Ah, winter. This week I took inspiration from the chill in the air and went Nordic with Ava’s Around the World Lunch (Nordic simply means the cultural part of Northern Europe that includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic menu is quite simple and can be assembled in about five minutes.
For Ava’s main meal, I went Danish: A few slices of dark rye bread smeared with a bit of butter are topped with a translucent slice of smoked salmon. Two smaller slices of bread were topped with cheese – use any mild cheese you like, especially Jalsberg which comes from Norway. Essentially simple Smørrebrød, these open-faced sandwiches include other common toppers such as sliced cucumbers and radishes – which she can eat on their own or turn them into toppers – finger food like this is perfect my kindergartner.
Dessert was a few raspberries and a squeezable tube of blueberry skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt known for being super low in sugar and high in protein (a.k.a. my five-year old won’t have a post-lunch energy crash). Ava was SO excited about the Siggi’s – I have a feeling they’re going into the regular rotation!
- Use softened butter on your Smørrebrød to keep the cheese and salmon from sliding around. It works like (tasty) glue!
- Try swapping dark or light rye bread for pumpernickel.
- Other topping ideas for Smørrebrød include hard boiled egg, pickled herring, eel, sliced onion, pickles, dill, and many more.
- Other popular berries in the Nordic region include cloudberries, blueberries, and lingonberries.
- Want to win bonus points? Try making your own gravlax (gravlax is cured salmon and it’s almost exactly like smoked salmon in texture). I promise you’ll feel like a rock star when you’re done!
Ava’s Around the World Lunches began when I shared a few of Ava’s globally-inspired lunches on Instagram and Facebook. Turns out a lot of people are looking for lunch ideas – whether for school or work.
In this weekly column, I share one of our Around the World lunches with you. I give you tips, like where to find ingredients or possible substitutions. If you have ideas for lunches you’d like to see or challenges you need help dealing with, let me know in the comments!