Tag Archives: vegetables

Chicken Soup TLC

Chicken soup is a cure for cold and any other illness. True that in many novels and films. Grandmas and mas are the best cooks but husbands can certainly cook it up too. I spent most of last week in bed and was indulged in tender lovin care. This soup among other things – certainly cheered me up and helped recovery. The only minus being I could not smell it at all but felt the hot spices.

These ingredients went to the soup: chicken breast, garlic, oregano, bay leaf, carrot, onion and celery, chicken stock, juice of one lemon, cocnut milk, ginger, sambal olek, parsley and egg noodles. Make the soup and cook the noodles separately. Combine as you eat in the plate.


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Chicken-Vegetable Soup

The plans of chicken soup with gnocchi changed into a soup without gnocchi. Two first days without pasta and the last servings with spaghetti.

My inspiration is The Cozy Apron on Pinterest and this is a modification.

For 10 portions you will need

400 g chicken with bones, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 parsnips,  2,5 dl butternut squash, 1 l of chicken stock, 2 l water, 2 bay leaves, 2 twigs of thyme and oregon, 1 cup of shredded kale, 4 cloves of garlic, a chunk of Parmesan rind,  2 handfuls of parsley

Chop the onions, carrot and garlic, sate in butter. Add the chicken and 1 l water. Cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes and set a side to cool.

Cut the vegetables into small cubes. Heat the chicken stock, bay leaves and herbs.  Chop the garlic and add it and the vegetables to the stock, cook for 25 minutes.

Chop the  chicken and add to the soup with the shredded kale. Cook for 5 min. Spoon out the Parmesan rind. Add the parsley and serve with grated Parmesan and country bread..

I added cooked spaghetti and tomato purée to the last servings.

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Morning Smoothies

Green smoothies are really giving energy for the whole morning. I do not get hungry before lunch and replace 10 am coffee with herbal tea on most days. Now I wonder when the effects start showing elsewhere.

This is my smoothie menu from last week. You need to add 1 a 1.5 dl water to each recipe.
#1 half a cup of black currants, 1 celery stalk, 10 cm cucumber, 3 kale leaves
#2 celery stalk, 10 cm cucumber, three leaves of kale, 2 apples
#3 handful of lemon balm, 1 orange, 2 apples
#4 plain freshly pressed apple juice of red apples
#5 three kale leaves, 1 cup of blueberries and two small apples
#6 three kale leaves, 1 orange, 1 apple

The beauty of these smoothies are that they are almost 100% own produce. My kale is finally growing well thanks to a gardening tip to put ashes on the bed to keep the snails away.

Have a wonderful week!









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September 8, 2014 · 07:48

Green and Orange Smoothie

God morning everyone! It is half past seven in Porvoo, Finland. We are in August but it feels like autumn already. I actually quite like the brisk mornings but would not care for the rain.

I have recently tried to eat healthier but not to compromise on tastes and thus my breakfasts have turned green and fruity.

Green morning smoothie
For two smoothies mix the ingredients in a blender. Ingredients: A green apple, a stalk of celeriac, 10 cm piece of cucumber, a quarter of a lemon.

Orange smoothie
For two portions you will need one large peach and one large orange as well as 10 basil leaves. Mix in a blender and enjoy.



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Farmers’ Mini-Market Raakatori

How delightful to have a farmers’ market called Raakatori  just a stone cast away from your front door! We were delighted to discover this tiny shop on our street. They opened in May  and now we have also discovered that they have had a net shop and other points of sale going for longer. They actually have twelve fetching points across southern Finland.

The shop carries local produce, organic vegetables, herbs, eggs and bread as well as organic tea, coffee, canned food, flour and grains, cosmetics, washing detergents and almost anything you can think of. Should they not have an item, they’ll happily order it for you. The selection of the shop is just a fraction of what is on offer online. All the producers are carefully selected.

Raakatori in Porvoo started as a location and fetching point for the net shop and this spring they started having doors open from Thursday to Saturday. They do of course deliver the goods to your door too and alternatively deliveries are made through the national mail service. There are several food circles who order from them and they help you find one near you in case you do not wish to place individual orders.

They are a family business lead by Joonas Pohjanlehto with a small group of close friends as co-owners. There are three generations living together in the same house where the shop is located and two taking care of the business. The youngest ones are also out and about .



Maiju Pohjanlehto has the shop open on Thursdays and Fridays at 3 – 7 pm and on Saturdays 9 – 12 am.



I was delighted to find my favourite tea, Yogi tea, in the shelves. A brand not all shops carry. This was the first time I saw Finnish kale on sale, a favourite since my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella a couple of years back, superfood and one of the trend veggies of the day. My own kale is not doing that well in the kitchen garden and now I know where to get my next bunch for my pizza, salad, caldo Callego or health drink. I’ll definitely have try the coconut water too.

My catch of the day was a bowlfull of lovely zucchini and yellow pear tomatoes that “taste just as delicious as Italian ones” as my husband put it. He is a man who wishes we could buy ripe veggies and fruit in the supermarkets. We often have to have the tomatoes and melons out in room temperature for a week before eating them. Now we know where to shop!
My catch will go to a salad and pizza Bianca.

You’ll find Raakatori at Sibeliuksenbulevardi 19, Porvoo and on the net and on Facebook. You’ll also find them tweeting on Twitter. The pages are in Finnish but  the pictures can certainly help you navigate and browse the selection.




Filed under Miscellaneous on travelling, cooking and life in general

Sunday Lunch with Ginger Salmon and Basil Vegetables

It’s ages since my last post. Sorry folks! The spring is always such a busy season. It is Palm Sunday today and Easter is just around the corner.

We have already cooked asparagus and made salad with avocados and smoked salmon. Today called for another lighter meal and I went for salmon. The ginger and lemon give a lovely fragrance to the fish and the basil to the vegetables.

Both the recipes are for two.

Lemon and Ginger covered Salmon

400 g salmon filled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, washed and sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce

1 Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Place the salmon filled in a greased oven-proof form.
2 Sprinkle on the chopped ginger and soy sauce. Cover with lemon slices.
3 Cook in oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Basil Carrots and Broccoli

200 g broccoli
4 small carrots
handful of basil, olive oil, salt

1 Rinse the broccoli and cut into smallish pieces. Wash the carrots and peel them if needed. Cut into oblong pieces, not quite as thin as julienne.
2 Let the cooking water come to boil, add salt and the carrots. Cook for five minutes.
3 Add the broccoli and cook for about 10 minutes.
4 Pour out the water. Add the basil and olive oil. Serve instantly with the ginger salmon.instantly with the ginger salmon.

Try zucchini with sardines and garlic for starters in another post.

ginger salmon

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Starter with Taste of Greece

Aubergine, eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables. So delicious and what a what lovely colour, called aubergine as well.

A Turkish dish with cooked aubergine in garlic and yoghurt sauce is an all time favourite but I wanted to try something different. A recipe in the local markets leaflet inspired me try something new, and I followed it almost to the point (thanks K-market).

Taste of Greece was welcome and I have found myself dreaming of a holiday in the south. Even searching for cheap flights. This summer has not taken us abroad and we have followed friends in summer paradises via Facebook. Just at the moment a friend is in Greece visiting her family and posting beautiful photos. This has taken me back to holidays on Crete and Samos ten and even twenty years ago.

This aubergine starter with tomato and feta cheese is delicious. This is what you need for a starter for six:

2 aubergines, olive oil, salt and pepper
4-5 tomatoes
feta cheese
basil and peppermint

1 Take two medium-sized aubergines and cut them not thin slices. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes in 200 C.
2 Slice 4-5 small tomatoes. Work a chunk of Feta cheese into small pieces, crumbs.
3 Coat the aubergine slices with tomatoes and put one some cheese on them. Bake for 10 minutes.
4 Chop some basil and peppermint and decorate the dish with the herbs.
The peppermint gives a very fresh flavour.


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Cooling Cucumber Lovage Soup

This recipe is the best ever for the heat of midsummer. Thanks Hesari, Helsingin Sanomat the national paper, for publishing this last week. And more so, THANK YOU Henri Alen for the recipe.

Check out http://www.hs.fi/ruoka/reseptit for kylmä lipstikka-kurkkukeitto
if you read Finnish.
This is my attempt of translation:

1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
4 dl natural yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp honey
10 leaves of lovage
3 tbsp olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a blender. Turn the blender on and run for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!
The taste is even better if you set the soup settle and cool in the fridge for an hour or two.




The last picture is my light Bruschetta and pecorino sandwich.

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Spagetti con Spinaci e Patate

It is Midsummer, summer solstice tomorrow! It is time to celebrate summer and the beginning of the holiday season.
We are well stored with food for the weekend as everything will be closed for three days. It will be a feast with the tastes of summer and barbecue but today I still wanted to cook a simple pasta dish.

200 g spaghetti
4 potatoes
100 g frozen spinach
1 dl chopped lovage
2 garlic cloves
1 dl double cream
Salt, pepper

Thaw the spinach. Cook the pasta and the potatoes. Heat a bit of oil in a pan and sauté the spinach, lovage and garlic. Dice the potatoes into the pasta and turn in the spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with Parmesan and olive oil. Yummy!


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My New Hometown: Best Gravy for Roast Beef


The first full weekend in the new town is over. What a long weekend it was! No rushing anywhere but nice walks, jogging, a bit of work in the garden and cooking.

The best thing about the weekend is sparrows! Yes, they have arrived. The cry made my day on Saturday. We keep records on their arrival and this year they are really early. It is usually around 20 May they arrive but our coordinates have changed and it looks like the spring is arriving earlier!

On Sunday morning I decided to go jogging and discover some more of the neighbourhood. I also wanted to see if I remembered any of the routes I’d run some twenty years ago. That is when I first stayed here for a longer period. Sunday morning was cloudy and there was a note of rain in the air. The town seemed to be sleeping – two cars, one person cycling and two walking their dogs were all I met in the streets. Unbelievable! I had to check the time to see if it really was past nine. Once I got to the forest with maintained walking and jogging paths I would see more people. It was then I also felt more like home.

Our Saturday dinner was more or less leftovers. The roast beef my husband cooked for May Day was a huge chunk of meat, and we enjoyed it long. I am not much of a sauce or gravy cooker so I decided to give it a try. Learning how to make different types of sauces might just be my next goal in cooking.

This was our dinner: crostini with goat cheese (chevre) and cherry tomatoes, roasted vegetables, roast beef with apple gravy and salad.

Cut 2 cm thick slices of a day or two old baguette. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil and tomato paste and put on the bread slices. Cover with a slice of chèvre and top with a halved cherry tomatoes. Roast in 200 C for 10 minutes.

Roasted Vegetables
5 potatoes, carrots and 1 onion, thyme, rosemary, salt and black pepper.
Clean and cut the vegetables into thin slices. Put them in an oven pan or a baking sheet covered with paper. Season and cook in 200 C for 30-45 minutes. You do not need any oil!

Roast beef: see the recipe 1 May.

Apple gravy – the best ever
One apple (peeled and diced), olive oil, 1 dl double cream, 2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tbsp beef stock fond, 1- 2 dl juices from the roast beef.
Sauté the diced apple in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add some rosemary, cream and the beef juice, let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and add some beef stock if needed. Dilute with a dash of water or more cream it the gravy has become too thick.
Serve the gravy on cold slices of roast beef.



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Filed under Dinner, Miscellaneous on travelling, cooking and life in general, Recipes