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Indian Cilantro Chutney
Wheat Berry and Navy Bean Salad

Wheat Berry and Navy Bean Salad

Wheat berries are sold dry in most health food stores. The colourful and nutty berries are whole kernels of wheat that have been hulled but left with their bran and germ intact. They must be soaked overnight before cooking. When mixed with legumes, wheat berries make a complete meatless protein. Salad 1 cup (250 mL) dry wheat berries 2 cups (500 mL) canned white navy beans, drained 1 long English cucumber, diced 1 large red pepper, seeded and diced 4 green onions, chopped 1 large tomato, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped Salt and pepper to taste Dressing 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice 1 tsp (5 mL) hot mustard In medium bowl soak wheat berries overnight in cold water. Drain wheat berries and place in saucepan; cover with 2 in (5 cm) cold water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour. Drain and cool. In large bowl, combine cooled wheat berries with beans, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, green onion, garlic, and parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. In small bowl make dressing by whisking together olive oil, vinegar, tamari, lemon juice, and hot mustard until well combined. Toss salad with dressing just before serving. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 400 calories; 20 g protein; 10 g total fat (1.4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 65 g carbohydrates; 16 g fibre; 23 mg sodium source: "Give Grains a Chance", alive #321, July 2009
Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Combining nutrient-dense watercress with heart-healthy avocados and lycopene-rich ruby red grapefruit make this salad a winner in more than just the taste department. Pack this healthy salad for your next picnic.

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1 large ruby red grapefruit
1 ripe avocado
1 large bunch watercress

In small, resealable container whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, and honey. Store in fridge.

Cut a thin layer off top and bottom of the grapefruit. Place flat bottom of grapefruit on cutting board. Carefully cut off peel and as much of the white stuff (pith) as possible. Cut grapefruit in half and slice each half into 16 small pieces, omitting the core. Place in resealable container and store in fridge. Reserve core.

Cut avocado in half, remove and reserve pit. Without cutting through the peel, slice each half into 8 slices. Squeeze reserved grapefruit core over sliced avocado. Reassemble the avocado by placing pit and other half on top. This will help prevent browning.

Wash and spin dry watercress. Break into smaller pieces and wrap in clean dry tea towel. Place in plastic bag, seal, and store in fridge.

Pack salad dressing, grapefruit, avocado, and watercress into a cooler bag along with salad tossers and a large nonbreakable bowl. At the picnic, toss together and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains: 80 calories; 1 g protein; 7.25 g total fat (1.3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6.3 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fibre; 40 mg sodium

source: "The Organic Picnic", alive #322, August 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Some foods don’t work at a picnic; icing is one of them. These rich, dense chocolate cupcakes are great icing-free. I serve them with in-season berries. Pack extra water so you can rinse off the berries just before serving.

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
2/3 cup (160 mL) all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) granulated organic white sugar
2/3 cups (160 mL) natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) organic refined canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) organic chocolate soy beverage
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
1 omega-3 egg
1 - 4.5 oz (128 mL) jar strained prunes (baby food)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 paper cupcake liners.

In large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add oil, chocolate soy beverage, lemon juice, egg, strained prunes, and vanilla. Using hand mixer or wire whisk beat ingredients together for 1 minute, scraping bowl often. Turn speed up to medium or whisk as if your life depends on it; mix for 2 minutes.

Pour equally into 18 paper cupcake liners and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling. Serve with fresh berries. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Store completely cooled cupcakes in a resealable, nonbreakable container for up to 2 days.

Each cupcake contains: 158 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (0.5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 118 mg sodium

Adapted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health...and don’t forget the chocolate! (Whitecap, 2007).

source: "The Organic Picnic", alive #322, August 2009

Chocolate Mint Melties / Gluten-Be-Gone Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Mint Melties / Gluten-Be-Gone Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Mint Melties
(wheat-free but not gluten-free)

1 - 3 oz (85 g) bar mint dark chocolate
1/4 cup (60 mL) unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 1/8 cups (280 mL) spelt flour*
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cocoa powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 mL) agave nectar
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) mint extract
1/4 cup (60 mL) safflower oil (a little generous)

*If you want to use unbleached all-purpose flour instead of spelt, use just 1 cup (250 mL). If batter seems too dry or thick, whichever flour you use, stir in another 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each of oil and maple syrup.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Break off 2/3 of chocolate bar (reserve 1/3 for topping) and place in mini food processor, processing until crumbly.

Transfer to bowl and combine with sugar and salt; sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.

In separate bowl, combine maple syrup, agave nectar, extracts, and oil; stir until well mixed. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet in rounded tablespoons, spacing evenly. Roughly chop reserved chocolate and place pieces on top of cookies, pressing in a little.

Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 11 to 14 cookies. Each cookie (based on 14 servings) contains: 150 calories; 1 g protein; 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 23 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 123 mg sodium

Gluten-Be-Gone Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
(gluten-free)

3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (180 mL + 15 mL) amaranth flour or brown (or white) rice flour*
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tapioca starch flour
1 tsp (5 mL) xanthan gum
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp (1 mL) blackstrap molasses
1 to 1 1/2 tsp (5 mL to 7 mL) pure vanilla extract
3 to 3 1/2 Tbsp (45 to 52 mL) safflower oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 mL to 125 mL) nondairy chocolate chips

*Amaranth flour is grainier than brown rice flour, but I prefer its flavour. Feel free to use either flour or a combination of both.

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In bowl, sift in flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda. Add sugar and salt. Stir until well combined.

In separate bowl, combine syrup, molasses, and vanilla, then mix in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, along with chocolate chips, and stir until just well combined (don’t overmix).

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop batter onto baking sheet in rounded tablespoons, spacing apart, and ever so slightly flatten. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to cooling rack.

Makes 11 to 13 cookies.

Each cookie (based on 13 servings) contains: 134 calories; 1 g protein; 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 20 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 113 mg sodium

source: "Wheat-Free Holiday Treats", alive #326, December 2009

Cookie recipes are from eat, drink & be vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating by Dreena Burton (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007).

Raspberry Almond Torte (gluten free)

Raspberry Almond Torte (gluten free)

This new torte recipe has a densely satisfying almond base and is covered with a thick, sweet raspberry topping.

Raspberry topping

1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) arrowroot powder
1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups (330 mL to 350 mL) frozen raspberries
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unrefined sugar
Couple pinches sea salt

Torte base
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) almond meal*
1/3 cup (80 mL) brown (or white) rice flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) fresh lemon zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt (rounded)
1/3 cup (80 mL) unrefined sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp (30 mL) nondairy milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure almond extract

*You can buy almond meal or make your own by pulsing whole almonds in a food processor until very crumbly (avoid overprocessing as they turn to a paste).

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In small bowl, mix arrowroot and lemon juice. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine arrowroot mixture, raspberries, sugar, and salt. Cook until mixture slowly bubbles and thickens, stirring frequently. Once thickened, turn off heat.

In bowl, combine almond meal, flour, lemon zest, salt, and sugar.

In another bowl, combine arrowroot with milk until smooth, then add maple syrup and extracts; stir well. Add wet mixture to dry; stir to combine well.

Lightly oil bottom and sides of round cake pan, then line bottom with a circle of parchment paper to prevent sticking. Transfer mixture to pan and press in to evenly distribute. Pour raspberry mixture over top.

Bake for 25 minutes, then transfer (still in pan) to cooling rack. Serve wedges with vanilla nondairy ice cream. Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 349 calories; 9 g protein; 19 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 40 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 110 mg sodium

source: "Wheat-Free Holiday Treats", alive #326, December 2009

Tofu Cabbage Rolls

Tofu Cabbage Rolls

From The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2007).

1⁄2 red onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (240 mL) carrot, grated 1 rib celery, chopped fine
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 block tofu, medium firm
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil, chopped
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
4 quarts (3.8 L) water
6 large green or Savoy cabbage leaves (Keep a few extra leaves handy in case any get damaged while cooking.)

In large nonstick skillet, sauté onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in olive oil. Crumble tofu into skillet. Add herbs. Cook a few minutes more until heated through. Add soy sauce or tamari and mix well. Remove from heat and set aside.

In medium saucepan bring 4 quarts (3.8 L) water to boil. Place cabbage leaves in boiling water. Reduce heat and let cabbage cook briefly just until it changes colour. Remove from water immediately and run under cold water. Set on paper towel to drain.

Divide tofu mixture among 6 cabbage leaves. Roll cabbage carefully so tofu mixture doesn’t fall out and leaves don’t split. Place cabbage rolls in steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer you can use a grill pan to grill the rolls, or bake them in the oven at 350 F (180 C) for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains:
158 calories; 13 g protein; 9 g fat (1 g sat. fat., 0 g trans fat); 9 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 488 mg sodium

source: "Meatless Proteins", alive #328, February 2010

Black Bean Patties

Black Bean Patties

From Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook: Delicious Recipes That Will Burn Fat and Re-Shape Your Body! by Tosca Reno (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2009).

2 cups (480 mL) black beans, canned or cooked, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, left whole
1 carrot, chopped fine or grated
1⁄2 cup (120 mL) oats
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) natural nut butter, almond, cashew, or peanut
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) unsalted, raw sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp (45 mL) flaxseeds
Dash Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 egg whites
Pinch red pepper flakes
1⁄2 cup (120 mL) chopped celery leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor. Process mixture until it becomes uniform. If you have only a small food processor you will need to do this in batches.

Divide bean mixture into patties of equal size, about 4 in (10 cm) in diameter. Place on prepared cookie sheet. When tray is full, place cookie sheet in hot oven and bake patties for about 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Serve cooked patties on whole grain buns. Garnish with sliced tomato, crisp lettuce, and pickles. Add any of your favorite condiments to the meal, and serve with a fresh salad.

Serves 4.

Nutritional value for one patty: 178 calories; 7g protein; 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 20 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 367 mg sodium

source: "Meatless Proteins", alive #328, February 2010

Shepherd's Pie Without the Sheep

Shepherd's Pie Without the Sheep

From The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2007).

1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup (180 mL) bulgur or wheat berries
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil
1 tsp (5 mL) dried parsley
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (360 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup (240 mL) canned stewed tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 cup (240 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup (240 mL) frozen edamame
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). In large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion, celery, garlic, grain of choice, oregano, basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion and celery become soft, about 5 minutes.

Add stock and tomatoes. Allow mixture to come to boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook until bulgur (or grain) is tender.

Scrub sweet potatoes and cook. You can cook in the microwave (depending on size, about 4 minutes) or bake them in the oven (about 45 minutes at 450 F/230 C). Let cool when done.

Add chickpeas, edamame, and salt and pepper to tomato and grain mixture. Stir well. Place all these ingredients in a prepared 6 quart (6 L) casserole dish. Slice cooked potato on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:
381 calories; 16 g protein; 6 g fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 63 g carbohydrates; 13 g fibre; 217 mg sodium

source: "Meatless Proteins", alive #328, February 2010

Fresh West Coast Oysters Served Two Ways

Fresh West Coast Oysters Served Two Ways

Here are two means to prepare oysters—some prefer them baked while others opt for eating them raw. Both are delicious!

A quick caution—while many people regularly eat oysters raw without ill effect, Health Canada nonetheless recommends oysters be cooked before ingestion to avoid the possibility of food-borne illnesses.

12 fresh oysters in the shells

Raw topping
1 Tbsp (15 mL) champagne vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) shallots, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh chives, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper Crushed ice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) West Coast caviar

To prepare oysters, shuck and loosen muscle from bottom shells.

To serve raw, place half the bottom shells with loosened muscles on bed of crushed ice, making sure not to spill precious juices contained in shells.

In small bowl combine shallots, chives, vinegar, and pepper. Stir to blend.

Top each oyster with a small spoonful of minced shallot mixture and a little caviar.

Baked topping
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh parsley, minced
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of paprika
2 tsp (10 mL) unsalted butter, melted
Lemon wedges

To bake remaining oysters, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Stir garlic and parsley together in small bowl.

Place remaining oysters with loosened muscles on baking tray, making sure not to spill precious juices contained in the shells. Sprinkle a little garlic mixture over each. Season with salt and paprika, and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Squirt with fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Each serving contains:
325 calories; 32 g protein; 12 g fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 60 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 125 mg sodium

source: "Romancing the Dinner Table", alive #328, February 2010

Confetti Rice

Confetti Rice

(Shown with Salmon Fillets with Gremolata)

This method of preparing brown rice makes for perfect results every time.

1 cup (250 mL) long-, medium-, or short-grain organic brown rice
2 cups (500 mL) organic vegetable or chicken broth
6 tsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) sea salt
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) crushed frozen organic kale (freeze then crush; compost the stems)

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Rinse and drain rice and spread in baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. Bring broth to a boil. Stir in 2 teaspoons (10 mL) olive oil and salt. Immediately pour over rice. Cover dish tightly with lid or seal tightly with a double layer of foil.

Bake 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven. Uncover. Fluff with a fork. Cover dish with a clean kitchen towel. Let stand 5 minutes.

Uncover and let stand 5 more minutes. While rice rests, heat remaining olive oil in saute pan. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes or until soft. Add diced peppers and continue to saute until bright and tender crisp.

Fold in rice and kale just until evenly mixed. Press rice into moulds and turn out onto heated serving plates and serve with salmon. Leftover rice can be frozen and reheated for another meal.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains:
242 calories; 32 g protein; 6.5 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 31 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 116 mg sodium

source: "Romancing the Dinner Table", alive #328, February 2010