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Atole de Fresa (Strawberry Soup)
Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Hemp Pesto

Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Hemp Pesto

These veggie burgers are crammed with fibre to keep you feeling full. The flavourful pesto also makes a great spread for sandwiches.

1 cup (250 mL) dried green or brown lentils
1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
1 cup (250 mL) cilantro, packed
1/3 cup (80 mL) hempseeds
1/3 cup (80 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) hemp oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup (80 mL) walnut pieces
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil, such as grapeseed oil
4 whole wheat pitas, sliced in half
2 cups (500 mL) arugula
1 cup (250 mL) roasted red peppers, sliced (use store-bought or roast your own; see below)

In medium saucepan, bring lentils and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and let cool.

In separate small saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 cup (250 mL) water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in bowl of food processor pulse together cilantro, hempseeds, Parmesan, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, and salt. Scrape down sides of bowl. With the machine running, pour in hemp oil through the feed tube and process until mixture is well combined but still grainy. Remove pesto and clean food processor bowl.

Add half of lentils to food processor bowl along with quinoa, bread crumbs, egg, 2 garlic cloves, mustard, cumin, remaining lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until well combined, scraping down sides if needed. Add walnuts and remaining lentils; pulse or mix with fork until they are incorporated into the mixture. Form into 8 equal-sized burgers.

Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook lentil burgers for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned. Spread hemp pesto on the inside bottom of pitas. Place burgers in pitas and top with arugula and roasted red pepper.

Serves 6.

Each serving contains: 460 calories; 23 g protein; 20 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 52 g carbohydrates; 14 g fibre; 393 mg sodium

How to roast red peppers

Preheat broiler on low. Wash peppers and pat dry; place on metal baking sheet. Keep a close eye on peppers, turning several times to ensure even blistering. Make sure they don’t turn black! Remove from oven and place peppers in paper bag to cool. When cool, remove and discard skin, which should come off easily.

source: "Hooray for Hemp", alive #343, May 2011

Asparagus Frittata with Toasted Hemp Nori

Asparagus Frittata with Toasted Hemp Nori

The nori topping cranks up the flavour, but this frittata is equally good with a fiery salsa.

2 sheets nori
1/4 cup (60 mL) hempseeds
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
1/2 bunch asparagus, about 1/2 lb (225 g)
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered
5/8 cup (5 oz) soft goat cheese
1/3 cup (80 mL) unflavoured hemp milk
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Break nori sheets into small pieces and combine with hempseeds, sesame oil, and salt. Heat skillet over medium heat and toast nori mixture for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant and hempseeds have turned lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Trim woody ends from asparagus and slice stalks into 4 pieces. In 10 to 12 in (25 to 30 cm) ovenproof skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat; cook asparagus and mushrooms for 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.

In bowl, lightly beat eggs and combine with tomatoes, goat cheese, hemp milk, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Pour egg mixture into skillet, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until sides are firm but top is still slightly runny.

Preheat broiler. Place skillet in oven and broil until golden and set, about 2 minutes.

Slice frittata and serve garnished with toasted nori hemp.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:
314 calories; 26 g protein; 21 g total fat (9 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 428 mg sodium

source: "Hooray for Hemp", alive #343, May 2011

Chicken with Peaches

Chicken with Peaches

This quick and easy dish goes really well with cooked brown or red rice and your favourite green vegetable. If local asparagus is available, try steaming it; if not, go with steamed broccoli.

1 medium onion
3 Tbsp (45 mL) Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
8 organic skinless, boneless
chicken thighs (approximately 1 1/2 lbs/ 700 g)
1 - 398 mL (14 oz) can peach
halves in light syrup, water, or fruit juice, drained

Dice the onion and set aside.

Mix together Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and paprika in small bowl until smooth, using a fork. Stir in chicken broth and set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove from pan and place in clean dish. Add onion to pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chicken back to pan. Add peaches and pour mustard mixture over top. Place tight-fitting lid over top, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over halfway through the cooking time. Cook until chicken is cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165 F (74 C). Remove chicken and place on clean plate, cover.

Turn heat up to medium and bring sauce to a boil; gently boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens. Serve each person 2 chicken thighs. Evenly spoon on the peaches and sauce.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:
390 calories; 40 g protein; 14 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 417 mg sodium

source: "Mother's Day Meal", alive #343, May 2011

Fudge Brownie Chocolate Pudding Cake

Fudge Brownie Chocolate Pudding Cake

Every mom I know loves chocolate. If your mom is a chocolate lover, this is the dessert for her. A pudding cake is unique because the cake and sauce are all cooked in the same pan in the oven. It’s easy to follow and even easier to eat!

Pudding sauce
1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark brown sugar, well packed
(see note)
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated cane sugar
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) hot tap water

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour (see note)
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated cane sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) cocoa powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) chocolate chips, at least 70 percent cocoa mass
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (155 mL) skim milk or soy beverage
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted

Move oven rack to the centre of oven. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C), lightly grease or oil an 8 x 8 in (2 L) metal baking pan. Set aside.

Prepare the pudding sauce
In medium bowl mix together cocoa powder and both sugars with wire whisk or large fork. Pour in hot water and beat until brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Prepare the cake
In large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips with wire whisk or large fork.

In medium bowl, mix together milk or soy beverage, vanilla, and melted butter with fork. Pour into flour mixture. Mix together well, using large wooden spoon.

It will be very thick. Spoon into prepared pan and spread out evenly.

Stir pudding sauce again and then pour it over cake batter. Place in oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in centre of the cake: if it comes out dry-looking, the cake is ready. Carefully remove from oven—the pudding sauce is a liquid and very hot.

Cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Scoop out a serving into rimmed soup bowl or small bowl, spoon over some of the pudding sauce. Serve with small scoop of vanilla frozen yogourt if desired.
Serves 8 to 10.

Each serving (for 8) contains:
314 calories; 6 g protein; 14 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 51 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 27 mg sodium

Note: when measuring brown sugar, pack the sugar in the measuring cup and then level it off. It should look like a sand castle.

Note: when measuring flour, spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, not the glass type used for liquids, and then carefully level it off with a flat edge.

source: "Mother's Day Meal", alive #343, May 2011

Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

Old-Fashioned Oven-Baked Chicken

This family-friendly oven-baked chicken is easy to make and can be cooked and stored in your fridge for up to two days before the picnic.

1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cracked black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
1 tsp (5 mL) dry mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) plain low-fat yogourt
1 tbsp (15 mL) skim milk
4 free-range bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks

The night before the picnic: preheat oven to 400 C (200 F). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cereal flakes into food processor or blender. Pulse until crushed. (Or crush with potato masher, or place flakes in clean plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.) Add paprika, pepper, onion powder, dry mustard, cumin, and cayenne; pulse until spices have been well incorporated. Place crumb mixture in shallow-rimmed dish or medium bowl.

In separate medium bowl, whisk together yogourt and milk.

Wash your hands. Remove skin from chicken thighs and discard. Wash hands. Brush both sides of 1 thigh with yogourt mixture using pastry brush. Then place it into crumb mixture and press down firmly to coat. Turn to coat the other side and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.

Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 F (74 C).
Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from pan and place in resealable container and store in fridge for up to 2 days.

The day of the picnic: pack container of chicken into insulated cooler bag with a large cold source on top of container. Don’t bring it out until serving time, and stow leftovers immediately back in cooler bag with cold source after serving.

Makes 4 servings.

One serving (1 thigh) contains:
258 calories; 28 g protein; 11 g total fat (3.2 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat); 8.9 g carbohydrates; 2.8 g fibre; 123 mg sodium

Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

The easiest and most popular dessert to take on a picnic is the ever-portable cookie. And what makes a cookie perfect? Chocolate chips, of course.

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic canola oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic cane sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90 mL) dark brown sugar, packed
1 large free range egg
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 cup (250 mL) whole grain cereal flakes
3/4 cup (180 mL) stone-ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (180 mL) large flake oats
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flaxseed
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup (60 mL) dark chocolate chips

Set rack in your oven to the middle. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly with oil.

In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in canola oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until it is well incorporated and butter/oil mixture is fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.

In medium bowl, mix together cereal flakes, flour, oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Add to butter/sugar mixture. Beat in until cereal flakes are well distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, start off on low and then when incorporated turn up to high.

Drop by heaping tablepoonfuls onto the prepared pan. Lightly press down to flatten.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will get.

Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and then remove to cooling rack; store in airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 30 cookies.

One cookie contains:
90 calories; 1 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 19 mg sodium

Tip: These cookies are so delicious, you’ll find them irresistable. But watch your intake of this sweet treat or you’ll quickly overdo it.

Source: "Picnics & Potlucks", alive #344, June 2011

Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Steamed Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

You may substitute raw grated or roasted beets—feel free to experiment. Be  aware that handling beets will stain your skin; you may want to wear gloves when  preparing.

2 or 3 beets, different colours if you like, peeled and  quartered
2 cups (500 mL) mixed baby greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) goat chèvre  or feta cheese
Mint or cilantro to garnish

2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp (23 mL) balsamic  vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2  mL) raw sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steam beets until tender, about 15 minutes. While beets are cooking, whisk  together ingredients for the vinaigrette in small bowl and crumble cheese.

Toss greens with half of the vinaigrette, and put a handful of greens on each  of 4 plates. When beets are done, allow to cool, peel, then cut into small  chunks and toss with remaining dressing. Arrange beets on top of greens,  sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with mint or cilantro leaves, if  desired.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains:
209 calories; 5 g protein; 19 g total fat (6 g sat.  fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 142 mg sodium

Did you know?
Like spinach and chard, the beet is a member of the amaranth  family (Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae). Its ancestor is the wild beet,  or sea beet, which dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Originally eaten  for its leafy green tops, the roots were cultivated by the ancient Romans. By  the 16th century they had become popular not only as livestock fodder, but also  in family kitchens throughout northern Europe.

from "Unbeatable Beets", alive #344, June 2011