There’s nothing more alluring than the scent of garlic emanating from the kitchen. And in winter, garlic-enriched foods are even more important to our well-being. There are a multitude of reasons to embrace the humble bulb. Not just because it adds depth to a dish, but also because of its abundant health kicks. Garlic has been studied for its potential to reduce cardiovascular disease risk; for its antitumour, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects; and for its benefit on high blood glucose concentration. Recipe The beauty of this healthy garlicky broth recipe is that it doubles as a delicious base for many soups and stews, but it’s also perfect for sipping when you’re feeling flu-ish. Have some containers of this tucked into your freezer. And if your head is stuffy and full, heat up a cup, jazz it up with hot dried chilies and miso, and you’ll breathe through that sickness in no time! You can brew up this stockpot of garlic broth in less time than it takes to cook a full meal! Tip Some might find cooking with garlic a bit of a challenge. Look for aged garlic supplements that are readily available in natural food stores.
Two of Mexico’s greatest culinary exports, mole and tacos, come together in a festival of flavour and texture. Tempeh provides a plant-based meaty taco filling. Beer is an unconventional mole ingredient, but along with chocolate, it makes a nice bittersweet companion for the chilies. If Mexican-style cheeses are not available, you can use crumbled feta or dollops of sour cream. Hot stuff A common ingredient in Mexican and Southwestern US cuisine, ancho chili peppers are the dried version of ripe poblano peppers. They lend dishes a sweet, mild heat. You can find these wrinkled peppers at most grocers.
A chocolate salad dressing? How else would you dress a salad during this month of love? Don’t let the unusual flavour combinations of this salad dissuade you—juicy meat and mellow mozzarella are brazenly balanced with sweet-tart chocolate balsamic vinegar dressing. Blasting strawberries in the oven is a method to coax out more of their inherent sweetness as the flavour of the berries cooks down and concentrates. If desired, you can use chicken breast instead of turkey. Tip It sounds all chef-y, but poaching is really nothing more than gently cooking food in a liquid with the primary goal of keeping lean meats such as turkey and chicken breast juicy and plump. Ideally, you want to keep the water temperature at 160 F (71 C) while the meat cooks and skim off any foam on the water surface.
It’s not the most calorie-conscious dessert, but these silky cakes are the epitome of #epicchocolate. It’s a decadent way to spread the love at the end of the day. If needed, an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend can be used. Tip When chopping chocolate for the purpose of melting, you want to do so carefully. Having your chocolate ready to go in small, uniform pieces means it will melt faster and more evenly and be less prone to overheating.
Just as cacao adds depth to mole sauce, it works wonders here too, bringing complexity, richness, and a pleasant, subtle bitterness to this comforting soup. A cool garnish of sour cream and mint provides a stunning contrast. Tip Adding salt to onions as they sauté helps draw out water so onions soften more efficiently.
A whisper of cacao adds an enticing element to this Moroccan-inspired one-pan dinner. It’s a great dish when entertaining or simply feeding a hungry family. Try serving with whole-grain couscous or freekeh. If harissa paste is not available for the marinade, you can replace it with paprika. Big bird It’s not that chicken thighs contain more “juice” than breasts, but rather, when you cook them, they retain more moisture than breasts do, making them less prone to drying out. This chicken cut also contains a bit more fat than breasts, resulting in a more succulent mouthfeel.
I love this dish for its great flavour, but also for its visual impact on the table. It is a perfect example of the senses working in union. You can’t hide the wonderful visual effect of the dish and then the joy of eating the textural contrast between the pieces of beetroot and the smooth yogurt. The chili provides a background lift, while the toasted caraway provides a second tier of bready flavour over the beetroot’s earthy sweetness. Carrot and Lime Leaf Kebabs and Beetroot and Coconut Dip recipes were extracted from Cooking for the Senses: Vegan Neurogastronomy by Jennifer Peace Rhind and Gregor Law, published by Singing Dragon. Order your copy at singingdragon.com .
Flourless chocolate cake became my obsession in the bustling kitchen of a gourmet restaurant where I worked in the early 90s. I was fascinated by the dense but creamy texture as well as the deep, dark fudgy flavour of this masterpiece. I experimented with different chocolates, sweeteners, number of eggs, and flavourings until I found the perfect combination. This should be the cake you serve when impressing and spoiling your guests is the goal. You might never use flour again. Flavour boost Chocolate and coffee are a popular pairing because the bitterness and sweetness creates an incredible richness. Stir 1 Tbsp (15 mL) espresso powder into the water along with sugar and salt. Then follow the remaining steps as written. Excerpted from The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Delicious, Heart-Healthy Meals , by Andy DeSantis RD MPH and Michelle Anderson, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2019 by Callisto Media. All rights reserved.
If you like to sleep in on the weekends and eat brunch instead of breakfast, this recipe is for you. You can whip up these scrumptious avocados the night before as long as you brush the cut edges with a little lemon juice and add a squeeze of citrus to the filling to prevent the avocados from oxidizing and turning brown. Cover them tightly in plastic wrap on a plate and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them. Flavour boost If you enjoy a creamier filling, add a couple of tablespoons (30 mL) of mayonnaise or sour cream for a tangier flavour. Shredded carrot, minced red onion, and even chopped mango can take the filling to a sublime next level. Experiment to find your flavourful enhancements. Excerpted from The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Delicious, Heart-Healthy Meals , by Andy DeSantis RD MPH and Michelle Anderson, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2019 by Callisto Media. All rights reserved.
From dark leafy greens to brightly coloured squash drizzled with a creamy avocado dressing, this dish is the quintessential heart-healthy meal. Tip This dish is a chameleon—you can create easy and delicious options by simply switching it up with other ingredients you have on hand. Sub carrots for squash and spinach or Swiss chard for kale. Plus, any variety of toasted nuts can be used for crunch.
For an easy weeknight dinner, sheet pan meals are perfect—this dinner can be assembled and eaten within 25 minutes! Salmon is an excellent heart-healthy star option. Coupled with little nugget potatoes, fresh beans, and diced yellow turnip, it becomes eye candy on a plate. The dazzling flavour of za’atar livens everything up! Although there are plenty of premade variations of this spice available, we’ve provided a tasty version you can DIY in a jiffy. Tip Za’atar can be sprinkled on many different dishes and grilled foods. It’s best as a finishing spice so as not to overcook or bake the tender spices. In this recipe, we’ve rubbed it onto salmon at the beginning, given its short baking time. Double or triple the batch so you can use it on a variety of dishes, from shakshuka to breakfast eggs.
A warming winter taco meal is everyone’s favourite. Our delicious hummus made from heart-healthy lima beans and spinach is an excellent way to fill up on healthy plant proteins. Lima beans help lower cholesterol and provide heathy fibre. Coupled with a medley of diced veggies, it becomes an über-healthy crowd pleaser!
This beautiful dish is delicious as a standalone meal, but it also doubles as an impressive side. The deep red beet sauce is supremely good for heart health. And making matters easier is the fact that, if scrubbed well, you don’t need to peel the beetroots. Roasting softens the skin, which is then whirled into creamy perfection. There are loads of options for toppings, ranging from any variety of cheese (or none at all) to a wide assortment of toasted nuts. Tip This delicious rosy sauce can be served tossed with any type of grain from rice to pearl couscous. Top with shaved Parmesan, if you wish. Scatter baby arugula leaves overtop for an added punch of flavour.
Simply rustle up the ingredients and place on your counter—this comforting stew will disappear in no time. Taking under 30 minutes to prepare, it’s perfect for a simple evening meal, but it’s also beautiful enough to be served as an elegant dinner party dish. Tip Add a new dimension and more depth to this dish by ladling over brown rice or fluffy mashed potatoes.
The “Gina Mullin Challenge” at the International Society of Neurogastronomy Symposium is an event where two teams of neuroscientists and chefs compete, Iron Chef-style, to make dishes that appeal to people with taste challenges, such as chemotherapy patients. The event’s namesake, Gina Mullin, remarked at our first competition that sometimes when she got a craving for something, in the time it took to prepare it, the craving would be gone. Montreal’s Chef Fred Morin won the first competition by preparing a simple but very rich potato soup as a base and offering numerous add-ins. He thought, and the chemo patients agreed, that having this flavorful base and accoutrements in the refrigerator to speed up the preparation was a winning idea. This Super Umami Risotto follows Morin’s logic. Preparing the risotto through the third addition of liquid and then refrigerating it would also allow for quick preparation with endless flavor possibilities. What makes something taste umami—that so-called “fifth taste” that’s super meaty and savory? The answer largely lies in an amino acid called glutamate, which binds to specific receptors on our tongues. That’s why this recipe calls for dried shiitake mushrooms. They’re significantly higher in glutamate than fresh! And while personalization options are limitless with this risotto (most vegetables can be diced and included in the sauté), additions that significantly increase the umami are asparagus and spinach.
These are so delicious! They’re ideal hot or cold as a mezze dish, starter, snack, or spicy picnic addition. Kaffir lime leaves are commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese cooking and can be sourced in frozen form quite easily from Asian grocers. They impart a very distinct citrus note unlike any other ingredient I know—just their aroma makes me hungry. Inevitably, lemongrass goes very well with them, but the sweetness of roasted carrot and the slightly bready caraway seeds just make this dish irresistible. Lime leaves are double-shaped, making them perfect to wrap around things for cooking. Otherwise, wrap a large single leaf around each carrot piece. You don’t eat the leaves, by the way … but you knew that, right?
Snack Pack and Kozy Shack chocolate pudding flavor profile, texture, and mouthfeel were our inspiration and what we were after with this recipe. Our challenge was to seamlessly integrate the essential nutrients for growing brains and remove the nasties lurking in conventional puddings (that make them so darn creamy and delicious). We think we’ve done it: This recipe has been kid-approved in our test kitchen! We love this pudding so much that we recommend it to the young at heart too for a decadent, brain-healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert.
I love this dish for its great flavor, but also for its visual impact on the table. It is a perfect example of the senses working in union. You can’t hide the wonderful visual effect of the dish and then the joy of eating the textural contrast between the pieces of beetroot and the smooth yogurt. The chili provides a background lift, while the toasted caraway provides a second tier of bready flavor over the beetroot’s earthy sweetness. This recipe was extracted from Cooking for the Senses: Vegan Neurogastronomy by Jennifer Peace Rhind and Gregor Law, published by Singing Dragon. Order your copy at singingdragon.com .
Looking for an easy meal? Waffles lend themselves as a base for every meal of the day. Breakfast? Dessert? Lunch? Even dinner. In our version, we’ve covered breakfast, lunch, and dessert, serving this recipe with dried fruit compote. But there are also savoury toppings and more ideas to dress up a waffle. Make a big batch and freeze; they’re easy to heat up for any meal.
Grains and cabbage are in this season. We’ve paired spelt berries with cabbage and toasted quinoa for a surprisingly upscale result. For this recipe, bypass the packaged shredded cabbage—it just won’t have the same results, or the price value. The trick? Buy a half or quarter head of cabbage and shave it ultra thin on a mandoline.
The beauty of this sweet little treat is that it’s a recipe you can make from a well-stocked pantry. And even better: you can easily substitute with other pantry ingredients. For example, no dates in your pantry? How about dried figs? Or use your own homemade jam or compote. Just make sure your fruit filling is very, very thick and pastelike before assembling.