Serves 6 to 8
Root soups are hearty and healthy go-tos during the colder months. A couple of often overlooked roots, rutabagas and turnips are sometimes thought to be bitter. One quick way to take the bitterness out of these roots is to add a bit of sweetness. In this recipe, we’ve upped the ante with sweet potatoes and carrots to create a delicious soup with an abundance of healthy ingredients—plus plenty of flavour for everyone.
Although readily available in most grocery stores, you can easily make your own. In small, heavy skillet, combine 6 star anise pods, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fennel seeds, 2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) black peppercorns, and 3/4 tsp (4 mL) whole cloves. Toast over medium heat just until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to mini blender. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cinnamon. Whirl until mixture is finely ground. It can be stored in an airtight small jar; use as needed. It’s equally delicious on roast chicken or pork.
In large soup pot over medium heat, add oil, leek, and onion. Sauté until soft. Stir in garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
Add all remaining ingredients—except for coconut milk. Add a splash more water if needed to make sure vegetables are just about covered with liquid. Bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Using hand-held stick blender or transferring to high-speed blender, purée until creamy. Return to saucepan and stir in coconut milk. Heat through. Add a little more coconut milk or water if soup appears to be too thick. Season to taste with some added salt and pepper, if you wish. Serve in bowls and garnish as desired.
Spooned over hearty fall greens such as kale or chard, this delicious side dish can also double as a main meal; its flavours absolutely pop with our zesty herb topping. The beets are packed with amazing nutrients, plus they’re delicious served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Add some crunch This dish is a meal in itself. Scatter toasted pine nuts or pecans overtop for some added crunch.
“One of my favourite stir-fry meals is broccoli beef, so when I found myself with several hundred pounds of Yukon Mountain caribou this past fall, I figured a ’bou backstrap would be an excellent game replacement,” says Cosco. “Paired with a side of rice, this quick game meal is ready to go.” Note to those afraid of cranking the heat: “The pan needs to be ripping hot to give an immediate sear,” says Cosco. Take a deep breath, and go for it. What’s backstrap? Backstrap comes from the caribou’s longissimus dorsi, the muscle that runs along the spine. Beef striploin would be a good substitution for the lean meat, says Cosco. The slices should be cut to the classic length of fajita strips, about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wide.
Simple and quick, this spot prawn pasta combines local, juicy seafood with a touch of heat. If you can’t find a fresh Fresno chili pepper, use a red jalapeño or a tiny bit of fresh cayenne pepper instead. Heads or shells—on or off? Cosco serves the prawns with the shells and heads on, but if you’re not catching your own spot prawns, buy ones with the heads removed. Prawns and shrimp release an enzyme from their heads when they die that makes the flesh black and mushy. Cooking prawns in their shells adds flavour, and the shells come off easily once cooked, but they can be a bit messy—especially when camping—so feel free to remove them before cooking or buy a smaller quantity of shelled prawns or shrimp if you’re worried about everyone’s fingers smelling of seafood all night.
Delicious for breakfast or even an afternoon snack, this breakfast bowl is so thick and creamy, it looks and tastes like dessert! The real kick is the essential reishi mushroom powder, which is thought to contribute immune system support. On its own, it can be a bit bitter, but locked into this chocolatey dish, it’s definitely a winner. Reishi health benefits Reishi mushroom powder is well known for its immunomodulating components. This may be the reason that many people opt to include reishi powder in their diets to boost their health during cancer therapies. In Asian countries, it’s been used for thousands of years because of its suggested well-being and longevity effects.