Friday, June 25, 2010

Yummy vegetarian lasagne recipe

I absolutely love cooking, especially with - and for - family and friends. It is an act of love to cook a healthy but equally yummy meal and share it with those you cherish. I've been a vegetarian since I was 12-years old. I prefer Asian food, especially Thai over all, but I also adore Mexican, Indian, Nepalese and Italian foods - basically anything that is tasty and well seasoned. I love fresh veggies and I'm a total tofu-holic. I strive to eat soy, beans or lentils at least on a daily basis.

I thought I'd share one of my all time favorite recipes, a vegetarian lasagne with tofu and mince, which I am currently cooking to enjoy as our Midsummer's Day dinner. It comes with plenty of yummy veggies plus tofu and Quorn (or soy) mince, which makes for nice amount of protein and keeps you fulfilled for a good time.

Sadly I've been unable to find Quorn mince in Finland - or any Quorn products, for that matter, which I just loved in the UK. So I use dark soy mince instead, which makes a good enough alternative. I tend to play around with this recipe a lot by using different veggies and leaving out mushrooms (since my partner hates them), replacing silken tofu with firm tofu, or by adding some more spices like a touch of cinnamon, cumin and cayennepepper. The one here, however, is a more traditional version that I prefer, over all.

I hope some of you will find it useful! :)

Vegetarian lasagne

You need...
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Around 4 mushrooms, finely sliced (I prefer champignons)
1 medium sized courgette, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely sliced
350g pack of frozen Quorn mince - or, alternatively, soy mince
One can of chopped tomatoes (around 400g)
One pack of tomato passata (around 500g)
1-2 tbsp basil
1-2 tbsp oregano
salt and ground black pepper
8-10 lasagne sheets

One pack of silken tofu (soft tofu)
Around 350g of grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, which ever you prefer)

Lets get cookin'!

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for until softened
3. Add mushrooms, courgette and carrots, and cook for a further couple of minutes
4. If using dry soy mince, soak it in water for around 5 minutes before cooking and perhaps pour a little bit soy sauce in for taste
5. Stir in the Quorn or soy mince and then the chopped tomatoes and passata. Simmer gently for 5 minutes
6. Stir in the basil, oregano, black pepper and salt. Season to taste and cook gently for another 5-10 minutes
7. Squash the soft tofu in your hands and add a little bit of black pepper in the mix. Add to the mince and veggie mix and cook gently for a further couple of minutes
8. Spoon some of the mince-veggie mix over the base of an ovenproof dish, top with grated cheese and then lasagne sheets. Repeat the layers and once the dish is full, top the layers with cheese. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling
9. Let it cool a little bit - and enjoy your yummy veggie lasagna!

Happy Midsummer's Day, everyone!

Mid-Summer's Eve (1908) by Edward Hughes

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1940s pale blue dress

Some of you spotted this 1940s house dress that I wore in Portugal on our day trip to Sagres. Today I rocked it again whilst running errands and catching a movie in the city. I really adore this dress! It has some unique details that I rarely see in dresses from this era, especially in my size. I was elated when I won it on Ebay for a very decent price a while back - not to mention that it had never been worn before me! The dress has a metal zipper closure down the front, large pockets, a soft tie belt, curvy layered sleeves and tiny white floral appliques that accent the collar and the pocket flaps. So many cute details! It reminds me of a vintage nurse's uniform a bit. All in all, it is a perfect summer dress in my book.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lagos Love - The picspam

Here is a little picspam of my trip to Algarve, Portugal. Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and fell in love with the beautiful country. I will be writing a more detailed report for the travel blog once I have a little more time in my hands. The highlight of my trip? Seeing dolphins in the wild, swimming and jumping around our boat! Now, that's a sight I'll forever cherish!

Photos from Lagos seaside:

No, not a gasmask, it's a snorkel!

Once a sailor girl, always a sailor girl!

Hello, again Blogosphere! I'm back from my fabulous trip to Portugal, and am adjusting to normal life again, little by little. I shall be posting a Lagos lovin' picspam later on today so stay tuned for that. :)

Meanwhile, I was watching a travel video circa 1992 (that my darling recently transfered on DVD) and noticed just how little my style has evolved in, um, 18 years. I sport some pretty sailor dresses and straw hats in the video that are really quite similar to stuff I wear these days. Is that creepy or cute? Either way, I'd still happily wear all of this today. ;D

Oh, note the image on the bottom right, in which my minions are assisting me to get in a limousine. Yup, a diva even at the tender age of 8!

Once a sailor girl, ALWAYS a sailor girl!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Wee, I am headed to Algarve, Portugal to spend a week by the beautiful sea! So excited! You can check out more details at my travel blog and, of course, stay tuned for the full report once I'm back. See you soon, ladies and gents!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blue polkadots

Sailor inspired clothing is pretty much my favorite of all. And I just adore polkadots. So when I came across this blue dress at a drift store for 2€, I snagged it immediately without even trying it on. Well, when I got back home and did try it on, I felt it was actually too big and looked illfitted on me so I was planning on giving it to a friend. But then today I decided to give it another go. I added a white belt and white 50s shoes and - tada! - it actually doesn't look half bad after all! The dress has a vintage feel to it, even though it is newer than what I would consider vintage. Not too shabby for a 2€ dress. Yes, I do love a bargain, who doesn't!

Here's a couple of photos of me playing around in my aunt's beautiful garden, wearing the sailor inspired blue polkadot dress.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1940s summer dress

Looking at these photos, it would appear that I pretty much lived all of last week in this sweet floral 1940s summer dress, made by Caldwell Casuals. The weather was warm and nice during the first half of the week so I took my new dress, bought from Frau Rosette at Fintage, out and about a couple of times. It is the kind of versatile dress that you can easily wear to the beach during the day and also to the movies when the evening comes.

Last week I also wore my new Nivea Rouge d'amour lipstick by Chantal Thomass, which is a really nice true red that I've been eyeing for a while. It isn't quite as matte as I generally prefer my lipstick to be but, on the other hand, it actually feels moisturizing (unlike most of the mattes). That is a big bonus in my book as my lips tend to dry easily. It isn't quite as glamorous as something like Russian Red or Ruby Woo but makes a good everday lipstick.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My dream coat

I was re-watching one of my all time favorite movies, Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994), the other day, which reminded me of just how much I've always loved the coat that Kate Winslet's character Juliet Hulme wears at the end of the movie. Since I've promised myself to get a winter coat that I truly love to take with me to London this fall, I've been eyeing a couple of coats on Ebay - but I haven't found anything that I loved. I decided to not settle but instead custom order a replica of Juliet's coat as it really has been my dream winter coat since I first saw the film well over a decade ago, heh.

However, I don't really know how to go about ordering a vintage inspired custom coat. Does anyone have any helpful tips on this matter? I'm definitely not experienced enough to make it myself but I'm not really able to pay hundreds and hundreds for one either.

Any help would be much appreciated. :)

Shoes like new - only not

The heel soles of the majority of my vintage shoes are in pretty weak shape. Especially these 1940s Kave suede shoes were in desperate need of help as the original wooden soles were quickly deteriorating. I wore them a couple of times and noticed that they were quite uncomfortable to wear after an hour or two because the soles were broken and hence uneven. Even though I knew it was completely envitable to do something to the shoes if I wanted to keep wearing them, I somehow kept putting it off. Quite frankly, I dislike tuning and revamping vintage pieces because it often is so that a part of their charm is lost when changes are made. And, well, maybe it is a tad strange but I kind of love how the soles of vintage shoes look.

Anyhow, thanks to Rhia's post, I finally faced the facts, got my act together and got the soles of my Kave shoes changed. Not just the heel sole but the actual outsole as well as both were in a bad shape. Now my super cute shoes are actually comfortable to wear and have plenty of dancin' left in them!