Seitan Saturday: Stroganoff

New vegan fraiche by Oatly is available in shops, at least in Finland and Sweden, maybe somewhere else too. It’s oat based and a bit slimy compared to soy based products, but it’s not as slimy as Yosa yogurts. The taste is more sour than plain soy yogurt and can be used in hot and cold dishes. We bought a tub and used half of it to make this Stroganoff. We’ve previously used oat cream and oat fraiche didn’t taste different in this recipe. But I think a spoonful of it on a bowl of borscht or pureed vegetable soup would be great. I bet it also works great in dips etc.


Seitan Stroganoff

2 balls seitan
1 onion
5 dl chopped forest mushrooms or handful of dried funnel chanterelles
2-4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
water or vegetable broth
2 tsp mustard
salt, pepper
1 dl oat or soy cream or fraiche
dill or parsley (optional)

Dice the seitan. Peel and chop onion. If you use dried mushrooms, soak them in hot water until soft. If you use fresh mushrooms, heat them on a dry pan until the water comes out of them. Discard the water or continue heating until water is evaporated. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté onion and mushrooms until onion is soft and translucent. Transfer to a sauce pan. Add more oil if needed and fry seitan until browned. Transfer to the saucepan.

Melt the margarine on the pan and add flour. Fry until brown. Add some water (hot water is easier to stir with the flour) and stir well, add more water and stir well etc. until you get the desired thickness for the sauce. Add to the sauce pan, stir well and simmer 5-10 minutes. Add cream (and herbs if using) and season with salt and pepper, simmer couple of minutes more and serve with potatoes or other side dishes.


Sweet Cake with Lingonberries

Russian candy (kinuski in Finnish, kola in Swedish) is a common dessert sauce or cake frosting here. It’s made by simmering cream and brown sugar until they reach desired thickness. Sauce is usually eaten with ice cream and/or berries. Acid of the berries is a nice contrast to the sweetness of Russian candy.

I’ve also made a gluten free version of this cake by using gluten free flour mix (Semper Fin Mix) instead of wheat flour and substituting bread crumbs with gluten free bread crumbs, coconut flakes or crushed almonds. If you have a teflon tin, greasing is probably enough and you can omit bread crumbs.


Russian Candy and Lingonberry Cake

3,5 dl wheat flour
2 dl sugar
2,5 tsp baking powder
1 dl rhubarb jam*
1 dl oil
2 dl mineral water or other sparkling drink

for the cake tin:
margarine and dry bread crumbs

Mix wheat flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add rhubarb jam and oil and stir. Last add the mineral water. Grease a cake tin with margarine and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour the batter to the tin and bake in 200 Celsius degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

lingonberry jam**
vegan whipping cream (+ sugar)

russian candy:
1,5 dl oat (or soy) cream
1,5 dl brown sugar

Cut the cooled cake in two or three layers. Whip the cream and season with sugar if necessary. Fill the cake with lingonberry jam and whipped vegan cream.

Mix the oat cream and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Heat on medium heat, constantly stirring, until it starts bubbling. Simmer constantly stirring until it’s thick enough. Usually it takes 10-15 minutes. How do you know it’s thick enough? Take a glass of cold water and add a drop of Russian candy. If it dissolves into the water, it’s not ready. If you can take it in your hand and it’s like soft plasticine, it’s ready. Quickly pour the Russian candy on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. Allow to set in refrigerator. Decorate the sides with whipped cream.

*You can also use apple jam or mashed banana instead of rhubarb jam.
**Other berries, like cloudberries, raspberries or cranberries go well with Russian candy too.


Russian Movie Night

Our friends came to our house to eat and see a movie. We had a Russian theme and we started with awesome Borscht they brought with them.

After that we watched Battleship Potemkin. I was the only one who hadn’t seen it before. It was a great movie, so I’m glad I finally saw it.

Last, but not least we ate blini with mushroom salad, Cavi-art and cubed pickles.

I tried a blintz recipe from Kasviskeittiössä blog, and it was better than the one I have used before. I doubled the original recipe, and we didn’t have any leftovers. If you have more than four eaters or don’t serve a starter, I recommend doubling this doubled recipe.


5 dl soy or oat milk
25 g yeast
4 dl buckwheat flour
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp syrup

1 tsp salt
1 dl sparkling mineral water or beer

margarine or oil for frying

Heat the milk lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in it. Whisk in buckwheat flour, oil and syrup. Cover with a towel and allow to rise 2-4 hours. Stir in salt and mineral water/beer. Melt the margarine in a pan and add some batter to make a pancake. Fry on both sides until nicely browned. Serve with Russian style fillings, such as mushrooms, chopped onion, vegan sour cream and/or pickles.

Where west and east meet

Today is independence day in Finland. It’s quite common for families to eat someting fancy in celebration of this, and even though any level of nationalism is far removed from us, we decided to make something nice today as well. To celebrate the history of modern Finland, we took a bit from Sweden, a bit from Russia and added something indigenous to Finland. Sums the story of our nation quite nicely and makes a wonderful meal.

The main dish is from Sweden, it’s called pitepalt, a filled dumpling. The recipe was borrowed from our western friends, the great Cooking vegan food up north blog. We ate the pitepalt with Italian salad, which is actually a Russian salad, and lingonberries.

The dessert was more Finnish. Bilberry kukko is like a bilberry pie, but it has crust on top and berries under it. It’s originally from Savo, but nowadays it’s eaten all over Finland.

Bilberry Kukko

2-2,5 l bilberries or blueberries
0,75 dl sugar
2 tbsp potato flour

250 g margarine
1,75 dl sugar
5,25 dl rye flour
2 tsp baking powder

vegan vanilla ice cream for serving

Mix the filling ingredients together. Grease an oven proof dish and put the filling in it. Beat the margarine and sugar in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and mix together. Cover the dish with the crust. I use my hands to make it flat, but you can also roll it on the table and then put on top of the dish. Bake in 200 Celsius degrees 40 minutes or until it’s nicely browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

It Must Be Italian Because Of Macaroni

In Finland we have this Russian style salad that is called Italian salad. It’s like Salade Olivier but with macaroni. I imagine that someone had eaten it in Russia and thought that delicious salad should be introduced to Finns too. But because Finns thought that Russia=bad, (s)he disguised it by adding macaroni and called it Italian. So everybody happily ate the salad and had no idea that it was actually a Russian dish.

Italian salad and Salade Olivier often contain meat, but my mother has always made ovo-vegetarian version with home made mayo. It turns vegan by using egg free mayo (home made or store bought).

Italian Salad

1 can of canned peas
4 boiled carrots
2 dl boiled potato cubes
2 pickles
2 apples
2 dl macaroni or other small pasta

2-3 dl mayo
0,5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
white pepper

Cook the macaroni according to instructions on the package. Drain the peas and cube everything else. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and toss with the salad.