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