Surprised in Stockholm

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Most of us have at least one piece of Stockholm in our homes. Whether its IKEA in the cupboard or H&M in the closet, Sweden has infiltrated the lives of people around the world. During my trip to Stockholm, I expected modern designs and modern clothing…I did not expect a modern food scene.

Traditional Swedish Food

As part of my regular travel routine, I watched an Anthony Bourdain episode and several YouTube videos to know what food to expect. With vegan and gluten-free aspirations (yet a belly hungry for flavor), I was apprehensive about the week ahead. Traditional Swedish food includes Swedish meatballs (duh), dairy drenched potatoes and reindeer! Yep; they are known for nibbling on Santa’s sleigh pullers. I anticipated dull vegan food or breaking my goals desperate for something satisfying. To my suprise, as soon as I landed in the Stockholm airport, I realized I was wrong.

Stockholm and 7-Eleven

When my flight landed in Stockholm, it was late. I stopped inside an airport 7-Eleven to grab waters and a light snack. To my surprise, inside the 7-Eleven was a serious salad bar! Organic lettuce, quinoa, heaping mounds of fresh veggies, beans, vinegars, mixed salads and more. I equate 7-Eleven with slurpies and big gulps, not sexy salad bars. I realized that Stockholm is not only modern in it’s textiles. It is also modern in its mindset.

Over the next week I visited several  7-Elevens and all rose to the occasion. Adorned with ‘healthy living’ and yoga postures, they were stacked with crates of kombucha and healthy food options. There was still the rolling hotdog machine. Let’s get real. It is a convenient store after all, but unlike many quick stops in the states, this place had options for everyone, regardless of your eating style.

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Hermans

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Uplifted about my options, I researched vegan eateries and found 5 vegan restaurants nearby. My favorite was Herman’s. It is a bountiful buffet located at the top the city with a rad view. The menu changes based on availability and seasonality. When I visited there was a variety of ethnic options, signage to clarify for gluten and nut allergies, and, really really amazing food. I visited 3 other vegetarian buffets during my stay. I was never disappointed but Herman’s won first place. Two plates full was all I could handle but trust me, my taste buds wanted more.

Vegan Schmegan

Swedish food, vegan Swedish meatballs, vegan food, vegetarian dishes, stockholm, vegan schmegan, www.carlyknapp.com

Another random find was the Vegan Schmegan Foodtruck. Although I had come across this in my research, I was not planning on fitting it into the schedule but when visiting the Vasa Museum (a fully enact 17th century ship…highly recommend) I noticed it was right outside. We scattered over to see what it was all about. With middle eastern flair, it did not disappoint. My husband and I got different dishes and were equally applauding the schmegans. I love a good happy ending, especially one that involves food trucks and vegan food.

Greasy Spoon

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And now for brunch…Bitches love brunch, but then again, so does anyone who fancies French toast, breakfast burritos and bottomless mimosas. If any of those items (or all of those items) appeal to you, squeeze in a visit to Greasy Spoon. It is a small space, so don’t expect luxury, however, absolutely everything we ordered was divine. I’m talking avocado toast, vegan sausages, house-made jams and 6-inch pancake stacks.

There were inventive craft coffees and cocktails. I was left in awe and so amazed I marched my happy ass into the kitchen area to ask about the butter. It was not just amazing VEGAN butter. All butters put to test, it was a real winner. The kitchen staff said grapeseed oil was the special ingredient. If I could get my hands on that recipe then I probably couldn’t get but in my skinny jeans because I would smear that vegan butter on everything!

Summing up Stockholm

Stockholm was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t just about tasty vegan restaurants. What blew me away was discovering a health-minded city where I least expected it. No matter how often I travel, I am still amazed by how much cuisine is evolving around the world. Of course every culture will hold on to its traditions, as it should, but as we are seeing the negative effects caused by industrializing food, the world is making changes and going back to basics, offering plant-based products as a substitutes.

Do I think everyone needs to eat all plants all the time? Hell no but I do advice incorporating more plant-based food into your diets to curtail the fake and fortified. And now, with most of the world adopting vegan eateries, we are all out of excuses and left with nothing but options.

 

Yummy Secrets and Shares

A few things I learned during my one-week stay in Stockholm… The Sweds love hardy, home cooking. I loved the flavors and warming effect that came with the traditional foods so I sought out cleaner recipes that still had the authentic ingredients.

Swedish Meatballs It’s all about the sauce. Meat or not, once you get the right texture, you will not be missing the meat in these balls.

Swedish Pickles are served with Swedish meatballs. It is interesting how these tangy cucumbers pair so well with a saucy meatball and creamy potatoes

Lingonberry Jam is also served with Swedish meatballs. It is the sweet component to this crazy culinary combo that mixes hardy meatballs, creamy potatoes, tangy pickles with sweet lingonberry.

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