Makes 12 muffins
These muffins are not sweet, but the flavour is reminiscent of pumpkin pie with hints of ginger, clove and cinnamon. While they’re loaded with fibre and rich in vitamins (pumpkin is a good source of antioxidants), up the protein ante by pairing with a piece of aged cheddar.
1 cup (250 ml) organic wholemeal flour
1 cup (250 ml) organic unbleached plain flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped dried prunes or figs (about 10 whole prunes)
1 tsp (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp (5 ml) each ground cardamom, cinnamon and ginger
1/4 tsp (1 ml) each sea salt and ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 cup (250 ml) puréed cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup (180 ml) coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) molasses
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
2 Tbsp (40 ml) pepitas
2 Tbsp (40 ml) slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Brush 12-cup muffin pan with oil or line with paper cups.
In small bowl, whisk flours with prunes, bicarbonate of soda, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves.
In large bowl, whisk eggs. Then whisk in pumpkin until smooth. Whisk in sugar, molasses, oil and vanilla. Gently fold in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with buttermilk, just until mixed.
Divide batter among cups. Sprinkle pepitas and almonds over top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of largest muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Make ahead tip: Cool muffins, then wrap individually and freeze. Defrost on counter overnight. Great at room temperature or warmed in the oven.
Each muffin contains: 1030 kilojoules; 5 g protein; 8 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 40 g total carbohydrates (21 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 212 mg sodium
Replace both white and wholemeal flours with an equal amount of gluten-free flour mix. Try this homemade mix, which works well with most muffin recipes.
1 cup (250 ml) brown rice flour
3/4 cup (180 ml) potato starch or tapioca starch
1/2 cup (125 ml) buckwheat flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) quinoa flour or almond flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) xanthan gum
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to evenly mix.
source: "Eat Breakfast!", alive Australia #20, Winter 2014
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.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.