Fall vegetables are vibrantly featured in this healthy rendition of a yellow beet salad. The addition of kombucha marks a new trend in the probiotic and detox diet crazes that are all the rage.
2 medium-sized yellow beets
3 Tbsp (45 mL) plain kombucha tea*
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ponzu sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) very finely minced shallot
1/2 tsp (2 mL) very finely minced hot red Thai chili pepper**
1 oz (32 g) package micro greens such as mustard Dijon, red kale, or arugula
1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
Trim beets, leaving the root intact. Wrap in parchment paper and then foil. Roast in oven for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with skewer. Remove, unwrap, and place beets in plastic bag to steam until they are cool enough to handle. Skins will now peel off very easily. Refrigerate beets, uncovered, to cool fully.
To make dressing, place tea, olive oil, ponzu sauce, and maple syrup in bowl. Whisk until mixture is emulsified. Whisk in shallot, Thai chili, and pinch of salt. Taste and add more syrup or salt to your liking.
When beets are cool, thinly slice on mandoline or with small sharp knife. Overlap slices among 4 narrow serving dishes. Whisk dressing and drizzle a little vinaigrette over each plate. Scatter with micro greens, crumbled goat cheese, and long fronds of curly orange zest.
*Kombucha tea is available plain and in different flavours. We used plain in this recipe, but any flavour, even sparkling, will pop in this recipe.
**Use gloves when mincing hot peppers.
Each serving contains: 117 calories; 3 g protein; 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 220 mg sodium
source: "Fabulous Fermented Foods", alive #360, September 2012
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.