Miso can be used to pickle vegetables.
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!
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.
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.