Early summer spinach and strawberries along with tangy goat cheese work beautifully in a salad, so why not in a quesadilla? These are excellent as an alternative to a sandwich for lunch. You could even add some sliced cooked chicken to bolster protein levels.
1/2 cup (125 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
3 oz (85 g) soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) sliced strawberries
1/4 cup (60 mL) roughly chopped mint
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped walnuts
4 - 8 in (20 cm) organic whole grain or gluten-free tortillas
In small nonreactive saucepan (one made from material that does not react with acidic ingredients), bring balsamic vinegar, honey, and lemon juice to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup (60 mL), about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide spinach, goat cheese, strawberries, mint, and walnuts over half of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2 in (1.25 cm) border. Drizzle balsamic syrup over top and then fold over tortillas to enclose toppings.
In warmed skillet, heat quesadillas for 1 1/2 minutes, or until bottom of tortillas are darkened and crispy. Carefully flip and cook for 1 1/2 minutes more. Slice in half to serve.
Each serving contains: 290 calories; 9 g protein; 12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (17 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 280 mg sodium
source: "Dinner Worthy Quesadillas", alive #391, May 2015
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.