If you haven’t heard about Green Kitchen Stories yet, don’t blame us. We’ve been obsessing over this couple and their Nordic way of life forever. This month, David and Luise (and baby Elsa!) are launching their latest cookbook, Green Kitchen Travels, inspired by – what else? – their family travels. Most notably, their time spent up and down the coast of California and on to the culinary epicenter that is New York City.
We asked the authors to share a few highlights from their New York and California experiences, along with a recipe from the new book. This one’s a killer: gluten-free almond pumpkin waffles! Read their sweet insights and win the book for yourself below…
Best meal eaten/cooked in NYC:
We had a great brunch at Peel’s. We were celebrating something and I remember that we filled the table with soaked oats, pancakes, eggs, juices and coffee. A great brunch lasting for hours is often a lot nicer than a good dinner.
Fave NY restaurant:
We love The Butcher’s Daughter! Next time we’re in New York, we have promised ourselves to go to Dirt Candy.
Fave thing to pack for cooking when traveling:
A small hand blender is very convenient to bring. Apart from that, we always try to make do with what we can find in the kitchens we borrow/rent – it’s part of the charm to cook without all the convenient things that we’re used to.
One thing you wish you could pack to cook with when traveling:
One thing you wish you could pack to cook with when traveling: We use our Vitamix blender at least twice a day when we are home, so we kind of miss it when we are traveling. But to make up for it, we are on a constant hunt for smoothie and juice bars when we travel.
One Nordic item you wish U.S. grocers would stock:
Rosehip powder is quite common in the Nordic countries, but very hard to find in the U.S. It has a wonderful fresh flavor and is a well-known natural remedy here.
Best meal in San Francisco:
We were on a quite tight budget on that trip, so we didn’t eat out very much. We lived in the Mission District and David loved all the Mexican food from the food trucks there. Apart from that, we loved shopping fresh produce at the Bi-Rite Market or the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, and cooking meals in our tiny San Francisco kitchen and then bringing them to Dolores Park or Ocean Beach for a picnic.
Fave experience in SF:
Drinking coffee on Valencia street. Walking up and down the hills to Whole Foods Market (we don’t have anything like it in Sweden). Picnics in Dolores Park. We were invited by a few friends that we had recently met to watch the World Series final in baseball when the San Francisco Giants won. We didn’t really understand all the rules, but it was lots of fun!
Best meal in LA or Santa Barbara:
We were quite obsessed with the açai bowls from Backyard Bowls in Santa Barbara. It was the first time we tried acai and since then we have started making it pretty regularly.
Fave aspect of cooking on the West Coast:
Definitely all the farmer’s markets and fresh produce that are available.
Fave moment with the baby in U.S. travels:
Oh, so many! On Halloween we met up with a friend in Santa Cruz that we had only met through the blog. She had prepared a skeleton costume for Elsa and we got to go with her family for trick or treat. The most fantastic thing was probably that we got to experience so much of her early development together. We had time to focus on Elsa and on each other. Also, all Americans were so sweet welcoming to us and sweet towards Elsa.
Baby's fave: NY or San Fran food?
Elsa was only seven months when we arrived in New York, so she just had small tasting portions. As we traveled to the West Coast, her appetite got bigger so I suppose we could say that she prefers San Fran food.
Strangest food ever packed:
We always carried boiled eggs with us, as it was a simple thing to give Elsa whenever she had a sudden hunger craving. Every time we passed through customs they looked suspiciously at our eggs.
Fave food moment in all U.S. travels from book:
The favorite thing was that there were so many great healthy vegetarian options available all over the West Coast (and NY). One of our favorite memories was when we were invited to a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with some of David’s distant relatives. He had forgot to tell them that he was a vegetarian and didn’t want to insult their turkey, so he pretended that he ate a double portion while hiding it in his napkin and passing some on to me. It was a hilarious night!
Win This Book!
Want to win your own copy of Green Kitchen Travels? Simply sign up for our newsletter, then leave a comment below telling us the best dish you’ve ever eaten in your own travels!
Open to continental U.S. residents only. Giveaway closes Friday, October 3rd at 5pm PST.
Before our first visit to the U.S.A., we kept pumpkins only as decoration. They are also grown in Europe, but have never been as popular or as creatively used in recipes as in the States. After spending a few months on the West Coast during pumpkin season, we quickly learned that they can be used in practically any kind of recipe – sweet or savory. On our trip we made sure to try pumpkin pie, cheesecake and muffins, pumpkin soup and salad, pumpkin pancakes and even pumpkin spice coffee. But of all the sweet combinations, we grew most fond of the spiced pumpkin waffles that we tried in a diner just south of Big Sur, California. They were served with a slab of maple butter and after our third plate we were in a food coma for the rest of the day.
We created these with a similar mixture of spices but slightly lighter, using almond flour and buttermilk. They are still quite rich, so two waffles are usually enough for one person. If pumpkins are out of season, you can use two cups mashed ripe banana instead of the pumpkin purée.
Pumpkin & Almond Waffles (gluten-free)
Makes 10 waffles
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, about 1 lb 2 oz, or 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1/2 cup water
generous 2 cups almond flour
generous 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp maple syrup or clear honey (preferably unheated), plus extra to serve
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
a little cold-pressed coconut oil or butter
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Halve the pumpkin with a sharp knife and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place both halves on a baking tray, cut-side down, and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes or until the skin is bubbly and slightly browned and the flesh is soft. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Spoon out the flesh into a bowl. Use a fork (or a food processor) to mash it to a purée.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Measure 2 cups pumpkin purée and add to the bowl together with the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil or butter. Stir until well combined. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes in the fridge. This is an important step, as the waffles hold together better when baking.
Turn on your waffle iron and wait until it is hot. Brush the grids with a little coconut oil or butter then add about 4 tablespoons of the batter (less or more depending on your waffle iron) and close the lid. The waffle should be ready after about 1½ minutes. Open the lid slowly and use a fork to carefully detach it from the iron. Repeat for the remaining waffles.
Reprinted with permission from GREEN KITCHEN TRAVELS by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, Hardie Grant, 2014.