29 September 2015

Midweek lunch

Lebanese dirty rice has become a real favourite of mine, and I actually cook a batch almost once a week. Lately I've been cooking other Lebanese recipes as well, which I hope to post here soon.

This lunch contains Lebanese dirty rice with roasted onions, fresh mini plum tomatoes and a packet of punchy protein nuts by Graze. This lunch should be quite nutritious for a work day.

What has been in your lunch boxes lately?

28 September 2015

Gnocchi with tomatoes and pine nuts

Here's just a very quick meal, gnocchi with tomatoes, pine nuts, basil and mozzarella quickly tossed together in a pan and served with garlic bread. I love this kind of quick meals when there isn't much time or strength to cook. I don't know why, but I'm extremely drained today. I could have fallen asleep while walking several times today. I'm not quite with it today, but let's hope it's only a severe case of Monday blues and I will be a bit more energetic tomorrow. I can't even write more right now, better luck tomorrow. I'll soon be off to bed.

Have a great week!

Your VegHog

27 September 2015

Vegetarian sausage rolls

Veggie sausage rolls are a good snack or lunch to brighten up a regular day. These are very easy to make, especially, if you buy the ready rolled out puff pastry like I often do. We took these veggie sausage rolls as snacks for a forest walk, and they were just perfect for that purpose, filling and easy to transport. The only problem was that a slightly unfriendly bull tried to attack us and we had to escape through the forest into safety to the next gate. I'm not sure, if it was just so fond of us due to our sausage rolls...

Anyway, here is the recipe.


320 g puff pastry
6 vegetarian sausages
Vegetable oil
Smoky firepit rub
6 Emmental slices
1 egg
Sesame seeds


Cook the sausages in vegetable oil and rub them with the smoky firepit rub and let them cool.

Roll the puff pastry out and cut it into 6 equal sized bits.

Cut slices of the cheese.

Wrap the puff pastry pieces around the sausages and cheese slices.

Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds on the top.

Bake at 200C for about 15 minutes until the pastry is done.


Your VegHog

26 September 2015

Nutty apple pie

It's apple season and perfect time to enjoy some lovely apples. I was explicitly looking for a nutty apple pie recipe and found this one on a website of a Finnish magazine. I followed it pretty closely, but here is the translation. It was nice and moist and full of apples. 

For the crust:

1 dl oat flakes
2 dl wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 dl sugar
½ dl hazelnut crush
1 tsp vanilla sugar
75 g margarine
2 eggs
1 ½ dl Greek yogurt

For the filling:

4 British pink apples
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tbsp hazelnut crush


Grease a pie tin (about 25 cm diameter).

Melt the margarine.

Mix the dry ingredients for the crust and add the other ingredients into the mix and make a smooth dough.

Spread the dough into the pie tin.

Wash the apples and cut them into thin slices or wedges. Place them onto the dough.

Melt the butter and add the sugar and cinnamon to it. Pour the mix onto the apples

Sprinkle the hazelnut crush on the top.

Bake at 200C for about 40 minutes.


Your VegHog

24 September 2015

Pea and carrot pilaf

Time for a solid weekday cooking with ingredients I happened to had and had to cook in order not to waste them. Cooking is a creative process and I also hate to throw vegetables out, so I always try to utilise everything and make up dishes, if need be. It's a good thing to do especially before the weekend, as there will probably be some eating out or fancier dishes then. I had these great fresh garden peas in the pods and thought they would be a good ingredient for a vegan rice pilaf type of a dish. So then I created this pea and carrot pilaf.

I'm sharing this recipe with Shaheen's vegetarian cooking challenge Eat Your Greens for this month. She is a fellow vegetarian blogger and has a wonderful blog called A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table. Do check it out, if you don't know it yet! I realised that September is drawing to a close (!) and that I should quickly post a greenish dish to participate. So here's my pilaf recipe, have a look how I made it.  


1 cup fresh garden peas
1 romano pepper
2 carrots
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
200 g rice (mix of brown basmati, red camargue and wild rice)
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder
Ground cumin
Ground black pepper


Remove the peas from the pods.

Chop the romano pepper, carrots, onion and garlic finely and start cooking them in olive oil.

After a while, add the rice and peas followed by vegetable stock powder and water to cover it all.

Let simmer until the rice is done.

Season to taste and serve.

So easy and good, enjoy!

Your VegHog

22 September 2015

Tacos with roasted pattypan squash and soya mince chilli

I really love tacos with various vegetable fillings, so I made some again. I filled these taco shells with roasted pattypan squash, soya mince chilli and cheese. I also got the opportunity to taste my new smoky chilli paste with them, Gran Luchito, which was really good. That little jar is going to disappear in no time. 

Here is my taco recipe:


1 pattypan squash
Olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 can black beans
400 g tomatoes
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Chilli flakes
Smoked paprika
Cocoa powder
Tomato purée
Fresh coriander
100 g grated cheese
½ cup dried soya mince
12 taco shells


Cut the pattypan squash into cubes, brush them with olive oil and roast in the oven until done with roasting marks.

Chop the onion, garlic and tomatoes. Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, add the black beans and ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes and smoked paprika. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the tomatoes. Let simmer under lid for about 30 minutes. Add the cocoa powder, tomato purée and a little bit of the grated cheese into the pot.

Cook the dried soya mince as instructed on the packet. Mine needs to be boiled in water for a couple of minutes and then it can be pan fried. Add the mince after the frying into the chilli.

Also add the roasted pattypan squash cubes into the chilli, or keep them separated, if preferred.

Put the mixture into the taco shells, add some cheese and fresh coriander on the top and bake in the oven until the cheese has melted.


Your VegHog

21 September 2015

Root vegetable pie with a skin-on mash topping

Autumn cooking can be so great, as I noticed again tonight. How have I missed the hearty potato mash topped pies! It's not really cold enough yet for proper winter dishes, but since it's late September, I find that a few pies can be made. So I found that a root vegetable pie was in order for a Monday dinner.

I want to share this recipe with this month's Vegetable Palette vegetarian cooking challenge hosted by Shaheen from A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table, which is very much the inspiration for this recipe anyway. Vegetable Palette's theme for September is “purple and blues” and this very much caught my imagination. During the whole month I was considering so many options for purple or blue recipes by using different vegetables and it was getting difficult to decide. I just didn't necessarily want to resort to blueberries, which I would've done, if no other good idea would've come along. Luckily I found these purple carrots and purple garlic, which somehow wanted to go into hearty pie, and I paired them with some golden beetroots and also fairly purple red onion. It's probably my twisted sense of humour that instead of the naturally purple beetroot, I used its golden cousin. Well, it did work well together. This recipe is also very easy to veganise, I just preferred using butter and cheese in the mash. 

Here is the recipe for my purple root vegetable pie:

For the filling:
100 g purple carrots
4 golden beetroots
1/3 cup puy lentils
1 large red onion
3 purple garlic cloves
Olive oil
A dash of dry cider (I used organic Black Fox cider)
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock powder
Ground black pepper

For the topping:
500 g potatoes
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp salt
50 g grated Emmental (optional)


Cook the potatoes in salt water until they are done. Drain most of the water off, but leave a little bit of it in the pan, add the butter, salt and cheese and mash. Set to side.

Peel the root vegetables and cut them into cubes. Chop the red onion fairly coarsely and the garlic finely and start cooking these in olive oil. After a few minutes, add the root vegetables. After again a few minutes, add a dash of cider and vegetable stock powder and let simmer. Add a little bit water, if needed. 

In the meanwhile cook the lentils in water in a separate pot.

Once the vegetables are almost done, add the lentils and seasoning. Let simmer for a while until the flavours have blended nicely, season to taste.

Put the root vegetable and lentil mix onto the bottom of an oven dish and spread the mash on it as cover. Make any patterns on the top, as you desire and bake in the oven at 200C for about 25 minutes until the mash is baked golden brown.

Enjoy the pie warm on a cosy autumn night. I'm also looking forward to having it tomorrow as lunch.

Your VegHog

20 September 2015

Tomato and red lentil soup

A tomato and lentil soup is a cheap and easy, yet fine alternative for the autumn. It tastes equally nice in the evenings and as lunch and is incredibly filling. I love this type of food in the autumn and winter time.

Here is my basic recipe for a vegan tomato and red lentil soup.


1 onion
2 garlic cloves
400 g cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup red lentils
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato purée
Fresh basil
Ground black pepper
Chilli flakes


Chop the onion and garlic finely, and also chop the tomatoes. Start cooking the onion and garlic in olive oil, and once they are soft, add the tomatoes. Simmer under lid by occasionally stirring.

Cook the lentils in water in a separate pan with an added vegetable stock cube until they are done. Add them to the tomatoes and season the soup with tomato purée, fresh basil, salt, ground black pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

Enjoy warm with a roll or a slice of bread.

Your VegHog

19 September 2015

Spelt, cider and seed rolls

Is there a better way to start a day than with freshly baked healthy rolls? I think not! I made these lovely rolls, but didn't write down the ingredient amounts. I'm very sorry about that, but they were so good that I'm going to bake them soon again and then post the full recipe here.

The main ingredients of the dough were spelt flour, in dry cider soaked oat flakes and sunflower seeds. This mix made very sturdy and filling rolls. They were so great with some butter and cheese.

Here are couple of my older similar recipes: Spelt and cider rolls & Spelt flake and cider rolls 

Enjoy your weekend!

Your VegHog

17 September 2015

Kohlrabi and carrot sticks with hummus

I haven't just been tasting whiskys (previous post), I've also had a taste of healthy life with lunches such as this assembly of kohlrabi and carrot sticks. I love all sorts of vegetable sticks enjoyed with homemade hummus. Onto this plate I also added some homegrown tomatoes. Do you often enjoy such light lunches? I should definitely do it more often.

Somehow I never seem to get kohlrabi in this country. What's up with that? So now that I saw these beautiful specimen in my local health food store, I just had to grab a few. I hope they'll have them for a while yet, because I really got into the taste again. I prefer them eaten raw with a dip, that is just divine.

By the way, how do you like my hiding deer?

Have a great start to the weekend everyone!

Your VegHog

Teerenpeli Single Malt Whisky

Do you still remember Teerenpeli from a recent post of mine, a Finnish restaurant chain with proud range of own beers, ciders and whiskies? Back then I promised to write something more on their products. Now I feel that the suitable time has arrived to write about their single malt whisky, as the days are growing bleaker and the nights darker. Also the weekend is soon here - good times!

I have been very much into whisky lately, which quite surprises me, and I was happy to have some of this Teerenpeli product left. So here are my thoughts on the Teerenpeli Single Malt Whisky 43 %. It's a 8 years old whisky and quite smooth in general. There is a slight smoke flavour in the foretaste. The aftertaste contains sweeter components, such as vanilla and caramel. Finally there is a really strong earthy taste in the aftertaste, pretty much like tar. I know that flavour well, as Finns often flavour sweets with tar.

Try it, if you'll ever get the chance!

14 September 2015

Skin-on mash with veggie Schnitzel and mushroom sauce

This type of dish is one my absolute weekend favourites: potatoes, veggies and a vegetarian Schnitzel of some description and I quite often tend to have such meals. The components can and will vary, but the principle stays the same. So here's just one of those dishes. I would urge you to try skin-on mash, there's not a really a reason to remove the nutritious skins and they add a bit more interesting texture to the mash.

Skin-on mash

500 g potatoes
25 g butter
50 ml milk
1 tsp salt

Boil the potatoes in salt water until done. Mash them with the peels and add the butter, milk and salt.

Mushroom sauce

200 g closed cup mushrooms
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil
100 ml oat cream
Fresh basil

Slice the mushrooms ans chop the onion and garlic finely. Cook them in olive oil until soft and until the mushrooms have lost some of the excess water. Add the cream, salt, pepper and basil and let simmer until the cream has been infused nicely by the mushrooms and other components.

Leek side

1 leek
1 onion
25 g butter
50 g dry cider

Slice the leek thinly and chop the onion finely. Cook them in butter until soft, add the cider, salt and pepper and let simmer.


2 ready made vegetarian Schnitzel

Heat the Schnitzel in the oven until the surfaces are crispy.

Serve everything together and enjoy!

Your VegHog

13 September 2015

Vibrant Forest Beer Festival 2015

Vibrant Forest Brewery is a microbrewery in New Forest and yesterday they organised this Vibrant Forest Beer Festival that I had the pleasure to visit. I often go to New Forest for walks, as it is nearby. This time we also had a little stroll through some parts of the forest, which was very vibrant indeed and we got really lucky with the weather as well. Here are some photos from the walk and from the beer festival.

I tasted a variety of the beers and one cider and they were all excellent and different. The beer by the Vibrant Forest Brewery is unfined, which makes it suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The beers are therefore cloudy, but very fine in taste. I also bought some bottles to take away and will be enjoying them home.

These are the drinks I tasted together with my partner:
  • Summerlands Session IPA 3,5%
  • RadicAle Belgian Zuur Bier 3,5%
  • Nova Foresta Hoppy Amber Bitter 3,8%
  • Flying Saucer Golden Hoppy Ale 4,3%
  • Cydonia Martian Red Ale 4,7%
  • Nelson Sauvin Vibrant Pale Ale 5,0%
  • Summit Vibrant Pale Ale 5,0%
  • RadicAle Oat & Coffee Stout 5,7%
  • Kaleidoscope India Pale Ale 6,5%
  • Dorset Sunshine Cider 6,5%