These steamed dumplings are a scrumptious take on their Asian cousins. A relative of the turnip family, broccoli rabe has long, thin leafy stalks topped with small florets. Very low in calories, this star green gets a nutritional high-five for being an excellent source of vitamin K, iron, and calcium.
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat ricotta cheese
1 small bunch broccoli rabe, about 1/2 lb (225 g), trimmed
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil leaves, torn
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cornstarch, for dusting
36 round dumpling skins
3/4 cup (180 mL) low-sodium or homemade tomato sauce, warmed
Small basil leaves, for garnish
Line bowl with a double layer of cheesecloth. Add ricotta to bowl and wrap cheesecloth around ricotta, gently squeezing out as much water as possible into bowl. Discard liquid and set drained ricotta aside.
To make dumpling filling, bring large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling large bowl with cold water and adding a handful of ice. Add broccoli rabe to boiling water and cook until tender and bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain again and coarsely chop.
Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Stir in broccoli rabe and pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until nuts start to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Add drained ricotta, basil, and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse until finely chopped and well incorporated (but not puréed), scraping down sides of processor as needed.
Lightly dust parchment-lined baking tray with cornstarch.
Working with one dumpling skin at a time, use fingertip to wet edge of both sides of skin with water. Place heaping 1 tsp (5 mL) ball of filling mixture into centre. Draw up one edge, making a small pleat. Squeeze pleat firmly together before continuing to make pleats until filling is encased. Pinch pleats together at top to ensure dumpling is sealed. Place dumpling on prepared baking tray and loosely cover with clean kitchen towel. Continue making dumplings, using up all skins and filling.
Fill wok or medium saucepan with about 2 to 3 in (5 to 8 cm) of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and bring water to a simmer. Cut rounds of parchment paper to fit inside 2 large bamboo steamer bases. Brush off cornstarch from dumplings and place in steamer, leaving about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) between each one. Stack bases on top of each other and add steamer lid. Place over simmering water and allow dumplings to steam until wrappers are soft and filling is warm, about 8 to 10 minutes. Switch positions of top and bottom steamer basket about halfway through.
To serve, place 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato sauce on Chinese soup spoon and place warm dumpling on top. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Dumplings can also be served on a platter with tomato sauce on the side for dipping.
Makes 36 dumplings.
Each dumpling contains: 45 calories; 2 g protein; 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars, 0 g fibre); 57 mg sodium
source: "Happy New Year!", alive #374, December 2013
Make no mistake, meaty grilled tofu, sweet flame-licked salsa, and chunks of crispy sweet potato make for a meal prepared in the great outdoors that puts the yum in plant-based eating. A master’s touch Perfect spuds: Crispy potatoes on the grill are a revelation. But it’s best to give them a head start on the stovetop, so the potatoes heat through before the exteriors grill to a burnt crisp. Flavourful tofu: Giving tofu a 90-degree turn on the grill halfway through cooking each side will produce a nice crosshatch pattern that makes you look like a grill master. Plus, those overlapping grill marks give tofu even better flavour.
Combine pizza and taco night by firing up the grill. Sweet flame-licked onions, melty cheese, fiery salsa, hearty beans, and crispy flatbread crust all marry well in a no-fuss pizza that comes together fast enough to work within the confines of the weekday time crunch. Set up a work area near the grill so you have all your toppings within easy reach and ready to go. You can also use large Middle Eastern-style pitas for your base. Using store-bought pizza dough? If you want to go more traditional and use pizza dough, you can certainly stick with the grill. Stretch or roll pizza dough (about 1 lb/450 g) to roughly 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick. It need not be perfectly round or square; it just has to be even thickness. Preheat grill to medium using indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one burner off; for a charcoal grill, shovel coals onto one side of the grill) and lightly oil grill grates. Brush one side of dough with oil, then place on grill in an area not directly over the heat, oil side down. Once dough is lightly charred and just barely set, about 1 to 2 minutes, use pizza peel or big, flat spatula to transfer it to a work surface, grilled side up. Apply toppings and return pizza to indirect heat. Close grill lid, and heat until edges of crust are crispy and cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula. Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased. Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Bet you’ve never considered making breakfast or Sunday brunch on the grill. Consider cooking your egg-soaked bread over flames as a way to coax even more flavour out of brag-worthy French toast. You can also use slices of brioche bread and whatever fruit happens to be in season. Of course, nobody could fault you for topping it all off with a drizzle of maple syrup. If you want it dairy free, you can use dairy alternatives such as oat milk and coconut yogurt. Not so fresh Somewhat stale bread is key to great French toast. You want it to be 2 to 3 days old. What if your bread isn’t aged enough? You can speed up the process by slicing bread and then placing it on a pan in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until it firms up. Make sure it’s sliced nice and thick to prevent the egg mixture-to-bread ratio being too heavy in favour of egg, resulting in soggy French toast.