Stuffed with a punchy pesto, these umami-laced mushrooms alone can take an appetizer tray from meh to memorable. If you need to make these dairy-free for allergic or intolerant guests, you can add cheesy essence to the pesto by using nutritional yeast in lieu of Parmesan. Both the mushrooms and pesto can be made a day or two in advance, but the mushrooms are best reheated before being stuffed with the pesto.
1/2 cup (125 mL) shelled unsalted pistachios, plus more for garnish
2 cups (500 mL) arugula
1/2 cup (125 mL) flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 lb (450 g) cremini mushrooms, stems removed
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil
For pesto, finely grind pistachios in food processor. Pulse in arugula, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt into coarse paste. With machine running, slowly pour in olive or camelina oil through feed tube until incorporated.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
Arrange mushrooms, stem side down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush tops with grapeseed oil. Bake for 7 minutes, or until tender. Turn mushrooms over and dab insides with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
To serve, fill each mushroom cap with pesto and top with chopped pistachios.
Serves 8 to 10.
Each serving contains: 152 calories; 5 g protein; 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 6 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 128 mg sodium
source: "Pickup Artists", alive #386, December 2014
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.
Select the ripest figs you can find to add gorgeous sweetness to this hearty salad, which is just as useful for a family dinner as a workday lunch. Carrots and chickpeas are dressed in a savoury tahini yogurt dressing with Middle Eastern-inspired flavours. A little goes a long way with this fibre- and protein-packed salad, which keeps well in the fridge. Fall favourite Did you know that some varieties of figs have two seasons? They enjoy a brief, early season at the beginning of June and a second season from August to October. Fall figs tend to be sweeter and grow on the new wood of trees.
The apple in these turkey meatballs might not be immediately visible, but it’s working behind the scenes to help bind them together and adds sweet flavour and juiciness. Chinese five-spice powder—a blend of star anise, ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon—lends lively flavour, alongside ginger and garlic. Packed full of protein, these meaty bites are a good source of vitamin D and iron and make for a tasty party appetizer. Meatball magic Handle with care A light touch is the key to a well-formed, juicy meatball. Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, spoon heaping tablespoons into individual meatballs and toss them back and forth between your hands a few times, very gently, to round them off. Avoid squeezing or compressing the meat. Make ahead You can form meatballs 4 hours in advance and refrigerate before cooking. Lay meatballs in a single layer on parchment in glass dish; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove meatballs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin to cook to allow them to come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook evenly. Blot any excess moisture before adding to the hot pan. Turning with this trick When browning meatballs, use a cookie scoop to nudge and turn the meatball. If it loses its round shape, use the scoop to gently re-form.
Fall root vegetables such as parsnips or celeriac make a delicious combination with the autumn season’s arguably biggest star—the apple. Choose a tart apple like Granny Smith or a sweet-tart apple like Pink Lady for this silky soup thickened up with a cashew cream to deliver not only a winning texture but a healthy dose of dietary fibre and some added protein. Tarragon is a supporting actor in this play, working nicely with the apples in a bright, tasty oil as garnish. Terrific with tarragon Bring this dish to the next level by making an elegant tarragon oil to drizzle over the soup. Place 1/3 cup (80 mL) tarragon leaves in fine sieve. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate sieve with ice water and set aside. Plunge sieve into pot of boiling water, drenching tarragon for about 30 seconds. Remove sieve and plunge it into the ice water and leave for a minute or so. Drain and transfer tarragon to clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water and place tarragon in food processor with 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil. Blend for about a minute and then strain oil through clean fine sieve into jar. Use at room temperature and refrigerate when not using.