torsdag 30 juli 2009

ode to quorn... that stuff is amazing

Today I am reminded that veggies really do rule. I was able to enjoy a really good quorn sandwich using their naked cutlets, I think they are supposed to be similar to chicken. Those things taste way better than chicken ever did! I am going to try some gutsy things with Quorn filets... if I can shred them like chicken then I can make tamales, flying jacob, chili verde, bbq ''chicken'' and so on without actually having to deal with meat.

So the reason I am going the vegetarian route these days is kind of a product of my laziness- when Im at home, I really really do NOT like to deal with meat- raw, cooked, whatever. Its messy! And bloody and usch..... need I go on? I find that I end up not being able to get things as clean as I want them after dealing with it, and Id really rather not get sick. I cant just stick stuff in a dishwasher. Vegetarian is just so much more convenient for the single, busy lifestyle.

But also from a health standpoint, there are a lot of views on vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian. I think that vegetarian probably has a lot of health benefits given the level of cholesterol and stuff that meat contains. I think that a lot of people dont realize that until recently, meat wasnt a given in everyday dining. People ate grains, legumes, nuts, fish and vegetables for the most part and had some of the heavier meats only a few times a month maybe. So the sheer amount of meat that is eaten on average by people is way too much.
I also read somewhere that a vegetarian diet can give you more chemicals if you dont choose organic because of the level of spraying done to soy and wheat, which a lot of vegetarian protein is made from.
BUT, on the other hand, treatment of animals these days is pretty brutal, and I totally agree and understand where vegetarians and vegans are coming from when they choose to do it for those reasons.

Haha, one could really go back and forth about it, huh?

onsdag 29 juli 2009

jag vill sova i frysen!

Just nu påminns jag om naturens kraft! Vi har inte haft några stormar, jordbävningar eller översvämningar. Nej... vi har haft värmen, otrolig värme. Vi bakas ihjäl känns det som! Idag i Vaughn blev det 107 F, alltså typ 42 grader. Just nu är det säkert minst 35 C, och det är riktigt sent!

Efter jobbet åkte jag ut till familjehuset och kastade mig direkt i vattnet. Jag var inomhus hela dagen så när jag steg ut för första gången kl. 18.30 var det som jag öppnade en värm ugn. Fy, tänkte jag, det här kan inte vara på riktigt! Jo, Haley... det är på riktigt!

Till middag åt vi Chili Verde, en av mina favorita rätter! Det här är den lätta versionen. Lättlagad och ganska smal också tror jag..... En mexicansk rätt som kan göras på kyckling eller vegetarisk med bönor och majs eller quorn-strimlor. Varsågod! Man kan mata 5 personer med det här!

4 stora kokta och strimlade kycklingbröst eller valfri vegetarisk protein (bönor, quorn osv)
3 burkar grön enchiladasås
2 burkar rostade milda grönpepprar (inte jalapeno peppar!)
majs- eller vetetortillas ELLER polarbröd

Blanda enchiladasåsen, grönpepprar och proteinet (kykling eller veg.)
låt småkoka en halvtimme eller så

servera med värma tortillas och det går bra att ha sallad, ris och creme fraiche till!

Ganska lätt men jättegott!

måndag 27 juli 2009

Kaffedags! Coffee-time!

This has got to be my favorite word in both languages. What is better than a coffee break? NOTHING! I dont know what I would do without coffee...

Coffee is totally a part of our culture here in the Pacific Northwest, especially here in the greater Seattle area. We like it strong and often! And when we can't get our fix... I just dont even wanna go there! I get a headache thinking about that!

Coffee for me is about tradition and a sense of wellbeing. I grew up with strong brewed coffee, and even though I didnt start drinking coffee until I was about 17, I always remember that mom and dad would take the time to sit and enjoy that first cup of the day. I do the same now that Im out on my own. No matter what is going on, and no matter how late I am, I MUST sit down for that first cup. Rarely have I had morning coffee on the run!

Now, I use a french press to make my coffee. I find that it tastes different from drip and there are actually small, small granules left in the coffee itself. I think that makes the coffee flavor a bit richer. Its good!

Having lived in Karlstad, Sweden, I got spoiled with the smell of freshly roasting coffee. Löfbergs Lila roasts all their coffee right in town, in Hamnen (correct me if Im wrong!). I would walk down Västra Torggatan and all of a sudden I would get BLITZED by the most amazing coffee smell imaginable. So glorious. I kinda miss that!

And theres afternoon coffee too.... and usually a snack goes with it. Lately, its been bananas and peanut butter. I love this. But ginger cookies are great also.

I really think I could go on and on about coffee.... So what are your coffee traditions?

söndag 26 juli 2009

Food you MUST try #1

So, here begins my series of favorite recipes (international and local) that I REALLY enjoy making. Youve already seen one of my faves- vegan tamale pie!

This one is soooo NOT vegan but its extremely good and can be made low fat, kindof fattening or SUPER RICH! All the versions taste great. This is called FLYING JACOB (Flygande Jakob) and was my dinner for tonight. This will serve 2 or 3 really hungry people. Its the light version, so if it was richer it would probably safe to say you could feed 4 with it.

FLYING JACOB! Haley version. The traditional version comes further down.

PREHEAT oven to 425 F (225 C)

1 cup of non fat half and half (I know, I know.....)
1/2 cup non fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce (chilisås)
1/2 small can of tomato paste
2 tsp. curry powder

MIX these ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside

3-4 chicken breasts
some bananas
1/2 cup of peanuts
10 strips of MORNINGSTAR vegetarian bacon (or real if you want)
Salt free italian seasoning

BOIL 3-4 chicken breasts and shred the meat. Put the meat at the bottom of a medium casserole dish... a brownie pan works well.

SPRINKLE italian seasoning generously over the chicken. Use a lot.

FRY the bacon and chop it into small bits

POUR creamy mixture over the chicken

SPRINKLE the bacon over the creamy mixture

BAKE for 10 minutes

SPRINKLE the peanuts over the flying jacob and then chop some bananas longwise and lay them over the peanuts (trust me... its good)

BAKE for 5 more minutes. Let this stand until its not boiling hot.

SERVE over rice and salad.

¤¤NOW¤¤ the original is made with heavy cream and creme fraiche instead of non fat half and half and yogurt. And real bacon.

I would like to try this with some Sriracha hot sauce mixed in, and more curry powder. But this is really good, and I encourage you all to try it if you havent!

lördag 25 juli 2009


Well, the WEEKEND is here and that makes me happy! Ive decided to maybe make this blog a little bit about Northwest and Scandinavian people and culture as well as about myself! Its fun to have something to write about that I am really interested in.

I live and LOVE the Pacific Northwest. Tall trees, the ocean, the mountains and one of the only cool-climate rainforests in the world make this heaven on earth for me. Add in the laid back people, excessive espresso drinking and a smattering of rain and youve got something special!

I dont live in Scandinavia, but I LOVE it too! Ive lived there before and I love the rolling hills, long summer days, long winter nights, excessive coffee drinking, traditions and general feeling of security up in Scandinavia. It was there that I saw the Northern Lights for the first time, and learned how to survive thousands of miles away from things that were familiar to me! And Gudrun Sjödén boutiques were only a train ride away :)

So... Im thinking of making Flying Jacob for dinner tomorrow.... MMMM......

torsdag 23 juli 2009

morning glory

I know that in this blog I totally ramble about whatever comes to mind, so here I go again... I really love mornings to myself- when I have no rush to get things done. Between work and service, this happens on Thursdays. Thursday morning is like the calm before the storm. Thursday afternoon is always super booked up at the clinic, so having this calm morning is nice.

Now... what to have for breakfast. This is a struggle. Do I have cereal, muesli, eggs, veggie sandwiches, bananas in yogurt, oatmeal..... sometimes I think too hard about this! There is really no need to panic though, just do what your body is telling you.... but its hard. Food is a pain in the butt. ROYALLY!

Well... I guess its time to make my way into the kitchen and decide this!

onsdag 22 juli 2009

friends and a little poetry

Tonight was a great night! I had some friends over and it was fun getting to know them! I made gulärtssoppa with salad and then rågbröd and knäckebröd. Of course, with the different breads we had butter and brännvinsost... and then for dessert I made kladdkaka. I think next time I make kladdkaka Ill do a little more chocolate and then REMEMBER to add the vanilla extract :) But it was totally delish anyway.

So maybe a little poetry... I call these ones Jeopardy Categories... strings of 7 or 8 different thoughts that, together, form a picture of how I felt at a certain time durnig the day or whatever. Enjoy.... This one I wrote at during a period of time where I REALLY was ''homesick'' for the life I led in Sweden.

The senses...

Words dont touch them

De kan man aldrig röra

Hunger i rösten, inte i magen!

The anticipation

And always preparing

Always being on the move

I loved that so much

fredag 17 juli 2009

thoughts about work and life!

Man, yes... another week has come and gone. It was a tough one- its been so darn hot, and then the stress of working really long days is hard on my body. My triceps are were so sore the other day. I am looking forward to the weekend... more soon!

måndag 13 juli 2009

try this... this is good!

Heres one of my very favorite recipes that I thought I would share with you all... I think you who speak Swedish and have seen my facebook page may have gotten this, but heres for the rest of you. This base recipe is vegan and glutenfree also, so in case you need to know that, now you do! For GF, just watch the ingredients in the enchilada sauce... I heard that it sometimes has flour in it.

This will serve about 5 people

1 can black beans
1 can stewed, diced tomatoes
1 can roasted green chile peppers
1 can of enchilada sauce
2/3 cup frozen corn
salsa or 1/2 can enchilada sauce

10-15 medium CORN tortillas (flour ones wont work!)

optional mix ins: shredded chicken, cheese, sour cream, diced onions, taco spices, olives
optional topping: nonfat plain yogurt or sour cream
sides: salad, fresh tomatoes, roasted jalapenos, etc.

DRAIN all of the veggies
MIX them together with the can of enchilada sauce
LAYER starting with the corn tortillas on the bottom, then the veggies... etc. the last layer should be corn tortillas. Dump some salsa on top.

Crock pot on high for at least 1.5 hours. If you can do it for 3 hours then its even better. Low for 8 hours will make this sort of a thick corn chowder, which is DELISH.

This, my friends, will also feed a single person lunch and dinner for like 4 days!

fredag 10 juli 2009

lite om att vara massageterapeut....

Jo, jag brukar inte skriva blogginlägg varje dag men... ja. Dagen har gått ganska bra- det var fullbokad med patienter på schemat när jag kom till jobbet men sen var det två som inte kom- den ena är en kvinna som har haft mycket ont sedan två bilolyckor i rad och den andra är en rysk man som arbetar på ett byggföretag. Kvinnan lämnade ett meddelande att hon inte ville komma idag för att hon kände sig bra. Detta tycker jag är interessant... hon kommer på besök hos sjukgymnasten och har massage hos mig två gånger i veckan. Hon hade en vecka ledig från både sina behandlingar och jobbet och att hon känner sig så bra efter en vecka utan behandlingar gör mig glad. Det är inte så att jag tror det är jag som har gjort henne smärtfri- jag tycker faktiskt att det blev till slut för mycket- att kroppen inte hann med alla behandlingar och att det är först nu att kroppen har hunnit börja läcka sig!

Mannen som nämndes tidigare har problem med spänningshuvudvärk, och han känner sig bra efter behandlingar med klassisk massage, bindvävsmassage och terapeutisk stretching. Han säger att han blir bättre efter varje behandling, och han gör sina stretch-övningar hemma också. Han dök inte upp på kliniken, men det gjorde inte de andra terapeuternas patienter heller. Det var fredag, bokningstiden var 17.40 på kvällen, och vädret var absolut perfekt- en finare fredagskväll kunde man inte ha önskat sig... Jag tror att vi alla har lyckats om våra patienter känner sig bra nog att ta tiden för sig för att vara ute och njuta av en fin kväll... även om det blir lite jobbigt för oss som får sitta inne och vänta :)

Laugh out loud.... ;p

torsdag 9 juli 2009

the weeks fly by

Wow, so heres come and gone yet another week. Unbelievable. Last time I checked it was Monday. But I am totally OK with it being Friday tomorrow. I always seem to notice Wednesdays. To me, its always Wednesday. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday come and go without much notice, but Wednesday is a relief. Wednesday means that the week is half over, I have a free weeknight, and that Thursday and Friday will go quickly. Some weeks, though, I dont even notice the week thats gone until Thursday. The week before last, I missed Wednesday completely. It was Thursday before the week caught up to me!

And as now, as I look at my date book, I see that all these Wednesdays have added up to it now being July 9th. As for months, I always seem to notice September, November and March especially. I am not sure if its because these months mark a change in seasons or what. They are all cold weather months, though. Each month marks a different kind of gloomy weather. September is for wind, November is for frost and rain, and March is for the spastic rain-sun-hail-wind weather that gives way to April.

July, this time, is for working and resting.

onsdag 8 juli 2009

So here goes nothing!

So I thought Id start up a blog. It was fun when I had one a while ago and I sometimes have a lot to share with my buddies, so this is cool. Ill put up some pictures and stuff also...

Right now Im sitting in bed with coffee and its pretty nice and cozy. I love mornings like this- slowly waking up, listening to Sveriges Radio while having coffee, then breakfast and then service or random stuff before starting work. Nice....

Breakfast lately has been two open face sandwiches with lots of mustard, tomatoes, bell peppers and pickles, along with a bowl of berries and yogurt. Ive had this for about a week now, and I dont seem to get tired of it, but I guess I should vary my diet a little more! Its just that when you live on your own, a loaf of bread can last for 2 weeks unless you eat sandwiches every meal of the day!

Tonight though, no more sandwiches for dinner... Im going over to the Casa for tostadas. Mom makes the best.

Jag kan knappt vänta....