Since vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in africa, people are encouraged to eat sweet potatoes.
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.
A few weeks ago, I asked people what they wanted to see me cook. Some of you asked for black gnocchi, so here they are! Made from scratch, beautiful and black. Topped with a light and sweet sauce, fresh scallions and daikon!
As it turns out, making gnocchi is long. It's well worth the effort, but if you're planning on making some, clear your afternoon or get a friend to help.
I started cooking these early in the day, around 9 in the morning. Every step takes time. You have to wait for the potatoes to bake, wait for them to cool down, you need to remove the skins etc. Skipping any of those steps will result in a gnocchi disaster, nothing worse than an uneatable meal.
These turned out perfect! This is a large recipe, so if you're only two you'll have plenty left-over that you can let dry, freeze and eat later.
For the topping, I wanted a ton of scallions with mushrooms and seaweed. I miss the pasta in italian restaurants in japan, they always had some with japanese-style toppings. Since i'm currently on a shichimi togarashi binge, (left-over from my cracker recipe) I included some in this recipe as well.
Because the sauce and toppings are light and simple, you can focus on the texture of the gnocchi.
Whenever i ask Devine what he wants to eat, he'll always say pasta. I don't always say yes to this, not unless i want to eat pasta everyday. Secondly, he'll ask for Pâté Chinois. It's always hard for me to say no to, so i succumb, peek into the fridge and see what variation of it i can make. It's a super versatile dish, my recipe has layers consisting of tofu and burmese tofu, green peas, sweet potato and cauliflower.
Pâté Chinois is very much like Shepherd's pie, which is why i will use these 2 terms interchangeably in this recipe. My mom made this all the time when i was a kid, she would make the traditional meat version, with corn and all. My meals are always meatless, but it has the same general idea. This dish inspires the same kind of comfort.
I've made versions of this dish with just cauliflower, or just using tofu, or just potatoes too. I've made it so often, i've gone through every possibility. This Pâté Chinois happened because me and Devine both wanted different things.
I wanted cauliflower...
...he wanted sweet potato.
I wanted burmese tofu...
...he wanted tofu.
So what did we do? We combined it all so both of us will get what we want! Ever since i discovered burmese tofu i've been making it regularly, so it's simple for me to add it to recipes. If you don't have time to make it (it only takes 15 minute of active prep time), just using tofu alone will be delicious.
Hope you like this recipe!
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 whys and hows 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.