Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pan-fried Oatmeal

Eating healthy can be likened to a journey. One discovers new and inspiring things along the way. This morning as I sat at the dining table reading and enjoying my morning coffee, the thought of breakfast popped into my mind. I’ve been on an oatmeal kick lately but being that it was the weekend, I wanted something a bit more decadent and my regular oatmeal sounded boring. 

Pancakes or waffles sounded more like weekend breakfast but I really wanted to maintain my healthy breakfast streak. Then the idea came to me to use oatmeal instead of regular flour. I would simply grind up the oats in my food processor and sub the “flour” for regular flour. It would be a breakfast adventure. It would still be my regular oatmeal, just doctored up a bit and pan-fried. That sounded decadent enough to appease my weekend breakfast yearning. 

Recipe adapted from this one found on Pinterest: 


3/4 cup oat flour (approximately 1 heaping cup of regular oats, ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons agave syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter for griddle

Raspberry jam (or other fruit jam of choice)
100% pure maple syrup


In a bowl, whisk dry ingredients 
In a separate bowl add wet ingredients and whisk lightly to combine
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Adjust mixture with more flour or milk to reach desired consistency, one tablespoon at a time.

Place skillet over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has stopped sizzling, ladle 1/4 cup of batter for each oatcake. Pan-fry on each side approximately 3-4 minutes. Repeat until batter is gone. Makes approximately 6 medium-sized oatcakes.

Serve with equal parts raspberry jam and maple syrup, blended together and heated.

They turned out delicious! 

The pan-fried oatmeal cakes were slightly more dry than regular pancakes, possibly due to the lack of a fat or oil used in the recipe, but topped with the raspberry jam and maple syrup they hit the spot. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Within Walking Distance

When I was a kid, places that were within “walking distance” had a different meaning. There was the convenience store at the end of our street and then the one at the corner of Highland Ave. and Florida Ave., and there was the university campus, even if it was only the outskirts where the freshmen dorms resided. And I was not allowed to go to any of these places. I was, of course, too young to venture out that far and into the dangers of the world.

Eventually I was allowed to ride my bike to the store at Highland and Florida but that was only if I came directly home afterward. Today I live in a completely different world. Over the years I have lived in many different places, all different and unique in their own ways. Some of them were on quiet, residential streets, well most of them were, but some were secretly tucked away in residential pockets with restaurants, grocery stores, and various other shops and businesses on bustling streets within a short walking distance away.

Today I live smack dab in the middle of the hustling and bustling city of Stockholm. I live on the island of Södermalm on Hornsgatan, which is one the the busiest streets in the city. We are surrounded by the sounds, smells, and sights of city life. And we love it. Literally, a two minute walk in three directions and I can find five different grocery stores. Three are conventional while two of them specialize in organic products. Granted, I usually cannot find every ingredient I need in just one store, the variety available in such a short walking distance from our apartment is amazing and convenient in its own way.

In addition, there are several wonderful bakeries, a hardware store, clothing boutiques, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and on one stretch of our street there is an entire length of art galleries and shops that on several occasions each year stay open late into the evening for art gallery walks.

Unfortunately every thing we might need is not in our immediate vicinity but we could easily get by for days, even weeks, in our little neighborhood bubble. When we moved to Stockholm we chose to live without a car and for the most part I have not missed it in the just over five years that we have lived here. There are no oil changes to remember, insurance to pay, or other worries that having a car entails.

It is a wonderfully different way of life. And we love it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Creamy Kale with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

I have been a bit uninspired lately when it comes to blogging, in case you didn't notice. I am in the process of finding myself, blog-wise, and so posts may be a bit sporadic in days to come. My hope is that I not only find my inspiration again but also a more specific and focused blog goal. Things are definitely brewing....

As is this delicious recipe I recently came across, thanks to one of my lovely sisters-in-law, Maria. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. If you are trying to avoid dairy, I am sure this would still be delicious without the cream. You could try substituting a broth of your choice instead and skip the Parmesan altogether, but that would be difficult unless you cannot tolerate cheese or you are a vegan. Perhaps a sprinkling of nutritional yeast could be a good vegan alternative? 

Creamy Kale with Parmesan and Pine Nuts 
Adapted and translated from ICA, a Swedish grocery store


2 cloves of garlic
1/3-1/2 cup pine nuts 
2 oz Parmesan cheese, whole 
300 g chopped black kale (approx 4 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cup cream (heavy whipping cream, or half and half, your choice)
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper 
Salt & pepper to taste


Roast pine nuts in a hot, dry pan until toasted. Set aside.
Chop or mince garlic. Set aside. 
Clean & chop kale, removing the thick, inner ribs. 
Shave Parmesan & set aside. 
Heat your skillet to medium heat & add oil. Sauté garlic & kale, adding a little salt & pepper as you go (approx 1/4 teaspoon of each).  
Add crushed red pepper & cream and allow to simmer until the liquid reduces and starts to take on a greenish tint. Stir often. Taste to see if more salt is needed but bear in mind the saltiness of the cheese. 
Top with shaved cheese & pine nuts. 

Serve with grilled sausages, vegetarian or otherwise, or toss with pasta for a delicious alternative. :-)