20 June 2017

New potatoes and cauliflower cheese


Ah the summer is truly here and it's time to enjoy some of the wonderful seasonal produce. I hope it's not too hot where you are! Here in Copenhagen a fresh wind has already started, so we are coping well.

New potatoes have always been my favourites, already as a child. In the Nordic countries they are served in the summer as soon as they have grown a bit, but some of them are actually still quite tiny. They are boiled and served with just butter and dill, or sometimes in a milky sauce. They are eaten with the skins on, as the skin is at this point of growth very thin.

The new potatoes of the north have a special sweet and nutty taste to them, something that I can't quite describe. They just melt in your mouth. Some say it comes from the growing under the midnight sun. There might be some truth to it, as at least in the UK and Germany the new potatoes don't taste the same.

In this dish I combined some of the finest Danish new potatoes with a cauliflower cheese. It really was a fine feast.



17 June 2017

Summer's favourite dish


Today was a gorgeous summer's day. It was sunny and pleasant at about 22 C, so not too hot either. I spent most of the day lying around in the park, so relaxing! Then I ate a salad and am now watching a little bit of TV. I don't feeling like going out tonight.

What you see here is at the moment my favourite dish this summer: a plate full of fresh seasonal and local goodies. This time I had radishes, kohlrabi, fresh peas, tomatoes and hummus, served with a glass of refreshing juice.

I have been exploring my local vegetable markets and am thrilled to see that the offering is wide and of good quality. Especially now in the summer such good local produce is available, which is great.

I've been trying to eat a bit lighter, and therefore such plates of veggies are a perfect dinner after work. We have a very good lunch buffet at work, where I typically eat a lot of vegetables, salad, rye bread etc. and don't need to cook that much in the evenings anymore.

What is currently on your summer plates?



14 June 2017

Courgette, mushroom and pea pasta sauce


I finally have an internet connection at home! And this is of course the first thing I'll have to do, to write a post, as I've been too quiet in June. Of course it has been an extremely busy month, and too many things to sort out, but I really am enjoying life and exploring my new surroundings. I hope to post more soon, as it will now be easier to do from home.

Here is the first dish that I cooked in my new Danish kitchen a couple of weeks ago when I moved in, just a nice basic veggie pasta. It may be a basic dish, but it was very exciting to cook it in my new kitchen. I enjoyed the dish very much though, especially as I managed to cook it all on a gas stove. Here are more details about my new kitchen in case you're interested.

Ingredients

1 shallot
2 garlic cloves
1 courgette
100 g closed cup mushrooms
1 cup fresh peas
2 tbsp olive oil
200 ml oat cream
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
Handful of fresh parsley
Pasta

Method

Chop the shallot and garlic finely and start frying them in olive oil. Once they are softened, also add the sliced mushrooms.

When the mushrooms have lost the excess liquid, add the courgette slices soon followed by the oat cream.

At some point also add the fresh peas. I personally like to leave them quite hardish, so only added them towards the very end.

Let simmer until everything is nicely cooked. Season and serve with pasta.





I want to share this recipe with Shaheen who is bravely hosting Eat Your Greens for the second month in a row, as I was busy with my moving. I hope to be all ready for hosting in July, but in the meanwhile, please share your recipes with Shaheen.


Your VegHog

7 June 2017

In My New Kitchen in June



So I went and moved countries. It wasn't by far the first time for me, so I wasn't too nervous about it, but of  course it's always stressful to start in a new job and at the same to try and sort out many things. I still have loads to do, but after a few nights at an Airbnb flat I've finally been able to move in to our new flat! I'm excited although I'm on my own and my partner can only join me at the end of next month.

Anyway, I wanted to show you our new kitchen and some of my first food shopping in Denmark. I'm finding quite a lot of organic produce in the shops and many wonderful vegetable markets close by, so this will be great once I'm fully organised.

My new kitchen is small, but it has nice large windows, and for the first time ever, I actually have a proper dining corner. Through the kitchen windows is a view to a slightly green backyard with a seating area and of course bicycle storage.

I've never cooked with gas, until I tried my new hob here. I was so afraid of touching the thing, so I first read the manufacturer's manual before proceeding. I know, right! But actually it was fine after a couple of clicks and turns and I was all fired up. I of course still need to get used to the settings, but I'm sure it will be fine. I will soon post the dish here that I cooked first in my new kitchen.






Otherwise I've been trying to explore the food markets and supermarkets quite a bit. From certain places I would simply like to buy everything, but I guess that's not possible, so a lot of patience is needed.

Here is my first shop for this home from our local small Irma market. I might have left a couple of really boring items out of the picture, but this was pretty much it. There are some organic veggies, pasta, cheese, spices, juice and oat flakes. I was most exited about the quinoa and beluga lentils in plastic containers. Somehow these were more appealing than the plastic bag ones. They have possibly more waste on them, but the containers could also be recycled.


I was also thrilled to see a spice mix, which is also a Finnish favourite, lemon pepper. It's pretty much just ground pepper and lemon zest, but how convenient to have that in a pre-made mix, don't you think? Icelandic sea salt also seems very nice.



This little corner shop actually has a very decent selection. They have sushi nori, organic coconut cream and a nice selection of fresh veggies. I'm very happy with this, and there are of course many other shops and most importantly vegetable markets around.




My brand new Moomin mugs have also found their home here. They were in my hand luggage with other precious things with which I wanted to make myself feel more like home.


And of course I want to share this post with Sherry who is hosting the In My Kitchen blogging event. Have a look at her post with links to other people's kitchens.

So soon I'll try to post something I've cooked in this new kitchen. Stay tuned for my Copenhagen adventures!

Your VegHog

31 May 2017

Spicy summer tacos


So the time has come, I'm off to Copenhagen today. Goodbye my friends in Britain, I will miss you very much and wish you all the best! I will write to you from Copenhagen as soon as I can. Take care!

Just before I go, I want to share this lovely summer taco recipe with you, my last dish cooked in Britain. These are quite light and quick to make. You can make them either vegan or serve with cheese and chilli mayo, both versions are perfectly good.

Spicy tacos

Ingredients

3 romano peppers
300 g cherry tomatoes
Oilve oil
2 onions
1 fresh garlic bulb
1 small chilli
1 small can sweetcorn
1 cup dried broad bean bits
2 tsp smoked chilli paste
1 tsp sea salt
Grated Emmental cheese (optional)
Chilli mayo (optional)
Lime wedges
8 taco shells

Method

Cut the peppers into pieces, brush them with olive oil and roast. Also roast the tomatoes for a slightly shorter time.

Chop the onions, chilli and garlic and cook them in olive oil until soft. Add the sweetcorn and the cooked broad bean bits (these can be substituted by soya products or pulses) and finally the seasoning.

Also mix the roasted vegetables in and serve this mix in taco shells.




Enjoy!

The VegHog

30 May 2017

Travel snacks


Am I the only one who is always starving when travelling? It doesn't matter, if I've just had a filling breakfast before the departure, latest after the airport security checks, I'm feeling peckish! Therefore I try to take all sorts of nice snacks with me, in case there isn't anything decent around to eat. My standard is salty popcorn, it fills me just suitably and gives me strength for a while.

But it doesn't all have to be unhealthy. Another favourite of mine is hummus with carrot sticks, however that's sometimes a bit too fussy or messy to have on the go. It's normally fine on trains that aren't too fully packed. Sometimes I'm even so organised that I bake homemade rolls for trips. Unfortunately that doesn't happen every time.

Last time when I was travelling I had these goodies in my bag: Veggie protein power by Graze, Candy Kittens' sweets, sea salted popcorn by Proper Corn and rice sticks by Munch. Especially these rice sticks were amazing, as they were also a new acquaintance for me. I will get them again for my approaching flight.

What are you snacking on when travelling?




Your VegHog

29 May 2017

Mixed vegetable pasta


How nice it is to make a seasonal fresh pasta dish after a busy day! It's quick, yet healthy and nutritious, and this is what summer food is supposed to look like! I often make this kind of dishes and it's nice to make them as colourful as possible. I used carrot tagliatelle here, which had a hint of carrot flavour in it to make this pasta even more veggie powered!

This pasta contained:

  • carrot tagliatelle
  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • garlic
  • vegetarian pasta cheese

It was a really tasty dish!



Your VegHog

Quinoa chilli with rye crisps


It was nice to see how positively people took my moving news. It's good to have some support in difficult times, as there will be so much to do and so many new things to learn. Let's hope that this will be my last big move, as I quite would like to stay in Denmark, but only time will tell.

I have a few recipes for you before I go, and I try to get these posts ready. Today's recipe is for quinoa chilli served with rye crisps. It's quite a basic chilli with roasted peppers, fava beans and nice spices. The main difference is that I decided to serve it with quinoa, which worked really well with it and made a nice change.


Quinoa chilli with rye crisps

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
1 cup cooked fava beans
1 tsp smoked chilli paste
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
Sprinkle of salt
3 tbsp tomato purée
Rye crisps

Method

Cook the quinoa in water until done.

Cut the peppers into generous chunks and roast them in the oven.

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

Add the fava beans and spices to the pan followed by the tomato purée and the roasted peppers.

Then also add the quinoa to the chilli and serve.

Have a nice week!


Your VegHog

27 May 2017

Changes – Important update!

Dear Friends,

The time has come to tell you about some changes that will happen in my life soon, and will also affect this blog. It's both exciting and sad news at the same time.

Last year a referendum about Britain's membership in the European Union took place. Surprisingly to most, a slight majority was in favour of leaving the bloc. People voted for different reasons, some of them were personal, some emotional, and some people might have been misled or uninformed. It might not have become the independence day that some were longing for either, but hopefully there will be a good outcome for normal British people and the whole of Europe. As you may know, the VegHog is an EU immigrant in Britain, and my status along many others was very much put into question due to these developments. So here is my big announcement: I have decided to leave the country.

At the end of this month I will be moving to Copenhagen in Denmark, and plan to settle down there permanently. My partner and I had been contemplating moving for quite a long time, but the looming brexit made it all much more urgent. He is a British citizen, and prefers relocating to the continent. The move is going to be a bit emotional after over ten years in the UK, but sadly I don't recognise this country as the same welcoming place that I arrived to. I hope that everything will turn out for the best, but there will be some uncertain times ahead.

Of course I'm very excited about the move, as Copenhagen is my absolute favourite city and I will then be closer to home. It will also be difficult in the beginning, learning the language, getting everything sorted etc. but we are ready. I will certainly continue blogging, however it can be a bit quiet here in June, before I have gotten a proper internet connection in my new home and so on. I try to keep you updated about what's happening.

Now I want to thank you for being my faithful readers and really hope that you will be following my new adventures as well!

Your VegHog


22 May 2017

Just a salad


Sometimes just a salad is the right thing to eat. It's probably due to the spring and warmer weather that I have been craving for more salads lately, but I'm not at all unhappy about these healthier developments. This week seems to be getting very promising weather wise. Today is just a gorgeous summerly weather, but it's a shame that it's Monday and there isn't much time to do anything in the evening.

There are so many lovely ingredients around at the moment that are perfect in salads, and I want to use them all. I've also noticed that I order more salads in restaurants and cafés, which is quite unusual for me.

I tend to add cheese and nuts to make a salad more wholesome, and very often we notice how filling a salad dinner has been. It's not “just a salad” most of the time. I also added kabuki pea hummus to this salad plate, and it was very tasty. So here is this latest small salad creation.

What are your favourite salads like? Do you often have a salad lunch or dinner?



Your VegHog

21 May 2017

Staggeringly Good Brewery

A couple of weeks back we visited the Staggeringly Good Brewery in Portsmouth. They are a dinosaur themed brewery, which makes it quite endearing. The beers all have great names, such as StaggerSaurus, Swamp Water, Post Impact Porter, VelociRapture etc. I detected this brewery accidentally, when one of our local pubs had one of their beers on tap. Then we decided that we would have to visit them, as they are fairly close to us anyway.

The brewery itself is hidden away in an industrial area just by the Fratton football stadium, and there is a small tap room to enjoy the beers and looking at the quirky dinosaur decorations.

We tasted quite a few of the different beers on tap and in bottles, and even bought a mini keg to take home with us. They are all very nice beers and it was such a great visit.