Fruit, yogurt, and ever-popular quinoa team up to create a supercharged brunch salad. For an added pop of colour, use red or black quinoa. The salad can be made up to two days in advance, but the avocado should be added to the salad just before serving. Feel free to use any other desired fruits such as peaches, grapes, raspberries, kiwi, or mango.
3/4 cup (180 mL) quinoa
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) blueberries or blackberries
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cubed pineapple
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped almonds
1/4 cup (60 mL) dried coconut flakes
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 in (2.5 cm) piece ginger, grated or finely minced
1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup (60 mL) cacao nibs (optional)
Heat heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and heat, shaking pan often, until it smells toasty, about 4 minutes. Place 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) water and pinch of salt in pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered over medium-low until quinoa is tender and water has absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain any excess water, and let cool.
Fluff quinoa with fork, place in large mixing bowl, and toss with blueberries or blackberries, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, almonds, and coconut flakes.
In small saucepan, heat honey, orange zest, orange juice, and ginger over medium-low heat until honey has liquefied. Pour honey mixture over quinoa mixture and toss to coat.
In small bowl, stir together yogurt and vanilla. Place quinoa salad in serving bowls and top with dollops of yogurt mixture. Garnish with mint and cacao nibs.
Each serving contains: 317 calories; 11 g protein; 14 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g total carbohydrates (19 g sugars, 8 g fibre); 7 mg sodium
source: "Thanks a Brunch!", alive #379, May 2014
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.