With its heart-healthy benefits, the Mediterranean diet has long been touted as a smart and enjoyable way to eat. A typical meal is primarily made from vegetables, pulses (such as beans), whole grains, and either lean meat or fish with a liberal dose of olive oil. The cooking moves quickly in this dish so it’s best to prep all ingredients before starting.
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head fennel, cored and thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano leaves
3/4 cup (180 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups (500 mL) canned lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh mint or basil (optional)
Heat oil in large, wide skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt (if using) and pepper. Add chicken to pan, then reduce heat to medium. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on plate.
Return skillet to medium heat and don’t drain excess fat in pan. Add garlic and fennel. Stir often, just until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sprinkle in oregano. Increase heat to high. Stir often, until tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.
Pour in orange juice. Bring to a boil, then return chicken to pan. Stir in lentils. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mint or basil (if using). Divide among bowls and drizzle with more olive oil, if using.
Each serving contains: 238 calories; 19 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 11 g fibre); 72 mg sodium
source: "30 Minute Meals", alive #371, September 2013
This rich bean dip is delicious warm or cold. It’s also a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. A single serving of this dip will help Dad get 19 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fibre. Dried pasilla peppers impart a smoky, earthy fruitiness balanced with mild spice from a hint of hot paprika and cayenne. And those canned tomatoes add a nice hit of lycopene to an already healthy dish. Epazote (Eh-pah-zo-tay) Epazote has a history of use as a medicinal herb throughout Latin America and is a frequent ingredient in bean dishes because of its antiflatulent properties as well as its pleasant aromatic taste. Its flavour has no direct comparison but is reminiscent of oregano, tarragon, or licorice. There is a pungency to the scent, which some have described as having notes of kerosene, but it imparts a pleasing, earthy, and herbal quality to dishes. Dried epazote added to beans can help reduce their gas-causing properties. Epazote contains saponins, which can be toxic in copious quantities, so sparing use is recommended. Look out for it at specialty culinary stores. If you can’t find it, try cilantro, fennel, or oregano.
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.