These mini meatballs are great on whole grain pasta, in a submarine sandwich, or served with a seasonal salad. Kids will love the surprise centre.
1 cup (250 mL) canned navy beans, drained and rinsed well
1 large free-range egg
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup (60 mL) parsley, chopped
1 lb (450 g) lean ground free-range turkey
1 ball (340 g) partly skimmed mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 - 27 oz (796 mL) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
In large bowl, mash beans with potato masher until well mashed. Stir in egg, bread crumbs, parsley, turkey, 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper until well combined.
Form 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of turkey mixture into a disk about 2 in (5 cm) in diameter. Place 1 cube of mozzarella in the centre of the disk and wrap turkey mixture around cheese, pinching seams to seal. Roll meatball between your hands to form an even ball. Set meatball aside on a plate and repeat with remaining turkey mixture and cheese. You should have approximately 32 meatballs.
To make sauce, heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, then tomatoes, oregano, and thyme, and season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add 1/4 cup (60 mL) water.
Add meatballs to saucepan and carefully spoon sauce over meatballs to coat. Simmer meatballs in sauce until meat is cooked through and cheese is starting to melt, about 20 minutes.
Serve over your favourite whole grain pasta. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Each serving contains:
454 calories; 48 g protein; 13 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 39 g carbohydrates; 11 g fibre; 649 mg sodium
Tip: You can use dried navy beans from the bulk section if you prepare them in advance.
Source: "Cheese Please," alive #347, September 2011
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.