The combination of warm chocolate and the coveted mandarin orange makes this a holiday classic perfect for an intimate dinner party. Almond flour along with hemp hearts deliver healthy fats and protein and keep the cake gluten free and moist, removing the need for any additional oil or butter in the batter. A tiny drizzle of olive oil poured over the mandarin-encrusted top and a pinch of salt bring out the sweet flavour of the mandarins.
Zest mandarins and reserve 1 Tbsp (15 mL) zest for use in the recipe. Set mandarins aside, leaving them unpeeled. When cake is baked, trim mandarins by slicing off top and bottom to form a flat edge. Then placing mandarin on the edge with peel, slice into 3 equal wheels. Repeat for each mandarin. Now, gently remove peel, being careful to keep wheels intact, and arrange on top of the cake, filling in holes with smaller sections trimmed from a wheel.
Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). Line 8 in (20 cm) springform pan with parchment and grease lightly with olive oil.
In small bowl, combine mandarin zest, hemp hearts, and almond flour and set aside.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until stiff and cloudlike. (They are done when the bowl can be held upside down over your head without the whites falling out.) Scrape whites carefully into another bowl and set aside.
To bowl of stand mixer, add egg yolks and sugar. Using paddle attachment, beat on high, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. When sugar is dissolved and batter drops in ribbons from paddle, stop mixer and add cocoa powder and orange blossom water (or zest). On lowest setting, stir to incorporate, stopping mixer and scraping down bowl once or twice. Increase speed to medium-high and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
Remove bowl from mixer and add almond flour mixture in three lots, folding in slowly by hand using spatula. Now add reserved whisked egg whites, folding egg whites in slowly. (Note the texture difference between the fluffy egg whites and the more pastelike chocolate almond mixture.) Continue folding mixture gently until egg whites are mostly incorporated. The batter can be slightly lumpy.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before releasing from the springform pan. Invert on plate and remove from pan. While still warm, arrange mandarin slices on top (see tip). Fill holes in the centre of each mandarin wheel with a few slivered almonds, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.
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.