Adding farro, with its nutty bite, is a delicious and convenient way to increase your soup’s fibre and nutritional value. This hearty soup is the perfect remedy to a cold January day. Lemon and chervil add a bright contrast to the fibre-packed earthy flavours. Farro timesaver With a long cooking time, it’s worth it to cook a larger amount of farro and freeze it in small-portioned batches which can be thawed quickly. Using a ratio of 1:4 farro to water, cook on medium-high heat until farro is al dente, in a similar manner to the way you would cook pasta. Drain, rinse, portion, and freeze for later use. To thaw, simply run frozen farro under water or add directly to soup.
Oven-roasted delicata squash makes a crispy treat atop this green salad. As its name suggests, this squash has a thin, delicate skin that’s tasty when cooked. Pomegranate molasses, an ingredient common in Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dressing. No pine nuts? Use squash seeds! Simply collect about 1/4 cup (60 mL) seeds from cleaned squash, rinse, and mix with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) of the spice mix used to roast the squash and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil. Roast at 425 F (220 C) on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Look for whole grain farro, which leaves the germ and bran intact, for this satisfying porridge that’s sure to kickstart your day. While the cooking time is longer than for pearled or semi-pearled varieties, you’ll get more nutrition. Take the time to enjoy the delicate scent of cardamom and ginger wafting through your kitchen as you prepare this. Ancient grain Farro (also referred to as emmer or einkorn) is a variety of wheat known as an ancient grain, which means that it hasn’t changed over time through breeding as is the case with many varieties of modern wheat.
Spanish-inspired flavours of almond and orange and a good punch of protein make this pudding a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack, or dessert. The tiniest amount of large-flake sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil help bring all the flavours together. Amp up the orange For some additional orange flavour, when cooking chickpeas from dry, add a few strips of orange zest to the cooking water. Tastier toast Take your toast to the next level by using this pudding as a satisfying spread.
Breaking with tradition, think of this as a guise of tabbouleh salad with staying power, thanks to the addition of hearty sorghum and fibre-rich navy beans. It also ages fairly well, so it serves as a make-ahead meal that can keep for up to 3 days. A perfect plant-based option for weekday lunches.
This versatile salad featuring chickpeas in a bright, fragrant dressing, holds well in the fridge. Make it in advance or keep it for leftovers. Nigella seeds, also known as kalonji, lend a sweet, nutty flavour with an ever-so-slightly bitter edge that pairs perfectly with sweet potato’s sweetness. Chickpeas please! Chickpeas are a great source of dietary fibre; just 1 cup (250 mL) contains 42 percent of the recommended daily allowance. They’re also a very good source of manganese, which is important for calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation.
Wait, isn’t mousse all about egg whites? Turns out, aquafaba––the viscous liquid left over after cooking chickpeas––fluffs up pretty well, too. And no, it doesn’t make the mousse taste like chickpeas. Plus, you don’t need to worry about using unpasteurized eggs, and it’s vegan-friendly. To reduce the sugar content, skip the praline and simply toast the pecans. Aquafaba FAQ Why is my aquafaba only whipping to soft peaks? Depending on your chickpeas, the aquafaba could whip to stiff peaks or quit at soft peaks with liquid below. If it doesn’t fully whip, scoop off the fluffiest foam on top and leave any liquid. The result will just be a more coconut-forward mousse. What do I do if my whipped coconut cream coagulates and bubbles when I add the aquafaba? Don’t worry! It’s not a bad thing. The cream will just be heavier and more textured (again, not bad), so make sure you use it as the base layer of the mousse so as not to weigh down the ethereal pear mixture on top. If you just want the light-as-air pear mousse layer, you can skip the coconut milk entirely and fold all the aquafaba into the pear purée.
Many caponata recipes include something sweet, such as plumped raisins. Some even have anchovies or tuna. We’ve kept our recipe on the simple and savoury side to give it a myriad of serving possibilities. We suggest serving it on crostini or on top of creamy hummus. It’s also delicious served in a lettuce leaf or tucked into mini pitas. Make ahead for ultimate versatility Caponata is a perfect dish for a festive potluck. It can be made ahead by a day or two and is best served at room temperature. It’s a simple starter dish without being too filling. Flavours get richer when refrigerated for a day or two.
This tart is a showstopper. Smooth and creamy cashew cream is paired with the bright tang of cranberry compote for an unforgettable finish to any festive meal. Cranberries, skin on, are very high in beneficial bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Berry swaps This tart is also yummy with other types of berries in place of the cranberries. Blueberries, raspberries, or cherries all work well. Just take note that you may need to cook the filling a little longer and add a bit more arrowroot powder or cornstarch to achieve a very thick filling.
Subbing Middle Eastern dukkah for classic toasted almonds with your green beans is like taking your first international trip (or the first in a long time …) and (re)discovering that there’s a world of flavour out there. Dukkah is a blend of toasted nuts and spices that varies from region to region and home to home, so feel free to substitute pistachios (which you might already have for the glazed oyster mushrooms and caramelized parsnips), almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds for some or all of the hazelnuts, and play with the type and amount of seeds. Dukkah also makes for a crunchy, nutty addition to the persimmon salad. You probably won’t mind that this recipe makes a little extra. Don’t blend your nuts! If you’re using a blender to chop the seeds, you’ll be tempted to use it to crush the hazelnuts, too, but don’t! The blender will grind the nuts to a meal instead of coarse pieces, making for a much less fun texture.
This dish is a plant-based showstopper, with tender mushrooms in a sweet-and-sour glaze soaking into ultra-thick roasted parsnip purée. The parsnip is extra savoury and sweet thanks to a quick dunk in a pot with baking soda, whose alkaline nature makes for a stronger Maillard reaction, a.k.a. more caramelization when the parsnips are roasted. Balsamic swap Pomegranate molasses or Turkish or Iranian grape molasses are excellent replacements for balsamic vinegar and don’t need to be reduced before using.
This delicious appetizer is a terrific hors d’oeuvre for the holiday season. Dungeness crab is just being harvested at this time of year, and it’s a light delicacy that’s so easy to transport. For extra freshness, carry the crab filling and Belgian endive leaves in separate containers, and simply spoon filling into spears when you arrive. Seafood substitutions If crab is scarce, feel free to substitute with shrimp, smoked salmon, or tuna. Looking for a vegan twist? Replace mayo and yogurt with equal amounts of vegan mayo, and sub out seafood with chopped jackfruit, hearts of palm, or canned artichokes.
Many of us are familiar with age-old sweet and sour meatballs, regular fare on the buffet line or served from a slow cooker or fondue pot with long-handled forks. Roasted meatballs anyone? This version is definitely upscale and will have everyone hovering with forks in hand. Marvelous marmalade Red Onion Marmalade is a delicious accompaniment to many different dishes. For the vegetarian, warm it up and serve over Camembert or goat cheese. And for a vegan touch, cube and brown tempeh or tofu and spoon warmed onion marmalade overtop.
This spice cake is the perfect accompaniment to any holiday gathering. It’s not only deliciously perfumed with orange and a heady mixture of spices, reminiscent of gingerbread, but also perfect for those who have food sensitivities, as it’s gluten free and vegan. You can use your favorite brand of dairy-free yogurt for the frosting, but keep in mind that, for this recipe, the thicker the better. For added thickness, you can strain your yogurt through some cheesecloth set in a colander placed over a deep bowl. Depending on how loose your yogurt is, it may take up to overnight to drain. Garnish with ganache For a little more indulgence, forgo the frosting and instead drizzle with some chocolate ganache made by whisking together 1 cup (250 mL) warmed coconut cream with 10 oz (285 g) chopped dark chocolate.
Puréeing ripe persimmons into a creamy dressing makes for a sweet and juicy salad without excess oil. Persimmons are a seasonal treat with a local heritage. Native to the southeastern US and Asia, but able to be grown in Canada, and now grown around the world, much of what’s available in this country comes from California, Spain, and South Africa and starts appearing in markets in late fall and early winter. The most common cultivars are Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons, and either can be used for this recipe. Just keep in mind that Fuyus are ripe when firm whereas Hachiyas are ripe when their skins are begging to break and their tongue-tying astringency has turned to sugar-sweet juice. The only downside of being so juicy is that Hachiyas can be tricky to slice at that point, so if you’re going for presentation, choose Fuyus instead. If you can’t find persimmons, use sliced grapes. And feel free to top this salad with dukkah for a nutty, crunchy touch. A multitude of greens You can use any greens you like for this salad, from tender Boston lettuce to arugula to hardy kale, massaging the greens as much or as little as needed to soften them. Tender lettuces need just a gentle toss in the dressing (think relaxation massage) while kale needs something akin to deep-tissue. For tender greens, dress the salad just before serving so the leaves don’t wilt; hardier greens can be dressed well in advance.
In this plant-based stuffing, fresh herbs and dried fruit replace the depth of flavour usually infused by chicken juices, so use fresh thyme and rosemary if possible to maximize the flavour return. By baking the stuffing in a shallow dish, the bottom stays wonderfully soft and moist while the top becomes addictively crunchy, as opposed to an in-bird stuffing that ends up monotonously mushy. Sweet and not-too-salty For a more exotic flavour, skip garlic and add small pieces of dark chocolate. To keep sodium levels down, be careful that you don’t add too much salt. If your bread already contains a decent amount of sodium, you might not need to add extra, but taste stuffing before baking to make sure it won’t be bland. And err on the side of under-seasoned if you plan to eat it with a salty gravy or sauce.
Our delicious rice side dish will complement any main course. Standard holiday fare typically includes fluffy mashed potatoes, but our rice medley is a perfect update. Bonus: it’s vegan! Make-ahead tips Cook rice. Sauté onion and add cooked rice. Cool and refrigerate in covered container. Chop spinach and store in refrigerator in sealed bag. Chop herbs and store in refrigerator. Prepare almonds, chop, and cool. Store in tightly covered container. Shortly before serving, heat a little oil in large wok and stir-fry rice mixture until piping hot, then fold in spinach until wilted. Fold in fresh herbs, lemon juice, and candied almonds and scatter pomegranate arils overtop.
Cookies are a holiday staple, and these are sure to become a fast favourite. Experiment with your favourite nut or seed butter here to make it your own new family tradition. Picture perfect Make quick work of shaping cookies by using a cookie scoop. They come in a variety of sizes and help ensure picture-perfect cookies every time.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this roasted vegetable appetizer platter. High quality ingredients, a variety of textures and colours, fresh herbs, and a flash of lemon make it shine. Not all olive oils and balsamics are created equal Use your good, fruity, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil to accompany this appetizer platter, since the quality and flavour will shine through. You can use a more neutral and affordable olive oil for roasting the vegetables, if you prefer. As for the balsamic vinegar, use either an aged one that’s thick and sweet, or reduce a young balsamic in a small saucepan until thick, optionally adding a pinch of sugar to sweeten it (see the oyster mushrooms with caramelized parsnips recipe for helpful directions). A store-bought balsamic glaze that’s already been thickened works as well, but check the ingredients for unwanted preservatives and sweeteners.
Spooned over hearty fall greens such as kale or chard, this delicious side dish can also double as a main meal; its flavours absolutely pop with our zesty herb topping. The beets are packed with amazing nutrients, plus they’re delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Add some crunch This dish is a meal in itself. Scatter toasted pine nuts or pecans overtop for some added crunch.
“One of my favourite stir-fry meals is broccoli beef, so when I found myself with several hundred pounds of Yukon Mountain caribou this past fall, I figured a ’bou backstrap would be an excellent game replacement,” says Cosco. “Paired with a side of rice, this quick game meal is ready to go.” Note to those afraid of cranking the heat: “The pan needs to be ripping hot to give an immediate sear,” says Cosco. Take a deep breath, and go for it. What’s backstrap? Backstrap comes from the caribou’s longissimus dorsi, the muscle that runs along the spine. Beef striploin would be a good substitution for the lean meat, says Cosco. The slices should be cut to the classic length of fajita strips, about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wide.
Simple and quick, this spot prawn pasta combines local, juicy seafood with a touch of heat. If you can’t find a fresh Fresno chili pepper, use a red jalapeño or a tiny bit of fresh cayenne pepper instead. Heads or shells—on or off? Cosco serves the prawns with the shells and heads on, but if you’re not catching your own spot prawns, buy ones with the heads removed. Prawns and shrimp release an enzyme from their heads when they die that makes the flesh black and mushy. Cooking prawns in their shells adds flavour, and the shells come off easily once cooked, but they can be a bit messy—especially when camping—so feel free to remove them before cooking or buy a smaller quantity of shelled prawns or shrimp if you’re worried about everyone’s fingers smelling of seafood all night.
Delicious for breakfast or even an afternoon snack, this breakfast bowl is so thick and creamy, it looks and tastes like dessert! The real kick is the essential reishi mushroom powder, which is thought to contribute immune system support. On its own, it can be a bit bitter, but locked into this chocolatey dish, it’s definitely a winner. Reishi health benefits Reishi mushroom powder is well known for its immunomodulating components. This may be the reason that many people opt to include reishi powder in their diets to boost their health during cancer therapies. In Asian countries, it’s been used for thousands of years because of its suggested well-being and longevity effects.