Kurt and I went to Ikea yesterday to hunt for some new furniture (we didn’t buy anything, bummer!). I used to love going to Ikea with my mom and getting the meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, but obviously that doesn’t really work with my vegan lifestyle! Still, I had a hankering for those little guys, which are pretty much exactly the same as what my host families served in Finland. I’ve had some Boca burgers in the freezer for months and while I haven’t had a Finnish or Swedish meatball for a very long time and therefore might be remembering incorrectly, I remember thinking that the Boca burger tasted somewhat similar to the meatballs I so dearly loved. So I decided to make do with what I had and prepare a Finnish-inspired vegan dinner! And of course I had to add something green to the plate, even though green beans aren’t a traditional part of the meal.
The Boca patties held together really well once I formed them into balls and were very easy to brown in a skillet (though next time I’d love to attempt making veggieballs from scratch). I made my own gravy using almond milk, flour, nutritional yeast, spices, and various other things. It wasn’t really like traditional Finnish gravy but it was still great! And my favorite part is probably the lingonberries… I’m so glad Ikea sells this Nordic treat. I usually eat at least as much lingonberry jam as meatball, haha. Reminds me of picking lingonberries in the forest for my Finnish grandmother while at the summer cabin. I miss those simple moments a lot – what I wouldn’t give for a patch of land where I could pick wild blueberries, strawberries, lingonberries, and chanterelle mushrooms! Food like this is definitely comfort food for me, not just for the richness, but for the happy memories eating it brings back.
Of course, in true Finnish fashion, I had to get as many things onto my fork as possible. I actually was not able to finish the whole plate, but I’m not complaining about having leftovers of such a yummy meal!
What are some of your comfort foods? Have you ever turned one of your favorite restaurant meals into something you make at home?