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.


Mushroom Filled Crepes

Weather is getting colder and forest mushroom season is almost over. Yesterday I went to forest after work and found some sheep polypores, and few other mushrooms. Not much, but enough for a dinner.

American style thick pancakes are not usually eaten here in Finland. We prefer thinner ones, and they can be savoury or sweet. Savoury ones with spinach or carrot are usually little thicker than sweet crepes. I made some carrot crepes and used the mushrooms for the filling. We also had vinegar cucumbers on the side. The crepe recipe makes about 12 crepes, but the filling wasn’t enough for all of them. We ate last two or three with lingonberries.

Carrot Crepes

1 l soy milk
3 dl wheat flour
3 dl barley flour (or use 6 dl wheat flour)
3 big carrots
2 tbsp oil
margarine for frying

Whisk the milk, flours and salt together and let sit 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile peel the carrots and grate them finely. Mix everything, melt some margarine in a frying pan and fry as thin crepes as you can. 

Mushroom and Broccoli Filling

1 l forest mushrooms (or about 250 g button mushrooms)
2 tbsp oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
florets of 1 broccoli or 1 whole small broccoli
2 dl soy yogurt
white pepper
lemon juice

Sauté the mushrooms in a dry pan until the water comes out of them. Discard the water or fry until evaporated. Chop the onion, garlic and broccoli. Add oil and chopped vegetables to the pan when there’s no more water in it. Simmer until onions and broccoli are soft, stir occasionally. Add yogurt and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and herbs. Heat thoroughly. Put some filling on each crepe and roll.

Midsummer Barbecue

Most Finns want to celebrate midsummer in the country, preferably on summer cottage. So do we, and luckily we had a chance to go to a friend’s cottage. The weather wasn’t good, but we had a nice time with sauna, swimming and of course yummy food. We had seitan, sweet potatoes, vegetables in foil pouches and corn on the grill.

Zucchini, onion, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, garlic and cherry tomatoes went inside the foil pouches.

Barbecued Vegetables

vegetables of your choice:
carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, garlic, onion etc.

aluminium foil

3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard
1-2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
t tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Cut the vegetables into bite size chunks. Boil harder vegetables like carrots for few minutes. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Cut the aluminium foil into big squares, put some vegetables and about a tbsp sauce on it. Close tightly and put on the grill.

Wednesday Night Paella

I have never been to Spain or eaten real Spanish paella, so I have no idea how authentic this is. Anyway, tonight I made paella based on this recipe and what we happened to have at home. I used mixture of porridge rice (about 1 dl) and risotto rice (about 2,5 dl) because that’s what we had in our pantry, but I’m sure any other rice will be just as good. Pinch of saffron would have been nice too, and maybe orange or lemon cubes/wedges. Don’t stir your paella too well, or you won’t get a nice crust in the bottom of the pan. However, if your worried about burning your paella and don’t mind about lack of crust, you can stir as much as you feel like.

Vegan Paella

1 large onion
4 tbsp oil
3,5 dl (risotto) rice
1,3 l water
mushroom or vegetable bouillon cube
3 tbsp tomato puré
1 tsp each: dried basil, oregano and chervil
0,5 tsp lovage
2 garlic cloves
florets of 1 broccoli
3 celery stalks
handful of dried porcini or other mushrooms
4-5 dl frozen peas
salt and pepper

Chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion for few minutes. Add tomato puré and rice and mix well. Add water, crumbled bouillon cube, herbs and sliced garlic cloves. Simmer about 15 minutes, don’t stir. Meanwhile break the broccoli into small florets, chop the celery stalks and soak the mushrooms in hot water. Add them to the pan, stir a little, but try not to stir from the bottom. Simmer 30 minutes. Add peas, salt and pepper and stir, but not from the bottom of the pan. Heat thoroughly and serve with or without olives.

Broccoli Soup

If you need only the florets of broccoli for some food, don’t discard the stems. It doesn’t matter what part of broccoli you use in this soup, since it will be pureed. The soup is quite simple basic soup, but my friends have liked it a lot. One batch is enough for 4 people if it’s served as main course (with bread and hummus maybe) or 6-8 as starter.

Quick Broccoli Soup

1 tbsp oil
1 onion
800g broccoli
1,2l vegetable broth (water + bouillon cube)
1 tsp lovage
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
0,5 tsp thyme
2 dl oat milk
0,5 tsp black pepper
salt if needed

Chop the onion and cut the broccoli in about 4cm pieces. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the onion until it’s soft and translucent. Add the broth, herbs and broccoli. Bring to boil and cook 10-15 minutes or until broccoli pieces are soft. Puré with a blender. You can save some florets for garnishing, if you want to. Add milk, heat and season with (salt and) pepper.

Simple Casserole

I’m not sure if this food could be called gratin, since there’s no layer of grated cheese or other crust like thing on top. So I’ll just call it casserole. You can make either a main course of side dish with the recipe. If you use only broccoli, cauliflower and things like that it will be a nice side dish, but adding beans, potatoes etc. it turns into a filling dinner. You can also add frozen spinach or dried mushrooms to the sauce.

Vegetable Casserole

vegetables of your choice (potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli florets, onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, beans, chickpeas, snow peas, bell pepper…)
3 tbsp margarine
0,75 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl soy or oat milk
0,5 tsp thyme
1 tsp chervil
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper
1 dl nutritional yeast

Cut all the vegetables in bite size chucks. Harder vegetables like potatoes, carrots and cauliflower have to be boiled first until they’re almost done, but for example bell peppers and onions can be used raw. Fill an oven proof dish with vegetables. Melt the margarine in a pot and stir in the flour. Add little milk, stir well, add more milk, stir again etc. until all the milk is in the pot. Bring to boil, stirring often, season with herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. Pour the sauce on the vegetables and bake in 200 Celsius degrees until it looks like ready. I always forget to look at the clock, but I think it takes about half an hour.

Excuse Me, There’s Tofu in My Tortilla

We usually have bean filling in our tortillas, but for variety’s sake we decided to experiment with tofu based filling. One of the best things about tofu is its bland natural flavour and the ability to absorb almost any taste possible. We also happened to have broccoli available and it seemed like a nice idea to combine these two to make a filling. The results were a splendid experience. The spices are a rather traditional tex mex blend, but it’s pretty easy to experiment with them and craft the filling to suit your personal preferences.

Tofu And Broccoli

4 tbsp oil
1,5 tsp cumin
0,5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
some chili, fresh or dried
4 big garlic cloves
1 onion
500g tofu
florets from 1 big broccoli
250g passata

Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a large pot or pan. Fry cumin, coriander, paprika, smoked paprika and chili about 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic and fry until onion starts to become soft. Add cubed tofu, coat well with spices and fry at least five minutes stirring often. If you want to get the dinner ready quicker, you can boil the broccoli florets about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and passata to the pot and simmer until broccoli is al dente. Serve with cooked grains or wrap inside tortilla with salsa and fresh vegetables such as cucumber, bell pepper and onion