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Maple-Glazed Trail Mix
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

Baked Wild Salmon Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Baked Wild Salmon Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Lemon-Ginger Dressing

This luxuriously textured salad features wild salmon, an excellent source of omega-3s. These anti-inflammatory fats can help to lower LDL levels and reduce the plaque deposits in blood vessels that contribute to heart disease. Avocado is rich in heart-healthy potassium, folate, and oleic acid, while grapefruits add vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that aids in reducing cholesterol levels.

Fresh, pungent arugula greens, a member of the mustard family, provide an extra helping of folate and, along with ginger in the dressing, an added circulatory boost.

4 - 4 oz (125 g) wild salmon filets
1 Tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 red grapefruit, peeled and segments cut out (reserve any extra juice)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger root, grated
4 cups (1 L) fresh baby arugula
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place salmon filets on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until flesh is opaque in centre of filet. Set aside and keep warm.

Combine lemon juice and reserved grapefruit juice with grated ginger. In large mixing bowl, toss arugula with dressing. Divide among four plates.

Place portions of avocado and grapefruit on each plate. Top with salmon filets broken into large chunks. Season to taste as desired.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 298 calories; 8 g protein; 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 5 g fibre; 22 mg sodium

source: "Tasty Ticker-Friendly Food", alive #327, January 2010

Brown Rice with Spicy Marinated Tofu and Chinese Broccoli

Brown Rice with Spicy Marinated Tofu and Chinese Broccoli

Combining the fibre-rich benefits of a whole grain such as brown rice with tofu, a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, is a heart-smart combination. The marinade lends a spicy element of circulation-boosting chili and ginger that livens up this dish. Add in a portion of sesame seeds toasted in a pan (rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols) and your tastebuds will be as pleased as your heart!

Steamed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with a splash of organic tamari sauce makes a wonderful complement to this dish.

12 oz (350 g) organic firm tofu, drained
1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) hot chili sauce
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tamari sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
2 bunches gai lan, washed, ends trimmed, thick part of stem peeled
1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame seeds, lightly toasted over medium heat until fragrant
1 cup (250 mL) cooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cut tofu into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)cubes. Place in dish with ginger, chili sauce, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tamari; mix well and let sit for 15 minutes.

Place tofu on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Bring pan of water to boil, place gai lan in steamer basket, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes until tender yet still crisp.

Stir toasted sesame seeds into rice. Divide among 4 plates and top with tofu and gai lan. Drizzle with remaining tamari sauce and serve.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 281 calories; 14 g protein; 16 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat);
25 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre, 522 mg sodium

source: "Tasty Ticker-Friendly Food", alive #327, January 2010

Winter Coleslaw

Winter Coleslaw

Recipe adapted from Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health … and don’t forget the chocolate! (Whitecap, 2007) by Mairlyn Smith, PHEc, and Liz Pearson, RD.

This is a great snack for after school or work; low in calories, high in flavour, it’s a wonderful way to get those extra servings of fruits and veggies into your diet. Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that contain potent anticancer components called indoles and isothiocyanates which can promote cancer-cell suicide.

1/2 medium purple cabbage
1/2 medium red onion
1 large apple, peel left on, scrubbed well

1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin oil
1 tsp (5 mL) honey

Optional bells and whistles
1/2 cup (125 mL) raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts

To make your life easier, you really need to make this with a food processor. If you don’t own one, either thinly slice or grate the veggies, or ask for a food processor as a gift, or run out and buy one today.

Let’s assume you own a food processor—using the thinnest slicing attachment, slice cabbage, red onion, and apple. Place sliced veggies and fruit in large bowl.

Whisk together dressing ingredients: apple cider vinegar, oil, and honey; pour over the veggies and toss well. Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To serve, either eat as is or add the optional bells and whistles.

Makes 8 cups (2 L).

Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving (without the bells and whistles) contains: 55 calories; 1 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 6 mg sodium

source: "Winter Vegetables", alive #327, January 2010

No-Bake Power Bars or Balls

No-Bake Power Bars or Balls

1/2 cup (125 mL) large flake oats
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted raw peanuts
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) flaked semi-sweet coconut
1/4 cup (60 mL) golden seedless raisins
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried cranberries
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dark flaxseeds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) rice cereal
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) bran flakes
1/2 cup (125 mL) smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid honey
1/3 cup (80 mL) corn syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Lightly grease a 16 x 13 x 1 in (40 x 33 x 2.5 cm) metal baking pan or a large lasagna-sized pan and set aside.

Combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut in large shallow metal baking pan. Stir together to evenly distribute. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and bring to room temperature before continuing.

Transfer to very large bowl. Add raisins, cranberries, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and cereals. Stir to blend.

Combine remaining 4 ingredients in small saucepan. Stir over low heat to blend. Remove and slightly cool.

When peanut butter mixture has cooled, add to seeds and cereal mixture in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add a little more corn syrup if mixture isn’t holding together.

Transfer to prepared baking sheet and press mixture into an even layer. Use a rolling pin if needed to flatten the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Cut into bars using a pizza cutter.

Alternatively, let mixture rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, when firm enough to roll, rub hands with a little butter and roll mixture into 1 in (2.5 cm) balls. Cover and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.

Balls or bars can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for several days. Makes about 60 bars or balls.

Note: for a very crispy bar, bake in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 12 minutes.

Each 1 1/2 in x 1 in (4 cm x 2.5 cm) bar or 1 in (2.5 cm) ball contains: 44 calories; 1 g protein; 1.8 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 7.3 g carbohydrates; 0.6 g fibre; 22 mg sodium

source: "Game Night Munchies", alive #327, January 2010

Roasted Pepper Ratatouille

Roasted Pepper Ratatouille

1 large sweet onion, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (450 g) unpeeled eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) chunks
2 - 10 in (25 cm) zucchinis, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable stock or tomato juice (optional) 1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red peppers
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fennel seed, crushed
1 cup (250 mL) feta, crumbled
Arugula leaves

Preheat oven to 500 F (260 C). Position oven rack on top level. Lightly oil large baking sheet and set aside.

Combine onion, garlic, and peppers in large bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake on top rack in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally for even roasting. (Be careful when opening the oven, as escaping steam from the roasting vegetables can scald.)

Meanwhile, to release some of the bitter juices from the eggplant, toss with salt and place in a sieve. Cover sieve with a plate just small enough to fit snugly inside sieve. Place a weight on top, such as a 28 oz (796 mL) can of tomatoes. Set in sink to drain for 30 minutes. Remove plate. Rinse eggplant with cold running water and pat cubes dry with paper towels.

Place in large, heavy saucepan along with oven-roasted vegetables, zucchini, stock, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cover. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are done as you like. Serve immediately, or cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight for flavours to blend.

Excellent served hot or cold with crumbled feta and fresh arugula. Can be refrigerated for several days. Enjoy with crisp toasted slices of whole wheat baguette. Serves 10.

Each serving contains: 174 calories; 2.8 g protein; 11.6 g total fat (3.4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 309 mg sodium

source: "Game Night Munchies", alive #327, January 2010

Eggplant Dip with Veggies

Eggplant Dip with Veggies

2 medium eggplants, about 1 1/2 to 2 lb (750 g to 1 kg)
1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini paste*
2 tsp (10 mL) toasted sesame seed oil
1 tsp (5 mL) light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh parsley, finely minced, + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) for garnish
3 whole green onions, finely minced, about 1/4 cup (60 mL)
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

*Tahini paste is a ground sesame seed paste found in a jar in the ethnic section of your grocery store.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Slice stem ends from eggplants and prick eggplants all over with a fork. Place directly on oven rack and roast slowly in the oven until completely pooped, about 45 minutes. When sagging, wrinkled, and totally soft, you’ll know they’re ready. Remove very carefully from oven and wait until cool enough to handle.

Alternatively, place eggplant on greased barbecue grill and grill, covered, over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Turn several times with tongs until charred all over and pooped.

Cut eggplants in half and scoop out the insides. Place in large bowl and mash with large fork until no longer chunky. Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced parsley reserved for garnish. Blend together until it’s as smooth as you like. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be refrigerated overnight. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if you wish.

Just before serving, drizzle with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with lots of crisp veggies such as broccoli florets, carrot curls, cucumber, bell pepper strips, and cubes of whole wheat baguette.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL).

Each 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of dip contains: 40 calories; 0.85 g protein; 7.5 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 0 g carbohydrates; 0.5 g fibre; 19.5 mg sodium

source: "Game Night Munchies", alive #327, January 2010

Baked Spinach and Potato Samosas

Baked Spinach and Potato Samosas

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes, about 2 cups (500 mL)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
1/2 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tsp (10 mL) grated ginger root
1 Tbsp (15 mL) curry paste
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each of ground cumin and salt
10 oz (300 g) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, finely chopped
12 - 10 inch (25 cm) pesto or jalapeno flavoured flour tortillas
Mango chutney (optional)
Plain yogourt (optional)

Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and allow to dry.

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and ginger; saute just until onion is soft. Remove from heat and stir in curry paste, cumin, and salt.

Squeeze as much liquid from spinach as you can, and stir into onion mixture along with potatoes and peas. Fold in cilantro. Taste and add more salt if you wish. You should have about 3 cups (750 mL) of filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut flour tortillas in half. Run half a tortilla through a shallow dish with water. Place on flat surface. Put 2 Tbsp (30 mL) filling near end of tortilla and roll up into a cone. Tuck in the bottom end and gently press seams together. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortilla halves.

Samosas can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight, if you wish.
To bake, place samosas in middle of preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Dust samosas with paprika and serve with mango chutney and plain yogourt for dipping.

Makes about 24 large samosas.

Each samosa contains:  100 calories; 2.5 g protein; 2.1 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6.3 g carbohydrates; 1.7 g fibre; 232 mg sodium

source: "Game Night Munchies", alive #327, January 2010

Tofu Paella

Tofu Paella

This riff on paella is studded with tofu instead of seafood and sausage but is just as flavourful despite containing less fat.

1 – 12 oz (350 g) package firm tofu
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (500 mL) short grain rice, such as arborio
3 1/2 cups (850 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) saffron
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas

Slice tofu in half horizontally and lay on a couple pieces of paper towel placed on a plate. Top with additional paper towel and another plate. Place a heavy object on plate, and let sit 15 minutes to press out water. Slice each piece into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes.

In large pan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Cook tofu, stirring frequently, until brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil in pan and cook onion, stirring frequently, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add red pepper and cook 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add garlic, rice, broth, tomatoes, saffron, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Stir in tofu and peas; cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about
5 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 5.

Each serving contains: 456 calories; 16 g protein; 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 77 g carbohydrates;5 g fibre; 130 mg sodium

source: "One-Pot Wonders", alive #337, November 2010

Fruity Chicken Mole

Fruity Chicken Mole

For those who can handle a little heat, this piquant mole is from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Add a dollop of yogourt or sour cream to reduce the fiery kick. Canned tomatillos and dried ancho chili peppers are available in the ethnic foods section of many stores. If available, goat meat would be an excellent meat for this intensely flavoured dish.

3 to 4 dried ancho chili peppers
1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1 - 14 oz (400 mL) can tomatillos, about 8 to 10, drained and quartered
1/4 cup (60 mL) walnuts or almonds
1 medium apple, diced
1 medium pear, diced
1 cup (250 mL) pineapple chunks
Plain yogourt or sour cream (optional)

Remove stem and seeds from ancho chilies and soak in warm water for 30 minutes.

In large saucepan, bring 2 cups (500 mL) of water to a boil. Toss in chicken, bay leaf, and salt. Simmer covered for 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, flipping halfway. Remove chicken from pan and discard liquid and bay leaf.

Return pot to stove and heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add sweet potato cubes to pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove potato from pan and heat remaining oil.

Cook onion until soft, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, spices, and tomatillos. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Drain chilies and place in blender or food processor along with tomatillo mixture, nuts, and 1 cup (250 mL) of water. Process until smooth. Place mole in pan along with chicken, potato, apple, pear, and pineapple; heat for 5 minutes.

Place on serving plates and top with a dollop of yogourt or sour cream if desired. Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 416 calories; 27 g protein; 18 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 41 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 415 mg sodium

source: "One-Pot Wonders", alive #337, November 2010

Lentil Potato Dal with Cashew Almond Sauce

Lentil Potato Dal with Cashew Almond Sauce

Lentils, nuts, and potatoes all contribute to the wealth of dietary fibre in this recipe. Other nuts such as pecans and walnuts can also be used in the sauce.

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 in (2.5 cm) fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
4 to 5 green cardamom pods, crushed or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cardamom powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) green lentils
1/2 lb (225 g) potatoes, cubed
3 1/2 cups (850 mL) water
1/3 cup (80 mL) plain yogourt
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted cashews
1/4 cup (60 mL) almonds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne or chili powder
Cilantro or parsley

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 6 minutes, or until soft, stirring frequently. Add garlic and ginger; saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and pepper; saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, potatoes, and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until lentils and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add yogourt, cashews, almonds, and cayenne to bowl of food processor and process until smooth. Stir nut-yogourt sauce into lentils and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
Place in serving bowls and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 379 calories; 18 g protein; 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 50 g carbohydrates; 18 g fibre; 44 mg sodium

source: "One-Pot Wonders", alive #337, November 2010