30 March 2015

Sweetcorn cakes

I haven't been baking much for Easter this year. Probably because I won't be home then and have been quite busy lately. Now I made these savoury little cakes, which I think could almost qualify as Easter baking. Have you already been making some lovely stuff for Easter?

I saw this recipe for “Maissikakut” (Sweetcorn cakes) on a Finnish recipe page. I gave it a little bit my own twist, so my version is here below. These are really easy to make and they are a great snack in between.

Makes about 12 cakes.


260 g / 1 can sweetcorn
1 carrot
2 continental salad onions
A bunch of fresh parsley
200 ml polenta
2 tbsp spelt flour
200 ml milk
1 tsp salt


Peel the carrot and grate it.

Chop the salad onions into fine rings, also use the greens.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, season the mix and stir it smooth.

Place the mix into muffin cases and bake at 200C for about 15-20 minutes.


Your VegHog

29 March 2015

Inside my shopping bag

I'm not sure, if this post interests anyone, but I just wanted to share with you what my typical supermarket shop for a week or so contains. I normally do a big shop on the weekend, but I might have to add some items to those during the week. As I have quite a well equipped dry cupboard with different spices, flours, pulses, pasta etc., I don't often need those items from my local supermarket. My shopping bag normally contains quite a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, which was the case again yesterday. I also buy my regular basics like cheese, milk and yogurt weekly. Milk I mainly need for my morning coffee, sometimes for baking too. My standard weekday breakfast is Greek yogurt with berry powders, fruit, granola or flaxseed.

Here are most of the items that I bought this time, but I might have forgotten some: Bell peppers, butternut squash, continental salad onions, portobello mushrooms, mini plum tomatoes, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, shallots, garlic, potatoes, black grapes, watercress, Curiosity Cola, Orchard Pig cider, halloumi, White Fox cheddar, vegetable stock cubes, breadcrumbs, coffee, milk, eggs, Greek style yogurt and buckwheat noodles. I'm sure you will soon see dishes cooked with these ingredients on the blog.

I would be very curious seeing into your grocery shopping bags, so please share links below in the comment box, if you have posted about the subject, or just tell me about your typical buys.

Your VegHog

28 March 2015

Glamorgan sausages with potato mash and salad

When my partner made a humble request that I should cook Glamorgan sausages again, I was surprised, not because he requested them, but because I became aware that I hadn't made them for a long while. I love these breaded Welsh leek and cheese sausages and should make them much more often. Anyway I was instantly ready to make some and planned a simple dish around them. I though they would be good in a rustic combination with potato mash and some side salad.

So I just made a smooth buttery potato mash on the side from lovely English potatoes. To add some freshness to the dish, I chopped tomatoes and a small shallot and seasoned them with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. My salad was extremely simple, just some mixed leaves on the side.

You can find my Glamorgan sausage recipe here and I followed this same recipe again. They become so wonderfully crispy in the oven, yet still had a fluffy and tasty inside. The six chunky sausages also disappeared pretty quickly.

What would you serve the Glamorgans with?

Your VegHog

27 March 2015

Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival 2015

Last Friday I paid a visit to the Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival. It was the day of the solar eclipse, and by the time I got to leave work and take the train towards Winchester, the sun had come back with vengeance. At that time it was extraordinarily bright over the South Downs. My mobile phone picture of course doesn't do it, or the scenery, any justice. 

Wichester is a nice old town to visit and they have a spectacular cathedral. I quickly strolled through the town centre, as I had few moments to spare before the start of the festival.

Then finally at the festival I of course started tasting some half pints of real ale. Once again there was an overwhelming choice of local, and less local, real ales and ciders. However I didn't drink any cider this time, how shocking! The most interesting ale in my opinion was the Watercress Best by the Itchen Valley brewery. Yes, there was indeed watercress in that beer and it could be tasted. What could be better for a VegHog! Watercress is a big thing in Hampshire and there are many local growers, so it's a very nice touch to add it into local beer as well.

Here is the list of the ales I tasted (brewery's name mentioned first):

Dancing Man: Congo Driftwood 4,3 %

Flowerpot: Spring Loaded 4,0 %

Itchen Valley: Watercress Best 4,2 %

Langham: Aegir 7,5 %

Loch Ness: Hoppy Ness 5,0 %

Longdog: Kismet 4,5 % and Lamplight Porter 5,0 %

Rusty Prop: Flugtag 4,7 %

Staggeringly Good: VelociRapture 6,5 %

Can't wait for the next local beer festival!

Your VegHog

26 March 2015

Garlic and basil rolls

You already got a sneak preview to these rolls posing on the side of my Alphabet soup, and now the recipe for them will be revealed. I got the recipe from Valio's webpage here and it's developed by Riikka from Vatsasekaisin Kilinkolin, a Finnish food blog. I'm posting below my own only slightly altered version. 

The dough may seem too soft for shaping rolls, but if you're only able to roll it at that texture on a floured surface, the rolls become wonderfully soft and fluffy. First I was skeptical and wanted to add more flour, but I'm glad I didn't. However I used a slightly different rolling technique to the original. Mine might have not been as pretty, but they were so tasty that I don't care!

This recipe makes about 14 rolls.


250 ml milk
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 + 1 egg
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
5 dl wheat flour
50 g + 50 g garlic butter
Bunch of fresh basil


Mix the yeast into lukewarm milk. Add one of the eggs, honey, salt and the half of the flour and mix. Add the rest of the flour and keep kneading for about 20 minutes by hand or 10 minutes with a machine. It is a long time, but worth it. Add 50 g of the melted garlic butter towards the end of the kneading. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise for about one hour.

Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a sheet of about 35 x 35 cm. Spread the other half of the garlic butter (not melted, only soft so it's better spreadable) on the dough and sprinkle the chopped basil onto it. Roll the dough into a long firm log, swiss roll style, and cut roll sized pieces from it. Let these rise on a baking tray under a tea towel for about 30 minutes. 

Brush the rolls with a beaten egg and bake them at 220C for about 12 minutes or until the rolls are fully baked.

Enjoy with salads, soups, pasta dishes. They are at their best when fresh from the oven.

Your VegHog

25 March 2015

Creamy mushroom sauce with fusilli

This sort of creamy mushroom sauce used to be the food of choice in my student days. I used to make it constantly and combine with either pasta or potatoes. Then I sometimes had to use canned mushrooms and no fresh herbs, obviously due to a limited student budget, but it never stopped me loving this sauce. 

My vegetarian diet used to be very one-sided back then, but luckily I started eating more versatile dishes and ingredients afterwards. These days I don't make such a creamy sauce too often and recently if I have made it, then more often with potato mash than pasta and also used oat cream instead of “real” cream. Now I thought it's time to combine this sauce with pasta again and I did enjoy eating it and remembering back to my student days.

Here is the simple recipe.


200 g chestnut mushrooms
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
200 ml cream
Fresh basil leaves
Sage to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Mature cheddar grated on the top
Fusilli pasta


Cut the mushrooms into thin slices and chop the shallot and garlic finely.

Start cooking the shallot and garlic in olive oil and then add the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes before adding the cream. Then let simmer slowly so that the cream gets infused by the mushroom flavour.

Season the sauce with basil, sage, salt and pepper to taste and grate the cheese.

Cook the fusilli pasta al dente and serve with the mushroom sauce and cheese.

Here you go, it's all done. What were/are your student time go-to dishes?

Your VegHog

24 March 2015

Belgian Beer Stew

Now here is something I cooked last week when it was a bit chillier. However today I have a horrendous fever and cold, but writing about this recipe warms my heart a little bit. So greetings from the bottom of the bed, hopefully back up and cooking soon!

Ever since my last holiday to Belgium, I have been planning a dish to cook with Belgian beer, as I brought a few nice bottles with me. I chose to make a vegetable and soya stew out of it and here's the recipe. The potatoes I used were ruby red and so is the award winning Gouden Carolus Classic beer, so there's a bit of a ruby red theme going on. 


1 cup soya protein chunks
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot
8 small potatoes
3 small onions
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder + 200-300 ml water
330 ml / 1 bottle dark Belgian beer (I used Gouden Carolus Classic beer 8,5 %)
Fresh sage leaves
Fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
Black pepper to taste


Prepare the soya protein chunks as described on the packet. Mine needed to be boiled in water for a few minutes and then they can be fried in oil, which I also did. Pour a little soy sauce on them and set to side for later.

Chop the vegetables: carrots into slices, potatoes into halves or quarters depending on the size, onions into thin half rings and garlic finely.

Start slow-cooking the onions in olive oil at low heat and under the lid. They should simmer there until they start getting brown and very soft. Stir them occasionally. Then add the chopped garlic and simmer some more.

After that the potatoes and carrots can be added, first stirred in for a few minutes and then the beer can be added. Let it cook for a few minutes and then also add the vegetable stock.

Cook under lid for at least 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and the flavours have blended nicely.

Season with black pepper, parsley and sage and add more beer or stock, if needed. I didn't add any salt, because I felt that the beer and vegetable stock added enough saltiness.

And it's all done! Enjoy!

Your VegHog

23 March 2015

Black quinoa salad

New week and new dishes. This year is going mighty quickly so far, I can hardly keep up. Yesterday I planted my first seedlings outdoors. I'm excited to see what will happen on the balcony this summer.

Now to today's recipe. I made another salad suitable for the work week, and as you might know, I love the mix of warm and cold in a salad. Once again this salad has a lot of substance thanks to the halloumi and quinoa.


½ cup black quinoa
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
1 small shallot
1 garlic clove
250 g halloumi
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 plum tomatoes
150 g mixed salad leaves
Pomegranate molasses dressing


Chop the tomatoes, shallot and garlic.

Cook the quinoa in water with added vegetable stock powder, the chopped shallot and garlic until the quinoa is done.

Cut the halloumi into cubes and fry the cubes in vegetable oil until they are golden brown.

Serve all together with mixed salad leaves and pomegranate molasses dressing.


Your VegHog

22 March 2015

Cauliflower, courgette and tomato bake

Today was a really nice weather and I'm starting to feel like eating more spring vegetables and lighter dishes. Today's recipe is one of them. Although it's a bake, it uses cauliflower, courgettes and tomatoes as the main ingredients, which make it feel more like a spring dish. I also love it that I can start using my more cheerful napkins and tea towels, so exciting! I hope that the weather is good where ever you are!

And here is the recipe for my Cauliflower, courgette and tomato bake:


1 cauliflower
2 courgettes
200 g cherry tomatoes
1 shallot
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
100 g mature cheddar
100 g mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves
A sprinkle of salt and black pepper


Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them. Cut the courgettes into slices and roast them brushed with olive oil and the tomatoes with garlic.

Chop the shallot and garlic finely and cook them soft in olive oil. Season them with fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower florets, courgettes and tomatoes into the pan and mix. Place the mix into oven dishes.

Grate the cheddar and tear the mozzarella into pieces and sprinkle them on the top of the vegetables. Bake for about 30 minutes in the oven until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

I served oven potato wedges on the side, but this bake can be combined with many dishes.

I'm also sharing this recipe with #VegetablePalette, which is a monthly food blogging challenge by Shaheen from the A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table blog. The theme of the challenge for March is Simple Spring Vegetables and I think that my recipe fits this category just fine.

Your VegHog

21 March 2015

BrewDog Camden

BrewDog Camden is yet another excellent pub of the BrewDog brewery. It's one of my favourite places to have a chilled Saturday afternoon, after some Camden shopping and street food. At BrewDog Camden you can also enjoy a couple of vegetarian snacks, such as the cheesy chips that I had.

The tasting notes of the beers are lacking in this post, because I spent such a chilled afternoon relaxing there rather than taking notes. So here's just a list of the beers I tasted. All of these beers were pretty spectacular though and I would recommend each and every one.

Dead Pony Pale Ale 3,8 % by BrewDog. I have had this pale ale several times before at home and in other BrewDog bars, and it's a really nice and hoppy beer, yet with a macabre name to a friend of all ponies. It's not too strong for a pub afternoon.

Brew Puppy 5,2 % by the Danish brewers Mikkeller. It's a hoppy American pale ale brewed exclusively for BrewDog bars, as you might guess from the name.

Baby Dogma 4,5 % by BrewDog is a lighter version of Dogma, a scotch ale brewed with Scottish heather honey.

Hop Flood 7,0 % by Evil Twin, another Danish brewery.

Have you been to any BrewDog pubs? What are your experiences? There are many of these pubs in the UK, but also quite a few worldwide, see the locations here. Here are some photos from my latest visit to BrewDog Camden.

17 March 2015

Blood orange, courgette and mozzarella salad

Please don't think that I'm crazy when you see this dish, as the ingredient combination of fruit, vegetables and cheese might seem strange. And believe me, I got some suspicious glances for this at home, but in the end it was all eaten and more was requested... These flavours went surprisingly well together, even shallot with blood orange was very interesting and it was almost like a promise of the spring. This dish came about when I wanted a fresh starter salad and these were the ingredients I had available. I've been especially happy about the juicy blood oranges that I've been able to get at my local store at the moment, they are so lovely. I certainly think I'll make this sort of dish again!

So here's how I made it. These amounts make small starter salads for two persons.

1 courgette
6-8 cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 blood orange
1 small shallot
Pomegranate seeds
Mozzarella pearls

I roasted the courgette slices and the cherry tomatoes in the oven in olive oil.

The shallot was sliced into thin half rings and the blood orange segments cut out.

Then I just combined all the ingredients on a plate and served.

What do you think? Is the combination too weird for you or are you willing to try?

Your VegHog