Fried rice is the epitome of Chinese fast food. Too bad it’s rarely more than prodigious amounts of greasy white rice flecked with a meagre amount of vegetables. This rendition ups the health ante with a generous amount of vegetables and brown rice. The key to great fried rice is to use cold rice, preferably a day or two old.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) + 2 tsp (10 mL) cooking oil
3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup (160 mL) frozen peas, run under warm water to bring to room temperature
4 cups (1 L) cold, cooked long-grain brown rice
In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chili flakes, white pepper, and 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil; set aside.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cooking oil, swirl, and add eggs. Cook for about 1 minute, tilting the pan so eggs cover the surface. When egg pancake is just set and bottom is beginning to brown, carefully flip and cook 20 seconds. Transfer to cutting board and slice into shreds.
Add additional 2 tsp (10 mL) oil to wok or skillet, swirl, and add carrots, celery, half the green onion, ginger, and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add peas and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and soy sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes, breaking up the rice with a spatula until heated through. Add egg shreds and cook 30 seconds. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil and serve garnished with cilantro and remaining green onion.
Each serving contains:
397 calories; 12 g protein; 15 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 54 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 468 mg sodium
Source: "Healthy Chinese Food," alive #349, October 2011
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.