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Beer Braised Cabbage
Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa and Beer Caramelized Onions

Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa and Beer Caramelized Onions

Much tastier and healthier than heavily battered fish tacos, brining fish in beer impregnates it with flavour and makes the flesh tender. If you’re concerned about sodium intake, you can cook it in a skillet. If time permits, make the salsa a day in advance to allow the flavours to meld.

1 lb (450 g) catfish filets
3 cups (750 mL) lager or pilsner beer
2 Tbsp (30 mL) kosher or sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) natural cane sugar, divided
2 cups (500 mL) strawberries, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 green onions, green and white parts, sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lime zest
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika (optional)
8 corn tortillas

In a container large enough for fish filets to lie flat, add 2 cups (500 ml) beer, salt, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar. Place fish in liquid and add additional beer if needed to cover filets completely. Let soak in refrigerator for about 6 hours, flipping once. 

In large bowl, toss together strawberries, red pepper, jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, honey, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, and salt to taste.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining sugar, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 1 cup (250 ml) beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Remove catfish from brine, pat dry with a paper towel, and season with smoked paprika, if desired. Place on parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Let catfish cool and then slice into thin strips.

Warm tortillas, according to package directions.

To serve, divide catfish among tortillas and top with strawberry salsa and onions.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 401 calories; 22 g protein; 13 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 46 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 571 mg sodium

source: "Think Outside the Mug", alive #353, March 2012

Spinach and Feta Quiche

Spinach and Feta Quiche

This low-fat version of a favourite is so full of flavour the omitted ingredients will never be missed!

Pie crust

This is my mother’s recipe. It is low in saturated fat and can be used for sweet or savoury pies.

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2/3 cup (160 mL) grapeseed oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) ice-cold water

Stir flour and salt in large bowl.

In separate bowl mix oil and water with fork until thick and creamy. Pour immediately all at once onto flour mixture. Mix lightly with fork and then with hands—dough will be wet.

Form into ball, cut in half, flatten into disk, and roll. To roll, wipe counter with clean wet cloth, place 1 large square of wax paper over it, add dough, and cover with another square of paper. This will make dough easy to handle, and no extra flour is required. To place dough on pie plate, just lift it using bottom piece of wax paper.

Yield: 2 - 9 in (23 cm) crusts

Quiche filling

10 oz (283 g) frozen spinach
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large free-range eggs
1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
4 oz (113 g) feta cheese, crumbled
9 black olives, pitted and halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C).

Make pastry and use it to line a 9 in (23 cm) pie or tart pan.

Thaw spinach, place in clean dish towel, squeeze until all liquid is removed, and chop coarsely.

In large sauté pan heat oil over medium heat, and sauté onions until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add spinach and lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk eggs and milk, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add cheese and spinach mixture. Pour into pan and garnish with olives.

Bake for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 F (180 C) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until crust is golden and knife inserted in centre of quiche comes out clean.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 407 calories; 13 g protein; 23 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 39 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 380 mg sodium

source: "Eggs", alive #353, March 2012

Mediterranean Combination Salad

Mediterranean Combination Salad

This versatile salad is hearty enough to be eaten as a meal. It can be best described as a vegetable salad with eggs and tuna. Its French name, Salade Niçoise, comes from the kind of olives used—niçoise, from the South of France.

Dressing

3 Tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Add oil in slow stream, whisking constantly.

Salad

8 small white or red new potatoes
1 lb (450 g) thin green beans
16 oz (450 g) tuna filet
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 head butter lettuce, separated into leaves
8 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 large free-range eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved lengthwise (see below)
16 olives niçoise or other black olives
2 Tbsp (30 mL) capers, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh parsley, minced

Cook potatoes in saucepan filled with water until tender. Drain and cut according to your preference and add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) dressing.

Blanch beans in salted boiling water until bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and place in bowl filled with ice-cold water to stop cooking process. Add to potatoes and stir to coat.

Season tuna with salt and pepper. Heat pan, add oil, and sear tuna on both sides leaving centre rare, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

To serve, arrange lettuce on large platter or 4 different plates. Add potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and capers. Place tuna on top of salad. Drizzle dressing all over, sprinkle with parsley, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste (optional).

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 757 calories; 42 g protein; 34 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 73 g carbohydrates;
12 g fibre; 559 mg sodium

The perfect hard boiled egg

Place eggs in a saucepan big enough to fit them in one layer. Add water to cover them by 1 in (3 cm). Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Always make more hard-boiled eggs than you need so you can make egg salad or devilled eggs, eat them
as a snack, or bring them along in your lunch.

source: "Eggs", alive #353, March 2012

Spicy Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Clams

Spicy Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Clams

This pesto is packed full of flavour. You can substitute mussels or cooked chicken for the clams.

3 cups (750 mL) cilantro, large stems removed
1/2 cup (125 mL) blanched almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) shallot, diced
1 jalapeno pepper or red Thai chili, diced
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon zest
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
5 Tbsp (75 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 lb (350 g) whole grain linguini or fettuccini
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
60 clams, purged and scrubbed
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine

In food processor, pulse together cilantro, almonds, shallot, jalapeno, lemon zest, and salt. With food processor running, add 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil in a slow, steady stream. If pesto seems a little too thick for your taste, add cold water 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving about
1 cup (250 mL) pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is softened and just starting to brown. Stir in clams, increase heat to medium-high, add wine, cover and cook clams, stirring once, until all have opened, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that have not opened. Reduce heat to medium, stir in pesto and pasta, and cook until warmed through. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains:  473 calories; 23 g protein; 20 g total fat (2.5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 49 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 253 mg sodium

source: "Pasta, Pronto!", alive #353, March 2012

Carrot Orzo with Pistachio and Tarragon-Crusted Chicken

Carrot Orzo with Pistachio and Tarragon-Crusted Chicken

Colourful, delicious, and chock full of vitamin A, this recipe will be a hit with the whole family.

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup (80 mL) raw pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) whole grain bread crumbs
2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange zest
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp (45 mL) tarragon leaves, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) carrot, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (250 mL) farro orzo pasta
1 cup (250 mL) fresh carrot juice
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in pistachios and bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until pistachios are toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest. Transfer mixture to plate.

In bowl, stir together Dijon mustard and tarragon. Brush chicken breasts all over with mustard mixture and press the skin side into pistachio mixture. Place chicken breasts, pistachio mixture up, on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While chicken is baking, prepare orzo. In medium saucepan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium-high heat. Add grated carrot, garlic, and orzo. Stirring frequently, cook for 4 minutes. Stir in carrot juice and stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring frequently, cook until orzo is al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and black pepper to taste.

To serve, cut each chicken breast on the bias into 5 or 6 slices. Divide carrot orzo among serving plates and top with sliced chicken.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 579 calories; 136 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 57 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 428 mg sodium

Greek Couscous Salad

Greek Couscous Salad

Israeli couscous or pearl couscous is a larger, pea-sized version of the North African favourite. Regular whole wheat couscous may be substituted. Salad can be stored in the refrigerator, ready for a quick lunch, for up to four days.

3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) whole wheat Israeli couscous
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) homemade or low-sodium vegetable stock
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cooked chickpeas
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh oregano, chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup (80 mL) feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup (60 mL) kalamata olives, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 lemon

Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt, and sauté until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in bay leaf and couscous and cook, stirring frequently until couscous browns slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed and couscous is tender, about 20 minutes.

Discard bay leaf and transfer couscous to large bowl. Stir in red pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, oregano, parsley, feta, olives, green onions, and remaining olive oil.

Let cool to room temperature, season to taste with lemon juice, and serve.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 486 calories; 16 g protein; 17 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 70 g carbohydrates; 12 g fibre; 314 mg sodium

source: "Pasta, Pronto!", alive #353, March 2012

Tomato, Fennel, and Goat Cheese Pasta

Tomato, Fennel, and Goat Cheese Pasta

Fennel adds a lovely earthy flavour to this dish. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 anchovy filets, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 in (1 cm) pieces, fronds reserved
1/2 lb (225 g) whole grain farfalle pasta
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
2 tsp (10 mL) dried marjoram
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh basil, chopped
6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) soft goat cheese
3 Tbsp (45 mL) toasted pine nuts

Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onion, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and fennel. Sauté until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup (250 mL) pasta water.

Add tomatoes, marjoram, and basil to veggie mixture and continue to sauté until tomatoes slightly break down, creating a thin sauce. Stir in spinach, pasta, and a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water until spinach is wilted and pasta is warmed through. Add more water as needed to create a saucy consistency, and season to taste with black pepper.

Divide among serving dishes, and garnish with crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, and reserved
fennel fronds.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:  486 calories; 18 g protein; 21 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 59 g carbohydrates; 11 g fibre; 490 mg sodium

source: "Pasta, Pronto!", alive #353, March 2012

Chili Eggplant Noodles

Chili Eggplant Noodles

A bowlful of these noodles is a real meal in itself.

2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic sesame oil
3 Tbsp (45 mL) organic vegetable oil
3 Tbsp (45 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 to 2 red Thai chilies, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
1/2 lb (225 g) soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 cup (250 mL) snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) frozen, shelled edamame beans, thawed
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts
4 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

In bowl, whisk together oils, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, chilies, ginger, and garlic. Adjust sauce to taste with a little more soy, vinegar, or honey. It should have a nice sweet and sour balance. Divide sauce in half.

Toss eggplant with half the sauce and place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until cooked through and golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.

Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package directions. In large bowl, toss remaining sauce with cooked noodles and set aside.

Toss eggplant into noodles along with snow peas, edamame, bean sprouts, and half the green onions. Divide among serving bowls and garnish with remaining green onions.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains:  309 calories; 10 g protein; 13 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 537 mg sodium

source: "Pasta, Pronto!", alive #353, March 2012

Lemon Pasta with Peas, Zucchini, and Shrimp

Lemon Pasta with Peas, Zucchini, and Shrimp

Zucchini noodles add a fresh twist to this pasta dish. Zucchini is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and potassium.

2 small zucchinis
1/2 lb (225 g) whole grain spaghetti
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
20 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails intact
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1/3 cup (80 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (80 mL) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Cut zucchini on a mandoline or with a knife into long, thin strands resembling spaghetti and set aside.

Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving about
1 cup (250 mL) pasta water, and return pasta to saucepan.

Preheat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add shrimp, season with pepper, and sauté until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

In bowl whisk together lemon zest, juice, and remaining olive oil, then stir in Parmesan until creamy. Add to pasta along with zucchini and peas.

Return pasta pot to stove over medium heat and toss pasta until warmed through. If sauce is getting too thick, add some reserved pasta water. Remove from heat, add shrimp and basil, and toss through.

Divide among serving plates and enjoy!

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 577 calories; 43 g protein; 20 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 57 g carbohydrates;
8 g fibre; 376 mg sodium

source: "Pasta, Pronto!", alive #353, March 2012