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Watercress and Radish Salad
Beet, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

Beet, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

4 medium-sized roasted beets
2 tsp (10 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 romaine heart, torn into bite-sized pieces
4 cups (1 L) baby spinach
1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into sections
1 large firm but ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced (prepare just before serving, or sprinkle with a little lemon juice to prevent browning)
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Cut roasted beets in half and slice. Place them in a large bowl and set aside.

For the vinaigrette: combine mustard, honey, sherry vinegar, and raspberry vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Just before serving, combine romaine, spinach, grapefruit, avocado, and onion in a large salad bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Add beets and pecans and toss gently to coat.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

For 6 servings, each serving contains: 249 calories; 4 g protein; 19 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 90 mg sodium

TIP: To roast beets, scrub and trim beets, leaving 1 in (2.5 cm) of stems attached. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 400 F (200 C). Wrap beets individually in foil. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When beets are cool enough to handle, trim the tops and bottoms. Peel under cold running water; the peel will slip off easily. Chill beets before adding them to your salad.

The beets can be roasted and peeled a day or two before serving and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. (Alternatively, cook beets in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 50 minutes.)

Did you know?

To section grapefruit, with a sharp knife, remove the peel and pith from the fruit, first by cutting off the top and bottom, then by slicing off the sides along the contours. Trim off any remaining pith, which is bitter. Cut between the fruit segments and membranes to remove
each section.

source: "Salad Lovin'", alive #335, September 2010

Curried-Lentil Quinoa Loaf

Curried-Lentil Quinoa Loaf

Lentils, whole grain quinoa, and a vegetable medley team up to make this loaf a fibre powerhouse. Serve it with your favourite salsa.

3/4 cup (180 mL) brown/green or beluga lentils
1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) pecans, roughly chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup (180 mL) quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup (180 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup (250 mL) fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In medium saucepan, bring lentils and 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.

In separate small saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup (250 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

In sauté pan, heat vegetable oil over medium. Add onion, carrot, and mushrooms to the pan and cook until vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in red pepper and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

Remove vegetables from pan and toast pecan pieces until browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

In large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. Transfer mixture to loaf pan and press down until even. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before unmoulding and slicing.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 461 calories; 21 g protein; 17 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 59 g carbohydrates; 18 g fibre; 116 mg sodium

source: "Load Up on Lentils", alive #336, October 2010

Roasted Butternut Lentil Soup

Roasted Butternut Lentil Soup

The flavours of this soup only get better as it sits for a day or two. You can use other winter squash such as acorn or buttercup.

1 medium butternut squash, about 5 cups (1.25 L), diced, seeds reserved
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) red or yellow lentils
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala or curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 Tbsp (15 mL)

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place squash on baking sheet lined with foil and toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until squash becomes tender, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine lentils, turmeric, and 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lentils begin to break down.

Clean squash seeds of pulp and dry well with a paper towel. Toast seeds along with salt to taste in dry skillet over medium until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the cooked squash to the lentils and mash with fork or potato masher.

In large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium. Add cumin seeds and heat for 1 minute. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onion softens and becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala and cook for 1 minute. Add lentil squash pur'ee salt, pepper, and 3 cups (750 mL) water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add more liquid if desired. Stir in lemon juice.

Puree in a blender in batches. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with toasted squash seeds and cilantro.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 229 calories; 10 g protein; 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g carbohydrates; 12 g fibre; 8 mg sodium 

source: "Load Up on Lentils", alive #336, October 2010

Baked Autumn Apples with Caramel-Clove Sauce

Baked Autumn Apples with Caramel-Clove Sauce

All the fun of a caramel apple but healthier. This is a great choice for guests who are avoiding wheat in their diet.

Caramel-Clove Sauce
3/4 cup (180 mL) organic raw blue agave syrup
1/3 cup (80 mL) 35 percent cream
4 to 6 whole cloves
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

8 medium apples, such as McIntosh, Spartan, or Northern Spy
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1 tsp (5 mL) orange or lemon peel, grated
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogourt

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Place all sauce ingredients in medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir often until mixture starts to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, stirring often, until mixture thickens. Depending on the size of your pan, this will take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Caramel should measure about 3/4 cup (180 mL).

Refrigerate until completely cool and firm (it won’t be hard). If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Trim bottoms of apples so they sit flat. Peel a narrow strip from around tops of each. Scoop out and discard cores. Place apples in a 13 x 9 x 2 in (3.5 L) baking dish. Spoon about 1 tsp (5 mL) cooled caramel into apple hollows. Mix cranberries with orange peel, then tuck into hollows.

Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) water into bottom of pan around apples. Cover pan snugly with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil (add more water to pan, if needed). Continue to bake, uncovered, until apples are soft, 10 to 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile reheat remaining caramel sauce. Discard cloves.

Serves 8.

Each serving contains: 265 calories; 2 g protein; 6 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 56 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 100 mg sodium

source: "Sweet Thanks", alive #336, October 2010

Chicken and Pear Bake with Walnuts and Crumbled Blue Cheese

Chicken and Pear Bake with Walnuts and Crumbled Blue Cheese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Bosc or Anjou pears, unpeeled, halved, and cored
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken stock
1/2 lb (250 g) broccolini spears or Chinese broccoli
2 cups (500 mL) radicchio leaves 
1/4 cup (60 mL) natural sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

Lightly oil a baking dish just large enough to hold 4 chicken breasts and 4 pear halves.

Combine olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and lemon juice in small bowl and whisk to blend.

Place pear halves in baking dish cut side up. Brush Dijon mixture over pears, reserving remaining for chicken. Bake pears in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.

Gently move to the side of the dish and add chicken breasts to baking pan in a single layer. Brush remaining Dijon mixture over pears and chicken breasts and sprinkle with a little salt and fresh pepper. Continue to bake for 20 more minutes until juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Remove chicken and pears to a heated platter and cover to keep warm.

Transfer pan juices to small saucepan and whisk in chicken stock. Bring to a boil and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup (60 mL). Meanwhile, steam broccolini just until tender crisp. Drain.

To serve, place chicken on a bed of radicchio alongside a couple of steamed broccolini spears. Drizzle with reduced pan juices and sprinkle with almonds and crumbled cheese. 

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:  393 calories; 34 g protein; 16 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 309 mg sodium

source: "Pear-Fection", alive #336, October 2010

Pear and Parsnip Soup

Pear and Parsnip Soup


1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 cups (750 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
2 large thyme sprigs
1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cardamom
3 large pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in large saucepan.

Add leeks and garlic and saute until soft, not golden. Add parsnips and continue to sauté over medium-low heat until almost soft, about 10 minutes. Add stock, thyme, seasonings, and pears. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove thyme stems. Remove from heat. Cool mixture before puréeing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add a little more stock if soup is too thick for your liking. Serve topped with Parsnip Crisps.

Parsnip Crisps

1 large parsnip
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
Sea salt to taste

Peel parsnip and thinly slice on a mandoline. Heat oil in small sauté pan until very hot, almost smoking. Fry slices, several at a time, in hot oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Crisps will curl and twist slightly. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt. They will stay crisp for several hours.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 163 calories; 4 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 183 mg sodium

source: "Pear-Fection", alive #336, October 2010

Squash and Banana Soup

Squash and Banana Soup

Each spoonful of this sumptuous soup will warm your bones. Add a pinch of cayenne if you like it hot.

1 ripe banana, unpeeled
1 butternut squash, peeled, cut in cubes (about 4 to 5 cups or 1 to 1.25 L)
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) each brown sugar and honey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk
3 cups (750 mL) vegetable broth or water
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place unpeeled banana on one end of baking sheet and place squash on rest of sheet. Cut 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of butter into tiny bits. Sprinkle on squash, along with brown sugar and honey. Cook for 20 minutes; remove banana and set aside. Stir squash and roast 10 minutes longer.

Melt remaining butter in large pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Peel banana and add it and any juices to pan. Add squash, coconut milk, and 2 cups (500 mL) of stock. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Purée in batches in blender until smooth. Stir in remaining stock until soup reaches desired consistency; add lime juice, salt, and pepper. Store in a spill-proof insulated container.
Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains: 376 calories; 3 g protein; 24 g total fat (15 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 430 mg sodium

source: "Cross-country Skiing Banquet", alive #327, January 2010