31 July 2016

Weekly shopping

I've done my weekly shopping and look very much forward to cooking with these ingredients! Finally I have a can of jackfruit. I'm not sure yet what I will cook with it, but I'm sure it will be tasty. I'll need to look for some inspiration from my fellow bloggers. I can also see other lovely fresh and light summer dishes in my immediate future. All shall be revealed later.

Here is what I bought:

  • Lambs lettuce
  • Quorn escalopes
  • Paccheri Rigati pasta
  • Gooseberries
  • Jackfruit
  • Onions
  • Soya sauce
  • Harlequin squash
  • Nutty muesli
  • Tomatoes
  • Beer
  • Baby spinach
  • Dry yeast
  • Garlic
  • Chilli ketchup
  • Gem squashes
  • Carrots
  • Udon noodles
  • Pineapple juice
  • Fresh peas

Have a good week!

Your VegHog

27 July 2016

Potato spelt rolls

I rarely leave any potatoes to spare, but here's a roll recipe for just those occassions when too many potatoes have been roasted. Of course the potatoes can also be roasted especially for these spelt rolls. I really like potatoes in different kind of breads and this is just one of my basic roll recipes, so easy to make and very economical and tasty.

Recipe for 10 rolls


6 roasted new potatoes
25 g butter
200 ml lukewarm water
1 tbsp dry yeast
300 g spelt flour
1 tsp salt


Mash the potatoes and melt the butter.

Add the yeast, salt, water and butter to the potatoes and mix.

Gradually add the flour and knead.

Let rise under a teatowel for about one hour.

Shape rolls from the dough.

Bake at 250 C for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy warm or later on once cooled.

I want to share with this rolls recipe with Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Lancashire Food in July and co-hosted by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours, as this is quite a cunning way using a few left-over roast potatoes. All other ingredients in this recipe are basic and cheap as well. It really pays off baking your own bread and it's so wonderful to have fresh bread!

Your VegHog

24 July 2016

The VegHog's Tomato Festival 2016 Round Up

I can proudly announce the end to this year's Tomato Festival. This week has been full of cooking with tomatoes for me and without a doubt, the tomato cooking will continue. Sometimes posting daily can be quite challenging, but I somehow managed, and you can find my tomato recipes in the sidebar on the right hand side. Rather than talking about my cooking, I want to dedicate this post to the wonderful contributions that I received through several different channels. I am very grateful for each and every contact. Thank you so much for being part of the Tomato Festival again this year!

So let's start with the contributions. I received a lovely email and recipe from a reader called Vegan Rob. He sent me a vegan tomato curry recipe that sounds so tasty! He also attached a picture of the dish to the email and he wrote:

“Hello Veghog

I often read your excellent blog to get recipe ideas. Even though I don't blog myself I thought I'd share my recipe for vegan tomato curry with you for your tomato festival. It's not a very precise recipe, but it should work anyway!

You will need:
Tomatoes (I used 12 medium vine tomatoes, each about 4-5cm in diameter, chopped into 8 pieces)
Chickpeas, about 250-300g, cooked beforehand, or 1 can
2 large onions
Fresh coriander leaves
Tomato puree
5 cloves of garlic
A chili pepper
A thumb sized piece of ginger
Vegetable oil
Bay leaves

Fry 2 large onions in a little vegetable oil on a medium heat until they are caramelised and deep brown. Add a pinch or two of salt to help draw the moisture out of the onions. Be careful not to burn the onions, you'll want to fry in a large heavy pan with a lid and stir every few minutes. This might take anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour.

When the onions are done, add about 5 cloves of garlic, a medium sized chili and a thumb sized piece of ginger, all finely chopped. Fry for a further 2 minutes, with stirring. Add another splash of oil if the mixture looks a little dry.

Add some garam masala and fry for a further minute. I made my from the seeds from a single green coriander pod, 3 cloves and a level teaspoon each of coriander seeds, ground cumin and onion seeds. All these components should be ground before use, and rather than precook the mix it worked fine just frying it with the other ingredients.

Add a teaspoon each of ground turmeric, fry for a further 30 seconds then add the tomatoes and chick peas. The tomatoes will start to release their juices, but add a little water so most of the mix in the pan is covered. Add two bay leaves, remove these just before serving. Reduce to a low heat so the mixture boils, and reduce for at least 30 minutes.

About ten minutes before serving, taste and add enough tomato puree to get the colour and taste correct. This might be one or more tablespoons. Also add a teaspoon or so of smoky paprika and check for seasoning and spicing.

Add a generous amount of roughly chopped coriander leaves just before serving. I served the curry on its own, but it would work well with rice or breads.

I hope you like the recipe, keep up the good work!

Vegan Rob”

Thank you so much for your contribution, Rob! I really have to try this recipe soon!

I also received some posts from fellow vegetarian food bloggers.

Shaheen posted another vegan recipe for Ramiro Pepper and Harissa Tomato Potatoes with Black Pudding. This dish is nice looking and vibrantly red. It's made with new potatoes, tomatoes and red pepper and spiced with harissa. I'm very curious about the vegan black pudding that Shaheen served the dish with. Maybe I'm brave enough to taste it one day to find out what it tastes like. I have seen it in my local health food shop and Shaheen has shared several recipes with it.

Laura shared two tomato recipes from her blog archives, a tomato sauce for preserving and tomato koftas. A homemade tomato sauce for preserving is a very nice and useful idea. I hope I'd have the time to make some this year. The tomato koftas also sound very delicious, chopped tomatoes are made into a mixture with herbs and then fried until golden brown. This would be a very nice summer snack with a dip.

Then I received pictures of homegrown tomato plants in Twitter from Valeria Valo (@ValeriaValo) and I thought it would be nice to share them with the Tomato Festival, as they fitted the theme so well. She is growing her tomato plants in my home country Finland and wanted to share the progress of the plants. She is growing jersey, beefsteak and roma tomato variations. The vines are looking very good and I'm sure that she will have a wonderful crops.

Thank you again so much everyone!

Your VegHog

Tomato and olive bruschettas

Here's my last own recipe for The VegHog's Tomato Festival, but I will be posting the all important round up later, which contains your contributions as well. Remember to read it, as I got some very nice recipes from my readers!

So here are just simple, but so tasty tomato and olive bruschettas. I used a very nice olive bread in these, which added even more olives, but any sourdough bread would be nice in these.


Slices of olive bread
Selected tomatoes
Green olives
1 garlic clove
Olive oil
Fresh basil
Ground black pepper


Slice the bread, tomatoes and olives.

Toast the breads lightly. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub it onto the bread slices.

Mix the tomatoes and olives in a bowl with some good quality olive oil and season with fresh basil, salt and ground black pepper.

Place the tomato and olive mix onto the breads and enjoy!

Your VegHog

23 July 2016

Vegetable jambalaya

Finally it's the weekend and it's sunny and warm over here! I'm so happy about it, and even happier to be able to share another tomato recipe with you. This time I made a smoky vegetable jambalaya full of good vegetables and luscious local tomatoes. This is summer food at its best!


1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 red chilli
2 romano peppers
Olive oil
300 g cherry vine tomatoes
300 g paella rice
Sprinkle of smoked paprika
½ tsp liquid smoke
1 l vegetable stock
200 g sugar snap peas
140 g sweetcorn
Fresh pea shoots for serving


Chop the onion, garlic, chilli and romano peppers and start cooking them in olive oil. Cook on the hob for a few minutes, then add the halved cherry vine tomatoes and put to the oven to roast. I roasted at about 150 C first under a lid in order to get the liquids out. Stir occasionally and roast until the tomatoes are soft. Remember that not everything needs to be fully cooked, as the jambalaya will be returned to the oven later.

Mix the paella rice in and season with smoked paprika and liquid smoke. Also add the half of the vegetable stock and return to the oven to simmer under lid. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally and keep adding more stock when needed.

Add the sugar snap peas and sweetcorn when the rice is nearly done. Cook everything together until you are happy with the flavours. Keep adding seasoning, if needed.

Serve with fresh pea shoots and enjoy!

Due to the green components in this dish I want to share this recipe with Eat Your Greens that Shaheen is hosting this month. Obviously this is also another post to my Tomato Festival.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your VegHog

22 July 2016

Stuffed heirloom tomatoes

The VegHog's Tomato Festival will sadly soon be over for this year, but you still have time to submit your recipes before midnight on Saturday 23rd July. I will be writing a round up post in the end.

Today I'm just sharing with you a quick side dish or lunch recipe of stuffed heirloom tomatoes. I stuffed the heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and fragrant garlic and basil mix and then baked until nicely soft with a cheesy filling. I really like stuffed vegetables, although only quite rarely make them these days.


4 large heirloom tomatoes
250 g mozzarella
2 garlic cloves
Handful of fresh basil
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of ground black pepper
Olive oil


Cut a lid off of each heirloom tomato and remove the insides.

Cook the inside pulp in a pan until it's a firm sauce and excess liquid has evaporated.

Cut mozzarella into cubes and mix it in a bowl with a with the finely chopped garlic and fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the tomato shells with the mozzarella mix, tomato sauce and little added breadcrumbs. Cover them again with the lid.

Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and bake at 200 C for about 25 minutes.


Your VegHog

21 July 2016

Gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes and burrata

Today has been a very crazy day at work and I just arrived back home, about five hours later than planned. I was obviously hoping to be able to post something a little bit earlier, but if I write this quickly, I might just be able to post this when it's still Thursday.

So, the other day I made once again a simple gnocchi and tomato dish. Gnocchi or pasta with quickly fried fresh tomatoes and garlic with some added mozzarella or burrata are normally my absolute weekday meal favourites. This sort of dishes are so quick to make, yet they are filling and contain all the good things. I added some burrata to it this time, although I normally use mozzarella.

For this dish I just cooked some shop bought gnocchi and quickly fried the tomatoes in a hot pan. I also added some lightly cooked garlic, fresh basil leaves and drizzled some good quality olive oil on the top. Then I served the tomatoes with the burrata and gnocchi. This was perhaps a bit more posh version of this weekday favourite of mine.

I really hope to be home earlier tomorrow to be able to post another tomato recipe. Today my only worry while getting home, was about my Tomato Festival!

Have a nice Friday!

Your VegHog

20 July 2016

Tomato and rice tacos

I hope you are enjoying this week. The weather here in southern England is hot for the first time this summer. It's nice, but doesn't really encourage for cooking. I tried to make a fresher version of veggie tacos, which would be more suitable for a hotter weather.

I was inspired to cook this dish by a Tomato tacos with guacamole recipe from Mat Follas' vegetarian cookbook Vegetable Perfection (p. 56-57). I basically just took the idea of adding fresh tomato salsa into tacos, but also wanted to add a filling agent to them. I chose to add some warm spiced tomato rice to these tacos. They were quite great and I will certainly make them again.

Of course this is another recipe for my annual Tomato Festival, which is running this week. I am trying to show some variety in cooking veggie meals with tomatoes. Tacos are some of my all time favourites and it's nice to have them with fresh tomatoes in the summer.


For the rice

1 cup red camargue and wild rice
1 onion
1 green chilli
2 garlic cloves
Rapeseed oil
3 tomatoes
Vegetable stock powder
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Smoked paprika
Ground black pepper
Smoked chilli paste
Juice of ½ lime

For the tomatoes

300 g selected tomatoes
Juice of 1 lime
Fresh coriander leaves

Other ingredients

12 crunchy taco shells
Sour cream


Cook the rice first in pilaf fashion. Chop the onion and garlic and cook them in oil until soft. Then add the tomatoes and add simmer for a while. Add the rice, seasoning and vegetable stock and cook until done and with nice spicy flavours.

Chop the tomatoes for the salsa and mix with lime juice, fresh coriander leaves and salt.

Assemble the tacos and serve them with cheese and sour cream and possibly some extra smoked chilli paste on the side.


Your VegHog

19 July 2016

Oak smoked tomato and pepper bagels

The VegHog's Tomato Festival continues and here is a quite different tomato idea to yesterday's pasta bolognese. I made some oak smoked tomato and pepper bagels, which were extremely tasty but also quick to make. Tomatoes are a brilliant ingredient for different breakfast variations and I quite often find myself using tomatoes on breakfast breads or omelettes. These hearty and smoky bagels would prepare you well for any day. I combined fresh and oak smoked tomatoes in these. If you can't get a hold of oak smoked tomatoes, substitute them with sundried tomatoes.

Here's how I made these bagels:


½ red onion
1 romano pepper
Olive oil
Few oak smoked tomatoes
Few mini plum tomatoes
Birch smoked salt
Ground black pepper
100 g Havarti cheese
Fresh basil
Lamb's lettuce
4 sesame bagels


Cut the red onion and romano pepper into half rings and fry them briefly in oil in a pan.

Cut the bagels in half and put the onions, peppers, oak smoked tomatoes and mini plum tomatoes on them and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cheese and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Serve with fresh basil and lamb's lettuce.

Enjoy as breakfast or lunch or even evening snack.

Your VegHog

18 July 2016

Vegetarian Pasta Bolognese

To start things off for the Tomato Festival, I wanted to post a classic tomato recipe, but such a good one: a vegetarian pasta bolognese. I love an intense bolognese sauce made with lots of veggies, soya mince and quality tomato passata served with lovely pasta. I let my sauce simmer for quite a while to get the desired results, and in the end it was so good. Actually the sauce is vegan, so if you use vegan pasta and substitute the pasta cheese for serving, this meal is fully vegan.


1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots
Olive oil
2 tomatoes
200 g baby button mushrooms
500 g tomato passata
1 cup dried soya mince
3 tbsp tomato purée
Smoked paprika to taste
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable stock extract to taste
Pasta of your choice
Vegetarian pasta cheese for serving


Chop the onion and garlic finely and cut the carrots into small cubes. Start cooking the onion in olive oil until soft and slightly browned. Then add the carrots for a while followed by the garlic.

Slice the mushrooms thinly and also add them to the pan. Cook for a few minutes and then cover with the tomato passata. Let simmer under the lid for quite a while.

Cook the soya mince in the meanwhile and add it later to the sauce, when it's about halfway done.

Season the sauce with tomato purée, smoked paprika, salt, ground black pepper and vegetable stock extract to taste.

Cook the pasta and serve it with the bolognese sauce and vegetarian pasta cheese.


Your VegHog