17 December 2019

Christmas porridge

In pre-Christmas time and on Christmas Eve we eat Christmas porridge, which is a salty rice pudding served with sugar and cinnamon on top. Some people also like to add butter to it, but I have never tried that variation. It's quite a Nordic tradition, in Finland we have riisipuuro and in Denmark risengrød. I really like eating this rice porridge in this season, but never really eat it outside of the season.

I made a vegan rice porridge this time. I used the thick and creamy iKaffe from Oatly, and it worked out perfectly. Here is my recipe.

Christmas porridge


2 dl water
2 dl pudding rice
1 l oat milk
1 tsp salt
Sugar, ground cinnamon and 1 almond for serving


Heat the water with the pudding rice in a pan. I always use a cast iron casserole for this one, as the porridge can burn quickly, if it gets too hot.

Once the water has absorbed to the rice, add the milk and simmer very slowly for at least 45 minutes.

Season with salt and serve with sugar, cinnamon and a hidden almond. Whoever finds the almond, has a free wish.

Your VegHog

15 December 2019

Pattypan squash curry

I managed to buy the rest of the Christmas presents yesterday, so no more stress for me (apart from the cooking planning etc.). There won't be any elaborate presents this year, just some small trinkets, and I'm not really planning to stress about anything either. Next weekend we will be travelling to Finland to spend Christmas with my mother. Before that, there will still be a hectic work week. I'm quite ready for a few days off over Christmas and happy to see family.

The rain continues today and it's chillier with heavy wind, so what could be nicer than a warming curry and curling up on the sofa.

I made a Thai style pattypan squash curry last weekend and it was very nice. I still had one pattypan squash left from late summer, early autumn, and slowly wanted to cook something with it. I added fried oat block to the curry, which is a Finnish product, like tofu but made from oats. I also used some nice red chillies, onion, garlic, coconut milk and warming spices. I also made homemade naan bread on the side.

I thought that one of the naan breads looked like a hedgehog. Don't you think so too?

I'm not going to publish the recipe here, as I've made many similar curries before. Here are some of them for inspiration.

Have a nice day!

Your VegHog

14 December 2019

Mushroom and lentil shepherd's pie

The weekend has started rainy. There would be a lovely Christmas market nearby, but maybe it's better to leave it for tomorrow, in case the weather improves. I need to buy a couple of Christmas presents for the children in the family, so I might just be brave and head for the shops. I know it will be crowded, but it probably doesn't get any better towards the holidays.

I haven't made a vegan shepherd's pie for quite a while, but somehow it belongs to this season. I might make one for the Christmas table too, but haven't decided that yet. The only twist here from my usual lentil shepherd's pie was using portobello mushrooms. They added a really nice earthiness to the dish and I can only recommend this combination. The filling really doesn't look too appetising, but I promise you, it was tasty. So here comes my recipe.

Mushroom and lentil shepherd's pie


700 g potatoes
2 large onions
3 garlic cloves
3 portobello mushrooms
2 carrots
½ cup green lentils
½ cup red lentils
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp yeast flakes
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste


Peel and cook the potatoes. Mash them, add some vegan butter and salt and set to side.

Cook the green lentils separately in water until they are done. Towards the end, add also the red lentils to the mix. Drain and set to side.

In the meanwhile, chop the onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms. Start slowcooking the onion in vegetable oil in a pan under lid until it becomes soft and slightly browned. Stir occasionally. Then add the minced garlic and carrots to the pan and cook a while more. Then also add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they are done.

Add the lentils to the mix and season. Place the mushroom and lentil mix in an oven dish and cover it with the potato mash. Make some fork markings on top and bake at 180 for about 1 hour.

When the mash is nicely golden brown and crispy at places, serve the pie with a side salad and enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Your VegHog

8 December 2019

In My Kitchen in December

Incredible, it's the last In My Kitchen of the year! I really love December, even though it can get busy at times, but there are just such lovely things around: Christmas lights and decorations, mulled wine, cosy markets... I love it. But now let's have a look into my kitchen, which isn't that Christmassy yet.

I bought plantbased patties by Planteslagterne made from beetroot, beans and sweet potato and made Beetroot burgers with them. I served them on a wholemeal bun with garlic sprouts and chipotle ketchup and chunky twice-cooked chips on the side. This burger was very nice and I will buy the product again.

I also got these cute white mini aubergines from the market. They would look nice in some creative Christmas cooking.

As I probably can't afford anything else from Dolce & Gabbana, I bought a couple of packets of their pasta. I haven't tried them yet, but the expectations are high.

This new tomato passata also seemed to be such a nice product. The packaging makes it even gift quality. Perhaps a good hamper filling.

I was happy to find this butter with sea salt crystals, as I used to be very fond of this kind of butter when I lived in Britain. I mostly choose the vegan options these days, but occasionally real butter is nice for some seasonal cooking.

Then I went on a mandatory pre-Christmas visit to Ikea to see what they have to offer this year. I bought a new Christmas light chain, seasonal napkins and small tins. I also bought their vegetable balls and sausages, which are both really nice quality. They are a bit more vegetably than many other current products. I made this spaghetti veggie balls dish and my partner made a vegan fry up.

Other foods in my kitchen have been vegan hotdogs with homemade pickled red cabbage and gnocchi with mushroom sauce and veggie Schnitzel on the side.

As always, I'm sharing this post with Sherry from Sherry's Pickings blog, who is hosting the monthly In My Kitchen event.

Have a nice Sunday everyone!

Your VegHog

7 December 2019

Oven feta pasta

The weekend is finally here, and it's a weekend with a local Christmas street party. It's not quite on our street, but a lovely little street nearby with lots of small independent shops, and they always decorate so nicely for Christmas. So we will be heading there soon to enjoy some mulled wine and other Christmas goodies. Before we go, I want to share a recipe with you, as it has been a bit quiet on my blog lately.

It was Finland's 102nd Independence Day yesterday, so today I'm taking inspiration from a Finnish food blog. The recipe is not traditional Finnish food though, but this recipe got trending very much in Finland earlier this year and everyone had to try it. I'm a bit late to the party, but better late than never. This oven feta pasta recipe is adapted from the Finnish Liemessä blog's recipe Uunifetapasta. I changed my version slightly by adding garlic and by adding the chilli and garlic at a later stage of the roasting. The recipe is in Finnish only, if you want to have a look at the original. I really like all the ingredients in this dish, and it's so easy to make for example on busy weekdays. The addition of chilli is a great way to add some mild heat to the dish. I loved it!

Oven feta pasta


200 g feta
200 g cherry tomatoes
½ green chilli
1 garlic clove
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper


Put the feta and the tomatoes in an oven dish and pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes.

Chop the chilli and garlic finely and add them to the oven dish. Roast for further 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in the meanwhile.

Once the feta and tomatoes are done, mix them with the pasta and serve. Enjoy!

Your VegHog

24 November 2019

Upside down brussels sprout pizza

It's time to start thinking about Christmas food, as it's soon December. I want to test a few center piece candidates before deciding the dishes for our vegetarian Christmas feast, and I think that it's nice to sample different seasonal food in this pre-Christmas period. So in this spirit I made a seasonal upside down brussels sprout pizza. The crust is a seedy thick crust and the toppings are potatoes, slow cooked onions and brussels sprouts with sage and other spices. I topped the pizza or pie with sea buckthorn and cranberries to add a splash of colour and they also added a nice flavour contrast. I think that this dish could be nice at the Christmas table. I just love sprouts and good ones have started appearing at the market, also the ones in the stalks. I need to make more sprout dishes in the near future, but here is this recipe first.

Upside down brussels sprout pizza



200 g wheat flour
1/2 cup seed mix
2 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
150 ml lukewarm water
3 tbsp vegetable oil


1 onion
1 garlic clove
5-6 small potatoes
8-10 brussels sprouts
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp vegan butter
1 tsp Cabbage Karma spice mix
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
Fresh sage leaves

Sea buckthorn and cranberries for decoration


Mix and knead the dough ingredients and let it rise for about one hour.

In the meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Cook the potatoes and slice them. Steam the brussels sprouts and cut them to halves. Slice the onion and chop the garlic finely and slow cook them in oil.

Add the potatoes and brussels sprouts to the onions and spice the mix. I used Cabbage Karma spice mix that is a blend consisting of coriander seeds infused in orange oil with fennel seeds, sumac, black pepper and lemon thyme. I also added sea salt, ground black pepper and fresh sage leaves.

Arrange the vegetables in the pan. Use the same pan for frying and baking in the oven. I put the brussels sprouts on the bottom (meaning that they will be on top of the pizza once turned around), then the potatoes followed by the onions. Then place the dough on top. Hand stretch it over the vegetables and bake the pizza at 200 C for about 20 minutes. When it's done, turn it around on a plate and enjoy! 

I'm sharing this recipe with the last edition of Eat Your Greens hosted by Shaheen from Allotment 2 Kitchen and co-hosted by me. Sadly this event will come to an end after this month, but you still have time to share your green recipe with us! It would be nice to get plenty of green recipes for the last round up. There are more details about the rules here.

Your VegHog

23 November 2019


Schupfnudeln are traditional German thick “finger” noodles or dumplings. Some of the basic recipes just use flour, eggs and water, but often also potato mash is added. Schupfnudeln can be eaten in both savoury and sweet dishes. There are regional differences, whether the noodles are just boiled in water or also fried. I definitely prefer the savoury potato variation fried.

I made vegan Schupfnudeln and first I was a bit nervous whether they would hold their shape, but they did so perfectly. I added some potato flour to the dough, which I think made a firmer texture. I served the Schupfnudeln with panfried smoked tofu and mushrooms and side salad. Here is my recipe, which really is simple. The shaping of the noodles just requires some effort and patience. Give it a try, these noodles really are amazing! This is also my last recipe to my German Food Week. I hope you've enjoyed it.



700 g potatoes
300 g wheat flour
75 g potato flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Vegetable oil for frying


Cook the potatoes and then peel them. Mash the potatoes and let them cool down.

Add the flours gradually to the potato mash, season with salt, add the oil and knead to an even dough.

Shape about 3-4 cm long noodles from the dough.

Cook the noodles in water for about 5 minutes until they float on the top.

Cool them in cold water and then fry in a pan until they have some golden brown frying marks.

Serve the Schupfnudeln with for example mushrooms like I did and enjoy!

Your VegHog

22 November 2019


Is everyone having a nice Friday? Perhaps you are craving a vegan sausage dish. At least now you've come to a place where you can read about one. Maybe you will be inspired to make this German style dish.

Currywurst, curry sausage, is a true working class hero from Germany and it is eaten a lot. The dish was invented in Berlin in 1949 by Herta Heuwer, who sold her creation as streetfood. Since then it has become a favourite in many German regions and is often enjoyed as takeaway or streetfood. Traditionally it's a cut sausage (yes, the cutting is a must!) served with tomato based and curry spiced sauce. Usually fries are served on the side.

Of course I veganised the traditional recipe and made the sauce myself. I also added some more veg to the serving: homemade twice-cooked potato fries, grated turnip, braised fennel and pickled red cabbage. I spiced my sauce with ground cumin, ground turmeric, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper, as my kitchen was lacking curry powder. It was a nice and comforting dish.

I have previously made a tri-lingual post about currywurst, which you can find here. How do you feel about currywurst? Have you ever tasted it, or would you like to?

Have a nice weekend!

Your VegHog

19 November 2019


Here comes my second German recipe, after I started a German food week last weekend by posting a recipe for Laugenbrötchen, pretzel rolls. This one is a Swabian classic Spätzle, chunky noodles/thin dumplings. I've posted a Spätzle recipe a few times before that my friends from that region taught me, but now I made vegan Spätzle for the first time. These noodles are normally made with egg, but I took the plunge and tried to substitute the eggs with a mix of oil, polenta and potato flour as the binding agent. The vegan version was perfectly fine. In fact I didn't notice any difference in the texture or flavour to the eggy version. I will surely be always making vegan Spätzle from now on.

I hadn't made this recipe for a while, as I was lacking an important tool; we gave our potato ricer away when we moved to Denmark, and that was my go-to Spätzle maker. For making Spätzle you will need something with a surface of approximately 5x5 mm holes, where you can press the dough through to boiling water. I took the risk and decided to try this recipe with just my coarse cheese grater, and it worked out nicely. Making Spätzle is a real regional art and there are a few ways to make it. I quite like this article by Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, where they compare the tools for making Spätzle. And don't worry, if you don't speak German, the article has a nice demonstration video for each method. I really recommend watching those, if you consider making this dish.

So here is my basic recipe for vegan Spätzle, which I unfortunately ruined for vegans by baking the noodles with slow cooked onions and cheese. I personally think that's the best combination, but also just frying them after the boiling is a nice variation.

Vegan Spätzle


2 cups wheat flour
1 cup water
½ cup polenta
2 tbsp potato flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt


Mix the dough ingredients together to form a bouncy and stretchy texture. Add more flour or water, if needed.

Boil water in a large pan and start pressing the dough through a potato ricer or the tool of your choice.

Once the noodles swim on the top, they are done and can be removed from the water.

That's how easy it is!

Your VegHog

16 November 2019

Laugenbrötchen and German Food Week

I'm starting off a German food week, which I unofficially call the “Novemberfest”, as I've been making many of my favourite German dishes lately. Germans have many suitable dishes especially for this season, so I thought that this is a perfect time to share some of them with you. All my dishes will be of course vegetarian, but they will even be mostly vegan or very easy to veganise. I hope you'll be following this special week.

I lived nearly ten years in Cologne, Germany, where I studied at the university. Students don't have such a great budget for eating out, but I got well acquainted with many German dishes during that time, including some excellent traditional homecooking and baking. I moved from Germany to the UK in 2007, so I've been away for quite a while notwithstanding a few visits. This year I was lucky enough to be able to travel twice to Cologne on business. Then I could go to my old doorstep and quarter and also eat some local food.

The first recipe in this German food week is for Laugenbrötchen aka pretzel rolls. I just love the flavour of pretzel rolls, and they are nice with just a little butter and cheese. You can make a more premium version with tomato and mozzarella as well. If you're a regular reader, you might already know how I like baking different savoury rolls. I haven't made pretzel rolls for a long while, but making them now again reminded me of their goodness.

I have already published a recipe for Laugenbrötchen on my blog, so I will just link the recipe here, if you want to have a look at the details.

Do you have any vegetarian or vegan German food favourites?

Have a nice weekend!

Your VegHog