Kale and whole grain quinoa team up to create a fanciful looking gluten-free entree that boasts nutritional highlights. For added visual appeal, consider using black quinoa. The sweet, fiery, and sour notes of the red sauce provide the perfect counterweight to the earthy elements of the cake.
3/4 cup (180 mL) quinoa
1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) roasted red pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili pepper flakes
In medium-sized saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Grease 8 or 9 in (20 or 23 cm) springform pan or tart pan.
Steam kale, in batches if necessary, until tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, wrap in clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Finely chop steamed kale. Place kale in large bowl and combine with cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt, and nutmeg.
Place kale mixture in pan and press down in even layer with rubber spatula. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges slightly pull away from pan and the centre is firm. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from pan.
To make the sauce: Place sour cream, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt in blender or food processor container and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
Serve wedges of kale quinoa cakes topped with sauce.
Each serving contains: 257 calories; 11 g protein; 13 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 406 mg sodium
Good for you: Texture-packed kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods at the supermarket. It contains mega amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. Also, watch for different types of kale, such as purple kale or Tuscan kale (aka dinosaur kale).
source: "Hearty Winter Greens", alive #375, January 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.