1 cup (250 mL) navy beans
2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
2 shallots, chopped
2 slices of bacon (optional)
1 sprig thyme
1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium red peppers, diced small
1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sugar
Grainy Mustard Sauce
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) mustard seeds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard
3 Tbsp (45 mL) red wine
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
3 cups (750 mL) mushrooms (mixture of button, oyster, or any type)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin
4 5-oz (150-g) snapper fillets
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
For cassoulet, drain soaked beans and place in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover with chicken stock and cook until nearly done, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile fry bacon on medium heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add shallots, thyme, and tomato sauce. Cook 5 minutes. Add beans, cover, and cook until beans are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add water as desired to prevent sticking. Discard bacon and thyme sprig and season to taste. Make a day ahead, refrigerate, and reheat, if desired.
For pepper relish, cook peppers in saucepan on medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and red wine vinegar. Add sugar, season to taste, and simmer until all liquid is evaporated. This won’t take long, so watch carefully. Set aside to cool.
For grainy mustard sauce, sauté shallots on medium high heat 1 minute, add mustard seeds and grainy mustard. Cook 2 minutes more, add red wine, and stir to deglaze bottom of pan. Continue to cook until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and continue cooking until only 2 cups (500 mL) of sauce remains in pan. Strain and set aside.
For mushroom ragout, chop mushrooms into quarters. Heat olive oil in fry pan and sauté mushrooms 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.
Now pan-sear the snapper. Heat grapeseed oil in large fry pan on medium-high heat. Season snapper fillets to taste and sear 4 minutes on each side.
To serve, place a scoop of cassoulet in each dish. Top with snapper, mushroom ragout, grainy mustard sauce, and red pepper relish.
source: "Spa Lite Cuisine", alive #286, August 2006
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.