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.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.