strange yet satisfying

Not quite what Simba said in the The Lion King but close enough!  

weird organic goodies!

They were running “Buy One Get One Half Price” at my local Holland & Barrett, so I ended up buying more than intended…

  1. Organic Fairtrade Quinoa
    Pronounced “Keen-wah” and not my favouritest word (I’m used to saying “quin-no-ah” in my head and there are just words in the English language I’d rather not say because they sound a little poncy; ie. pilates, goujons, etc.)  But why purchase quinoa now of all times?  Well, I was reading quinoa recipes on handmadebytracie, and having tried it never, asked Tracie “What does quinoa taste like?” and she gave me some great information on what quinoa is and where I could possibly find it.

    Apparently quinoa is a seed, not a grain, and a wonderful source of protein if you’re strictly vegetarian.  When cooked, it looks like a cross between rice and couscous, and goes well with anything where you might have eaten rice and/or potatoes.  Also, what a lot of websites don’t seem to observe is the fact that quinoa looks a bit ‘creepy’.  Obviously they don’t want to tell you this when they’re trying to promote an expensive yet healthier alternative to meat, but those were my thoughts when I first saw those shoots popping out of the seed (baby snails… ha!)

    sweet red peppers, homemade onion bhajis & quinoa

    And the boyfriend actually liked quinoa as well!  It’s amazing what the Irish haven’t eaten (bwuh-hahaha!)  Unfortunately, despite my appreciation for this unusual superfood, I won’t be eating some for a while since I accidentally ate some quinoa past the storage date, resulting in a mild case of food poisoning.  (Argh!)  So learn from my mistake: quinoa should be refridgerated once cooled and stored up to 2 days in the fridge!

  2. Profusion’s “Himalayan Rose Pink Crystal Salt (Fine)”
    Pink salt, everyone!  I’ve never seen such a thing before and had to test it out!  The store assistant said it would taste the same as ordinary salt (and it does), but I like my food adventures all the same!  Very nice ingredient.
  3. Simon Rimmer’s “Onion Bhaji Mix”
    Bought this to cut down on the onions I overstocked on at the weekend (should really check what I do and do not have in the kitchen!)  An easy recipe for homemade bhaji and best made after cooling the mixture in the fridge (2 hours) as the bhaji ends up firmer and crisper.  If you like bhaji with more spice, tweak the ingredients as the mixture is made for the British palate so tastes a little bland compared to your restaurant or takeaway bhaji.
  4. Bragg’s Originals “Charcoal Biscuits”

    mmm, cowpats!

    Yes, biscuits made from charcoal!  Good for your digestion, it says, and not at all weird.  Tried some with mature Irish cheddar and they taste really nice!  The biscuits are slightly sweet, crumble nicely when bitten, and make your mouth look like a dentist’s dream (depending on the dentist).

peter jensen “heart” shoes

Not part of my food adventures but worth a mention all the same are these unique little shoes by Peter Jensen.  Came across them late on – what a shame!  I hope they release them again someday.

And hoping to join the gym this week, my dears, so I can finally do some swimming as being ill for the past few days has made me reassess my life and how important it is to be physically fit when working the Night Shift.  Swimming might even help me get past knitter’s and writer’s block, which happen a lot, and often, leaving me little to do with the time I have not watching football or sleeping.  Cross your fingers for me: I’ll get through this!  I like to knit and write!!


7 responses to “strange yet satisfying

  • handmadebytracie

    Aaah! Food poisoning! I’m sorry your first experience with quinoa had such an awful ending. 😦 At least you enjoyed it before the illness so hopefully once the memory has passed you can try it again.

    Charcoal biscuits – now that is something I have never heard before!! Wow, they really taste good and not like… ash or rocks or something? That is what comes to mind when I think of eating charcoal. When I saw the photo I first thought it was just a clever name for fancy chocolate cookies. haha

    • grimdreamer

      I know! What a bummer 😦 My appetite is coming back so I’ll be cooking up some quinoa soon enough!

      And charcoal biscuits are a dream – the happiest food adventure so far 🙂 The ones by Bragg’s Originals aren’t ash- or rock-like at all; they have this smooth ‘chalky’ taste and almost sweet like Hovis biscuits (do you have those where you live??) Charcoal biscuits are really good with cheese and apparently great for indigestion and food poisoning (I ran out!)

      I found this link which seems to go into detail about what’s in a charcoal biscuit:

      Not sure who supplies charcoal biscuits outside of Ireland and the UK, but there is The Fine Cheese Company and they seem to export around the world (their ones are called “charcoal crackers”).

      Lovelier than chocolate cookies, I think 😉 Mmmm!

      • handmadebytracie

        I think Hovis Biscuits (or crackers) would be available online or possibly in gourmet specialty shops – but not widely available in your average food market.

        Interestingly Charcoal Biscuits seem to be the term for a version of a dog food item in the US. Charcoal Crackers looks to be a thinner, crispier version of the charcoal biscuits you have in Ireland & the UK. I am sure the charcoal crackers are readily available but it’s not surprising I’ve never noticed them. I don’t go wandering around much in the cracker and cookie aisles due to my soy allergy (it’s in everything). There are very few cracker items that I know are safe to eat and other than that I tend to make my own.

        It looks like the charcoal crackers are used in the US more for digestive issues so they would likely be more available in health shops like Vitamin Shoppe and GNC (general nutrition center) than food markets. I’ll take a look next time I find myself there.

      • grimdreamer

        It’s strange to hear that Hovis biscuits are hard to find… they’re everywhere in the UK (not so much Ireland). When I was trying to find out where you could get the charcoal biscuits it made me wonder if someone was playing a trick, saying they were dog cuisine… hope you find some in one of those health stores that doesn’t have soya 😦

  • handmadebytracie

    I’ve never had pink salt, but I have had grey salt a few times. The first time was at a cooking demo by Michael Chiarello (an Italian food chef in the U.S.) – he passed around about 4-5 bowls of different salts for everybody to try.

    • grimdreamer

      Grey salt makes more sense, I guess. Were you able to taste the difference between all the salts? I think pink salt has a stronger flavour, a bit ‘sharper’ than sea salt. And you met a famous chef? I have yet to do that! I want to do that one day! Michel Roux Jnr 🙂

      • handmadebytracie

        Yes, but it’s been so long I couldn’t tell you the specific differences any longer. I can tell you that I generally use either kosher or sea salt in my cooking! I like kosher salt (over table salt) because it has more flavor so you don’t need to use as much of it. And I like sea salt because it’s much sharper when you want that kind of flavor. Also, sometimes I leave sea salt course (unground) for the texture – like on top of a pizza or focaccia bread.

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