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Freckled Vanilla Ghost Pops

Freckled Vanilla Ghost Pops

Frozen bananas become creamy ice pops in this healthy treat. 4 bananas 1 vanilla bean 1 cup (250 mL) thick, plain unsweetened yogurt 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey 1/4 cup (60 mL) desiccated coconut 12 blueberries, 12 chocolate chips, or a mix of both Peel bananas and cut into thirds. Insert ice pop stick or toothpick into each piece. Arrange on baking sheet and place in freezer. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Slit open vanilla bean and scrape out seeds with spoon. Combine seeds with yogurt and honey in coffee mug. Place coconut on small plate. Remove bananas from freezer and dip in yogurt mixture to coat. Use spoon to cover completely. Roll bananas in coconut. Decorate with blueberries or chocolate chips for eyes. Return bananas to baking sheet and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Serves 12. Each serving contains: 79 calories; 2 g protein; 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 16 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 17 mg sodium Variation: Strawberry-chocolate pops To make Strawberry-Chocolate Pops instead of Freckled Vanilla Ghost Pops, roll whole strawberries in yogurt mixed with melted dark chocolate. Then sprinkle with white chia seeds and decorate with yogurt-covered raisins or white chocolate chips for eyes. source: " Cooking with Kids ", alive #371, September 2013

Grilled Chicken Breast with Apple and Pear Salsa

Grilled Chicken Breast with Apple and Pear Salsa

This salsa recipe is good on its own, with grilled fish, and definitely great with chicken. Use it as a guideline only and experiment until you create your own masterpiece! Salsa 2 apples, skin on, cored, and diced 2 pears, skin on, cored, and diced 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/3 cup (80 mL) red onion, diced 1 fresh serrano chile, cored, seeded, and minced 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 tsp (5 mL) apple cider vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts In medium bowl, combine apples, pears, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Add remaining salsa ingredients and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave at room temperature for a few hours for flavour to develop. Preheat grill to 400 F (200 C). Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and set on grill. Close lid and grill for 5 minutes, then rotate breasts 90 degrees to create grill marks. Close lid and grill for an additional 5 minutes. Flip chicken, lower heat to 325 F (160 C) and cook for 10 minutes or until internal temperature is 155 F (68 C). Remove chicken from grill, set on plate, and loosely cover with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Plate chicken and add salsa. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 288 calories; 28 g protein; 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g total carbohydrates (20 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 69 mg sodium source: " Apples and Pears ", alive #371, September 2013

Apple and Pear Crêpes

Apple and Pear Crêpes

Crêpes were a staple growing up; my mom used them to create tasty leftover dishes and quick desserts for us. Feel free to vary the fruits and filling or have them on their own as a satisfying treat. 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter 4 apples, skin on, cored, and sliced 1/4 in (0.6 cm) thick 4 pears, skin on, cored, and sliced 1/4 in (0.6 cm) thick 1/4 cup (60 mL) heavy cream 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup 8 - 8 in (20 cm) crêpes (see recipe below) Heat medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and add butter. When foam subsides, add apples and pears and cook until golden on both sides. Stir in cream and maple syrup and bring to simmer. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Place equivalent of 1/2 apple and 1/2 pear in middle of crêpe, roll crêpe, and spoon sauce over. Serve immediately. Serves 8. Each serving of Apple and Pear Crêpes contains: 291 calories; 1 g protein; 9 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 55 g total carbohydrates (42 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 12 mg sodium Crêpes Make more than one batch and freeze crêpes for later use. To freeze, separate with parchment paper and wrap in parchment, then in foil. To defrost, take out of freezer and place in refrigerator for about one hour. My favourite easy treat is a folded crêpe with a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a small sprinkle of brown sugar. 1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk 1 cup (250 mL) flour (all-purpose, whole wheat sifted 3 times, or gluten free) 2 large eggs 6 Tbsp (90 mL) cold water 3 Tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for pan 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 10 seconds. Transfer to covered container and refrigerate batter for 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When taking batter from refrigerator, gently stir to combine if separated. Heat 8 in (20 cm) seasoned cast iron skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Brush pan bottom and sides very lightly with melted butter (should sizzle when hitting pan). When butter stops sizzling, remove pan from heat, tilt slightly and pour enough batter to cover bottom, about 2 1/2 Tbsp (37 mL). As batter is poured, rotate pan to swirl batter and cover bottom of pan evenly before returning to heat. Cook until first side is spotty golden brown, flip and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Transfer crêpe to cooling rack and let cool completely before stacking. Repeat with remaining crêpe batter, brushing pan with butter as needed. Makes 12 crêpes. Each serving (prepared with all-purpose flour) contains: 85 calories; 3 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 9 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 0 g fibre); 69 mg sodium source: " Apples and Pears ", alive #371, September 2013

Pear and Apple Strudel

Pear and Apple Strudel

This is a strudel loaded with flavours, but not calories. It freezes well and can be baked from frozen; just add 10 minutes to baking time. 1 large pear, skin on, cored, and cut into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) thick slices 1 large apple, skin on, cored, and cut into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) thick slices 2 Tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice 6 sheets phyllo dough 2 Tbsp (30 mL) melted unsalted butter 2 Tbsp (30 mL) walnut oil 1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped toasted walnuts Icing sugar for garnish (optional) Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). In medium bowl, toss pear, apple, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice until coated. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough flat on clean work surface. Combine butter and oil, and brush phyllo sheet lightly all over with mixture. Continue with remaining 5 sheets. Layer fruit slices down long edge of phyllo about 2 in (5 cm) from bottom edge and 1 in (2.5 cm) from each side. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Fold 2 in (5 cm) edge of phyllo carefully over filling and fold sides over. Roll strudel up, jelly-roll style, as tightly as possible. Brush with remaining butter/oil mixture and place seam side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Remove strudel from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with icing sugar if desired. Using serrated knife, slice into 12 pieces. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 255 calories; 3 g protein; 16 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g total carbohydrates (12 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 94 mg sodium source: " Apples and Pears ", alive #371, September 2013

Herbed Tomatoes

Herbed Tomatoes

This easy canning recipe is sure to bring a burst of ripe summer flavour to your meals. Feel free to experiment with different types of herbs or add none at all for a pure, sun-kissed tomato taste. 4 tsp (20 mL) dried basil 2 tsp (10 mL) dried thyme 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried marjoram or oregano 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder Water and ice cubes 12 cups (3 L) ripe large tomatoes (about 6 lbs/2.7 kg) 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (155 mL) organic bottled lemon juice 10 fresh bay leaves Prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process. In small bowl, stir together basil, thyme, marjoram, and garlic powder. Set aside. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Fill large bowl with cold water and a handful of ice. With small paring knife, core tomatoes by cutting approximately 1/2 in (1.25 cm) deep around the stem in a cone shape. Discard tomato cores. Working in batches, blanch tomatoes in boiling water just until skins start to split, about 30 to 60 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and place immediately into ice water. Slip off skins and discard; cut tomatoes into halves or quarters. Discard blanching water. Refill again with fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot, sterilized jars on towel and, to each jar, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice and 1 bay leaf. Divide up spice mix evenly among jars, about 1 tsp (5 mL) in each. Pack in tomatoes. Ladle boiling water over tomatoes, leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars. Seal and process jars using the water bath canning method for 40 minutes. Uncover pot, turn off heat, and let jars sit in water for 5 minutes. Remove with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seal and store herbed tomatoes for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place. Makes about 8 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars. Each 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving contains: 16 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 4 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 5 mg sodium source: " The Art of Canning ", alive #371, September 2013

Spicy Dill Carrots

Spicy Dill Carrots

These colourful pickles make a great addition to a sandwich or next to a cheese board. 6 lbs (2.7 kg) carrots 4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) each distilled white vinegar and water 3 Tbsp (45 mL) kosher salt 1 Tbsp (15 mL) yellow or black mustard seed 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coriander seed 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger 1 bunch fresh dill 6 red Thai chilies 12 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half if large Prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process. Wash, peel, and cut carrots into about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick sticks that are about 1 in (2.5 cm) shorter than the height of the canning jars. In large pot, combine vinegar, water, and salt. Stirring occasionally to dissolve salt, bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot, sterilized jars on towel. To each add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) mustard seed and coriander seed, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger, 2 or 3 sprigs of dill, 1 chili, and 2 garlic cloves. Pack carrots snugly into jars. Ladle hot brine into jars leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars. Seal and process jars using the water bath canning method for 7 minutes. Remove jars with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seal and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Wait at least 2 weeks before opening. Makes 5 or 6 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars. Each 1/4 cup (60 mL) serving contains: 57 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 13 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 210 mg sodium source: " The Art of Canning ", alive #371, September 2013

Indian Summer Pickles

Indian Summer Pickles

The colours of this recipe, once canned, are reminiscent of all the brilliance of a summer sunset. Lightly perfumed with cumin, turmeric, and garam masala, these pickles go particularly well as an accompaniment to a curry. 2 tsp (10 mL) coriander seeds 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin seed 2 tsp (10 mL) yellow mustard seed 2 cups (500 mL) water 4 cups (1 L) cider vinegar 10 garlic cloves, peeled 2 in (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, cut into roughly 6 equal pieces 2 cups (500 mL) peeled pearl onions 3 Tbsp (45 mL) natural cane sugar 3 Tbsp (45 mL) kosher salt 1 tsp (5 mL) black peppercorns 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garam masala 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chili flakes (optional) 1 cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 8 cups/2 L total) 2 cups (500 mL) both red and orange bell pepper, cut into large chunks Prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process. Place coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds in large pot. Place over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until fragrant. Add water, vinegar, garlic, ginger, pearl onions, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, garam masala, and chili flakes (if using). Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot, sterilized jars on towel. Pack cauliflower and peppers snugly into jars. Ladle hot brine into jars, ensuring a good distribution of spices and leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars. If there is extra brine, strain and distribute remaining aromatics among jars. Process jars using the water bath canning method for 10 minutes. Remove with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seal and store for up to 1 year and wait at least 1 week before opening. Makes 6 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars. Each 1/4 cup (60 mL) serving contains: 11 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 2 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 151 mg sodium source: " The Art of Canning ", alive #371, September 2013

Vanilla and Pink Peppercorn Pears

Vanilla and Pink Peppercorn Pears

These sweet and lightly spiced pears make a delicious after-dinner treat with a dollop of Greek yogurt. 12 cups (3 L) water, divided 1/3 cup (80 mL) organic bottled lemon juice 7 lbs (3.2 kg) Bartlett pears (about 18 pears), ripe yet still firm 1/2 cup (125 mL) honey 2 vanilla beans, cut into thirds 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pink peppercorns, divided Prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process. Place 6 cups (1.5 L) of water and lemon juice in large bowl. Working with 1 pear at a time, peel, core, and cut into quarters before placing in lemon water. Repeat with remaining pears. In large pot combine remaining 6 cups (1.5 L) water with honey. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 2 minutes. Drain pears from acidulated water and add to light syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook until just warmed through, about 5 minutes. If you overcook pears they will become very soft or fall apart during the canning process. Meanwhile, lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot jars on towel. To each, add 1 piece of vanilla bean and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pink peppercorns. Using slotted spoon, remove pears from syrup and lightly pack into hot jars. Ladle hot syrup into jars, leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars. Seal and process jars using the water bath canning method for 20 minutes. Remove with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seal and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Wait at least 2 weeks before opening. Makes 6 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars. Each 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving contains: 85 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 23 g total carbohydrates (15 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 2 mg sodium source: " The Art of Canning ", alive #371, September 2013

Squish Squash Burgers with Sweet Maple Carrot and Cabbage Slaw and Quick Homemade Ketchup

Squish Squash Burgers with Sweet Maple Carrot and Cabbage Slaw and Quick Homemade Ketchup

Squish Squash Burgers You may have more fun than your kids squishing these squash, bean, and cornmeal burgers into patties. Roasting the squash and cooking the beans from scratch are simple but time-consuming steps, so cook them in advance or on the weekend. With the beans and squash out of the way, the recipe takes only 35 minutes. 1 cup (250 mL) mashed squash from 1 small roasted squash 2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned pinto beans,drained and rinsed 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) ground organic cornmeal, divided 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper 1/2 tsp (2 mL) mustard powder, or 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard 2 tsp (10 mL) maple syrup Pinch of cayenne pepper or chili flakes (optional) To roast squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds, and place cut-side down on baking sheet in 400 F (200 C) oven for 40 minutes, or until squash is softened. Scoop out flesh when cool. To cook beans (if using dried), soak in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Then cook with at least 3 times as much water and 1 bay leaf in large pot for 35 minutes, or in slow cooker on the low setting for 8 to 10 hours. Add leftover beans to salads or rice dishes, or toss with your favourite dressing or olive oil, salt, and wine vinegar for a quick marinated bean salad. Blend squash, beans, 2 cups (500 mL) cornmeal, salt, pepper, mustard, maple syrup, and cayenne or chili flakes (if using) using immersion hand blender or food processor. Add more cornmeal if batter is too sticky to roll. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Place remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) cornmeal in small bowl. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease lightly with oil. Get your kids to help roll dough into 8 balls. Then roll balls in bowl of cornmeal and place on baking sheet. Now the fun part! Squish balls down with the palm of your hand into burgers, trying to make them similar in thickness so they bake in the same amount of time. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip burgers. Bake 10 minutes more. Serve on whole grain buns with Sweet Maple Carrot and Cabbage Slaw and Quick Homemade Ketchup. Serves 8. Each serving contains: 192 calories; 6 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 39 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 10 g fibre); 157 mg sodium Sweet Maple Carrot and Cabbage Slaw Kids can mix these ingredients together, and if they’re old and strong enough, they can grate the vegetables using a box grater or cheese grater. 1/2 small purple cabbage, grated or finely chopped 2 large carrots, peeled and grated or finely chopped 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup 1/4 cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar Toss grated cabbage and carrot in large bowl with salt, massaging salt into vegetables with hands for at least 3 minutes to get veggies to release their juices. Add maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Toss once again (using tongs this time, as the vinegar is acidic). Serves 8. Each serving contains: 37 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat) 9 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 98 mg sodium Quick Homemade Ketchup 1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can no-salt whole or crushed tomatoes, drained 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) allspice 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper 1/4 cup (60 mL) apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar Purée drained tomatoes in blender. Pour into medium saucepan over medium heat and add remaining ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to pastelike consistency, about 10 minutes. You’ll need to stir more often as ketchup reduces to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 8. Each serving contains: 35 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 8 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 91 g sodium source: " Cooking with Kids ", alive #371, September 2013

Mile-High Mission-Style Chicken Burrito with Salsa Fresca and Guacamole

Mile-High Mission-Style Chicken Burrito with Salsa Fresca and Guacamole

Mile-High Mission-Style Chicken Burrito Kids can grate the cheese, mash the avocados, shred the chicken, tear the lettuce, and assemble their own burritos. If preparation takes longer than planned, it’s okay to leave out a filling or two! Just remember to enjoy the process. It’s as much about the journey as the delicious destination. Many fillings can also be prepared ahead of time. 1 cup (250 mL) brown rice 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock 3/4 cup (180 mL) water 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) paprika, divided 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dry mustard 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt 6 - 7 in (18 cm) whole wheat tortillas 3/4 cup (180 mL) grated low-sodium Monterey Jack cheese 1 cup (250 mL) grated or finely chopped purple cabbage (optional) 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked or canned no-salt black beans, drained and rinsed For rice, combine rice, stock, water, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) paprika in medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir, cover, and reduce heat to low for 40 minutes. Remove from heat but keep covered until ready to serve. For chicken, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Combine spices (including remaining paprika) in small bowl to make chicken rub. Coat each chicken breast with one-quarter of the rub. Place in baking dish or on wire rack, which will allow excess chicken fat to collect in the dish below. Bake 30 minutes, turning halfway through if not on a rack, or until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C) and the juices run clear. Transfer to plate and let cool for at least 5 minutes, then shred chicken with two forks by tearing chicken lengthwise. Cover and reserve until ready to serve. When chicken comes out of oven, lower heat to 250 F(120 C). Wrap tortillas in damp dishtowel, place in casserole dish, and warm in oven for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in oven until ready to serve. Grate cheese onto small plate. Grate cabbage, if using, onto another small plate. Heat black beans with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water in a small pot. Transfer to serving bowl. Arrange with other burrito fillings on table. Place small amounts of fillings in any order on warm tortilla. Fold bottom edge over fillings, followed by folding in the 2 sides. Finish by optionally rolling the whole burrito away from you to close the top (if the burrito’s not already overflowing!). Don’t forget the napkins. Serves 6. Each serving contains (excluding Salsa Fresca and Guacamole): 507 calories; 48 g protein; 12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 52 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 476 mg sodium Salsa Fresca 4 medium tomatoes, diced and drained 1/2 red hot chili pepper, seeded and diced (optional) Pinch of organic natural raw-style sugar (optional; use if tomatoes are very acidic) 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt Juice of 1 lime 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro Strain diced tomatoes in large sieve and let drain. Combine remaining salsa ingredients in medium bowl. Add strained tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 15 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 3 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 63 mg sodium Guacamole 1 ripe avocado Juice of 1 lime 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt 1 green onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped cilantro Mash avocado in bowl. Add lime juice, salt, onion, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 54 calories; 1 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 3 g total carbohydrates (0 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 52 mg sodium source: " Cooking with Kids ", alive #371, September 2013

Pistachio Mousse-Tachios

Pistachio Mousse-Tachios

These individual Chocolate Mousses in Mason jars are decorated with Pistachio Cream “moustaches.” If they don’t end up looking like moustaches, don’t worry! These healthy treats will still be delicious. Just think of it as abstract art. You can also layer the mousse and cream in Mason jars before decorating with moustaches. Chocolate Mousse 1 1/2 very ripe avocados 1/2 cup (125 mL) cocoa powder 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice 6 Tbsp (90 mL) honey 1 tsp (5 mL) nama shoju or tamari 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract, or seeds of 1 vanilla bean (optional) 1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar 1 cup (250 mL) low-fat Greek-style yogurt Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth in blender, scraping down sides as needed (with motor off). Or blend using immersion blender in medium bowl. If avocados are very ripe, you can also mash by hand using potato masher or fork, but mousse won’t be as smooth. Divide among 6 - 1/2 cup (125 mL) Mason jars, ramekins, or small bowls. Chill them in refrigerator while you make Pistachio Cream. Pistachio Cream 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted, shelled pistachios 1/4 ripe avocado 2 tsp (10 mL) honey Pinch salt 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) lemon juice 1/4 cup (60 mL) low-fat Greek yogurt Soak pistachios for at least 30 minutes in cold water. Drain and transfer to blender or food processor. Remove pit from avocado and scrape out flesh. Add to blender along with honey, salt, lemon juice, and yogurt. Blend until combined, scraping down sides as necessary (with motor off). To assemble, scrape Pistachio Cream into pastry bag with round tip. Squeeze cream toward one of the bag’s corners. Squeeze (pipe) cream out in the shape of a moustache on top of each serving of Chocolate Mousse. You’ll have some Pistachio Cream left over, so you can be even more artistic. Serves 6. Each serving (Chocolate Mousse and Pistachio Cream) contains: 250 calories; 6 g protein; 13 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (24 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 95 mg sodium source: " Cooking with Kids ", alive #371, September 2013

Garden Salsa

Garden Salsa

This chunky salsa is almost like a salad in a jar. It makes a delicious accompaniment served alongside roasted chicken or fish. 8 lbs (3.6 kg) ripe tomatoes (about 28 medium) 2 cups (500 mL) seeded and chopped poblano chili peppers or green bell peppers 1/3 cup (80 mL) seeded and diced jalapeno peppers 2 cups (500 mL) trimmed and chopped Vidalia onions 1/2 cup (125 mL) organic bottled lime juice 1/2 cup (125 mL) distilled white vinegar 1/3 cup (80 mL) tomato paste 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1 cup (250 mL) fresh corn kernels 2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh cilantro Cut tomatoes in quarters, removing core and discarding seeds. Coarsely chop and place in large colander. You should have about 15 cups (3.75 L) chopped tomatoes. Place colander in sink or over a bowl and let tomatoes drain for 30 minutes. Place drained tomatoes in large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and, stirring often, cook uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours, or until reduced by about half. Meanwhile, prepare all equipment for the hot water canning process. Stir peppers, onions, lime juice, vinegar, tomato paste, cumin, and salt into reduced tomatoes. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corn, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro. Lay clean kitchen towel on work surface. Place hot, sterilized jars on towel. Ladle hot salsa into jars, leaving 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of head space from rim of jars. Seal and process jars using the water bath canning method for 15 minutes. Remove jars with canning tongs and set on cooling rack or clean towel. Leave jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours. Check seal and store salsa in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Makes 5 - 2 cup (500 mL) jars. Each 1/4 cup (60 mL) serving contains: 22 calories; 1 g protein; 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 5 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 67 mg sodium source: " The Art of Canning ", alive #371, September 2013

Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers with Spinach Pesto

Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers with Spinach Pesto

Infusing these burgers with creamy goat cheese and adorning them with a lively pesto solves the concern that lentil burgers are always too, well, earthy. In lieu of zucchini, other good vegetable topping options include tomato, cucumber, and/or grilled eggplant slices. 1 1/4 cup (310 mL) dried green lentils 3 cups (750 mL) spinach 1/2 cup (125 mL) flat-leaf parsley 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided 1/2 cup (125 mL) wheat germ 4 oz (114 g) soft goat cheese, crumbled 1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped walnuts 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper 2 medium-sized zucchinis Grapeseed oil for grilling 6 whole grain buns (optional) Sprouts or microgreens (optional) Place lentils in medium-sized saucepan with 4 cups (1 L) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside to cool. As lentils are cooling, place spinach and parsley in food processor container and pulse until well chopped. Add olive oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt to container and blend until well combined, wiping down sides as needed. Set aside. Add lentils to food processor container and pulse until most of the lentils have broken down but are not completely smooth. Add remaining garlic, remaining salt, wheat germ, goat cheese, walnuts, balsamic vinegar, mustard, cumin, and black pepper; pulse until well combined. Form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. Slice zucchini in half along their width. Stand the 4 halves upright and slice each into 4 or 5 thin slices. Preheat grill to medium. Brush burgers and zucchini slices with oil. Grill burgers for 4 minutes per side, or until they have developed a crispy crust. Grill zucchini slices until tender, flipping once, about 5 minutes. If using buns, heat them on the grill for 1 minute, or until toasted. Serve lentil burgers topped with spinach pesto, zucchini slices, and sprouts or microgreens, if using. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 350 calories; 18 g protein; 16 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 15 g fibre); 289 mg sodium source: " Veggie Burgers ", alive #370, August 2013

Stuffed Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Stuffed Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions

These giants of the fungi world have a meaty bite that will appease even the most carnivorous burger lover. The stuffed mushrooms are wonderful as a bunless knife and fork affair or try serving between slices of toasted focaccia or ciabatta. 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter 1 large Spanish onion, sliced into thin rounds 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut palm sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar Grapeseed oil for grilling 2 red bell peppers, sliced into 4 segments 8 large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed Salt and pepper to taste 4 slices manchego, white cheddar, or mozzarella cheese 2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach 4 whole grain buns (optional) Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat grill to medium. Lightly brush red pepper slices with oil and grill for 2 minutes per side, or until tender with some grill marks. Remove red pepper from grill. Brush mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add mushrooms to grill, stem sides down, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes. Top 4 mushrooms with equal amounts of red peppers, cheese, and spinach. Cover each with a remaining mushroom, stem side down so that the stem sides are facing each other. Cook for 1 minute or until cheese has melted. If using buns, heat them on the grill for 1 minute, or until toasted. Serve stuffed mushrooms topped with caramelized onions. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 181 calories; 10 g protein; 8 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 20 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 159 mg sodium source: " Veggie Burgers ", alive #370, August 2013

Black Bean Rice Burgers with Guacamole

Black Bean Rice Burgers with Guacamole

Black beans and rice give these patties some heft, not to mention serious amounts of fibre. The creamy avocado topping marries perfectly with the burgers and delivers a laudable amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. 3 cups (750 mL) cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup (250 mL) cooked whole grain rice 1 medium-sized carrot, shredded 1/3 cup (80 mL) ground flaxseed 1 large free-range egg 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt, divided 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper Grapeseed oil for grilling 6 whole grain buns (optional) 1 large avocado Juice of 1/2 lime 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped cilantro 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne, or to taste 1 medium-sized tomato, seeded and chopped Add black beans to food processor container and blend until broken down but not completely smooth. You can also use a potato masher. Add rice, carrot, flaxseed, egg, 1 garlic clove, mustard, cumin, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and black pepper; pulse until well combined. Form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. Preheat grill to medium. Brush burgers with oil and grill for 5 minutes per side, or until they have developed a crispy crust. If using buns, heat them on the grill for 1 minute, or until toasted. In small bowl, mash together avocado, lime juice, 1 garlic clove, cilantro, cayenne, tomato, and remaining salt. Serve black bean burgers topped with guacamole. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 263 calories; 12 g protein; 10 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 13 g fibre); 221 mg sodium Back in black Black beans are an excellent meat substitute. These little black beauties contain high amounts of protein and iron. They’re an excellent source of energy for vegetarians who may have difficulty obtaining enough of these important nutrients in their diet. source: " Veggie Burgers ", alive #370, August 2013

Quinoa Kale Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Quinoa Kale Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Replete with superfoods, these burgers are loaded with fibre. But don’t think they’ll taste like cardboard. Chipotle gives the sauce some smoky heat, but you can also use smoked paprika, cayenne, or even curry powder if you prefer. 2/3 cup (160 mL) quinoa 3 cups (750 mL) cooked or canned white navy beans (rinsed and drained) 2 cups (500 mL) very finely chopped kale 1/3 cup (80 mL) oat bran 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten 1 shallot, minced 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt, divided 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain 2% yogurt 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice 1 tsp (5 mL) honey 1 garlic clove, grated or very finely minced 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chipotle chili powder Grapeseed oil for grilling 6 whole grain buns (optional) Tomato, sliced Cucumber, sliced Red onion, sliced In medium-sized saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 1/4 cup (310 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until quinoa is tender and water has absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let quinoa cool for at least 5 minutes. Place beans in large bowl and mash with potato masher or fork. Add quinoa, kale, oat bran, tomato paste, egg, shallot, thyme, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and black pepper to bowl and stir to combine. Form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, lemon juice, honey, garlic, chipotle powder, and remaining salt. Taste and add more chipotle if desired. Preheat grill to medium. Brush burgers with oil and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until they have developed a crispy crust. If using buns, heat them on the grill for 1 minute, or until toasted. Serve burgers topped with yogurt sauce and sliced vegetables. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 256 calories; 14 g protein; 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 46 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 12 g fibre); 236 mg sodium source: " Veggie Burgers ", alive #370, August 2013

Asian Tofu Burgers with Chili Lime Pineapple

Asian Tofu Burgers with Chili Lime Pineapple

For tofu lovers, these Thai-influenced burgers won’t disappoint. The heat of the grill actually amplifies the natural sweetness of the pineapple, making it a contender for one of the best burger toppings around. 2 - 350 g (12 oz) blocks extra-firm tofu, chopped 1/3 cup (80 mL) wheat germ 3 green onions, chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp (10 mL) minced ginger 2 Tbsp (30 mL) reduced sodium soy sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sweet chili sauce or chili garlic sauce 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) curry powder 6 pineapple rings Zest of 1 lime 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chili powder, or to taste 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) sea salt Grapeseed oil for grilling 6 whole grain buns (optional) 4 Tbsp (60 mL) hoisin sauce Place tofu in food processor container; blend until pulverized and beginning to stick together. Add wheat germ, green onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, and curry powder to container and pulse until everything is mixed together. Form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties. Pat pineapple rings dry with paper towel and brush both sides with a light coating of oil. In small bowl, stir together lime zest, chili powder, and salt. Season both sides of pineapple with chili mixture. Preheat grill to medium. Brush tofu burgers with oil and grill for 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Grill pineapple rings for 2 minutes per side, or until they have developed grill marks. If using buns, heat them on the grill for 1 minute, or until toasted. Serve tofu burgers topped with hoisin sauce and grilled pineapple. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 220 calories; 13 g protein; 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (13 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 412 mg sodium source: " Veggie Burgers ", alive #370, August 2013

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes

When tomatoes are at their summer flavour peak, why open a jar of tomato sauce for pasta night? Roasting tomatoes only serves to heighten their natural sweetness. For visual appeal, try using multicoloured cherry tomatoes. Stirring the greens with the warm tomatoes and pasta will slightly wilt them, helping to make this highly textured dish even more delightful. 2/3 package (300 g) whole grain penne 4 cups (1 L) cherry tomatoes 3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped fresh oregano 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt 2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 3 cups (750 mL) tender greens, such as baby spinach or baby kale 1/3 cup (80 mL) torn fresh basil 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted almonds, roughly chopped 1/3 cup (80 mL) black or niçoise olives, chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon zest 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes Parmesan cheese, grated Freshly ground black pepper Prepare penne according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). In large bowl, toss together tomatoes, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Place on baking sheet and cook until softened and beginning to shrivel, about 12 minutes. Place cooked penne and roasted tomatoes in large bowl and toss with chickpeas, greens, basil, almonds, olives, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Divide among serving plates and garnish with Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Serves 5. Each serving contains: 459 calories; 19 g protein; 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 70 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 14 g fibre); 229 mg sodium source: " You Say Tomato ", alive #370, August 2013

Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

This refreshing gazpacho crosses the great generation divide—pleasing adults and kids alike. Grilling the vegetables imparts a smoky flavour and makes the soup scream summer. However, you can also make it using only raw vegetables. If you can, try preparing this recipe ahead of time, as the flavours of the soup only get better after resting for a day or two in the refrigerator. When serving cold summer soups, try chilling the bowls as well. 3 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered 1 medium-sized zucchini, quartered 1 red bell pepper, quartered 4 radishes, halved 2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed or olive oil 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice 1/2 English cucumber, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 2 green onions, thinly sliced 2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh oregano or thyme 1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika (optional) 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper 2 oz (55 g) feta cheese, diced Microgreens, for garnish (optional) Preheat grill to medium heat. In large bowl, toss tomatoes, zucchini, red bell pepper, and radishes with oil. Grill vegetables, flipping them at least once during grilling, until they begin to develop char marks. The vegetables will grill at different speeds so remove them from the heat as needed. Let vegetables cool. Add cooled grilled vegetables along with orange juice, cucumber, garlic, green onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano or thyme, salt, smoked paprika (if using), and black pepper to food processor or large blender container, and blend until just slightly chunky. Make sure there is some texture left in the soup. Chill soup for at least 2 hours in refrigerator before serving. To serve, place gazpacho in bowls and top with feta cheese and microgreens, if using. Serves 6. Each serving contains: 97 calories; 3 g protein; 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 9 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 308 mg sodium source: " You Say Tomato ", alive #370, August 2013

Zucchini Pancakes with Melon Raita

Zucchini Pancakes with Melon Raita

Raita is a yogurt-based dip or sauce often used in Indian cuisine. As a general rule of thumb, what grows together goes together. This time of year, both zucchini and melon are prolific in the garden. This dish would be perfect as part of a lazy summer Sunday brunch. 3/4 cup (180 mL) low-fat Greek yogurt 1/2 cup (125 mL) seeded, diced cucumber 1/2 cup (125 mL) peeled, diced cantaloupe 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt, divided 1 lb (450 g) zucchini (about 3 medium zucchinis) 1/4 cup (60 mL) whole wheat pastry flour 3 green onions, finely sliced 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish 1 tsp (5 mL) hot curry powder 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper 2 large free-range eggs 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or coconut oil, divided In bowl, stir together yogurt, cucumber, cantaloupe, and mint. Season with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and refrigerate until ready to use. Trim zucchini and coarsely grate into large colander set in sink or bowl. Stir in remaining salt and let drain at room temperature for 30 minutes. Wrap zucchini in kitchen towel and twist towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. Place zucchini in large bowl and stir in flour, green onions, parsley, cilantro, curry powder, pepper, and eggs. Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) oil in large, seasoned cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter into pan, flattening slightly with back of spoon. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes total, transferring as cooked to baking sheet in warm oven. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as needed. When ready to serve, place two zucchini pancakes on each serving plate. Top with dollop of melon raita and garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 193 calories; 10 g protein; 10 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 19 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 506 mg sodium source: " Melon Madness ", alive #370, August 2013

Salmon and Honeydew Carpaccio

Salmon and Honeydew Carpaccio

This fresh and delicately textured dish is perfect as an appetizer or a light lunch. The salmon provides a good hit of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Freezing salmon makes it easier to slice paper-thin. 1/2 lb (225 g) sushi-grade, skinless salmon fillet 2 tsp (10 mL) rice vinegar 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh chives 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced Pinch of salt (optional) 2 Tbsp (30 mL) salmon roe (optional) 1 cup (250 mL) diced honeydew melon (about a quarter of a melon) Mixed microgreens or baby arugula, for garnish Rinse and dry salmon before wrapping in parchment paper and placing in freezer for 2 hours. Meanwhile, in bowl, stir together rice vinegar, lemon zest, and olive oil until homogenous. Stir in chives and green onion. Season with pinch of salt, if desired, and set aside. Remove salmon from freezer and let thaw about 10 minutes. With sharp knife, cut salmon into very thin slices. Arrange several slices in single layer over four serving plates and spoon a little dressing overtop. Scatter salmon roe, if using, and melon over salmon and drizzle with more dressing. Let sit in refrigerator for 15 minutes before garnishing with microgreens. Serve on its own, or alongside thin toasted slices of pumpernickel or whole grain bread. Serves 4. Each serving contains: 178 calories; 14 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 5 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 129 mg sodium source: " Melon Madness ", alive #370, August 2013