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Spiced Mung Bean Stew

Spiced Mung Bean Stew

This blend of Asian and North American ingredients satisfies taste buds with a mosaic of curry and barbecue flavours. Wholesome and satisfying, this stew tastes great over rice.

1/2 cup (125 mL) dried mung beans
2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cold water
1 medium yam, cubed
3 oz (90 mL) tomato paste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) miso paste
2 Tbsp (30 mL) blackstrap molasses
1 tsp (5 mL) palm sugar or other natural sweetener
Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp (15 mL) each dried cilantro leaves and oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dried cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) pumpkin seeds for garnish

Rinse dried mung beans and add to boiling water. Decrease heat to a light boil and simmer, covered, for one hour.

Heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion, carrot, and red pepper for about 10 minutes. Add water, yam, and cooked mung beans. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients. Stir mixture into pot; simmer, covered, for an additional 10 minutes or until liquid slightly reduces.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve over brown rice.

Serves 6.

Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 194 calories; 7 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 222 g sodium

Source: "Soul Warming Winter Soups", alive #339, January 2011

Sun Pea Soup

Sun Pea Soup

The delightful golden colour and delicate texture of this soup soothes with its sweet yet savoury flavour—and it takes less than an hour to cook.

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) baked butternut squash
1 cup (250 mL) raw split peas, yields 3 cups (750 mL) cooked
4 cups (1 L) water
1 strip kombu
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) almond milk
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 in (7.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each turmeric and cumin
Pinch of nutmeg

Place a halved squash cut side down in baking pan with 1 in (2.5 cm) of water. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for approximately 45 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let cool until split peas are cooked.

Wash split peas in strainer or sieve, then transfer to large stockpot. Add water and kombu. Turn to high heat and cover. Add onion and celery; wait for water to boil, then reduce heat
to low or to a light boil. Stir, cover, and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Scoop cooled squash from rind with spoon.

Remove kombu from pot. Remove split pea mixture from heat and drain. Place drained split pea mixture and squash in food processor or blender; add 1 cup (250 mL) almond milk, garlic, ginger, and spices. Blend until smooth.

Pour back into pot. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) almond milk. Cover and reheat for 10 minutes on low.

Serve with whole grain bread.

Seres 8.

Each 1 cup (250 mL) serving contains: 165 calories; 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 22 g carbohydrates; 8 g fibre; 125 mg sodium

TIP: Kombu is a Japanese seaweed that can be found in many health food stores and Asian markets.

Source: "Soul Warming Winter Soups", alive #339, January 2011

Hazelnut Hemp Pancakes with Dried Blueberry Sauce

Hazelnut Hemp Pancakes with Dried Blueberry Sauce

Rich in heart-healthy fats, hazelnut meal is available at health food stores—or make your own by grinding up hazelnuts in a food processor or spice grinder. Almond flour would be a good substitution. The sauce can be made the night before and thinned with more maple syrup if needed. Use any extra sauce in yogourt or over fish.

Blueberry Sauce
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried blueberries (see recipe below)
1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon zest
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup

1/3 cup (80 mL) hazelnut meal/flour
2/3 cup (160 mL) whole wheat pastry flour
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/3 cup (80 mL) hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened hemp milk or other milk of choice

In small saucepan, combine blueberries, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch and maple syrup; simmer 1 minute more, or until slightly thickened. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine hazelnut meal, whole wheat pastry flour, banana, egg, cinnamon, baking powder, hazelnuts, and hemp milk. Stir in more milk if needed to reach pancake consistency.

Heat nonstick skillet over medium. Drop batter, 1/3 cup (80 mL) at a time, into skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Serve topped with Blueberry Sauce.

Serves 2 (about 6 pancakes).

Each serving contains: 624 calories; 14 g protein; 28 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 86 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 51 mg sodium

Oven-dried Blueberries

1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries
1 tsp (5 mL) honey or maple syrup

Preheat oven to the lowest setting. Toss blueberries with honey or maple syrup and cook until berries are shrivelled, about 3 hours. Let cool.

Source: "Sweet Nutrition", alive #339, January 2011

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls

Originally consumed as part of New Year’s celebrations marking the arrival of the spring season, spring rolls are now one of the most popular snack foods in the world. This healthy version uses plenty of colourful and delicious vegetables and is baked rather than deep-fried.

8 - 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) spring roll pastry sheets
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh ginger, minced
2 green onions, sliced in thin rounds
1 cup (250 mL) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled, thinly sliced julienne style
1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced in strips
1 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
1 tsp (10 mL) dulse flakes
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place wrappers under a damp towel.

Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil in wok. Add garlic, ginger, green onion, and shiitakes. Cook until lightly coloured; transfer to bowl. Add carrots, peppers, sesame oil, and dulse flakes; combine.

Drain off any excess liquid from vegetables. On a flat, dry surface place one wrapper in a diamond shape. Lay a small portion of cooked vegetables across the bottom half of the wrapper. Top with some bean sprouts, then lift bottom tip of wrapper up and over filling. Fold in sides and roll away from you into a tightly formed tube.

Brush with grapeseed oil; place on baking sheet seam-side down. Repeat with other wrappers.

Bake for 10 minutes; turn over; bake 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
Makes 8 rolls.

Each roll contains: 146 calories; 4 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat);
22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 191 mg sodium

source: "Celebrate the Lunar New Year", alive #340, February 2011

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel

Farro is a flavourful ancient grain with a mildly nutty flavour and pleasing chewy texture. This is a hearty dish and makes enough for four, but any leftovers probably won’t be around for long.

3 Tbsp (45 mL) plain low-fat yogourt
1 orange
1/2 tsp (2 mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin

2 cups (500 mL) water
3/4 cup (180 mL) farro
Sea salt to taste
12 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, still in skins
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each sweet smoked paprika and dried oregano leaves
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments

For dressing, place yogourt in bowl. Grate orange and add 2 tsp (10 mL) grated orange peel to yogourt. Squeeze in juice from orange. Stir in honey and cumin.

For the salad, pour water into saucepan and stir in farro and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed and grains are cooked but slightly chewy, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss cherry tomatoes, garlic, and fennel with oil. Season with smoked paprika, dried oregano, and salt to taste. Place in small casserole dish, uncovered, and roast in preheated 450 F (230 C) oven until tomatoes start to burst and fennel and garlic are browned, about 15 minutes.

Add roasted vegetables (except garlic) to farro. Squeeze garlic from papery skins onto cutting board. Using the flat side of a large knife, mash to form a paste. Stir into dressing, then pour dressing over farro. Add orange segments and stir to mix evenly. Garnish with fresh fennel fronds.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 106 calories; 4 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 24 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 45 mg sodium

source: "Tapas for Two", alive #340, February 2011

Lentil-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Lentil-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Small triangular-shaped piquillo peppers have a wonderfully smoky, sweet flavour. Native only to northern Spain, fresh ones are difficult to find. Yet bottled roasted ones are available at most gourmet delis or substitute with home-roasted red peppers (see below).

1 cup (250 mL) cooked lentils, preferably French green (du Puy) lentils
1 cup (250 mL) spinach, shredded
1/4 cup (60 mL) pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 lemon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp (15 mL) raisins, coarsely chopped
8 roasted piquillo peppers or 2 roasted red peppers, cut into quarters

Stir lentils with spinach and olives. Grate lemon and add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated lemon peel, then squeeze in juice from lemon. Drizzle with oil and season with pinches of sea salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan cheese and raisins, and combine well.

Slice tops off piquillo peppers and remove seeds. Gently fill peppers with salad. If using quartered red peppers, spoon salad onto one end, then roll up. Serve at room temperature.
For hot peppers: place stuffed peppers in small baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Scatter a few thin slices of garlic over top, then broil until warm.

Makes 8 stuffed peppers.

Each pepper contains: 89 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 4 g fibre; 61 mg sodium

TIP: Instead of Parmesan in this recipe, substitute leftover marinated feta from the Marinated Feta, Olive, and Roasted Red Pepper Skewers recipe.

How to roast peppers

Sweet red bell peppers are the best choice for roasting. They’re so versatile—great as a sandwich condiment or blended into salsas, soups, or pasta sauces—anything that needs a hit of sweet, mildly smoky flavour. Roast a big batch to have a stash on hand.

Gas stove method: Turn flame to medium and place whole pepper directly on burner. Use tongs to rotate pepper once skin starts to blister. After all the skin of the pepper is blackened, place in a bowl and cover. Let stand 15 minutes, then peel and discard seeds.

Oven roasted method: Lightly brush whole peppers with extra-virgin olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until skin starts to blister and peppers are soft, turning occasionally, 40 to 50 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover. Let stand 15 minutes, then peel and discard seeds.

Storage: Place peppers in a jar or container just large enough to hold them. Cover with olive oil and refrigerate up to 3 weeks.

source: "Tapas for Two", alive #340, February 2011

Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups

Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups

Chard is a member of the beet family and has a fairly mild, almost spinachlike flavour. Chard’s thick stalks range in colour from white to yellow and red; its green leaves are veined with the same hue.

10 to 12 Swiss chard leaves, preferably rainbow or rhubarb chard
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
2 cups (500 mL) water or low-sodium chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled chèvre (goat cheese)
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) low-sodium tomato sauce

Fill large frying pan with water and bring to a boil.

Cut thick ribs from chard and thinly slice stems; set aside. Wash chard leaves well. Working with 1 or 2 leaves at a time, add to boiling water and cook just until wilted. Remove to baking sheet lined with a kitchen towel and spread leaves out. Continue with remaining leaves, layering on sheet to cool.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chard stems, garlic, carrots, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Saute until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in quinoa, then pour in water or broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Squeeze in lemon juice, then stir in chèvre. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Pour tomato sauce into casserole dish and set on baking sheet.

Working with 1 chard leaf at a time, cut off any remaining stem. Leaf will be a V-shape. Overlap bottom cut edges, then spoon about 2 Tbsp (30 mL) quinoa mixture near stem end. Fold bottom sides in and roll to enclose filling. Place seam side down in casserole dish and repeat with remaining leaves and filling.

Cover dish and bake in preheated 375 F (190 C) oven until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 234 calories; 12 g protein; 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 451 mg sodium

source: "Think Green", alive #341, March 2011

Penne with Double Beets

Penne with Double Beets

While bunches of beet greens are sold on their own, it’s more likely you’ll find these sweet, earthy greens attached to the beets themselves. Look for bunches with bright, crisp leaves.

1 bunch fresh beets with greens attached
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz (300 g) whole wheat penne pasta
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange peel
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh ricotta cheese

Trim stems from beets, but leave about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) still attached (this prevents loss of colour and nutrients during cooking).

Place beets on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly coat with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Roast in preheated 400 F (200 C) oven until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel skins. Chop beets into small pieces.

While beets are roasting, wash beet greens well. Coarsely chop leaves and stems, then set aside.

In large pot, boil pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile heat remaining oil in large frying pan set over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and salt. Stir until softened, 4 to 6 minutes, then add beet leaves and stems. Stir until wilted, then stir in beets, vinegar, and orange peel. Simmer to blend flavours, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Before draining pasta, ladle out 1/2 cup (125 mL) water. Drain noodles, then return to pot. Add beet mixture; stir to coat evenly. If necessary, add some of the pasta water to make it saucier. Crumble ricotta over top.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 318 calories; 11 g protein; 17 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 7 g fibre; 258 mg sodium

source: "Think Green", alive #341, March 2011