Overconsumming carrots can cause what is reffered to as "Carotenosis", a condition in which the skin turns orange.
I made a fresh loaf of black bread the other day, it only made sense to make another recipe with it! I made a spicy, lime-infused carrot and avocado sandwich!
I wanted something spicy, I love lime with avocado so that's how it started. Planning recipes according to colour is important, it creates more variety in your meal. The colours don't always have to contrast each other
It really depends how i feel, i wouldnt mind having an all-green sandwich (future recipe maybe?)
My oven has been working overtime these days, i've been baking and roasting food almost everyday. Picked up a pack of heirloom carrots at atwater market last weekend, threw them in the oven with a bit of oil, and served them over a bed of beluga lentils. All this, topped with a delicious spicy peanut butter sauce!
Roasted carrots becoming quite sweet, a nice change from eating them raw. I could have easily eaten all 8 carrots myself, but alas i also need to feed Devine.
I like buying grains or flours in bulk. I don't always get to buy huge quantities, it's too heavy. I don't own a car, and walking long distances with it is bad is difficult. Since my bike accident, i haven't been able to carry heavy loads for too long. Luckily, i went to my parent's house on sunday. They have a car, and access to a terrific buy in bulk place. I bought a ton of black rice and some black beluga lentils!
Beluga lentils aren't the cheapest kind you can get, but certainly a wonderful addition to my black food pantry.
Worth mentioning, that the idea to make a recipe with beluga lentils was inspired by Meike Peter's beluga lentil salad recipe.
Funny to think that when i was a kid, i didn't want to go anywhere near beets. For the longest time, it was this thing that my family served around xmas time and that i didn't like. How things change! I buy beets regularly now, I use it to make pasta sauce, to serve over salads, to mix into smoothies and now to make Borscht!
Devine has been taking russian classes every week, and he comes back from his lessons with new words to teach me. Last week, he not only returned with new words, he also brought back a Borscht recipe. Borscht fits perfectly in the Grim Grains universe - It's bright, red, beautiful and delicious! This recipe was inspired by hers.
Borscht is traditionally served with sour cream, so evidently i needed to have that be part of this recipe as well! A lot of vegan sour cream recipes have cashews, because of my tree nut allergy, i had to opt for something different. Silken tofu does the job well, the mix of that plus lemon and apple cider vinegar gives a perfect sour taste! Sour cream recipe adapted from The blender girl.
Late-night gyoza at izakaya, is one of the things i miss the most about living in Tokyo. Maybe not one of the healthiest late-night eats, but a DELICIOUS one. These are very unconventional gyoza, black on the outside, and red and orange on the inside.
We made homemade gyoza dough with some friends a few weeks back, it took FOREVER. Devine had the amazing idea of using our pasta maker to do it. We still needed to do a bit of kneading, to get it through the machine the first time. After that, it's easy and sweat-free!
We didn't have any round cookie cutters, the last time we tried i was using upside down glasses. Didn't work well because the rims aren't sharp. Again, Devine had a stroke of genius. Cans! I had an empty chickpea pan lying around, it was about the size of a gyoza wrapper so we used that to poke holes through the dough.
I know not everyone has a pasta maker, you don't need one to make wrappers. You can just use a rolling pin.
The fillings was another experiment, since i like to cook with colours in mind, i wanted something that would contrast the black. Beet and carrots seemed like an obvious choice. Unconventional, as far as traditional japanese gyozas go, but very delicious and very beautiful.
We had a lot of fun making these gyoza, it's best made and eaten with friends!
Gyoza wrapper techniques and ratios were based on the recipe from Just one cookbook. She explains it really well too on her blog it's worth taking a look. I learned a lot from her even if our techniques differ slightly. While I preferred not to knead by hand, or with a rolling pin, i did do it her way the first time.
Végé pâté is a quebec staple food, it's one of those things that you never think to make yourself. Every picnic i had this summer included this, it's great with veggies, on crackers and in sandwiches too! Purchasing it pre-made can get expensive, and not all kinds are good. This summer i decided to make it myself.
I like japanese food a lot, I cook it every week. It's not surprising that my Végé pâté would contain japanese ingredients.
A lot of végé pâté recipes call for whole wheat flour, I've made it using it before with great results. If you don't have oats, you can use whole wheat flour instead. AUsing oats as a substitute works great, I always have a bucket-load of steel-cut oats lying around. To grind it down into flour i use my blender stick, it takes more time but it works well!
I've been looking for ways to incorporate persimmon into savoury recipes. I always thought it could make a great sauce for pasta or rice meals. If pureed, it will taste very sweet, but if you mix in curry powder and other spices and ingredients it becomes less of a dessert.
Be careful when selecting your persimmon, there are two varieties. Hachiya persimmon are more elongated and you need to wait for it to soften down before attempting to eat it. Fuyu persimmon, have a tomato-like shape and you can eat it like an apple.
There are many different varieties of curry powders it's just a pre-mixed combination of different ground spices. If you're in a hurry, buying a mix is best. But if you have a full stocked spice rack, it may be better and more fun to do it yourself. Typically curry mixes have turmeric, coriander, cumin, black and red pepper, cinnamon cloves, fennel seeds, cardamom, ginger and fenugreek. There can be as much as 20 different spices, but you can probably omit a few and it'll still taste pretty great.
Enjoy over some basmasti rice, or grated cauliflower rice for a lighter and grain-free meal.
If you're searching for entree ideas look no further! These curried carrot patties drizzled with teriyaki sauce, with a side of freshly baked kale chips will hit the spot.
Taking the time to cook good food, is important.
Someone said this to me ages ago, never forgot it.
Cooking isn't just about getting your hunger pangs to go away, it's also a time to be creative.
Eating is a truly complete sensory experience.
With this recipe, I wanted to make something beautiful. I didn't have to go out to get special ingredients, I just looked in my fridge and used whatever I had on hand. If you're planning a meal but are missing an item, try and see what else you can use instead.
Doing this, will make you a more creative cook.
Cooking is important kids. Find the time to do it! !
Using veggies as noodles in a dish, is something I really enjoy doing. It tastes fresh, and is ready in a second! Thank you julienne peeler, your precense in my kitchen has made the process of cutting vegetables in thin strips, enjoyable. Spending an evening cutting daikon or cucumbers thinly by hand, are now nothing but a distant memory. Brought home a bag full of beautiful heirloom carrots, from Jean-Talon market last weekend. I've been using them in meals all week. Heirloom carrots come in a wide variety of colours. The yellow ones, I thought, resembled pasta. Thus came the idea for heirloom carrot pasta!
I used yellow and red carrots for this recipe, love how these veggies are coloured all the way down to the core. Zucchinis make great pasta noodles, but the white interior makes for a dull-looking meal. It looks especially beautiful with a sunflower "cheese" sauce. As you know, I'm allergic to tree nuts so my vegan cheese alternatives are somewhat limited. Luckily, I can have seeds which can be used interchangeably with nuts in most pasta sauce recipes. It produces a similar result, just as creamy and just as nutritious!
Until recently, I didn't know why you had to soak seeds and nuts before eating them. As it turns out, they have their own personal defense mechanisms. Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances. Ingesting seeds, or nuts, without soaking, makes it harder to digest. You're also missing out on a ton of nutritional benefits. The last time I made this recipe, I tried the quick boiling method. It is easier to grind down into a sauce, but it will still be hard on your digestive system. My stomach groaned for hours after that meal, I personally prefer to soak the seeds overnight.
The idea for a sunflower seed sauce came from Vegan Sandra in her post she talks about how sunflower seeds are the new cashews. She provides a recipe that I used as a base for my carrot pasta. Enjoy!
Even if I don't live in Tokyo anymore, I try and keep up with what's happening over there. I still follow the news, and try to translate some simple texts to see how many kanji i've forgotten. My favourite kanji, is the one for bone '骨' (pronounced 'ho-ne'). I also love the kanji combination for jellyfish or '水母' (pronounced 'ku-ra-ge'), which beautifully translates to 'water mother'. These two words come together to create this expression '水母の' or 'jellyfish bones'. It is used when talking about something that you would not expect to exist, like bones in a jellyfish. I could go on, but seeing as how this has nothing to with food, here goes. The recipe i'm sharing with you today is japanese inspired, and is also currently part of a craze over there. I made some onigirazu, a sort of hybrid, japanese rice ball sandwich.
The word onigiri (or nigiru) means to press into shape using your hands, while "razu" means the opposite. Free form onigiri! This is perfect for people who have a hard time making rice balls, as is the case for me. Onigirazu has the same great taste, without the fear of imperfection. All the shame is hidden away under a blanket of nori, and fillings.
The concept of this rice sandwich, is perfect when you don't have the right type of rice available for onigiri. You can use just about any type, i tested it out with some Minute Rice and it worked perfectly. I was given some coupons to try out their products, i'm all for experimentation so i picked up a box of whole grain brown Minute Rice. It was my fist time trying it, I generally purchase rice in bulk. Bulk is cheaper, and has a lot less packaging. After cooking with it though, i do see the appeal. The rice is 'parboiled', which means that you wont have to wait very long for your meal to be ready. Your rice will be cooked in 1/4 of the time it takes for traditional brown rice. As you all know sticky rice takes a long time to cook, I don't mind having to wait after my rice, but I know that not everyone has that luxury. It's a good thing that this option exists, it means it's even easier to cook great meals, rapidly at home.
The rice was seasoned with miso for added flavour, and was filled with carrot kinpira. Kinpira means "sauteed" (sually with a mixture of mirin soy sauce and chili peppers.) It's a sweet, and spicy dish that is often served in bentos. I knew I wanted this as a filling for my onigirazu, to satisfy my sudden craving for japanese food. This would have been amazing with gobo, but finding the root here in Montreal is no easy task.
You should try and make your own version of onigirazu at home! As i said, it's no-fail and with some parboiled rice it can ready in under 20 minutes (you can also parboil your own rice). I may not live near a 24h kombini, with readily available onigiri anymore, but i know i can make some at home easily, and quickly.
This time last year, Grim Grains was born. If you were there at the start of it all, you'll remember that the first recipe I posted was black scones (my lovely eatable meteorites). Cooking had become a passion, this blog needed to happen. I was freelancing back then, and had a lot of time to dedicate to the project. Nowadays, I work in studio all day and finding time to cook up new foods is tough. Because of this, my meals have become simpler. I feel my meals will continue to be simple, due to the fact that me and Devine will be embarking on an exciting new adventure next year: we want to live on a sailboat. If you've ever been on one, you know that space is an issue. I'm not only talking about storage, but also about refrigeration. Grim Grains will still happen, but will be very different. Hopefully, I'll still be able to make my own pâté.
I wanted to try and re-create a curry pâté I had some time ago. While I didn't have sunflower seeds to use as a base, I had a jar full of pumpkin seeds! As you know, pumpkin seeds can be expensive, I recommend buying it in bulk (I ordered mine from Yupik.com). As with my veggie pate recipe, the seeds need to be soaked prior to blending. To learn more about the why's and how's of seed soaking check out the article Soaking Nuts Seeds & Grains by the Blender Girl.
This pâté can be used on toast, sliced cucumbers or other veggies. Sometimes I cube it up and use it as a topping for salads and other meals.
Summer is over, temperature in Montreal started to dip into the lower 20's. Colder times means collecting the remaining fresh herbs from my balcony garden. This year, I'm happy to say that my plants have thrived - thank you Smart Pots.
My basil plant was a real beauty, I harvested all I could from it and made pesto. With it, I made this recipe — the perfect way to end the summer.
The combination of carrots and zucchinis, look beautiful on a plate. To complete the dish, I added some roasted pumpkin seeds, and topped it off with cherry tomatoes. For bulk, I added scoobi do pasta to this dish. Scoobi do pasta happens to be my favorite pasta cut, it also has the best name ever. With tones of orange, green and brown this meal embodies autumn.
You can find the recipe for my roasted pepitas here! It's easy, and ready in 20 minutes. I usually make a double recipe, and add it to salads and other meals during the week. Enjoy!
After Japan opened itself to the world, Japanese cooks began to adapt western dishes in their own style. For instance in the west, people use ketchup as a condiment, but the Japanese use it as a base for tomato sauces. Spaghetti naporitan was created just after World War II, after Shigetada (the head chef at the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama) saw occupying soldiers eating it. Nowadays, you can find spaghetti seasoned with soy sauce, and served with seaweed.
While living in Tokyo, we spent many evenings at Saizeriya, a cheap Japanese food chain of family-style italian restaurants. I had my very first yoshoku-style (western style) pasta there.
This is a relatively simple recipe, and uses all of my favorite japanese condiments! If you've never had yoshoku pasta, i envy you. A world of creativity awaits!