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Soba Noodles
Fiery Chipotle Gazpacho

Fiery Chipotle Gazpacho

Chipotles add smoky flavour to this soup, and are available in tins in the Mexican food section of many stores.

2 - 14 oz (298 mL) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, including juices
1/2 cup (125 mL) yellow pepper, finely diced
1 cup (250 mL) English cucumber, finely diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) red onion, finely chopped
1 canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce, finely minced
1 cup (250 mL) cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup (50 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, and basil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and minced
Sea salt
1 hard-cooked egg
1 - 46 oz (1.36 L) can tomato juice (about 5 1/4 cups)
1/3 cup (80 ml) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balkan-style plain yogourt (optional)

Dice fire-roasted tomatoes. Place in large deep bowl along with juices, remaining diced vegetables, and chipotle chili. Stir in cold vegetable broth, oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, herbs, and Worcestershire sauce. Add pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place smashed garlic in small bowl and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Chop egg and add to garlic. Mash with fork until blended.

Stir tomato juice into vegetable mixture along with egg mixture. Stir in breadcrumbs until dissolved. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover; refrigerate overnight for flavours to blend. Serve with dollops of yogourt.

Makes 12 cups (3 L).

Each serving contains: 71 calories; 2 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 9 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 141 mg sodium

source: "Summer Soups", alive #334, August 2010

Spiced Golden Beet Soup

Spiced Golden Beet Soup

This golden soup is filled with plenty of healthy spices. Roast beets in advance in order to cut down on preparation time (see below).

2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 in (2.5 cm) piece ginger root, peeled and minced
1 lb (450 g) golden beets, roasted and peeled
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) turmeric
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro or fresh dill

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute just until onions are soft. Do not brown.

Chop peeled beets. Add to onions in saucepan along with cinnamon, turmeric, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavours. Remove from heat and cool before puréeing.

Purée soup in blender or food processor until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain, if you wish. Refrigerate until fully chilled. Serve with chopped fresh herbs.

Makes 5 cups (1.25 L).

Each serving contains: 126 calories; 5 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 258 mg sodium

Simple steps for roasting beets

The amount of time it takes to roast beets varies depending on the size of the beet.

  1. Preheat oven to 500 F (260 C). Rinse beets clean.
  2. Place beets in a small casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Roast until the centres of the beets are soft and can be pierced easily with a fork, about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beet (smaller ones cook faster).
  4. Remove casserole from oven, take off lid, and wait until beets are cool enough to handle.
  5. Peel by rubbing the beet gently with fingertips. Soak fingers in lemon juice for a couple of minutes to remove any staining from the beets.

source: "Summer Soups", alive #334, August 2010

Three-Bean Salad

Three-Bean Salad

The flavour of this fibre-packed salad only gets better as it sits. Consider making it on Sunday and taking it to work for healthy lunches the following week.

1 - 19 oz (540 g) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 19 oz (540 g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 19 oz (540 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 - 10 oz (283 g) can mandarins, drained
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup (250 mL) curly parsley, chopped
1/3 cup (80 mL) apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) agave syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Hempseeds (optional)

In large bowl, mix beans, tomato, mandarins, celery, onion, and parsley.

For dressing, whisk together vinegar, agave syrup, oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl.

Add dressing to bean mixture; toss to coat.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place bean salad in serving bowls and drizzle with lime juice. Garnish with hempseeds if desired.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 410 calories; 17 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 64 g carbohydrates; 15 g fibre; 946 mg sodium

Tip: While there are plenty of good-for-you varieties of canned beans available from natural health retailers, those same retailers often sell dried beans in their bulk sections. If canned goods aren’t your thing, make your own beans—it’s easy! Rinse your dried beans carefully to ensure no dirt or other foreign matter; soak your clean beans in plenty of fresh water overnight; in the morning simply drain, rinse well, and then boil in fresh water for 10 minutes. That’s it! Now your dried beans are ready for use in this or any other recipe.

source: "The Joy of (not) Cooking", alive #334, August 2010

Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup

Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup

Dried shiitake mushrooms add meaty texture and a ton of umami. You can also use rice vermicelli in this recipe.

1 oz (25 g) dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp (15 mL) green tea or 2 green tea bags
1 in (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, outside leaves removed, finely sliced
4 oz (100 g) mung bean noodles
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 cup (250 mL) shelled edamame, frozen
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Cover mushrooms with water and set aside.

In a large pot add 6 cups (1.5 L) of water along with green tea, ginger, and lemongrass. Heat until water is just about to reach a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, soak noodles in warmed water until softened. Use kitchen shears to cut the noodles in half.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until no longer pink inside; remove from heat.

Strain tea infusion into a large saucepan and discard solids. Bring to a boil, add edamame, and gently boil for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and 1 cup (250 mL) of the mushroom soaking liquid; cook for 2 minutes. Add vermicelli and chicken; simmer for 3 minutes.

Place in serving bowls and garnish with black pepper and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 244 calories; 23 g protein; 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 60 mg sodium

source: "Not Your Average Noodle", alive #335, September 2010

Soba Noodles with Almond Sauce and Pan-Seared Tofu

Soba Noodles with Almond Sauce and Pan-Seared Tofu

Equally good warm or chilled, consider packing leftovers for lunch. Peanut butter can replace almond butter.

1 package (350 g) firm tofu
1/3 cup (80 mL) almond butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey or agave syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 package (250 g) soba noodles
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Slice tofu in half horizontally and lay on a couple of pieces of paper towel placed on a plate. Top with additional paper towel and another plate. Place a heavy object on the plate and let sit 15 minutes to press out the water.

In bowl, whisk together almond butter, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, lime, and pepper flakes; set aside.

In dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove seeds from skillet and heat 2 tsp oil (10 mL) over medium heat. Sear tofu for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden on both sides. Remove from heat and slice each half into 12 cubes.

Add carrots to skillet and cook for 4 minutes. Add red pepper and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In large saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Return noodles to pot and mix with vegetables, tofu, and almond sauce.

Place on serving plates and garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, and cilantro.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 366 calories; 19 g protein; 17 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 3.3 g fibre; 704 mg sodium

source: "Not Your Average Noodle", alive #335, September 2010

Tofu Lasagna

Tofu Lasagna

3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 - 24 oz (700 mL) jar Italian tomato sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dried oregano and dried basil
1 cup (250 mL) mushrooms, sliced with stems removed
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
1 - 10 oz (300 g) package soft tofu
1 - 10 oz (300 g) package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
2 - 12 oz (350 g) packages extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In frying pan over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil and saut?ucchini, peppers, onion, and garlic until onions are transparent.

In large bowl combine tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and mushrooms. In another bowl, mix soft tofu with spinach.

Slice extra-firm tofu into 1/8 to 1/4 in (3 to 6 mm) slices to act as lasagna noodles.

Oil 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) lasagna pan with remaining olive oil. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Add a layer of tofu as you would lasagna noodles. Top with some of the spinach mixture and then some grilled vegetables. Sprinkle some mozzarella on top.
Repeat until all ingredients are used (you will have two or three layers). Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serves 6 to 8.

Based on a 7-serving portion each serving contains: 317 calories; 22 g protein; 17 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 19 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 858 mg sodium

source: "Healthy Living", alive #335, September 2010