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
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.
This dark beer-marinated chicken uses the convection setting on your oven to create a crispy skinned bird. Convection cooking circulates air around the meat, crisping it like rotisserie without needing a spit or a lot of oil, similar to an air fryer (which you can also use!). If you don’t have a convection setting on your oven, you can simply bake the chicken for longer at the same temperatures as below, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 F (74 C). You can use any dark beer, but our pick is, obviously, something German. Oktoberfest barbecue You can also grill the whole chicken on a barbecue—which makes for an impressive presentation and a gorgeously crispy bird—but it’s best to spatchcock it first (take out the backbone) so it cooks more evenly and quickly. Make it fast! If you don’t want to make an entire chicken—or if you want your dinner to cook faster—use this marinade (without stuffing the chicken cavity) on chicken breasts, thighs, or iron-rich chicken livers instead.