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Malaysian White Fish Wrapped in Collard Leaves

Malaysian White Fish Wrapped in Collard Leaves

4 large collard leaves
4 - 1/4 lb (125 g) fish filets
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 - 2 in (5 cm) knob of ginger, thinly sliced 2 limes*
5 Tbsp (75 mL) dried coconut (reserve 1 Tbsp/15 mL for garnish)
Lime rind
Small bunch of cilantro
*Thinly slice 1 lime; grate rind from other lime before cutting into quarters for juice.

Wash collard leaves and remove bottom 1/3 of spine (thickest part of stem) from each collard leaf so they can easily be folded into packets.

Place fish filet in centre at top of collard leaf, leaving enough space at top to fold over fish (1 to 2 in/3 to 5 cm). Top with 2 slices of garlic, 1 to 2 slices of ginger, 1 slice of lime, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut. Squeeze juice of 2 lime quarters over fish, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lime rind, and top with fresh cilantro leaves.

Bring both ends of leaf (where you removed the spine) together and bring to top, folding over fish. Bring in left and right side, forming a packet; roll over to create your finished package.

Place seam-side down in steamer basket and steam for 20 minutes. Carefully remove with slotted spoon and place on serving plate.

Carefully cut an X on top of packet and pull back each corner. Sprinkle with reserved coconut, lime juice, and rind.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 309 calories; 23 g protein; 20 g total fat (17 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 72 mg sodium

source: "Go Macrobiotic", alive #330, April 2010

Pickled Asparagus

Pickled Asparagus

This is a great addition to antipasto plates, salads, or as a fancy garnish to the Canadian classic, Caesar cocktail.

2 bunches asparagus*
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) natural white vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar or Sucanat
2 tsp (10 mL) kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 or 3 sprigs fresh dill
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) mustard seeds
2 - 500 mL Mason jars, lids, and screw bands

*1 bunch skinny spears = about 38 pieces

Sterilize jars and lids for Mason jars. Trim asparagus bottoms so spears fit about 1/2 in (1 cm) below rim of a 500 mL jar. Blanch asparagus in boiling water, then immediately cool in ice bath.

In saucepan, bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Portion garlic, dill, and seasonings into 2 piles and set aside.

Working quickly, place 1 herb and spice pile in bottom of each jar. Then add asparagus spears, tips pointing downward. Depending on thickness of spears, plan on 1 bunch for each jar. Be sure to pack in as many spears as possible. Pour boiling brine over top, leaving 1/8 in (3 mm) at top of each jar. Wipe rims, then cover with sterilized lids and lightly tighten screw bands.

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes; remove carefully. Best to let sit a few weeks to let flavour develop before eating. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Makes 2 - 500 mL Mason jars.

Each 2-spear serving contains: 5 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 30 mg sodium

source: "Spring's Green Goodness", alive #331, May 2010

Barley, Vegetables and Candied Nuts Salad

Barley, Vegetables and Candied Nuts Salad

2 yellow or red beets
1/2 cup (125 mL) pearl barley
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) chicken or vegetable stock 
1/4 cup (60 mL) dark brown sugar (or Sucanat)
1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 - 18 oz (500 g) bag mixed mesclun greens
1 medium yellow zucchini
1/2 small red onion
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fig balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled goat cheese

Place unpeeled beets in pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and gently boil until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel and cut into small dice. Set aside.

Combine barley and stock in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and gently boil until barley is tender to the bite, about 30 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to cook barley dry. When barley is tender, place in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until brought to room temperature. Drain well and place in small bowl. Set aside.

Spray a baking sheet with oil. Set aside. Place sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until melted. Sugar will turn into a golden syrup. Remove from heat and quickly stir in walnuts until evenly coated with syrup. Continue to work quickly and spread nuts out on baking sheet. Place aside to cool.

Wash and spin-dry lettuce greens. Place on a large, shallow platter. Using vegetable peeler, thinly slice zucchini lengthwise into ribbons. Thinly slice onion and cut into halves. Scatter zucchini and onion over greens, along with diced beets and cooked barley. Break up candied nuts and scatter over top.

Whisk oil and vinegar together in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over salad and gently toss together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 355 g calories; 10 g protein; 25 g fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 24 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 273 g sodium

source: "Whole Grains = Smart Foods", alive #331, May 2010

Healthy Soda Bread with Edamame and Pea Hummus

Healthy Soda Bread with Edamame and Pea Hummus


3 1/3 cups (830 mL) 100 percent whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ
1/2 cup (125 mL) quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup (60 mL) raw bran
1 Tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar (or Sucanat)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
3/4 tsp (4 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cup (430 mL) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 egg white, whisked


1 1/2 cups (350 mL) shelled frozen edamame beans, thawed
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas. thawed
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh minced flat leaf parsley
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tahini paste
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sesame oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper

To make bread, preheat oven to 375 F (185 C). Position rack in centre of oven. Heat oil until warmed.

Combine flour, wheat germ, oatmeal, bran, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Stir to blend.

Combine buttermilk and warm oil and pour over flour mixture in bowl. Stir with spatula just until flour mixture is moistened; it will appear quite dry. Transfer dough to a floured surface
and gently knead until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Do not overmix or bread will become tough during baking.

Divide dough in half and form each into a 6 in (15 cm) oval loaf. Place on ungreased baking sheet, leaving about a 5 in (12 cm) space in between. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Slash the tops. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Dough should be golden and sound hollow when lightly tapped. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Bread is deliciously crumbly. Slice and serve warm.

To make hummus, place edamame beans in food processor or blender fitted with a metal blade. Add remaining ingredients and pulse on and off, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl with spatula until mixture is as smooth as you like. Add a little more oil and more salt to taste, if you wish.

Serve hummus with warm soda bread.

Makes 2 soda loaves (12 slices) and 12 servings (2 cups/500 mL) hummus.

Each serving of bread contains: 205 calories; 8 g protein; 6 g fat; (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 342 g sodium

Each serving of hummus contains: 70 calories; 2 g protein; 6 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 3 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 110 g sodium

source: "Whole Grains = Smart Foods", alive #331, May 2010

Quinoa Spring Salad with Simple Cider Vinaigrette

Quinoa Spring Salad with Simple Cider Vinaigrette

Cooking the quinoa in advance makes this salad especially quick to prepare!


1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen green peas (plus 2 cups/500 mL boiling water to soak peas)
3 cups (750 mL) cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup (250 mL) red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) cucumber, seeds removed, diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) green pistachios
1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled hempseed nuts
3 Tbsp (45 mL) parsley, cilantro, or basil, chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) Simple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

In bowl, soak frozen peas in boiling water. Let sit until peas have warmed through. Drain peas and pat dry. In large bowl, combine peas with remaining ingredients. Toss through to mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate in airtight container.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.

For 6 servings, each serving contains: 214 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 87 mg sodium


This tangy yet simple vinaigrette works well in the quinoa salad, as it doesn’t compete with the other ingredients.

1/4 cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp (25 mL) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (75 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

With hand blender or in blender, purée all ingredients except oil. Continue blending and drizzle in oil. Season to taste with additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Each 1/4 cup (60 mL) serving contains: 169 calories; 1 g protein; 17 g fat (2 g sat. fat; 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 0 g fibre; 788 mg sodium

Source: "Quinoa", alive #333, July 2010

Sweet and Sour Tomato Mussel Soup

Sweet and Sour Tomato Mussel Soup

Green pick

Think of mussels as the MVP of the fishmonger: they’re inexpensive, a cinch to prepare, and farmed in a manner that is actually beneficial to surrounding waterways.

Health perk

Mussels have a laudable protein-to-fat-ratio and a wealth of iron, the antioxidant selenium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamin B12—needed for proper nerve function and DNA synthesis.

Recipe note

You can find tamarind pulp at most Asian and Indian markets. Clams would work in this dish as well. Recipe can be halved.

4 Tbsp (60 mL) tamarind pulp
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 in (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
5 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) mustard seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) cumin powder
2 tsp (10 mL) coriander powder
3 lbs (1.5 kg) farmed mussels
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
Sea salt to taste

Place tamarind pulp in bowl and cover with 6 cups (1.5 L) boiling water. Let soak for 10 minutes.

In blender or food processor, mix together jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes until smooth; set aside.

In small skillet, dry-toast mustard seeds until they pop. Add cumin and coriander; heat for about 1 minute, set aside.

Rinse mussels and toss any that are broken or do not shut when lightly tapped. In large pot, bring 8 cups (2 L) water to a boil; add mussels, cover and cook until they open up, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain mussels, toss any that stayed shut, and set others aside.

Return pot to heat and strain tamarind liquid through a sieve into pot. Mix in tomato mixture, toasted spices, cilantro, turmeric, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Return mussels in shells to the soup.

Ladle soup into bowls and lightly season with sea salt.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 359 calories; 42 g protein; 8 g total fat  (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 1,120 mg sodium

source: "Great Catch!", alive #332, June 2010

Arctic Char with Strawberry Salsa and Green Beans

Arctic Char with Strawberry Salsa and Green Beans

Green pick

The majority of Arctic char on the market is raised in closed, land-based aquaculture systems that pose little risk to wild species and don’t pollute surrounding waterways. Char can be adapted to any recipes giving a shout-out to salmon.

Health perk

Well-endowed in omega-3 fats (along with selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B12—among others), consider this traditional Inuit protein staple as a means to avoid summer salmon burnout. Consuming large quantities of fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids may explain low levels of heart disease in Japan, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Recipe note

Combining the sweetness of trout and the richness of salmon, char is mild tasting for those not crazy about salmon’s fishy taste. Rainbow trout is another sustainable omega-3 powerhouse that can be used in lieu of arctic char. Recipe can be halved.

1 1/2 lb (750 g) Arctic char filets
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (500 mL) sliced strawberries
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 in (2.5 cm) slice fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup (80 mL) cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1 lb (450 g) green beans
1/2 cup (125 mL) slivered almonds
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

Rinse Arctic char and pat dry with paper towel. Season with cumin powder, salt, and pepper; set aside.

To make salsa, combine strawberries, jalapeno ginger, cilantro, lime juice, and honey in bowl; set aside.

Trim ends off beans and slice in half. Steam beans until slightly tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. As beans steam, heat skillet over medium-high heat. Without any oil, add almonds and toast until they brown, stirring frequently.

In bowl, combine green beans, toasted almonds, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside.
Add char to skillet, skin side down, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until opaque throughout. Serve topped with strawberry salsa and with green beans.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 456 calories; 42 g protein; 19 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0g trans fat); 20 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 286 mg sodium

source: "Great Catch!", alive #332, June 2010

Sesame Salmon with Orange-Scented Quinoa

Sesame Salmon with Orange-Scented Quinoa

Green pick

Farmed salmon is rife with problems, including polluting surrounding waterways and crowding out wild stocks when escapes occur. During the summer months more sustainable wild salmon can be found at the fishmonger for a price that is a little more amicable to your wallet. Most discerning palates consider the flavour and texture of wild fish to be markedly superior to that of farmed.

Health perk

Like Arctic char, wild salmon is loaded with protein and the two blockbuster omega-3s—DHA and EPA. The summer vegetables and fibre-rich whole grain quinoa up the health ante on this great meal.

Recipe note

Cooking fish in parchment-paper packets keeps it deliciously moist as it bakes in its own juices. Minimal cleanup also means more time to enjoy long summer nights. Recipe can be halved.

1 1/2 lb (750 g) wild salmon filets
3 Tbsp (45 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice wine
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) honey
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) Chinese five-spice powder
4 oz (100 g) sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 medium zucchini, julienne cut
1 red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
Zest of 1 medium orange

In bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, ginger, honey, sesame seeds, and Chinese five-spice powder. Pour over salmon and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Cut 4 - 24 in (60 cm) pieces of parchment paper and fold in half crosswise. Draw a half heart, with the centre of heart on the fold line, and then cut out the shape. Open it up and place salmon on one side of each heart, fairly close to crease. Top salmon with vegetables and drizzle leftover marinade on top.

Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath. Place packets on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in saucepan combine quinoa, orange zest, and 2 cups (500 mL) water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Allow packets to rest for 5 minutes before carefully opening, and serve with quinoa.

Each serving contains: 520 calories; 45 g protein; 20 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0g trans fat); 38 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 488 mg sodium

source: "Great Catch!", alive #332, June 2010

Flank Steak Fajitas with Berry Salsa (with vegetarian option)

Flank Steak Fajitas with Berry Salsa (with vegetarian option)


2 Tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried chili flakes
1 1/2 lb (750 g) organic flank steak

1 cup (250 mL) blackberries or currants
1 cup (250 mL) raspberries
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro or basil, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime
8 whole wheat tortillas

Combine soy sauce with oil, cumin, and chili flakes. Rub both sides of steak with mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Place berries in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in tomato, pepper, garlic, cilantro (or basil), and oil. Squeeze lime juice over top. Stir to mix.

Preheat barbecue to medium-high. For medium-rare-steak, grill about 3 minutes per side. Flank steak turns tough if overcooked.

Remove to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. For best texture, slice across the grain and as thinly as possible.

Grill tortillas over medium-high heat, just until marks form, about 30 seconds per side.
Place 2 or 3 pieces of flank steak on a tortilla; add 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) salsa and any other favourite fixings, such as sliced red onion, sour cream, and shredded lettuce. Roll up and serve.

Serves 8.

Each serving contains: 391 calories; 27 g protein; 16 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 trans fat);
34 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 798 mg sodium

Vegetarian option

This delicious fajita is just as yummy without the beef; simply substitute sliced marinated tofu. Here’s how:

Drain and dry a block (350 g) of firm or extra-firm tofu. Cut tofu into 1/2 in (1.5 cm) slices.

Press liquid from tofu slices by wrapping them in a tea towel and weighing them down with a heavy object such as a wooden cutting board or a cast iron frying pan.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

While tofu is pressing, prepare marinade by combining in medium bowl:

2 Tbsp (30 mL) reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vermouth (optional)
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 drops sesame oil

Unwrap pressed tofu, place in bowl with marinade, cover, and marinate at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

Carefully rub a medium-hot grill with extra-virgin olive oil and lay slices on grill for 5 to 6 minutes each side.

Replace flank steak with cooked tofu in recipe.

Tip: Whether you pick them yourself or buy them from a store—choose organic whenever possible. Organic berries taste better, contain more nutrients, and are easy on the environment.

source: "Superfruits to the Rescue", alive #332, June 2010