30 July 2015

Spicy Veggie Dogs

I'm generally not too keen in replicating meat eaters' favourites as veggie versions, but sometimes I do try to create such dishes. This time I made vegetarian hot dogs, aka veggie dogs, with cheese, spices and a homemade tomato sauce. I can't imagine that a meat version could ever be better than this and I can only wish that some meat eaters would admit that. Of course I personally think that meat never improves things. However I must confess that I have never eaten a hot dog in my life! You might be shocked by this, but it has just been that way, as I already was a vegetarian when such dishes would've been available to me. They are not very typical food in Finland in the countryside. So I'm not sure how authentic today's recipe is, but then again, I'm sure that these were pretty good what comes to veggie dogs. Do you have any experiences with vegetarian hot dogs?


8 submarine rolls
8 vegetarian sausages
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp smoky firepit rub (consisting of smoked paprika, chipotle chilli and herbs and spices)
200 g grated mature Cheddar
Chilli flakes
Fried onions

Tomato sauce: 1 onion, 1 garlic cloves, 1 tsp olive oil, 200 g plum tomatoes, fresh oregano, tomato purée, salt and pepper.


Make the tomato sauce first. Chop the onion and garlic finely and cook them in olive oil. Add the tomatoes and let simmer. Season with fresh oregano, tomato purée, salt and pepper. Finally purée it all into a smooth sauce.

Fry the vegetarian sausages in the vegetable oil until golden brown. Towards the end, add a sprinkle of the smoky firepit rub and toss the sausages in the pan.

Make a cut into the submarine roll and place the sausage into the roll. Put some grated cheese and chilli flakes on the top.

Bake in the oven at 200 C until the cheese has melted.

Put the fried onions on the top and serve the veggie dog with the tomato sauce (warm or cold depending on preference).


Your VegHog

29 July 2015

Stir fry with sprouts

I have been making vegan stir frys incredibly often this year. Today is one of those days. Now that I'm more confident with the spicing, it's an easy weekday meal to make after work and take for next day's lunch. It's a lovely and light, but filling meal and I've really grown to love these spices. For this one I had sprouted some mung bean and radish sprouts again. Have a look how easy it can be!


250 g hazelnut tofu
2 tbsp groundnut oil
1 red bell pepper
1 red chilli
1 shallot
3 garlic cloves
1 cm ginger (similar amount to garlic)
1 cup mung bean sprouts + radish sprouts
100 g buckwheat noodles
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine


Chop the tofu into small cubes and fry them in groundnut oil until firm and golden brown.

Chop the bell pepper into thin slices and separately fry the slices on a pan for a few minutes.

Chop chilli, shallot, garlic and ginger finely.

Cook the noodles in water al dente and set to side.

Start cooking the shallot and then chilli, garlic and ginger in groundnut oil.

Add the sesame oil, soy sauce and Shaoxing rice wine to taste.

Then add the noodles, peppers and tofu and cook for a couple of minutes together and check the spicing.

Stir in the fresh sprouts, serve instantly and enjoy!

Your VegHog

26 July 2015

Tomato cordial cocktail

A week ago on Sunday I declared the upcoming week to a tomato themed week on my blog. I have utterly enjoyed eating tomatoes, cooking tomatoes and even drinking tomatoes (the drinking part comes today in the form of a tomato cordial cocktail) during The VegHog's Tomato Festival, and of course writing about the recipes and taking photos. I hope that you have also liked my posts during this week. I must say that I'm still not sick of tomatoes at the end of this, amazing! 

So, now to the final tomato post in this series. This unusual cocktail idea was inspired by the vibrant tomato cordial made by The Tomato Stall, which I recently purchased. The products from The Tomato Stall have come up a few times during the week, but it's just because I happen to like them. This is not a collaboration in any way. 

I used these ingredients for my cocktail:

Tomato cordial
Sparkling water
Fresh basil

I more or less poured the ingredients into a jug based on a gut feeling. The end result was very tasty and interesting. It was very refreshing and perfect for a summer's day.

Have fun!

Your VegHog

25 July 2015

Filled croissants with smoky tomatoes and cheese

Good morning! Saturday mornings are pretty much my favourite times. The weekend has just begun and there is no rush anywhere, at least today there isn't. I decided to enjoy a nice savoury breakfast before probably going to the shops to hog some more veg. I wanted to use tomatoes again, as it's The VegHog's Tomato Festival and so I made these filled croissants with smoky tomatoes and cheese. 


Ready made croissant dough for 6 croissants
6-8 oak smoked tomatoes
Fresh basil
1 fresh tomato
Salt & gound black pepper
Mature Cheddar


Roll out the dough and cut triangles from it. Or be as lazy as I am and buy the ready-rolled and pre-cut dough. Then the making goes really fast!

Purée the oak smoked tomatoes or sundried tomatoes with fresh basil, salt and pepper.

Cut the fresh tomato into slices and grate the cheese.

Spread some of that smoked tomato purée on each triangle and sprinkle cheese over them.

Roll them into crescent shaped croissants, place a tomato slice and a bit more Cheddar on the top.

Bake them at 200 C for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy as breakfast with coffee, or just as a savoury snack.

Have a lovely weekend!

Your VegHog

24 July 2015

Roasted heirloom tomato and baby pepper soup

The VegHog's Tomato Festival is going strong and I'm still very much a fan of the humble tomato. I think that I will continue with this theme until Sunday, so feel free to share your vegetarian or vegan tomato recipes as well, if you like!

What I cooked this time, is a roasted heirloom tomato and baby pepper soup. It is a bit of an extra effort roasting the tomatoes and peppers first, but in the end there's a reward in the taste. The soup itself is vegan and I liked it very much. Have a look below at how I made it. 


400 g selection of heirloom tomatoes
200 g baby peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
Fresh basil leaves
Ground black pepper


Cut the peppers in halves or smaller pieces and remove the seeds. Brush the tomatoes and cut peppers with olive oil and roast them in the oven.

Finely chop the red onion and garlic. Once the vegetables are roasted, start cooking the onion and garlic in a saucepan until they are soft. Then add the roasted vegetables and break them slightly with a ladle.

Add the vegetable stock powder to the pan and let simmer under the lid. Season with salt, pepper and fresh basil and purée the soup. I left a few chunks in there, as I found that to be a more interesting solution. You can add little water, if you want a more liquid soup. My soup could have been used as a dip or a sauce as well, as it turned out to be quite thick. It was very filling though, just a suitable summer soup.

Enjoy the soup warm and you can also serve my weird toasts with green topping with it, although the photos didn't quite capture the colour correctly. For the toasts, I ground basil and garlic with mortar and pestle and then added grated mozzarella to them. I toasted some super seeded toast and cut them into smaller pieces, put the cheese mix on the top and baked them in the oven until the cheese had melted. That explains the pale green topping.

I'm sharing this recipe with Vegetable Palette vegetarian cooking challenge by Shaheen from A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table. The theme for this month's challenge is Glorious reds and I think that this tomato and pepper soup meets the brief pretty well.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Your VegHog

23 July 2015

12 tomato recipes from my blog archive

I hope that you are having a nice week. I'm starting to feel more hopeful, as it's already Thursday, can't wait for the weekend to begin!

Today I took a look into my blog archives and collected some of my past tomato recipes together in this post, as I am celebrating The VegHog's Tomato Festival this week. There are still a few more new recipes to come as well.

So here are 12 of some of my favourite tomato recipes. I love it how versatile tomatoes are, I hope you'll like this compilation.
Tomato Focaccia– A beautiful homemade focaccia recipe inspired by the Forest Feast vegetarian cookbook and so easy to make.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese – A pasta classic, which is very tasty as the vegetarian version made with loads of tomatoes, meat-free mince and baby button mushrooms. 

Fried heirloom tomato pizza – Pizza with spelt crust and a new method of pizza making, first pan-fried then baked under the grill in the oven. Nice with quality heirloom tomatoes.

Tomato and basil risotto – This is a summery, succulent and light risotto and a bit different to the ones that I would usually make. 

Rye Bruschetta – Rye bread, tomato and garlic are a great and filling combination, wonderful as breakfast or lunch. 

Mixed summer salad – Summer salad with tomatoes, fresh garden peas, mixed salad leaves, pine nuts, great to eat in the summer in many variations. 

Oven Tomatoes – This is a nice idea to make sundried tomato style oven tomatoes at home. What a tasty side dish they make with an intense tomato taste. 

Butternut squash and pepper lasagne – Veggie lasagne with char-grilled butternut squash slices, a basic tomato sauce and homemade lasagne sheets. 

Heirloom tomato and pesto barley flatbreads – Homemade barley bread topped with pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes. This is my kind food! 

Savoury spelt crêpes with cheese and tomato – Filled savoury crêpes are such a perfect breakfast and cheese and tomato are a dream filling for them.

Tomato tart – I quite often make this kind of easy tarts with cheese and vegetables. When using ready made pastry, they are easy yet tasty weekday meals or great to take with to a picnic or even to serve at a small gathering. 

Insalata Caprese – Probably the best summer food ever! I have posted this dish also several times, because it's one of my favourite classics. 

Your VegHog

22 July 2015

Gnocchi with red pesto

So my theme week The VegHog's Tomato Festival is still going on and I'm not tired of tomatoes yet. I now made smoky red pesto with gnocchi. What makes it suitable to the theme, are the oak smoked tomatoes that helped to make the red pesto, and I also served a small tomato and mozzarella salad on the side. If you are unable to get the oak smoked tomatoes, the pesto can also be made with sundried tomatoes. If you then want to add smokiness, using oak smoked Cheddar could help there. I liked this red pesto very much and will be making it soon again, it's such a nice change from green pestos. Here is today's recipe. 

Red pesto:

80 g oak smoked tomatoes + smoked oil (from the tomatoes)
Handful of fresh basil
50 g pine nuts
30 g grated vegetarian pasta cheese
1 garlic clove

Other ingredients:

600 g gnocchi
1 large heirloom tomato
125 g mozzarella
Fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Ground black pepper
Grated vegetarian pasta cheese


Make the pesto first by puréeing the ingredients.

Cook the gnocchi and chop the salad ingredients.

Dress the salad and mix the cooked gnocchi with the pesto.

Sprinkle cheese on the top and serve.

What an easy and quick weekday meal this is, but I would gladly also eat it on a weekend.

Have you been cooking with tomatoes this week?

Your VegHog