23 April 2017

Braised fennel

I hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday! My day has started very chilled, the sun is shining, I'm slowly making coffee and some pretzel rolls are waiting to be eaten. I will head out soon, as the weather really seems to be lovely, but first I wanted to share a dish with you that I made yesterday.

This braised fennel that I pretty much improvised made such a lovely side to our Saturday night dinner. We had buttery potato mash and a veggie Schnitzel with it. It was basically comfort food, but kind of with a touch of spring. The liquid of the fennel made a perfect sauce to moisten the dish a bit, and actually the liquid is probably my favourite bit. I think that this braised fennel would go with many kind of dishes, even just with a salad. The cooking only needs some patience, as I think I cooked it for a couple of hours, just slow baking in the oven. The preparation itself is not much work, though.

Braised fennel


1 fennel bulb
100 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
Sprinkle of ground black pepper
100 ml white wine
3 garlic cloves
100 g grated cheese (I used a Cheddar and Red Leicester mix)


Cut the fennel into four slices and remove the hard stalk. Cut the green bits on the top into finer slices. Put the thin slices on the bottom of an oven dish and then the larger fennel bits on the top.

Pour the vegetable stock in and season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with a foil and slow bake at about 180 C for one hour. Have a look sometimes, how the fennel is doing and turn the pieces around midway of the cooking.

Chop the garlic finely. Once the fennel is already fairly soft, pour the wine in, and cook some more. At this stage I removed the foil, and also added the garlic.

After a while, add the cheese and bake until it has melted.


Your VegHog

17 April 2017

Spinach and cheese roulade

"One day my log will have something to say about this. My log saw something that night." Log Lady, Twin Peaks

I was looking for cooking inspiration in my cookbooks, not so much in Twin Peaks, and found an interesting roulade idea. This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook Plenty More: Taleggio and spinach roulade (p. 290-291). I changed some things in my recipe, and have written down my version below, but you can find the original Ottolenghi recipe also here. I really think that you should try this recipe, and just maybe the log will have something to say to you.

I made some minor adjustments to the dough by using slightly different type of ingredients, but didn't change anything else about it. It was very easy to work on and made a nice smooth ball after the kneading. For the filling I made the semi-dried tomatoes myself, as I love that sort of tomatoes. They are just so fragrant when made in the own oven. The most major change was using havarti and mozzarella instead of pecorino and taleggio, as those were just easier to come by. I think they worked well too.

I initially thought that my roulade was a bit dry, but my partner assured me it wasn't. Of course I left out the crème fraiche, so that would have made it more moist anyway. The roulade was quite tasty in the end, and it held very well together in the oven. I'm tempted to make a similar roulade with different kind of filling. Don't you think that the cut pieces look a little bit like hedgehogs?

Spinach and cheese roulade



160 ml milk
2 tsp dry yeast
350 g wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
50 ml vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk


150 g spinach
20 g basil
100 g havarti cheese
250 g mozzarella
200 g semi-dried tomatoes

1 egg
2 tsp poppy seeds


If you are making the semi-dried tomatoes, better start with them, as they can be in the oven for a few hours. Cut the tomatoes in halves, sprinkle with a little salt and possibly oregano, and bake at about 50 C for a few hours until they start drying slightly. The temperature can be increased at times, if necessary.

Mix all dough ingredients together apart from the milk. Warm the milk up slightly and mix it into the other ingredients and knead for a good while. I probably kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes. Once the dough is a smooth ball, it's good. Let it rise in a bowl for about 45 minutes. Then roll it out thinly on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Let rise for another 30 minutes under a tea towel.

Put the filling onto the dough and shape a large log from it. Let rest once again 30 minutes under a tea towel.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Brush the roulade with a beaten egg, and sprinkle the poppy seeds on top. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 160 C and bake for another 25 minutes.

Let it cool down a bit before slicing.


Your VegHog

16 April 2017

Hazelnut and kale pesto

It's nice to finally make some lighter spring dishes with all the new seasonal produce. I've already had some local asparagus, and it was so nice. I can't wait to spot more nice local produce in the shops and markets.

Kale has been used quite a lot in our kitchen lately. It's such a versatile green, and easy to cook with. I made this simple vegan nutty hazelnut and kale pesto, and enjoyed it very much. I tried it with pasta and with some rye crackers, and it was very flavoursome and fragrant in both dishes. Here's my recipe, if you want to try it too.

Hazelnut and kale pesto


2 cups kale
1 garlic clove
100 g hazelnuts
100 ml olive oil
Sprinkle of salt


Purée all pesto ingredients together, but remember that you can vary the ingredient amounts to get a nice and creamy pesto. 

I left some of the hazelnuts a bit larger chunks in the pesto, as I like the extra crunch.

Serve the pesto with pasta, breads, crackers, anything you like, and enjoy!

This pesto is my Eat Your Greens contribution for this month. I'm hosting the challenge this month myself, and the event is co-hosted by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen blog. Remember that there's still plenty of time to take part with your green recipes!

Your VegHog

15 April 2017

Mexican cauliflower cheese with sweetcorn and pepper

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope that you are having a relaxing weekend with nice food! I'm soon heading for a small day trip and intend to have a good time. It could be sunnier today, but at least it's not raining.

Before I go, I wanted to share this Mexican style cauliflower cheese recipe with you. I've been Mexicanising quite a lot of dishes lately, and it's already a running joke with my partner. He now knows to expect all things Mexican.

This cauliflower cheese with a little bit of heat of chilli and some warming spices, and with the addition of sweetcorn and pepper, was so nice. I just served some refried beans and tortilla chips on the side, and it was a really lovely meal.

Mexican cauliflower cheese with sweetcorn and pepper


1 cauliflower
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 small chillies
1 romano pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small can sweetcorn
2 tbsp smoked chilli paste
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ smoked paprika
100 g grated Cheddar

Tortilla chips
Refried black beans with tomatoes


Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them for a couple of minutes.

Chop the onion, garlic, chilli and pepper finely and cook them in a pan until soft.

Add the sweetcorn and the seasoning to the pan with some water (about 100-150 ml) and let simmer for a while.

Put the cauliflower florets in an oven dish and coat with the spicy veggie mix.

Cover the dish with grated cheese and bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes, and finish at 200 C for about 10 minutes, until everything is cooked nicely and the surface is golden brown.


Your VegHog

9 April 2017


The weather this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. I can't believe that it has been so warm and sunny throughout. However I read that the temperatures will be going down drastically for tomorrow. Oh well, it's Monday anyway, so it doesn't really matter. Anyway I will be heading out soon to enjoy the good spring weather a bit more.

First to today's recipe. I really like Koshari, especially as street food, but it's sometimes nice to make it at home as well. It's a traditional Egyptian dish made with rice, lentils, macaroni, vermicelli and chickpeas and topped with a tomato sauce and fried onions. Koshari is very comforting and filling, perfect veggie food when you need a lot of energy.

Below is the recipe, how I made my Koshari this time. Remember that timing is key to get everything ready at the same time, as there is a lot of separate cooking going on. Luckily the processes aren't complicated, so this can be well managed without stress.



Homemade tomato sauce with garlic and chilli
1 cup green lentils
½ brown rice
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp smoked chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 vermicelli pasta nests
200 g wholewheat cavatappi pasta
1 tsp za'atar for sprinkling on the top
A few fresh coriander leaves for sprinkling on the top
Fried onions


Make the tomato sauce first or use a ready made one. A rich tomato sauce with loads of garlic and chilli is perfect for this dish.

Cook the lentils and the rice together to avoid using loads of pots. If the lentils need a shorter cooking time, add them later to the saucepan. Add also a little salt and vegetable stock powder.

Warm the cooked chickpeas up in a pan and add some smoked chilli powder and ground cumin to season.

Break the vermicelli into about 2 cm long pieces and briefly cook them in hot oil so that they turn brown. This really happens quite quickly, so keep an eye on them. Add the vermicelli to the rice and lentils for the last few minutes of cooking, so that they'll also get soft.

Cook the pasta separately. I chose a larger pasta shape instead of the smaller macaroni. These worked very well in this dish.

Layer the components into a bowl and serve with the tomato sauce and fried onions. I didn't make my fried onions myself this time, so you can either buy some or make your own.


I want to share this recipe with My Legume Love Affair #106 hosted by Ali from Fix Me a Little Lunch, and co-hosted by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen.

Your VegHog

8 April 2017

Colin cupcakes

These Colin cupcakes could be a fun Easter baking. I'm sure that kids would love these. They are lemony cupcakes decorated with M&S vegetarian Colin the Caterpillar sweets. These sweets are gelatine free, but unfortunately not suitable for vegans. I really like them and buy them quite often. Now I thought that they would make nice cupcake decorations. I tried to decorate some with the long caterpillar sweets, but the butterflies were definitely better suited for these small cupcakes. I used pink tiger lemons for the dough an icing. I just had to buy them, because they looked so cute. I think that another batch will have to come for Easter.

For about 12 cupcakes

For the dough:
125 g self-raising flour
125 g caster sugar
125 g butter
2 eggs
2 tbsp hazelnut milk
1 lemon's zest

For the decoration:
Icing sugar + lemon juice
Colin the Caterpillar sweets


Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Mix the flour and sugar with the soft butter. Add the eggs, hazelnut milk and one lemon's zest and whisk them all into an even dough.

Divide the dough into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes until fully baked. I usually place the paper cases into a silicone muffin baking tray with slots, so they keep their shape better. Let the cupcakes cool down after the baking.

Make the icing by mixing some icing sugar with a little lemon juice. Spread it on the cupcakes, and place a Colin on the top.


Your VegHog

6 April 2017

In My Kitchen in April

I have a few things to share with you from my kitchen again in April. I'm sharing this post with Lizzy from Good Things and In My Kitchen blogging challenge.

I've been buying a lot of different citrus fruits lately, especially blood oranges, but now their season is unfortunately ending. I have quite often pressed them into juice, or just added pieces to my breakfast yogurt bowls, or have had some fruit segments as snack at work. I can't believe that I still got a flu regardless my high consumption of fresh fruit.

We purchased these new lunch boxes that are especially good for soups. We already have the rectangular ones by Joseph Joseph from the same range, and quite like them. However these are so much better for soups and broths, as they don't spill any liquid at all. I can imagine a layered colourful salad looking cute in these too. This only means now that I can make more lunch soups.

I recently visited the Southbank Centre food market in London, and got this proper Danish rye bread there. It was just as good as in Scandinavia, very dense and containing some seeds. One slice can keep you going for quite a while.

I've also been baking homemade rolls as usual, and made these spelt rolls with sundried tomato. They were nice as fresh bread always is.

This organic Japanese umami paste with ginger was a really good purchase, and I can see many different uses for it. So far I've used it as a glazing of roasted vegetables for sushi filling, and as a dipping sauce with soy etc. It's very flavoursome and practical to use.

I've had this Cornish seaweed salt for a while, but haven't used it much yet. I guess I have too many flavoured salts that not all of them are used as often.

To cheer up my succulent collection, I bought this ceramic hedgehog carrying a succulent on its spines. Cute!

I haven't done anything in my balcony garden yet this year, shame on me! I think I will get some plantlings later that are already a bit more advanced, as I didn't plant anything myself. It's nice to see though that some plants from last year have returned like these mint and strawberries

I like these wooden food trays made from pine and harvested from a sustainable source. They are perfect for summer parties with friends and family.

This was my kitchen in April. I hope you liked the post.

Your VegHog

5 April 2017

Spinach pasta with sundried tomatoes and olives

I've been suffering of a horrible spring flu this week, and haven't been able to do anything much. My partner has taken good care of me, and cooked one of the best onion soups I've ever had. It was so savoury and intense that I could even taste something in my state. I've also been drinking plenty of green tea flavoured with peach, cream aroma, sunflower and marigold petals. I will miss this flavour combination once the tin is empty, it's my current favourite. Now I'm starting to feel better and thought I should write a little post.

I cooked this pasta dish the other week, and I just found the photos in my folder. This quick green pasta has become a household favourite of ours. The recipe was originally an invention by my partner, but these days I also sometimes cook my version of it. It's a spinach pasta with sundried tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, green olives, pasta cheese and seasoning. The tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts and olives are just quickly cooked in some olive oil and then combined with the pasta and cheese. I normally season the dish with just sea salt, ground black pepper and fresh basil leaves. These flavours go very well together and it's easy to have all ingredients ready to go when there's less time for cooking. It's quite a nice option for a weekday meal.

How is your week going? I hope you're all well.

Your VegHog

2 April 2017

Sushi Sunday

Sushi Sunday could be a thing, don't you think so too? At least I like making vegan sushi on Sundays, as I then have plenty of time pottering around in the kitchen and crafting these little things. I made these vegan sushi rolls last Sunday, and will unfortunately be eating something else today, but I wish it would be sushi again. At least I have my onigiri dish to look forward to that I have planned for some day next week.

This time I filled the sushi with different roasted vegetables that were glazed with an organic Japanese umami paste with ginger. I roasted some crown prince squash, green bell peppers and rainbow carrots. I also used firmly fried tofu as a filling. This umami paste was great, and can be used in a versatile way in Asian style of cooking. 

I simply enjoyed these sushi dipped into a sauce made with soy sauce, chilli, sesame oil and mirin. It was such a good meal, I think I could eat this sort of thing every day!

What's your favourite vegan sushi filling, and are you having some today?

Your VegHog