Salad, Gluten Free, Fall

GOLDEN FENNEL KALE CHOP

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Salad lady. There are a handful of dinners we have coming up and lo and behold, my assignment is consistent. We often do a quicky weeknight warm kale salad with a roasted squash, pom seed, pepita combo, so I was going for something different here. Light but not lacking, something that would welcome leftover chicken or steak for Hugh and a couple fried eggs for me. A base salad if you will? It is perfectly crunchy to go along with the warmer, richer foods that are more common this time of year. I like raw shaved fennel personally, but Hugh said it feels like eating shoelaces, so I roasted the bits this time. Fennel has some natural sweetness that comes out in a quick roast and he's right, they are a little nicer to eat this way. I made a few notes below in the recipe but if you're bringing green salad to your holiday table, this one is worth considering. 

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GOLDEN FENNEL KALE CHOP // Serves 4

Some of you will see an anchovy written in the dressing and think 'gross' but I promise you it is just a teensy bit of 'hm that's interesting and salty nice' that makes the whole salad special. It does not taste like fish. I use the ones from Trader Joes and use 1 large filet, which is about a tsp. worth. If you are completely averse or do not eat fish, a tsp. of capers will be a nice substitute. The dressing can be made in advance, mind as well double it if you like having dressing on hand (which is key if you appreciate meal prep). As per comments, it's pretty simple, so if you like a bolder dressing, add an extra anchovy and perhaps a dollop of mayo to emulsify. The fennel may be roasted a day in advance too, and otherwise, everything comes together quite quickly.

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
1 bunch of lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted pinenuts

herby lemony vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
1 anchovy filet
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey or agave
handful of fresh parsley
few basil leaves
juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

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Preheat the oven to 375' and line a small baking tray with parchment. Trim and core the fennel and chop it into 1/2" pieces. Add a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper to season and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes and set aside to cool completely. 
While the fennel roasts, make your dressing. Blitz all ingredients together in a blender or food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, a few spoonfuls of dressing and massage it into the kale. It should reduce by half once you go rubbing the dressing into it. Add the garbanzos, raisins, parm, pinenuts, cooled fennel and toss again, adding more dressing as needed. No one likes dry kale. This salad can hang in the fridge for a few hours, pre dressed. Garnish with a sprinkle of extra cheese and nuts. 

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Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Fall, Feeding Babies, Gluten Free

ALMOND MEAL PUMPKIN MUFFINS

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I was chatting with a reader a few weeks ago about making swaps in one of the older pumpkin recipes on this site and I realized we have a shortage in that category. I love pumpkin things, but am a little too cynical towards how overdone it can be this time of year. I've been baking with more almond meal lately, in the name of lower carbohydrate treats, and while it doesn't yield something nearly as light and fluffy as a "regular" baked good, I like how tender and rich things turn out. Hugh actually makes this rosemary bread better than I do now and we're ordering the stuff in 4 lb. increments so it won't stop here. We may be a little short on holiday sides in the index too now that I think of it so I'll work on a few of those. Anyway, it's food season! I'm here for you.
Until then, I don't like hard selling you on the recipes here BUT if you need a super easy, one bowl, dairy free, gluten free, maple sweetened pumpkin muffin? These are them. 

ALMOND MEAL PUMPKIN MUFFINS // Makes 12 (gf, df, veg)
My kids love these. The chocolate is optional for them I suppose, but for us big kids, it is not. You could replace nuts in equal measure if you prefer. Most any muffin recipe that yields 12 can be made into a standard 9x5 loaf with more time in the oven. I actually haven't tried it yet, but I think if you went for 40 minutes, you'd be in good shape. Also note that different brands of canned pumpkin puree vs. homemade have different water content and will affect the outcome slightly. I find homemade to vary, and Libbys (what is at most conventional grocers) to be thicker than the Trader Joes stuff. So if you're using the TJ's brand, scale back to 3/4 cup.
Side note, I LOVE this muffin tin. Muffins and mini frittatas release no problem which is more than I can say for any other brand I've tried.
* Adding a note here. If coconut flour is not something you stock (and no, I don't find it tastes like coconut, and is not a very easy to use flour), a gluten free all purpose or unbleached all purpose can be swapped in at 1/3 cup in its place. 

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1 cup pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil, warmed
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 cups almond meal (blanched preferably)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips or a 3.5oz. dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped

raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds, for garnish, optional

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Preheat the oven to 360' and grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or use liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, maple, oil, pumpkin pie spice and salt and whisk really well to combine. You want to get some air up in there. Add the coconut flour and mix. Let that sit a minute to absorb some moisture. Add the almond meal, baking soda and stir again to mix. Add the chocolate chips, one last stir. 

Distribute the batter between your cups. Sprinkle the pepitas on top. Bake on the middle rack for 20ish minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool before removing them from the pan and enjoy. 

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Travel

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

Our list is fairly short. We revisited places a few times and we struck out a few times but hopefully this is helpful. We poached most of these from David and Luise who live there. Stockholm is made of 14 islands, we spent a couple days in Norrmalm and the rest in Södermalm. Being there in Autumn meant options like ferry cruises weren't running and our Californian bones couldn't quite come to terms with the extra windchill that riding bikes would have subjected us to, so we only made it as far and wide as our feet could take us between half-hourly croissants. All that to say, we would have loved to see more, but highly recommend the little bit we did see. 

Pom and Flora - There are two locations now. You may have better luck getting a table at the Odenplan spot because it has more space, but both were packed when we visited. They also have a larger menu and the salad/egg bowl deal I got was my favorite meal the whole trip. A great breakfast and lunch spot, lighter options, pastries etc. 

Cafe Pascal (Odenplan) - we enjoyed multiple coffees and a number of hours here reading and watching. It's a simple, beautiful space with great coffee. You can get espresso drinks all over town but their's were wonderful. The pour over is light and unique and I had three oat milk cappucinos one rainy morning which either makes them delicious or me crazy, you choose. 

Fabrique Bakery - I was told by multiple people to get a cardamon bun so we tried one here... and also a brownie :) Not necessarily a place to hang for awhile, but a nice afternoon snack and coffee. There are multiple locations. 

Urban Deli - So this is a specialty market and also a great little happy hour/dinner spot. There are a few locations, and the one in sodermalm has a bustling bar and restaurant. Try to grab a table early, great people watching, or pick up picnic goodies. 

Meatballs For The People - This was a Yelp find from Hugh, pretty close to our Air Bnb. I was hesitant, I don't love meatballs, but I had the vegan ones on top of a green salad with roasted squash, goat cheese and pickled onions and it was my second favorite meal of the week. Great ambiance. Grab a window seat. 

Osterlanggatan 17 - We found this while wandering the streets of Old Town. They had some great breakfast/brunch options and it was packed for lunch. The dinner menu didn't look as intriguing to me, personal preference, and the neon bar lights didn't go with the nordic vibe but whatever, it was nice. 

Kaferang - They have two locations. Again with the breakfast and lunch being amazing. Super fresh and delicious salads and soup and a yummy bakery case. When we're traveling sans kids, we pick places that feel nice to just hang for awhile and eat and chat and read and have wifi ;) This was an awesome spot. 

Fotografiska - So, according to a few Swedes we chatted with (meaning we didn't make this up), Swedish people are apparently known for their reserve when it comes to outward expressions of emotion. Hugh and I were both crying in the Paul Hansen "Being There" exhibit. We may have been the only ones, but it was hard to see through blurry eyes. Whether you're a public cryer or not, it was a heart wrenching collection of images from his job as a photojournalist covering conflict zones across the globe. The images were paired with with essays and short stories he'd written to accompany and bring context to the already powerful imagery, and oh my goodness, it will break your heart. Obviously this exhibit won't be there forever, but you should visit regardless. 

On a lighter note, the cafe upstairs has a stunning view and the food was great too. I love having wine at lunch fyi. 

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