SERVES 8 / READY IN 45 MINUTES
The jackfruit filling can be made ahead and stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Simply reheat before assembling the quesadillas, adding a little more barbecue sauce if the mixture appears dry
Make the jackfruit filling: In medium skillet, heat oil. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn. Add splash of water if necessary. Rinse and drain jackfruit. Blot dry. Chop off cores and finely dice them. Using fingers, roughly tear jackfruit into pieces. Add diced cores and torn jackfruit to skillet containing onion and garlic. Add barbecue sauce, cumin, paprika, and another splash of water. Heat over medium until bubbling, stirring often. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes for flavors to blend and until jackfruit is soft. Add another splash of water if mixture begins to stick to pan. Then, using two forks, shred jackfruit to achieve “pulled pork” texture. Adjust flavors as needed, adding a little more smoked paprika for heat, if you wish, and a little apple cider vinegar, if desired.
Make the creamy chipotle sauce: In high-speed mini blender, combine vegan yogurt, lime zest, and minced chipotle. Whirl until smooth and creamy. Add a little salt to taste, if desired. Transfer to a squeeze tube and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Make the quesadillas: Grease barbecue grill and preheat to medium. Brush one side of each tortilla with oil and place oiled side down on grill. Spoon equal amounts of warmed jackfruit mixture over 1/2 of each tortilla to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle with equal parts vegan cheese. Fold other half of tortilla over cheese. Gently press down. Grill until bottom half of tortilla is browned to your liking, about 3 or 4 minutes. Rotate a couple of times to prevent it from burning. With broad spatula, flip quesadilla and grill on other side until golden and crispy. Transfer to cutting board. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Drizzle with creamy chipotle sauce and garnish with some cilantro sprigs. Serve with a scoop of guacamole, salsa, and vegan sour cream, if you wish.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.