Historically, black pepper is the world's most traded spice.
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 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.
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!
I recently ordered ingredients from BC Kelp, a company in northern Canada that grows their own seaweed. A lot of the food I make these days has either nori, wakame, bull kelp or bladderwack whole tips in it.
I'd like to see more people cooking with sea vegetables. You can snack on dried seaweed, or add it to soups and salads. The powdered version I'm using in this recipe, adds a lot of umami and color to meals.
You can order your own bull kelp powder from the BC Kelp website, they have a wide range of quality seaweed to choose from.
Breadfruit trees are everywhere in French Polynesia, but sometimes the fruit aren’t mature enough to pick. To make things more difficult, grocery stores don’t sell them (they don’t sell fruit either). The Polynesians don't buy fruit, they don't have to! They have plenty growing on their property. If they don’t have something, they can trade with neighbours for theirs. Getting our hands on a breadfruit was no simple task, but we are patient. At every island, we would ask the locals, but again, the fruit weren’t ready to pick off yet.
Devine & I had breadfruit when we first arrived in Nuku Hiva, the owner of snack Vaeki prepared some for us. The chef cooked it outside, over hot coals. The taste is hard to describe, it's very potato-ey. We had the cooked breadfruit with some fresh coconut milk - extracted from a fresh coconut before our very eyes. Since then, we’ve been looking to cook it ourselves.
Then finally we got our chance! We bought a breadfruit at the Fare street market in Huahine. The seller at the fruit stand gave it a few knocks, and told us it was ready to eat! It was delicious with coconut milk, but we wanted to try something different; we cut the breadfruit into wedges and pan-fried it. We then served it with some button mushrooms, coated with sweetened soy sauce.
If you ever come by breadfruit fruit, please try it. It’s the perfect island food, and will keep you filled up for a long time!