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.
This homage to the sun plays out visually as well as nutritionally. To celebrate the return of the vitamin D-giving sun, this dish of eggs, spinach, and yogurt with a hint of spice is a vitamin D party on a plate. A single serving of these eggs contains 12 g of protein and more than 70 percent of the RDA of vitamin D. Taking inspiration from the Turkish egg dish çilbir, the creamy yogurt is drizzled with a little bit of olive oil that’s been flavoured with chili flakes and sweet paprika. Lay out components separately and then mix them up to savour the creamy texture and delicious smoky flavour. Eggs and a drop of vinegar Adding acidic vinegar to the poaching water changes the structure of the protein (as does cooking) and helps the egg hold its shape by making that process happen more rapidly.
Tarts are timeless, and a good tart is always a people-pleaser. And who doesn’t love something with chocolate in any form? This classic tart is so easy to make with fresh fruit and hints of orange in a delicious chocolate crust. Once firm, it cuts like a dream into 16 easy slices. Fruity faves This remarkable tart lends itself well to a bevy of flavours. We conjoined raspberries with chocolate and orange in our tart. But you can stretch the boundaries with all sorts of fruits such as mango, pineapple, and papaya. If you’re longing to go somewhere tropical but the opportunity has scooted away, make this timely tart and fill it with the flavours of the tropics.
This cozy winter drink is perfect for sipping by the fireside. Serve it up with our Maple Pecans. It’s soothingly delicious and creamy served hot or cold. Plant milks We’ve suggested oat milk for an ultimate creamy beverage in our recipe. But any plant milk will be equally delicious. Other possibilities include unsweetened soy, almond, rice, and regular dairy milk products. Iced maple milk affogato A true Italian affogato is vanilla gelato or ice cream doused in espresso. In our version we place 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass and douse it with our hot Dreamy Maple Sipper. Shave some dark chocolate on top and gratings of nutmeg. Serve with a tall spoon. Delicious!
Here’s the perfect recipe for a fireside snack attack. It’s so easy and can be made ahead and stored in a tightly covered container in the fridge or freezer without losing crispness. Delicious served with a hot toddy. Crunchy munchies Switch out pecans for Brazil nuts or walnuts, or even mixed nuts. The trick is to use raw nuts, as opposed to roasted, as these would become too toasted. Try playing with different spices such as cinnamon or curry powder. These are delicious served on crostini that’s been spread with our Creamy Feta Dip.
With tons of citrus hints in this dish and the pungent Greek flavours of olives, artichokes, and garlic, keeping it simple is the perfect choice. Fill a beer glass with ice cubes and top with equal parts unsweetened grapefruit juice, sparkling soda, and a splash of honey syrup. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
This recipe is something of a classic; it’s so easy to make. But this version introduces a little extra zing for when the season revs up and all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire for a cozy eve. All it takes is one pot for cooking and a single bowl to toss with remaining ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The gremolata gives it that zesty, zingy punch. Bowl comfort Orzo is an excellent pasta to have on hand; it lends itself to so many variations. If you’re looking for another flavourful combo, toss orzo pasta with your favourite miso dressing and a medley of chopped sweet peppers, cucumber, and cilantro. Scatter with crumbled goats’ cheese and toasted pepitas. Mmmm.
With its smoky paprika and subtle earthy flavours of saffron, anyone eating this paella will be looking for seconds. It’s a delightfully cozy dish and easy to make ahead for a crowd. Serve with crusty bread, a dish of roasted Spanish olives, and roasted peppers; finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Beautiful bomba Paella can be made with most types of rice, but for best results, “bomba” rice is the ideal way to go. It has the ability to absorb plenty of liquid and will hold its shape after cooking. Otherwise, spring for arborio rice, which is typically used for making risotto but works well for paella too. Make-ahead tip When rice mixture is cooked, remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day or overnight. To finish cooking, transfer to oven-safe dish with tight-fitting lid. Heat in 350 F (175 C) oven for 30 minutes. Add chickpeas, asparagus, and prawns and continue to heat in oven, covered, until piping hot. Add more seasonings, to taste, and garnish before serving.
This one-dish curry is a perfect dish to have on hand when the fire’s cozily crackling and guests are lingering. It takes just minutes to prepare and no time to cook. Serve ladled over steaming forbidden black rice, it’s comfort in a bowl. Plus, it’s low on dishes too! Add some more wow Break out some additional colourful veggies for this dish. Add broccolini spears to simmering rice near the end of cooking just until bright green but still crisp. Using tongs, remove and set aside. Then serve curried dal over rice with broccolini placed on top of each serving. Make it even more visual and tastefully delicious with halved cherry or grape tomatoes and wedges of lime. Join the nobility Black rice is called “forbidden rice” because it was, at one time, grown only for aristocracy. It’s available in most fine food stores. Substitute with risotto or quinoa, if you wish.
Cozy comfort in a bowl—this dish with charred vegetables offers flavours from Tunisia and other regions in the Middle East. And who wouldn’t want a bowl of Middle Eastern spices to warm the tongue while satisfying the belly on a cold winter night? Make mine a meal Jazz up soup into a stew by puréeing it only a bit to keep it chunky. Stir in canned lentils and fold in some chopped spinach or kale for a festive seasonal colour. Round up the flavours with a smattering of coarsely chopped Marcona almonds, dollops of thick plain yogurt, and fresh mint.
Fireside nibbles—one simply can’t get enough of them. This eye-catching dip is so easy to prepare: just whip it up in a blender and serve with your choice of veggies or bread crisps for scooping. It’s equally delicious spread on crostini and topped with bruschetta. Bubble-licious Dip can also be served warm. Transfer dip without toppings to small baking dish that is microwave or oven safe. Heat in microwave until bubbly, or bake uncovered in 400 F (200 C) oven until bubbly and golden on top. Garnish with toppings and serve.
Inspired by the flavours of Vietnamese-style summer rolls, this satisfying dinner is built around a marinated flank steak that will stretch to feed a crowd. Marinating flank steak over several hours tenderizes a cut that starts out tougher than some others but can’t be beat for flavour. The marinade flavours of lemon grass, lime, mint, cilantro, and red chilies shine through and are topped off with a spicy mango dressing. Those enjoying this board can choose to eat salad-style or make lettuce wraps filled with slices of beef and a host of crunchy vegetables. Party perfect If you don’t have a board big enough to accommodate everything, split items between two smaller boards. If you’re serving over a few hours, you can also keep some of the ingredients back from the board, in the refrigerator. This will help you keep the board replenished and looking good as stocks are depleted. Leftover sauce makes a great marinade for coleslaw.
Give veggies and dip a punch of protein with this savoury white bean dip. Roasted garlic gives this dip a mellow but rich flavour. The vegetables can be changed up according to the season, but don’t skip the beautiful Belgian endives. Their slightly bitter flavour makes an excellent contrast to the slightly sweet dip, and they work as a built-in scoop. Make-ahead dip This is a great dip for making in advance. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, before serving, allow it to come up to room temperature. This will accentuate the rich flavour.
Arranging salads on a board is a great way to let people choose what they like and build their own bowls according to their tastes. Family and friends can arrange a super hearty grain bowl salad using the protein-packed, iron- and vitamin D-rich ingredients on this board. This salad board takes its cues from a classic Niçoise salad but leans on Asian ingredients and flavour inspirations. Jammy eggs For perfect “jammy” eggs, bring a pot of water to boil. Using slotted spoon, gently submerge eggs, cover, and set timer for 6 1/2 minutes. While eggs are boiling, fill medium-sized bowl with cold water and ice. The minute the time has elapsed, using slotted spoon, remove eggs and place in ice bath. Allow to cool for 3 minutes before serving.
This sweet and savoury brunch board has something for everyone and is tied together by go-anywhere, do-anything buckwheat pancakes flavoured with caraway seeds. These hearty little beauties make a great base for smoked salmon and a creamy caper and chive sauce. Those who fall firmly on the sweet side of things will be equally delighted when their pancakes are piled high with berries or bananas. Serving up Provide plenty of utensils for serving and plates and cutlery for eating to encourage guests to make up their own plates—forks or small tongs for pancakes or smoked salmon, spoons for serving up berries, and small dishes or ramekins (with spoons) for sauce and smaller items such as hempseeds.
These delicious crispy clusters are sure to take the edge off the midnight munchies. With the little bit of maple syrup sweetness and the satisfying combination of coconut and seeds, you’ll sleep like a baby. Celebrating? Add chocolate! These clusters can easily be jazzed up for celebrating. Melt white and dark chocolate and drizzle with chocolate if you wish.