If there’s one dish guaranteed to be on every Indian restaurant menu in Canada, it’s chicken tikka masala, which usually involves marinating the chicken in full-fat yogurt and simmering it in a spice-infused tomato cream sauce. Undeniably, it’s big on flavour—but also just as packed with calories.
This simplified version is weeknight-friendly and omits the heavy cream for cashew cream to produce a dish that is just as enchanting but without the excess saturated fat. The added bonus is a kitchen suffused with appetizing aromas. Serve with whole wheat naan or rice.
2/3 cup (160 mL) raw, unsalted cashews
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or other oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 lb (450 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped cilantro
Place cashews in bowl, cover with water, and let soak for about 2 hours. Drain cashews, place in blender along with 2/3 cup (160 mL) water, and blend until very smooth.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Place garam masala, coriander, turmeric, paprika, fenugreek (if using), nutmeg, and salt in pan and heat 30 seconds. Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in cashew cream and chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.
source: "Perfect Poultry", alive #372, October 2013
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.