What makes this better than macaroni from a box? Real cheese! Delicious hot, sent to school in a Thermos, you can also send this as a cold macaroni salad. To increase the vegetable content even more, add a cup of broccoli, peas, or diced carrots to the pasta-cooking water five minutes before draining.
2 cups (500 mL) cauliflower florets
2 cups (500 mL) dried macaroni or gluten-free pasta
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) milk
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
2 green onions, white parts only, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose unbleached flour or gluten-free flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated sharp white cheddar
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Gruyère
2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Steam cauliflower florets for 7 minutes, or until easily pierced with fork.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat, partially cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until almost al dente.
Transfer cauliflower to blender or food processor with milk, salt, green onion, Dijon, Worchestershire sauce, nutmeg, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Blend until smooth.
In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in cauliflower purée and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cheeses and remove from heat. Add cooked pasta and stir to combine.
Each serving contains: 256 calories; 12 g protein; 9 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 217 mg sodium
You can make this recipe with gluten-free macaroni or any other shape of pasta, but make sure your Worcestershire sauce is also gluten-free, or simply leave it out and add an extra tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
source: "Build a Better Lunch", alive #383, September 2014
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.