Hey friends! Happy Valentine's Day for those of you who are into that sort of thing.
Pardon me for keeping things kind of short today and for being sparse in the photo department... in the process of switching between my Canadian and Swedish iCloud accounts in order to install a parking app, I somehow managed to wipe all of my photos and all of my contacts from my phone.
I really hate tech headaches like this, and while I'm sure there is a solution, I'm done fighting with it for the day.
I've always felt fairly "meh" about this "holiday" and this year is, naturally, no exception. We are having a family pizza night and I promised Niko I'd make a heart-shaped pizza (he saw that once on an episode of Daniel Tiger, I think) but that's pa-retty much it.
I did also buy a heart-shaped box of chocolate "for the kids" that I look forward to digging into.
I have a personal tradition where I wear a patriarchy-smashing top to the office on V-day or whatever the day closest to it is. I started this a few years back, I don't know, it just felt like the right thing to do.
So this year I wore the "grow a pair" ovary t-shirt my friend Alison gave me for Christmas. I'm not sure where it came from (had plenty of questions about this when I posted the pic on my Instagram Stories) so can't post a link to it, but I've seen similar shirts all over Etsy so that's a good place to start.
It has continued to be stupidly cold in Stockholm this past week. The days I've biked into my office it's been painful on my face, I think my sinuses are protesting the super cold air up in there. Still, the cold weather has also brought with it more sunlight than we've had in months, and it's been nice to be on the bike.
We're officially out of the "circle of darkness" (which is not an official thing) and are back to the sun setting in the 4's rather than the 3's and 2's. Now if only this freaking snow would f*ck off, it might start to feel like spring.
When I was working on getting my Swedish driver's licence, I promised myself that once it was behind me that I'd switch gears and start working on getting my Swedish from functional to fluent. I started Swedish lessons this week, over Zoom, with just an introductory class, and then once the learning materials arrive I'm going to book 10 more lessons and hit it hard.
Since I've always worked in English and my closest friends are expats, there has never been a real push to work on my Swedish, but I feel like a complete tool when something out of the ordinary happens, like needing to take my car to the mechanic, and I have to switch over to English. I always cringe when someone asks me - in English - how long I've been here.
I'm hoping to do one lesson per week, and convince a colleague to sit with me over lunch and do some of the exercises or chat about what I'm studying a second day each week.
I really, truly, don't want to do this. I'm already up to my eyeballs with kids and job and blog, and genuinely don't have the bandwidth for one more thing.
But, I'm going to fit it in nevertheless. It's important, especially since I have Swedish-speaking kids going to Swedish schools, and I'm fumbling along stringing sentences together at a lower level than my two-year-old. I mean, I think my vocabulary is better, but he can walk circles around me in the pronunciation department.
The time has come.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
This week we kicked things off with a re-boot of an old recipe. These Cheesy Quinoa and Broccoli Nuggets are one of my favourite things to make with batch-cooked quinoa and broccoli. They're tasty, freezer-friendly, and they're waaaay less messy than giving my kids loose quinoa!
Next up, these tasty and freezer-friendly Vegan Banana Waffles. Confession: I almost always make a non-vegan version of these waffles when I make 'em at home. Vegan or not, they're one of my favourite ways to use up brown bananas.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. Chia Fresca. Again and again and again.
2. Turmeric Latte Mix. Mmmhmm. So good.
3. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. One of my personal faves.
4. Peanut Butter Oat Bars. Such a tasty snack!
5. Red Lentil Dal. Hey-o! Welcome to the top 5!
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Amy left the following comment and 5-star review on my Vegetarian Quesadillas with Pumpkin and Black Beans:
These are one of my favourite quick and easy meals. Since I’m usually just cooking for myself, I’ll sometimes make a batch of the filling and then assemble and cook the quesadillas on the stove as needed throughout the week. Super fast and delicious!
I freeze the pumpkin puree I make from my Halloween pumpkins (thanks for that inspiration!) to use throughout the year, and almost all of it ends up getting used for these.
Yes! I have a couple of portions of pumpkin purée in my own freezer leftover from the Halloween pumpkins. I need to make these again soon!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
I'm still trying to work my way through some pantry ingredients, but also planned a few new meals into the menu this week.
I'm finding that most weeks there is at least one meal on the plan that I don't end up making, so I've got a backlog of some ingredients. I also shot a couple of new recipes for the blog this weekend, so there are leftovers to use up - though those mostly end up being my work lunches.
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Sunday: Heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine's Day with my Spelt Pizza Dough.
Monday: Big salad. Also planning a trip to Ikea on Monday, so who knows.
Tuesday: Leftovers! My favourite kind of dinner.
Wednesday: Taco Quesadillas. Been craving those lately. Perhaps this is a recipe I should write up?
Thursday: Stovetop Orecchiette + Cheese. *I actually made this yesterday for a Saturday dinner to use up some fresh orecchiette I had in the fridge, and Niko hated it. So we'll see how this goes as leftovers.
Friday: Dinner at a friend's house, so I have no idea!
Saturday: Not sure. Might be dinner with Paul and the boys and I might be on my own. If so, probably ramen.
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB
2. This Hearty Vegetable Stew.
4. Vegan Bao for Lunar New Year.