30 April 2017

Eat Your Greens April Round Up

April is already coming to an end, and it's time for the Eat Your Greens Round Up! Thank you so much for the submissions. It's always good to see nice green vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Here are the April entries:

Sadhna from Herbs, Spices and Tradition posted a recipe for Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Flour Crepe. These are great crepes made from chickpea flour adding some nice vegetables to them. These crepes make a good and healthy breakfast full of protein. I think that I will need to try this recipe soon, it seems so tasty.

Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen shared a Green Chili with Welsh Leeks and Edamame Beans. In this chili the sweetness of the leeks is combined with the heat of jalapeno and green chillies, and then some more greens and protein is added with soya beans, peas and broad beans. This looks like such a warming bowl, I would love to eat this anytime. Shaheen served it with pineapple and jalapeno salsa, which also sounds lovely.

My own recipe was a Hazelnut and kale pesto, a very versatile green pesto that's good with pastas, crispbreads and other dishes. It's nice and green and healthy as well.

Shaheen will be hosting again next month, so keep sharing those green recipes!

Your VegHog

29 April 2017

Chocolate and buttercream cake

Yes, a chocolate and buttercream cake or a failed Swiss roll with the same filling. Indeed I was planning to make a classic Finnish recipe for a chocolate Swiss roll with heavenly buttercream filling, but something happened. I didn't spread the dough widely enough for the baking, so I wasn't able to roll it like a Swiss roll in the end. However this quick cake conversion with the buttercream in the middle was also very tasty.

I have now twice failed to make this Swiss roll properly, as the first time when making it with a slightly different recipe, the dough stuck too much to my baking paper, making a bit messy looking roll. It was a roll, though. That was a couple of years ago, and I didn't post that recipe at all, and now this happened... I will try the proper Finnish classic again, one day I'll have to manage.

I am going to share this recipe here, and you can decide yourself, with which format you would like to go. I can actually recommend either. I probably just should have spread the buttercream slightly more thinly or cut another layer to the cake, but that's just my preference.

Chocolate and buttercream cake


4 eggs
1,5 dl sugar
1 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

100 g double cream
1 dl icing sugar
100 g butter
1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Coconut flakes and sugar


Make the dough first by whisking the eggs and the sugar into a foam. Combine the dry ingredients and add them through a sieve to the eggs and sugar. Spread the dough on a baking tray on baking paper.

Bake at 200 C for about 10 minutes or until done.

Turn it over on a baking sheet with spread coconut flakes and sugar and let cool.

For the filling, whisk the cream. Add the soft butter and sugar to it and mix into buttercream.

Then spread the cake with the buttercream and either roll into a Swiss roll, or make a simple cake like I did, and cut it to pieces.


Your VegHog

27 April 2017

Wild mushroom and asparagus speltotto

While I'm on holiday in Finland, I timed a couple of posts to be published in the meanwhile, as I may not be able to post so much from there. I will of course catch up later what I was up to, but here's just a basic recipe of mine.

I made a spelt risotto for a change. I haven't made one for a while although it's one of my main favourites. When the new season asparagus start appearing in the shops and markets, I always want to make a risotto or a spelt risotto with them. In this recipe I combined the new local asparagus with some dried wild mushrooms, chanterelles in my case. The wild mushrooms are so intense, and when you let them infuse the vegetable stock, even a small amount of them can add a lot of flavour to the dish. I added a bell pepper and carrots as additional veg to this dish, and I enjoyed it very much.

Here is my recipe that makes quite a nice spring weekday meal.

Wild mushroom and asparagus speltotto


1 l vegetable stock
20 g dried wild mushrooms
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper
2 carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
20 g butter
1 cup pearled spelt
50 g grated vegetarian pasta cheese
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Bunch of asparagus
1 lemon
1 tbsp butter


Heat the vegetable stock and add the dried mushrooms to it. Chop the onion and garlic finely, and dice the bell pepper and carrots.

Start cooking the onion in the olive oil, and cook until soft and a bit browned. Add the bell peppers and carrots and cook a while longer. Then also add the garlic.

After a few minutes, add the butter and the pearled spelt to the pan. Stir for a couple of minutes, and then make the first vegetable stock and mushroom addition.

Let the speltotto simmer under lid and keep making stock additions before the pan can dry up. When everything is nearly cooked, add the seasoning and cheese.

Prepare the asparagus in a separate pan by heating up some butter and cooking the asparagus spears there. Add juice of one lemon to finish. Serve the asparagus on top of the speltotto.


Your VegHog

24 April 2017

Holiday mood

Good morning everyone! You probably already guessed it from the title and the too cheerful Monday morning greeting that I'm about to go on a holiday! Well I'm only going home to Finland, but it will be so good to see my family. It seems that it's still occasionally snowing over there, so that will be interesting for this time of year. I hope that you won't be having too much toil either, even if having just a regular working week.

So this was my breakfast bowl this morning, gathering strength and vitamins for the holiday. It's so nice to eat such colourful bowls of food, especially in the spring and summer. This bowl contained Greek yogurt, pineapple and strawberries.

I will be sharing some things from my Finland trip later. Remember still to take part in Eat Your Greens in April! I will be posting the round up from Finland, there's still one week to go!

Have a wonderful week!

Your VegHog

23 April 2017

Braised fennel

I hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday! My day has started very chilled, the sun is shining, I'm slowly making coffee and some pretzel rolls are waiting to be eaten. I will head out soon, as the weather really seems to be lovely, but first I wanted to share a dish with you that I made yesterday.

This braised fennel that I pretty much improvised made such a lovely side to our Saturday night dinner. We had buttery potato mash and a veggie Schnitzel with it. It was basically comfort food, but kind of with a touch of spring. The liquid of the fennel made a perfect sauce to moisten the dish a bit, and actually the liquid is probably my favourite bit. I think that this braised fennel would go with many kind of dishes, even just with a salad. The cooking only needs some patience, as I think I cooked it for a couple of hours, just slow baking in the oven. The preparation itself is not much work, though.

Braised fennel


1 fennel bulb
100 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
Sprinkle of ground black pepper
100 ml white wine
3 garlic cloves
100 g grated cheese (I used a Cheddar and Red Leicester mix)


Cut the fennel into four slices and remove the hard stalk. Cut the green bits on the top into finer slices. Put the thin slices on the bottom of an oven dish and then the larger fennel bits on the top.

Pour the vegetable stock in and season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with a foil and slow bake at about 180 C for one hour. Have a look sometimes, how the fennel is doing and turn the pieces around midway of the cooking.

Chop the garlic finely. Once the fennel is already fairly soft, pour the wine in, and cook some more. At this stage I removed the foil, and also added the garlic.

After a while, add the cheese and bake until it has melted.


Your VegHog

17 April 2017

Spinach and cheese roulade

"One day my log will have something to say about this. My log saw something that night." Log Lady, Twin Peaks

I was looking for cooking inspiration in my cookbooks, not so much in Twin Peaks, and found an interesting roulade idea. This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi's vegetarian cookbook Plenty More: Taleggio and spinach roulade (p. 290-291). I changed some things in my recipe, and have written down my version below, but you can find the original Ottolenghi recipe also here. I really think that you should try this recipe, and just maybe the log will have something to say to you.

I made some minor adjustments to the dough by using slightly different type of ingredients, but didn't change anything else about it. It was very easy to work on and made a nice smooth ball after the kneading. For the filling I made the semi-dried tomatoes myself, as I love that sort of tomatoes. They are just so fragrant when made in the own oven. The most major change was using havarti and mozzarella instead of pecorino and taleggio, as those were just easier to come by. I think they worked well too.

I initially thought that my roulade was a bit dry, but my partner assured me it wasn't. Of course I left out the crème fraiche, so that would have made it more moist anyway. The roulade was quite tasty in the end, and it held very well together in the oven. I'm tempted to make a similar roulade with different kind of filling. Don't you think that the cut pieces look a little bit like hedgehogs?

Spinach and cheese roulade



160 ml milk
2 tsp dry yeast
350 g wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
50 ml vegetable oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk


150 g spinach
20 g basil
100 g havarti cheese
250 g mozzarella
200 g semi-dried tomatoes

1 egg
2 tsp poppy seeds


If you are making the semi-dried tomatoes, better start with them, as they can be in the oven for a few hours. Cut the tomatoes in halves, sprinkle with a little salt and possibly oregano, and bake at about 50 C for a few hours until they start drying slightly. The temperature can be increased at times, if necessary.

Mix all dough ingredients together apart from the milk. Warm the milk up slightly and mix it into the other ingredients and knead for a good while. I probably kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes. Once the dough is a smooth ball, it's good. Let it rise in a bowl for about 45 minutes. Then roll it out thinly on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Let rise for another 30 minutes under a tea towel.

Put the filling onto the dough and shape a large log from it. Let rest once again 30 minutes under a tea towel.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Brush the roulade with a beaten egg, and sprinkle the poppy seeds on top. Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 160 C and bake for another 25 minutes.

Let it cool down a bit before slicing.


Your VegHog

16 April 2017

Hazelnut and kale pesto

It's nice to finally make some lighter spring dishes with all the new seasonal produce. I've already had some local asparagus, and it was so nice. I can't wait to spot more nice local produce in the shops and markets.

Kale has been used quite a lot in our kitchen lately. It's such a versatile green, and easy to cook with. I made this simple vegan nutty hazelnut and kale pesto, and enjoyed it very much. I tried it with pasta and with some rye crackers, and it was very flavoursome and fragrant in both dishes. Here's my recipe, if you want to try it too.

Hazelnut and kale pesto


2 cups kale
1 garlic clove
100 g hazelnuts
100 ml olive oil
Sprinkle of salt


Purée all pesto ingredients together, but remember that you can vary the ingredient amounts to get a nice and creamy pesto. 

I left some of the hazelnuts a bit larger chunks in the pesto, as I like the extra crunch.

Serve the pesto with pasta, breads, crackers, anything you like, and enjoy!

This pesto is my Eat Your Greens contribution for this month. I'm hosting the challenge this month myself, and the event is co-hosted by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen blog. Remember that there's still plenty of time to take part with your green recipes!

Your VegHog

15 April 2017

Mexican cauliflower cheese with sweetcorn and pepper

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope that you are having a relaxing weekend with nice food! I'm soon heading for a small day trip and intend to have a good time. It could be sunnier today, but at least it's not raining.

Before I go, I wanted to share this Mexican style cauliflower cheese recipe with you. I've been Mexicanising quite a lot of dishes lately, and it's already a running joke with my partner. He now knows to expect all things Mexican.

This cauliflower cheese with a little bit of heat of chilli and some warming spices, and with the addition of sweetcorn and pepper, was so nice. I just served some refried beans and tortilla chips on the side, and it was a really lovely meal.

Mexican cauliflower cheese with sweetcorn and pepper


1 cauliflower
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 small chillies
1 romano pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small can sweetcorn
2 tbsp smoked chilli paste
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ smoked paprika
100 g grated Cheddar

Tortilla chips
Refried black beans with tomatoes


Cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them for a couple of minutes.

Chop the onion, garlic, chilli and pepper finely and cook them in a pan until soft.

Add the sweetcorn and the seasoning to the pan with some water (about 100-150 ml) and let simmer for a while.

Put the cauliflower florets in an oven dish and coat with the spicy veggie mix.

Cover the dish with grated cheese and bake at 180 C for about 40 minutes, and finish at 200 C for about 10 minutes, until everything is cooked nicely and the surface is golden brown.


Your VegHog

9 April 2017


The weather this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous. I can't believe that it has been so warm and sunny throughout. However I read that the temperatures will be going down drastically for tomorrow. Oh well, it's Monday anyway, so it doesn't really matter. Anyway I will be heading out soon to enjoy the good spring weather a bit more.

First to today's recipe. I really like Koshari, especially as street food, but it's sometimes nice to make it at home as well. It's a traditional Egyptian dish made with rice, lentils, macaroni, vermicelli and chickpeas and topped with a tomato sauce and fried onions. Koshari is very comforting and filling, perfect veggie food when you need a lot of energy.

Below is the recipe, how I made my Koshari this time. Remember that timing is key to get everything ready at the same time, as there is a lot of separate cooking going on. Luckily the processes aren't complicated, so this can be well managed without stress.



Homemade tomato sauce with garlic and chilli
1 cup green lentils
½ brown rice
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp smoked chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 vermicelli pasta nests
200 g wholewheat cavatappi pasta
1 tsp za'atar for sprinkling on the top
A few fresh coriander leaves for sprinkling on the top
Fried onions


Make the tomato sauce first or use a ready made one. A rich tomato sauce with loads of garlic and chilli is perfect for this dish.

Cook the lentils and the rice together to avoid using loads of pots. If the lentils need a shorter cooking time, add them later to the saucepan. Add also a little salt and vegetable stock powder.

Warm the cooked chickpeas up in a pan and add some smoked chilli powder and ground cumin to season.

Break the vermicelli into about 2 cm long pieces and briefly cook them in hot oil so that they turn brown. This really happens quite quickly, so keep an eye on them. Add the vermicelli to the rice and lentils for the last few minutes of cooking, so that they'll also get soft.

Cook the pasta separately. I chose a larger pasta shape instead of the smaller macaroni. These worked very well in this dish.

Layer the components into a bowl and serve with the tomato sauce and fried onions. I didn't make my fried onions myself this time, so you can either buy some or make your own.


I want to share this recipe with My Legume Love Affair #106 hosted by Ali from Fix Me a Little Lunch, and co-hosted by Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen.

Your VegHog

8 April 2017

Colin cupcakes

These Colin cupcakes could be a fun Easter baking. I'm sure that kids would love these. They are lemony cupcakes decorated with M&S vegetarian Colin the Caterpillar sweets. These sweets are gelatine free, but unfortunately not suitable for vegans. I really like them and buy them quite often. Now I thought that they would make nice cupcake decorations. I tried to decorate some with the long caterpillar sweets, but the butterflies were definitely better suited for these small cupcakes. I used pink tiger lemons for the dough an icing. I just had to buy them, because they looked so cute. I think that another batch will have to come for Easter.

For about 12 cupcakes

For the dough:
125 g self-raising flour
125 g caster sugar
125 g butter
2 eggs
2 tbsp hazelnut milk
1 lemon's zest

For the decoration:
Icing sugar + lemon juice
Colin the Caterpillar sweets


Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Mix the flour and sugar with the soft butter. Add the eggs, hazelnut milk and one lemon's zest and whisk them all into an even dough.

Divide the dough into cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes until fully baked. I usually place the paper cases into a silicone muffin baking tray with slots, so they keep their shape better. Let the cupcakes cool down after the baking.

Make the icing by mixing some icing sugar with a little lemon juice. Spread it on the cupcakes, and place a Colin on the top.


Your VegHog

6 April 2017

In My Kitchen in April

I have a few things to share with you from my kitchen again in April. I'm sharing this post with Lizzy from Good Things and In My Kitchen blogging challenge.

I've been buying a lot of different citrus fruits lately, especially blood oranges, but now their season is unfortunately ending. I have quite often pressed them into juice, or just added pieces to my breakfast yogurt bowls, or have had some fruit segments as snack at work. I can't believe that I still got a flu regardless my high consumption of fresh fruit.

We purchased these new lunch boxes that are especially good for soups. We already have the rectangular ones by Joseph Joseph from the same range, and quite like them. However these are so much better for soups and broths, as they don't spill any liquid at all. I can imagine a layered colourful salad looking cute in these too. This only means now that I can make more lunch soups.

I recently visited the Southbank Centre food market in London, and got this proper Danish rye bread there. It was just as good as in Scandinavia, very dense and containing some seeds. One slice can keep you going for quite a while.

I've also been baking homemade rolls as usual, and made these spelt rolls with sundried tomato. They were nice as fresh bread always is.

This organic Japanese umami paste with ginger was a really good purchase, and I can see many different uses for it. So far I've used it as a glazing of roasted vegetables for sushi filling, and as a dipping sauce with soy etc. It's very flavoursome and practical to use.

I've had this Cornish seaweed salt for a while, but haven't used it much yet. I guess I have too many flavoured salts that not all of them are used as often.

To cheer up my succulent collection, I bought this ceramic hedgehog carrying a succulent on its spines. Cute!

I haven't done anything in my balcony garden yet this year, shame on me! I think I will get some plantlings later that are already a bit more advanced, as I didn't plant anything myself. It's nice to see though that some plants from last year have returned like these mint and strawberries

I like these wooden food trays made from pine and harvested from a sustainable source. They are perfect for summer parties with friends and family.

This was my kitchen in April. I hope you liked the post.

Your VegHog