Crunchy, with sharp and satisfying flavour, this hearty salad is a great accompaniment to tacos (including the ones in the next recipe). Cabbage is high in fibre and vitamins C and K. Higher consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as radishes and cabbage is linked to lower rates of cancer. Make ahead Unlike a typical green salad, this one can stand up to an hour or two in the fridge, so if you want to make it ahead of time, go for it. The cabbage will soften up and some water will be released; just drain any excess before serving.
These taco-inspired lettuce wraps are full of vibrant flavour tempered by subtle heat, all topped off with a zingy tomatillo salsa. Shredding the chicken helps to make a small quantity of chicken feed a crowd, and the texture pairs well with the light wrapper. The bright salsa features heart-healthy tomatillos, which contain phytochemicals called withanolides, which studies have found can help inhibit cancer cell growth. Quick shred If you have a kitchen mixer with a paddle attachment, you can use it to quickly and easily shred chicken for taco lettuce wraps. After chicken has rested, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Reserve any pan juices that may have accumulated in the baking dish. Turn mixer on to a low-to-medium speed and process the chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute, so that chicken is just separated, being careful not to overprocess. Add in cooking juices and mix through with spoon. To shred chicken by hand, use two forks to gently pull meat apart before combining with pan juices.
This rich bean dip is delicious warm or cold. It’s also a good source of protein, iron, and potassium. A single serving of this dip will help Dad get 19 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fibre. Dried pasilla peppers impart a smoky, earthy fruitiness balanced with mild spice from a hint of hot paprika and cayenne. And those canned tomatoes add a nice hit of lycopene to an already healthy dish. Epazote (Eh-pah-zo-tay) Epazote has a history of use as a medicinal herb throughout Latin America and is a frequent ingredient in bean dishes because of its antiflatulent properties as well as its pleasant aromatic taste. Its flavour has no direct comparison but is reminiscent of oregano, tarragon, or licorice. There is a pungency to the scent, which some have described as having notes of kerosene, but it imparts a pleasing, earthy, and herbal quality to dishes. Dried epazote added to beans can help reduce their gas-causing properties. Epazote contains saponins, which can be toxic in copious quantities, so sparing use is recommended. Look out for it at specialty culinary stores. If you can’t find it, try cilantro, fennel, or oregano.
Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.
These are the perfect two-bite appetizers. Though the first bite likely won’t “wow” you, the more you chew, the more the salt from the dulse soaks into the avocado and tomato. Wait for it. You can also turn these into breakfast à la avocado toast by substituting a piece of your favourite bread for a slice of baguette. What’s in a name? Theoretically, this should be called a “DLTA” because of the avocado (dulse, lettuce, tomato, and avocado). And if you left out the lettuce, you’d have a “DTA.” A DTA would arguably be a better overall eating experience, since lettuce slightly waters down the rich and creamy result and makes it harder to keep the tomatoes from sliding off the top of the crostini. But the juicy lettuce is actually helpful, since it spreads the salt from the dulse throughout the entire bite, making the “wow” moment come sooner. Besides, neither DLTA nor DTA is as fun an acronym as DLT.
This triple-threat recipe is made with (up to) three types of seaweed. Wakame is essential for the pesto, but kombu boosts the umami punch of sautéed garlic and cherry tomatoes, while kelp noodles are a low-carb substitute for flour-based noodles. Because kelp noodles can be hard to find (you’ll likely need to order them online), feel free to use your favourite boxed linguine, zucchini noodles, shirataki konjac, tofu, or yam noodles instead. You can also leave out the vongole (clams) to keep the recipe plant-based, or use mussels, which are usually more affordable than clams. Both clams and mussels are generally sustainable, as, like seaweed, they’re farmed without feed or antibiotics, unlike many farmed fish operations. Double-duty pesto Make a double batch of seaweed pesto, and enjoy it with eggs, scrambled tofu, or toast.
Spicy popcorn? You bet. This Japanese seven-spice blend combines salty and spicy notes for a healthy snack. If you don’t make your own togarashi, check the container before adding it to your popcorn to make sure it doesn’t contain salt. For an even simpler recipe, skip the togarashi and just grind a few pieces of nori and a pinch of salt in a blender or spice grinder to sprinkle on your popcorn instead. If you’re fresh out of nori, you can always grind wakame, arame, or dulse instead, leaving out the pinch of salt for dulse or any seaweed you taste and find already salty. Shichimi togarashi This customizable spice blend generally features sansho pepper, a.k.a. Japanese prickly ash, a green peppercorn with a citrusy taste, along with seaweed flakes, chili pepper, and dried citrus peel—often yuzu or mandarin orange. If you can’t find sansho, look for Sichuan peppercorn, which has a slightly stronger mouth-tingling effect. You can buy dried orange, mandarin, or tangerine peel. Or you can dehydrate your own, in which case you might as well dehydrate a 1/8 in (3 mm) thick piece of fresh ginger along with the peel. If you can’t handle a lot of chili pepper heat, reduce the pepper to your taste.
Deep, dark green, and mildly sweet, this healthy smoothie tastes like a treat. And since it makes more than one large smoothie, you can drink one and save the rest for later. A little goes a long way Don’t overdo the seaweed content in your smoothie; the seaweed flavour can easily overwhelm other ingredients. Just a little will complement honeydew, basil, and mint. Be careful when measuring and transferring because the dark pigment has a tendency to fly everywhere.
Calling all chocolate lovers: make this show-stopping but very achievable dessert to impress Mom. A press-in crust, whipped coconut cream, berries, and flaky salt to top it all off take the chocolate “dream” pie to the next level. For a grain-free, no-bake crust In food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) pitted soft dates and 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) pecans or skinned roasted hazelnuts, and a pinch of salt. If necessary, bind with water or almond butter to create a texture you can press into the pie plate. Chill and fill—no need to bake.
Burst cherry tomato, spinach, corn, and tuna (or salmon or chickpea) pasta with fresh chili and olive oil makes for a warm-weather, southern Italian-style pasta that’s light, fresh, and endlessly adaptable. Plant-based pasta Remove tuna or salmon in this recipe and replace with 18 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 cup (250 mL) chopped toasted walnuts.
More fun than a side salad, it’s a spread of the good stuff in a burst of glam colour, with two dipping sauces: one sweet for the fruit and one savoury for the veggies. What’s more, this arrangement of produce will double as your tablescape. Don’t forget to use Mom’s favourite fruits and veggies! Below are some suggestions to get you started. Make it ahead Store cut vegetables submerged in cold water in locking glass containers or Mason jars so they don’t dry out. Drain water, pat dry, and assemble platter right before serving. The fruit platter can be assembled up to 1 hour before serving and kept covered in the fridge.
A fresh lunch inspired by the warmer weather, all components of this dish can be made ahead, even packed for Mom and her family to take on a Mother’s Day picnic. The bowl gets glam with the addition of microgreens (or sprouts), heirloom veggies, and meaty halloumi cheese. Colourful characters Enhance this bowl’s beauty with an array of nourishing colourful produce. Try purple carrots, heirloom tomatoes, watermelon radish, radicchio, and avocado, or choose Mom’s most-loved veggies. These items are available at most major grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
For the savoury-loving Mom, these tartines are quick to prepare and look fabulous on the brunch table. A refreshed take on the now-classic avocado toast, they’re perfect on their own or paired with a colourful smoothie, tofu scramble, and fresh fruit salad. How to choose a ripe avocado Essential to this recipe, ripe avocados will yield to your thumb when pressed gently and will have turned from green to a dark brown-green. The flavour goes from vegetal when underripe to buttery and savoury at its eating peak. Avoid overripe and bruised avocados with sunken skin, as these are past their prime.
Kick things off for Mom with a special occasion breakfast. Here, “special” doesn’t mean challenging or a sink full of dishes—even kids can mix up this simple pancake batter and prep a toppings bar for mom to glow up her plate as she pleases. Pump up your pancake Before flipping, top pancakes with a few fresh blueberries, raspberries, or dark chocolate chips (or all three!) for a zhuzhed-up surprise inside.
A sweet sauce with punchy balsamic vinegar. Perfect over ice cream, yogurt, or cakes, it’s also magnificent drizzled over meats such as duck or pork, or as a condiment for cheese. Convert it to a dressing with a few tablespoons of olive oil and pair it with peppery arugula. Dress it up Transform this sauce into a salad dressing by combining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) blueberry sauce with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil and about 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) Dijon mustard.
This sauce has enough heft to dress up cabbage or broccoli salads, or to be used as a dipping sauce for vegetables or meats. Ginger and miso lend bright zing and luscious umami flavour. Quick soak cashews For a quick alternative to soaking cashews overnight, bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Remove from heat, place cashews in water, cover, and soak for 30 to 40 minutes.
Spicy, slightly sweet, and not just for the brave. With just a hint of habanero, this not-too-hot sauce will be “new best friends” with eggs and potatoes. Make sure to use it to give tacos, soup, chili, or salad dressings a complex, fruity kick. Handling habaneros Coming in at 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units, habaneros are among the hottest peppers around. Always wear gloves or use tongs to handle them. After deseeding, place them in a bowl that you can tip into the roasting pan without having to touch the peppers again. Scrub cutting boards and knives with soap and water after using. In this recipe, roasting peppers in the oven cuts down on capsaicin that can be released into the air when frying peppers, which can be an irritant to eyes. Nevertheless, make sure the space you are working in is well ventilated.
Green and gorgeous on chicken, fish, salad, or vegetables. Yogurt gives this sauce a robust texture while tarragon imparts a licorice taste that suits salmon and poultry to a T. Make it a marinade This sauce makes a superb marinade for chicken. Pat away excess before baking or grilling the meat. Discard any marinade that has been in contact with raw meat.
Though not an obvious choice of culinary herb, lovely lavender might surprise you. Lavender is a member of the mint family and is classified as a flowering plant, which means it’s not just pretty to look at! Although pannacotta is traditionally made with cream, here we swap in milk to provide a lighter, less rich version to follow a large or heavy dinner. Swap out those spices Though dried herbs have a long shelf life, they don’t last forever. All herbs and spices are different, but they all should be replaced every few years, to preserve potency. After all, they’re meant to add flavour!
Get ready to impress with this unique twist on a classic Ukrainian dish. It contains all the ingredients you’d find in a traditional borscht, minus the broth, elevating it from a winter staple to a perfect springtime dish that highlights feathery, flavourful dill and all the hearty vegetables you can handle. Get golden Golden beets are sweeter and less earthy than their red counterparts. They are interchangeable when one or the other is unavailable.
Chimichurri is so much more than a condiment; it’s a bold, punchy sauce that can elevate your dish to “favourite” status. It possesses strong flavours combined with clean oregano and parsley, pungent garlic, and tangy vinegar. Creamy butternut squash is simply a vessel for this divine condiment. Get creative Chimichurri is a very versatile condiment and goes well with most vegetables, potatoes, and proteins.
Poaching is a tried-and-true healthy method of cooking protein because no fat is needed during the cooking process. You can, however, add as much or as little flavour to your cooking liquid as you like to maximize taste. Though simple, this chicken is the perfect vessel for a vibrant take on a herby gremolata sauce. Waste not While cooking, save vegetable scraps and place in an airtight container in the freezer; save them to make excellent additives to poaching liquid. Once chicken is cooked, you can also strain out vegetables and herbs, and you’ll have yourself a mild chicken broth.
This savoury salad is a perfect lunch all on its own or as an accompaniment for a show-stopping dinner. Cilantro, a complex, pungent herb with citrus undertones, is the star of this dish, no longer just a garnish. Serve this salad at room temperature or cold—and prepare to discover the versatility of cilantro. A love/hate relationship Fun fact: a love or hatred of cilantro might not be personal preference, but rather genetics. For those who dislike it, cilantro has been described as having a slightly soapy taste, rendering it unpalatable.
Tomatoes and basil are a match made in heaven. This recipe features this classic combination with a fun twist. Edamame pasta is packed with protein and is the perfect vessel for this simple sauce. Slow roasting the tomatoes gives this sauce a creamy mouthfeel without the cream. This dish is very forgiving, so get creative and use as few or as many tomatoes as you like. Vegan crumble Blend 2 Tbsp (30 mL) pine nuts and 1 tsp (5 mL) nutritional yeast with a pinch each of onion powder and garlic powder. Prepare yourself for flavour overload!