A culinary gift from Ukraine, borscht is a veggie-laden, hearty, warming soup that is coloured perfectly for the season. This version adds chickpeas to make each spoonful even more substantial and has a punchy yogurt sauce for a finishing touch. We’d dare say that the soup tastes even better after a day or two, which is great news, since this recipe makes a big pot of nutritional goodness.
Heat oil in a 6 L large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt; heat until onion has softened and is beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Add beets, potatoes, and carrots to pan; heat for 5 minutes.
Add cabbage and garlic; stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, honey, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon to pan; stir and heat for 30 seconds.
Place broth and bay leaf in pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 20 minutes. Fold in baby kale, if using.
In bowl, stir together yogurt, dill, horseradish, and a pinch of salt.
Place soup in serving bowls and top with a swirl of yogurt sauce.
This recipe is part of the Red Spread collection.
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.