Most people don’t know that whole grain pasta takes longer to digest and doesn’t put blood sugars out of balance. For more fibre, add a bean of your choice. Chickpeas in particular go well with most Mediterranean-style dishes. Freeze any leftover Basil Pesto in small portions for use throughout the year as a quick and tasty sauce or as a spread on whole grain toast topped with fresh tomato and ground black pepper.
Whole Grain Salad
4 cups (1 L) water
2 cups (500 mL) whole grain rotini pasta
1/4 cup (60 mL) Basil Pesto (see below)
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
10 garlic cloves
1/2 cup (125 mL) onion, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (185 mL) fresh walnuts or sunflower seeds (unroasted)
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup (125 mL) nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups (125 to 375 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) salt, to taste
To prepare Whole Grain Salad, boil water in large saucepan and cook pasta as directed on package.
Meanwhile, make Basil Pesto by processing garlic, onion, and nuts or seeds in food processor until fine. Add basil leaves and nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese. With food processor on, slowly add enough oil to make sauce quite thick. Use immediately or store in glass jar with a little olive oil poured on top to prevent oxidization of the basil. Consume within 2 or 3 days or freeze in 1/4-cup (60 mL) portions. Makes 8 portions of pesto.
source: "Full of Beans", alive #277, November 2005
You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.
Tender tofu and fresh-tasting mango sauce combine to make a nutritious, Japanese-style dessert with little effort. But don’t worry: your dessert will not taste beany. Silken soft tofu has a rather neutral flavour. The key here is to use blocks of very soft tofu as opposed to firm or extra-firm versions. Silken tofu is undrained and unpressed tofu. It has the highest water content of all types of tofu and is made by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. It’s ultra-soft texture means it can be easily blended with other ingredients and used to boost protein numbers in puddings, cakes, tarts, ice cream, and even smoothies.
Fool is a classic English dessert made, traditionally, by folding a stewed fruit into a creamy, sweet custard. This modern take adds layers of sweet pumpkin flavour and swaps out much of the cream for higher-protein Greek yogurt. The crunchy chocolate topping is a special finishing touch. Beat it It’s the fat in cream that helps trap air bubbles that make it light and fluffy. If it gets too warm, the fat melts and the air escapes. Start with a cold bowl and beaters (or a cold balloon whisk, if you’re whipping by hand). Put your bowl (ideally a stainless one) and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping. They’ll chill easily and help keep everything cool during the whipping process.
Blondies are basically “blonde brownies.” There is no cocoa or melted chocolate in the batter of a blondie. Here, the nutritionally lacklustre all-purpose flour is swapped out for puréed beans for a higher dose of protein. The end result is just as tender and chewy without any noticeable bean flavour. A great potluck dessert option, too. If desired, chopped nuts can be used instead of chocolate chips. Squeeze play To easily fit a piece of parchment paper into a baking dish, run it under cold water for a couple of seconds, scrunch it up, and then squeeze out the excess moisture. Now it will effortlessly form into the pan.