Don’t be surprised if this dessert gets you a few extra smooches. While the chocolate mousse is delicious on its own, the extra flourishes make it truly special. Feel free to substitute any type of bean aquafaba if you don’t have a can of black beans on hand.
Don’t discard scraped-out vanilla pods—they still contain a lot of flavour. In airtight container, place the pod and 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut sugar. Shake, and set aside for a week, shaking occasionally. Your patience will be rewarded with the loveliest vanilla-scented sugar to use however your heart desires.
Start by making chocolate mousse. Set heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Make sure bowl does not touch surface of water. Add chocolate to bowl and melt, stirring often, until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and set aside to allow chocolate to come to room temperature but still be liquid. This is important because warm chocolate will result in a grainy mousse.
Place aquafaba in bowl of stand mixer along with lemon juice. Whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Using spatula, fold melted chocolate into whipped aquafaba until well incorporated. Divide among 4 serving glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
While mousse is chilling, make Hibiscus Oranges. In small saucepan, bring water almost to boil. Remove saucepan from heat, stir in tea, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain brewed tea into medium bowl and set aside to cool.
Using paring knife, peel oranges, removing skin and white pith. Chop oranges into bite-sized pieces. Add to cooled tea along with vanilla bean seeds and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make Caramelized Cacao Nibs, place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut sugar and water in small frying pan. Place over medium low heat and, stirring continuously, allow sugar to melt and become sticky. Once sugar has melted, remove frying pan from heat and stir in cacao nibs and remaining sugar until well combined. Transfer caramelized cacao nibs to sheet of parchment paper and allow cool completely. Break apart any cacao nibs that are stuck together and store in airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.
Spoon some marinated oranges and a little syrup over chocolate mousse. Garnish with a sprinkle of caramelized cacao nibs. Serve immediately.
This recipe is part of the Dinner For Me and You collection.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.