The word bean curds for tofu has been used in the US since 1840.
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 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!
Bread pudding was one of my favourite desserts when I was a kid. We would usually have some after the holidays, thanks to my aunt's crust-less sandwiches! She would usually just give the bag of crusts to my mom, which she in turn, used to make bread pudding.
I asked my mom for her personal bread pudding recipe, but she told me that it was best to just watch her do it. There aren't really any specific measurements, she just makes it from memory. That's the case with most of her recipes, most of them have never been written down. That's about to change though, I asked her to make a little booklet for me.
I like the idea of having a book of 'mom food', mom food is the best.
When she makes bread pudding, she makes a basin-full of it. My dad never has trouble going through all of it, he sure loves his desserts!
As much as i'd like to make a bucketload of bread pudding at home, me and Devine would NEVER get through the whole thing. I don't like eating the same thing for a week, so I adapted my mom's bread pudding into a single-serving one. The mason jar is a wide-mouthed 1/2 pint jar.
If ever you have some leftover crusts (even just a few) you can totally make this.
It's a quick and simple dessert, with a taste of home.
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!
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.