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.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
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.