These Swiss chard bundles deliver scrumptious holiday flavours in nutritious fibre- and protein-packed parcels. Sweet potato, quinoa, and cranberries scented with thyme and rosemary make for a delicious and satisfying combination of flavours.
Roll it up
Place Swiss chard leaves in large bowl. Fill kettle with water and bring it to the boil. Pour boiling water over leaves and allow them to soften for about 2 to 3 minutes. With tongs, remove leaves to plate. Lay leaf out on flat surface, face down. Remove the thickest part of central stem by making a notch at the bottom of the leaf and removing it. Overlap remaining loose ends. Place about a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom of the leaf and roll it up, tucking in the sides as you go. Place bundles seam side down in Dutch oven.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In large pot, bring quinoa and water to boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until water has evaporated and each kernel forms a tail. Set aside to cool.
In bowl, combine 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, sweet potato, 2 to 3 thyme sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig, and half of each of the salt and pepper. Pour onto baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and scrape into bowl. Discard stems of herb sprigs, running your fingers along the sprig and adding leaves to bowl.
Chop leaves from remaining (uncooked) herb sprigs and add to bowl with sweet potato, quinoa, and cranberries.
In large Dutch oven, sauté onion in remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil on medium heat until soft. Add tomatoes and simmer on low until tomatoes are broken up. Season with cinnamon and remaining salt and pepper. If the sauce looks too thick, add a bit of water to loosen it.
Fill Swiss chard leaves with quinoa filling (see tip) and arrange the bundles in Dutch oven over tomato sauce. Cover with lid and simmer on medium-low on top of stove for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, and then plate individually or serve buffet style directly from Dutch oven.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.