I love mushroom and barley soup so much that I decided a pot pie would be a great way to eat this tasty combination. Use your favourite mushrooms or take this opportunity to try new varieties.
1/2 cup (125 mL) pearl barley
4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for oiling pan
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme
1 lb (450 g) mixed mushrooms (such as portobello, white button, crimini, shiitake, oyster, trumpet, or chanterelle), trimmed and cut to same size
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium celery stalk, sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) flour of your choice, such as whole wheat or a gluten-free option
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) grated nutmeg
1/4 sheet frozen puff pastry
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Lightly brush 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) baking pan or other shallow baking dish with about 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil and set aside.
Wash, rinse, and then soak barley in cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain. Boil water and barley in medium saucepan; let simmer uncovered for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme, and cook for 3 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add mushrooms, carrot, and celery, and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, sage, and cooked barley. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Add stock and whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk vigorously to break up any lumps. Add lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg and stir well. Add vegetables to sauce and pour contents into prepared pan.
Roll out puff pastry to 1/8 in (3 mm) thickness and cut to fit inside pan. Place on top of filling and make a few slashes with knife on top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and pastry is golden.
Each serving contains: 432 calories; 9 g protein; 24 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 47 g carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 294 mg sodium
source: "Pot Pies", alive #361, November 2012
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.