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.
Make no mistake, meaty grilled tofu, sweet flame-licked salsa, and chunks of crispy sweet potato make for a meal prepared in the great outdoors that puts the yum in plant-based eating. A master’s touch Perfect spuds: Crispy potatoes on the grill are a revelation. But it’s best to give them a head start on the stovetop, so the potatoes heat through before the exteriors grill to a burnt crisp. Flavourful tofu: Giving tofu a 90-degree turn on the grill halfway through cooking each side will produce a nice crosshatch pattern that makes you look like a grill master. Plus, those overlapping grill marks give tofu even better flavour.
Combine pizza and taco night by firing up the grill. Sweet flame-licked onions, melty cheese, fiery salsa, hearty beans, and crispy flatbread crust all marry well in a no-fuss pizza that comes together fast enough to work within the confines of the weekday time crunch. Set up a work area near the grill so you have all your toppings within easy reach and ready to go. You can also use large Middle Eastern-style pitas for your base. Using store-bought pizza dough? If you want to go more traditional and use pizza dough, you can certainly stick with the grill. Stretch or roll pizza dough (about 1 lb/450 g) to roughly 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick. It need not be perfectly round or square; it just has to be even thickness. Preheat grill to medium using indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one burner off; for a charcoal grill, shovel coals onto one side of the grill) and lightly oil grill grates. Brush one side of dough with oil, then place on grill in an area not directly over the heat, oil side down. Once dough is lightly charred and just barely set, about 1 to 2 minutes, use pizza peel or big, flat spatula to transfer it to a work surface, grilled side up. Apply toppings and return pizza to indirect heat. Close grill lid, and heat until edges of crust are crispy and cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula. Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased. Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Bet you’ve never considered making breakfast or Sunday brunch on the grill. Consider cooking your egg-soaked bread over flames as a way to coax even more flavour out of brag-worthy French toast. You can also use slices of brioche bread and whatever fruit happens to be in season. Of course, nobody could fault you for topping it all off with a drizzle of maple syrup. If you want it dairy free, you can use dairy alternatives such as oat milk and coconut yogurt. Not so fresh Somewhat stale bread is key to great French toast. You want it to be 2 to 3 days old. What if your bread isn’t aged enough? You can speed up the process by slicing bread and then placing it on a pan in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until it firms up. Make sure it’s sliced nice and thick to prevent the egg mixture-to-bread ratio being too heavy in favour of egg, resulting in soggy French toast.