30 April 2016

Eat Your Greens April Round Up

April has just rushed by somehow, but I can see that you've been very busy in the kitchen this month. I was delighted to see so many participants to Eat Your Greens this month. Thank you so much everyone! There were great spring recipes, soups, baked goods and pestos. I would very happily eat each and every one of these dishes and was very impressed by your creativity. So this is the round up post collecting all the wonderful contributions pretty much in the order of appearance. Go and visit these lovely blogs to discover more great food. It's Shaheen's turn to host Eat Your Greens again next month, so keep on posting and sharing with us!

Laura from Touch Wood blog shared with us a very nice vegan dish Butternut squash spaghetti with kale where the butternut squash has been spiralised into spaghetti and served with plenty of healthy kale. She also served toasted bread with avocado on the side. This is just the type of dish that I like to eat.

Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist posted this recipe for a very beautiful looking Spiralized Oriental Courgette-Noodle Soup (with homemade vegetable broth). The courgettes have been spiralised into noodles and there are loads of other greens in this recipe as well: leeks, broccoli and herbs. I can only imagine how nice this homemade vegetable broth tasted.

Corina from the Searching for Spice blog made this wonderful Homemade Ricotta and Pea Tart with such vibrant peas. Oh, I love peas and am very impressed that she made her own ricotta cheese for this tart. This is spring food at its best.

The vibrancy of peas continue with Kate's recipe from The Veg Space: Peapod & Little Gem Soup. Just look at that colour! She used also the pea pods, which add a lot of additional flavour and colour, and gem lettuce, leek and spring onions as additional greens. I can't wait for the pea season to start here to make these dishes myself.

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe shared with us a Pumpkin and kale soup with tempeh crumbles. Pumpkin and kale are always a lovely combination and I really like the addition of smoky tempeh. I could have a bowl of this right now, as it sounds so very comforting.

Helen from Roast Chicken and a Country Walk shared with us her Sweet Tooth Salad containing sweet potatoes as the filling agent and baby spinach as the greens. I am a big fan of filling salads, where also sweet and savoury flavours have been combined like here.

Linsy from Home Cook Food made this very herby Rosemary, Basil, Parsley Pesto. I love different pesto variations and this one certainly seems to be full of flavour containing rosemary, basil and parsley. She is right to point out to be careful with the rosemary, as it can easily overpower the other flavours.

Choclette from Tin and Thyme blog shared Wild Garlic Cheese Scones – The Best Cheese Scones Ever. By seeing this recipe I really believe her that these are the best cheese scones ever. I would really love to tuck into these.

My Eat Your Greens co-host Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen cooked Stir Fried Edamame Beans with Smoked Tofu. Again a lovely smoky dish with smoked tofu and liquid smoke, just how I like it, and so very vibrant to look at. Here are plenty of greens in this one: broccoli, peas, soya beans, broad beans and edamame beans.

My own contribution this month was another pesto dish: Baby kale pesto with spelt spirulina tagliatelle. Baby kale does make a nice pesto and the spirulina tagliatelle painted the whole dish green.

Thank you again so much for taking part, these were really wonderful recipes! I hope that you will have an equally creative and productive cooking month of May!

Your VegHog

29 April 2016

Udon noodles with tofu – Part 2

Yesterday I posted the first recipe of a two-part vegan udon noodle series (if it can be called a series as a two parter). Have a look at Part 1 here. Today I'm posting a slightly different recipe containing wide udon noodles and tofu. In this recipe I used bell peppers, carrots, ginger and chilli and slightly different sauces than in yesterday’s dish. The vegetables were also a bit chunkier and with more bite in this one. I enjoyed both dishes very much and will keep variating these kind of dishes. Do you have any favourite udon noodle recipes to share?


250 g tofu
Vegetable oil for frying
200 g udon noodles
2 bell peppers
2 large carrots
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 cm fresh ginger
1 green chilli
Soy sauce
Toasted sesame oil
Shaoxing rice wine


Cut the tofu into large chunks, put a little vegetable oil into a hot pan and fry the tofu pieces until they are firm and golden brown. Also cook the noodles, cool them and set to side.

Then cut the bell peppers and carrots into pieces and slice the onion. Chop the garlic, fresh ginger and chilli finely.

Fry the bell peppers and carrots briefly in a hot pan until they get a little bit of brown colour. Remove them from the pan and start frying the onion.

After the onion is slightly browned and softened, add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan soon followed by the pre-fried bell peppers and carrots.

Add the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine and miso into the pan, all to taste, but more seasoning can also be added later if needed.

Then add the tofu and noodles and serve once the flavours have blended nicely. I try not to cook the dish together for very long so that the vegetables and noodles still keep a little bit of bite.


Your VegHog

28 April 2016

Udon noodles with tofu – Part 1

I'm going to post two vegan tofu udon noodle recipes on two consecutive days, as I think that these dishes are just perfect for weekday dinners. I often have them for dinner and always take them to work for lunch the next day and then they almost taste better. I'm really fond of this kind of stir frys and adore the contrast between the soft wide udon noodles with the firmly fried tofu. Also other noodle types can be used to this, but the wide udon is brilliant in my opinion. You can also use pretty much any vegetable combination, which can be a really good use for example for left-over vegetables. As soon as you have the basic sauces handy, you can make these sort of dishes in no time. In this recipe I used shiitake mushrooms and spinach as vegetables and green nori sprinkle as a special touch.


300 g tofu
Vegetable oil for frying
200 g udon noodles
150 g shiitake mushrooms
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
50 g spinach
Green nori sprinkle
Soy sauce
Toasted sesame oil


Start by preparing the tofu. Cut it into cubes, put a little vegetable oil into a hot pan and fry the tofu pieces until they are firm and golden brown. Set them to side.

Also cook the noodles, cool them and set to side.

Slice the shiitake mushrooms and onions and chop the garlic finely. Stir fry the shiitake mushrooms and set them to side.

Then also stir fry the onion slices until they are slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a while more.

Add the sauces and green nori sprinkle to taste. Then add the spinach, tofu and noodles into the pan. Stir for a while and serve.


Your VegHog

25 April 2016

Tagliatelle with slow-cooked tomato sauce, mozzarella and garlic-basil oil

New week has started and new pasta ideas are needed again to get through the week. Well, this is not really a new idea, as it is essentially pasta with tomato sauce, but with the addition of fragrant fresh basil and garlic oil the dish gets a special touch. Also the torn mozzarella is a nice filling agent and very tasty. The sauce needs slow cooking, but not much work, so you are free for your other evening chores while this is cooking. I used fresh pasta from the supermarket, so it was very quickly cooked.


1 onion
3+1 garlic cloves
Olive oil
300 g baby plum tomatoes
Tomato purée to taste
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves
125 g mozzarella
Grated vegetarian pasta cheese


Chop the onion and three garlic cloves finely and start cooking them in olive oil. Once they have softened, add the chopped tomatoes. Let simmer slowly under the lid.

Make the basil and garlic infused olive oil by chopping the basil leaves and garlic very finely. You can even gring these into a paste, if you like. Then add them into little olive oil and let infuse in a closed container.

Season the sauce and cook the pasta. Serve the tagliatelle with the slow-cooked tomato sauce, torn mozzarella, grated vegetarian pasta cheese and garlic-basil oil.


Your VegHog

24 April 2016

Coffee and chocolate cake

This sort of chocolate and coffee cake (mokkapalat) was often served in Finland in my youth. I'm fearing that it's less popular these days, as I haven't seen it around for a long time. This is a very easy cake to make, as you may know how bad I am at baking, so this is a perfect one that even I can manage. I really love coffee, so its flavour on a chocolate cake is a really nice combination. For this one I followed a recipe by Valio, but have translated it to you below. You can find the original recipe here. Most ingredient amounts are in desilitres, which makes the baking even easier, if you happen to own a desilitre measuring cup as is usual in Finnish households.


Cake dough

4 eggs
2 ½ dl sugar
200 g butter
2 dl milk
5 dl wheat flour
½ dl cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar


75 g butter
¾ dl strong coffee
4 dl icing sugar
½ dl cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar


Fruity confetti


Make the cake dough first. Whisk the eggs and sugar into foamy texture. Melt the butter and add the cold milk to it. Combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and milk mix into the egg and sugar mix and also add the dry ingredients through a sieve. Mix carefully. Pour the dough onto baking paper on a baking sheet and bake at 200 C for about 15 minutes.

Make the topping by melting the butter and adding the coffee to it. Add the other ingredients through a sieve and mix on the hot hob. Pour the topping onto the cake while it's still hot (the cake can be either cooled down or also hot). Put some confetti on the top as decoration and let cool.


Your VegHog

23 April 2016

Vegetarian soya mince and halloumi lasagne

I haven't made a vegetarian lasagne for quite a while. There hasn't been a particular reason why not, but perhaps I've found it a little bit a boring choice lately. However after I had made this one that contained fried halloumi and soya mince ragout, I was excited about lasagne again. Actually it is a very good dish and there were plenty of left overs for a few lunches. If you have many hungry mouths to feed, such a lasagne is always a good idea. So below is my recipe from this time.


1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 carrot
200 g baby button cup mushrooms
400 g plum tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup soya mince
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh oregano
4-6 tbsp tomato purée
Smoked paprika to taste
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
250 g halloumi
Vegetable oil for frying
300 g fresh lasagne sheets
200 g grated mozzarella


Chop the onion and garlic finely. Also slice the carrot and the mushrooms.

Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add the carrot pieces and after a while the mushroom slices. Cook a little further before adding the chopped tomatoes. Let simmer under the lid.

Cook the soya mince separately in water, drain and add it to the rest of the sauce. Season the sauce and let simmer until all the flavours have blended nicely.

In the meanwhile slice the halloumi and fry the slices in vegetable oil until they are golden brown on both sides.

Layer the sauce, halloumi and lasagne sheets in the normal lasagne way into an oven dish and cover with grated mozzarella.

Bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes until the pasta sheets are soft and the cheese topping is golden brown.

Serve with a fresh side salad and enjoy!

Your VegHog

21 April 2016

Black bean and halloumi salad with blood orange dressing

This salad was just tonight's quick dinner, which I had planned in my head on my way home from work based on the available ingredients. The slightly special feature in this dish was the blood orange dressing with its citrussy zing. The black beans and halloumi were the filling agents and otherwise I kept the salad simple.

These are the ingredients for this salad that I will also be enjoying tomorrow as lunch:


1 can black beans
3 mini gem lettuce
150 g tomatoes
250 g halloumi
Vegetable oil for frying


1 blood orange
Olive oil to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste


Juice the blood orange and just add the other ingredients slowly to the dressing and keep tasting until it's good.

Cut the halloumi into cubes and fry them in vegetable oil until golden brown. Add them warm on the top of the salad.

Cut the gem lettuce into thin slices and chop the tomatoes.

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

I got two dinners and two lunches from these ingredients.

Have a good Friday!

Your VegHog

19 April 2016

Baby kale pesto with spelt spirulina tagliatelle

Fresh flowers and a green pasta dish in the house! Those things really make me happy. I might be weird, but that's how it is. I have been using alternative pastas for a while now and am very fond of them. They just make a nice change to the ordinary. Now I tried the very green sprouted spelt spirulina tagliatelle with a light spring pesto made from baby kale and cashew nuts. Baby kale was a great leaf to use in pesto, the result was quite nutty. I added some herby breadcrumbs and local Hampshire mozzarella on the top of the dish and it was very good, I really enjoyed it. I think that there can't be enough different pasta ideas, so here comes my recipe.



60 g baby kale
2 garlic cloves
50 g cashew nuts
6-8 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

Herby breadcrumbs
1 cup breadcrumbs
10-12 basil leaves
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of vegetable stock powder

Other ingredients

250 g sprouted spelt spirulina tagliatelle
125 g mozzarella
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves


Purée the pesto ingredients into a smooth paste and set to side.

Prepare the herby breadcrums by chopping basil leaves finely and adding them to the breadcrumbs with the rest of the seasoning.

Tear the mozzarella and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

Cook the pasta al dente and mix some of the pesto into it. There probably will be pesto left for another dish as well. Or you can always cook more pasta, if you have more eaters.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and mozzarella on the top and garnish with tomatoes and basil.


This simple pasta recipe is my Eat Your Greens contribution for this month, which I'm hosting in April and the challenge is co-hosted by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen blog. Share your recipes with green vegetables with us, if you haven't done so already! We'd love to see your dishes and there's still time. Here's the April call for entries.

Your VegHog

17 April 2016

Pearled spelt oven porridge

Savoury porridge is my true weakness. They make such a good breakfast and keep you going for pretty much all day. Here in England people don't tend to understand how much better a savoury porridge is, and they keep adding their sugars and honeys and berries to porridge. Well not me! I made this pearled spelt oven porridge, which takes a bit of time to prepare, but the result is totally worth it. It's the perfect weekend breakfast for me. I normally make this from pearled barley, but now tried with spelt and it was very good too. Have a look at my easy recipe!


1 cup pearled spelt
1 pint milk + some extra for eating
2 tsp salt


Soak the pearled spelt in water overnight.

Next morning pre-heat the oven to 200 C.

Drain the spelt, put it into an oven dish, season with salt and cover with milk.

Reduce the heat of the oven to about 180 C after 10-15 minutes when the milk is slowly simmering.

Bake the porridge for about one hour until the spelt is cooked and most of the milk is absorbed.

The porridge will have a crust made from milk. This can be removed before eating, if you like, but it's fully edible.

Add some cold milk to the hot porridge and enjoy!

The ingredients for this dish are simple and once again, this is a total budget recipe, so I'm sharing this with Credit Crunch Munch hosted by From Plate to Pen this month and co-hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All.

Your VegHog

16 April 2016

Copenhagen photo story

Here is one final holiday post just collecting my favourite places and impressions from Copenhagen. I'm awfully sorry for the delay in posting, I just couldn't get to writing this before. I'm already missing Copenhagen, I wonder when I can go back... This time I detected many new places, got acquainted with a new artist and had wonderful culinary experiences. I hope you'll enjoy the photos with me, maybe they can translate some of that wonderful atmosphere here onto the blog.

The trip from Vaasa via Stockholm to Copenhagen was going well, but it got even better when they were serving Mikkeller beer on the Scandinavian Airlines plane from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Mikkeller brewed this beer especially for SAS and I was so happy that they had a couple of cans left for us.

The Mikkeller theme continued once we reached Copenhagen, again we simply had to visit Mikkeller bars and their new bottle shop in Torvehallerne food market several times. We visited also their new bar, the very friendly Mikropolis. They had one of the best G&Ts I've ever tasted made with Mikkeller gin and tonic of the house. The new bottle shop is now at a more convenient location, as I would want to hang around most of the time in Torvehallerne anyway. I wrote about this place last year and it's still one of my absolute favourites. We had Gorm's superior pizza margherita, baked goods and a few drinks there.

The Circle Bridge designed by artist Olafur Eliasson is a new impressive looking bridge in Christianshavn. We always stay in this area and the bridge wasn't just beautiful to look at, but it also shortened our walking ways considerably.

We always climb onto the top of Rundetaarn, the round tower, to see great views of Copenhagen and this time was no different. Rundetaarn also hosts many nice art exhibitions and now they had Sven Okkels' exhibition Alt mellem Himmel og Jord malerier fra 1946 til 2016 on. I just loved his work and bought the exhibition book to get more acquainted with him.

We also paid a visit to the Botanic Gardens, which is a nice place to have a stroll and look at exotic plants.

Then there's a bunch of random photos of canals, architecture, vegetables etc. I hope you do enjoy!