This light cream soup has a woodsy flavour and is excellent as a first course or as a light meal served with crusty rolls and a main course salad.
3 cups (750 mL) organic sodium-reduced chicken stock
2 cups (500 mL) assorted dried mushrooms
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) shallots, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary, diced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) organic whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) fat-free evaporated milk
Heat chicken stock until boiling, remove from heat, and add dried mushrooms. Let soak for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms, and set aside.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and shallots, saut for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add reserved mushrooms and rosemary and saut for 1 to 2 minutes or until mushrooms start browning. Add flour to coat shallots and mushrooms. Pour in reserved chicken/mushroom stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk, heat through, and serve.
Makes 4 - 1 cup (250 ml) servings.
Mushrooms have long been touted as immune enhancers. This soup does more than warm your soul; it also supports your immune system for flu season.
Each serving contains: 149 calories; 4.7 g protein; 3.6 g total fat (1.1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 18.2 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fibre; 467 mg sodium.
source: "Soul-Warming Soups", alive #313, November 2008
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.