30 June 2016

Eat Your Greens June Round Up

Where has June already gone? This summer is rushing by again and quite frankly the weather could be better over here. However there's a positive side to that too, as I can share one more Eat Your Greens round up with you. In the beginning of this month I called for Eat Your Greens entries and got several lovely summer recipes. Just look at the variety in the green collage above, so vibrant! Here are the June recipes.

Janet from The Taste Space shared with us a Three-Bean Salad with Asparagus and Coconut Dressing. It's a very wholesome and filling salad containing steamed asparagus, green beans, yellow beans, butter beans and green peas, served with a fragrant coconut dressing. It sounds great and so healthy! The recipe is originally from from Allison Day’s cookbook Whole Bowls.

Helen from Roast Chicken and a Country Walk made a Grilled Sweetcorn, Samphire and Avocado Salad. She grilled the corn cobs and combined them with lettuce, samphire and avocado and many other good ingredients to make a vibrant looking summer salad. I really like the touch of samphire in this and do agree that fresh sweetcorn is so much better in comparison with tinned one.

Laura from Touch Wood cooked a dish from her home country Macedonia, Spanakopita. Spanakopita is a very tasty filo pastry dish made with spinach and feta cheese. Laura also added spring onions for some extra greens. I wouldn't mind eating these anytime!

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe posted a Vegan lasagne with cauliflower, hummus and tofu "ricotta". Now this is a different kind and intriguing vegan lasagne adapted from a recipe in the Taste Space. It contains baby spinach as the greens and the special bit is the vegan ricotta made from cauliflower, tofu, hummus and seasoning. This recipe sounds very interesting and I really want to try it, as it's so different to my regular veggie lasagnes.

Another vegan dish comes from Shaheen, my Eat Your Greens co-host, from Allotment 2 Kitchen. She shared a recipe for a Miso Bowl with Sea Vegetables, Asparagus, Edamame and Soya Beans. It's a miso soup full of greens, like asparagus, edamame beans, spring onions and coriander, something I've been wanting to make for a long time. Maybe I'll now have enough inspiration after seeing Shaheen's wonderful post.

Helen from Family Friends Food prepared Asparagus carbonara with sun dried tomatoes. Asparagus is also the main star of this savoury pasta dish. It's made in the fashion of a vegetarian pasta carbonara combining asparagus and sun dried tomatoes. I would happily eat a plate full of this.

Corina from Searching for Spice shared with us a Roasted butternut squash salad. I really adore roasted squashes, as they make a salad so filling and tasty. The squash in the combination with pecan nuts and feta on a bed of greens sounds just great.

Another salad entry comes from Lisa from Food and Spice. She posted this Dressed up kale salad, which is adjusted from Green Gourmet Giraffe's recipe. The salad is full of kale with a tahini, lemon and maple syrup dressing. This is a very healthy and green dish.

My own Eat Your Greens post was Swiss chard bubble and squeak. The recipe and inspiration are by Nigel Slater, although I changed the dish a bit from his recipe, for example by using swiss chard instead of cabbage. Anyway I thought that it was a very nice recipe to use summer greens and even left-overs, if you like.

So these were all June contributions. Thank you so much again everyone for participating and reading. I am now passing the hosting back to Shaheen for July 2016. Keep sharing those beautiful recipes!

Your VegHog

28 June 2016

Rainy mac 'n' cheese day

Today started off nice and sunny over here, but by the time I was returning home from work, it was just a miserable rain wetting me through and through, even when trying to carry an umbrella. Oh well, sometimes it happens, and in Britain it tends to happen a bit more than elsewhere, but at least I could stop by the local pub for a pint and warming up.

Once I arrived home I just wanted to have a comfy evening in and remembered that I had frozen a couple of ramekins of homemade mac 'n' cheese. A while ago I made a larger batch of this “healthy” mac 'n' cheese, but didn't get around posting the recipe. I call it healthy only due to the wholewheat pasta used, lack of cream and only a small amount of cheese added. These photos are still from the time when I first made the dish, therefore they don't look too gloomy. Now it turns out that I never wrote down the recipe. It wasn't very special anyway, so I try to summarise it below.

I used organic wholewheat gomitini from Sicily instead of macaroni. I added a little bit of fried onions and garlic to the cooked pasta, then some vegetable stock and cheese and breadcrumbs on the top. I think I seasoned it just with salt, pepper and basil. It was quite a nice weekday meal after baked and served with salad, so I can't complain to have this “ready-meal” today either.

How is your week going?

Your VegHog

26 June 2016

What's going on in my balcony garden

Suddenly due to the warmer weather my plants have seriously started growing. It's been wet and damp, but also fairly warm, so the plants are liking it quite a bit. Unfortunately there have also been a few slug sightings and I do not like those creatures. They haven't done much damage, but I don't want to have them around at all. I have put copper wire around some of the pots of the plants that are most attractive to them, so hopefully they will stay safe. There is also a minor aphid plague at the moment, which is quite annoying. But apart from that everything is growing nicely.

The tomato vines are already pretty high and in bloom. I have bound them today so that they can steadily grow in height. It seems that none of the bush tomatoes started growing and these are all tigerella vines, which I love anyway.

The courgette is about to bloom and has huge leaves. I think I'll have to move it to another corner, where it would have more space.

Strawberries could already be harvested. It was nice to have the first juicy produce of the summer.

The dwarf beans have grown in height and are in bloom. I like to have them on the upper edge of the balcony railing.

The bell peppers are also growing steadily and have several fruits on them. Can't wait to harvest those.

It's looking pretty good and green at the moment. More updates to follow.

Your VegHog

Vibrant Forest Brewery Summer Beer Festival

I had a lovely day out yesterday. First a forest walk in New Forest spotting wildlife and plants and then a beer festival. I haven't been much to New Forest lately, even though it's basically right at our doorstep. It was nice to go again to watch ponies and cows graze.

The beer festival was organised by the local Vibrant Forest Brewery. Already last year I went to their autumn beer festival. This time we also got to sample excellent beers and ciders and there was even a vegan café, Radical Roots Cafe. Also all the beers are vegan friendly, as they are unfined. Vibrant Forest launched their new beer called Bourbon Oktober, an imperial Russian stout. It was a really tasty and strong dark beer. Belgian Zuur is one of my favourites and I had quite a bit of that. It's a pale sour, very drinkable and citrusy.

Here are a few photos from yesterday, which was a partly thundery and partly sunny day.

25 June 2016

Roasted cauliflower with lentils, freekeh, pomegranate seeds and tahini sauce

I absolutely love roasted cauliflower with tahini and here's another vegan dish combining these flavours. Apart from those ingredients I used puy lentils and freekeh as strong protein additions and pomegranate seeds and coriander for the freshness and vibrancy. I really liked this dish. I got inspired by the Braised cauliflower & puy lentil tabouleh recipe by Lee Watson, which is in his wonderful vegan cookbook Peace & Parsnips (p. 112-113). My dish was quite different in the end, but the inspiration was definitely there when flicking through cookbooks once again. So here comes my recipe.


1 cauliflower
Olive oil
½ cup puy lentils
½ cup freekeh
1 onion
1 red chilli
Vegetable stock powder
Salt Ground black pepper
Ground cumin
1 pomegranate's seeds
Fresh coriander

Tahini sauce

1 lemon's juice
3 tbsp tahini
Fresh coriander
3 tbsp water


Make the tahini sauce by mixing the ingredients and set to side.

Cut the cauliflower into florets, brush with olive oil and roast in the oven.

Cook the lentils and freekeh in water until done.

Chop the onion and the chilli into half rings. Cook the onions in olive oil until browned.

Then add the chilli, lentils, freekeh and seasoning. Also add the roasted cauliflower to the mix.

Serve with the pomegranates and tahini sauce.

Have a good weekend!

Your VegHog

22 June 2016

Roasted new potatoes and sweetcorn cobs

Roasted new potatoes make such a great weekday meal combined with different sides. This time I just roasted some corn cobs with the potatoes and served crunchy lettuce leaves and homemade chilli and lemon butter on the side.

The potatoes don't need much attention while roasting, perhaps an occasional turning. Same goes for the cobs. I just brushed them with oil, covered their roasting tin with a foil and let them roast underneath the foil for about one hour. I finished them under the grill in the oven for a couple of minutes after removing the foil so that they would get even better grilling marks.

For the chilli and lemon butter I just chopped a red chilli and grated one lemon's zest and mixed them into butter. That's such an easy and good option for summer barbecues.

I really enjoyed this pretty effortless dish and will make such dishes many times more this summer, as I only rarely get the chance to do a real barbecue.

Your VegHog

21 June 2016

Courgette nuggets

These courgette nuggets are nice to be enjoyed as a snack, side or a starter. They are quick to make and consist of grated courgette, chilli, lemon and oak smoked tomatoes, so there's a hint of spice and smoke in them. These are quite similar to the courgette fritters that I normally make with a couple of more additions and also smaller. Have a look at my recipe.


1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
1 courgette
Few oak smoked tomatoes
Squeeze of lemon
50 g grated cheddar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying


Chop the onion, chilli and garlic finely and grate the courgette.

Fry the onion, chilli and garlic for a few minutes in a pan and let cool. Then add them to the grated courgette.

Chop the oak smoked tomatoes and add them to the mix. Also add the grated cheese and season with lemon, salt and ground black pepper.

Add the egg and breadcrumbs, mix and shape nuggets from the mixture.

Fry the nuggets on both sides in hot oil until nicely browned.

Enjoy for example with a nice chipotle ketchup like I did.

Your VegHog