15 April 2018

Thai curry with fennel and beetroot tofu


Remember that beetroot tofu I bought in Finland? Well, now dish number one has been made with it. I had two tofu steaks, so I can still cook something else with the other one. It was a really nice firm tofu with a subtle hint of beetroot, and it really added a nice splash of colour on top of that vegan Thai curry. There were some small chunks of beetroot inside of that tofu as well.

I made my pretty basic golden Thai curry with fennel and carrots. I used fresh turmeric for the first time, which was interesting. I think that I'll be buying it much more now. I didn't even manage to colour my whole kitchen yellow with it.

I'm looking forward to more colourful bowls of food towards the spring and summer. Yesterday I saw the first local asparagus appearing on the market. I can't wait to cook with it. 


Thai curry with fennel and beetroot tofu

Ingredients for the curry paste

1 red chilli
1 cloveless garlic
2 cm fresh turmeric
2 cm fresh ginger
1 tomato
1 lemongrass stalk
1 lime's juice
2 tbsp white miso
2 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 vegetable stock cube

Other ingredients

125 g beetroot tofu
1 onion
1 fennel bulb
2 carrots
Vegetable oil for frying
400 ml/1 can coconut milk
1 cup Jasmine rice

Method

Make the curry paste first by puréeing all paste ingredients into a smooth paste.

Chop the fennel, carrots and onion.

Cook the onion in vegetable oil until softened, then add the fennel and carrots to the pan.

After a while of cooking, also add the curry paste.

Cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the coconut milk.

Let simmer until the flavours have blended nicely.

Cook the jasmine rice.

Cut the tofu into generous chunks and fry them in vegetable oil.

Serve the curry with the tofu chunks on top and with the rice. Enjoy!


Your VegHog

14 April 2018

Spicy pitas


Happy weekend everyone! I hope that you have some nice plans for the weekend. Mine has started quite relaxed, and I'm trying to keep it that way. At least for now the sun is shining here in Copenhagen, and it's about +13C. It should be a good weather for a little stroll in town. There are already nice spring flowers everywhere, which is quite uplifting.

I made these spicy pitas just as a quick weekday dinner. They contained vegan “chicken” chunks, red cabbage, tomatoes, onion, garlic and vegan chipotle mayo, and they were wrapped in wholemeal pitas. Is there anything better than Mexican food on a weekday? It always feels like a feast. Alright, pita is not exactly Mexican, but it made a nice wrapping for this spicy filling anyway.

The whole dish was vegan, and quite tasty. I like these chunky vegan “chicken” pieces that are made from wheat gluten and soya protein. They are very versatile to use.

Have a nice weekend!

Your VegHog

7 April 2018

In My Kitchen in April

As you may know, I spent Easter in snowy Finland. See the photo below taken on a frozen river just behind my mum's house, and it tells quite a lot about the general atmosphere. The weather was perfect for walks in the snow, as it was so sunny the whole time. We also enjoyed some spectacular sunsets. It was a good break to relax, but a little bit too short. I cooked vegetarian Easter dinner for my family: stuffed sweet potatoes with lentils and pepper, stuffed courgettes with cheese, pulled oats balls, potato mash and salads, and a lot of chocolate eggs as dessert.


I did some shopping while I was there, my usual cheese and some chocolates, but I also got this birch tea towel and serviettes there. 
 

These food items are also from Finland: beetroot tofu steaks and two dry mixes to make a seitan roast and veggie burgers. I may not eat the tofu as steaks, but chop and fry and add them to some dish as an additional colour splash. I'm especially excited about the seitan roast, but will need to wait for some festive occasion to make it.



Here at home in Copenhagen my Easter flowers are still growing, but now I should be getting more spring flowers. This week it has actually started to be a bit warmer. I think I'll ditch my winter coats today and change to something lighter when going out!



I recently bought this vegan chipotle mayo, and now I've been adding it here and there. It's not too hot, but has just a nice warming heat. I ate it among others with these Mexican fried potatoes. They don't look so pretty, but it was a tasty dish.



I somehow got excited again by those really easy ready meals, where you just add some hot water and let them settle for a few minutes and they are ready to go. Do you know the type? I now have some extremely busy weekdays and I really appreciate this sort of dinners sometimes. I think that these products have also come a long way from my student days in the late 90s. I still remember that German cheese pasta that I had quite often. I'm not sure how I would like it today. I've already tasted the Pasta Napoli, and these are still waiting for me to try: Miso ramen noodles, Chili sin carne and Quinoa & Chickpea.




As usual I'm sharing this post with Sherry from Sherry's Pickings blog, who is hosting the In My Kitchen challenge.


Have a nice rest of April everyone!

Your VegHog

31 March 2018

Eat Your Greens March Round Up


It's quite unbelievable that March is already almost over, and it's still not very springlike! It's still fully winter in Finland, where I am at the moment to spend Easter. We just went for a walk on a frozen river in fairly deep snow as well.

Anyway, end of the month also means end of a cooking challenge, and I'm happy to share with you the lovely Eat Your Greens contributions for this month. As you can see, people have been busy cooking veggie food again, which is just great. I think that there was a good variety of things and different shades of green in this month's selection. So let's have a look at what has been shared with us.

Sadhna from Herbs, Spices and Tradition cooked Green Peas Paratha, which is Indian flat bread stuffed with peas. I agree with Sadhna that peas are very tasty and healthy, and really nice greens to eat. I also prefer the fresh ones, when they are in season. This is a lovely flatbread, which I would like to try making.


Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen, my lovely Eat Your Greens co-host, shared an Iranian Pearl Barley Soup - Ash-e Jo Jow with us.The dish looks very comforting for this colder spring time. It contains pearl barley, chickpeas and a lot of greens like spinach, dill, coriander and Shaheen's homegrown leek, together with warming spices. I would be ready to try this anytime.


Kari from Bite-sized thoughts made a Spiced carrot and red lentil soup. The soup is golden in colour, but contains nice greens in shape of leeks and celery. Remember that your dish doesn't have to be green all over in order to qualify for Eat Your Greens, it just needs to contain some greens! I just adore soups and this one sounds really wonderful.


Laura from Touch Wood cooked Kalettes with special rice.What makes the rice special is that it's from her home country Macedonia. It's always nice to have stuff from your home country, I know the feeling! Laura served the rice with kalettes, avocado and tomatoes. I like kalettes very much, as they look so cute and are versatile in cooking.


Emily from Cooking for Kishore made a Cucumber & Feta Salad. It's a refreshing salad that looks absolutely tempting. The greens are obviously cucumber, but also green onion and cilantro. These things all go very well with feta. I can't wait for warmer weather to eat this kind of stuff all the time!


Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe posted a Watermelon poke salad bowl with pickled radishes. This is a very colourful bowl indeed, featuring interesting watermelon "tuna", pickled radishes, other veggies, and edamame beans, snow peas and cucumber as the greens. This creative bowl would make such a good and uplifting lunch.


And finally, my own dish was a Speltotto with broad beans, spinach and purple sweet potatoes. I was chuffed to use those pretty purple sweet potatoes in a dish, and I combined them with greens like spinach, fresh onions with their stalks and fresh broad beans.


Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful contributions in the month of March! Now Shaheen will host the April challenge, and I hope to see your posts and many more also next month!

Your VegHog

25 March 2018

My ultimate comfort food cravings at the moment


I collected some of my current comfort food cravings to this post. I soon hope to move on to lighter and more spring like cooking, as hopefully also the weather will get a bit warmer, and there will be lovely spring vegetables on offer. This is just a collection of dishes that I've eaten quite often lately. They are all cheap eats and perfect for a chilled night in.

Mac'n'cheese

As the first recipe I will have to highlight mac'n'cheese, as it's always a good idea to make. I've made mine lately milk-free (but not vegan, still with cheese), and used the pasta cooking water in the roux instead. This method works rather well to make silky smooth roux as the base. I normally season it with smoked paprika, garlic granules, little bit of vegetable stock powder, salt and pepper. The base is almost tasty enough without any cheese.

I've used some chunkier pasta in my mac'n'cheeses lately, which also seems to work very well.


Lebanese rice

My faithful readers will probably know that I absolutely adore this vegan dish of Lebanese style rice, also called Lebanese dirty rice. I make it often, as it's convenient, tasty and affordable. It's a slow-cooked rice dish with lentils, vermicelli pasta, roasted onions and spices. You can read my first blog post about this rice here, and also get the full recipe there.

Sometimes in the past I've served this dish with halloumi, which fits in very well, and adds extra comfort. Halloumi seems to be less popular in Denmark. It's less available, and many brands tend to be too “goatish” or “sheepish” for me and especially for my partner, so we haven't had it much ever since we left the UK.


Thai curry

Thai curries have been a lot in my kitchen this winter and early spring. I've also posted a few of them, like this one here. I've mostly made a golden curry with tofu and variable veggies in a fragrant coconut milk based sauce. This dish is of course vegan, just like the Lebanese rice.


Homemade pizza

I've made a lot of pizzas lately, and I've also posted some of them. Here is one of them from last Friday with loads of cheese, tomato sauce, green olives and pineapple. These are basically my favourite toppings on a thin spelt crust (yes pineapple definitely belongs on a pizza!), but I also use other toppings.

I enjoy making the crust, waiting for it to raise and prepping the toppings in the meanwhile. It's a nice anticipation.


What are your current comfort food favourites?

Your VegHog

24 March 2018

Speltotto with broad beans, spinach and purple sweet potatoes


The weekend is here, and not one second too early. I'm so ready just to chill and cook nice veggie food this weekend. Easter is also around the corner, and I will be going to Finland then. It's still full winter at my mum's place, so it will be quite nice.

Long time no speltotto, I thought, and started planning this dish. I wanted to make it quite colourful with a lot of veggies. I roasted some lovely and super sweet purple sweet potatoes that I got from the local market, and wilted fresh spinach for the top. I also used fresh broad beans, fresh onions and carrots in the speltotto itself. It was a tasty and comforting dish.

Here is my speltotto recipe.


Speltotto with broad beans, spinach and purple sweet potatoes

Ingredients

2 purple sweet potatoes (other colours also allowed)
Vegetable oil for roasting
200 g broad beans
200 g fresh spinach leaves
2 carrots
2 fresh onions with stalks
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil for frying
20 g margarine
1 cup pearled spelt
1 l vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

Method

Prep the broad beans first, as the removing of the pods and skins can certainly take a while.

Heat the vegetable stock and also chop the carrots into small pieces.

Chop the onions and garlic finely. Set the green onion stalk to the side, and add them to the speltotto towards the end and also some fresh bits as a decoration on the top.

Start cooking the onion in olive oil until soft, and then add the garlic, soon followed by the carrot pieces.

Melt the margarine in the pan, add the pearled spelt. Then start making some vegetable stock additions, and let the dish simmer. Add also the broad beans to the pan at this stage.

Let the speltotto simmer, until everything has cooked nicely, and the flavours have blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the sweet potatoes into generous cubes, brush them with oil, and roast in the oven until tender.

Also wilt the spinach in a separate pan with a little garlic, salt and pepper. Serve the spinach and sweet potatoes on the top of the speltotto.

Enjoy!



It's good to see more Eat Your Greens entries coming in for March, and there is still a bit more time! I will share this dish with Eat Your Greens as well, which I'm hosting this month, and the event is co-hosted by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen blog.


Have a great weekend!

Your VegHog

18 March 2018

Veggie burgers


Somehow I don't eat as many veggie burgers these days, as I used to do. Perhaps it was the more typical vegetarian option in Britain when eating out, so I somehow also ended up making them more at home over there. Of course they are also quite an usual dish here, but I just haven't had many lately. Now I felt like it was the time again.

I made these veggie burgers with a ready made breaded seitan burger accompanied by grated turnip, wilted spinach with garlic and tomato salsa on seedy buns, served with potato wedges. They were juicy, crispy and tasty. I really need to make veggie burgers more often, as they also are such an easy weekday meal, when the patty is ready made.



Have a good start to the new week!

Your VegHog