Marisa’s Swedish (No)Meatballs

10th May 2015

A number of iconic images spring to mind when Swedish cuisine is mentioned, none of which are likely to be vegan however. From a cuisine that is rich in meat, seafood, dairy and eggs; we’re delighted to have a guest blogger sharing her veganized versions of some Swedish classics. Sweden based Australian food blogger, healthy home cook and mother of two Miss Marzipan has put her spin on three Swedish classics to share with us today. These recipes are a special tribute to her newly vegan Swedish husband who was raised on those iconic Swedish köttbullar before transitioning to vegan in 2014.

We’re excited to have her join us with her recipes and stunning photos for Swedish (No)Meatballs, Sugar-Free Lingonberry Jam and Creamed Kale Mashed Potatoes.


Hej from Sweden, all!

What a pleasure and privilege it is to be here, featured alongside some truly inspirational vegan foodie guest posts and Rika’s fabulous work, which I first came across via Instagram just a few short months ago!

Having been raised in England and Australia, Swedish meatballs were definitely not part of my culinary land(table)scape, growing up. I have, however, called Stockholm my home for almost 11 years now, and the infamous Swedish meatball is as ubiquitous here as a non-Swede might well imagine it to be.

So what does one do when ones meatball-loving husband decides to go vegan overnight? Get creative in the kitchen and “veganise” the heck out of this Swedish classic!

Famously, Sweden has a long tradition of meat, seafood and dairy-rich cuisine. Its inhabitants, however, seem to be increasingly interested in plant-based eating. My newly-vegan husband– who was raised on köttbullar (Swedish meatballs), sill (pickled herring) & kilos of cheese– is a testament to this trend.

On our first study “date” during our university days in Australia, my future husband attempted to woo me by offering me a midnight feast in the kitchen of his student share house. The only problem was the fact that all he had on hand was slices of plastic-y processed cheese, a packet of Black & Gold generic supermarket brand frozen hamburgers (the cheapest money could buy) and, I recall, a handful of Jatz crackers. Not even bread. Basically, it was my absolute nightmare “meal”! I forgave him this major flaw and, 13 years and 2 kids later, we remain happily together… and eating a far better diet!

Vegan Swedish No Meatballs

Last Christmas, I set out to make not only vegan (no)meatballs, but the classic accompaniment of lingonberry jam too (to complicate matters, I had my heart set on a sugar-free version). And then, of course, I had to mess with the mashed potato too, by adding my new favourite leafy green, kale, to the mix. After all, the only thing that can improve on vegetables is adding more vegetables, right? On that note, feel free to add slices of pickled cucumber (another traditional accompaniment) to your plate!

These recipes may be far removed their original, traditional counterparts in some respects, however I do hope they will evoke the warmth and heartiness of classic husmanskost (homemade “everyday” food) and the Swedish kitchen.

Smaklig måltid!


Vegan Swedish No Meatballs

Swedish (No)Meatballs

Amalgamating some of the traditional flavours of Swedish köttbullar with entirely non-traditional, plant-based ingredients, these (no)meatballs are a tasty vegan spin on a classic dish.

Yield: approximately 20 (no)meatballs

Ingredients:

2 organic eggplants

1 tbsp olive oil for baking eggplants
3-4 slices of sourdough bread
60- 75 ml of non-dairy cream (I used Oatly’s iMat)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ a white onion, grated
1 small organic carrot, grated
2 tbsp organic plain flour (a touch more, if needed)
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp organic powdered vegetable stock
1-2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper for seasoning to taste
Chickpea flour for coating (approximately 150 ml)
Olive oil/oil of choice for frying (at least 3 tbsp)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Wash the eggplants and cut them in half lengthways. Place on a foil lined baking tray, skin side down.
  • Make a few cuts into the flesh of each eggplant half (lengthways), then drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake in oven for around 30 minutes.
  • Remove eggplants from oven and scoop out the flesh with a spoon before chopping up.
  • Slice (or pulse in a food processor) sourdough bread slices into small pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine eggplant, bread, crushed garlic, grated carrot, grated onion, powdered stock, parsley, spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add vegan cream of choice and mix.
  • Add flour and combine well, then let the mixture stand for a few minutes.
  • Tip the chickpea flour onto a large plate.
  • Using a tablespoon, take heaped tablespoons full of mixture and form them into balls, popping each onto the chickpea flour-covered plate and rolling them around until each ball is coated evenly.
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the (no)meatballs in oil for around 5 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure they colour and cook evenly.
  • Notes

    These (no)meatballs will keep covered in the fridge for at least 3 days and can be made in advance, frozen and defrosted, before heating and serving.

    For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free bread and gluten-free flour.


    Sugar-Free Lingonberry Jam

    Sugar-free Lingonberry Jam

    I invented this recipe to accompany the (no)meatballs we brought as our contribution to the family julbord (“Christmas table”) last year. I thought I was rather clever in making it sugar-free, unaware that before the use of refined sugar became the norm in Sweden, lingonberry jam was traditionally prepared solely with lingonberries. So I suppose (I haven’t checked!) my unique spin on this condiment is actually the addition of clementine; another Swedish flavour favourite.

    Yield: approximately 80 ml (or ⅓ of a cup)

    Ingredients:

    150 ml frozen organic lingonberries
    2 tsp clementine juice (the juice squeezed from 2 clementine segments)
    ¼ tsp clementine zest, finely grated

    Directions:

  • Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over low-medium heat.
  • Allow berries to thaw for around 5 minutes, stirring gently occasionally.
  • Raise the heat and bring the jam to a gentle simmer for a minute or two. You will see the berry juices being released and after a minute or so, the mixture will darken a little and thicken.
  • Notes

    This jam will keep covered in the fridge for at least 3 days and can be made in advance, frozen and defrosted at room temperature before serving.

    In a pinch, lingonberries could be replaced with cranberries and clementine with orange.


    Creamed Kale Mashed Potatoes

    Vegan Kale Mashed Potatoes

    A green and vegan version of a classic veggie side, originally thrown together on the fly, in celebration of the discovery that my local supermarket had started stocking kale (my favourite leafy green)!

    Yield: 4 servings

    Ingredients:

    900 g floury potatoes (Désirée/King Edward/Maris Piper/Russet/Yukon Gold, etc), peeled and quartered
    1 clove garlic
    3-4 kale leaves
    4 tbsp Earth Balance (or similar vegan spread of choice)
    2-4 tbsp almond (or oat) milk, to reach desired consistency
    Salt and pepper to season

    Directions:

  • Tip peeled potato quarters into a large saucepan of cold, generously salted water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • In a frying pan over low-medium heat, add the olive oil and crushed garlic clove and sauté gently for a couple of minutes. Do not allow to garlic to over-colour/burn.
  • Meanwhile rinse and chop kale leaves, removing the thickest, woodiest parts of the stems.
  • Tip chopped kale into the frying pan along with the garlic and continue to sauté, stirring gently, until kale is vibrant green and has started to wilt. Remove frying pan from the heat and set to one side.
  • When potatoes are done, drain them well using a colander, put them through a ricer and back into the still-warm saucepan.
  • Add Earth Balance and combine well with potatoes until a smooth consistency is reached. Add almond milk plus salt and pepper to taste and mix. Stir through garlicky kale and serve immediately.
  • Vegan Kale Mashed Potatoes

    Vegan Swedish No Meatballs

    About Miss Marizpan

    Marisa Miss Marizpan

    Marisa (AKA Miss Marzipan) is an art director by day and an enthusiastic home cook, recipe developer and food photographer on the side. She adores art/design, training, kindness, animals, traveling, family celebrations, sleeping in and, above all, being a mama to her two “little miracles”. Via her blog and other channels, she shares reflections on her lifestyle-related endeavours (such as quitting sugar), and experiments with homemade, healthy versions of comfort food and treats… often with a sugar-free/gluten-free/plant-based spin.

    Find Miss Marzipan on Facebook + Instagram + Pinterest.

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