Studies are proving that eating plant foods rich in colours of the rainbow—from dark blue and purple to green, yellow, orange, and red—is the key to good nutrition. Take butternut squash as an example. Its brilliant orange colour indicates it’s chock full of carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C, essential to decreasing the risk for certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Line baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Peel butternut squash to bright orange flesh. Thinly shave top and bottom from squash and cut horizontally down middle to form 2 halves. Scoop out seeds and discard. Brush cut sides of squash with oil and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can almost pierce it with a paring knife.
While squash bakes, in small saucepan, heat rice vinegar. Pour into 1 cup (250 mL) heatproof glass jar, such as a canning jar, and stir in lime zest, syrup, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes, and salt.
Stir to dissolve salt. Stir in onion and press down to immerse slices in vinegar. Cover and set aside. Onion can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks.
After squash has been roasting for 15 minutes, remove from oven. On cutting board, place halves cut side down. Using very sharp knife, carefully cut 1/4 in (6 mm) wide slices crosswise into squash, being careful not to cut all the way through (see tip). Slide long spatula under sliced squash and return halves to baking sheet. Return to oven and continue to bake for 20 more minutes or until slices are completely tender but not falling apart.
Prepare Herbed Salsa while squash continues baking. In mini blender, combine herbs, oil, garlic, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until finely ground. Add a splash of water for thinner mixture. Add pinch of salt, to taste, if you wish. Store in tightly covered container for up to 1 week. Makes about 1 cup (250 mL).
To serve, remove squash from oven and place onto heated serving platter. Spoon some pickled onions and salsa overtop. Top with crumbled goat cheese and splash with a little extra olive oil, if you wish.
This recipe is part of the Colour Your Menu collection.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.
These crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms can do double duty as a fancy starter for a casual dinner party or a light main course on any given night. Meaty and umami-rich portobellos serve as a holder for a light-tasting seafood salad. Gills begone Even though the gills of mushrooms are edible, they will darken and discolour everything they touch. Besides, after you scrape out the gills, you’ll have more room for stuffing. And don’t discard the stems; they can be saved and used when making veggie stock.
Serving saucy lentils in squash halves is a sure-fire way to elevate your plant-based menu. And, yes, the whole bowl is edible, skin and all. If desired, you can add dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spice of life Garam masala, a blend of spices traditionally used in Indian cooking, usually includes cardamom, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, and coriander. It’s great on roasted meats and vegetables.
“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Canadian expat Chris Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this alive -inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus). Happy Knödelfest! The original version of these snacks are so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If alive threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce. The dumpling test You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.