Garlic has been used in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. Dating all the way back to the time the pyramids were built!
A dish of korean inspiration! A delicious scallion pancake coloured green with spinach. This is a great way to add an extra portion of vegetables to your meal.
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.
I wasn't always a fan of beets, that is, until i started to oven-roast them. Since then, i've been making recipes with beets almost every week. Including this simple, and amazingly delicious beet sauce!
Yes, you could say i'm beet crazy. Trust me, if you're not a fan of this root vegetable, this sauce will make you change your mind.
I've had this sauce many times with pasta, or just as a simple vinaigrette for lazy weekday green bowls.
To prepare this recipe, wash the beets and cut them into wedges. Toss them with a bit of oil and herbs bake them in the oven for 40 minutes. It's that simple! If they're organic, you can keep the skins on, otherwise peeling them is better.
Beets make any dish beautiful, but it can do a number on your hands and fingers. Not to worry though it doesn't stay ;). You'll just look like you killed something.
Fresh mint is key in this recipe! Don't omit it! I wish i had a mint plant growing in my appartment, i had one last summer but it died. My plants always die, growing plants indoors has always been a challenge for me.
If you have a fresh healthy plant LUCKY YOU! Otherwise, store-bought herbs will do. Know that if you do buy a bouquet of mint, you can keep them fresh longer if you do these simple steps - Tear off any wilted leaves wash the mint gently put the stalks in a glass with a bit of water put a plastic bag over it and stick it in the fridge.
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! !
It's Macaroni and Cheese week in Montreal, as good a reason as any to make some at home. My mac n 'cheese' has whole grain macaroni noodles, served with a faux-cheese consisting of golden beets, roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast and other delicious ingredients. Also, topped with some roasted green chiles for a bit of a kick!
I've been experimenting a lot with faux-cheeses recently, my choices are somewhat limited because of my nut allergy. But it's all good, having limitations just means i need to get more creative! Everyday, i try and think of alternatives to things i used to eat, like cheese. I also like to find alternatives to things i like, like swapping out rice for cauliflower.
I've seen many great 'faux-cheese' recipes online, even some nut-free ones (so thankful for those). One of the inspirations for this recipe, was the awesome lady from Cooking with plants. Would have never thought of adding red peppers to a faux-cheese. She uses a marinated kind, but using a fresh oven-roasted pepper is fine.
For the faux-cheese sauce, i was going to use potatoes to make it more 'creamy'. I went to get the ingredients i needed for the recipe at the grocery, and i saw some golden beets on sale. Golden beets, being yellow, i thought wouldn't alter the colour of the sauce and it would be a nice alternative to potatoes.
The taste is perfect, not too sweet. A bit cheesy, but not too much. This paired with the roasted vegetables, heaven in my mouth. I was so excited, i allowed myself a minute of maniacal laughter. Behold! My creation! IT LIVES.
Flautas de coliflor or 'Cauliflower flutes'; a delicious treat, consisting of curried cauliflower wrapped in corn tortillas, and draped with an avocado-coriander sauce. The flutes are also topped with some roasted, thyme-pumpkin bits.
Typically, this type of dish is fried in oil; i thought they would be just as delicious as cold wraps. For a hot version, place in pan with a bit of vegetable oil (canola or corn oil) and fry until browned on both sides. Then, add the sauce and toppings.
It's best to steam the tortillas, before spooning in the filling to help soften them. That way they can be folded easily, with no risk of tearing - No one wants torn tortillas.
Most people steam the tortillas beforehand with a microwave; to do this, put your tortillas in a bag, and heat for 30 seconds. Note that I don't have a microwave at home, it's an appliance I don't care to own. - i've always done well without it. If like me, you don't have one, you can use a big pot with a basket steamer, or a colander - it works just fine. Just make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of your steamer, or colander; because what you will get are wet tortillas - much unpleasantness.
Made these on a lazy sunday afternoon, it's quick and very delicious!
Beet hummus bites, or 'uzumaki' bites, as i like to call them! Roasted beet hummus, black olives and aragula salad tucked into homemade bamboo charcoal tortillas.
Making tortillas at home is damn easy, it doesn't require a lot of waiting time or preparation. The only thing i had trouble with, was making them into nice circular shapes. Not sure how people manage to do it, guess it takes practice. It's also because i'm short of a rolling pin, Devine broke the handles off the other day. I've been using the 'body' of the rolling pin, without the handles. It still works! Dans ta face, rolling pin!
Made the tortillas based on the recipe by Zerrin from Give recipe. You should check out her page first, if you want to try and make your own tortillas. She describes it a lot better than I, not to mention her tortillas are circular. In my defense, she uses a tortilla press.
Had a lot of fun making these, plus the end result is pretty! I feel like these would be really good, topped with a sauce of somekind. Any ideas?
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!
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!
This weekend, I made a batch of black pasta and served it with some roasted yellow pepper sauce. The contrast between the yellow and black is so gorgeous, bamboo charcoal makes all food look cool.
The sauce is simple to prepare and will look just as good over regular pasta. It would also look great over some spinach pasta, be creative with it!
Please refer to my black pasta recipe to learn how to make your own!
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!
While Devine & I were still in British Columbia, I remember one morning waking up to the sound knocking at our boat. It was our neighbours, coming to offer some homemade pan-fried corn pone. I'd never had corn pone before, nor did i ever think of making any sort of flat cake using corn as a base. After that, I started to make it myself and would serve it with chili - lazy cornbread, as I like to call it. While sitting in the Niue yatch club, i found an old vegetarian cookbook; I must have spent an hour reading through it, the recipes were fantastic. The title read "The Farm vegetarian cookbook". It was sitting there, amongst a panoply of writting, including a Polish Murakami book (how I wish it had been written in english). The cookbook had an entire section dedicated to cooking with corn. It's in here, that I found a recipe for masa dumplings.
Masa is corn that is simmered and ground into a paste. It's the base for many recipes, you can make Mexican-style tortillas with it! Or, you can use it to make dumplings! I don't have access to fresh corn, nor do i have the space or the time to make my own masa, but I used polenta (corn semolina) instead and it worked! The only difference is that you need to add boiling water so you you can roll the mixture into balls. If you were to use masa, you wouldn't need the added moisture. The texture of the dumplings is fun and chewy. The outside is soft, but the inside is like that of dense cornbread. Corn dumplings, I imagine, could be used to make fake meatballs. Devine & I enjoy eating it with tomato sauce or with a spicy apricot sauce.
Instead of apricot jam, you can add apricot juice to the mix (orange will taste wonderful too). I added jam because I don't have any juice on the boat currently, and besides, it works well in this recipe. Enjoy!
We have arrived in New Zealand, the land of plenty. All of the foods that we like and miss are here. Foods like nutritional yeast, miso and soba (to name a few). With a fully re-stocked pantry, I started to make faux-cheese again, a recipe from Vegan Richa that is simple to make and that I love. The recipe is for a cheese that can be cut into wedges, or that can be grated over pizza. I had an idea to use this recipe to make filling for ravioli, the difference being that I won't add any agar agar (a seaweed based powder that makes liquids jellify). Making your own dough is simple, the whole process will take you less than 40 minutes.
I got the idea to make ravioli from an old 70's book about the cooking of Italy. This book is one of many that we found in a thrift shop here in Whangarei; we bought all the ones that we could find. Devine & I like picking through them, drawing inspiration from the images and ingredients.
A lot of the recipes in these books use meat and dairy, but it's easy to swap these ingredients out for something else. In New Zealand, the groceries are plentiful and finding everything we need is a breeze. We hope you enjoy this recipe, and that you try and make Richa's original pepper jack cheese recipe too.