Wake up your taste buds with the sun-infused flavours of Mexican cuisine for a fresh and unexpected pairing with earthy, burgundy beet rounds.
Baked Beet Rounds
2 large beets, peeled
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
1 cup (250 mL) cooked black beans
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped red onion
2 avocados, pitted, flesh scooped out, and cut into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) cubes
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped cilantro, plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish
1 Tbsp (15 mL) deseeded, finely minced jalapeno
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper (you will have to bake in batches).
To prepare beets, use mandoline or slicing attachment on food processor to slice beets into thin rounds. Transfer to bowl and toss with grapeseed oil. Line oiled beets on baking sheet in a single layer, packing as many on as possible without layering. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate baking sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer, until edges begin to dry out, keeping an eye out for burning. Transfer to cooling rack and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining oiled beet slices. The slices will crisp at room temperature.
To prepare topping, in medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Immediately before serving, line baked beet rounds on platter and spoon 1 Tbsp (15 mL) topping onto each beet round. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.
Each serving contains: 197 calories; 5 g protein; 14 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 17 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 418 mg sodium
source: "Roots to Relish", alive #385, November 2014
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.