Thursday Stir-Fry

I haven’t cooked much with tempeh, because it’s rather hard to find here in Finland. Last week I was visiting my sister in Helsinki and brought home two packaged of tempeh. One is in the freezer for later use and one was used for noodle stir-fry today with vegetables we had in fridge and freezer.

Tempeh and Noodle Stir-fry

3 tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 habanero
400 g tempeh (1 package)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp ginger powder
1-2 onions
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots
piece of rutabaga
florets of 1 broccoli
1 bell pepper
2-3 handfuls snow peas (frozen)

100-150 g whole wheat noodles

soy sauce and/or hot sauce for serving (optional)

You can first boil your tempeh 10-20 minutes to remove bitterness. Cube the tempeh and mince the habanero. Slice the onion and garlic. Cut carrots, rutabaga and bell pepper into sticks.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok and fry cumin, paprika and habanero about 30 seconds. Add tempeh and stir to cover with spicy oil. Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir again. Fry, stirring often, until tempeh is nicely browned. Remove from the wok.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in the wok and fry ginger and mustard seeds about a minute. Add onion and garlic. Fry couple of minutes, add carrot and rutabaga, then bell pepper and broccoli. Boil the noodles 2-3 minutes or according the instructions on the package while you stir-fry the veggies. When the vegetables are almost done, add snow peas. When they’ve thawed, add noodles and tempeh.

Rutabaga Pie From Karelia

Kukko is a rooster in Finnish, but it’s also a certain type of pie, typical for eastern parts of Finland, Savo and Karelia. The crust is made of rye or combination of rye and wheat, and the dough can be sour or not. Most famous is kalakukko, which is filled with fish. Other common fillings are meat, rutabaga and potatoes, but even rutabaga kukko usually contains meat.

I wanted to try to make vegan rutabaga kukko. I combined four or five recipes I found and made some changes to make it vegan. The result was very good, and I think I’ll make more kukkos with different fillings in future.

Rutabaga Kukko

1 kg rutabaga
about 2 dl water
1 tbsp uncooked rice

4 dl rye flour
4 dl wheat flour
1 tsp salt
3 dl water

Peel the rutabagas, cut them in four or six wedges and slice thinly. Put them, water and some salt to a pot and simmer until rutabagas are half done. Drain

Mix the dough ingredients in a bowl. Roll into a circle or oval, edges can be thinner. Sprinkle the rice in the center of the circle/oval, it will absorb all the extra moisture. Put some rutabaga slices on the dough, sprinkle with salt and put few dollops of margarine on top. Continue until you have all the rutabagas on the dough. Put more margarine dollops on top. Fold the edges of the dough on top of the pie. Close tightly, water and gentle rubbing will help.

Bake in 200 Celsius degrees 1-1,5 hours. Brush with mixture of melted margarine and water. Wrap in greaseproof paper and then wrap in a towel. You can then either wrap it in a blanket or put back to oven if it has cooled to 100 or less degrees. Keep wrapped at least couple of hours, but over night is good too. This simmering part is important, it makes the crust softer and enhances the flavours of the filling.

Serve with margarine.

Rutabaga Casserole Recipe

A lot of people have come to our blog with search “rutabaga casserole”. I have mentioned rutabaga casserole in one post, but there’s no recipe in it. So I’m posting one now. It’s translated from The Vegan Society of Finland and it’s in Finnish here. I only changed the oat milk into oat cream, because it tastes better that way.

Rutabaga casserole is a traditional Finnish Yule dish, and so are carrot casserole and sweetened potato casserole. Some people also have macaroni casserole and liver casserole. Also ham, beet salad (called rosolli), mushroom salad and fish in some form are nearly always served. Families can have their own Yule dinner traditions too, like in my family we always have Italian salad and in nomad’s family the dinner starts with a small amount of vodka. I’m going to make two or three of nut loafs (my mum told me to make a lot of nut loaf for the dinner of Dec. 24th) and couple of seitan roasts this year. I think we’re going to have awesome dinners during the holidays.

Rutabaga Casserole

1 kg rutabagas
3-4 dl water for boiling
1 tsp salt
1 dl dry bread crumbs (+ more to sprinkle on the surface)
2-3 tbsp molasses (dark syrup)
2 dl oat cream
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp nutmeg

margarine or oil for greasing the dish

Peel the rutabagas and cut them in smaller pieces. Boil in salted water with lid on until they’re soft. The boiling time depends on the size of your rutabaga chunks. Combine the oat cream and bread crumbs and let sit while you boil the rutabagas. Drain, but save the water. Puree the rutabagas with blended or potato masher. Add cream and bread crumb mixture, molasses and 1-2dl saved boiling water and mix together. Season with ginger, white pepper and nutmeg. Grease an oven proof dish, pour the mixture in it. You can make the surface wavy with a spoon, or leave it flat. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake in 175 Celsius degrees 1-1,5 hours.

Seitanic Temptation

In Finland this kind of casseroles are called temptations (kiusaus in Finnish). They are made of potatoes and other things that are cut in sticks. Anchovies and other fish are very common companion for the potatoes, but temptations can also be vegetarian. The temptation we had today was made of root vegetables and it had seitan as a protein source. It was really yummy.

Seitanic Temptation

2 tbsp oil
2 big carrots
1 small rutabaga
1 onion
salt and pepper
0,5 tsp each basil and chervil
pinch of cayenne
6-8 potatoes
8 small Jerusalem artichokes
2 balls basic seitan
2 dl oat cream
0,5 dl water
margarine or oil for greasing the dish

Peel all the vegetables and cut them and seitan in sticks. Heat the oil in a big pan and fry onion, carrots, rutabaga, salt, pepper, cayenne and herbs for few minutes. Add potatoes and after few minutes add Jerusalem artichokes. Last add seitan, fry couple of minutes and pour in the oat cream. Rinse the cream can with 0,5 dl water and put that in the pan too. Grease an oven proof dish and transfer the food into it. Bake covered 45-60 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees.

Roots From The Oven

Dinner from mainly local ingredients. The onions and potatoes were from our garden, funnel chanterelles from a forest nearby, and carrots and rutabagas were at least Finnish. I used mushroom bouillon cube, but I’m sure any vegetable broth would be good. This wasn’t a quick meal, but I got home rather early and started cooking right away. The stew had been a while in the oven when nomad arrived, and it was ready in decent dinner time.

Root Vegetable Stew with Mushrooms

2 handfuls of dried funnel chanterelles + water for soakin
3 big carrots
2 small rutabagas (or 1 bigger)
4 potatoes
1 onion
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp wheat flour
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp parsley
(salt and) pepper
5 dl vegetable broth (from bouillon cube)

Soak the funnel chanterelles in water. Peel the carrots, cut them half and slice. Peel the potatoes and rutabagas and cube. Peel and coarsely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion few minutes. Drain the funnel chanterelles, add to the pan and continue sautéing until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the wheat flour and stir about a minute. Mix everything except the broth in an oven proof dish. Pour the broth on them and bake 2 hours in 175 Celsius degrees. Cover if it looks like too much liquid is being evaporated.