There’s nothing like a little spring chicken to satisfy the palate in springtime. This lemony coconut broth with sliced, lean chicken breast and fresh, crunchy garden peas is the quintessential warming dish that’s also perfect for boosting your immune system. The ginger and Thai chilies pack a healing wallop if spring showers have slowed you down.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil, melted 1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped 2 Tbsp (30 mL) peeled and coarsely chopped fresh gingerroot 2 large garlic cloves, chopped 1 to 3 Thai red chilies, stems discarded, thickly sliced (see tip) 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground coriander 1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric Soup
7 oz (198 g) pkg stir-fry rice noodles 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil, plus extra
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth 2 - 13 1/2 oz (400 mL) cans coconut milk 2 - 6 oz (180 g) skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts, cut into thin diagonal slices 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) snap peas
2 tsp (10 mL) coconut sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) coconut nectar or low-sodium tamari 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro leaves 4 whole green onions, diagonally sliced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red chili peppers Generous pinch of black pepper 1 lime, cut into wedges
Sriracha sauce (optional)
In mini high-speed blender or mortar with pestle, place spice paste ingredients. Blend until a smooth paste develops. Scrape down sides of dish with spatula and continue to blend, adding a splash of water if needed. Set aside. Bring a kettle with water to a boil. In large bowl, place rice noodles and cover with boiling water, stirring a couple of times to loosen noodles. After about 2 minutes, noodles should be cooked through but not mushy. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and place in clean, dry bowl. Stir in a splash of coconut oil to keep them from sticking. Set aside. In large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil. Add spice paste and stir over medium-high heat until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add a splash of chicken broth if it begins to stick. Stir in remaining broth and coconut milk, and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in chicken, reduce heat to medium, cover, and poach chicken for 5 minutes, or until almost cooked. Stir in peas; cover and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and peas are tender-crisp. Taste and add coconut sugar and coconut nectar.
Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls. Ladle soup over noodles and sprinkle each with equal amounts of cilantro, green onion, crushed chilies, and pepper. Serve with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce, if using.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. Convection cooking circulates air around the meat, crisping it like rotisserie without needing a spit or a lot of oil, similar to an air fryer (which you can also use!). If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). You can use any dark beer, but our pick is, obviously, something German. Oktoberfest barbecue You can also grill the whole chicken on a barbecue—which makes for an impressive presentation and a gorgeously crispy bird—but it’s best to spatchcock it first (take out the backbone) so it cooks more evenly and quickly. Make it fast! If you don’t want to make an entire chicken—or if you want your dinner to cook faster—use this marinade (without stuffing the chicken cavity) on chicken breasts, thighs, or iron-rich chicken livers instead.
At Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, there are always people walking around selling large pretzels, says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who moved to the city in 2018. The large pieces of golden, twisted pretzel dough come topped with coarse salt for a savoury crunch with every bite. “They don’t come with any dipping sauce,” Gilles says, “but you could dip it in sauce if you had ordered something else”—say, the honey mustard or stone-ground mustard you might have with your bratwurst or sauerkraut balls. But don’t feel bad if you prefer to break from German tradition and dip them in caramel or tahini instead! There’s no need to flour a surface when rolling out your dough; the psyllium keeps it from sticking.