Once you see the vibrant colour and taste the sweetness that beet powder lends to vinaigrette, you’ll be left wondering why you haven’t been adding it to your dressings all along. The sweet, tangy vinaigrette marries well with all the creamy, meaty, and crunchy elements of this fanciful salad. Keep the crisp No one likes finding a slimy mess in the crisper. The best way to prolong the life and crispiness of your delicate salad greens is by storing them in a container (not a plastic bag) lined with damp—not dripping wet—paper towels. Top greens with another damp paper towel, which will soak up the excess moisture that leads to spoilage, and seal shut. Storing the container in the crisper will protect your greens from being exposed to too much air.
Beyond its nutritional cachet, moringa powder lends this soup, which manages to be simple yet refined at once, a vegetal flavour that plays well with the creamy, slightly astringent turmeric sauce. Matcha powder would be a good superfood powder substitute for moringa. Cream of the crop Soaked and blended raw cashews are a good alternative to dairy-based creams. And it can be flavoured any way you please—both savoury and sweet. Golden delicious Repurpose extra cashew-turmeric sauce to make a mug of soothing golden milk. Whisk 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sauce into 1 cup (250 mL) warmed milk or dairy-free beverage.
Breakfast meet dessert. Dessert meet breakfast. This decadent tasting, yet still nutritious, way to kick off your day is a celebration of all things chocolate and a perfect excuse to dust off that waffle maker. Consider topping with dollops of thick yogurt and fresh berries. Batter using egg whites is best made shortly before making the waffles, but extras can be chilled for up to one day. Not all cacao powder is created equal. Your best buy for health benefits is “natural” or “raw” cacao powder over “Dutch processed” (often spelled “cocoa”), which uses alkalization to mellow out the flavour but also damages precious antioxidants. No buttermilk in the fridge? A quick fix is to stir 1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into each cup of regular milk and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. When it’s ready, milk will be slightly thickened, and you’ll see small curdled bits. You can also mix 3/4 cup (180 mL) plain yogurt or sour cream with 1/4 cup (60 mL) water to thin, then use as you would buttermilk. No oat flour in the larder? If you have rolled oats on hand but no oat flour, you’re in luck. You can whiz up oat flour by blending rolled oats in a food processor or high-powered blender until a fine powder forms. A single cup (scooped and levelled) of old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats yields just over 1 cup (250 mL) oat flour.
These savoury scones, made with flaxseed powder to lend a nutty taste, are screaming for a smear of butter to be the perfect sidekick for a bowl of steamy soup or chili. Instead of thyme, you could substitute chopped fresh rosemary, while the gluten-free crowd can swap out wheat flour for an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. You can make these ahead, storing in an airtight container for up to five days or freeze for up to a month. The grind The shells of flaxseeds are very hard, meaning that whole seeds, and their nutrients, will likely pass through your body undigested if you don’t grind them to “free” the nutrients before consumption. Once ground, any extra flax should be stashed in the fridge or freezer to slow the rate at which the unsaturated fats turn rancid. A coffee or spice grinder does a great job at rendering flaxseeds into a powder. If purchasing pre-ground, do so only if stored in dark containers or if the package is kept in a refrigerated section of the store.
This Middle Eastern-inspired grilled eggplant dip (moutabal) gets an infusion of umami flavour courtesy of mushroom powder. Powdered lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps are good options. Use ripped pieces of pita as your serving utensil for scooping up this potpourri of textures. To remove seeds from a pomegranate without turning your kitchen into a horror show, quarter the fruit and then submerge in a bowl of water. Break seeds free under the water and then drain.
This cake is not too sweet, not too rich, but still offers all the comfort (hello, maple syrup and warming spices) you want when finishing off a festive meal. Plus, there is no refined sugar in sight. If serving those with food sensitivities, you can try making the cake with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and melted coconut oil. Flour power Compared to regular whole wheat flour, spelt flour often produces cakes, scones, and muffins that are more tender and with greater nutritional virtues than all-purpose white flour.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, turkey is often sacrosanct for many families, and roasting up a whole bird will always impress—as long as it doesn’t come out drier than the Sahara. But let’s be honest: it can be a pretty hefty kitchen project. By employing this fuss-free poaching method, you’ll free up oven space and have a better chance of serving up juicy meat. And because everyone around the table will be hunting for the gravy, here’s one that includes a surprising sweet-tart element, courtesy of those seasonal flushed berries. Pay it forward Consider poaching liquid as the gift of free turkey stock. Remove solids and keep the liquid in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days or freeze for future use in recipes for soups and stews.
Stealth add-ins such as miso and soy sauce add umami depth to this plant-based riff on shepherd’s pie that is sure to leave everyone around the table searching for the like button—even the most devout carnivores. Plus, it’s the perfect make-ahead dish; simply reheat in the oven shortly before serving. Say cheeze If you need to turn this sweet potato pie into a vegan-friendly dish, use a dairy-free butter alternative and try this Parmesan alternative: in bowl, stir together 1/2 cup (125 mL) hemp hearts; 1/4 cup (60 mL) nutritional yeast; 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder; 1/2 tsp (2 mL) onion powder; and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt.
Pity the poor salad: as the Forrest Gump of the holiday side-dish world, it’s always the underdog. But this bowl of greens bejeweled by toasty nuts, sweet figs, crispy apples, and creamy dressing is sure to become the hit of the holiday table. People won’t even miss the stuffing. No moo Looking for a dairy-free dressing? Whisk together the zest and juice of 1 medium orange; 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar; 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey; 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard; 2 tsp (10 mL) grated or finely minced fresh ginger; 1 garlic clove, minced; 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt; 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper; 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes; and 1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil.
Perfectly sweet, and a tad fiery, this offbeat soup is a great way to kick off a celebratory meal. Roasting the main ingredients instead of using the traditional simmering method deepens the flavour and makes the recipe a touch more hands-off. Zest for life When only using the juice from citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons in a recipe, consider zesting them first. The zest can keep in the fridge for several days and be used to punch up everything from salad dressings to baked goods.
This simple recipe combines a creamy, dairy-free spread with the herbaceous sweetness of manuka honey. If you’re avoiding cashews, use almonds or hulled sunflower seeds instead. For a thicker “ricotta,” transfer blended cashews to cheesecloth and squeeze out excess liquid, then add more lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with crostini, crackers, or raw vegetables for even more prebiotic power
The filling options for these sweet crepes are endless, from sliced fruit to melted chocolate to sweetened chestnuts and beyond. Keep things kid-friendly with a simple drizzle of maple syrup. Or marinate a handful of fresh or frozen berries in 1/4 cup (60 mL) rum or sweet local liqueur for at least 30 minutes before serving. For a luxurious French variation, flambé a pan of folded, buttered crepes with a splash of cognac—the liqueur of choice for traditional Crepes Suzette. If using eggs, use just 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) milk. If using ground chia or flaxseed, use full 1 1/2 cups (350 mL). Batch cooking Double the recipe and freeze leftovers between layers of parchment paper for the next time you feel like crepes but don’t feel like making them from scratch. Skillet skill The pan needs to be hot enough and the batter thin enough to create air bubbles on impact or crepes won’t cook through properly. There’s no need to regrease the skillet after each crepe, unless crepes are sticking to the pan.
Like pancakes, these savoury Italian flatbreads take time, but make a large batch, and freeze the leftovers and you’ll have them ready to reheat whenever you’re craving them. They’re great substitutes for tacos, wraps, or individual pizzas with whatever toppings you like. High-protein chickpea flour adds a nutty flavour, and a quick fermentation adds a gentle sourness, which also makes it more digestible. But don’t worry if you don’t have time to leave the batter overnight; just whisk together the chickpea flour and water immediately before cooking. Aquafaba is the leftover liquid from cooking chickpeas and some other beans. You can use the drained liquid from a can of chickpeas or reserve the liquid from cooking dried chickpeas that you soak overnight and boil the next day.
These burgers have an addictively crispy outside and are soft and chewy inside, with plenty of protein from cooked black beans. You can use commercial gluten-free panko or bread crumbs or make your own by grinding a few pieces of bread in a food processor. You can also replace panko with bought or homemade almond meal. To make it yourself, simply grind whole peeled almonds or almond slivers to a coarse powder. This makes a big batch of burgers, so freeze any ungrilled patties on plates or baking sheets so they don’t stick together and then transfer them to freezer-safe containers. To cook from frozen, bake for 30 minutes at 375 F (190 C) then broil for a few minutes on each side to crisp exterior.
This one-pan dish is the perfect combination of caramelized vegetables, tender lentils, and juicy pomegranate seeds, all drizzled with an addictive lemon sauce. You can use canned, drained lentils instead of dried, but if you start boiling dried lentils before you chop the vegetables, it’ll take about the same amount of time as using canned in the end. Feel free to punch up the vinaigrette with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced fresh ginger, garlic, or Dijon mustard. Time-saving and big-batch baking Freeze any leftovers or double the recipe and freeze in a freezer-safe, oven-safe casserole dish. To reheat, bake from frozen in preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for about 30 minutes, until hot. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Shopping local If COVID-19 has taught us anything about food security, it’s that buying local matters. Buying local means being less dependent on imports. More money stays in the local economy and can be directed into public services, including hospitals and schools, via taxes. And on the environmental side, while Canada has plenty of large-scale monocrop farms, by supporting small-scale organic farms you’ll help encourage biodiversity, improve soil quality, and put your money where your mouth is by supporting a model of sustainable agriculture for future generations.
This recipe skips the MSG often found in restaurant pho and uses a traditional and punchy dipping bowl of kaffir lime, salt, and pepper instead. You can dip pieces of chicken before slurping mouthfuls of noodles followed by spoonfuls of warming broth, so that the tail end of lemony, salty chicken flavour seasons each mouthful.
Chicken noodle soup is already pretty kid-friendly, but some children can be turned off by green or bitter things such as parsley, green onions, or celery. That means you might not want to give them a giant bowl of refined carbohydrates. That’s why this recipe calls for konjac noodles, which are noodles made from a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, flavourless, and fibrous tuber that picky eaters probably won’t mind (or notice). If your kids don’t happen to mind green, feel free to substitute zucchini noodles and add all the parsley, chives, green onions, and broccoli you like! While you’ll get more nutrients out of making a homemade broth, this recipe calls for store-bought quality broth or homemade broth made in advance to save time and labour—which we know is important when there are ravenous children involved! Look for konjac noodles at your local health food store or Asian market, where they’re often less expensive and sometimes called shirataki noodles. Not all brands are created equal, though, so look for a package that contains more konjac than soy, brown rice, or tapioca flour. Feel free, of course, to substitute traditional pasta in fun shapes like farfalline, stellette, or alphabet. If you can’t find konjac, you can use peeled zucchini that you spiralize or grate into noodles instead. Zucchini gives a faint green tinge to the noodles even when peeled, though—even when peeled before spiralizing—so if you’re avoiding green and expect quizzical stares from youngsters, try a mix of zucchini and whole grain pasta broken into pieces of about the same size as the zucchini noodles. If using whole grain pasta, boil it in a separate pot so the broth doesn’t absorb all the starch and become cloudy. If using zucchini, only grate or spiralize down to the seeds, which are mostly water and will become mushy and dilute your broth. The cores make for a juicy snack for the chef!
This classic chicken noodle soup calls for a whole chicken slowly simmered with celery, carrots, and onions to create a naturally sweet broth. The trick to a clear broth is to keep the pot below a rolling boil, so the fat won’t emulsify even after the nutrient-rich collagen in the bones has melted into the liquid. The lower heat also helps retain more nutrients and flavour enzymes, which means a more delicious and healthy soup. But don’t worry if your soup gets cloudy—it’s still plenty good for you! Budget broth You can also make broth from bony chicken pieces from your local butcher (for example, wings, necks, and backs), which is much less expensive than a whole chicken. Then freeze leftovers so you can skip the broth-making step next time you’re craving homemade soup
This luxurious soup skips the time-consuming broth-making step and uses poached chicken breasts in quality stock instead. That way the clean flavours of fennel and leeks caramelized and deglazed in vermouth shine through—with a swirl of silky spinach added at the end to contribute a nutritional punch. Don’t skip the marinated fennel with white wine vinegar garnish. It’s a crunchy, sweet-and-sour topping that can be made up to a week in advance and gets better after at least a day of marinating. It will last for up to a month in the fridge and is also great in salads, tacos, du Puy lentils, or as a snack with crackers. You can also make this recipe with a whole chicken and follow the method in alive’s Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup.
This make-ahead version of chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. The dried spices and noodles make for the perfect Mason jar care package for a sick friend in need. Feel free to swap in or out any dried spices you’d like. Add a gift tag with instructions for the giftee to simmer the contents of the jar in 3 cups (750 mL) boiling water until noodles are soft, and you’ll be all set. To make the soup more substantial and satisfying, you can suggest adding diced chicken or vegetables to the broth and a dash of lemon juice. Otherwise, they can just enjoy the slurpable noodles in their stomach-soothing broth. Pass da pasta This recipe calls for egg noodles because they cook quickly without leaching too much starch into the broth, which would end up muting the broth’s flavour. You can also use quick-cooking ramen or buckwheat soba, or any spiral-shaped pasta, which look best in the gifted Mason jar. Lemon aid Dried lemon peel adds flavour without adding sodium. If you know your giftee will make the soup right away, add a few strips of freshly peeled lemon zest instead. Or give them a lemon along with the Mason jar, so they can add some zest and fresh juice themselves (and save the rest of the lemon for tea with ginger and honey). Look for bouillon powder without MSG or other preservatives. Better yet, look for powdered bone broth, which will give the purest chicken flavour along with collagen, amino acids, healthy fat, and an array of minerals, just like a homemade chicken broth.