Heart for Home Cooking

One of my aspirations for a few years now has definitely been to get into more cooking & photography at home. I charted the beginnings of my food photography work at this post here & I am excited to continue to collaborate & work with professionals in food, drink & hospitality.

This post, however, is dedicated to just some good ol’ home cooking with creations & photos from our kitchen here in Sweden, in our first apartment that we call home since moving to the Stockholm region a little over a year ago. 

Food prep & cooking in our home, as in many others, has always been about enjoyment, experimentation & good times. Since we first shacked up together in late 2008, my husband & I always took great interest in recipe research, hunting for ingredients & planning meals. Our “happy place” (at least one of them) can definitely be summed up as a good movie playing on the tv for some cinematic background atmosphere & hours of ingredient preparation, cooking & creating dishes. Holidays are an especially favorite time for this reason alone.

One thing that always excites me is being able to share food with people & demonstrate that vegan cooking is not boring & bland. I cook dishes that I personally love & that I think other people would find delicious & come back to for seconds. 

Often when I am cooking, even if it is just for myself, I envision a tasting party in our home, where I could serve luscious glasses of wine alongside “tasters” of many vegan dishes, allowing people to experience a range of flavors & textures as well as exposure to plant based cooking.

Until I can make those tasting parties a reality, I will continue with my cooking & at home food photography, always working on improving & elevating both, helping to educate anyone curious to learn more about vegan & plant based cooking & to further inspire others as well as myself in the creation of delicious & beautiful meals.

All of the following photos taken during Autumn 2017 & Winter 2017/18

*All dishes are vegan

Tofu Caprese

One of my favorite dishes from our kitchen in 2017. I didn’t invent this dish but it certainly had the feeling of innovation at the moment. I recall one afternoon thinking of the traditional Caprese & instantly realizing I could sub the cheese with tofu. I immediately envisioned the dish in my mind & later looked it up online & saw that indeed ‘Tofu Caprese’ is a popular vegan rendition of the original Italian salad. 

Below & Above: Slices of firm tofu layered with slices of tomato, drizzled with balsamic cream, olive oil & topped with basil & sprinkled with herb salt

Pan Seared Seitan, Garlic Sautéed Kale, Buttery Mashed Potatoes & Homemade Lingonberry Sauce

Another of my favorite dishes from late 2017 in our kitchen was this dish in which I envisioned traditional Swedish flavors in a savory vegan meal. I love cooking with Seitan & this preparation had the hearty, savory texture I was going for. Kale & potatoes are also two ingredients I often enjoy cooking with & to pair it all with my first homemade lingonberry sauce had me very excited about gleaning more inspiration from traditional Scandinavian cooking for future dishes.

Homemade Tahini

Throughout much of last Autumn & this Winter we were buying Tahini already made until I realized I should just be making my own. As I used to add on my falafel posts when I had a Instagram account – #tahiniislife

Lemon Tahini Garlic Dressing

Oh how I adore a good homemade dressing.  See my recipe for this dressing here

Tofu Bacon Salad

I turned to salads a lot during my recent pregnancy, varying the ingredients for creativity & nutritional content. The above salad includes a bottom layer of chickpea pasta topped with crisp greens, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes lightly sautéed with turmeric & tofu bacon. For this tofu bacon I marinated the tiny bits of tofu in tamari soy sauce, baked until dry & then into the pan for a quick, crisp fry. 

Baked Tofu

This has become more of a tofu heavy post than I intended but I do cook with it a lot.  Many people do not realize the versatility & potential of tofu. Above, baked tofu, is one of my all time favorite ways to prepare it. I use firm or extra firm tofu, slice it up & season to taste & allow to bake until golden. The result are tofu slices with a denser, chewy (crispy around edges if you bake long enough) texture that you can further dice, slice, season or use as is in a dish.

Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

I love a good creamy sauce on pasta & this one was very warming & nourishing on a cold Autumn day.  The sauce has a base of an oat-based cooking cream (here in Sweden, many dairy “alternatives” such as milk, cooking cream etc, are oat based), sautéed mushrooms & garlic in vegan butter & herb salt with spinach leaves.

Veggie Pie

This version of a pot pie (one of my favorites) includes a hearty interior with veggies topped with a layer of buttery mashed potatoes baked until just a little crispy around top edges.

Breakfast burritos

This post is definitely light on breakfast dishes but that will just have to inspire a whole other post at another date focused on the first meal of the day.  Breakfast is actually one of my favorite moments of the day.  Some days of course are all about quick grab n go bites but others, such as the morning we made these burritos, it’s about a process & rich enjoyable dish to relax over & begin the day.

These breakfast burritos were created as part of a collaboration with Yi-Pin Soya for food photography & recipe development & included their ‘Peppermarinad Vegopytt‘, spinach, vegan cheese, tomatoes, shallots & black beans.

Mushroom, Onion & Tomato Pie

Mmm savory pies. I could make & dine on these weekly.  The above dish began with a buttery crust & then a filling of mushrooms, onions, spinach, tomatoes, garlic & bits of Violife Foods cheese

For Winter Solstice last year I made Seitan with Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini sautéed with Garlic & Tomatoes on top of a bed of Spinach in Lemon Dressing. 

One of my favorite dishes of 2018 so far- tofu pan seared with nutritional yeast & Hawaiian black sea salt over oat based cooking cream with tomatoes, onions & garlic, topped with avocado. 

Dishes like a number of these, protein with potatoes & medley of other veggies- are what I consider a “weekly standard” in our home & I am always looking to both elevate & perfect variations on these creations. Moving forward, I plan to highlight many of the other ingredients we use for vegan & plant based cooking, to continue sharing the meals I love to regularly make as well as a lot of the experimentation we engage in in our kitchen.  

Now, time to dice some potatoes for Pyttipanna!

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