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
This Asian-inspired stir-fry takes full advantage of the crunch Brussels sprouts achieve when they’re heated quickly. The sweet-and-sour sauce delivers a tangy edge, and tempeh offers plant-based protein and a blast of umami. If you want meat in the dish, you can replace tempeh with ground pork. Ready, set, go Stir-frying is a cooking method that thrives on speed. That means you want to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go into the pan. That also means no chopping on the fly.
Two fall stalwarts—rutabaga and Swiss chard—team up to bring seasonal flavour to these baked savoury cakes. A topping of velvety cashew cream adds a little extra spark. Rutabaga burgers, anyone? You can also prepare these cakes burger-style in a skillet. Simply form rutabaga and chard mixture into burger-sized patties and cook in greased skillet over medium-high, until golden brown on both sides.
If you’re feeling a bit burnt out when it comes to your typical morning repast, consider pivoting to this bowl of nutrition and quintessential fall flavours. It might just be the cozy sweater of the breakfast world. If you need extra energy to power your day, you can scatter on some crunchy granola. The sweet potato mixture can be made a day or two in advance and reheated in the microwave before serving. Pick of the crops For sautéing purposes, you want to use pears that keep their shape when heated. Bosc and Anjou are two good options. Fuji, Cortland, Honeycrisp, and Empire are excellent apple choices for heating in the skillet, as they won’t turn too mushy.
A plant-based spinoff of shepherd’s pie makes an ideal use for those surplus starches. Flavour-rich shiitake mushrooms and saucy lentils meet creamy potatoes in a protein-filled and satisfying comfort meal packed with nutrition and perfect for any cool-weather dinner. Mash it up Do you have other kinds of leftover mash on hand? Any mash befits the top of this comfort food. Try substituting potatoes with mashed sweet potatoes or yams. For lower carb options, try celeriac or cauliflower mash!