17 December 2017

Hummus and lentil mac'n'cheese


This legume-based mac'n'cheese made a wonderful weekday dinner on a busy day this week. I had been thinking about this kind of recipe for a little while, and as I seemed to have all ingredients at home, I tried this out.

I got an idea for using hummus as the binding agent for mac'n'cheese from my lovely blogging colleague Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe when I was looking for alternatives. I recently used mashed squash, which was also a good variant. Johanna commented to that post saying that she had used hummus in lasagne and would be tempted to try it in mac'n'cheese as well. I can tell you that it worked very well and made a really nice and smooth batter for the bake. My partner who refuses to eat milk-based mac'n'cheeses was very happy.

This dish is easy to veganise by using vegan cheese, and this lentil pasta is also gluten free and very rich on protein. I think it would make a very nice side dish as well, but this time it was my dinner on its own.
Hummus and lentil mac'n'cheese

Ingredients

250 g lentil pasta
100 g hummus
150 g grated cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 red onion
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ cup breadcrumbs

Method

First prepare the toppings that they are ready to go once everything else has been cooked. Cut the red onion into rings and fry them in the rapeseed oil. Measure the breadcrumbs.

Cook the lentil pasta in water until done and save about one cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and mix gradually the hummus in and some of the pasta cooking water. Keep adding the water until you have the right smooth texture. Then also add the grated cheese and seasoning.

Put the pasta mix into an oven dish or smaller ramekins and put the breadcrumbs and fried onion rings on the top. Bake at 180 C for about 10 minutes and enjoy!



I'm sharing this simple recipe with My Legume Love Affair #114, which I'm hosting this month. It's a legume-centric cooking challenge started by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen. I hope to see many more recipes with pulses there, so keep sharing your recipes!


Your VegHog

16 December 2017

Veggie sausage pasties


It has been another hectic week here and Christmas is approaching almost too fast. I'm going home for Christmas, but need to get all the presents sorted before I leave. I also want to decorate our apartment here in Copenhagen more, so I think that we'll buy a small Christmas tree today.

These open and closed veggie sausage pasties could be something for Christmas. I played around a little bit with my hedgehog cookie cutter, and this was the result. I think that these would also look nice made with Christmas cookie cutters like stars. We scoffed these cheesy sausage rolls away in no time, they were so tasty.

Ingredients

1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
4 vegetarian sausages
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sea salt
80 g grated cheese
200 g puff pastry
1 egg

Method

Chop the onion and garlic finely and cook them in rapeseed oil until soft. Add the cut vegetarian sausages and seasoning. Also mix the cheese in.

Prepare the puff pastry. Roll it out thinly and cut rectangular pieces from it, and corresponding lids with holes made with a cookie cutter. You can use the pieces that were cut off as decorations for some closed pasties.

Put some sausage filling on each bottom bit of the pastry and close the lids with a fork. Brush the pasties with a beaten egg.

Bake them at 200 C for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy hot or cold, both variations are good.



Have a lovely weekend!

Your VegHog

8 December 2017

Savoury pumpkin pie


My inspiration for this dish was Anna Jones’s recipe for savoury gruyere and pumpkin pie from The Guardian. Initially I was planning to follow the recipe, but once I started making the dish, I changed quite a few things. On the day I couldn't find fresh sage in my local shops, so I thought that thyme would also be nice. I didn't use a pumpkin either, but a squash from my seasonal dining table decorations. First I wasn't fully sure, if this squash would be tasty, and started roasting it first to have a taste. And indeed, it was fine, so I decided to use that very squash. When I was well into the cooking, I wanted to add some potatoes, and plenty of cheese as well. Only I didn't have any gruyere, so it had to be Cheddar. This is it how it went on, and I'm not sure how much was left from Anna Jones' idea in the end, if anything.

The essence is that I wanted to make a savoury pie, because I enjoy them more than sweet ones, and I think that this was a very nice one. Maybe one day I'll have to follow Anna's recipe, though. Have a read in the article, if you're curious about her version. This recipe below is how I made the pie. I also skipped making own pastry this time, which made it a perfectly manageable weekday meal. I think that such a savoury pie could also be nice at the Christmas table.

Savoury pumpkin pie

Ingredients

1 small pumpkin or squash
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
25 g butter
2-3 small potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
Handful of fresh thyme
1 tsp smoked salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp cumin seeds
100 g grated Cheddar
250 g shortcrust pastry
Pumpkin seeds as decoration

Method

Peel the squash and cut it into small wedges. Brush the wedges with olive oil and roast in the oven.

Chop the onion and garlic finely, and start sautéeing the onion in the olive oil and butter mix until soft and browned.

Add the potatoes, peeled and sliced, followed by the vegetable stock powder and about one cup of water. Let simmer under lid until the potatoes are done and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Add the seasoning, garlic and the squash and let simmer a while longer.

While the mixture is still hot, stir in the cheese and set to side to cool.

Spread the pastry on a pie dish and spread the filling in.

Bake at 180 C for about 30 minutes. Add the pumpkin seeds on the top towards the end, and return the pie to the oven for a few minutes more.

Let the pie set a little while before serving, and then enjoy!



Your VegHog

7 December 2017

In My Kitchen in December

It's December, incredible! It'll soon be Christmas, and I'm not really prepared yet. But I'm sure it will be fine in the end as always. I'm not prepared to stress over it either. I wanted to share some stuff from my kitchen, but you will notice that it's not that Christmassy there yet. I've put up a few decorations, but haven't bought much Christmas stuff. Anyway, I hope that you'll like the post.

At least these pine cones are quite Christmassy. They smell so nice, and of course we can harvest some pine nuts from them, if we choose. At the moment however I find them very nice as table decorations. I also got this small hyacinth pot, which has already spread a faint lovely scent into our home.



We've put the Christmas lights up, and this constellation is at our kitchen/dining room window. Those are real fir branches under the lights. I really like that look, but I'm sorry about the poor photo quality here. When we put the lights up, we went with mulled wine to the yard and I just took a couple of snapshots of the lights with my mobile phone. I love it how they bring some light to the dark.


Ditte Ingemann's Saladsnedker is my first Danish cookbook. It has wonderful salad ideas and such beautiful photos. I need to make so many recipes from the book, some of which I'm planning for Christmas Eve. I think that the book would make a great Christmas present.





I have yet another Moomin mug. This one has a nice atmosphere for the dark nights of this season. I really want the bowl and plate from this series as well, as they are so cute. I think that there was also a ceramic tea pot with these motifs.



Rocking Veggie Drink Bouillon has been a real lifesaver for me recently. The cute rocking sachets make a warming broth with plenty of veggie bits. I've been drinking this after work/before language classes as a part of a light dinner, when the days are really busy. It's especially good with homebaked rolls.


I've also been trying to drink many gingershots. This Wish brand is really nice, but the bottles are quite big, so you tend to get a double shot.


I bought these 5-grain flakes, as they sounded so wonderfully healthy. They have a mix of organic oats, wheat, barley, rye and spelt. I haven't tried them yet, but want to use them in baking and in porridges. I'm sure it'll be very good.


I've been craving for vegan Golden Thai curries lately, so I cooked the dish several times and I'm not tired of it yet. Typically they have contained firm tofu, carrots, coconut milk and plenty of warming spices. They've been similar to this recipe, but with somewhat simpler contents. Of course a sticky rice will have to be there as a side. I was surprised how quickly I could actually make these curries. With a bit more practice I will be even quicker, so there will be no excuses for not to make it.



Salty caramel popcorn with ice-cream! Do I need to say more?


I'm sharing this post with Sherry from Sherry's Pickings, as she is hosting the In My Kitchen challenge, which I'm always happy to take part in. It's so nice to see different kitchen stuff from all over the world and meet new bloggers.


Have a nice rest of the week!

Your VegHog

5 December 2017

Grilled cheese sandwiches


Sometimes it’s refreshing to have just a simple grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. I tried to make these a bit different though, as I got a lovely loaf of olive and cheese bread on our trip to Sweden. Sweden of course is just about 40 minutes train ride away from us, so it’s nice to visit the other side of the pond occasionally. They have some amazing bakeries there, and we also got these amazing rum and chocolate balls there. At the moment Malmö is lit with nice Christmas lights and the Christmas markets are on. They also have a great covered market with street food and other food stalls. That's where we bought the bread. It was really cosy over there.


But now to these breads. I made a spread from olive oil, garlic and smoked paprika that I brushed the bread with. Then I added some fresh spinach and Maasdamer cheese on the top, and baked the breads in the oven. The spinach was only an attempt to try to make them healthier and slightly green.

The breads were very good, but I love this kind of melted cheese breads anyway. It's just perfect on busy evenings or cosy film nights at home. What about you, is the grilled cheese sandwich also your hero?


Your VegHog

1 December 2017

My Legume Love Affair #114 welcoming recipes


I'm excited to host the excellent vegetarian and vegan cooking challenge My Legume Love Affair and its #114 edition this month! It's my second time for hosting, and I just checked that it was also a December challenge that I hosted last year. Again this time I hope to see many seasonal and festive shares, but also basic good grub cooked with legumes.

My Legume Love Affair was started by Susan from The Well Seasoned Cook and is now hosted by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen.

This is how you can participate:

  1. Legumes (for example lentils, beans, peas, soybeans or peanuts) have to have a central role in the recipe.
  2. Only vegetarian and vegan recipes will be accepted, so please make sure that your recipe is free from meat and seafood. The recipes can contain eggs.
  3. Only one recipe submission per month per blogger is accepted.
  4. Use the logo in your post, and please link back to Susan, Lisa and this announcement in your post. 
  5. You can also use an old recipe, but please repost it on your blog this month.
  6. Submit your recipe through the Linky Tool at the bottom of this page including the URL, name of the dish, photo and your details.
  7. This event ends on 30.12. at midnight and the round up of all recipes should be up on 31.12.
Have a wonderful month of December! I'm very much looking forward to your recipes!

Your VegHog





30 November 2017

Eat Your Greens November Round Up


Thank you dear friends for taking part in the last Eat Your Greens challenge of 2017! Shaheen and I will be taking a little break from the challenge in December, but of course we will be posting other recipes. I would like to thank you all on behalf of both of us for taking part in Eat Your Greens, reading our blogs and commenting. It has been a great year, and hopefully you will follow us into the new year.

Now let's have a look what was shared with the challenge in November. I love it how vibrant you made this mostly gloomy month of November look. There is everything from seasonal comfort food to fresh smoothies covering all the possible shades of green, just a perfect mix.

Corina from Searching for Spice shared this fresh Fruity Green Ginger Smoothie. It contains spinach, ginger, apple, banana and kiwi fruit, and has a lovely bright shade of green. I already start feeling healthier by merely reading about this smoothie! I'm sure that it really keeps some winter colds away.


Sudha from Simply Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitious posted a Green Onion Pancake with Chickpea Flour. It also looks very beautiful and inviting to eat. It's Sudha's version of a Korean style pancake. She makes it with green onions, chickpea flour, garlic and spices. Sounds incredibly warming for this season.


Laura from Touch Wood revealed one of her favourite quick recipes for busy days: Soft Polenta and Spinach. Here are also various shades of green running through the dish. Laura's secret is to leave the residue of the spinach in the pot and then cooking the polenta in it so that it will also get some green bits. The pale green avocado crowns this meal.


Sadhna from Herbs Spices and Tradition shared with us Cheesy Jalapeño Poppers. I just adore a good Jalapeño popper, and these look very nice. These poppers contain mozzarella, cream cheese and cilantro among a few other things. I wouldn't mind these as a snack any day.


Shaheen my Eat Your Greens co-host from Allotment 2 Kitchen posted a fragrant Preserved Lemon Coriander Salsa. I can just imagine how herby, punchy and zesty this salsa is. It's full of parsley, coriander and preserved lemons, and isn't that lime bowl just gorgeous!


My recipe for November was Laverbread Scones adapted from an original recipe by Shaheen, and also made with the laverbread that she sent me. Laverbread is Welsh seaweed paste and it gave these spelt scones a nice hint of green.


So this was Eat Your Greens in November, see you again next year!

Your VegHog