsp whipping cream or milk

fleur de sel to sprinkle on top

1) Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat.
3) In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, syrup and cream/milk and mix well with your hands or a spoon/fork until everything is well coated and the oats are blending well.
4) With your hands form cookies about the size of a golf ball and place them on the lined baking sheet. Flatten the cookies lightly and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel before they go in the oven.
5) Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack. Keep in an airtight container for a couple of days or in the freezer for months.

TIP! I’ve made these with both light and dark muscovado sugar. Both works well – but if using dark sugar you get a cookie that’s a little richer and maltier.

Wholemeal chocolate & hazelnut cookies with cocoa nibs and fleur de sel :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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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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