Growing evidence shows that plant-based foods do your body good, but you don't need to go vegan to introduce more vegetable protein to your diet. Try these recipes for a healthy change.
Curried Sweet Potato Dip
Serve with whole wheat pita or fresh veggies. Any leftovers are great used in a sandwich wrap.
- 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) tahini
- 2 tbsp. (25 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp. (15 ml) curry powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. (50 ml) chopped cilantro (optional)
- More olive oil for drizzling
- Whole-wheat pita and raw veggies
Steam the sweet potato until tender about 14 -15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.
Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, curry powder, and garlic in the food processor. Puree until smooth. Add cilantro if using and pulse once more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with whole wheat pita and veggies. Makes about four cups.
Note: If you make the dip ahead, it may be necessary to re-season with a bit of salt and some more lemon juice before serving.
Roasted Vegetables with Walnut Vinaigrette
A medley of root vegetables combined with a light vinaigrette is the perfect winter dish for flavour and comfort.
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 lb. (500 g) sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
- 1 lb. (500 g) beets, peeled, cut into wedges
- 1 lb. (500 g) carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
- 1 lb. (500 g) turnip or rutabaga, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
- 2 cups (500 ml) walnut halves
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) each coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) walnut oil (or any oil)
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) each coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley
Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 425F (220C).
Whisk olive oil, thyme and rosemary in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, fennel and onions; toss to coat. Divide between two rimmed baking sheets. Roast vegetables until tender and brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add walnuts to vegetables and continue to roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, salt, pepper and parsley.
Arrange roasted vegetables on a large platter and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Makes 12 servings.
- Courtesy of California Walnuts
Peanut Butter Granola
Smooth peanut butter adds a big boost of flavour. Excellent with sliced bananas and milk of your choice.
- 5 cups (1.25 L) large-flake rolled oats
- 1 cup (250 ml) chopped raw or roasted unsalted peanuts, or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) smooth natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) liquid honey
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) apple juice
- 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) dried cranberries or sour cherries
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) dried currants
- 1/2 cup (125ml) slivered dried apricots
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or leave ungreased; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together rolled oats and peanuts. In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, apple juice and vanilla. Drizzle over oats mixture and toss until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Spread evenly over prepared baking sheets. Note this granola tends to clump; spread it out as evenly as possible.
Bake in a 325F (160C) for 15 minutes. Stir oats mixture and return to oven until a peanutty fragrance wafts out of oven, and the oats mixture is crisp and lightly toasted, about 20 to 25 minutes longer, stirring twice. Divide cranberries, currants and apricots between 2 pans and toss with oats mixture. Let cool. Crumble any clumps of granola. Store in airtight containers at cool room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in freezer for up to a month.
Makes about 9 cups (2.25 L).
Tip: You can add a pinch of salt to this granola if desired.
- By Elizabeth Baird, Special to QMI Agency
Vegetable Miso Soup
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger
- 1 sweet potato, cut into cubes (about 1-1/2 cups (375 ml))
- 2 plum tomatoes peeled and diced
- 4 cups (1.5L) of vegetable stock
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- 1 cup (250 ml) slice shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup (250 ml) of diced firm tofu
- 2 tbsp. (25 ml) soy sauce
- 3 cups (750 ml) of baby spinach
- 3 tbsp. (45 ml) miso
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the green onions and cook until bright green. Add garlic and ginger and cook a further minute.
Add the sweet potato, tomatoes and stock and water. Bring to a simmer. Cook until sweet potato is tender. Add in the mushrooms, remaining green onions, tofu, soy sauce and spinach.
Simmer gently for 3 minutes. Spoon some of the broth into a bowl. Combine with the miso and return all to the soup. Season to taste if necessary with additional soy sauce. Serves 6.
- By Jill Wilcox, Special to QMI Agency