Crunchy pecans offer some textural contrast to the creamy butternut squash filling, while the quartet of spices ups the warming flavour.
1 1/2 lbs (700 g) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes (about 4 cups/1 kg)
3 large free-range eggs
1/2 cup (125 mL) full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup (80 mL) organic coconut sugar or other raw-style sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Prepared spelt pie dough (see recipe here)
3/4 cup (180 mL) pecan halves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup
Set steamer basket in large saucepan and fill with 1 in (2.5 cm) water. Place squash in pan, cover, and steam over boiling water until very tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. You can also roast squash in a 400 F (200 C) oven until tender.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and set rack in bottom third of oven.
Place cooled squash in food processor container and blend until very smooth. Add eggs, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, spices, and pinch of salt; blend until combined.
Roll prepared pie dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a 12 in (30 cm) circle. Peel off top sheet and invert dough into lightly greased 9 in (23 cm) pie pan. Peel off remaining paper. If needed, trim crust with kitchen shears so it overhangs edge of pan by about 1 in (2.5 cm). Use both hands to pinch (flute) edge of crust by pushing the thumb of one hand in between the thumb and index finger of the opposite.
Scatter pecans over crust and drizzle maple syrup over top. Pour butternut mixture over pecans and place pan in oven. Bake until set and no longer jiggly in the centre, about 45 minutes.
Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate to cool completely before serving.
Each serving contains: 425 calories; 8 g protein; 27 g total fat (13 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g total carbohydrates (17 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 172 mg sodium
A slice of beta carotene
This decadent tasting pie has a nutritious side, too. Butternut squash is loaded with beta carotene, an antioxidant that may help protect the brain from age-related decline.
source: "Life of Pi(e)", alive #383, September 2014
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.