Sage is an excellent flavour companion for squash. When combined with the earthy flavours of mushroom and hearty quinoa, this filled squash makes for a deliciously satisfying meal. Great sources of dietary fibre, winter squashes like delicata and acorn are also good sources of thiamin, which aids in the transformation of ingested carbohydrates into energy.
You can fill and stuff the squash up to a day in advance, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. To heat, set the oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake on parchment-lined baking tray for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and discard or save for another purpose. Place squash halves on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush cut side with 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper. Rub 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sage leaves over the surface and centre of each squash half and flip halves over, cut side down, onto baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until skin of squash is easily pierced with a fork. When squash is ready, remove from oven, allow to cool, cut side down, for about 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, flip over squash halves to cool further and set aside until you’re ready to fill. Keep oven on.
Meanwhile, to saucepan, add quinoa with 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow quinoa to simmer, uncovered, for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until white endosperm or “tail” emerges from each quinoa kernel. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
In large shallow pan, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Add shallots and cook on medium-low heat, stirring often, until shallots are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and allow to brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sage, and thyme and stir thoroughly for about two minutes. Add apple cider vinegar to pan and deglaze pan, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add kale, 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable stock, and cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly, until kale is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add walnuts, along with remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.
Into roasted and cooled squash halves, divide mushroom quinoa mixture and fill, being careful not to pack too tightly. Return baking sheet to oven and heat for about 10 minutes.
Serve baked squash halves on large platter.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.