Tag Archives: Carrot

HMC: Harvest Noir and Gluten Free Baking

This year’s Home Made Challenge really snuck up on us, and then then the next thing I knew, we were sitting in the rain with 1500 other adventurers in front of Ottawa City Hall glamorously dressed in black from head to toe, trying to keep dry by holding up an umbrella with one hand and trying to eat with the other.

What a wonderful way to end a month of eating-in – by bringing our dining table outdoors and celebrating the harvest!  Quoted as the second largest pop-up picnic in North America (the largest being in Montreal as Diner en Blanc), Harvest Noir has become the social event of the year! And it’s only two years old!

This year, we celebrated the end of Home Made Challenge, pot-luck style with two other intrepid adventurers.  The four of us pooled our culinary chops and came up with a decent meal, served on real dinnerware with a white tablecloth.

We started with two appetizers – freshly harvested peppers from Meredith’s farm, stuffed with rice and eggs, and Matt’s sweet potatoes roasted with honey.  Then followed by M. Crouton’s slow cooked meat stew (which smelled delicious, and I hear tell tasted delicious) served with an amazingly aromatic spiced rice that is comparable to Indian biryani.  He was kind enough to make a similar vegetarian side stew for me, with stewed cherry tomatoes and textured vegetable protein.  Yum!

To finish off, a gluten-free carrot cake that I am proud of.  Meredith, with a habitual dislike of icing on cake declared this one delicious!  Our table neighbours saw the cake and asked to try some, with rave reviews too!  If I wasn’t wearing a boned velvet dress I would have eaten two slices.  (Who’s to say that I didn’t after I got home that night?)

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Michael Smith’s Dressing for Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Thanks to celebrity chef Michael Smith’s amazingly delicious dressing for a carrot salad that goes into rice paper rolls with shrimp, we’ve been eating Vietnamese rice paper rolls a lot these days. His recipe is simple, and the end result is (did I already mention) delicious – no need for dipping sauce!


The variations to Vietnamese rice paper rolls are endless – the basic combination is usually some kind of protein (shrimp, chicken, pork, tofu), some kind of veggies (carrots, daikon radish, coriander), and starch (sweet potato, vermicelli), in any ratio you want.  I like Michael Smith’s version because he dresses the carrots (and other veggies of your choice, we added julienned zucchini) in a sauce that elevates the taste profile of the wrap above any I’ve ever tasted before.

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