All bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, but red bell peppers are chock full of them.
2 red bell peppers
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) ras el hanout, divided (recipe follows)
1/2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked chickpeas
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest, finely grated
2 Tbsp (30 mL) parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Trim off and reserve tops of peppers. Scoop out seeds. Place peppers on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, until they just start to soften, about 10 minutes. Set aside until cool.
In medium bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and 1 tsp (5 mL) ras el hanout.
Toss eggplant in spice mixture until well coated.
Place eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté until shallot is soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato and remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) ras el hanout. Cook until tomato starts to break down, about 4 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in eggplant, chickpeas, lemon zest, parsley, pine nuts, salt, and black pepper.
Stuff peppers and arrange in baking dish along with reserved pepper tops. Bake until filling is warmed through, about 25 minutes. Place pepper top over filling and serve warm or at room temperature.
Each serving contains: 292 calories; 11 g protein; 11 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g carbohydrates; 14 g fibre; 309 mg sodium
Makes 1/4 cup (60 mL)
This is a wonderfully versatile spice blend to have on hand when you’re looking to add an exotic touch to your next meal. Sweet, savoury and spicy all at once, it means “head of the shop,” implying that it is a store’s best spice blend.
2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric
1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) sweet Spanish paprika
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
In bowl whisk together all ingredients. Store ras el hanout in an airtight container.
Each serving contains: 5 calories; 0 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 1 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre; 1 mg sodium
source: "Be Mine, Vegetarian Valentine", alive #352, February 2012
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.