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.
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.
This hearty version of traditional sloppy joes has a tidy helping of sleep-aiding dietary fibre, thanks to its payload of smoky lentils. Swapping out the doughy bun for sweet bell pepper ups the nutritional ante and visual appeal. It’s also superb as leftovers. Smoke and fire Chipotle peppers are ripened red jalapeno chiles that have been smoked and dried. In stores, they’re typically sold in a rich, smoky flavoured adobo sauce. They add fiery, complex flavour to sauces used for pasta dishes, tacos, and any version of sloppy joes.