Find me on my new blog at sonjadahlgren.com

A cold cucumber soup :: Sonja Dahlgren

Find the recipe for this cold cucumber yoghurt soup here

Hi everyone! As you probably know (if you’ve been with me since the start) I have been blogging here since 2011. When I first started Dagmar’s Kitchen, it was a creative outlet for me, where I got to play with produce and ingredients + styling and photography to create recipes and food photography. And when I got more and more into “healthy” foods, this blog turned into an experimental place where I had fun with alternatives to refined sugar, healthier flour options (GF + paleo baking etc.) and, even if I’ve never completely cut out meat or seafood from my diet, the recipes were always plant based (although not always 100% vegetarian).

However, the past year I have felt a lack of purpose with my blog posts here. Often feeling like they were “just another healthy food blog post” – like I had nothing to contribute to the health scene. I had no specific focus, goal or theme (except for the “health” theme) and I think that was what killed my creativity and sense of purpose.

That lead me into the decision to stop blogging here, and to start fresh over at my main website. And it feels so good to finally have made the decision! I also promised myself to lower my standards and post simpler posts with less text, not just recipes (but also beauty, fitness and other things that I like) and more often. I think this way, it’ll be more fun!

The new blog will also have a whole new focus – PMS. Nono, don’t worry – it will still be for you if you like healthy and delicious food! But, what does PMS have to do with a food blog anyway? Well, as it turns out, it has a lot to do with food…

Read more over at MY NEW BLOG! I hope you’ll make the move with me.

And thank you ever so much for over five years of reading and commenting here – it means a lot to me!

xoxo/Sonja

Lukewarm Summer Salad with Roasted New Potatoes and Dijon Dressing

This post is sponsored by GastroMax and as always, photos and words by me.

Lukewarm Summer Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Dijon Dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I love the month of May and knowing that we have it all in front of us. The summer, the long days and the lovely fresh produce that we can only get during a short period of time each year. Like new potatoes for example.

How wonderful it is when they make an appearance at markets and in supermarkets!

New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.

Be sure to choose new potatoes that are firm and blemish-free. You can also check that they are fresh by gently trying to peel their skin off with your hands. If it falls off very easily, the potatoes are likely to be very fresh/new.

Lukewarm Summer Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Dijon Dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I recently worked with GastroMax to create this salad recipe with fresh summer produce like new potatoes, asparagus and sugar peas. And I also got to try their gorgeous measuring range, which are all made in Sweden. They’re all safe and tested products and of course BPA-free. The products are very easy to use and also to clean afterward. They are available for sale at ICA Maxi, Citygross, Cervera and Hemköp.

And although this salad is best served lukewarm, it would also work for a summer picnic or a long car drive where a lunch stop is needed. Just bring the vegetables and dressing in separate containers and assemble the salad just before eating. That way you also ensure that picky kids who might not want to eat the entire salad stay happy. My kids, for example, love the potatoes with just some sea salt and olive oil. And they would probably prefer to simply have them with the sugar peas and the sweet peas on the side.

This salad will definitely be on repeat all summer at our house! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Lukewarm Summer Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Dijon Dressing

serves 4

500 g small new potatoes, halved
15-20 asparagus stalks, the tops only (save the stalks for a soup or similar)
2/3 cup cooked (whole) green lentils

75 g sugar peas, halved lengthwise
100 g scallions, chopped
100 g small sweet peas (”petits pois”)
100 g fresh baby spinach

edible flowers (pansies or similar) + pea shoots for topping

Dressing
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of sea salt
pinch of hand crushed black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp single cream (or dairy free alternative)

1) Preheat the oven to 225°C (440°F). Rinse the halved potatoes (skin on) in cold water and wipe off any excess water with a clean tea towel. Spread them out evenly on parchment paper on a baking tray, and roast on the middle rack about 25 minutes or until golden.
2) Rinse the asparagus under running water and wipe off excess water. Let them roast with the potatoes the last 5 minutes.
3) Make the dressing by mixing the lemon zest, juice, mustard with a pinch of salt + pepper. Whisk in the oil and cream, then taste and add more salt if desired.
4) Let the potatoes and asparagus cool down a little, then arrange all the ingredients for the salad on a large wooden board or serving plate.
5) Trickle over the dressing and decorate with edible flowers and pea shoots. Serve immediately.

Lukewarm Summer Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Dijon Dressing :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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A Super Simple Miso Noodle Bowl with Arame, Stir Fried Mushrooms and Spinach

A Super Simple Miso Noodle Bowl with Arame and Spinach :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had the best weekend! Here in Gothenburg, we had the most perfect weekend when signs of summer finally made an appearance. And we enjoyed it mostly sitting on our new patio that we finished last summer. I even did my first outdoor yoga – so refreshing! I also worked a little bit in my kitchen garden and finally put some seeds in the soil.

How was your weekend?

On another note, I just came in here today to share a super simple recipe. I often forget to share these super simple recipes – things that I often make for lunch for myself, or that we make as a super fast dinner when we haven’t had time to plan what to eat. Check out the hashtag #misobowlsbysonja on Instagram for more inspiration!

The base here is obviously a good quality miso paste and good quality noodles, and with those two in the pantry, you can make a healthy and super yummy bowl of goodness in almost no time. Just use whatever vegetables, meat, chicken, tofu you have on hand and be creative!

I use different miso pastes from my favorite brand Clearspring (this is not sponsored), and prefer the ones that are unpasteurized, since pasteurization is known to kill microbes = unpasteurized miso has the best probiotic activity, which is super for your gut health – as you probably already knew? Buy it online, or take a look in your Asian grocery store to see what they have.

There’s also a huge difference in what kind of noodles you use. Unfortunately, the brands that you find in most Swedish supermarkets (often found on the Asian foods’ shelf) aren’t going to make your bowl or soup any justice. Skip those and look for King Soba noodles or Clearspring noodles which are the brands I use all of the time (not sponsored either!). This will make all the difference in flavor, and it also makes your bowl a lot healthier!

Also for the mirin, do make sure to use a good quality genuine Japanese brand with no added sugar or preservatives. You can also use a regular rice vinegar if you don’t have mirin.

Now, over and out – here’s the recipe! Hope you have a great week ahead! Check back on Wednesday for a super yummy summer salad!

A Super Simple Miso Noodle Bowl with Arame, Stir Fried Mushrooms and Spinach

This is not a soup, I just use the miso stock to make my bowl and the noodles juicy and yummy. But feel free to use more stock to make a soup instead.

serves 2

Miso stock
1 cup water
1-2 tsp barley miso paste
2 tsp rice mirin
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
a piece of fresh ginger, finely sliced or chopped

1) Bring the water to a boil. Add miso, mirin, sesame oil and ginger and turn off the heat.

To serve
200 g fresh mushrooms of your choice, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil (unscented) to stir fry
sea salt and pepper
70 g fresh spinach
1/2 cup arame (seaweed), soaked in water for 10 minutes + drained
1/2 cup petits pois (small sweet peas) or edamame beans, fresh or from the freezer (thawed)

cooked soba noodles (make sure your brand is 100% buckwheat if you are intolerant)

radishes, finely sliced
scallions, finely sliced
fresh cilantro

1) Heat the butter/ghee or coconut oil in a cast iron pan and stir fry the mushrooms (in batches so it doesn’t get soggy) until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and add the spinach, stir a few times until just tender. Remove from the pan.
2) Arrange the noodles and vegetables in two bowls, pour a little of the miso stock over the noodles (more if you like it to be a soup) and top with fresh radishes, scallions and lots of cilantro. Serve immediately!

A Super Simple Miso Noodle Bowl with Arame and Spinach :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Chocolate Banana Bread with Chia

This post is sponsored by Gastromax and as always, photos and words by me.

Chocolate Banana Bread with Chia :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

If you follow me on Instagram you probably think that I (like many health-focused Instagrammers) live solely out of toasts and salad bowls, but that’s not entirely true. That’s only because that kind of food make the most Instagrammable pics ;-)

The real truth is, I eat on average 1-2 slices of bread a day. And I try to limit all other gluten and fast-carb (especially wheat) foods too. Simply because I feel better on a low-gluten and low-carb diet. It doesn’t mean we never eat bread though. But when we do, it has to be proper bread, preferably sourdough, and I usually get it at Cum Pane or Da Matteo Bakery.

When (and if) I bake bread at home it has to be fast. You see, I never plan ahead for such things to happen. Let’s just say there’s always too many other food related projects going on. I used to love the process of baking though. But that was years ago. Before kids, puppy and before I had a food related job…

But who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread in a house? And how to have that without working your ass off? :-)

The solution is soda bread.

Chocolate Banana Bread with Chia :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

This one-bowl wonder bread is actually something in between a bread and a cake. It’s just slightly sweet, which makes it perfect for those afternoon cravings. But still bread-like enough to have for breakfast or as an evening snack. It is ridiculously simple and quick to make, yet great in taste and with a wonderful crust on the outside and super moist on the inside. You wouldn’t actually believe it’s a soda bread unless you already knew. And lemme tell ya – it tastes like heaven with a little peanut butter and chopped 70% (or higher) chocolate sprinkled on top!

Chocolate Banana Bread with Peanut butter :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Now, I’ll leave you with the recipe and hope you have a wonderful Friday and weekend ahead! Be back soon.

Chocolate Banana Bread with Chia

makes one loaf of bread

2 cups (5 dl) fine spelt flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (1,5 dl) wholemeal rye flour
4 tbsp cacao powder
6 tbsp (1 dl) whole hazelnuts
6 tbsp (1 dl) sunflower seeds
3 tbsp (1/2 dl) chia seeds
1,5 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp powdered vanilla
75 g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70%), roughly chopped

2 cups (5 dl) unsweetened yogurt
1 large organic banana, mashed
3 tbsp (1/2 dl) maple syrup

unscented coconut oil + chia seeds for the loaf tin

1 banana, halved lengthwise (optional) for decoration
sunflower seeds and chia seeds to sprinkle

1) Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Oil a loaf tin with coconut oil and sprinkle with chia seeds.
2) In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix carefully using a rubber spatula until you have a smooth batter.
3) Spread the batter out evenly in the loaf tin and top with the two banana halves + sprinkle with sunflower seeds and chia seeds.
4) Bake for 1 hour in the lower part of your oven. Then lower the temperature to 175° C (350° F) and bake for 30 more minutes.
5) Take the bread out and let cool a little before removing it from the tin. Let cool completely on a wire rack. The bread keeps for up to five days wrapped in a tea towel. It freezes well too.

TIP! This is such a great bread to make because the recipe is quite forgiving. You don’t have to weigh the ingredients to be super precise. A cup measure, a tablespoon measure and a teaspoon measure go a long way. I used Gastromax gorgeous range here, which are all made in Sweden. They’re all safe and tested products and of course BPA-free. The products are recommended by the Swedish Culinary team and you can take a closer look at them here. The products are available for sale at ICA Maxi, Citygross, Cervera and Hemköp.

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Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha

Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

I hope you all had the best Easter ever! Ours was very quiet and cozy. With one kid down in the flu and a new puppy (four months old now) we were pretty much bound to the house. But as our boy slowly got better, at least we managed to get out for a short hike in the woods yesterday + fika (=coffee and cake) at Gunnebo Slott.

Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

So sorry though, for not posting this recipe before Easter instead of after… With the puppy in the house, and still trying to manage my work with the little rascal sweetie pie around, I’m not that good at planning any blog posts at the moment.

If you’re anything like me you’ve probably had your share of chocolate this Easter anyway. But these bars contain only good stuff, which make them perfect as a small snack in the afternoon when cravings set in!

I was inspired by Japanese flavors when creating this recipe. The bars are only sweetened with a small amount of rice malt syrup and then covered in 70% chocolate. And if you’ve never tried miso in a sweet way before – then you have got to try!! So good! Just make sure you use a good quality miso – preferably organic and unpasteurized. My favorite brand is Clearspring.

A little note on the salt too, cus I had quite a few questions regarding the salt on Instagram. It’s an Icelandic product from Nordur Salt and it’s made with hand harvested sea salt from Breiðafjörður (how exotic does that sound?) and Arctic rhubarb that grows wild in the Icelandic nature. The result? A delicious sour-salty taste with a fresh smell of rhubarb. So pretty to look at too, don’t you think?

If you can’t find it, you can always use Himalayan salt instead – if you like the pink touch to your bars that is. Otherwise simply use flaky sea salt or fleur de sel.

Now, who wants the recipe? Enjoy!

Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha

makes 16-20 bars

200 g walnuts
3 tbsp rice malt syrup
1 tbsp melted coconut oil, unscented
2 tsp sweet white miso or 1 tsp each of sweet white and barley miso
1 tsp good quality vanilla powder
small pinch sea salt
150 g almond flour
2 tbsp unhulled sesame seeds

200 g dark chocolate (70%)
sea salt (rhubarb salt if you have it)
matcha powder

1) Put the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 5 minutes, until the nuts are beginning to turn into a soft butter. Add the rice malt syrup, coconut oil, miso, vanilla and a small pinch of salt and blitz to combine.
2) Add the almond flour and sesame seeds and blitz again until you have a scruffy dough-like mixture.
3) Tip the dough into a lined baking tray and use clean hands to even it out into a square about 1 cm thick. Put the baking tray into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
4) Melt the chocolate in your micro wave oven or in a bain-marie, and and allow it to cool and thicken, stirring occasionally. This step is important, so that the bars will be thickly coated.
5) Take the walnut mixture out of the freezer and cut it into about 16-20 bars. Pop them back into the freezer to chill again.
6) Take the frozen bars out of the freezer and dip them into the chocolate, using two forks to turn them, then lay them on parchment paper. Sprinkle immediately with matcha powder (using a tea strainer) and rhubarb salt.
7) Once set, the bars can be stacked in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to a month. They also freeze really well.

Walnut Miso Bars with Rhubarb Salt and Matcha :: Sonja Dahlgren/Dagmar's Kitchen

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