Put some spark in mealtime with this salad that offers up a riot of earthy, peppery, creamy, sweet, and salty flavours—all enveloped in a savoury-sweet carrot dressing. With each passing forkful, you may find yourself forgetting that it also has off-the-chart nutrients.
For the purposes of salads, you want to use lentils that hold their shape once cooked. Black (beluga) and French (Le Puy) green lentils fit the bill.
A large JAMA Internal Medicine study found that people who consumed plant proteins such as lentils and quinoa more often experienced lower rates of early death, particularly from heart disease. Plant proteins come with an arsenal of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants that give them serious health-hiking powers.
Heat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In cake or casserole pan, place beets and add enough water so that it covers the bottom 1 in (2.5 cm) of beets. Cover pan with parchment paper, place in oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until beets are fork-tender. When cool enough to handle, rub beet skins off with paper towel. Slice beets into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges.
In medium saucepan, place lentils, bay leaf, a couple pinches of salt, and 2 cups (500 mL) water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender but still have some bite, about 25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
In separate saucepan, place quinoa, a couple pinches of salt, and 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid has absorbed, about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
To make dressing, place steamer basket in pot with 1 in (2.5 cm) water. Place carrot in basket, cover, and steam until carrot is fork-tender. In blender container, place carrot, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the carrot steaming water, olive oil, vinegar, miso, ginger, and sesame oil, if using, and blend until as smooth as possible. Add more water if needed to help with blending.
To serve, divide arugula or dandelion greens among serving plates and top with lentils, quinoa, beets, avocado, mint or dill, feta, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries. Drizzle on carrot dressing.
This recipe is part of the Raising the [Salad] Bar collection.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.
Steaming fish in parchment-paper packets, also known as cooking en papillote , is a classic technique that allows you to cook all your vegetables and fish at the same time in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Flavours of lemon, garlic, and spicy dried chili make this a simple, yet showstopping meal. Sustainability status Wild-caught Pacific halibut has Ocean Wise and Marine Stewardship Council certifications and is fished using longlines, which is a more selective method of fishing that results in less bycatch. Prep party Involve family or guests in the prep and have everyone make their own packet. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the ingredients. Make sure you select vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the fish.