Serves 6 as a main dish or 8 as an appetizer
Our tasty tart is the quintessential harbinger of spring with its new asparagus and spring leeks. All tucked into a flaky crust with tiny tomatoes and sprinkled with pine nuts, it’s a delicious meatless alternative for the vegetarian palate.
Substitute vegan butter for unsalted butter, and brush crust with a little oil before baking.
In food processor fitted with metal blade, make crust by combining flour, herbs, and salt. Pulse 2 or 3 times to blend. Scatter diced cold butter overtop and pulse just until blended and crumbly and butter resembles large peas. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) ice water and pulse a couple of times. Add another 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) ice water and pulse just until dough pulls together with a few crumbs.
Lightly dust countertop with flour, then turn dough onto countertop and shape into disk. Tightly wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or tightly sealed and frozen until ready to use.
Cut trimmed leeks in half, lengthwise, and cut lengths into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) half moons. In large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and cook until very soft but not browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir often. Transfer to large bowl.
Cut asparagus stalks into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces. Add remaining oil to hot skillet along with asparagus and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender crisp. Stir often, adding a splash of water, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Add grape tomatoes and continue to stir over medium heat until tomatoes are almost blistering, about 3 minutes. Tumble onto leeks in bowl and add thyme and lemon zest. Fold together and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and adjust oven rack to lower-middle level. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll out chilled pastry into 14 in (35 cm) round. Carefully and loosely roll onto rolling pin and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush centre of pastry with Dijon mustard, leaving 2 in (5 cm) rim around edge. Arrange leek, asparagus, and tomato filling over mustard in even layer, scraping up bits from bottom of bowl. Lightly dust with fresh pepper and sprinkle with pine nuts, if using. Gently lift and fold edges of pastry over filling, leaving veggies in centre of galette exposed. Don’t worry if pastry tears. Just press it back together with your fingertips. This adds to the rustic look. Brush surface of pastry with milk.
Bake galette in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove and place baking sheet on rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then cut galette into wedges and serve warm.
You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.
Tender tofu and fresh-tasting mango sauce combine to make a nutritious, Japanese-style dessert with little effort. But don’t worry: your dessert will not taste beany. Silken soft tofu has a rather neutral flavour. The key here is to use blocks of very soft tofu as opposed to firm or extra-firm versions. Silken tofu is undrained and unpressed tofu. It has the highest water content of all types of tofu and is made by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. It’s ultra-soft texture means it can be easily blended with other ingredients and used to boost protein numbers in puddings, cakes, tarts, ice cream, and even smoothies.
Fool is a classic English dessert made, traditionally, by folding a stewed fruit into a creamy, sweet custard. This modern take adds layers of sweet pumpkin flavour and swaps out much of the cream for higher-protein Greek yogurt. The crunchy chocolate topping is a special finishing touch. Beat it It’s the fat in cream that helps trap air bubbles that make it light and fluffy. If it gets too warm, the fat melts and the air escapes. Start with a cold bowl and beaters (or a cold balloon whisk, if you’re whipping by hand). Put your bowl (ideally a stainless one) and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping. They’ll chill easily and help keep everything cool during the whipping process.
Blondies are basically “blonde brownies.” There is no cocoa or melted chocolate in the batter of a blondie. Here, the nutritionally lacklustre all-purpose flour is swapped out for puréed beans for a higher dose of protein. The end result is just as tender and chewy without any noticeable bean flavour. A great potluck dessert option, too. If desired, chopped nuts can be used instead of chocolate chips. Squeeze play To easily fit a piece of parchment paper into a baking dish, run it under cold water for a couple of seconds, scrunch it up, and then squeeze out the excess moisture. Now it will effortlessly form into the pan.