31 October 2017

Halloween in Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli is a world renowned amusement park right at the centre of Copenhagen. We went to the gardens this weekend when my brother was visiting us with his family. I hadn't been there before, but now it was nice to go, when there was actually a child with us. I took some non-scary rides with my nephew and we had great fun.

The whole Tivoli area has now been decorated in such a wonderful way for the Halloween season. There are pumpkins and spooky characters everywhere. The day was bitterly cold and windy when we were there, but seeing the lights and nice decorations warmed my heart at least a little bit.

There was also a largest pumpkin competition, which was won by this very proud 485,4 kg pumpkin, amazing! I don't know how they transported these vegetables there!

Here are some photos I took that day, I hope you enjoy. And happy Halloween everyone!

30 October 2017

Onion squash macaroni cheese

This is a very seasonal dish that would be quite nice to serve at a Halloween party. It's a macaroni cheese without milk, featuring roasted onion squash mash with the macaroni. However it's not fully vegan, as I still used regular cheese in it. I'm just constantly in lookout for alternative non-milky mac'n'cheese ideas, as my partner doesn't like them. I love that sort of creamy mac'n'cheeses as well, but now have to be more creative. The squash prevented the cheese from splitting with the rest of the sauce, so this was quite an successful version.

I enjoyed this version of mac'n'cheese very much, and will probably make it soon again in this spooky and dark season. Have you made any seasonal Halloween dishes or baking? Or do you have any tips for substitutes for milk or cream in a macaroni cheese bake?

Onion squash macaroni cheese


½ onion squash
Olive oil
200 g macaroni
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp potato flour
1 cup vegetable stock
200 g cheese
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of ground black pepper
Sprinkle of smoked paprika
½ cup breadcrumbs


Peel and cut the squash into wedges. Brush them with oil and roast in the oven until done. Mash the roasted squash pieces.

Cook the macaroni in water until it's al dente.

Chop onions and garlic finely and sautée them in a pan in olive oil until soft. Add the potato flour and vegetable stock and stir until smooth.

Then slowly add the mashed squash and 2/3 of the cheese. Keep mixing so that the mixture gets smooth and doesn't split.

Season to taste and mix with the cooked macaroni. Put the mix into an oven dish, add the rest of the cheese on the top with the breadcrumbs, and bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes.


Your VegHog

22 October 2017

Spaghetti squash jalfrezi

Spaghetti squash is a brilliant ingredient for may types of dishes. You can just easily roast it, and then scoop out the flesh that comes out in spaghetti like thin strings. This time I wanted to combine the mild and sweet vegetable with a spicy curry in the style of a jalfrezi. It turned out really nice. I added some of my Finnish dried broad bean crush as an extra protein in order to make a really wholesome dish.

I donated my mortar and pestle before the move (or actually they belonged to my partner), so I decided to buy a ready made garam masala. But that was a great decision, as I then detected a lovely spice shop in the nearby covered market, and their garam masala was really brilliant. I'm not sure, if I'll buy new mortar and pestle anytime soon. The shop has a very good selection of spices and they are good value for money. I will be returning, especially for some Christmas spices soon.

So if you fancy a bit of a squash curry, read my easy recipe here.

Spaghetti squash jalfrezi


1 spaghetti squash
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions
4 garlic cloves
2 cm fresh ginger
2 chillies
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
200 g tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato purée
1 cup dried broad bean crush
Fresh coriander
1 cup mixed rice


Cut the spaghetti squash in half and brush it with vegetable oil. Roast in the oven until tender and the flesh can be easily removed with a fork.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli finely. First sautée the onions in vegetable oil in a pan, and then add the garlic, ginger and chillies as well, followed by the tomatoes.

Cook for a while and then add the spices. Heat the spices through and pour the coconut milk to the pan.

Also add the tomato purée and broad bean crush.

Let simmer until everything is cooked nicely and the flavours have blended.

Add the roasted spaghetti squash flesh and cook for a while longer.

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Your VegHog

21 October 2017

Visiting the Royal Kitchen

On Friday last week there was a culture night here in Copenhagen, and all sorts of places opened their doors for visitors. We spent all Friday night exploring places around Copenhagen. The event was open until midnight, and the town was full of people.

There were light shows all over town, live music, all kinds of entertainment and family fun getting acquainted with different cultural places, some of which only opened their doors especially for this event. Even the army had arrived with their tanks and their guns. The national railway had a really nice display in a conference centre presenting their new projects. We got free pop corn from them, which was a plus, and they would've also had free coffee and hot chocolate.

The Royal Library was lit in an amazing fashion and was buzzing of people. The nearby museum showed a historical battle between Danes and Swedes projected on a big building's wall. Here we stopped for a tomato soup to keep us going.

I had a long list of places to see, and we actually managed quite a few of them. One place that I wanted to visit, was the Royal Kitchen at Christiansborg Palace.

I really like copperware and this kitchen boasts a huge copperware collection, so it was nice to see all those pots and pans. The kitchen itself is a cosy cellar full of old cookware. I wouldn't mind cooking in such a great kitchen myself.

I can't wait for the culture night to come around again next year!

Apple pie

A dream came true: I could cool down an apple pie on a window sill! Or wait a minute, is that actually a dream of mine, or just the American dream? Well anyway, it was a nice feeling, and it was very nice to bake for a change. How could I resist the lovely apple season.

Otherwise I've been quite busy at work, so the days have just flown by. I had autumn break from my Danish classes this week and now have to study for my first exam, so exciting! It's going pretty well, but people are still very hard to understand sometimes. Of course that's normal for language learning, but I don't have any patience and already want to be fluent.

So for this pie, I used Paul Hollywood's muffin recipe as the dough base, as that always seems to work in different combinations. You can find the recipe here. It's best left in the fridge overnight to develop, which makes the baking bit also much easier the next day, as you then have the dough ready.

Then I just added apple slices and cinnamon on the top of the dough and baked the pie. It was a lovely apple pie and it disappeared in no time. It's a nice change to get freshly baked goods at home.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your VegHog

15 October 2017

English breakfast

Do I miss England after over four months in Denmark? The answer is not really. To be honest I don't think about it much, but of course I miss my friends, some of the local people in my area, nice restaurants and pubs, certain products in shops and so forth. However all in all life is better for me here. I'm glad that I have no regrets regarding the move, and it has been good to settle in here.

A vegetarian version of the English breakfast might be something that I miss slightly. It's not something that I would have very often, but now I made a spontaneous vegetarian fry up breakfast, as it has been quite a while. I was also watching some cooking videos by the Avant-garde Vegan, Gaz Oakley from Wales. He made aubergine bacon for his vegan breakfast, and that was something that I wanted to try. I slightly changed the marinade based on the things I had available, but I very much liked the end product as an addition to a veggie fry up. But definitely do check Gaz' YouTube channel, if you haven't done so yet, there's some really fine vegan cooking over there.

I also made different kind of baked beans by using butter beans and tinned tomatoes to make the mix. I added a splash of cider vinegar, salt and sugar to the beans and let it reduce for a while. I served some ready made soysages from the shop, potato rostis, wholemeal roll and a fried tomato with this breakfast.

Here is how I made the “facon”.


1 aubergine cut into thin strips

For the marinade:

2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp oak smoked salt
¼ tsp garlic granules
1 tsp smoked paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

Cut the aubergine into very thin strips.

Make the marinade by mixing the ingredients together.

Roll the aubergine slices in the marinade so that both sides get coated and place them on baking paper.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until crispy and serve with the breakfast.


Your VegHog

14 October 2017

Artichoke heart pasta

I wanted to try some new stuff for a change, and as soon as I found these baby artichokes in the vegetable market, I started planning a dish with them. Before now, I have never cook with artichokes, and even eaten them very rarely. I was curious though, and started reading and watching YouTube videos about how to prepare and cook them. That was very useful, and I decided to keep the dish simple trying to get the artichokes to play the main part.

It was a really lovely pasta, and I will certainly cook with artichokes again. After the prep everything was very quick. And I didn't mind the excess petals either, as I could discard them into my new food recycling bin.

On the same day I also detected some wood sorrel in the market, and had to buy it. I used it here as a little garnish. It can be a bit bitter, so I didn't want to add too much of it. Back in the day I always ate wood sorrel in the forest with my granddad when it started coming to season and I would recognise the plant in my sleep. Are you familiar with this quaint plant? 

Artichoke heart pasta


8 baby artichokes
2 fresh shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon´s juice
25 g butter
1 tsp sea salt
Penne pasta
Wood sorrel as garnish (optional)


Prepare the artichokes by removing the hard outer petals and by peeling the stalk so that there's only the soft heart left.

Chop the shallots and garlic finely and start frying them in the butter.

Start cooking the pasta.

Soon also add the artichoke hearts and the lemon juice.

Fry the artichokes so that they brown a bit, then add some of the pasta cooking water to the artichokes and let them simmer under the lid for a few minutes until tender.

Add the pasta to the pan and season the mix with salt.

Serve and enjoy!

I want to share this recipe with Shaheen, who is hosting Eat Your Greens this month, mainly because I used for me a unique green combined with the very familiar one as garnish.

Enjoy your weekend!

Your VegHog

12 October 2017

Porcini spelt risotto

I just love this mushroom season that's still very much going on over here. We are getting the most beautiful local fresh porcini mushrooms from our vegetable market. They are only quite pricey at the moment, so I have to plan the dishes carefully. But of course it's totally worth it. Porcini mushrooms are called Karl Johan svampe here and are quite popular in cooking. Last weekend we were served a lovely dish cooked with them when we went out.

As I bought a small batch of these lovely mushrooms, I decided to make this well-liked classic in our household, spelt risotto, with them. Most of the time I add dried porcini mushrooms to my risottos, but the fresh ones were so good. I also love their quirky looks with long stems and different shapes, and they tasted absolutely gorgeous. The dish turned out really great and I'll have to make this again while the mushrooms are still available. Have a look at my recipe below.

Porcini spelt risotto


150 g fresh porcini
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil for frying
1 tbsp butter
2 cups pearled spelt
1/2 cup dry white wine
500 ml vegetable stock
Generous amount of fresh parsley
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper


Clean the mushrooms first. Don't wash them, just brush any dirt off with a moist cloth or a brush. Then slice them.

Also chop the onion and garlic finely and start cooking them in oil. Once they are translucent, add the sliced mushrooms and fry them a little.

The add the butter, followed by the pearled spelt. Pour the white wine in the pan and let it absorb. Finally start making warm vegetable stock additions and let the spelt risotto simmer.

Cook until the pearled spelt is soft and season to taste with the fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Enjoy as a warming and cosy autumn dish!

Your VegHog

9 October 2017

In My Kitchen in October

Amazing October is here! It will be a month of pumpkins, squashes, scary ghosts and a lot of hygge cosying on the sofa under a blanket drinking hot chocolate. I also have quite a lot of stuff to share with you that's new in my kitchen, so let's get to it.

I couldn't resist getting an artichoke as a vase flower, as our local flower market had loads of them. It looks so cute in its vase and has been going strong for a week now. I hope that it opens up a bit soon. This is just my kind of flower! That pine cone picture in the background is also fairly new, a part of our apartment interior decor.

This sort of seasonal produce like cauliflower and heritage carrots have been in and out my kitchen recently. I love the different colours of the cauliflower and also the heritage carrots. I should be buying more of the colourful beets, but I'm quite bad at cooking with them. I'll need to think of some good beet recipes, as those root vegetables are all so tempting at the moment. 

Few weeks ago this eco recycling bin for food waste and biodegradable stuff was delivered to our home by the city council. It contained biodegradeable bags as well, which you can re-order free of charge later when you run out. The bin itself is small in size and fits to our kitchen very well. I was so excited to finally be able to recycle my food waste. For me it's not so much for left-overs, but all the several vegetable stalks and peels etc. as we cook so much with fresh vegetables. The best part is that we fuel a local bus line with this waste, so cool!

Then I have loads of stuff from Finland to show you. I went to visit my family in Finland the other week, and had to buy some of my favourite foods, and also some new products, to take with me to Copenhagen. So here they are (almost all of them, there's more...).

Oltermanni cheese and a very sharp new cheese slicer – Oltermanni is my favourite cheese, so it was only logical to take some of it with

Pulled oats with tomato flavour – a Finnish protein product that I've also written about in the blog previously

Härkis – a broad bean protein product in tex mex and original flavours

Dried protein products – broad bean and pea crunches

Different rye breads and oat crackers

Copenhagen chocolate by Fazer – Finnish white chocolate with raspberry and liquorice to represent the taste of Copenhagen

I'm sharing this post with Sherry from Sherry's Pickings. She is hosting the In My Kitchen event.

Have a good week!

Your VegHog