pulses

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi

Yottam Ottolenghi’s recent cookbook, Plenty More, is in some ways an antithesis of the Pure Prairie Eating Plan in that some of the ingredients are hard to find and the recipes can be challenging and time consuming…and yet we come back to it because the recipes are imaginative, fresh and FULL of flavor! Thai Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Chile Oil is one of our favorites and we thought you might like to try it over the holidays.  It has some ingredients that aren’t always easy to find (e.g. lemongrass and Kaffir leaves) and ½ a can of coconut milk, so when we’re making it we make a double batch of the body of the soup (without the sugar snap peas and fresh cilantro) and freeze one batch for later.  The recipe for chile-infused oil makes more than you need for 1 batch of soup, but it can be kept for up to a month in the fridge and used for drizzling on soup, salads or grilled dishes.  We think it’s definitely worth the effort!     Thai Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Chile Oil (adapted from Plenty More) Serves 4, Serving Size 1 ½ cups (375 mL)   Soup Ingredients: 4 oz (120 g) sugar snap peas 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sunflower oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced ( 1 ½ cups/160 g) 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL)thai red curry paste 2 lemongrass stalks, gently bashed with a rolling pin 4 fresh  Kaffir lime leaves (or 12 dried) 1 ¼ cups (310 mL/250 g) red lentils 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL) lime juice 1 ½ Tbsp (22 mL) soya sauce 1 cup (250 mL/15 g) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped salt   Chile- infused Oil ¾ cup (180 mL) sunflower oil 1 banana shallot or 2 regular shallots, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup/50 g) 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger ½ red chile, coarsely chopped ½ star anise pod 2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste grated zest of ½ a small lemon   Directions: For the Chile oil: Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of sunflower oil in a small saucepan.  Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chile, star anise, and curry powder and fry over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the shallot is soft. Add the tomato paste and cook gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining oil and lemon zest and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Leave to cool and strain through a cheese cloth (or coffee filter) lined sieve This makes more oil than you need for 1 batch of soup, but it can be kept for up to a month in the fridge and used for drizzling on soup, salads or grilled dishes.   For the Soup: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and throw in the sugar snap peas.  Cook for 90 seconds, drain, refresh under cold water, and set aside to dry. Once cool, cut them on the diagonal into slices 1/16 inch/2mm thick Heat the sunflower oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook over low heat, with the lid on, for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onion is completely soft and sweet.  Stir in the red curry paste and cook for 1 minute.  Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, red lentils, and 3 cups (700 mL) of water.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils are completely soft....

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Fresh Sweet Corn!

Fresh Sweet Corn!

There’s nothing better or easier to prepare than fresh sweet corn…and now is the time that fresh corn is available in abundance on the prairies.  We usually boil it in a nice big pot of water for 5-8 minutes until it has reached the desired ‘doneness’, dust it with a bit of butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste.  Leftover corn can be added to salads or salsas.  If you’re looking for something a little different for your next BBQ, try this Mexican style corn recipe.   Serve with Pulse Canada’s  Black Bean Burgers (with or without the buns).       Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn) http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/elote Ingredients Vegetable oil, for brushing 1 teaspoon chile powder ½ teaspoon cayenne powder 8 ears of corn, husked ¼ cup mayonnaise or unsalted butter ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese, Parmesan, or ricotta salata 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges   Preparation Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil. Combine chile powder and cayenne in a small bowl. Grill corn, turning occasionally with tongs, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and immediately brush each ear with 1½ tsp. mayonnaise. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp. cheese and a pinch of chile powder mixture. Squeeze 1 lime wedge over each ear and serve. Nutritional analysis (per cob): 160 kcal, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g fibre, 6 g protein.  Canada’s Food Guide Servings:  1.1 Vegetables & Fruit, 0.3 Milk and...

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Salad Season is Here (Isn’t it?)!

Salad Season is Here (Isn’t it?)!

Are you looking for a good, healthy salad recipe to serve as a small meal or to compliment barbecued meat or fish?  The Alberta Pulse Growers website has some yummy ones.  Try this one or go to http://www.pulse.ab.ca/consumers/recipes/ for more great salad ideas. Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad Serves 6-8 Ingredients 1 cup (250 mL) water 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 cup (250 mL) cooked chickpeas 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1/2 green pepper, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 cucumber, chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) black olives, chopped 1/3 cup (75 mL) feta cheese 3/4 cup (175 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup (75 mL) balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp. (30 mL) white wine vinegar 1 tbsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. (5 mL) Dijon mustard 1 tbsp. (15 mL) sugar (optional) 1 clove garlic, finely grated 1 tsp. (5 mL) dried basil 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) dried crushed red pepper freshly ground salt and pepper to taste Nutrition Calories 190 kcal Carbohydrates 18 g Fibre 4 g Protein 5 g Fat 11 g Saturated Fat 1.5 g Folate 70 mcg Iron 1.5 mg Calcium 60 mg Potassium 255 mg Sodium 115 mg Directions Place water and quinoa in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Quinoa will absorb remaining water and become quite fluffy. If you prefer and crunchier quinoa, drain off any remaining water and then allow to cool completely. In a large bowl place the chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, black olives and feta. Mix together and add the cooled quinoa. Whisk together the oil, vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, garlic and spices. Pour 125 mL dressing over salad. Toss well and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to combine. For a moister salad, add more dressing or place remaining dressing in a spritzer bottle and add additional dressing to individual salads as desired. Note: For a quick dressing mix together equal portions of commercial balsamic vinaigrette and spicy Italian vinaigrette and add to the...

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Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids

School break is coming up across the Prairies and what better time to have some fun in the kitchen with yours kids. Getting them involved in preparing food can help to start them on a lifelong path of healthy eating.  There are lots of things that you can do with kids in the kitchen.  Depending on their age, it may be something as simple as washing vegetables or it might be as impressive as making a roast beef dinner.  Here are a couple of ideas  that fit with the PPEP theme – pure, simple, good for you and yummy! Dietitians of Canada has a great video on cooking with kids that features smoothies (scroll down, look for the picture with a boy in it :).  They suggest that you don’t even need a recipe, and one of our readers, Cheryl,  had this to offer ” I put cooked lentils or other mild tasting peas/legumes into my breakfast smoothie to add protein. Sometimes I’ll add a chunk of tofu. I don’t really taste it and it’s very affordable compared to store bought protein powder that many people use in their smoothies.”  PPEP has 2 simple and tasty smoothie recipes, a fruit smoothie for breakfast (frozen fruit, yogurt, milk and honey) and a Power smoothie (cooked white beans, frozen fruit, skim milk, sugar and vanilla) for an evening snack. If you or your kids are a little older,  Canada Beef’s Roast Beef Challenge may be just what you’re looking for – 3 simple steps to a delicious, home cooked roast beef!   You’ll want to have an oven-safe meat thermometer and it just so happens that they’re having a contest right now and the prize is….an oven-safe meat thermometer.  Their initiative fits well with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s “6 x 16” initiative that is aimed at helping kids to develop the skills to produce 6 healthy meals from scratch by the time they’re 16.  Great idea?  We think so!...

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Recipe Book Review

Recipe Book Review

Incorporating pulse grains (dried peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils) into your diet provides a low-fat, high-fibre source of protein.  One cookbook that shows ways to put pulses just about any kind of recipe is Spilling the Beans – Cooking and baking with beans and grains every day by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan, published by Whitecap.   The first section of the book is a primer on beans and grains – the different types and general cooking methods.  The chapters arrange the recipes by type – for example, breakfasts, salads, one-dish meals, sides and (my favourite) baking with beans.   Even recipes that fall along traditional beany lines have interesting twists.  For example, there are two chili recipes.  One has a traditional base of ground beef and kidney beans but adds salsa, barley and cocoa powder, which they explain intensifies the flavours.  The second chili is a vegetarian offering, featuring black and kidney beans and chipotle chile along with sweet potatoes.   A recipe that my daughter recommended is the Stir-Fried Chickpeas and Asparagus with Brown Rice and Lemon Tahini Dressing.  This recipe is a great main or side dish.  I made a double recipe of it for a dinner party last Easter and there were no left-overs.   In the baking section, red lentils and white beans are the pulse grains of choice.  Imagine banana bread or carrot cake with extra fibre from white beans!  To save time, beans and lentils can be soaked and cooked in big batches and then frozen for use in the recipes.  The authors suggest several fruit crisp variations incorporating lentils with the oats and flour for the topping.  I’ve tried this several times with great results and the consumers of the crisp none the wiser.   The book doesn’t offer any nutritional analysis of the recipes but it does offer some advice about the benefits of fibre, how to avoid flatulence and other useful information.   Spilling the Beans retails for about $30.  Check http://www.whitecap.ca/books/spilling-beans for...

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It’s a Chili Day!

It’s a Chili Day!

So full of flavour, and filling, you won’t even guess that this chili is vegetarian.  Great comfort food for a chilly day! Vegetarian Chili Chowder Serves 4 Serving Size:  Approximately 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Ingredients: canola oil spray 1/4 cup (60 mL) onion 1Tbsp (15 mL) jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) celery, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin 1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) dried mustard 1 cup (250 mL) no-added-salt diced tomatoes, undrained 1/2 cup (125 mL) no-added-salt tomato sauce 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar 1 cup (250 mL) cooked great northern or pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup (250 mL) potatoes, diced 1/2 cup (125 mL) corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (drained) 1/2 cup (125 mL) carrots, diced 1/2 cup (125 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth pinch of chipotle chill pepper dash of freshly ground pepper tabasco sauce, optional   Directions: 1.  Lightly spray non- stick medium saucepan with canola oil spray.  Heat saucepan. 2. Cook onion, jalapeño pepper, celery and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until softened.  Add spices; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, beans, potatoes, corn, carrots and vegetable stock; bring to a boil. 3.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chowder has thickened. Season with pepper and chipotle chill pepper if desired. 4.  For added zing, add  1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1-2 mL) Tabasco sauce.   Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:  281 kcal, 2 g fat, 0.2 g saturated fat 56 g carbohydrate, 7 g fibre, 12 g protein.   This recipe was used with permission of the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission.  For more great Pulse recipes go to http://www.pulse.ab.ca/consumers/recipes#.UqJNq6U-myM...

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