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Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

You may substitute raw grated or roasted beets—feel free to experiment. Be  aware that handling beets will stain your skin; you may want to wear gloves when  preparing. Salad 2 or 3 beets, different colours if you like, peeled and  quartered 2 cups (500 mL) mixed baby greens 1/2 cup (125 mL) goat chèvre  or feta cheese Mint or cilantro to garnish Vinaigrette 2 shallots, minced 1 1/2 Tbsp (23 mL) balsamic  vinegar or lemon juice 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp (2  mL) raw sugar (optional) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Steam beets until tender, about 15 minutes. While beets are cooking, whisk  together ingredients for the vinaigrette in small bowl and crumble cheese. Toss greens with half of the vinaigrette, and put a handful of greens on each  of 4 plates. When beets are done, allow to cool, peel, then cut into small  chunks and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange beets on top of greens,  sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with mint or cilantro leaves, if  desired. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 209 calories; 5 g protein; 19 g total fat (6 g sat.  fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 142 mg sodium Did you know? Like spinach and chard, the beet is a member of the amaranth  family ( Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae ). Its ancestor is the wild beet,  or sea beet, which dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Originally eaten  for its leafy green tops, the roots were cultivated by the ancient Romans. By  the 16th century they had become popular not only as livestock fodder, but also  in family kitchens throughout northern Europe. from " Unbeatable Beets ", alive #344, June 2011

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

The easiest and most popular dessert to take on a picnic is the ever-portable cookie. And what makes a cookie perfect? Chocolate chips, of course. 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic canola oil 1/2 cup (125 mL) organic cane sugar 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90 mL) dark brown sugar, packed 1 large free range egg 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract 1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes 3/4 cup (180 mL) stone-ground whole wheat flour 3/4 cup (180 mL) large flake oats 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon 1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder 1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened flaked coconut 1/4 cup (60 mL) dark chocolate chips Set rack in your oven to the middle. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly with oil. In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until it is well incorporated and butter/oil mixture is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. In medium bowl, mix together cereal flakes, flour, oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Add to butter/sugar mixture. Beat in until cereal flakes are well distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, start off on low and then when incorporated turn up to high. Drop by heaping tablepoonfuls onto the prepared pan. Lightly press down to flatten. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get. Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and then remove to cooling rack; store in airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 30 cookies. One cookie contains: 90 calories; 1 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 19 mg sodium Tip: These cookies are so delicious, you’ll find them irresistable. But watch your intake of this sweet treat or you’ll quickly overdo it. Source: " Picnics & Potlucks ", alive #344, June 2011

Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

This family-friendly oven-baked chicken is easy to make and can be cooked and stored in your fridge for up to two days before the picnic. 1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes 1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cracked black pepper 1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder 1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper 1/4 cup (60 mL) plain low-fat yogourt 1 tbsp (15 mL) skim milk 4 free-range bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks The night before the picnic: preheat oven to 400 C (200 F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cereal flakes into food processor or blender. Pulse until crushed. (Or crush with potato masher, or place flakes in clean plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.) Add paprika, pepper, onion powder, dry mustard, cumin, and cayenne; pulse until spices have been well incorporated. Place crumb mixture in shallow-rimmed dish or medium bowl. In separate medium bowl, whisk together yogourt and milk. Wash your hands. Remove skin from chicken thighs and discard. Wash hands. Brush both sides of 1 thigh with yogourt mixture using pastry brush. Then place it into crumb mixture and press down firmly to coat. Turn to coat the other side and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 F (74 C). Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from pan and place in resealable container and store in fridge for up to 2 days. The day of the picnic: pack container of chicken into insulated cooler bag with a large cold source on top of container. Don’t bring it out until serving time, and stow leftovers immediately back in cooler bag with cold source after serving. Makes 4 servings. One serving (1 thigh) contains: 258 calories; 28 g protein; 11 g total fat (3.2 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat); 8.9 g carbohydrates; 2.8 g fibre; 123 mg sodium Source: " Picnics & Potlucks ", alive #344, June 2011

Fudge Brownie Chocolate Pudding Cake

Fudge Brownie Chocolate Pudding Cake

Every mom I know loves chocolate. If your mom is a chocolate lover, this is the dessert for her. A pudding cake is unique because the cake and sauce are all cooked in the same pan in the oven. It’s easy to follow and even easier to eat! Pudding sauce 1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder 1/2 cup (125 mL) dark brown sugar, well packed (see note) 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated cane sugar 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) hot tap water Cake 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour (see note) 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated cane sugar 1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder 1/4 cup (60 mL) chocolate chips, at least 70 percent cocoa mass 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (155 mL) skim milk or soy beverage 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract 3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted Move oven rack to the centre of oven. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C), lightly grease or oil an 8 x 8 in (2 L) metal baking pan. Set aside. Prepare the pudding sauce In medium bowl mix together cocoa powder and both sugars with wire whisk or large fork. Pour in hot water and beat until brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Prepare the cake In large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips with wire whisk or large fork. In medium bowl, mix together milk or soy beverage, vanilla, and melted butter with fork. Pour into flour mixture. Mix together well, using large wooden spoon. It will be very thick. Spoon into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Stir pudding sauce again and then pour it over cake batter. Place in oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in centre of the cake: if it comes out dry-looking, the cake is ready. Carefully remove from oven—the pudding sauce is a liquid and very hot. Cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Scoop out a serving into rimmed soup bowl or small bowl, spoon over some of the pudding sauce. Serve with small scoop of vanilla frozen yogourt if desired. Serves 8 to 10. Each serving (for 8) contains: 314 calories; 6 g protein; 14 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 51 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 27 mg sodium Note: when measuring brown sugar, pack the sugar in the measuring cup and then level it off. It should look like a sand castle. Note: when measuring flour, spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, not the glass type used for liquids, and then carefully level it off with a flat edge. source: " Mother's Day Meal ", alive #343, May 2011

Chicken with Peaches

Chicken with Peaches

This quick and easy dish goes really well with cooked brown or red rice and your favourite green vegetable. If local asparagus is available, try steaming it; if not, go with steamed broccoli. 1 medium onion 3 Tbsp (45 mL) Dijon mustard 2 Tbsp (30 mL) pure maple syrup 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika 2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium chicken broth 8 organic skinless, boneless chicken thighs (approximately 1 1/2 lbs/ 700 g) 1 - 398 mL (14 oz) can peach halves in light syrup, water, or fruit juice, drained Dice the onion and set aside. Mix together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and paprika in small bowl until smooth, using a fork. Stir in chicken broth and set aside. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove from pan and place in clean dish. Add onion to pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chicken back to pan. Add peaches and pour mustard mixture over top. Place tight-fitting lid over top, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over halfway through the cooking time. Cook until chicken is cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C). Remove chicken and place on clean plate, cover. Turn heat up to medium and bring sauce to a boil; gently boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens. Serve each person 2 chicken thighs. Evenly spoon on the peaches and sauce. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 390 calories; 40 g protein; 14 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 417 mg sodium source: " Mother's Day Meal ", alive #343, May 2011

Penne with Double Beets

Penne with Double Beets

While bunches of beet greens are sold on their own, it’s more likely you’ll find these sweet, earthy greens attached to the beets themselves. Look for bunches with bright, crisp leaves. 1 bunch fresh beets with greens attached 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 10 oz (300 g) whole wheat penne pasta 1 shallot, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced Sea salt to taste 1/4 cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange peel 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh ricotta cheese Trim stems from beets, but leave about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) still attached (this prevents loss of colour and nutrients during cooking). Place beets on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Roast in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel skins. Chop beets into small pieces. While beets are roasting, wash beet greens well. Coarsely chop leaves and stems, then set aside. In large pot, boil pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile heat remaining oil in large frying pan set over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and salt. Stir until softened, 4 to 6 minutes, then add beet leaves and stems. Stir until wilted, then stir in beets, vinegar, and orange peel. Simmer to blend flavours, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Before draining pasta, ladle out 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. Drain noodles, then return to pot. Add beet mixture; stir to coat evenly. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to make it saucier. Crumble ricotta over top. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 318 calories; 11 g protein; 17 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 258 mg sodium source: " Think Green ", alive #341, March 2011

Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups

Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups

Chard is a member of the beet family and has a fairly mild, almost spinachlike flavour. Chard’s thick stalks range in colour from white to yellow and red; its green leaves are veined with the same hue. 10 to 12 Swiss chard leaves, preferably rainbow or rhubarb chard 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 carrots, thinly sliced 1 red pepper, chopped Sea salt and ground pepper to taste 1 cup (250 mL) quinoa 2 cups (500 mL) water or low-sodium chicken broth Juice of 1 lemon 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled chèvre (goat cheese) 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) low-sodium tomato sauce Fill large frying pan with water and bring to a boil. Cut thick ribs from chard and thinly slice stems; set aside. Wash chard leaves well. Working with 1 or 2 leaves at a time, add to boiling water and cook just until wilted. Remove to baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel and spread leaves out. Continue with remaining leaves, layering on sheet to cool. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chard stems, garlic, carrots, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Saute until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa, then pour in water or broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze in lemon juice, then stir in chèvre. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour tomato sauce into casserole dish and set on baking sheet. Working with 1 chard leaf at a time, cut off any remaining stem. Leaf will be a V-shape. Overlap bottom cut edges, then spoon about 2 Tbsp (30 mL) quinoa mixture near stem end. Fold bottom sides in and roll to enclose filling. Place seam side down in casserole dish and repeat with remaining leaves and filling. Cover dish and bake in preheated 375 F (190 C) oven until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 234 calories; 12 g protein; 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 451 mg sodium source: " Think Green ", alive #341, March 2011

Lentil-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Lentil-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Small triangular-shaped piquillo peppers have a wonderfully smoky, sweet flavour. Native only to northern Spain, fresh ones are difficult to find. Yet bottled roasted ones are available at most gourmet delis or substitute with home-roasted red peppers ( see below ). 1 cup (250 mL) cooked lentils, preferably French green (du Puy) lentils 1 cup (250 mL) spinach, shredded 1/4 cup (60 mL) pitted black olives, coarsely chopped 1 lemon 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste 2 Tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated 1 Tbsp (15 mL) raisins, coarsely chopped 8 roasted piquillo peppers or 2 roasted red peppers , cut into quarters Stir lentils with spinach and olives. Grate lemon and add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon peel, then squeeze in juice from lemon. Drizzle with oil and season with pinches of sea salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan cheese and raisins, and combine well. Slice tops off piquillo peppers and remove seeds. Gently fill peppers with salad. If using quartered red peppers, spoon salad onto one end, then roll up. Serve at room temperature. For hot peppers: place stuffed peppers in small baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Scatter a few thin slices of garlic over top, then broil until warm. Makes 8 stuffed peppers. Each pepper contains: 89 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 61 mg sodium TIP: Instead of Parmesan in this recipe, substitute leftover marinated feta from the Marinated Feta, Olive, and Roasted Red Pepper Skewers recipe . [object Object] How to roast peppers Sweet red bell peppers are the best choice for roasting. They’re so versatile—great as a sandwich condiment or blended into salsas, soups, or pasta sauces—anything that needs a hit of sweet, mildly smoky flavour. Roast a big batch to have a stash on hand. Gas stove method: Turn flame to medium and place whole pepper directly on burner. Use tongs to rotate pepper once skin starts to blister. After all the skin of the pepper is blackened, place in a bowl and cover. Let stand 15 minutes, then peel and discard seeds. Oven roasted method: Lightly brush whole peppers with extra-virgin olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until skin starts to blister and peppers are soft, turning occasionally, 40 to 50 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover. Let stand 15 minutes, then peel and discard seeds. Storage: Place peppers in a jar or container just large enough to hold them. Cover with olive oil and refrigerate up to 3 weeks. source: " Tapas for Two ", alive #340, February 2011

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