This speedy, yet versatile supper can be on the table in 15 minutes. Lemony fresh and full of new baby spinach and mint, this dish is “pucker-up” tasty. Great as a main dish, it also works well as a starter. You can also easily add grilled asparagus or broccolini to up the green nutrient quotient.
4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup (250 mL) Israeli couscous
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 lb (225 g) prawns, tail on, peeled and deveined
3 tsp (15 mL) zaíatar spice, divided
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
4 cups (1 L) fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
1 cup (250 mL) fresh mint leaves, plus extra
4 whole green onions, sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
In heavy saucepan, heat 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Add couscous and toast in hot oil, stirring often, until slightly golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add stock (carefully, as it will splatter), and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 3 more minutes.
In bowl, place prawns and 2 tsp (10 mL) oil. Toss to coat. Spread out on baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tsp (10 mL) za’atar spice. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, just until they begin to curl. Remove and set aside, as they will continue to cook.
In large bowl, combine remaining 3 Tbsp (45 mL) oil, remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) za’atar spice, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk to blend. Add spinach, mint, and green onions. Scatter warm cooked couscous overtop. Gently toss greens and couscous together to blend evenly. Season to taste. Transfer to large serving platter and tumble prawns and pistachios overtop. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and additional fresh mint.
Cut firm tofu into large dice. Toss with seasonings. Fry in oil or bake until crisp and scatter over the salad.
Leave out prawns and instead top with jammy eggs and crumbled goat cheese. Jazz it up with a little more za’atar spice.
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.