IKEA food

So, I’ve got some postdated blogging to do.  Back at the beginning of December, we went to IKEA.  I love their little food section as I’m really fascinated by Scandinavian cuisine (even though it’s decidedly not vegan-friendly traditionally.  Though these days, since that block of countries is generally way more progressive than the rest of the world in almost every way, there’s plenty of vegan options).  I always get a packet of the ginger thin biscuits they have; they’re a nice tea break snack.  I knew I wanted a jar of lingonberry jam so I could try to make Swedish meatballs.  Wishfully thinking, I picked up a pack of this frozen gingerbread dough, which seems to be a seasonal item, and read the ingredients list:  another accidentally vegan score!  I like to make things from scratch, but I am not above the occasional shortcut.  These were really pleasant and spiced, I’ll be sure to get them next time I see them!

I hated the Glögg.  I’m always looking for interesting alcohol-free to have when I’m with people drinking (I’m straight edge) drinks, but this was…really nasty.  Tasted like cough syrup.

Gingerbread moose!

Anyway, yeah, I wanted to make Swedish meatballs.  I remember eating meatballs as a child and thinking they were gross; they were sort of greasy and slimy.  These were really good, with a nice savoury, meaty bite.  I used the recipe from Mo Betta Vegan, the only change I made was substituting soy sauce for the Worcestershire sauce.

I made mashed potatoes, Chris and Crystal Tate’s white peppery gravy (which used to be posted online, but the link is dead.  If you have Melisser Elliott’s book “The Vegan Girl’s Guide To Life“, it’s in there, too), and a proper helping of the IKEA lingonberry jam.

It was a pretty beige meal which I try to avoid most often, but sometimes the craving for colourless comfort food wins!

– Crystal

Gingerbread Oatmeal

I love the flavour of gingerbread cookies; so warming and comforting.  It translates nicely to a big, warm bowl of oats.  I use my typical method for cooking oats quickly here; what I typically do on a workday morning.  Stovetop method would work as well if you’ve got more time.  I add chia seeds to my oats because I love the texture it provides, plus it’s high in a bunch of good stuff.

Gingerbread Oatmeal

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp chia seeds
Enough water or non-dairy milk to cover oats
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Place oats and chia seeds in a bowl and add enough liquid to saturate and cover.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Pop in microwave on high for 2 minutes or until oats are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.  Add molasses, brown sugar and salt and mix.  Add spices and mix some more.  Eat and feel comforted and warm.

– Crystal