30 October 2014

Greetings from Germany!

Hi all!

I just wanted to post a quick update about my whereabouts and so. I'm currently on holiday in Germany, in Hamburg and Bremen to be precise. Here are a few photos from Hamburg, where the architecture is interesting and Brauhäuser are full of good beer and service.

I will post more about the holiday next week and also continue with new autumnal recipes.

Have a great weekend!

Your VegHog

28 October 2014

Red kidney bean Schnitzel

First veggie Schnitzel post from me in October!? Well, better late than never. Somehow I haven't made that many veggie burgers lately, maybe the more autumnal recipes have taken over. But now I have been once again experimenting in my kitchen for a different bean burger, and this time my recipe is for red kidney bean Schnitzel with nice spices. These Schnitzel are very versatile to use, and you can even freeze some of them for later spontaneous usage.

I have made a few veggie burgers before using semolina instead of my standard binding ingredients wheat flour or breadcrumbs. I also find that these burgers can be very easily veganised as the batter binds together pretty well, meaning it probably would bind okay without the egg as well. Maybe I'll try a vegan version next time.

Ingredients for about 10 Schnitzel

1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
480 g / 2 cans red kidney beans
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sage
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 dl semolina + some extra for the surface
1 egg
Vegetable oil for frying


Chop the onion and garlic finely and cook them in vegetable oil until soft.

Add the beans and the seasoning and let cook for about 10 minutes. All excess liquid should be evaporated during the cooking. Crush the beans a little bit after the cooking and let the mix cool.

Add the egg and semolina to the mix and stir it into an even firm dough.

Shape burgers from the dough and roll them in some extra semolina.

I made mine oven baked, but what I noticed then was that they became fairly dry. I think this mixture works better when pan fried in vegetable oil.

But if you still decide to go with the baking method, which is more effortless, here's what to do: place the Schnitzel on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake at 200 for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy as a Schnitzel meal with salad and other sides or inside a burger bun. I served mine with steamed purple sprouting broccoli and salad, a little bit different combination this time.

I'm off to Germany today, but I hope I have the opportunity to post something from there. Certainly there will be a couple of Germany related posts once I'm back. Have a great week!

Your VegHog

27 October 2014

Sun-dried tomato spelt bread

I was so excited when I had the idea of making sun-dried tomato bread. Only later, during the baking I realised that I have made a similar one before. I posted it here and used a recipe from the Great British Chefs page. Today's bread however was a quick and spontaneous one and I didn't consult that recipe before. Once again, this bread is baked with spelt flour. As I have so many tomatoes, I decided to add one fresh one as well, maybe to add just some colour.

Ingredients to make one loaf

1 tomato
4-6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp dry yeast
150 ml lukewarm water
6 dl spelt flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Poppy seeds for the top


Peel the fresh tomato by dipping it to boiling water for a couple of seconds. Then the peel comes off well. Crush the tomato to the lukewarm water.

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes finely and add them to the water. Also add the dry yeast to this mix. Leave them in the water for a couple of minutes while you measure the other ingredients.

Mix the flour and salt. Add the tomato and water mix and olive oil. Knead the dough and let it rise for about one hour.

Shape a loaf of the dough and place it to a bread tin. Let it rise for further 30 minutes.

Then bake at 220C for about 25 minutes.

Enjoy it quite fresh, as then it's at its nicest.

Your VegHog

26 October 2014

White chocolate mousse

I thought a sweet dessert would be a great thing to make for the weekend. I eat desserts only rarely, but something homemade is usually quite good. I got this recipe from Fazer (it's here in Finnish). I only made a little bit bigger amount than in the original recipe, as I happened to have a 150 g baking chocolate and 150 ml double cream. My version made two glasses full of mousse, which were a bit too large portions. This is a very dense and filling mousse, so basically this recipe makes four suitable sized small portions.

Marianne crush is a Finnish product, and if you are not able to get it, there is an easy way of substituting it in this dessert. Just crush some peppermint sweets and a little of milk chocolate, and there you have it.

Here's how this mousse is made.


150 ml double cream
150 g white baking chocolate
4 tbsp Marianne crush
Few drops of lemon juice


Whip the cream.

Melt the chocolate in a water bath and let it cool a little bit.

Mix the chocolate carefully with the cream.

Also add the crush and lemon juice.

Let rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Enjoy as a dessert after a nice meal!

Your VegHog

25 October 2014

Tomato tart

A while ago I promised to post even this ad hoc recipe for a tomato tart. This is a very quick dish and you don't need to have many ingredients at hand. You can also substitute the tomatoes with courgettes, peppers, squash etc. or combine all of these. This time I wanted to keep it simple and only used tomatoes, which makes quite a good-looking tart. This is a great dish to be served at a party as a savoury snack, and also smaller tartlets can be made. Or if you get surprising weekend guests, this is a perfect savoury dish to be made quickly. Also kids will like it as it's almost like a pizza.


200 g tomatoes
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
100 g emmental cheese
1 egg for brushing
320 g shortcrust pastry sheet


I didn’t pre-bake the pastry this time, and it was totally fine. A shortcrust pastry doesn't get as easily a soggy bottom as a puff pastry. Obviously this tart can also be made on puff pastry base, if you'd prefer. In that case I would recommend pre-baking the pastry for a few minutes without the filling.

Slice the tomatoes, and chop the shallots and garlic. Cook the shallots and garlic in olive oil soft. Season them with Herbes de Provence and some salt and pepper to taste.

Grate the cheese and add it to the slightly cooled shallot mix.

Roll the pastry out and spread the mix onto it. Place the tomatoes on the top and brush the tart edges with eggwash.

Bake the tart at 200C for about 20 minutes until the surface is baked golden brown.

All done! Enjoy your weekend!

Your VegHog

23 October 2014

Stuffed gem squashes

Gem squashes are everywhere now and I just can't resist them because they are so cute. Their flesh is a little bit similar to courgettes and the taste is mild. Taste wise they might not be my absolute favourite squashes, as I prefer something more nutty, but they are very good for a change.

I made again stuffed gem squashes as their shape is really suitable for good-looking stuffed squash halves (here's another stuffed gem squash recipe of mine). Pearled spelt based stuffing mix felt like the right choice for these, and I made a really uncomplicated and easy version. Have a look how I made them.


4 gem squashes
1 orange bell pepper
1 shallot
2 garlic cloves
3 tomatoes
½ cup pearled spelt
1 vegetable stock cube
50 g cheddar and mozzarella cheese mix grated
Olive oil
Salt, black pepper and herbes de Provence to taste


Chop the shallot and garlic finely. Also chop the bell pepper and tomatoes.

Cook the shallot and pepper soft in olive oil. Then add the garlic and the tomatoes.

After a while simmering also add the pearled spelt, vegetable stock cube and ½ cup water.

Let it all simmer under lid until the spelt is cooked al dente. Then season and add the grated cheese.

Cut the squashes in half and remove the seeds. This leaves a suitable hole for our stuffing.

Quickly fry the squash halves in olive oil in a pan on each side. Stuff them with the spelt and vegetable mix and bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes.

Serve for example with homemade chunky chips on the side like I did.


Your VegHog

20 October 2014

Homemade naan bread

The other day when I was determined to make aloo gobi curry and had already started cooking, I noticed that I hadn't bought naan bread. I find that naan bread is the best side dish to aloo gobi. Then I remembered for having recently read Felicity Cloake's Guardian article How to make the perfect naan bread, and indeed that saved the day! 

It turns out that you don't necessarily need a tandoor to make naan bread. You can make it on a dry very hot pan at home. 

I followed the recipe in the article pretty closely, only instead of 300g strong white bread flour I used 150g wheat flour + 150g spelt flour. Were these possibly the first spelt naans ever? Anyway, they turned out very nice and went perfectly with my curry. There was even this distinct naan taste – a success!

If you like making curries, I would urge you to try making these naan breads as well. Do any of you already have experiences of naan making?

Your VegHog

19 October 2014

Vegetarische Currywurst mit Pommes

I love languages and I have learned a few of them in my time, but I would still like to learn so many more. I always liked all language lessons at school, but German became quickly my favourite language. Already early on I was determined to study in Germany one day, which I later did. I try to list here the ridiculous amount of languages I have learned, but please take into consideration that I'm only fluent in Finnish, German and English. Swedish is kind of fine sometimes, it depends, and French is regrettably poor at the moment... So here we go: Finnish (+ Ostrobothnian dialect), English, German, Swedish, French, Middle High German (Medieval German language), Latin and Irish Gaelic. Quite a funny bunch, wouldn't you say so, plenty of dead and half-dead languages. But the amount of speakers was never a motivation for learning for me, I just happen to love grammar and words. Anyway, long introduction to a simple thing: today I would like to make my first multilingual post. Today's recipe is a classic German dish, and I am writing it in English, German and Finnish. I hope you enjoy the diversity in this post and find it at least a little bit interesting.

My autumn trip to Germany is approaching in a couple of weeks, and I already started craving German food. It's not particularly easy to find veggie food over there, but I have now transformed one of their absolute classic meat dishes, curry sausage, into a vegetarian version. This has of course been done before, and even a Currywurst ready meal is available in well equipped German supermarkets, but this is simply my version. And indeed it is fully my version as I have never even tasted a Currywurst, as I was already a vegetarian when I went to Germany for the first time. I didn't consult many recipes either before making this, I just made a version of Currywurst how I imagine it to be. I liked the end result very much, a spicy sauce, juicy fried sausage and chips, but I still can't tell you if I got close to the taste of the original. Maybe some of the readers have a better idea?  

Curry sausage with chips

I will start in English as my blog is normally in English only. But even if you don't know German or Finnish, have a little read below. The texts aren't exact translations as I'm writing more from the heart and might not mention everything in every language. However the recipe is of course complete in all language versions.

This recipe makes either 2 large or 4 small portions, and I served the Currywurst with typical thin-cut chips.


500 g tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
70 g double concentrated tomato purée
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp medium curry powder + some for sprinkling on the top

2 large baking potatoes, vegetable oil and salt

6 vegetarian Lincolnshire sausages + vegetable oil for frying


Start with the sauce by chopping the tomatoes and garlic. Cook the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for a couple of hours until the tomatoes have reached a nice and intense taste. Purée the sauce with a hand mixer and add the tomato purée and the seasoning and cook for a while longer.

Cut thin chips from the potatoes, brush them with vegetable oil, sprinkle salt on the top and bake in the oven until crispy.

Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the sausages until they are nicely fried. Cut the sausages into about 1cm long pieces.

Assemble the dish by placing the sausage bits on a plate and pouring some of the curry sauce on the top. Also sprinkle some extra curry powder onto the sauce and place the chips on the plate. Now the dish is ready to be enjoyed.

Enjoy your meal!

Vegetarische Currywurst mit Pommes

Ach, ist das schön hier endlich auf Deutsch zu schreiben. Vielleicht sollte ich das öfter tun! Ich hoffe, dass jemand tatsächlich auch diese Sprachversion liest.

Am Ende des Monats fahre ich nach Hamburg und Bremen in den Urlaub, und ich dachte, es wäre ganz passend vor der Reise einen deutschen Klassiker zu kochen. Ich habe die Currywurst als Gericht gewählt, denn obwohl ich beinahe zehn Jahre in Deutschland gewohnt habe, habe ich noch nie eine Currywurst probiert! Ich war halt bereits Vegetarierin, wenn ich Deutschland zum ersten Mal besucht habe. Heutzutage gibt es sogar ein Currywurst Fertiggericht in den Supermärkten, aber ich glaube, dass es erst nach meiner Zeit erhältlich wurde.

Jedenfalls habe ich heute ein wenig experimentiert und eine vegetarische Currywurst mit Pommes hervorgezaubert. Ich kann euch kein originaltreues Rezept versprechen eben aus den Gründen, dass ich nie Currywurst probiert habe, und auch nicht wirklich viele Currywurst Rezepte angeguckt habe. Dieses Rezept ist wie ich mir dieses Gericht vorstelle und haben möchte. Ich hoffe, dass ich damit keine Currywurst Freunde verletze, falls meine Version etwas anders ist.

Aber nun, lass uns kochen. Dieses Rezept reicht für entweder zwei grosse oder 3-4 kleine Portionen.


500 g Tomaten
2 Knoblauchzehen
1 EL Olivenöl
70 g Zweifach konzentriertes Tomatenmark
½ TL Salz
1 TL Kreuzkümmel
1 TL Geräuchertes Paprikapulver
¼ TL Cayennepfeffer
2 TL Currypulver + etwas extra zum drüberstreuen

2 Grosse Kartoffeln, Pflanzenöl und Salz

6 Vegetarische Würste (Ich habe Lincolnshire Würste benutzt) + Pflanzenöl zum Braten


Fang mit der Sosse an. Schneide die Knoblauchzehen und Tomaten in kleine Stücke. Brate den Knoblauch in Olivenöl für einige Minuten und dann gib die Tomaten dazu. Lass die Sosse unter dem Deckel ein Paar Stunden simmern bis die Tomaten ein richtig intensives Geschmack erreicht haben. Püriere die Sosse mit einem Mixer und gib das Tomatenmark und die Gewürze dazu. Lass alles eine Weile länger köcheln.

Schäle die Kartoffeln und schneide von den dünne Pommes. Pinsel sie mit Pflanzenöl und bestreue Salz auf sie. Backe die Pommes im Ofen bis sie knusprig sind.

Erhitze Pflanzenöl in einer Bratpfanne und brate die Würste bis sie schön gebraten sind. Schneide sie nach dem Braten in etwa 1cm lange Stücke, sozusagen in mundgerechte Happen.

Setze das Gericht zusammen. Lege die Wurststücke auf einen Teller und gib die Sosse dazu. Bestreue sie mit etwas extra Currypulver. Gib auch die Pommes dazu. Jetzt ist das Gericht fertig zum Geniessen.

Guten Appetit!

Curryvegemakkara ranskalaisilla

Ajattelin tehdä monikielisen reseptijutun, vaikka tuntuukin erittäin oudolta kirjoittaa suomeksi tänne. No, eiköhän se tästä, ainakin keksin heti alkuun mahtavan suomenkielisenkin nimen tälle ruokalajille. Saatan joskus tulevaisuudessakin kirjoitella tänne useammalla kielellä.

Ruokalistalla on tänään siis saksalainen klassikko Currywurst, eli currymakkara, josta minä tein tottakai kasvisversion. Hampurin ja Bremenin reissuni lähestyy kovaa vauhtia ja olen miettinyt jälleen enemmän saksalaisia ruokia, ja mitä niistä minun on mahdollisesti ikävä. Asuin siis Saksassa lähes kymmenen vuotta, joten monenlaisia paikallisia pöperöitä on tullut maisteltua. Kuitenkaan Currywurstia en ole vielä koskaan päässyt maistamaan, koska olin jo kasvissyöjä mennessäni Saksaan ensimmäistä kertaa. Kuvittelen kuitenkin, että oma reseptini on melko lähellä alkuperäistä: paistettu makkara, tomaattikastike currylla ja muilla mausteilla ja ohuet ranskalaiset. Tykkäsin ainakin lopputuloksesta, mikä lienee pääasia. Toivottavasti en onnistu loukkaamaan tällä versiolla saksalaisia makkaran ystäviä.

Ja sitten kokkaamaan! Tällä reseptillä valmistuu joko kaksi isoa annosta tai 3-4 pienempää.


500 g tomaatteja
2 valkosipulinkynttä
1 rkl oliiviöljyä
70 g tomaattipyreetä
½ tl suolaa
1 tl kuminajauhetta
1 tl savustettua paprikajauhetta
¼ tl cayennepippuria
2 tl curryjauhetta + vähän ekstraa kastikkeen päälle ripoteltavaksi

2 isoa perunaa, kasviöljyä ja suolaa

6 kasvismakkaraa + kasviöljyä paistamiseen


Aloita tekemällä kastike. Hienonna valkosipulinkynnet ja leikkaa tomaatit pieniksi paloiksi. Paista valkosipuleita oliiviöljyssä muutaman minuutin ajan ja lisää sitten tomaatit. Hauduta kastiketta peräti parin tunnin ajan, jotta tomaateista tulee todella intensiivisen makuisia. Soseuta kastike sauvasekoittimella ja lisää siihen tomaattipyree ja mausteet. Anna kastikkeen hautua vielä jonkun aikaa.

Kuori perunat ja leikkaa niistä ohuita ranskanperunoita. Sivele perunat kasviöljyllä ja ripottele päälle suolaa. Paista niitä uunissa kunnes ne ovat pinnaltaan rapeita.

Kuumenna kasviöljyä paistinpannussa ja paista vegemakkaroita kunnes ne ovat ruskistuneet ja muutenkin mukavasti paistuneet. Leikkaa makkarat paistamisen jälkeen noin 1cm pituisiin paloihin.

Kokoa annos asettelemalla makkaranpalat ja ranskalaiset lautaselle. Kaada kastiketta makkaroitten päälle ja ripottele päälle vielä hieman lisää curryjauhetta. Nyt annos on valmis nautittavaksi.

Hyvää ruokahalua!

So, how did you find this trilingual edition? Would you like to see more posts with other language versions in the future? Maybe I could occasionally do this for international classic dishes gone vegetarian (unless they already are vegetarian).

Thanks for reading this marathon post! Danke schön! Kiitos!

Your VegHog 

17 October 2014

Queen squash risotto

I haven't made a normal risotto for a while, I've made more pearled spelt risottos lately. Yesterday I however made a really autumnal risotto by using queen squash as the main ingredient. Queen squash is a new acquaintance for me this autumn and I instantly liked it very much. I took a slightly different approach to how to add the squash to the risotto, as this time I first roasted the squash cubes in the oven, and then mashed half of them and stirred it into the rice. That ensured quite a creamy risotto with an intense squash taste, a bit sweet yet still savoury through the vegetable stock, sage and porcini mushrooms. Perfect for this season I would say!

Here is my queen squash risotto recipe.


1 queen squash
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 l vegetable stock
A few dried porcini mushrooms
200 g arborio rice
Olive oil
1 dl white wine
20 g butter
Ground black pepper


Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut it into about 2x2cm pieces. Save the seeds and toast them in the oven. They are really nice in salads, and can also be sprinkled on top of the risotto for serving.

Roast the squash cubes brushed with olive oil until they are soft. Mash one half of them and set the other half to side.

Prepare the vegetable stock and warm it up. Add the crushed porcini to the stock.

Chop the shallots and garlic finely. Heat olive oil in a pan and cook the shallots and garlic soft.

Add the butter to the pan and once it has melted, the arborio rice.

Once the rice is translucent after a few minutes, add the wine and let it absorb and evaporate almost fully.

Add a couple of ladles of the warm vegetable stock and let the risotto simmer under the lid. 

Stir often and keep adding vegetable stock whenever needed. The risotto must not cook dry.

Add the squash mash to the risotto once the rice is almost cooked and simmer a while together until the rice is al dente.

Season with sage, salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with the roasted squash cubes on the top.


Your VegHog

16 October 2014

Vegetable slice bake

Today's dish is a very experimental vegetable bake. Originally I had the idea of layering vegetables in a way like almost making a lasagne without the pasta sheets. However when it came to the layering stage, I just put the slices standing up on their sides instead. It kind of worked, but maybe next time I will try that pastaless lasagne version as well. This bake is full of veggies and only low on cheese, and I think it's very suitable as a weekday meal. I added a pesto type rocket sauce on the top to add more flavour to the bake.


2 aubergines
Olive oil for roasting
3 courgettes
8 tomatoes
25 g mature cheddar

Rocket sauce:
50 g fresh rocket
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp ground black pepper


Try to select vegetables that have approximately the same diameter as then the bake looks more even in your oven dish. I didn't quite plan to make this dish long enough, so my vegetables were a bit variable in size. Cut the aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes into thin slices.

Soak the aubergine slices in salted water for 30 minutes to remove the bitterness. Then drain and roast them brushed with olive oil. They don't have to be fully roasted, as they will return to the oven, but just a bit softened and soaked in olive oil. I decided to pre-roast them in order to avoid them being chewy.

Let the aubergine slices cool a little, so that you are able to handle them. Then layer the aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes next to each other into an oven dish.

Make the rocket sauce by puréeing the ingredients together into an even paste. Pour the sauce on top of the vegetables and also sprinkle the grated cheese on the top.

Bake at 180C for about 40-50 minutes until all vegetables are nicely cooked. Done!

Your VegHog

15 October 2014

Panini with tomato, mozzarella and pesto

Good morning! Today I'm writing about a breakfast or lunch tip, which is always a favourite of mine and easy to make. I like panini very much, and I think that a tomato-mozzarella combination is one of the best for the filling. That's why I chose those ingredients now as well and also added pesto to the panini.

These are the ingredients I used:

  • Panini bread
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella
  • Basil pesto

Then all you need to do is to slice the tomatoes and mozzarella, and possibly make the pesto. Here is one basil pesto recipe of mine, but you can also use a ready made pesto. 

Cut the panini bread in half and place the ingredients on it. Press the panini halves together.

Grill the panini on a dry grill pan on both sides until there are grilling marks and the cheese is melting.


Your VegHog

14 October 2014

Chickpea couscous

Now it's really getting autumnal here: heavy rain, severe weather warnings, wind! Quite a few thunderstorms have also been here, which I like, but I don't associate them with autumn. For a Finn they are a summer thing. Finally I can fully enjoy walks in the park, wearing warm pullovers, drinking tea and cooking autumn dishes.

Today's dish is more a side dish, but you can eat it as a stand-alone dish as well. In that case you might want to consider adding more vegetables and spices to it. It's not really that autumnal, but there's more coming up. I combined chickpeas with harissa and couscous in a very simple dish.


1 cup dried chickpeas
½ cup couscous
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
250 g tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp harissa
Ground black pepper
Pomegranate seeds


Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. Then boil them heavily for a few minutes and then let boil more moderately for about one hour until they are cooked soft.

Chop the shallots and garlic finely and cook them in olive oil until soft. Chop the tomatoes and add them and the chickpeas to the pan.

Prepare the couscous by boiling ½ cup of water and then removing it from the heat. Add the couscous and leave under lid for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked couscous to the tomatoes and chickpeas and season with harissa, salt and pepper.

Decorate with pomegranate seeds for serving.

And that's it!

Your VegHog