26 March 2016

Happy Easter!

I wish a wonderful and peaceful Easter time to you all!

Your VegHog

24 March 2016

Blood orange sorbet

Just look at those colours, how delightful they are, especially now that Easter is fast approaching! I probably won't be able to post that many Easter dishes, as I will be visiting my family in Finland, but this one I made a little bit in advance, a vibrant blood orange sorbet.

I have been hoarding the seasonal blood oranges and bumped into Felicity Cloake's article How to make the perfect blood orange sorbet. So I decided to follow it and the results are in the picture. Of course the quantity was much more than depicted in that one portion and I still have some left. The taste of the sorbet is extremely fresh and strong. I would really urge you to try this recipe, if only you can obtain some blood oranges that seem to disappear from the shops as soon as they come in!

Have a lovely Easter everyone! I try to post something from Finland and Denmark, at least on social media. Otherwise I will share my travel photos later also on the blog.

Your VegHog

23 March 2016

Bean burritos

I made some simple bean and sweetcorn burritos in wholemeal tortillas, and what a nice weekday meal it made. I added some brown rice and soya mince into these to make them just a little bit more wholesome. I do enjoy this kind of dishes with a little spicy addition of smoked chilli paste, as I normally have most of these ingredients in my cupboard. This dish is very easy to veganise by leaving out the cheese or substituting it with vegan options.

½ cup dried soya mince
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
1 tbsp vegetable oil
140 g sweetcorn
240 g black beans
5 large vine tomatoes
Ground coriander to taste
Ground cumin to taste
Smoked paprika to taste
Smoked chilli paste to taste
6 tbsp tomato purée
½ cup brown rice
100 g grated Cheddar
8 wholemeal tortilla wraps


Prepare the soya mince as per instructions on the packet and set to side.

Also cook the rice and set to side.

Chop the onion, garlic and chilli finely and start cooking them in oil.

Add the sweetcorn and black beans to the pan followed by the coarsely chopped tomatoes.

Cook them for a while and then add the seasoning to taste.

After a while also add the soya mince and rice and let simmer under lid.

Once the bean mix has cooked nicely, wrap it with some grated Cheddar into the tortilla wraps.


Your VegHog

March mood

Here are a few random items and foods from March, as weirdly the month is nearly ending! I will be traveling over Easter, but I still wanted to have a little bit of Easter atmosphere in my flat beforehand. So I bought this wonderful huge chocolate rooster to cheer me up. I've already had it for several weeks, and it still makes me smile. When I carried it to the till at the shop, it even made some fellow shoppers smile, what a presence!

Even though I'll be in Finland over Easter and can get the local goodies over there, I still ordered a few Mignon eggs by Fazer online and awkwardly decorated them with a Sharpie. Mignons have a real hen egg shell filled with very tasty solid chocolate and they are a lot of fun this time of the year.

Hotel Chocolat's H-Boxes are always good for any season, but I did really like the looks of The Egglet H-Box. I'm taking a couple of these to Finland for my family members.

I bumped into Karkli at Craft Beer Rising in London. It's an unique Indian snack made according to a family recipe, nice packaging and wonderful taste.

This year I just don't have the time and strength to make an own post of the Winchester Beer and Cider Festival, which I visited last Friday. It was a really nice event as usual, especially seeing the sign of spring in the green beer again. Here are a couple of pictures from the festival.

For a while now I've had a preferred cheese again, and it has been aged Havarti. It's so nice and tasty and versatile to use, I'm only fearing that they'll discontinue it in my shop as they often do.

I recently obtained this Fermenting Food book and can't wait to make some pickled vegetables and such like. Do you have experiences of fermenting food?

Here is one of my recent salad lunch boxes containing cheese and baguette, fresh pea shoots, tomatoes and carrot sticks with hummus and olives.

22 March 2016

White risotto with cavolo nero and heirloom tomatoes

This recipe is a white risotto with cavolo Nero and heirloom tomatoes served on the top. Cavolo Nero is basically Italian kale, it's lemony with a slight bitterness and it extended the flavours of a simple risotto very nicely. I haven't made risottos for a while, so it was a nice dish to have for a change. Here is how I made this one.


1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
25 g butter
250 g arborio rice
150 ml dry white wine
1 l vegetable stock
100 g vegetarian pasta cheese
50 g aged havarti cheese
Salt to taste

200 g cavolo nero
15 g butter
2 large heirloom tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
125 g buffalo mozzarella


Chop the onion and garlic finely and start cooking them in olive oil. Shortly after add the butter and arborio rice. Stir and then add the white wine, let it absorb and then add a few ladles of the vegetable stock. Let simmer under lid and keep adding vegetable stock and stirring until the rice is cooked. In the end make the cheese and salt additions.

Once the risotto is almost done, quickly sauté the cavolo nero pieces in a separate pan in butter.

Quarter the tomatoes and quickly fry them in a hot pan and season with salt and pepper.

Combine the rice, tomatoes and cavolo nero and tear some mozzarella pieces on the top and then serve.

I want to share the recipe with Eat Your Greens, which Shaheen is hosting this month, and I am the co-host of the challenge.

Your VegHog

20 March 2016

Thai rice with spiced cashews

It's time for the final post for The VegHog's Cheap Eats Week. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a cheapskate for a week and it has been nice to have a theme week again after a while. I hope that I was able to give a couple of tips how to cook economically and I thank you for all your comments.

In the beginning of the week I promised you one recipe from the cookbook for budget vegetarian cooking Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes. This is a recipe for a Thai rice with spiced cashews (p. 80) and I'm posting here my slightly altered version. I just had to add spice infused coconut cream, as it made such a lovely addition to this. I guess this recipe only becomes cheaper, if you already have some of the sauces and spices in your basic larder.

I halved or reduced the ingredient amounts a little, as was only cooking for two.


Thai rice

200 g Thai jasmine rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions
1 pak choi
1 lemongrass stalk
1 red chilli
3 garlic cloves
Fresh ginger (similar amount to garlic)
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
½ tsp palm sugar
Fresh Thai basil leaves

Cook the rice. It will be added to the pan later for frying, so it can cool down in the meanwhile.

Chop the spring onions and pak choi. Chop the lemongrass, chilli, garlic and ginger finely.

Start cooking the chilli, garlic, ginger and lemongrass in oil.

After they have softened add the spring onions and pak choi. Only stir fry these briefly and then add the rice and soy sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and fresh Thai basil.

Spiced cashews

50 g cashew nuts
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chilli flakes
Sprinkle of lime zest
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of palm sugar

Toast the cashews in the oven until browned slightly.

Mix the dry ingredients for the coating and then add the lime zest, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Coat the cashews with the spice mix and return to the oven for a few minutes.

Serve the cashews with the rice.

I made my own addition, a coconut cream sauce with Thai spices, on the side by using a little of the garlic, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, Thai basil and spring onion chopped for the rice and letting it slowly simmer and infuse with the flavours. In the end I poured it onto the rice.

Have a nice week!

Your VegHog

Courgette and carrot strings with spaghetti

We are approaching the end of The VegHog's Cheap Eats Week. I think that I have definitely saved some money while cooking these dishes, and I hope that you have too. I will post one final recipe tonight, so in the meanwhile have a great Sunday and see you later!

This recipe is for courgette and carrot strings with spaghetti and tomatoes. I like the fact that the pasta hasn't been fully replaced by the vegetable strings. That's why this dish is a bit more filling and pasta is always quite an affordable option. There are only fairly small amounts of each vegetable in this dish, which can even be covered by some leftover vegetables. I need to confess that I used one yellow carrot in this, which may not be the cheapest, but it was the one that I had available. Generally root vegetables are very cheap at the moment.

I marked the vegetarian pasta cheese and fresh basil as optional, as they are a bit of “luxury” in this dish. However if you have a growing basil plant, it's sustainable and not very expensive, and also just a small drizzle of pasta cheese is enough to add something nice.

This dish should feed four adults for lunch.


100 g cherry tomatoes
2 courgettes
2 carrots
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
150 g spaghetti
Ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Vegetarian pasta cheese (optional)


Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven until they are soft.

Cut the courgettes and carrots into thin strings with a spiraliser or vegetable cutter.

Chop the onion and garlic finely and sauté them in olive oil until soft.

Add the carrots to the pan and after a while the courgettes and tomatoes. Only cook these for a couple of minutes, especially the courgettes.

Cook the pasta al dente and add it to the pan.

Season, serve and enjoy!

Your VegHog

19 March 2016


I cooked a dhal for a change and it was very nice. I also noticed that I haven’t posted a dhal here on the blog yet. Dhal is Sanskrit for "to split" referring to the split pulses used in this dish. It’s basically a curried stew especially cooked in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Dhal is a perfect dish for the budget cooking week, The VegHog's Cheap Eats Week, as making it isn’t very expensive. It adds important proteins to the nutrition and can easily be made from dried pulses, so it’s a perfect filling dish when you want to save a little bit of money. There are several variations of which you can choose your favourite.

I decided to serve my dhal with some homemade chapatis on the side to make the meal a bit more filling. Of course also rice can be had on the side. Homemade chapatis fit the budget theme quite well, as would basically any homemade bread.

Ingredients for the dhal

1 onion
4 garlic cloves
Fresh ginger (similar amount to garlic)
1 red chilli
1 cup red lentils
½ cup puy lentils
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
100 g tomatoes
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
4 dried curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh coriander to taste

Ingredients for the chapatis

100 g wheat flour
150 g spelt flour
50 g wheat flour for the shaping
1 tsp salt
250 ml cold water


Cook the lentils separately with a little added vegetable stock powder.

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli finely and start cooking them in oil.

Add the chopped tomatoes and seasoning. Cook for a few minutes and add the lentils into the mix.

Cook until the flavours have blended nicely.

I followed a chapati recipe on BBC Food, but slightly changed it by using partly spelt flour and reducing the amount of flour for the shaping, but you can find the original recipe here. The dough was nice and stretchy after a while of kneading and easy to roll out. The thinly rolled chapati are then just cooked on a hot pan. Serve them together with the dhal.

I want to share this dhal recipe with the cooking challenge Credit Crunch Munch for March. The challenge is from Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All and hosted this month by Travels for Taste blog.

Your VegHog