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.
These wraps are perfect for an overnight journey when you want to have something quick and satisfying the next day. Sweet smoked paprika adds just a hint of smoky flavour to sweet potatoes, which join with spinach and red pepper to dress up eggs in a pleasing way. Make these wraps anytime and stick them in the freezer for your next excursion. Pack them frozen and they’ll have time to thaw on the journey, or put them in the fridge the night before you travel so you have something convenient and tasty to eat before you set off. Leave the ketchup bottle behind, and serve them with your own smoky red pepper sauce. Freeze with ease While foil is convenient for freezing and reheating these wraps, to cut down on waste, freeze wraps in a single freezer-proof container. Insert a small piece of parchment between each wrap so they don’t stick together. This will allow you to remove individual wraps easily when you need them.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.