Vegetarians and carnivores will unite over this loaf. Cranberries provide an unexpected pop of sweetness, while cooking the lentils in broth instead of water adds another layer of flavour. Liquid smoke, a condensed smoke in water and not an artificial flavour, is a way to infuse meat-free loaves with hot-off-the-grill smoky flavour.
To make it vegan, replace eggs with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ground flax or ground chia mixed with 6 Tbsp (90 mL) water. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes before mixing into loaf batter. Try topping with Chili BBQ Sauce (see sidebar) or your favourite store-bought version.
1 cup (250 mL) green or brown lentils
3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or camelina oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
8 oz (225 g) cremini mushrooms, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
2 large free-range eggs
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted tomato paste
2 tsp (10 mL) dried thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) liquid smoke (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) grated carrot
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
Rinse lentils and then combine them with vegetable broth in medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease 9 x 5 in (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; heat until mushrooms have softened.
Place oats in food processor container and pulverize into coarse powder. Blend in 2 cups (500 mL) cooked lentils, eggs, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke (if using) into a coarse mixture. Place in large bowl and stir in remaining lentils, onion mixture, carrot, walnuts, cranberries, and mushrooms.
Place mixture in loaf pan and press down firmly into an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until set in the middle and darkened around the edges. Let cool for several minutes before slicing.
Each serving contains: 328 calories; 15 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 44 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 265 mg sodium
Top it Off
Chili BBQ Sauce
Soak 1 dried ancho chili pepper in hot water for15 minutes. Slice off stem, discard most of the seeds, and blend with 1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste, 2 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) molasses, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce (vegan if desired), 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and black pepper until smooth. Brush some on top of loaf before cooking and serve additional sauce with loaf slices.
source: "Loafing Around", alive #389, March 2015
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
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.