Meatless Monday #2: Beet Pancakes and “Vrikadeller”

Hello again!  For this week’s Meatless Monday post, I’ll provide recipes to veganize two Danish dishes I’ve enjoyed so far.  I made the first with my host-sister (Emma), who recently went vegetarian, and my host-dad (Axel) made the second.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been very fortunate to have a host family that cooks some delicious vegan dishes and always reminds me to just tell them if I need something not already in the kitchen.  From what I’ve heard, this hasn’t been the case for every student with dietary restrictions in homestays, so choose your housing option with that in mind! It may just mean you’ll be doing a little more cooking for yourself than I have had to.  After all it is a bit unreasonable to expect families to alter their diets and learn how to cook vegan meals for a student who’s living with them for four months. I look forward to cooking for my host fam a bit more as the semester progresses, both to thank them for having me and to keep up with doing something I love!

Beet, Parsnip, and Potato Pancakes (Danish Latkes?)

Keeping warm in the oven

One of my favorite parts about living in Denmark has been the abundance of beets on the table.  I’ve really only ever had them prepared in one way – roasted – so I was happy to learn about this dish.  Here’s an imprecise rundown of the simple recipe.

You’ll need

  • Beets (~3 large)
  • Parsnips (~3 large)
  • Potatoes (~3 large)
  • Oil (~1 tbsp., re-apply to pan as needed to prevent sticking)
  • Stove and pan

Steps

  1. Peel your parsnips and potatoes (or don’t, because peeling veggies means you’re wasting food!  You can wash them thoroughly and use it all)
  2. Shred the parsnips and potatoes using a grater and then squeeze out excess water by applying pressure to the shredded veggies in a strainer over the sink.
  3. Peel and shred your beets, then combine with shredded parsnips and potatoes.  Don’t remove any excess beet juice because it’s tasty, adds great color, and has more good stuff than parsnip and potato liquid.  
  4. Heat up a bit of oil in your pan while you form your shredded veggies into patties about a quarter inch thick.
  5. Place 3 to 4 patties in the pan at a time and fry them on each side until crispy.
  6. That’s it!  Serve with whatever you’d like.  Makes for a great appetizer or a main dish with some chickpeas and spicy mustard.   

Vrikadeller – Danish Meat(less)balls

Shamelessly substituting the ‘f’ in frikadeller with a ‘v’- because that’s how you quickly name vegan dishes.

I was well aware that traditional Danish cuisine is heavily meat-based prior to my departure, so I was a bit upset that I’d be missing out on my favorite way to experience other cultures – food!  Thankfully, the most popular line of Danish supermarkets (Netto, Bilka, and Føtex) recently started stocking a minced meat substitute.  It’s called “hakket” (chopped) and is made with soy and wheat protein, coconut fat, almonds, beets, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  It’s also pretty affordable compared to meat substitutes in the U.S. – like Beyond Meat. Here’s how Axel whipped up some damn good vegan Frikadelle…

You’ll need

  • 400g (1 package) of Naturli’ Hakket
  • Garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • Yellow onions (3 medium)
  • Your preferred vegan milk (¼ cup)
  • Flour or oats (½ cup)
  • Herbs (parsley, thyme, whatever you like)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Oven, greased baking sheet

Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Mince the garlic and onions
  3. Combine the hakket, garlic, and onions in a big enough mixing bowl
  4. Stir in the milk and flour/oats
  5. Add herbs, salt & pepper, and any other additions you may fancy (mushrooms would probably be great)
  6. Form into meatballs
    1. If you’re having trouble binding them, refrigerate the mixture for half an hour and/or add a little honey or syrup
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the outsides are slightly browned.  Flip halfway through
  8. Enjoy!  Great with anything and everything  

Featured image source

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