Assertive mustard, smoked salmon and hearty rye bread team up to create an all-grown-up grilled cheese sandwich with sophisticated flair. If desired, low-salt Swiss cheese can replace Gruyère if you’re trying to limit your sodium intake. For more nutritional bang, look for rye bread that lists whole rye flour as the first ingredient instead of wheat flour.
8 thin slices dark rye bread 1 1/2 Tbsp (30 ml) grainy or creamy Dijon mustard 4 oz (115 g) smoked salmon 1 cup (250 ml) sliced roasted capsicum 1 cup (250 ml) grated Gruyère cheese 1 cup (250 ml) rocket 1 1/2 Tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter, room temperature
Heat cast iron pan over medium heat.
While pan is heating, arrange sandwiches. Lay out 8 slices of rye bread and spread each with an equal amount of mustard. Top 4 slices with smoked salmon, roasted pepper, cheese and rocket. Place remaining bread slices on top, mustard side down and butter tops with half the butter.
Place sandwiches in pan, in batches if necessary, butter side down. Cook until bottom sides of bread are toasted. Spread remaining butter on top side of the sandwiches, flip over and press down on them with spatula. Continue cooking until both sides are toasted.
To serve, slice grilled sandwiches in half.
Each serving contains: 1478 kilojoules; 20 g protein; 17 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 33 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 698 mg sodium
source: "Cooking With Mustard", alive Australia #16, Winter 2013
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.