Buttery cashew purée adds richness to soups without the need for heavy cream. Roasting the vegetables and topping everything off with the crunchy herb mixture lends this hearty soup more layers of flavour. In fact, it’s even better a day or two after making.
3/4 cup (180 mL) unsalted raw or dry roasted cashews
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wedges
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup (80 mL) finely chopped Brazil nuts
3 Tbsp (45 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups (1.25 L) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
Place cashews in bowl, cover with water, and let soak for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Place cauliflower, onion, and garlic in large roasting pan and toss with grapeseed oil. Roast for 40 minutes, stirring contents once, or until golden.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together cilantro, Brazil nuts, cheese, and lemon zest. Whisk in olive oil.
Place roasted vegetables, broth, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and thyme. Carefully place contents of pan in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to pan.
Add cashews and 1/2 cup (125 mL) water to blender and blend until very smooth. Add a touch more water if needed to help with blending. Stir cashew cream into soup and heat through. If soup is too thick, stir in additional broth or water. Serve soup garnished with pesto.
Each serving contains: 293 calories; 8 g protein; 21 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 21 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 279 mg sodium
source: "Go Nuts", alive #372, October 2013
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.