Half the family says chicken and the other half says, “No!” Here’s a delicious alternative that will please both vegans and the fussiest of carnivores: squash—crusted and baked to perfection—served with a vegan kale and romaine Caesar salad. Once they’ve tried it, it’ll be a go-to favourite for everyone on both sides of the food divide.
Top up salad with roasted chickpeas or croutons for added crunch, if you wish.
To make salad dressing, soak nuts, in enough cold water to cover, for 2 hours. Can be left to soak up to 8 hours, if you wish. Thoroughly rinse and drain. Place in high-speed blender with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water, oil, miso, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whirl until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be refrigerated for a couple of days.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Peel and scrape out seeds. Cut halves crosswise into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges. Blot dry with paper towelling.
In small bowl, stir nut butter and olive oil together until smooth. Add a splash of water and stir in just until thin enough to smooth over slices of squash. Brush both sides of squash wedges with nut butter mixture.
In wide, shallow bowl, combine hemp hearts, ground almonds, nutritional yeast, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Stir to blend. Dip buttered squash wedges into crumbs to evenly coat, and arrange in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until squash is fork tender and coating begins to crisp. Remove and set aside.
In large bowl, place Romaine and kale. Drizzle with Caesar dressing. Toss to coat. Serve wedges of baked squash with Caesar salad on the side.
This recipe is part of the Centre Plate Stars collection.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.