4 to 5 medium-sized portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium-sized shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach or baby greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Remove mushroom stems and discard. Remove gills on the underside of the mushroom caps by scraping them with the side of a spoon (they have a slight bitter taste and exude black liquid when cooked). Cut mushroom caps in half and slice. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Add mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar and mustard in a small bowl, pour over mushrooms, and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
Add mushrooms and liquid to spinach and toss lightly. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with pine nuts and Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains: 312 calories; 13 g protein; 24 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 4 g fibre; 297 mg sodium
TIP: Store mushrooms in paper bags, as plastic makes them sweat, turning them slimy. Poke a couple of holes in the paper bag so air can pass through, and they should keep for three to four days. Do not clean mushrooms until just before use, and avoid submerging them in water; instead, wipe them gently with a wet paper towel.
source: "Salad Lovin'", alive #335, September 2010
Licorice-flavoured fennel, tart apple, and a hint of pleasant bitterness from radicchio combines with a touch of sweet dressing for a refreshingly delicious salad. Fennel contains a number of vitamins and minerals known to be involved in digestion, including vitamin C, manganese, and niacin which helps transform the food you eat into energy. Apple adds sweet crunch and all-important fibre. Know your fennel The fennel bulb we buy at the market is a cultivar variety known as Florence fennel. Fennel seeds, which are sometimes eaten after a meal to ease digestion, and which are also used for cooking, come from the common fennel, which grows wild in southern Europe, Australia, and parts of the US.
Adding farro, with its nutty bite, is a delicious and convenient way to increase your soup’s fibre and nutritional value. This hearty soup is the perfect remedy to a cold January day. Lemon and chervil add a bright contrast to the fibre-packed earthy flavours. Farro timesaver With a long cooking time, it’s worth it to cook a larger amount of farro and freeze it in small-portioned batches which can be thawed quickly. Using a ratio of 1:4 farro to water, cook on medium-high heat until farro is al dente, in a similar manner to the way you would cook pasta. Drain, rinse, portion, and freeze for later use. To thaw, simply run frozen farro under water or add directly to soup.
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.