31 October 2016

Flåm and Flåm Railway

From Bergen we took the train and wanted to head to a little fjord village called Flåm following Bergensbanen, the Bergen-Oslo railway line, one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world. Taking Bergensbanen was actually the main purpose of our trip. I will be writing a bit more about it later, as we had some unexpected adventures along the route to Oslo.

Flåm was an absolutely beautiful village located at the end of a fjord, surrounded by mountains. We had generous two balconies in our hotel room and had the most magnificent views from there. The autumn colours were just beautiful around there, and the weather continued being good. We went for walks in the surrounding hills and tried to chase for a waterfall, which turned out to be too high on the mountainside, so we had to give our climb up. The village also has their own microbrewery, Ægir Bryggeri and Pub. I think I'm going to write a separate post about them not to make this post too long.

So in order to reach Flåm by rail, you need to take the picturesque mountain railway known as the Flåmsbana. You can connect to it from the Bergensbanen in a roadless mountain village of Myrdal. This heritage rail takes you through the most amazing mountain scenery, and it's a bit dizzying at times. This railway route has also been described as one of the most beautiful in the world. It is quite an impressive demonstration of engineering, building a railway under such difficult conditions.

I hope you'll enjoy the views.

Eat Your Greens October Round Up

Another month is about to end and it's time for the Eat Your Greens Round Up for October. The challenge launched on the World Vegetarian Day and what a good month for vegetarian cooking it has been. There were once again many fabulous contributions with green vegetables, just look at those lovely bowls full of goodness! Now, let's have a closer look at the tasty recipes.

Janet from The Taste Space shared a Chickpea Chile Verde. The recipe is vegan and the dish looks just perfect and warming for this season. It contains Janet's homegrown tomatillos, hearty chickpeas and corn, and it's spiced with jalapeno, ground cumin and ground coriander.

My Eat Your Greens co-host Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen posted a recipe for Tamarind Edamame, Soy and Green Beans. This is another vegan dish full of green components. It's spicy with chilli, ginger and tamarind and there are plenty of greens: green beans, garden peas, edamame and soy beans. This is another bowl that I would happily scoff instantly.

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe cooked a Dal with haloumi and mint. I like this idea of combining dal with halloumi, partly because I would like to combine everything with halloumi. It may not be a traditional way of serving dal, but I can see it working very well. Johanna's Dal is vibrantly green, as it contains peas and fresh mint, and it's spiced with chilli and turmeric.

Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen shared with us Creamy Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce with Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shell Pasta. There's a cunning vegan version of Alfredo sauce using cashews, nutritional yeasts and almond milk as the base. Combining roasted sprouts with pasta is another great idea. I like using Brussels sprouts as the greens, as they have now appeared in the shops here and are making me feel all Christmassy.

My own recipe for Eat Your Greens this month was a Spinach and lentil curry with coconut rice. It's a vegan dish full of spinach and green lentils decorated with fragrant fresh coriander. I really like this kind of comfort food, especially in this season.

These were the recipes for October, thank you everyone very much for taking part! Shaheen will now take over with hosting for November. Please head to her blog for more information and do take part also in November.

Your VegHog

30 October 2016

Squash faces and pumpkin beers

I wasn't sure if I would manage any Halloween related posts, as I've been on holiday and then had a busy weekend back. It always takes a while to get back to the normal cooking routine, although I'm really happy to be cooking at home again. I don't really celebrate Halloween, but find it quite intriguing, so I wanted to make a small starter dish to celebrate the season. Maybe the faces on my chilli-honey glazed butternut squash “pumpkins” weren't quite as scary as I intended, but they did taste good.

I also wanted to taste a few pumpkin beers, so here are my impressions of them. I already wrote a post about Beavertown Brewery's Stingy Jack Spiced Pumpkin Ale last year, so I'm not going to write about that one, even though I bought it again now.

The other two beers that I wanted to taste were Roadsmary's Baby and Pumpkin IPA.

Roadsmary's Baby 6.8% by Two Roads is an ale brewed with pumpkin and spices and aged in rum barrels with vanilla beans. It has a deep orange colour and smells fruity and of vanilla. The foretaste is slightly sour with some fruity esters and spiciness and there's a long aftertaste of vanilla and hint of Christmassy spices. This beer is quite drinkable considering the strength.

The Pumpkin IPA by Flying Dog 6.7% is an ale brewed with pumpkin purée and spices. It has a very spicy scent with maple and there are strong maple notes throughout. The aftertaste has a long hoppy bitterness with strong spices and there's a lot of pumpkin in the aftertaste. Again, there is no real taste of alcohol, so this beer seems more drinkable than expected.

Have a fine All Hallow's Eve!

Your VegHog

29 October 2016

Spaghetti squash chilli with nachos

I thought another squash dish would be suitable for this season. I was going to make some Halloween themed post, but I'm not sure, if I'll manage with a busy weekend ahead. I've already seen several Halloween recipes by my blogger colleagues, and they all look cute and creepy at the same time. This dish that I cooked now doesn't look special, but it could be a good dish for this weekend nevertheless.

Spaghetti squash is a funny one to cook. I think it's pretty much at its best when roasted and then pulled into the spaghetti like strings. In this dish I combined roasted spaghetti squash with a black bean and sweetcorn chilli. The dish would be vegan, if you substitute the cheese on the nachos or skip it fully. The dish is also very tasty as fully vegan.


1 spaghetti squash
Olive oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 small chillies
240 g / 1 can black beans
140 g / 1 small can sweetcorn
200 g tomatoes
Ground cumin to taste
Ground coriander to taste
Smoked paprika to taste
2 tsp smoked chilli paste
1 tbsp tomato purée
Splash of liquid aminos
1 tsp cocoa powder

Serve with:
400 g nachos
150 g grated Cheddar and Mozzarella


Cut the spaghetti squash in half, brush with olive oil and roast in the oven until soft.

Prepare the rest of the chilli in the meanwhile by simmering all chilli ingredients together. Season the chilli to taste.

Once the squash is roasted, pull the flesh out with a fork and mix it into the chilli. I left some over to put as decoration on the top, otherwise the squash becomes quite invisible.

Heat up some nachos in the oven covered with cheese and serve them with the chilli.

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Your VegHog

28 October 2016

Fjord cruise

We took a three hour fjord cruise from Bergen to Mostraumen to see a bit more of the surrounding nature and landscapes. The views were really spectacular, snowy mountain tops, waterfalls, small fjord villages with their churches and high hills. I secretly hoped at times that I would have a small wooden house in some of those secluded spots. Maybe one day I will...

The boat moved mostly at quite high speed and we certainly did get some fresh air during the cruise, as the wind on the deck could get quite strong. Luckily there was also an indoor space to warm up in. The day started off cloudy, but I think that I still managed to capture some of the atmosphere in the photos. More sun would have been nice, but what can you do.

I hope you enjoy the photos and get a bit of an idea what it looks like in the fjords, if you have never been there. I also promise to post some recipes soon, now I'm just too much in the holiday mood still. 

Have a nice Friday!

Your VegHog

27 October 2016

Bergen sights, food and drink

We returned from our holiday late yesterday, so I'm slowly trying to get thousands of photos sorted. The holiday in Norway was of course absolutely amazing, it topped all my expectations. The landscapes were unbelievable and the weather was great, not a drop of water fell on us and it wasn't too cold at all.

First of all we spent a few days in the historical coastal town of Bergen. There was a lot to do there and the place is very beautiful itself. Already the views from the plane took my breath away when landing in Bergen.

On the first day we took the funicular Fløibanen up to the top of Mount Fløyen to see the view over the city and the surrounding fjords and mountains and have a lunch picnic there. The surrounding woods are very good for walks and there are cashmere goats roaming in the area.

The historical Bryggen area in the town centre, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, is very pretty and interesting. It consists of colourful wooden hanseatic buildings from the Medieval times. Of course Bergen was an important hansa trading town and this heritage has been well preserved.

The food and drink scene in Bergen is very vibrant and quite a few vegetarian options are available. We quite liked the Royal Gourmetburger and Gin, and ate there twice. They had just a divine falafel burger with hummus, tabouleh, harissa and fried halloumi served with chucky chips.

The harbour area in general is very pretty, as are the surrounding hills. We enjoyed a few good sunsets here. There is a lovely food market building in the harbour, but unfortunately it is mainly a fish market, so we didn't eat anything there. It looks nice though and has several restaurants, some of them must also serve vegetarian food.

We also visited a couple of microbreweries and craft beer bars, like Mikrobryggeri, Henrik øl & vinstove and Una serving many different local and Norwegian craft beers, which we enjoyed very much.

More Norway themed posts will follow soon. Here are still a few random photos with street art, autumn colours and an interesting find that someone had the same idea as I did with the cabbage like plant decoration. I just haven't put mine into action yet, but will probably do now.