Some boutiques in hawaii sell black salt with powdered black lava added in. Fleur de sel is considered more of a garnish or a condiment, it creates contrast in sweet deserts.
These lovelies are coloured with beets juice, but don't worry, they don't taste like it at all. If you want to serve a sweet and beautiful treat, make these today!
This black loaf of bread is what inspired this website. It took me a while to get my hands on bamboo charcoal powder, now that i have it, i will be baking a ton of these! Some months ago, I stumbled upon an image of an all-black loaf. I didn't know you could get bread to be that dark.
Getting your hands on bamboo charcoal isn't easy. I saw stores on amazon.com that stocked it, but nothing in my area. I bought a small amount at a health food store where I live, but it was a very small jar (also crazy expensive). After much searching, I concluded that the best place to get it was in Japan. I assumed it would be relatively easy to get over there, wrong again. It's almost impossible to purchase in store, or maybe i wasn't taking to the right people, or going to the right places.
I finally found some available for purchase on amazon japan. Since i lived in temporary housing, shipping there wasn't ideal. Luckily, a good friend agreed to have it shipped to her place and it arrived before i left the country! That's how i got my hands on bamboo charcoal powder! Wasn't easy, but i got it from the best possible source! I got it through Taketora, they've been growing and making things out of bamboo for years and years. They're true artisans.
Cooking with bamboo charcoal is a breeze, you don't need to add much to make your food black. It doesn't add taste to a recipe either, it's purely aesthetic.
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.
Have some green pancakes for breakfast or dessert. Who said pancakes needs to be a morning thing? This recipe isn't too sweet, we have the sugar-free topping to thank for that!
I don't buy bread anymore, since i've discovered the joys of home-baking! I still like to go to my neighbourhood bakery though, to get ideas and inspiration. My latest bread experiment, is pretzels.
You can find black breads in some japanese bakeries, though it isn't common here in Montreal. If available, I wonder if people would buy them. Unfortunately, black is synonymous with 'burnt' and 'rotten'.
Those who think this way are missing out! Black bread is as good as any other bread, and will please the dark abyss, that is your stomach.
This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's. I'm still new at baking, I'm learning a lot about it. It's great to have so many resources online to learn from! These pretzels are best eaten on the same day!
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.
I present to you a sweet bread that you can have in the morning for breakfast, or as a dessert.
I baked a similar bread for my dad a few weeks ago. He's truly the best dad, whenever me or my sisters ask for help, he always says yes. No hesitation, ever. He wouldn't ever think of refusing, the thought probably never even crosses his mind. Can't say how thankful I am to have someone like that in my life. Because of everything he does for me, once in a while I bring him some raisin bread.
If like my dad you like raisin bread, you will love this sweet raisin beet bread. It's halfway between a cake and bread. Adapted from one of my mom's old cookbook by Margo Oliver \"les menus de margo oliver\"
It's simple to make, and you can replace the raisins for cranberries or even chocolate chips for a different taste! If you make my recipe, just be sure to add plenty of raisins on top! I emptied a bag on it, without regret. They'll get super crispy, and will develop a sweet crispy caramelized taste. Was hard to keep myself from picking them off, Devine hates it when I do that.
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 hardly ever bake cakes, this was my first proper cake. My sister's birthday was coming up, and my parents wanted to get her a themed cake. Of what you ask?
Something old. Something new. Something borrowed...
You guessed correctly, you wonderful nerd you! A tardis!
They asked for a quote from their favourite bakery, they do great work but were charging a too much for it. So my parents turned to me, and my cake-baking adventure began!
My sister loves lemon cake, that part is simple. Getting the cake to be tardis blue though, is another matter entirely. That colour is unnatural, those royal blue 'raw blueberry pinterest cakes' are complete bull (they really, really are). I had to use food colouring, it's not ideal but it was necessary to get that tardis blue. I went ahead and bought Wilton's royal blue and violet colouring to mix, to get it be that specific shade. Using royal blue alone would have made it go turquoise.
The cake noob that i am, I searched around and found a very awesome lemon cake recipe by Laura, author of The Green forks. I adapted her recipe, and it turned out perfect. I referenced her cake batter recipe, while the tofu lemon curd filling was inspired by Zena Chews. Couldn't have done it without their recipes, thanks girls.
I didn't want to make an overly sweet cake, so i decided to not add frosting. Opted for a 'powdered sugar-dusted' cake. Most Tardis cakes on the internet are made with fondant, and thusly taste like liquid unicorn. I don't have the tastebuds of a 5 years old, can't deal with that level of sweet. I have no interest in tasting the rainbow.
I wanted to make a minimalistic and simple lemon cake. Then came the image of the tardis drifting through space. That image was simple, evocative. So i cut out a tardis stencil and added powdered sugar! Voila! My sister had a vegan lemon birthday cake! This cake is a safe bet, even for non-vegans. Even my parents, who dislike tofu, really enjoyed it!
Introducing, my basic black bread recipe. This bread is super light and fluffy, it's great great for morning toast or sandwiches.
I've been reading up a lot about bread, there's so many kinds out there. I wanted to understand how the ingredients we add, can change the texture of the bread. Also read about the differences in temperature, to knead or not to knead etc.
Truth is, it depends on the type of bread you want.
I wanted to make a sandwich bread with a light crumb, the kind that bounces back when touched.
The one I made this time has more fat, which in turn makes it softer and fluffier. The fat that you use will also change the texture/taste of the bread. A lot of people wont like the idea of adding 'fat' to a recipe, know that fat isn't synonymous with unhealthy. Too much of it can be bad, but in moderation there really isn't anything to worry about. It also depends on what fat you choose, there are good and bad kinds of fat.
There are many things you can do to help soften your bread, like brushing the outside with a little oil or fat. Do this as soon as you take it out of the oven, it will make the outside less crunchy. You can also substitute nut milk for the water, if you want a richer taste. There are so many different things to think about when baking!
I made this loaf for a brunch I had with friends, we wanted to have fondue with a set I got as a gift during the holidays. We cut the loaf into cubes, and dunked them in! Soft bread is perfect for fondue!
So there you have it! A basic black bread!
Japanese konbini always have a ton of fun flavours for crackers and chips. Anything shiso, or ume flavoured are insta-buys for me. I remember chips with a wasabi and ume flavour <3. Stuff like that isn't as available in Montreal, but at least you can find other things like shichimi togarashi! If you like spicy savoury snacks, this is for you!
Ume and shiso aren't anything like shichimi togarashi. Originally, i wanted to make senbei but since i recently purchased a bag of chickpea flour, i wanted to have a recipe using that. Senbei is typically made with rice flour and/or rice left-overs. I don't have rice left-overs on hand, we usually just eat it all on the same day. I never make extras.
When i decided i was going to make this, i didn't have any shichimi togarashi left, so I made my own! if you have a well-stocked spice rack, you can easily make it yourself. 'Shichimi togarashi' means '7-flavour chili pepper'. If you have some already at home just use that, but if you don't all you need is to grind these spices together -
2 tbsp chili flakes but if you don't all you need is to grind these together - 2 tbsp chili flakes 1 tbsp sanshou (sichuan peppercorns) 1 tbsp roasted orange peel 1 tbsp black sesame seeds 1 tbsp white sesame seeds 2 tsp ground ginger and 2 tbsp nori (or aonori).
Some people substitute sichuan peppercorns for black peppercorns, i don't reccommend doing that. They're not interchangeable, sichuan peppercorns is what makes it taste awesome. It's a numbing pepper, with a really distinctive taste and aroma. If you eat one peppercorn, you'll notice right away that it numbs your tongue and alters your sense of taste.
Pumpkin seeds can be prepared in many ways, one of the best ones is oven-roasted! It doesn't take a lot of time, and it makes a nice snack or add-on to soups or other meals.
I don't buy raw shelled pumpkin seeds often, because they're expensive. It helps to buy them in bulk, you pay less in the end. I had a gift certificate for a buy-in-bulk store left-over form my birthday (that helped too).
Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious with almost anything, the sweet of the maple syrup with the spicy taste of the paprika is perfect. Subtle, but very good.
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.
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.
These beautiful heart beet bagels can be made for valentine's day, but imagine how great a thing it would be, to make these for someone you care about on a random day... for no specific reason. We shouldn't wait for special occasions, to cook amazing food for the people we love. Make some pink bagels today, just because!
Bagels are definitely a montreal thing. Walking by Fairmount bagel or St-Viateur, and not purchasing freshly baked goods is next to impossible.
The smell is just amazing.
When i was a teen, i didn't get to go into town often but when i did we would always stop by Fairmount bagel. The place was, and is still open 24 hours a day.
I live close to it now, and yet i never go. I enjoy making my own, they may not be fairmount quality but they are pretty damn good!
Make this for yourself or for someone you care about. Whether it be for v-day... or just because!
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! !
I've had the image of a black nigiri on my mind for some time. It's been sitting there, in my list of ideas for months. Couldn't think of what to top it off with, then a little while ago, i found out about Burmese tofu.
Yellow on black, needed to make it happen.
Burmese tofu is not really tofu, i know, that's confusing. At first, i thought it was tofu blended with turmeric. It has a yellow tint, and it's because Burmese tofu is chickpea based! The cool thing about it, is that it takes 10 minutes to make and sets 1 hour. It's a great soy-free alternative, and the texture is comparable to that of silken tofu.
I bought Chickpea flour for the first time around xmas, wasn't sure how to use it. I often purchase ingredients i don't know, and learn how to use them. I found a re-write of a chickpea tofu recipe online. The original recipe, I believe, was sourced from a book called The Burmese kitchen - recipes from the golden land by Aung Thein.
This recipe will use up about half of the burmese tofu, which means you'll have a whole other half to use in other meals.
I decided to make a mock eel nigiri, like the one i made a few months ago. The sauce that is served over eel kabayaki is sweet, with hints of caramel. I thought it would taste great atop of the burmese tofu.
Most japanese sauces are easy to make, and usually require around 3-4 ingredients. These almost always include soy sauce, sake, mirin, or rice vinegar. If you want to cook japanese food, having these around is a must. Hope you enjoy this mock-eel recipe!
Making brownies has been on my mind for some time, i finally settled for spicy brownies, with sweet and spicy pomegranate syrup!
It took me a LONG time to decide on a mix of ingredients/flavours; I've had recipe notes lying around on my desktop for ages now, with ingredients added, or scratched off.
I would still be in brownie rut, if it hadn't been for Devine ; his birthday was coming up, when I asked him what he wanted as a dessert he said, 'BROWNIES!'
The recipe was adapted from Joanne Gallagher's fantastic blog, Inspired taste. I'm not good enough to freestyle brownies, using her recipe as a base - for quantities especially - helped me out a lot. At least, i can get a good idea of how many wet, fat and sweet elements I need.
Spent time thinking about what i wanted it to look like, and how i wanted to present it. I didn't a chocolate topping - i've never been a fan of double-chocolate anything. I, at least, knew i wanted a fruit topping.
I wanted to make the brownies in a round cake pan, and decorate it with powdered sugar patterns, using stencils. Then, I stumbled upon a recipe online for a fish-based dish (they used a pomegranate syrup as garnish.) I'd never made syrup before, but i knew that's what i wanted as a coulis over my brownies.
I scrapped the round cake pan idea, as well as the powdered sugar. Devine's birthday brownies were going to be topped with fresh pomegranate seeds, and a pomegranate syrup coulis!
Again, something was missing...
I had some really good, spicy chocolate fleur de sel cookies at my old studio. The idea of putting chili peppers in cookies (or cake) had never ocurred to me before. I thought it was brilliant - and the chocolate and chili mix is just insane (in a good way.) Lindt makes dark chocolate with chili peppers, I guess it was inspired by those 2 things.
I put a LOT of chili pepper flakes in these, i have a higher tolerance to it but if you don't feel free to use less. The syrup has a fair amount in it too, if you're worried about the level of spicy, you can actually not put it in the brownie batter. But, be sure to infuse it in the pomegranate syrup, won't be the same without it.
These were a big success, Devine loved them! I cut them into 24 small squares, but feel free to make larger blocks. Smaller portions means you can have some longer, i like that idea.
In this recipe I substituted half of the fat for pureed pumpkin. In brownies you can only substitute half the amount, before it effects the texture. Hope you like it!
Was in the mood for some panko, didn't have tofu; but what I did have, was a jar full of chickpea flour. I prepared a batch of spicy, green scallion, 'chickpea tofu' and coated it with breadcrumbs. With this, I made baked panko chickpea fingers!
This dish was inspired off of Vegan Richa's parmesan crusted avocado recipe, I made it just last week! It reminded me how easy it is too make panko at home; never thought of using lemon juice, to make the panko stick.
The lemon juice adds flavour to the crumbs, no need for eggs or flour - simplicity at its best.
I had these with sambal oelek, it's spicy but I think it works well with the dish. I've been pairing this condiment with a lot of my foods lately, i bet these would be good with a sweet mustard dip!
If you don't have any panko, just make some yourself! All you need is some left-over bread; i had some i needed to use up. I tore the slices into smaller bits, and put them in my food processor to break them down. Once it was 'crumby' enough, I lined a baking sheet with some parchment paper, and put the crumbs down in a thin layer (for even browning). Preheat your oven at 300F, and bake the bread bits for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes is up, shake them around, and bake them for an additional 5.
Keep an eye on me them, to make sure they don't burn! Let cool, and store in an airtight container - keeps for weeks at room temperature!
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?
Black sesame chocolate cookies with a wasabi glaze? Yep, you heard right!
A few days ago was 'international chocolate chip cookie day'. Apparently there's a day for everything? How annoying. It was hard to ignore, had images of cookies on my twitter feed all day. So despite today not being a day devoted to cookies, I decided to go ahead and make some anyway, because yolo.
I don't know if you guys ever had this, the 'wasabi flavoured chocolate' that Lindt makes. I had some for the first time a few years back. I was intrigued by it, it's a strange idea. If you're used to having wasabi with sushi, wasabi mixed into anything else just feels weird. Why would anyone want that in a dessert? Goes to show, that sometimes it's a good idea to play around with flavours. Mixing tastes you like together will not always yield good results, but in this case, it did.
I wanted to mix the wasabi directly in the cookies at first, but after reading a lot about baking with it, I decided to just apply it after in the form of a glaze. People were saying that the taste fades significantly when heated, didn't want that! Wanted a wasabi 'punch-in-the-face' taste.
It doesn't taste too strong, and like 'Lindt wasabi chocolate bars', it adds just the right amount of kick! It isn't a 'punch-in-the-face', level of strong though, don't worry. I know not everyone likes that.
The cookie base was adapted from 'oh she glows' 's Double chocolate chunk cookies recipe. Visit her fantastic blog for more recipes!
Simple black burger buns with white sesame seeds, ready in under 1 hour! Made with bamboo charcoal powder.
There are days when I don't want to wait 3h for my bread to be ready, which was the case yesterday when I decided to make burger buns. Devine's sister was coming over for supper, and I had a lot of work to do that morning. Didn't want to spend the entire day running between my computer, and the kitchen. Making bread doesn't require a lot of active time, but i'd still need to check often. Sometimes, that's just enough to take all of my focus away.
To minimize that, I made a quick savoury bread! The same one I made on Valentine's day that had a smoked paprika heart in the center (yes i know so cute. Paprika love.) That recipe was based off culinaire amoula's Cumin and paprika savoury bread. I simplified the recipe, removing the spices, and divided it into 5 buns instead of two large loaves. I recommend trying out her recipe as well, it's so good. You can have the bread alone with green tea :).
I don't have a lot of experience with quick breads, i'm experimenting a lot though, to see what i can make in less time. Culinaire amoula's recipe helped me a lot, didn't think i could get bread that tasted this good, so quickly. It makes great burger buns! The bottom stays flat, so in the end you're not stuck with this weird 'ball bread.' My last burger was like that, and it made it hard to have it sit upright on a plate. No one wants to eat spherical burgers.
If you're in the mood for black burger buns, and need it done quickly, then try out this recipe!
Summers in Montreal, go hand in hand with beer. There is such a wide variety of brews here. My corner store has a TON, most are made locally too. Me and Devine like craft beer a lot, hard to not drink everyday. To help satisfy our evergrowing craving, I decided to try and make hop flavoured ice cream!
Sweet and bitter! SUPER TASTY! Felt like I used just the right amount. This ice cream is definitely for people who love the smell and taste of hops (as well as cold summer dairy-free treats)!
I wasn't sure how to 'infuse' the hops into the ice cream base, we tried making hop tea by infusing it overnight in the fridge, but the taste wasn't strong enough. Felt we would get better results and better flavour, if the hops were heated. The pouch method worked pretty well, the ice cream base was perfect! Full of delicious bitterness! Devine suggested to make a concentrate with the hops first, and then mix it into the base next time. Another experiment! We tried another batch of hop tea a few days after, adding twice as many hops and it ended up tasting too strong. We'll stick to warm infusions for now.
The hops used in this recipe are an American variety called "Colombus". We got them from La choppe a Barrock on Villeneuve et Coloniale every time we make homebrews we pick up the ingredients there! You can buy a wide variety of hop buds there, you can even get the pellet kind.
It was my second time using the ice cream maker, I got it from the 'Free stuff Montreal' group on facebook. It looks like a little red pail, super cute. The woman I got it from even had the manual! You can make ice cream without a machine, although having one helps with the 'churning' process. It saves a lot of time and effort. If i hadn't gotten that ice cream maker for free, i dont think id have one but since it's here might as well use it!
This recipe wouldn't have happened without the instructions from The Kitchn. Their vegan ice cream tutorial was super helpful. They have a ton of images on their site too, so if you're more of a 'visual' cook you should check it out!
If you too, are having too many beers these days, try and cook with hops instead. Same taste, different format!
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 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.
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 favourite 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!
Halloween is coming up, this blog has a lot of recipes that are perfect for it. Here is a short list of my favourite ones - Black yaki gyoza Basic black bread and Black pasta. Those recipes weren't holiday-specific, but these cute pumpkin cookies sure are! They're super soft, and easy to prepare.
Been a while since i've baked cookies.
I felt like making sweets, and since it's pumpkin season I decided to get one and make something with it.
I like these a lot, because they're not too sweet - I have coconut sugar to thank for that. Coconut sugar has a more complex taste, caramel-like. I would suggest using that if you have it, if you don't you can substitute it with any other sugar. Coconut sugar will make your cookies a darker shade of orange, almost brown. I think it fits nicely with the toned-down colour of the pumpkin seeds. If you want a bold orange colour, use white cane sugar instead.
I'm going to a themed halloween party this year, don't think these will fit with it. I'll be eating these all week instead!
This weekend, I decided to make a batch of black pasta, and served it with some roasted yellow pepper sauce. The contrast between the yellow and black is so fun, i feel like a mad scientist when i add bamboo charcoal in my food.
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!
Got up early sunday morning, with cookies on my mind. When I peeked into my fridge, I spotted a lonely jar of leftover date caramel. I decided to make some salted caramel cookies with unsweetened carob chips!
The kind people at Daybreak Mill sent me a bag of einkorn flour last week, i'd never heard of it before. After researching, I learned that einkorn wheat is pretty damn grea, it's very nutritious. Einkorn was one of the first domesticated and cultivated plants. It has a higher percentage of protein than regular wheat, with high levels of fat, phosphorus, potassium, pyridoxine (a form of vitamin b6) and beta-carotene. Another great thing about it, is that it isn't as toxic to people on gluten-free diets. This wasn't proven, but it's worth looking into!
I tried baking bread with it this week, it did not rise all that well. While it is a dense loaf, the texture is quite nice! It has a strong nutty taste, making it more flavourful than regular wheat. Einkorn bread is filling, I don't think i would use it to make a sandwich but it makes nice breakfast toast.
After my bread experiment, I decided to try and make something sweet. The dates, coconut sugar and carob chips create a strong caramel taste; the fleur de sel sprinkled overtop brings out the flavour nicely.
I can't thank Daybreak mill enough for sending me this gift, and for introducing me to einkorn flour! Their products are organic, and made with the utmost care. You can get your own einkorn flour from their website, they also have a ton of other great products. Encouraging companies that share your outlook on food and life is important. This recipe was adapted from 'Food Loves Writing'
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 umamis and colour to meals.
You can order your own bull kelp powder from the BC Kelp website, they have a wide range of seaweed to choose from.
The idea of making beer bread came from a book i'm reading, written by Lin Pardey called "The Care and Feeding of the Offshore Crew". In this book, Lin talks about her experience cooking at sea, and has an entire chapter dedicated to baking onboard. In this chapter, she talks about many ways to make fresh bread while sailing, including a quickbread recipe that uses 3 basic ingredients, flour, sugar and beer.
Beer bread you say? Right up my alley! The next day i gave it a try, the result is fantastic - surprising given the little effort it takes to make it.
The best thing about this bread, is that it can taste different everytime. Using different beer, will change the taste and colour of the bread. I tried baking with an IPA (21st amendment), a Hefeweizen (Sunriver brewing co.) and a brown ale (Hobgoblin).
If you have self-rising flour, you can omit the baking powder and salt. You can use even less ingredients if you have a craft beer that has live yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle. If you have a beer like that only flour, sugar and beer will do. Have fun experimenting with beers in your bread!
Before we arrived in the Marquesas, people made a point of telling us how difficult it was to find vegetables there. We heard that if we wanted tomatoes, we would need to get up at 4am to get them at the market. Devine & I are early risers, but we lacked the will to take the dinghy to shore in the dark. It's just as well, because others we met who had tried, came back empty handed. In the marquesas, most vegetables are brought in by supply ships; you can never be certain of what you're going to get. Potatoes, cucumber, cabbage and eggplant we had plenty of, but vegetables like tomatoes, pumpkins, bok choy and salad greens, were like rare pokemon.
We'd only ever made bruschetta topping with tomatoes, never thought of changing it for anything else - why would we? Tomatoes were not in short supply then. While we were in Mexico, friends of ours made the most amazing tomato-less salsa; they used watermelon, and i remembered this when we craved bruschetta in Nuku Hiva. What looks sort of like tomatoes? Papaya! Not that they look that much alike; they have a reddish tint, comparable texture too. Papaya is something Nuku Hiva has plenty of; and as it turns out, since we started to make bruschetta with it, we prefer it over tomatoes now. Papaya is more firm and sweet, and pairs even better with balsamic vinegar. I imagine it would taste great with mangoes too, it's something i may try when i get a craving again.
If something isn't available, or is too expensive where you are (hunting for raspberries in japan comes to mind), swap it out for something else. Not every will work, but it's fun to try isn't it?
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 a snack bar prepared some for us. He cooked it outside, over hot coals. The taste is hard to describe, it's very potato-like. We had the cooked breadfruit with some fresh coconut milk - that he extracted from a coconut himself. Since then, we’ve been looking to cook it ourselves.
We finally got our chance! We bought a breadfruit at the Fare street market in Huahine. The lady at the fruit stand gave it a few knocks with her fist, 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!
While Devine & I were still in British Columbia, i remember one morning waking up to the sound of someone 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 added moisture. The texture of the dumplings is fun and chewy, the outside it 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, 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 also simple, the whole process will take you less than 40 minutes.
We 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.