Creamy pinto beans and earthy black beans stand in for kidney beans and help make a hearty chili along with some smoky poblano peppers. A pinch of cacao in this chili enhances the slightly sweet flavour of lean bison. If you prefer a less spicy chili, feel free to reduce the amount of powder, or add it in stages.
Like grass-fed beef, bison is considered a more sustainable meat. Much of it comes down to the way they’re ranched.
While grazing, bison move across large tracts of land quickly, causing less trampling than if they stayed in one spot. Because they eat only grass and avoid other plants in the grasslands, they play a key role in grassland ecosystems, aiding in biodiversity by stirring up seeds with their hooves and fertilizing the earth as they pass by. The meat itself is lean and healthy and can be used interchangeably with beef.
It’s an extra step, although fairly simple, but roasting the peppers first brings out their smoky flavour.
Turn oven broiler to high. On baking sheet, place poblano and red peppers and place under broiler. Turn peppers occasionally, as each side blackens under the heat. When all sides of peppers have been fully blackened, remove from oven and place in paper bag to cool. Once peppers are cool, peel and discard skin and seeds and cut in small dice.
In large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and brown ground bison for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
To heavy-bottomed pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil along with onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is soft. Add crushed garlic cloves, cooking for a further 3 to 5 minutes on low heat.
In small bowl, combine chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, cumin, paprika, and salt. Add to onion and garlic in pot, then add diced roasted peppers and cooked bison. Stir through. Add tomatoes, half filling the empty can with water to rinse out any remaining tomato sauce, and add directly to pot. Add pinto beans and black beans with cacao powder and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 40 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken up. Serve with chopped cilantro and crumbled goat cheese (if desired).
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
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.