25 September 2016

T-Veg The story of a carrot-crunching dinosaur

One of my recent best buys has been this children's book: T-Veg The story of a carrot-crunching dinosaur by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Illustrated by Katherina Manolessou. What a nice book with beautiful colourful illustrations, an adventure and a strong vegetarian and anti-bullying messages. Find more info about the book through this link.

My partner and I find the book quite endearing. Of course we are also big fans of dinosaurs so it just ticks all the boxes. I don't think there's anything wrong with adults reading children's books, but if you have kids, vegetarian or not, this would be a wonderful book to read to them.

My summary of the review: Vegetarian propaganda at its best! And this is meant in the nicest possible way.

24 September 2016

Harlequin squash risotto

Who is happy with me about the proper squash and pumpkin season starting? I can see many soups, stews and casseroles in my future and it makes me very happy indeed. I really love autumn, the colours, the food, the atmosphere. It's still warm here now, but I'm not sad that the summer will be ending soon. What are your feelings about the autumn (of course not all my readers are facing autumn at this time)?

I haven't made a proper real non-pearled-spelt risotto for ages it feels, but when I got a hold of some harlequin squashes, I thought it's time. I don't think that a vegetarian risotto ever gets boring, as there are so many possible variations. I added a little hint of chilli to this recipe.


1 l vegetable stock
Few dried porcini mushrooms
½ harlequin squash
1 yellow bell pepper
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 small chilli
Olive oil
15 g butter
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated vegetarian pasta cheese
Pine nuts and tomato slices for serving


Heat the vegetable stock in a separate saucepan and add the crushed porcini muchrooms to the stock.

Cut the squash into cubes and the bell pepper into slightly smaller cubes. Chop the onion, garlic and chilli finely and start cooking the onion in olive oil. Once it's lightly browned and soft, add the garlic and chilli and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Add the squash and bell pepper cubes into the mix and again let cook for a few minutes. Then add the butter to the pan followed by the arborio rice. Mix for a few minutes and then add the white wine. Let it mostly absorb.

Add a few ladles of the vegetable stock and let simmer under the lid by stirring often. Also keep making more stock additions before the risotto can dry out.

Season to taste. Once you are happy with the flavours and textures, serve with some sprinkled vegetarian pasta cheese on the top and enjoy.

I would like to share the recipe with this month's Credit Crunch Munch as a frugal recipe. The challenge is hosted this month by Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food For Families and co-hosted by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours. The reason for this is mainly that I was able to use end of two risotto rice packets (no idea why both were open!) and also the vegetables had been around for a while waiting to be cooked. I didn't want them to go to waste. A risotto can be quite an economical dish, as you don't need too many things to make a very filling meal.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your VegHog

22 September 2016

Spicy soya chunk tacos with char-grilled peppers and bean rice

If I didn't manage to post this for Taco Tuesday, perhaps we can have a Taco Thursday? The week is almost over and I hope to have more time to write, post, comment and edit photos over the weekend. I don't have anything special planned, so maybe I'll actually manage.

Quickly back to the taco subject, before I have to go to bed. I normally always add cheese to tacos, but now for a change I wanted to make well seasoned vegan tacos. I chose chilli and smoke marinated soya as the main protein and added some rice with black beans to the mix. Then in order to add some colour and more smokiness, I char-grilled bell peppers to be added to the tacos.


1 cup dried soya pieces
1 tsp vegetable stock extract
1 cup red camargue and wild rice
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
Vegetable oil
1 can black beans
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
2 bell peppers
Fresh coriander
Taco shells

For the soya marinade:

1 tbsp smoked chilli paste
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp vegetable stock extract


Cook the dried soya pieces in water for a few minutes and add some vegetable stock extract to the cooking water. Then drain them. Prepare the marinade by mixing the ingredients and then mix it with the soya pieces. Cover and let marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Chop the onion and garlic finely and start cooking the onion first in vegetable oil. After the onion is soft and browned, add the garlic and cook for a couple of more minutes. Then add the black beans to the pan. Cook the rice separately in water and once cooked, mix it into the bean mix. Season with salt, ground cumin and ground coriander.

Cut thin strings from the bell peppers and char-grill them on a grill pan until they have distinct grilling marks.

Put all the fillings into taco shells, season with fresh coriander and enjoy!

Your VegHog 

18 September 2016

English veggie breakfast

I haven't made a proper fry up at home for a while and I thought that it would a nice thing to have on a Sunday morning when there's a bit more time to make and eat a bigger breakfast. After a little bit of effort, the huge breakfast was ready and it was so filling again. It really keeps you going for quite a while.

This time I made a slightly different version, still containing beans, fried tomato and mushroom, but I also added fried halloumi instead of veggie sausages. Halloumi makes a very good addition to the English breakfast, as it's so nice fried and it's an extra protein there and a filling agent.

The bread was spelt sourdough bread and I made the hash browns myself. I tried a new recipe with them that doesn't contain eggs, just potato, onion, seasoning and butter. I had a bit of a mishap with them, as they quite fell apart and became deconstructed hash browns. I think that was due to the too large potato pieces and perhaps I didn't let the butter and potatoes cool enough so that they would've stuck better together. However, they tasted wonderful with the breakfast, so I didn't care too much.

Are you a fan of a veggie fry up? What are your favourite components of the English breakfast?

Have a relaxing Sunday!

Your VegHog

16 September 2016

Braised beans and tomatoes

My partner has been cooking this vegan dish for years now and I finally decided to steal the recipe from him. Luckily he didn't want to keep it a secret, so I can share it with you. His only condition was that I wouldn't call it a stew, fair enough, it's a dish with slow-cooked green beans in a tomato sauce. I made the addition of broad beans to the dish to add some additional greens. This is great use for the seasonal beans and tomatoes and a good dish for both summer and winter. I could only partly use homegrown tomatoes, as I didn't have enough ripe ones at hand. I served the bean dish with fondant potatoes and salad on the side. Here comes the recipe.


250 g green beans
450 g broad beans (weight with the pods)
1 onion
5 garlic cloves
1 small chilli
Olive oil
300 g tomatoes
Smoked paprika to taste
5 tbsp tomato purée


Chop the onion, garlic and chilli finely.

Add a generous splash of olive oil into a pan and start cooking the onion there. Once the onion is soft, add the garlic and chilli.

Prep the beans and tomatoes. Cut the green beans into about 2 cm long pieces and chop the tomatoes finely.

Add the green beans into the pan, cook for a few minutes and add the tomatoes.

Let simmer under the lid for a couple of hours.

Remove the broad beans from their pods and add them to the mix after a while, maybe about one hour in. Then also add the tomato purée and smoked paprika.

Serve once the beans are cooked and all flavours have blended nicely.

I'm sharing this recipe with this month's Eat Your Greens where it's Shaheen's turn to host. Have a look on her blog Allotment 2 Kitchen and take part with your green vegetable recipes.

I also want to share this dish with My Legume Love Affair challenge hosted this month by Nupur from The Veggie Indian.

Have a good weekend!

Your VegHog

15 September 2016

Rhubarb cupcakes

I rarely fancy cakes, but when there are nice seasonal berries, apples or rhubarb around, I always feel like baking, especially traditional cakes from my home country Finland. That seasonal produce always looks so tempting. So now I wanted to make rhubarb cupcakes when I got some beautiful seasonal rhubarb stalks. It's also getting late in the rhubarb season, so didn't want to miss out.

Unfortunately I wasn't concentrating very well when I cooked these cupcakes, and made them a bit too hastily. Therefore the result wasn't the prettiest, but actually they were quite tasty and especially my partner liked them a lot.

I followed this Finnish recipe by Valio, which is actually for a rhubarb pie. Maybe that's where the mistake lies trying to divide the dough into cupcake sizes. I have translated the recipe below, if you still fancy rhubarb cupcakes, or maybe better try it with the pie straight away. The picture in the original recipe looks just fine.


1 egg
1,5 dl sugar
¾ dl soft margarine
2 dl milk
4 dl wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder

6-7 dl rhubarb pieces / 4 rhubarb stalks
2 dl sugar


Cook the chopped rhubarb with the sugar until it's jam like texture. Add water, if needed. Let it cool.

Whisk the egg and sugar. Add the soft margarine, milk and flour with the baking powder by mixing fast.

Pour the dough into cupcake cases or cake tin.

Pour the rhubarb mix on the top.

Bake at 175 C for about 30-35 minutes.


Your VegHog

14 September 2016

Bowl of roasted potatoes and cauliflower with spicy chickpeas and tahini sauce

Sometimes I just love putting several things into a bowl and enjoying the variation of vegetables and legumes and whatever as one meal. Pretty bowls are also so nice to look at, as we know from the social media. This bowl may not be the greatest of all time, but it was definitely tasty. The combination of roasted potatoes and cauliflower with tahini can never go wrong for me anyway. Have some chickpeas as extra protein on the side and we're ready to go!

What are your favourite weekday bowls?

Here is one of mine:


New potatoes
Smoked paprika
Vegetable oil
Cooked chickpeas
Smoked chilli paste
Lambs lettuce
Tahini + juice of lemon


Roll the new potatoes in vegetable oil and sprinkle smoked paprika and salt on them. Then roast them in the oven until done.

Also brush the cauliflower florets with oil and roast them in the oven.

Fry the cooked chickpeas in a pan for a little while with smoked chilli paste until they are warm and nicely seasoned.

Mix some tahini with lemon juice to make a dip. Add some water, if needed.

Then serve all components together in a bowl with some lettuce on the side.


Your VegHog