Instead of the usual dinner routine, some nights I simply want to feed Ella a bottle, eat a bag of microwave popcorn, cram a handful of pretzle m&m’s in my mouth, and go to bed at 8PM with a sippy cup of 3 buck chuck. I assume I’m not alone in my corner store 3 course meal. Fess up folks.
The nights that I heed to the call of my carb and sugar siren, I end up feeling like crap, physically and mentally. I wake up starving and angry that I gave my will power over to a bunch of grapes.
But there is a middle. A middle that doesn’t require hours of prep and isn’t a head of lettuce and a can of beans. A dinner alternative that is as visually stimulating as you want it to be, nutritious and filling just the same.
I give you smørrebrød.
At it’s most basic, smørrebrød is a Danish open-faced sandwich, generally served on rye or dark bread, smeared with butter, and topped with a variety of items- anything from sliced hardboiled eggs, pickled or smoked fish, pickled and/or fresh vegetables, sliced meats, cooked shrimp and chopped fresh herbs. You likely have all the ingredients lying round your fridge right now. All those little food saver containers housing leftovers? Yup. Those. Now reach for that refrigerator door full of infrequently used condiments. Get some bread, and pow. You’re done.
Some ideas to get you started
- My favorite Smørrebrød à la my culinary mentor Shanny, russian butter, smoked salmon, sliced radish, fresh ground pepper and sea salt
- Chopped liver salad, or liver pate, and sliced hard-boiled egg, pickled red onion and capers
- Cream cheese European style smoked salmon, sliced cucumbers, capers, sliced lemon, and chopped dill
- Mayo, Sliced leftover roasted chicken, mango chutney, chopped celery and chopped parsley
- European butter, sliced ham or prosciutto, scrambled eggs and green onion
- Blue Cheese, Sliced tomato, sliced radish, fresh ground black pepper and chopped green onion
One generally does the trick, and when accompanied with a fistful of baby spinach and a few chopped vegetables I’ve done my body a little good.