This power bowl is overflowing with umami showstoppers. While beets and apple add a sweet element, combining umami and sweet in one dish has become a culinary trend among savvy chefs. Sourced from Canada’s East Coast, dulse is a chewy seaweed that takes on a bacon-esque personality when turned crunchy in a hot pan. But if not available, shards of hijiki or arame or even roughly chopped nori can stand in for dulse. Other grains such as sorghum, farro, freekeh, or wheat berries can work here too. Make it plant based by swapping out egg and mackerel for grilled tempeh. Nutrition bonus Fatty in a good way, both mackerel and walnuts contain a boatload of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. As with other seaweed, dulse is a reliable source of iodine, which contributes to proper thyroid functioning. Watching the clock and simmering eggs for exactly 6 1/2 minutes yields cooked whites and an oozy yolk. The eggs can be cooked, peeled, and kept chilled for up to 3 days. Reheat in simmering water for 1 minute if desired.
Dried shiitake mushrooms are loaded with guanylate, which teams up with the glutamate in nutritional yeast and nori to produce an over-the-top umami seasoning that is ready to elevate popcorn for movie night at home, which we’re doing a lot more of these days. Once you taste it, you’re going to want to sprinkle (or perhaps pour) this magic mushroom powder on everything, including roasted or steamed vegetables, baked potato, grilled fish, soups, pasta, and avocado toast. Luckily, it keeps well. You can also make it with dried porcini mushrooms. Nutrition bonus Shiitake mushrooms deliver polysaccharide compounds that may have anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting powers. Nutritional yeast offers up a huge dose of essential B vitamins including thiamine and vitamin B12. To deepen the umami flavour of nori, you can toast the sheets first. To do so, heat heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium and dry toast nori sheets one at a time until darkened, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place nori sheets on baking sheet in one layer. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping halfway during baking time, until roasted and crispy. Let sheets cool down to room temperature before pulsing them into seasoning.
Now that kimchi has hit the mainstream, it’s time to work its umami-fiery crunch into more of your cooking repertoire, including this punchy salsa that adorns a plant-based tempeh filling that brings even more umami oomph to the table. Served in fresh-tasting lettuce leaves, the whole dish is a riot of appetizing colour. For taco night, you can also scoop everything into warmed corn tortillas. If eating only plants, be sure to choose a brand of kimchi that is not made with a fish product such as anchovies or fish sauce.
Here’s a dessert with every flavour on the spectrum, including umami, enclosed in a single bite: tart yogurt; a wee bit of sweet, zippy zest; a pinch of salt; and a bit of Chinese spice. Garnished with a poof of cleansing mint, it’s a riot of fused flavours that doesn’t have to be reserved just for dessert. Try it for breakfast with granola! Substitute coconut or soy yogurt for the dairy yogurt and add lime zest on top with pomegranate seeds for a Persian twist. The options are unlimited.
The spelling is different, but the pronunciation is easy: “zoog” sauce. Zhoug is a delightfully bright green fresh dipping sauce with plenty of heat. It’s easy to make and simply delicious drizzled over grilled meats and vegetables. It’s common in Middle Eastern dishes. We paired it up with mild paneer and fresh local bell peppers for a massive “wow” factor. Trouble finding paneer? It’s not always out there, as traditionalists often make it at home. Substitute with a very firm tofu or halloumi. Or thread cubed chicken onto skewers. Everything tastes delicious with Zhoug.
Halloumi is the quintessential cheese for carrying flavour, making it a versatile flavour star for many different dishes. In this spring salad, we’ve joined in-season Canadian maple syrup with South Asian curry and then added this delicious Cypriot cheese. It’s a potpourri of global fusion flavours all on one plate! Looking for an added protein kick that’s dairy free and also turns this salad into a full meal deal? Add some fava beans for extra heartiness.
These pillowy little gnocchi are delicious with just about any sauce. We’ve made them with rutabaga so they’re full of healthy vitamins, then paired them with saffron-laced salmon and thyme. Absolutely scrumptious. Coupled with pucker-up lemon and dill, it’s a sensational blend of flavours. Gnocchi can be a little labour intensive to prepare. Make a batch ahead and refrigerate or freeze. Then, when you’re ready to serve, presto! It only takes 4 to 6 minutes to cook from fresh or frozen.
A little blend of “N’awlins” with Tuscany makes this spicy cauliflower steak platter a hearty dish. We tempered the southern heat with fresh spinach and tomatoes. And then scattered it with cooling goat cheese and a little added crunch of pine nuts. Beautiful colours with amazing flavours, it’s delicious paired with fresh tomato soup. Creole spice blend is delicious used in many Southern dishes such as jambalaya and gumbo. But don’t stop there. Use it in your favourite tomato or squash soup recipe or in a risotto dish for some added kick.
Miso adds a “what’s that?” flavour switch-up to these sweet-savoury energy balls that can help you get through the mid-afternoon energy slump or a spirited workout. A coating of sesame seeds lends this nourishing snack a nice crunch. Nutrition bonus Tahini supplies a healthy mix of heart-benefitting mono- and polyunsaturated fats, as well as a range of essential nutrients including thiamine, phosphorus, and copper. Salty, earthy, and funky, miso is a versatile ingredient made from fermented soybeans. The colour of miso will predict how it will taste (and how you can use it). Lighter shades (white and yellow) are fermented for less time, have a sweeter flavour, and are what you can use for dressings, sauces, glazes, and even desserts (yes, peanut butter miso cookies are a thing). Red miso is fermented for a longer time, giving it an earthier, more intense flavour that can elevate hearty stews and braises.
These hearty wraps are perfect for either lunch or supper. And they can even be made ahead. The combo of a Mexican-style wrap coupled with Korean flavours is a win-win. Plus, it provides gut-healthy kimchi. We’ve chosen black beans for our wrap, but feel free to sub in some cooked shredded chicken or crumbled plain tempeh—it’s all delicioso ! Versatile and super-healthy kimchi Kimchi is a refrigerated fermented food containing live probiotics. Much like miso or refrigerated sauerkraut, kimchi should be added near the end of cooking, as heating it to over 115 F (46 C) will destroy its gut health benefits. Kimchi is equally delicious on a burger, and even wrapped into an omelette. Look for kimchi, available in various flavours, in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. We used a traditionally flavoured kimchi in this recipe—but feel free to explore!
For as long as I can remember, cheesecake has been my most favorite dessert ever. So, when I decided to go vegan, one of the first things I wanted to experiment with was a dairy-free cheesecake. I’ve tried using tofu, plant-based cream cheese, and other interesting ingredients . . . but a cashew base is just perfectly rich and creamy. These squares are filled with delicious nostalgia and could definitely compete with your traditional cheesecake. Need for speed For this recipe, you’ll need to use a high-powered blender Note: You’ll want to plan ahead for this recipe! The cashews need to soak overnight before you make the cheesecake, and then the cheesecake needs to be frozen for 6 hours to overnight. It will be worth it! recipe | Haile Thomas In each delicious square: 261 calories / 5 g protein / 14 g fat / 32 g carbs (20 g sugar, 3 g fiber) / 13 mg sodium
If you’re feeling a little stressed or anxious, treat yourself to these soothing and delicious bars. There are three main ingredients that contribute to its calming properties: Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium, can help improve mood; potassium-rich pumpkin seeds can reduce stress; and antioxidant-packed blueberries can help provide anxiety relief.
Need for speed For this recipe, you’ll need to use a high-powered blender Cashew “Cheesecake” Squares For as long as I can remember, cheesecake has been my most favorite dessert ever. So, when I decided to go vegan, one of the first things I wanted to experiment with was a dairy-free cheesecake. I’ve tried using tofu, plant-based cream cheese, and other interesting ingredients . . . but a cashew base is just perfectly rich and creamy. These squares are filled with delicious nostalgia and could definitely compete with your traditional cheesecake. Note: You’ll want to plan ahead for this recipe! The cashews need to soak overnight before you make the cheesecake, and then the cheesecake needs to be frozen for 6 hours to overnight. It will be worth it!
Cozying up with a warm cup of cocoa is always soul soothing. This cocoa concoction will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but may also lift your mood. Natural cocoa powder is high in heart-healthy and mood-boosting flavonoids. TIP For a nut-free version of this hot cocoa, use oat milk and replace almond butter with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) coconut oil.
This all-in-one recipe has a lot going for it. It brings together a myriad of flavours and textures to awaken your palate, but it also might just bring a smile to your face. The salmon in this recipe packs a punch of omega-3 fatty acids, which research has shown can improve your overall mood. TIP Instead of salmon, you can substitute any protein you like in this recipe. Chicken breast, a different fish, and even pan-fried tofu are all delicious options.
Beyond its fanciful presentation, one reason to love this impressive-looking recipe is that it’s surprisingly easy to make. Prepare the crepes, sauce, and filling a day or two in advance, and then simply assemble them just before serving for a special start to your day. For a quick snack, smear on some nut or seed butter and roll. For easier rolling, premade crepes should be rewarmed in a hot skillet or microwave.
It’s too obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: this deep chocolate granola with crunchy nuts and sweet-tart cherries is so crave-worthy, portion control will take strong willpower. If ever granola could be considered romantic, this would be it. And rumour has it that it’s also kid approved. Serve drowned in your preferred milk or build a breakfast power bowl by topping yogurt with spoonfuls of this granola and fresh fruit. If richly flavoured date syrup is unavailable, it can be replaced with honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup. Easy does it When baking granola, it’s best to use a low oven temperature and longer cooking time with frequent stirring. This helps prevent the contents from burning and taking on bitter flavours.
Creamy, silky, and intensely chocolatey, this DIY almond butter is an enticing spread for an upgrade to your morning toast. The almond butter will last for several days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two months. You most certainly will have extras of the almond butter, which can be blended into smoothies, spread on sliced apples, stuffed into dried dates for an energizing snack, or thinned with milk and maple syrup for a fanciful pancake topper. Whip it good Grinding the nuts while still warm from the oven and adding a touch of oil helps them release more oils for easier grinding and a creamier texture.
Though quinoa is highly nutritious, a lot of people are rather meh when it comes to its grassy flavour. But when disguised as a brownie-esque breakfast bowl with a caffeine-fuelled edge, quinoa becomes a truly crave-worthy stand-in for typical oatmeal. Toppings run the gamut of chopped nuts (try hazelnuts), raspberries, cherries, sliced banana, coconut chips, dollops of yogurt, sliced mint, and, of course, cacao nibs. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for three days. Reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan with additional milk to add moisture back in. Sugar shock The rising tide of plant-based milks offers great alternatives to the moo variety, but they can contain surprisingly high amounts of added sugar. To keep your intake in check, look for cartons that state they’re “unsweetened.”
If your mornings are more storm than calm, this make-ahead chocolatey pudding is your answer to a nutritious start to the day even when in a time crunch. Silky soft tofu provides body to the pudding as well as satiating plant-based protein, but its neutral flavour allows all the peanut butter and banana essence to shine through in each spoonful. And you should know that this pudding is also a smart post-workout snack to help your body recharge. You can swap out crunchy cacao nibs for grated dark chocolate or top your breakfast pudding off with your favourite granola and a handful of berries. Power powder Made from whole roasted nuts that have been pressed to remove most of the oil and then ground into a fine powder, peanut butter powder is a stealth addition and a boost of lower calorie nutty flavour in puddings, smoothies, pancakes, muffins, and your breakfast oatmeal. Ideally, use versions with no added sugars.
Vegetable steaks have become very popular lately and for good reason. They’re a perfectly comforting meal during chilly winter days. This recipe takes advantage of lentils and their abundance of folic acid. It has been shown that getting enough folic acid in our diet not only aids in the optimal function of our bodies but might also help maintain a more positive mood. Tip Before composting those squash seeds, why not consider roasting them? Rinse seeds well under cold water before tossing with a teaspoon or two (5 to 10 mL) of grapeseed oil and a pinch of salt. Spread in even layer on baking tray before baking at 350 F (180 C) until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
This is one of those recipes that defy categorization and could easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sweet potato is one of the best natural sources of carbohydrates, which can help improve your mood as it promotes the production of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical. The vitamin D found in fortified eggs is necessary for many of your body’s important functions, and it may also help improve your mood.
Salad for breakfast? Trust me when I say this is a wonderful way to start your day. The grapefruit in this recipe is full of the body-boosting antioxidant vitamin C and just the smell of it may boost serotonin levels and your mood. Avocados are chock full of folic acid and omega-3s, which have both been shown to have mood-boosting benefits.