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Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Farro is a flavourful ancient grain with a mildly nutty flavour and pleasing chewy texture. This is a hearty dish and makes enough for four, but any leftovers probably won’t be around for long. Dressing 3 Tbsp (45 mL) plain low-fat yogourt 1 orange 1/2 tsp (2 mL) honey 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin Salad 2 cups (500 mL) water 3/4 cup (180 mL) farro Sea salt to taste 12 cherry tomatoes 2 cloves garlic, still in skins 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each sweet smoked paprika and dried oregano leaves 1 orange, peeled and cut into segments For dressing, place yogourt in bowl. Grate orange and add 2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange peel to yogourt. Squeeze in juice from orange. Stir in honey and cumin. For the salad, pour water into saucepan and stir in farro and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed and grains are cooked but slightly chewy, 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss cherry tomatoes, garlic, and fennel with oil. Season with smoked paprika, dried oregano, and salt to taste. Place in small casserole dish, uncovered, and roast in preheated 450 F (230 C) oven until tomatoes start to burst and fennel and garlic are browned, about 15 minutes. Add roasted vegetables (except garlic) to farro. Squeeze garlic from papery skins onto cutting board. Using the flat side of a large knife, mash to form a paste. Stir into dressing, then pour dressing over farro. Add orange segments and stir to mix evenly. Garnish with fresh fennel fronds. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 106 calories; 4 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 24 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 45 mg sodium source: " Tapas for Two ", alive #340, February 2011

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

Originally consumed as part of New Year’s celebrations marking the arrival of the spring season, spring rolls are now one of the most popular snack foods in the world. This healthy version uses plenty of colourful and delicious vegetables and is baked rather than deep-fried. 8 - 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) spring roll pastry sheets 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh ginger, minced 2 green onions, sliced in thin rounds 1 cup (250 mL) shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1 medium carrot, peeled, thinly sliced julienne style 1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced in strips 1 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil 1 tsp (10 mL) dulse flakes 1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place wrappers under a damp towel. Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil in wok. Add garlic, ginger, green onion, and shiitakes. Cook until lightly coloured; transfer to bowl. Add carrots, peppers, sesame oil, and dulse flakes; combine. Drain off any excess liquid from vegetables. On a flat, dry surface place one wrapper in a diamond shape. Lay a small portion of cooked vegetables across the bottom half of the wrapper. Top with some bean sprouts, then lift bottom tip of wrapper up and over filling. Fold in sides and roll away from you into a tightly formed tube. Brush with grapeseed oil; place on baking sheet seam-side down. Repeat with other wrappers. Bake for 10 minutes; turn over; bake 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice. Makes 8 rolls. Each roll contains: 146 calories; 4 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 191 mg sodium source: " Celebrate the Lunar New Year ", alive #340, February 2011

Sun Pea Soup

Sun Pea Soup

The delightful golden colour and delicate texture of this soup soothes with its sweet yet savoury flavour—and it takes less than an hour to cook. 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) baked butternut squash 1 cup (250 mL) raw split peas, yields 3 cups (750 mL) cooked 4 cups (1 L) water 1 strip kombu 1 medium onion, diced 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) almond milk 1 clove fresh garlic, minced 3 in (7.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, grated 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each turmeric and cumin Pinch of nutmeg Place a halved squash cut side down in baking pan with 1 in (2.5 cm) of water. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for approximately 45 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let cool until split peas are cooked. Wash split peas in strainer or sieve, then transfer to large stockpot. Add water and kombu. Turn to high heat and cover. Add onion and celery; wait for water to boil, then reduce heat to low or to a light boil. Stir, cover, and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Scoop cooled squash from rind with spoon. Remove kombu from pot. Remove split pea mixture from heat and drain. Place drained split pea mixture and squash in food processor or blender; add 1 cup (250 mL) almond milk, garlic, ginger, and spices. Blend until smooth. Pour back into pot. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) almond milk. Cover and reheat for 10 minutes on low. Serve with whole grain bread. Seres 8. Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 165 calories; 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 22 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre; 125 mg sodium TIP: Kombu is a Japanese seaweed that can be found in many health food stores and Asian markets. Source: " Soul Warming Winter Soups ", alive #339, January 2011

Nourishing Noodle Soup

Nourishing Noodle Soup

Boost your immune system with our healthy chicken noodle soup. The chunky vegetables, quality protein, and noodles create a fun meal that sustains energy levels while nourishing hunger. 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium potato, peeled and diced 2 large carrots, diced 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced 1 tsp (5 mL) each dried thyme, oregano, cilantro, and ginger 5 cups (1.25 L) water 1/2 in (2 oz) bunch whole grain spaghetti, snapped in two 2 cups (16 oz) cooked chicken, shredded or firm tofu, cubed (see sidebar) 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) broccoli, chopped 1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey 1 tsp (5 mL) tamari 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp (5 mL) red chilli flakes for garnish Heat sesame oil in large stockpot. Add garlic, onion, potato, carrots, and bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes; add herbs, spices, and water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spaghetti, chicken or tofu, broccoli, honey, and tamari; simmer for an additional 10 minutes, covered. In the last couple minutes of cooking, add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Garnish with red chilli flakes and serve with whole grain bread. Serves 8. Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 142 calories; 13 g protein; 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 16 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 95 mg sodium Simple shredded chicken To make moist, low-fat chicken, try poaching it, then shredding. Just follow these simple steps. Place skinless, boneless free-range chicken breasts in large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cover chicken with 2 inches (5 cm) of water. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer chicken until no pink remains in the centre and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 160 F (71 C), about 15 to 20 minutes. Using tongs, remove chicken from liquid and let cool. Shred by pulling the chicken apart with  a fork. TIP: Add 1 cup (250 mL) each chopped carrot, onion, and celery for every quart of water. Add 5 or 6 parsley sprigs, 2 whole garlic cloves, and a bay leaf. When chicken is cooked, strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside to cool. Refrigerate or freeze to use later as a savoury chicken stock. Source: " Soul Warming Winter Soups ", alive #339, January 2011

Mouth-Watering Mediterranean Stir-Fry

Mouth-Watering Mediterranean Stir-Fry

The sunny flavours of the Mediterranean are guaranteed to brighten a dark winter’s day. 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary, chopped 5 oz (142 g) boneless, skinless free-range chicken breast, thinly sliced into strips 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 1 cup (250 mL) broccoli rabe, chopped in 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces 1 cup (250 mL) small cauliflower florets 1 cup (250 mL) parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced 1 cup (250 mL) kale leaves, washed well and chopped 1/3 cup (80 mL) kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) capers, rinsed and drained 1/3 cup (80 mL) sundried tomatoes, chopped 1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar Warm wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil. Add garlic, rosemary, and sliced chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until meat is cooked through with no pink visible. Remove to a plate, cover, and keep warm. Wipe out wok with a clean, absorbent cloth, reheat, and add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil. Add onion, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, parsnips, and kale. Cook, stirring constantly, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes and toss well. Add chicken and heat through, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add balsamic vinegar, mix to combine flavours, and serve. Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains: 177 calories; 11 g protein; 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 16 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 318 mg sodium Pairing tip: Pair with a glass of Italian Barbera wine with its refreshing acidity or a lemon-flavoured mineral water for a nice citrus bite. Source: " Wonderful Winter Stir-Fries ", alive #339, January 2011

Tofu Stir-fry with Sriracha Chili Marinade

Tofu Stir-fry with Sriracha Chili Marinade

If packaged pressed tofu is unavailable, make your own. Place firm tofu on a plate, putting another plate on top of the tofu. Place a heavy, stable object (such as a can of food) on top of the upper plate. Let sit for 15 minutes so excess liquid in the tofu is “pressed” out onto the bottom plate. Marinade 1 - 12 oz (325 g) package pressed firm tofu, drained 2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium tamari sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Sriracha chili sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil 1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped coarsely Stir-fry 2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic peanut oil 4 heads baby bok choy, base trimmed off, leaves washed, and chopped 1/2 head napa cabbage, root end cut off, washed, and thinly sliced 1 cup (250 mL) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces 1 cup (250 mL) Brussels sprouts, quartered 1 cup (250 mL) carrots, cut into thin rounds 1/2 cup (125 mL) water 2 Tbsp (30 mL) hoisin sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) umeboshi plum vinegar Cut tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces and place in a shallow dish in a single layer. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tofu. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Warm wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, until tofu is slightly crisp and browned. Remove to a dish and pour remaining marinade from wok over top. Wipe out wok with a clean, absorbent cloth, reheat, and add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Add vegetables and stir to coat. Add water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Steam for 4 to 5 minutes, then uncover and test vegetables for desired doneness; they should be tender-crisp. If necessary, cover and steam for another minute. When vegetables are done, increase heat, add hoisin sauce and umeboshi, and stir to combine. Add tofu and remaining marinade, stir to reheat for 1 to 2 minutes, and serve. Asian noodles such as rice vermicelli provide a great side dish. Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains: 277 calories; 16 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 19 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 346 mg sodium Pairing tip: Try this dish with a serving of warm, good-quality sake or a cup of green tea full of potent antioxidants. Source: " Wonderful Winter Stir-Fries ", alive #339, January 2011

Caribbean Jerk Stir-fry

Caribbean Jerk Stir-fry

Spicy jerk seasoning is a mainstay of Jamaican cooking. While there is no definitive recipe, you will usually find Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, onion, thyme, and garlic as the flavour base. Scotch bonnet peppers carry a lot of heat and should be handled with plastic gloves when slicing them, although in this recipe they go right in the blender so gloves are not necessary. Jerk Sauce 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 cup (125 mL) green onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh ginger, chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground allspice 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh ground black pepper 1 or 2 Scotch bonnet peppers Stir-fry 16 to 20 medium shrimp, peeled (optional) 2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic coconut oil 1 cup (250 mL) sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced 1 cup (250 mL) collard greens, thinly sliced 1 cup (250 mL) small broccoli and cauliflower florets 1 lime, juiced Add jerk sauce ingredients to food processor and blend to a paste consistency. Set aside. If using shrimp, warm wok over medium-high heat, then add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and season lightly. Cook, stirring constantly, until pink and flesh is opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to plate and cover to keep warm. Wipe out wok with a clean, absorbent cloth, reheat, and add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil. Add vegetables and season. Cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp (if using) and jerk sauce and stir for 1 minute to heat through. Remove from heat, add lime juice, and serve. Steamed brown rice makes a great accompaniment to this dish. Makes 4 servings. Each serving (based on a recipe made with 16 shrimp) contains: 120 calories; 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 15 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 73 mg sodium Pairing tip: Belgian abbey-style beers have a sweet note that would pair well with the spicy jerk seasoning. For a nonalcoholic option, a refreshing ginger beer would also hit the spot! source: " Wonderful Winter Stir-Fries ", alive #339, January 2011

Veggiepâté

Veggiepâté

Veggiepâté, a vegetarian take on meat pâtés, is available premade in many organic grocery stores. Typical ingredients include sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, flour, and shredded carrots and potatoes. Here, additional ingredients are incorporated to make a tasty veggiepâté that’s fit for the holidays. Serve it with sliced baguette, mustard, and tomatoes. 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) sliced mushrooms 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups (500 mL) cooked green lentils 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds 2/3 cup (160 mL) unsalted almonds 2/3 cup (160 mL) nutritional yeast 3/4 cup (180 mL) whole wheat flour 1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) Montreal steak seasoning 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot water or low-sodium vegetable broth Juice of 1 lemon 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tamari 3 Tbsp (45 mL) tomato paste 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, and cilantro, finely chopped Preheat oven to 350F (180 C). In skillet, heat oil and sauté onion, pepper, mushrooms, and garlic until tender. Using hand-held blender, purée sautéed vegetables and lentils until a chunky paste is formed. Set aside. In coffee grinder, grind sunflower seeds and almonds into a fine powder. Stir into lentil mixture along with yeast, flour, Montreal steak seasoning, broth or water, lemon juice, tamari, tomato paste, and herbs. Press mixture into oiled 8 x 8 x 2 in (2 L) pan and bake for 45 minutes or until browned. Let cool. Slice and serve. Serves 25. Each serving contains: 90 calories; 7 g protein; 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 156 mg sodium Source: " Healthy Finger Foods For the Holidays ", alive #338, December 2010

Lemony Herb Veggie Dip (with Montreal Steak Spice)

Lemony Herb Veggie Dip (with Montreal Steak Spice)

This finger-licking dip is full of flavour and full of good-for-you ingredients such as beans, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Make it on the day you need to serve it though: the red onion can dye the dip when left in the fridge overnight. Serve it with a variety of veggie dippers (think carrots, steamed green beans, radishes, grape tomatoes, snow peas, lightly steamed cauliflower, and fresh broccoli). 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted cashews 1 cup (250 mL) cooked white navy beans Juice of 1 lemon l/2 tsp (2 mL) Montreal steak seasoning (see below) l/2 Tbsp (7 mL) extra-virgin olive oil l red onion, finely chopped 1 bell pepper (any colour), finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced l Tbsp (15 mL) lemon thyme or other fresh herb, finely chopped In coffee grinder, grind cashews into fine powdery paste. Mix ground cashews with beans, lemon juice, and seasoning; blend until smooth using hand-held blender. Set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir into bean mixture along with fresh herbs. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with your favourite dipping veggies. Serves 12 (makes about 2 cups or 500 mL). Each serving contains: 74 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 50 mg sodium Did you know? You can buy Montreal steak seasoning in the spice aisle of your local grocery store or you can make it yourself. Use it in pretty much any dish for a little extra boost of flavour. To make your own seasoning, mix together: 2 Tbsp (30 mL) paprika 2 Tbsp (30 mL) black pepper 2 Tbsp (30 mL) kosher salt 1 Tbsp (15 mL) garlic powder 1 Tbsp (15 mL) onion powder 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coriander 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dill 1 Tbsp (15 mL) red pepper flakes Store leftover Montreal steak seasoning in a glass jar with airtight lid. Source: " Healthy Finger Foods For the Holidays ", alive #338, December 2010

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