A light, healthy and quick soup that’s equally flavorful served hot or cold.
3 tbsp [45 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
6 small green onions (scallions), white part only, tripped, peeled and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
1 tbsp [15 ml] minced fresh ginger
2 lb [900 g] firm zucchini, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into small pieces (do not peel)
6 cups [1.4 L] chicken or vegetable stock
For serving (use all or some of the garnishes, to taste)
Diced and quickly sauteed zucchini
Finely minced ginger
Crème fraîche or greek yogurt
Best quality extra-virgin olive oil
In a stockpot, combine the oil, spring onions, and salt (about ½ tsp [2.5 ml]) and cook, covered, over low heat until soft and translucent for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and cook briefly. Add the zucchini and stock and bring to a low boil. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and puree to a smooth liquid in a food processor or blender or with an immersion blender. Taste for seasoning. Serve, hot or chilled, garnished as desired (note: crème fraîche is especially good in the chilled soup) or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe Credit: Patricia Wells, Salad as a Meal
A moist, flavorful and colorful addition to tea time or a weekend brunch.
Makes 1 bread
1/3 cup [80 ml] honey
¼ cup [60 ml] sugar
1 cup [250 ml] all-purpose flour
¾ cup [180 ml] whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsps [10 ml] baking powder
½ cup [125 ml] unsalted butter, melted
2 cups [500 ml] diced fresh rhubarb
1 cup [250 ml] diced fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 350°F [175ºC].
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with honey and sugar. Add flours, baking powder, mix together, then add melted butter. Mix well. Add diced rhubarb and strawberries and fold using a spatula until the fruits are well integrated.
Pour the batter into a buttered bread pan. Bake for 45 minutes (rotating the bread after 30 minutes). Open the oven and cover the bread with an aluminum paper to ensure the top won’t burn (honey accelerates browning) and cook for a further 15 minutes. Test the bread with a toothpick or the blade of a knife; it should come out clean (except from traces of color if you pick into a piece of fruit).
Let bread cool completely before slicing (it’s even better after a night in the fridge, well wrapped in plastic). Serve as is or toasted, with butter and honey, or a fruit compote.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from a recipe found on CuisineAZ.com.
A vegetarian dish that takes just a few minutes to make but rewards in a remarkable depth of flavor.
2 tbsp [30 ml] peanut oil
½ onion, diced
8 oz [225 g] firm tofu, cut into thin strips
4 oz [112 g] French green beans, trimmed and cut in half
4 oz [112 g] bok choy, cut into large chunks (both leaves and stalks)
11 oz [310 g] fresh egg noodles
1½ tsp [7.5 ml] ground coriander
1 tsp [5 ml] ground cumin
2 tsp [10 ml] sambal oelek (or other chile paste), plus extra to serve
2 tsp [10 ml] thick (dark) soy sauce
2 tsp [10 ml] light soy sauce
1 tbsp [15 ml] water
Handful of bean sprouts, well rinsed
Handful of shredded iceberg lettuce
1 tbsp [10 ml] crisp-fried shallots (see note)
Lemon wedges, to serve
Set a wok or a large skillet on high heat. Once hot, add the oil and then the onion, and cook for about 1 minute to soften a bit. Add the tofu and French beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to give the tofu a bit of color. Stir gently as you cook.
Next, add the boy choy. When it wilts, add the noodles and carefully spread them in the wok using tongs or large chopsticks. You want the noodles to get a lot of heat, almost to fry. Mix gently, cooking the noodles for about 2 minutes. Now add the spices, sambal oelek, soy sauces, water and bean sprouts and toss carefully. Cook for about a minute, or until the noodles are semisoft.
When ready, divide between two serving bowls, top with lettuce, and sprinkle with crisp shallots. On the side, serve lemon wedges and a small bowl of extra sambal oelek.
Note: Jars of crisp-fried shallots can be bought at Asian grocery stores, or you can make your own.
Recipe Credit: Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty
A moist, sweet and richly spiced cupcakes that will quickly become first on your tastiest-cakes list.
For the cake:
½ lb [225 g] carrots, peeled and finely grated
¼ cup [60 ml] crushed pineapple, drained of excess juice
2 large eggs
¾ cup [180 ml] sugar
1/3 cup [80 ml] brown sugar
½ cup [250 ml] oil
1 tsp [5 ml] vanilla extract
½ orange, zest only
1 cup + 2 tbsp [280 ml] all-purpose flour
¾ tsp [7.5 ml] baking powder
½ tsp [2.5 ml] baking soda
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] salt
½ tsp [2.5 ml] ground cinnamon
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
½ cup [125 ml] walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
½ cup [125 ml] raisins (or dried cranberries)
For the cream cheese frosting:
6 oz [170 g] cream cheese, softened
3 oz [85 g] unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups [375 ml] confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp [2.5 ml] vanilla extract
½ tsp [2.5 ml] lemon zest
½ tsp [2.5 ml] orange zest
Preheat oven to 350°F [175°C]. Prepare muffin tins with papers.
To mix the carrot cake: Before measuring the pineapple, press it through a strainer to get rid of the excess juice. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add the finely chopped carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and raisins.
Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a rack.
To make the cream cheese frosting: Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed (or use a hand mixer). Turn down the speed and add the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, add the salt, vanilla and zest.
Use a pastry bag or an icing spatula to decorate the cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate with thinly sliced carrots.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Zoë François, Zoë Bakes
A bright and flavorful salad that’s just as good enjoyed as a quick lunch or as part of a weekend brunch.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2½ cups [625 ml] (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
¼ cup [60 ml] fat-free mayonnaise
¼ cup [60 ml] plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp [5 ml] curry powder
1 tsp [5 ml] fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] salt
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup [80 ml] chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup [60 ml] chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 green onions (scallions), finely sliced
2 tbsp [30 ml] sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat olive oil in a grill or regular pan on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken breasts about 4 minutes per side, until just cooked through. Let cool on a plate.
Steam the asparagus until crisp-tender: put the asparagus and 1 tablespoon [15 ml] water in a microwavable bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave (high) for 2 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Be very careful when taking the plastic wrap off as very hot steam will escape.
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients (mayonnaise through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Dice the cooled chicken breasts and add to the bowl. Add the asparagus, chicken, bell pepper, parsley, green onions and almonds; toss to coat.
Serve in lettuce cups or in a wrap.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Jean Kressy, Cooking Light Magazine
A soup that delicately balances sweet and spicy, with the addition of a zesty shrimp salad that makes it meal-worthy.
1 tbsp [15 ml] butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large Yukon Gold potato
4 ears fresh corn
4 cups [1L] vegetable stock (preferably organic)
1 tsp [5 ml] fresh ground nutmeg
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] cayenne
1 tsp [5 ml] dried oregano
1 tsp [5 ml] salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp [15 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
20 medium shrimp, peeled and tail removed
1 lime, juice only
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 tbsp [30 ml] finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 green onion (scallions)
Light sour cream or greek yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the shrimp. Cook, 3 minutes per side, until just pink. Reserve on a plate and let cool.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and saute to coat. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Peel the potato and cut into cubes, add it to the onion, and cook 1 minute. Cut the kernels of corn off the cob with a sharp knife, add them to the soup pot and cook 1 minute. Add the broth, spices, salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and allow everything to simmer to cook the corn and potatoes through, about 15 minutes.
Dice the cooled shrimp and put in a large bowl. Peel, pit and dice the avocado and put the bowl with the shrimp. Squeeze the lime juice over and mix well. Add the diced jalapeño pepper, the cilantro and the green onion and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the soup to create a puree. Return to the pot, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. To serve, ladle in individual bowl, spoon a generous tablespoon of light sour cream or greek yogurt then top with a big scoop of the shrimp and avocado mix.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
A creamy, hearty and healthy delight.
3 cups [750 ml] chicken broth
2 cups [500 ml] filtered water
4 spring onions, coarsely chopped
12 oz [340 g] frozen peas
16 oz [453 g] shelled frozen edamame (soy beans)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp [30 ml] freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
2 tbsp [30 ml] mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups [500 ml] cooked brown or wild rice
Feta cheese, crumbled, for serving
Place the chicken broth, water, chopped spring onions, frozen peas, edamame, olive oil, salt, pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until peas and edamame are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
Place half of the soup in blender. Add in lemon juice and mint leaves; process until very smooth. Pour the pureed mixture back in with the remaining soup in the pot and add the cooked brown rice. Warm through before serving.
To serve, ladle the soup mixture into bowls, and top with crumbled feta. Garnish with additional mint and cracked pepper, if desired.
- The soup can be prepared up until the addition of feta and frozen into individual portions. Reheat over low heat and top with feta when ready to serve.
- Can be served either hot or chilled.
Recipe Credit: Gourmande in the Kitchen
A twist on cupcakes that is garanteed to brighten this summer’s dinner parties.
3 cups [750 ml] all-purpose flour
1 tbsp [15 ml] baking powder
½ tsp [2.5 ml] salt
1 cup [250 ml] unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
2 cups [500 ml] sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 lemons, finely grated zest only
2 tbsp [30 ml] fresh lemon juice
1 tsp [5 ml] pure vanilla extract
1 cup [250 ml] buttermilk
Store-bought lemon curd (or you can make your own)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325ºF [160ºC]. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Make meringue frosting: Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with the water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230ºF [110ºC].
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230ºF [110ºC], remove from heat. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.
To assemble the cupcakes, pipe 1 tbsp [15 ml] lemon curd onto middle of each cupcake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip with meringue frosting. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, swirling tip slightly and releasing as you pull up to form a peak. Broil for a few seconds in the oven to brown the meringue (BE VERY CAREFUL: browning occurs very quickly) or use a small kitchen torch: hold it 3 to 4 inches [7.5 to 10 cm] from surface of frosting, and wave it back and forth until frosting is lightly browned all over.
Serve the cupcakes immediately.
Recipe Credit: MarthaStewart.com
A wonderful addition to breakfast to be enjoyed over toast, banana bread, yogurt or oatmeal.
Makes about 2 cups [500 ml]
1lb [450 g] rhubarb
½ cup [125 ml] granulated sugar
½ lemon, grated zest and juice
½ lb [225 g] fresh strawberries
Maple syrup (to taste)
Thoroughly wash the rhubarb and trim ends. Chop rhubarb into short pieces and put in a heavy pan with the sugar, cloves, lemon zest and juice. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until the rhubarb has broken down, about 10 minutes.
While the rhubarb is cooking, wash strawberries, pat dry and cut in cubes.
Take the cooked rhubarb off the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring once in a while. Stir in the cubed strawberries: the residual heat will soften them just a little bit and release their flavor. Taste, then add 2 to 4 tablespoons [30 to 60 ml] maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it. Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
A happy and hearty marriage of earthy flavors, brightened by a lively salsa.
Serves 4 to 5
¼ cup [60 ml] olive oil
4 thick pork and fennel sausages (or any other pork sausage you like, about 4.5 oz [125 g] each), squeezed from skins
2 baby fennel bulbs, cut into thin wedges
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp [10 ml] fennel seeds
1 cup [250 ml] red wine
2 cups [500 ml] (2 cups) beef stock
12 oz [340 g] small green puy lentils, rinsed thoroughly
1 fresh bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
1 radicchio, larger leaves coarsely torn, heart cut into 8 wedges
½ cup [125 ml] coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 oz [30 g] crustless sourdough bread, coarsely torn
¼ cup [60 ml] milk
2 tbsp [30 ml] salted capers, rinsed and drained
4 anchovy fillets
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice
1¼ cups [310 ml] flat-leaf parsley (firmly packed)
¾ cup [180 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
For salsa verde, soak bread in milk until soft, squeeze excess milk from bread (discard milk) and add to food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil, process to combine, then add oil in a steady stream, processing to combine. Season to taste, set aside.
Heat half the oil in a frying pan over high heat, add radicchio wedges and sear just 30 seconds per side. Remove and set aside. Lower heat to medium, add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned (2-3 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. Add fennel wedges, cook until browned, about 4 minutes total. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a casserole over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and stir occasionally until onion is tender (3-4 minutes). Deglaze with wine, simmer until reduced by half (2-3 minutes), add stock and 750ml water, bring to the simmer. Add lentils, bay leaves and thyme, bring to the boil, then simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Add sausage and fennel wedges, simmer until sausage is cooked through (1-2 minutes). Stir through torn radicchio leaves. Serve hot in large bowls, topped with one or two radicchio wedges, a sprinkling of parsley and a generous serving of salsa verde.
Recipe Credit: Emma Knowles, Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine