Although cactus leaves are picked while young and tender, they still contain spines and eyes, which must be removed thoroughly before the leaves are ingested. A vegetable peeler and a sharp paring knife are the best tools to accomplish this task. The flavour of the leaves—similar to asparagus or a tart green bean—makes them a winning addition to soups, stews, and stir-fries.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced diagonally
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cactus leaves (with spines and eyes removed), thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 tsp (2 to 5 mL) grated ginger
3/4 lb (350 g) medium-firm tofu, cut into chunks
1 cup (250 mL) canned pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup (60 mL) reserved pineapple juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
Dash of black pepper
To prepare cactus leaves, wearing gloves, hold leaf on cutting board and, using a sharp knife, scrape the spines (or thorns or eyes), running knife from back to front until completely clean. Repeat on other side and then trim off the edges and rinse.
Heat oil in wok or large skillet. Add onion and carrots and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add minced garlic, cactus leaves, and ginger, and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Add tofu and continue to stir-fry until tofu is lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and cook, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
Serve over rice or similar grain.
Each serving contains: 179 calories; 11 g protein; 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 17 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 303 mg sodium
from "Cook on the WIld Side", alive #365, March 2013
Oven-roasted delicata squash makes a crispy treat atop this green salad. As its name suggests, this squash has a thin, delicate skin that’s tasty when cooked. Pomegranate molasses, an ingredient common in Lebanese and Middle-Eastern cuisine, brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dressing. No pine nuts? Use squash seeds! Simply collect about 1/4 cup (60 mL) seeds from cleaned squash, rinse, and mix with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) of the spice mix used to roast the squash and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive oil. Roast at 425 F (220 C) on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Look for whole grain farro, which leaves the germ and bran intact, for this satisfying porridge that’s sure to kickstart your day. While the cooking time is longer than for pearled or semi-pearled varieties, you’ll get more nutrition. Take the time to enjoy the delicate scent of cardamom and ginger wafting through your kitchen as you prepare this. Ancient grain Farro (also referred to as emmer or einkorn) is a variety of wheat known as an ancient grain, which means that it hasn’t changed over time through breeding as is the case with many varieties of modern wheat.
Spanish-inspired flavours of almond and orange and a good punch of protein make this pudding a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack, or dessert. The tiniest amount of large-flake sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil help bring all the flavours together. Amp up the orange For some additional orange flavour, when cooking chickpeas from dry, add a few strips of orange zest to the cooking water. Tastier toast Take your toast to the next level by using this pudding as a satisfying spread.
Breaking with tradition, think of this as a guise of tabbouleh salad with staying power, thanks to the addition of hearty sorghum and fibre-rich navy beans. It also ages fairly well, so it serves as a make-ahead meal that can keep for up to 3 days. A perfect plant-based option for weekday lunches.