The Nordic Way: New book lauds Nordic cuisine for health

The Norwegian American

In The Nordic Way, originally published in Denmark, a trio of authors purport to have found “the World’s Most Perfect Carb-to-Protein Ratio for Preventing Weight Gain or Regain, and Lowering Your Risk of Disease.” The authors—Arne Astrup, Jennie Brand-Miller, and Christian Bitz—are recognized for their work in obesity research, glycemic science, and living a healthy lifestyle. Their book offers plenty of information on their research-based ratio, and includes a variety of recipes that are often simple in preparation but interesting in their flavor combinations. For example, there’s a rye berry salad with lemon juice and fresh herbs, a mackerel omelet, and the two recipes presented below. Whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, the recipes show how healthy Nordic cooking can be.

Open-Faced Sandwich with Salmon, Ginger & Lime
4 ounces sushi-grade salmon fillet, thinly sliced across the grain
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
Zest & juice of 1 lime
1 slice whole-grain rye bread or whole rye pumpernickel bread, toasted
3 bitter lettuce leaves, like radicchio
1 large egg, hard-boiled
fresh dill sprigs, for serving

Photo courtesy of Random House
Few things are more Nordic than an open-faced sandwich with some good-quality salmon. Recipes and photos are reprinted from The Nordic Way: Discover The World’s Most Perfect Carb-to-Protein Ratio for Preventing Weight Gain or Regain, and Lowering Your Risk of Disease by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017, Arne Astrup, Jennie Brand-Miller, and Christian Bitz.

If you can’t be certain of the freshness of your salmon, substitute an equal amount of cured salmon, like gravlax or a mild Norwegian smoked salmon. It will be just as delicious.

Place the salmon on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the ginger, lime zest, and lime juice.

Build your sandwich with the rye bread on the bottom, then the salmon, lettuce, egg, and dill on top.

Serves 1.

Caramelized Pineapple & Strawberries with Cardamom Custard
1 ¼ cups low-fat milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. low-GI sugar, such as coconut palm or maple sugar
1 ½ tsps. cornstarch
4 thin slices pineapple (about 5 ounces)
scant 1 cup sliced strawberries
1 tbsp. toasted hulled pumpkins seeds (pepitas), for serving

Photo courtesy of Random House
Pineapple may not be a classically Nordic ingredient, but the idea of a natural dessert that relies on the sweetness of fruits certainly is.

Bring the milk, vanilla, and cardamom to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Whisk the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the cornstarch well in a medium bowl until pale. While whisking continuously, gradually pour in the hot milk mixture. Return this mixture to a rinsed-out saucepan and stir over low heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon (your finger, drawn through the custard, will cut a swath). Do not allow the custard to boil. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. If desired, let cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until chilled.

Toss the pineapple, strawberries, and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in a medium bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Transfer to serving dishes and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Serve hot with the warm (or chilled) custard.

Serves 2.

This article originally appeared in the April 21, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.