You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

Steaks are a weeknight staple for so many, but for those who would like to indulge in the flavour and texture of steak without the animal protein, this Can You Vegan It? recipe is for you! The key ingredient that gives these steaks their meaty texture is seitan (made from vital wheat gluten), a delicious meat alternative that is a growing food trend among vegans and vegetarians. Plus, topping these steaks with chili chimichurri gives it an oh-so spicy, herby and tangy finish.

Vegan steak with broccoli, sweet potatoes

Vegan Steaks

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Steaks
½ cup mashed chickpeas
1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten flour
2 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup vegetable stock
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying

Marinade
⅔ cup coconut aminos
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Chilli Chimichurri
1 tsp ancho chili powder
Handful of parsley
Handful of cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Vegan steak ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add in chickpeas, flour, coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and sea salt. Mix all ingredients until crumbly, then gradually incorporate the vegetable stock and knead until firm. Add more stock if the dough is too dry or more flour if it’s too sticky.

Vegan steak ingredients in bowl

2. Roll the dough into a log and cut into four portions. Roll out each portion until about ½ inch thick. Steam steaks on stovetop for 45 minutes.

Four formed vegan steak patties

3. While the steaks are steaming, make the marinade. Combine coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and oil in a resealable plastic bag.

4. Once the steaks are steamed and fully cooked, place the steaks in the resealable plastic bag and coat them with the marinade. Let it marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Vegan steak marinaded on white plate

5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in marinated steaks and sear both sides for about 30 seconds until lightly brown. Do not sear them for too long or they will burn. Once the steaks are seared, rest them for about 3 minutes while you make the chili chimichurri sauce.

Related: Vegan Comfort Food Trends to Look out for This Year

6. In a food processor, add in chili powder, parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallot, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Puree until smooth. Add more oil if needed for looser consistency.

7. Top steaks with chili chimichurri and serve with broccoli and sweet potato wedges or any side of choice.

Vegan steak with chimichurri sauce on top

Like Valerie’s vegan steak recipe? Try her vegan West African peanut lentil stew or her 20-minute vegan zucchini ramen noodle soup.

kimchi chicken patties on plate

30-Minute, 3-Ingredient Kimchi Chicken Patties Your Kids Will Love

Kimchi is the MVP in this Kindred Kitchen recipe. It’s a clever shortcut to maximum flavour in this easy 3-ingredient dish (we don’t count salt and oil as ingredients here). If you’re familiar with kimchi, you’ll know it’s loaded with garlic (a lot of it!), scallions, white onion and ginger. It has kick from Korean red chili pepper flakes and that signature tang from the fermentation process which perks everything up. Even if you or your children don’t eat kimchi straight up, its punchiness mellows out during cooking and imbues a subtler version of its complex flavour. Serve the patties inside a slider bun, pita bread or lettuce wrap. Or enjoy them as they are, alongside your favourite side for a wholesome meal. Scale up this recipe as needed. I make a double batch for my family of four with a few left over.

kimchi chicken patties on plate

30-Minute Kimchi Chicken Patties

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 patties

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken
½ cup finely-chopped kimchi that has been gently squeezed of excess brine
1 tsp tamari or light soy sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Oil for pan frying
Chopped scallions for garnish (optional)

kimchi chicken patty ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Place ground chicken, kimchi, tamari or light soy sauce and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Seasoning tip: start with a little less salt than you think you need, approximately ½ tsp. Mix well and scoop 1 tsp of meat mixture onto a small plate and microwave 20 seconds to cook. Taste and add more kosher salt and/or tamari as needed. Once ready, heat a skillet over a medium to medium-high heat.

kimchi chicken patty ingredients being mixed together

2. While the skillet is heating up, form the patties and place them on a tray. To do so, scoop out ¼ cup of mixture per patty, shaping them into slightly flattened circles about 2 ½ inches in diameter and just under ¾ inches thick. Use your fingertips or back of a spoon to indent them slightly in the center. This encourages even cooking and minimizes shrinking as they cook.

Related: Easy 3-Ingredient Dishes From The Pioneer Woman

3. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and cook the patties in batches, leaving a little bit of space around them. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the other side or until patties are golden brown and cooked all the way through. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature at the center of the patty should be 165°F for fully cooked chicken. Garnish with chopped scallions, if desired. Enjoy!

kimchi chicken patties in frying pan

Like Sonia’s kimchi chicken patties? Try her hot dog fried rice or check out her expert food photo tips to show off your baked goods.

Sunny Anderson’s Chicken and Sausage is a One-Pot Wonder

As Sunny Anderson has proven on The Kitchen, truly crave-worthy comfort food doesn’t need more than one dish to make when it involves juicy chicken breasts combined with sliced andouille sausage and seasonings that will make you want to lick your plate clean. Trust us, you’ll want to introduce this hearty, satisfying dish into your regular meal rotation.

Related: 20 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

Sunny Anderson’s Big Easy Chicken and Andouille File Gumbo

Total: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3 Tbsp cooking oil
2 chicken breasts, gently pounded thin
2 lbs andouille sausage, sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning, preferably Mama Mia’s For Whatever Seasoning
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped (seeds optional)
4 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Enough chicken stock base for the 8-cup stock equivalent
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp file powder, plus more for serving
Serving suggestions: cooked white rice and hot sauce, optional

Related: Charcuterie Boards Are Trending: 10 Unique Ideas for Busy Weeknights

Directions

1. Add the oil, chicken and sausage rounds to a stockpot on medium-high heat. Sear the chicken to get color and sausage to get color and render fat, but not to cook fully. As the parts finish searing, use a slotted spoon to remove them and place on a plate, leaving the fat in the pot, about 10 minutes total.

2. Add the butter, flour and Cajun seasoning to the pot. Cook on medium heat, constantly stirring, until the roux becomes a rich, dark caramel color, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the bell peppers, onions, celery, jalapenos and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, to coat, until everything gets tender, 5 to 8 minutes, then add the stock base and 8 cups water and stir to mix the base into the pot. Add the bay leaves and cover the pot to simmer until the gumbo is thickened, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Add the reserved chicken and sausage, then stir in the file powder. Simmer, uncovered, for another 30 minutes.

5. Shred the chicken in the pot. Serve over rice with a shake of hot sauce and file powder.

Related: Canned Chicken Recipes That’ll Make You Forget Dinner Started in the Pantry

Watch the how-to video here

Watch The Kitchen and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Make Date Night Extra Special With This Caramelized Onion Risotto

Make date night extra delicious with a risotto inspired by Toronto-based restaurant Maker Pizza’s “Frank’s Best Pizza”. This Dining In risotto is creamy and subtly sweet, and features yummy ingredients like caramelized onions, tangy goat cheese, Parmesan and rosemary, and is finished with a drizzle of honey and sesame seeds. It’s an unexpected flavour combination that you (and whomever you’re trying to impress) will fall in love with.

Caramelized risotto in white bowl

Caramelized Onion Risotto With Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp butter, divided
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 medium onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
Pinch of sea salt
6 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 ½ cups white wine
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving
2 Tbsp goat cheese, plus additional for serving
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp honey, for serving
2 tsp sesame seeds, for serving

Caramelized risotto ingredients on white countertop

Directions:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp of butter and Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet or medium pot. Add onions and cook, without stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Season with salt and stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Caramelize for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes, until sweet and deep brown in colour. Transfer to a bowl and set the pan aside, leaving any bits of onion in the pan.

Caramelized onions in white ramekin

2. Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan until it just comes to a boil. Lower heat to it’s lowest setting.

3. Using the pan that caramelized the onions, turn to high heat. Add remaining butter and olive oil and once the butter is melted, stir in the rice, frying for 3 to 4 minutes until the edges are translucent. Pour in the wine and constantly stir until absorbed. Add in 1 cup of the hot stock and stir until it is absorbed, then repeat 4 to 5 more times until the rice is al dente.

Risotto cooking in white pot

4. Add half the caramelized onions to the risotto, along with Parmesan, goat cheese and rosemary. Stir until evenly distributed then season with salt.

Related: These Easy Dinner Ideas Will Still Impress Your Tinder Date (We Promise!)

5. To serve, plate risotto and use the back of a fork to make a divot. Top with remaining onions, then sprinkle with additional Parmesan, goat cheese, honey and sesame seeds.

Caramelized risotto in white bowl

Watch the how-to video here:


Like Philip and Mystique’s caramelized onion risotto? Try their eggplant Parm dip or their leftover fried chicken nachos.

Ree Drummond’s Best-Ever Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

When it comes to quick and easy meals, you can rely on a comfort food classic like mac and cheese to satisfy all your cravings. And who better to provide inspiration for a scrumptious feast? The one and only Ree Drummond, naturally. With macaroni, jalapenos, hot sauce and a variety of cheeses, this spicy one-pot wonder from The Pioneer Woman is everything you need on a busy weeknight.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Buffalo Chicken Totchos Are the Food Mash-Up You Didn’t Know You Needed

Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 lb macaroni
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
8 oz queso blanco-style processed cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 cup grated pepper jack
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Hot sauce, as desired

Related: Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and heat until starting to bubble around the edges. Add the processed cheese and stir until melted. Add the Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses, pepper, kosher salt, seasoned salt and hot sauce to taste. Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a splash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. Fold in the cooked macaroni and serve.

3. Reheating instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the mac and cheese in a baking dish, cover with foil and heat until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

Watch the how-to video here:

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Crispy, Crunchy Octopus Tops Tangy Citrus Cebiche in This Fresh Peruvian Dish

Cebiche — also known as ceviche — was born in Peru, and the fresh, acid-cooked seafood dish takes on many delicious iterations all around the world. Inspired by a version of that’s popular in Lima, this cebiche recipe from Julio-Cesar Florez is topped with crispy, golden-fried octopus — which delivers the perfect warm crunch to contrast with the tasty cold fish. The fish itself (you can go with striped bass, longfin yellowtail or even mahi mahi — just make sure it’s fresh!) is soaked in a tangy liquid that Peruvians call “leche de tigre,” or “tiger’s milk.” Some see leche de tigre as an aphrodisiac or a hangover cure, while others just see it as delicious! However you think of it, be sure to pick up your bowl and sip the delicious liquid up when you’re done eating the fish.

Related: Top Pescatarian Dinner Ideas That Make Seafood the Star

Cebiche Carretillero

Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:
Soybean oil, for deep frying
3 oz boiled octopus, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 ½ tsp garlic puree
All-purpose flour, for coating
Kosher salt
1 tsp minced aji limo or other hot chile pepper
1 tsp finely chopped cilantro
5 oz very fresh fish fillet; striped bass, almaco jack (longfin yellowtail) and mahi mahi are good choices
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Lettuce leaves, for serving
1 sweet potato, boiled, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
Boiled choclo kernels (see Cook’s Note), for serving
Cancha corn (see Cook’s Note), for serving
1 red onion, cut into thin strips and soaked in a bowl of cold water

Special Equipment: a deep fryer (optional), deep-fry thermometer

Related: This Zingy Edamame Tofu Brings the Fresh Flavours of Japan to Your Table

Directions:
1. Heat a few inches of oil in a deep fryer or small heavy pot set over medium-high heat until it reaches 350ºF on a deep-fry thermometer. Put the pieces of octopus in a bowl and toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic puree. Place flour in a shallow bowl and coat the pieces of octopus evenly with flour. Shake off the excess flour, place the octopus in the oil and fry until golden. Drain on a rack or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

2. Combine the aji limo, cilantro, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic puree and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl and mash with the bottom of a spoon. Cut the fish into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in the bowl with the aji limon. Sprinkle the fish with salt and toss to coat evenly. Set aside for 2 minutes, then add the lime juice and toss again.

3. Line a plate with lettuce leaves. Place the sweet potato, choclo kernels and cancha on one side. Next to it, place the cebiche, along with the liquid in the bowl (”leche de tigre”). Top with drained strips of red onion and fried octopus and enjoy.

Cook’s Note: Cebiche is not a dish eaten very cold; it tastes better when the ingredients are room temperature, so don’t worry about chilling the ingredients or the plates it’s served on. Choclo corn is a Peruvian variety with very large kernels, often sold boiled and frozen. Cancha corn is a kind of toasted corn similar to corn nuts. You can buy both types of corn in some larger supermarkets and in grocery stores catering to Peruvian or South American customers, or find them online.

Can’t get enough fresh seafood? These chef-approved tips will help you always buy the best catch.

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs

These Easy 6-Ingredient Easter Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Swap out those mini chocolate eggs for these beautiful Baking Therapy Easter egg hot chocolate bombs! They are filled with a sweet homemade cocoa mix and fluffy marshmallows. Pour warm milk over them and watch them “explode” with chocolatey goodness. Because you can’t celebrate Easter without lots of chocolate, right?

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs

Easter Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

¾ cup icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup instant skim milk powder
¼ tsp salt
4 cups melting chocolate wafers, in various colours
2 cups mini marshmallows

Equipment: 

Semi-Sphere Silicone Chocolate Silicone Mold, Amazon, $23.

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb ingredients

Directions:

1. For the hot cocoa mix: in a bowl, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Whisk in the instant skim milk powder and salt. Set aside.

2. For the chocolate bombs: add the melting wafers to separate bowls and melt either using a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, be careful not to overheat. Dip a clean paint brush into the melted chocolate and create designs in each mold. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to set.

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb in silicone mold

3. Add about 2 Tbsp of melted chocolate to each cavity and using the back of a small spoon help guide the chocolate up the sides. Place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until set. Carefully remove from the chocolate molds and set aside.

Related: Delightfully Easy Easter Desserts That You Can Enjoy All Spring

4. To assemble, warm a non-stick saucepan over low heat. Fill half the molds with 2 Tbsp hot cocoa mix and 1 Tbsp mini marshmallows. To seal, place one half sphere, seam side down on the non-stick pan for 2 seconds to melt slightly. Cover the bottom halves with the top halves to create one complete sphere. Place the chocolate bombs in a mug and pour 2 cups of hot milk over the egg. Stir and enjoy!

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs being made

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs being made

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb in cup with milk being poured on top

Like Sabrina’s Easter egg hot chocolate bombs?  Try her rhubarb and sour cream streusel muffins or her gluten-free quinoa chocolate cake.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Can You Guess Which City is the Most Vegetarian-Friendly in Canada?

With the COVID-19 pandemic came the unprecedented shift towards working remotely for many Canadians, and some are looking to relocate to places better suited to their lifestyles, for good. With plant-based diets on the rise for health, ethical and environmental reasons, which cities are best suited to attract vegetarians? 

The Vegetarian Cities Index for 2021 sought to answer this by ranking 75 of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world, and that list includes some Canadian standouts. 

Related: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

Rustic table with a blue plate, zucchini noodles, tomatoes, kale and halved soft-boiled eggs

The index assessed the affordability and quality of each city’s vegetarian offerings (including plant-based diet staples such as fruits, veggies and proteins), the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants and lifestyle-related events. 

Related: From Keto to Vegan, These Are the Pantry Staples You Need Based on Your Diet

The survey identified that while home cooking still played an important role for vegetarians over the last 12 months, plant-based restaurants played an important role in people’s lives (some of these restaurants were not only top rated vegetarian restaurants, but top rated restaurants overall). 

Of the 75, Canada did not crack the top 30 list. However, four Canadian cities did offer established vegetarian-friendly “ecosystems,” with Ottawa leading as the most vegetarian-friendly city in Canada in 31st place. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal follow in 50th, 60th, and 66th place, respectively. 

Related: The One Dish John Catucci Always Orders From These North American Cities

People in the produce aisle at a grocery store

Out of these four, Ottawa had the most affordable grocery staples (fruits, veggies, plant-based proteins),  while Montreal scored highest out of the four for vegetarian restaurant affordability. Toronto, on the other hand, had the highest number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, while Vancouver had the highest ratio of these restaurants with nearly a quarter offering vegetarian-friendly options. 

As for which cities claimed the top spots? London (UK), Berlin and Munich were identified as the top three destinations for those opting for a meatless diet. 

We tried TikTok’s Feta Tomato Pasta and Popeye’s Famous Chicken Sandwich — are they worth the hype?

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Transgender Day of Visibility: Yasmeen Persad Talks About Food Insecurity and Trans Nutrition

For Yasmeen Persad, food is all about community — and, as the trans program coordinator at Toronto’s non-profit organization The 519, she’s had plenty of opportunities to indulge in her passion for cooking and making memories. In particular, with the Trans People of Colour Project (TPOC), which is funded by the Toronto Urban Health Fund and runs out of The 519 (virtually during COVID-19). “There’s nothing like cooking together in the [519’s] kitchen in a circle and having conversations and seeing the smiles on people’s faces,” Persad says. “There’s a social support component to it.”

While the program touches on a variety of topics, from sexual health to homemade recipes, food insecurity and trans nutrition are ones that pop up frequently. Considered a safe space by many in Toronto’s trans community, Persad believes these oft-taboo subjects are seeing the light during TPOC meetings because people feel more comfortable broaching the subjects. “If you don’t have access to food, there’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to that,” she says. “People think, ‘Oh, it will lower my self-esteem to ask for help to access food.’”

Related: What is Food Insecurity? FoodShare’s Paul Taylor Explains (Plus What Canadians Can Do About It)

According to a Statistics Canada report, the average Canadian spends $214 per month on groceries. However, racialized trans and non-binary people in Canada face higher levels of discrimination than others, resulting in housing inequality, a lack of job opportunities and food insecurity.

To combat the issue and raise awareness, TPOC focused their efforts on crafting Cooking With Trans People of Colour, a cookbook that offers a plethora of diverse recipes inspired by group leaders and program participants. In addition, among its many vibrant pages, are nutrition facts and sexual health stats. “The cookbook represents a history of racialized trans people, [both] those who have passed away and folks who are present,” Persad explains. “We want this to be a celebration for all trans people of colour across the board. We want this to be a recognition and a celebration.”

With Trans Day of Visibility coming up on March 31, 2021, we chatted with Yasmeen Persad about the cookbook, food insecurity in the trans community and how Canadians can take action.

How would you define food insecurity and how does the TPOC program help?

“Food security — for a number of the people that access our programs — has always been a challenge. [This is] because of their identities and the lack of access to places that offers food that represents them. It’s a struggle not just to get food, but to get healthy food. The program was designed to look at that issue specifically because racialized trans people experience higher levels of food insecurity. This is for many reasons: race, identity, being a newcomer to Canada or a refugee. The way we decided to address this issue was to create a cooking program where trans people of colour could come in and talk while cooking at the same time — sharing food, sharing recipes, sharing stories. This way, folks would get good food and also a meal to take home with them.”

Tell us about how the cookbook came together.

“So much work and love went into it. [The recipes are] quite different than the average ones you would probably encounter because most of the folks that come to the program weren’t born in Canada. They’re either an immigrant or a refugee. Whenever we cooked together [before COVID-19] the staff would pass by and everybody would say, ‘Oh my god, what smells so good? Can I get the recipe?’ And that’s where [the idea] stemmed into a cookbook we could share with people. However, we didn’t want to just do a general cookbook. We wanted to add different components to it to make it a lot more interesting — by addressing sexual health and adding some fun pieces to it.”

Related: How Food Injustice Inspired This 23-Year-Old to Start Her Own Farm, Plus Her Advice for You


The TPOC team, featuring (top L-R): Evana Ortigoza and Angel Glady, and (bottom L-R): Mariana Cortes, Yasmeen Persad and Christy Joseph.

How would you describe the link between food insecurity and racism?

“Folks who are racialized often find that the types of food they would want to cook or experience — or any food they might get through food banks or drop-ins — don’t necessarily reflect [the meals] of racialized people. Therefore, a lot of folks might not go to a general cooking program because they’re like, ‘This food doesn’t represent me, I don’t know what to do with this food, I can’t cook this food, it’s not a part of who I am or part of my culture.’ And that was really a key part of this — the [TPOC] participants would come, we’d ask them what they would like to cook and we’d try to bridge [the gap] between racism and food insecurity.”

Beef with plantains
Primavera Beef With Plantains and Black Beans, a recipe by Evana Ortigoza in the Cooking With Trans People of Colour cookbook

How has food insecurity in the trans community been affected by COVID?

“It’s been affected terribly because, prior to this, people could have come to physically get the food. That has been a real challenge. However, the way we decided to address the food insecurity [that arose from the pandemic] was by still cooking and having people come pick up the food. That was part of the way The 519 as a whole, and embedded with TPOC, has been addressing food insecurity.”

Related: Joshna Maharaj on Tackling Food Security, Inclusion in Canada’s Hospitality Industry + More

There is a lack of research on trans nutrition. Is this something that comes up often during discussions at TPOC meetings?

“It does. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around the trans community, in general, and what food is available in terms of how it impacts hormones, surgeries and health benefits. In the cookbook, we promote hormones and healthy eating and TPOC participants would often ask during our discussions, ‘I started hormones, is there maybe something that I shouldn’t be eating too much or less of?’ Of course, we’re not nutritionists, but we try to draw from our own lived experiences to guide folks through that process.”

Many of the nutritional needs discussed in the program and cookbook are based on lived realities. Can you speak to that a bit?

“We wanted the cookbook to represent real people’s lives — we really wanted to bring a trans human experience to it. Because the group is also strongly embedded in talking about sexual health, we wanted to address those pieces and talk about it in an affirming way. Often, when you talk about trans people living with or affected by HIV, there are so many negative stigmas attached to it. Similarly, with hormone therapy. We want to make this real, but we also want to shine on this in a positive light. We want it to show that you can be someone living with HIV and have a healthy life — and you don’t have to eat food that’s not desirable to you.”

Cooking With Trans People of Colour cookbook cover

How can Canadians help and take action?

“Everyone should look at food insecurity as a social health issue. Just as we have access to medical care, we should think of food in the same way. The way people could help support us is by donating to The 519 website. The cookbook will have a donate button and that would continue to help support the program and help to give racialized trans folks access to healthy food. [Food insecurity] is also not talked about enough — and when it is, it’s always negative. If you don’t have access to food, there’s a lot of shame and stigma attached to that. Together [we] can talk about it in such a way that helps people see it in a different light.”

Where to buy the cookbook

Digital Copy: Download the PDF via The 519 website as of March 26, 2021. Price: Donate what you can.
Hard Copy: Swing by Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop. Price: Still to be announced.

About TPOC

The Trans People of Colour Project (TPOC) fosters affirming support, greater access to food security and access to meaningful sexual health promotion information for racialized trans folks. TPOC is an integral component of The 519’s support of BIPOC 2Spirit, trans and non-binary community members within The 519 — and has continued to provide support through the pandemic. Between 2019-2020, TPOC had over 300 visits to the drop-in. To learn more about TPOC, visit their website.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Photos courtesy of The 519.

Save That Leftover Pie Dough and Make These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies!

Several pie crust recipes yield enough dough for the top and bottom of a pie, but not all pies require both. When you find yourself with leftover pie dough, don’t let it go to waste. Turn it into a new dessert with this Love Your Leftovers cinnamon pinwheel cookie recipe. They’re simple to make and are so good that you might just find yourself going out of your way to have “leftover” pie dough. We’ve forever changed your what to do with leftover pie crust dilemma.

Leftover Pie Dough Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 27 to 30 minutes
Servings: 12 pinwheel cookies

Ingredients:

½ batch pie crust, chilled
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle.

3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt until well blended.

Related: Start Your Morning on a Sweet Note With These Gooey Cinnamon Buns

4. Spread the prepared filling evenly over dough. Tightly roll the dough, beginning from the 12 inch side. Press the seam to seal. Trim and discard the ends, about ½ inch on each side. Cut log into ¼ inch thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheet.

5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to chill. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

Like Marcella’s cinnamon pinwheel cookies? Try her leftover turkey pizza recipe or her pink beet pancakes.

Published April 30, 2020, Updated March 23, 2021

Passover seder meal

How the Passover Dinner (and Passover Story) Are Becoming More Progressive in 2021

For generations, Jews across the world have gathered to scoop fluffy matzo balls from chicken soup and slice piping hot beef brisket — but before they dig into their festive Passover seder meal, they must read a Haggadah. “Basically the Haggadah is… a guidebook, it’s a workbook, it’s a resource all at once. If anything, it’s a lot like a zine,” explained Rabbi Andrea Myers who serves queer Jewish communities in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. In sum: the Haggadah is where you talk about the Passover seder plate, sing songs, ask questions and talk about struggles.

Passover seder plate from above

The Book of Exodus in the Torah (or the Old Testament) tells the Passover story of how the Hebrews escaped slave labour at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh (spoiler alert: Moses parts the Red Sea and they get away). But while the Exodus text is always the same, there are hundreds, if not thousands of versions of Haggadot (plural of Haggadah), all meant to spark discussion about what we can learn from this collective historical trauma. “It’s not necessarily about the freedom per se, it’s really so much about the struggle,” Myers said. “And in our world today, we understand that we’re not the only ones that struggle.”

Rabbi Andrea Myers

Over time, Haggadot have gone beyond the Exodus tale, reflecting the struggles facing Jews and the communities they share the world with. For instance, the ornate Szyk Haggadah drawn in the mid-1930s highlighted links between Nazi persecution of the Jews and the Pharaoh. In 1997, the Stonewall Seder brought the plight of LGBTQ2+ communities to the forefront.

Lately, there are more and more progressive Haggadot being shared online about a plethora of progressive issues from food justice to refugee rights to incarceration to Black Lives Matter. There’s even a seder for the BDSM community.

Related: What is Food Insecurity? FoodShare’s Paul Taylor Explains (Plus What Canadians Can Do About It)

“The world is a very complex and fraught and grieving place and we need to just be real about that, which is what I think that these Haggadot are saying,” Myers said. “That’s why I love Passover so much because it’s an opportunity for us in our own communities and families or core groups or whatever constellations people have for each other to have these conversations.”

Different foods or cutlery are also now commonly added to the seder meal in order to ignite mindful discussion. “I use a blood orange to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and it’s not something that people would know unless they’re asked about it,” Myers said.

Pile of blood oranges

Having Your Own Progressive Seder

Ahead of the meal, Myers suggests having a frank conversation with those gathering around your table, virtual or not, about the issues most important to everyone. You don’t need to focus on just one struggle since many Haggadot online are short (Haggadot.com is a helpful tool that lets you customize your own Haggadah).

The idea isn’t to start a fierce mandlen (soup nuts) fight but to show solidarity with other people’s struggles. “Are we going to be people who sit back and say, ‘Oh well, we got ours.’ Or are we going to follow the ethical imperative to look and say, ‘Hey, here’s what we learned, how can we help you?’” Myers asked. “I think [this] is a very valid conversation to have, particularly when there are kids involved when we’re trying to role model what it means to repair the world.”

Did you enjoy this interview? Read more! Here’s our chat with Joshna Maharaj (on food insecurity and inclusion in Canada’s hospitality industry).

Photo of Andrea Myers courtesy of Andrea Myers; food photos courtesy of Getty Images

Add Colour to Your Plate With Kardea Brown’s Rainbow Rice Pilaf

Spring is right around the corner, and what better way to brighten your table (and your mood) after a long winter than with a wholesome, hearty side dish that boasts plenty of bold colours.

Cranberries, orange bell pepper, parsley, almonds, orzo and long-grain rice simmer together for a vibrant side dish that is as delicious as it is beautiful. So grab your apron and get cooking!

Related: Leftover Grits, Ham & Gruyere Cheese = The Ultimate Fried Snack From Kardea Brown

Kardea Brown’s Rainbow Rice Pilaf

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery (from 1 rib)
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 cup orzo
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large deep-sided skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and orzo and cook, stirring constantly, until the orzo begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

2. Stir in the vegetable broth, bring to a simmer and then lower heat and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the cranberries, almonds and parsley. Serve warm.

Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

You Won’t Believe These Eggplant “Meat” Ball Sandwiches Are Vegetarian

I love a meatball. In my quest to add plant-based recipes to my diet, I tried making meatballs out of a mixture of eggplant and mushrooms, with great results. I like adding cashews for texture as well as a little protein. These meatball sandwiches taste really indulgent (hello, melted provolone!), but I also love using the eggplant balls on spaghetti with marinara. Even your pickiest meat-eater will be very happy. Promise.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

Eggplant “Meat”Ball Sandwiches

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 cups (490 g) diced eggplant, peel left on (about 1 medium eggplant)
2 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz (225 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup (60 g) unsalted raw cashews
1/2 cup (40 g) panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly whisked
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 kaiser rolls
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) marinara sauce (your favorite store-bought or homemade)
4 slices provolone cheese
4 fresh basil leaves
Pickled banana peppers (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the eggplant in a large bowl and slowly drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil. Stir and drizzle in an additional tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out on a prepared baking sheet.

3. Combine the mushrooms and the remaining 1 tsp oil and spread on the second baking sheet. Bake the eggplant and mushrooms for 10 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 10 minutes. (Reserve one baking sheet with parchment paper to use again to bake the meatballs.)

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C). Pulse the eggplant a few times in a food processor until coarse in texture. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse the mushrooms until coarse and add to the same bowl. Pulse the cashews until coarse and transfer to the bowl. (Processing everything together will make the mixture too mushy; be sure to take the time to process the ingredients one by one.) Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and a little pepper. Stir to combine. Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to scoop the eggplant mixture into 12 balls and arrange them on the reserved lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy and browned, about 20 minutes.

5. Spread butter onto the kaiser rolls and toast in the oven until lightly golden brown. Toss the eggplant balls with marinara and place 3 on the bottom piece of each roll. Top with provolone and bake until the cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each with a torn basil leaf and the top roll. Serve with banana peppers and grated Parmesan, if desired.

Find this and more great recipes in Katie Lee Biegel’s new cookbook It’s Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day available March 23.

Katie Lee Biegel's new cookbook It's Not Complicated

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Want Layers of Flavour? This Flaky, Crunchy Guyanese Roti is a Meal-Time Must-Try

It’s a truth (nearly) universally acknowledged that bread on the table makes a meal more delicious, but this mouth-watering spin on a global staple is sure to elevate your table — whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. While North Americans generally think of roti as an Indian food, the traditional flatbread is also a Caribbean staple. In this Guyanese-style twist on roti from Tavel Bristol-Joseph and Kevin Fink, Sonora flour (a nutrient-rich milled grain) adds tons of texture and bite to each crunchy, flaky morsel.

“Roti is an Indian flatbread that’s enjoyed around the world,” says Tavel. “In places, including the Caribbean, it’s traditionally eaten with curry or other types of stew. In this recipe, I make it with a combination of all-purpose flour and Sonora flour, a flour made from one of North America’s oldest wheat varieties.”

Related: Caribbean Recipes That Will Liven Your Dinner Table

Sonora Flour Roti

Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 roti

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups white Sonora flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling and frying
¼ cup melted unsalted butter

Related: Can’t Find Yeast? You’ll Love These Yeast-Free Bread Recipes

Directions:
1. Mix the all-purpose flour, Sonora flour, baking powder and salt by hand in a large bowl.

2. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in 3 tablespoons of the oil and 1 1/2 cups water. Mix together until fully incorporated and you can form a dough ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces, each weighing about 120 grams. Form each piece into a ball. Lightly oil a rolling pin and a work surface. Roll each ball out into a circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Combine the melted butter and the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small bowl. Brush the rounds with the mixture.

4. One at a time, make a cut from the centre of a round out. Roll the round up like a cone. Take the tip of the cone and push down towards centre. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes or up to 12 hours.

5. Place a piece of dough on a lightly oiled cutting board and press down on it with your palm until it’s an even circle 6 to 7 inches in diameter. Heat a 9- or 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom. When the skillet is very hot but not smoking, add a roti. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and air pockets start to form, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown the other side. After each roti is cooked, place it in a bowl, cover with a lid and shake the bowl up and down. This creates texture in the roti. Repeat with the remaining roti, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary. Serve hot.

Cook’s Note: It’s important to shake the roti in an up-and-down motion while the roti is hot.

Want to try more takes on flatbread? This vegan za’atar manaeesh is full of flavour.

rhubarb and sour cream muffins in pan

Celebrate Spring With These Sweet Rhubarb and Sour Cream Streusel Muffins

You know spring is near with the first sight of rhubarb. These Baking Therapy rhubarb sour cream muffins are soft, sweet and studded with tangy rhubarb. The sour cream adds to the tender crumb and the brown sugar streusel lends the perfect crunchy texture. This recipe comes together easily (just 35 minutes!) — and if you’re not a fan of rhubarb, simply swap in for your favourite springtime fruit.

rhubarb sour cream muffins in pan

Rhubarb and Sour Cream Streusel Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
Total time: 35-45 minutes
Servings: 8 large or 16 regular muffins

Ingredients:

Streusel
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
⅓ cup rolled oats
Pinch salt
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature, but still cool

Muffins
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sour cream
⅓ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 cup rhubarb, diced into small chunks

rhubarb sour cream muffin ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line large or regular muffin tins with paper cups.

2. For the streusel: in a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, roll oats and salt. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it’s incorporated and crumbly. Set aside.

Related: These Muffin Recipes Will Turn You Into a Baking Person

3. For the muffins: whisk together the flour, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, sour cream, milk and vanilla.

4. Create a well in the centre of dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, fold the batter together until it’s just combined, the batter will be very thick. Add the chopped rhubarb and fold to combine.

rhubarb sour cream muffin batter

5. Using a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups about half full. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of the streusel overtop of each. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

rhubarb sour cream muffins before baking

three rhubarb sour cream muffins

Like Sabrina’s rhubarb and sour cream muffin recipe? Try her key lime pie cupcakes or her gluten-free quinoa chocolate cake.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

You Will *Heart* These Moroccan Stuffed Artichokes

These stuffed artichoke hearts take me back to festive Shabbat dinners and Passover seders with my family. My Moroccan mother makes this dish with frozen artichoke hearts (found at Middle Eastern grocery stores), but you can also use fresh artichokes if you’re up to the task of peeling and cutting them. If you’re short on time, skip the step of dredging and frying — both ways are classic — but I like the texture it adds. If you’re making this dish for Passover, you can swap regular flour for matzo meal. For a gluten-free option, you can also use chickpea flour.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

Moroccan Stuffed Artichokes

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Servings: 16 stuffed artichokes

Ingredients:

Sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 lemon, halved and juiced, reserving both juice and peel
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped cilantro
4 or 5 inner celery stalks, cut into 3-inch chunks (can substitute with cardoon stalks or anise)

Stuffed Artichokes

½ lb of ground beef (can substitute with chicken, turkey, lamb or a mix)
1 cup cilantro, chopped
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper (or ground white pepper)
1 egg, beaten
1 potato, grated (with peel if it’s thin-skinned)
1 onion, grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp ras el hanout
½ tsp turmeric
2 14-oz bags of frozen artichoke hearts (also known as artichoke bottoms), defrosted or 16 fresh artichokes (peeled and cleaned into hearts by removing leaves, fuzzy choke and stem)

Dredging (optional)
3 eggs, beaten, seasoned with sea salt
1 cup flour, seasoned with sea salt (can substitute flour with matzo meal or gluten-free chickpea flour)
Canola oil

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Make the sauce. You’ll need an extra-large saute pan with a lid or a tagine. Heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic, sauteing for about 30 seconds, then add turmeric right before adding lemon juice and chicken broth. Add lemon peels and cilantro. Reduce to simmer. (Keep celery chunks aside to be added later).

Related: Traditional Jewish Comfort Food Recipes to Try

2. Make the meat filling for the artichokes. In a bowl, mix the meat with the cilantro, sea salt, black pepper, egg, potato, onion, garlic, ras el hanout and turmeric. Mound mixture into artichoke hearts.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ready to stuff

3. Prepare for dredging and frying (optional). Place beaten eggs in one bowl and flour in another. Lightly cover the stuffed artichokes in flour, dusting off excess and then dip in egg mixture and set aside. When you’re done coating half of them, heat a large skillet with about an inch of canola oil on medium to medium-high. Finish coating the remainder of the stuffed artichokes and then begin frying, handling gently with a large slotted spoon. The stuffed artichokes should be golden on both sides, about one minute per side. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd them.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes ready to cook

4. Place the celery chunks in the sauce pan, covering most of the bottom of the pan. Place the stuffed artichokes, meat side up, over the celery pieces and the sauce. (If your pan isn’t large enough to fit all 16 stuffed artichokes side by side, divide sauce and celery between two medium-sized pans).

5. Cover and simmer for one hour until artichokes are tender, meat is fully cooked and sauce is reduced. Serve with the sauce and enjoy with crusty bread, rice or matzah.

Moroccon-style stuffed artichokes

Like Claire’s stuffed artichokes recipe? Try her comforting mujadara or sfenj AKA Moroccan doughnuts.

Cynthia Stroud's trio of cakes with drip technique, chocolate transfer sheet and hand painted chocolate designs

Cynthia Stroud’s Expert Tips to Master 3 Beautiful Chocolate Decorating Trends

It’s easier than you might think to create show-stopping desserts with these three chocolate decorating ideas seen in Great Chocolate Showdown. From a simple chocolate drip technique to hand painting and transfer sheet designs, open your desserts up to a world of delicious decorating possibilities that taste as good as they look.

See More: Here’s What You Need to Know About Cynthia Stroud

How To Paint With Chocolate (Cocoa Butter)

Painting with cocoa butter is different to painting with water-based food colour and edible alcohol. The former is like oil painting and the latter is more like water colour painting. Keep this in mind when creating your designs with cocoa butter.

To create cocoa butter colours, melt cocoa butter and mix in edible food colour powder or dust. If a colour is too deep, you can add white edible food colour dust. Be sure to keep your cocoa butter warm and liquid the whole time you are painting otherwise it will coagulate and make it difficult to achieve the spread you want. To do this, whilst painting, balance your painting palette or a plate you are using over a bowl of warm water.

Cynthia Stroud hand painting with cocoa butter

Tips for Painting With Chocolate:

It is important that your paint brush is dry and free of water otherwise it will cause the cocoa butter to coagulate into clumps.

To create shades in your cocoa butter painting, layer over an area with white cocoa butter.

• To create texture, brush over any painted areas with dry brushes.

• To achieve colours true to type, it is worth painting a layer of white first

• You cannot use water-based food colouring to colour cocoa butter as the moisture in the water-based food colouring will cause it to seize up.

See More: Expert Chocolate Techniques to Master Now

How to Decorate With Chocolate Transfer Sheets

When painting on transfer sheet, paint on the details first. You ought to paint in reverse to the way you’d paint on a piece of paper. On a piece of paper or canvas you’d normally paint the background first and add details after, but for transfer sheets, paint the details first then the background after. To get a good idea of whether your painting is coming along the way you intend, lift the sheet from time to time and crane your neck to look at the unpainted side. That will tell you how your painted cake will look.

Cynthia Stroud's trio of cakes with drip technique, chocolate transfer sheet and hand painted chocolate designs

Tips for Creating Chocolate Transfer Sheets:

• When spreading the melted tempered chocolate, ensure it is not too warm & runny (or it will melt your painting) and don’t overwork the chocolate whilst spreading it on the painted transfer sheet or it will dislodge the painted details.

• Ensure the transfer sheet is covered from edge to edge or this will result in gaps in the transfer collar

Related: How to Temper Chocolate Like a Pro for Perfect Candy Making

How to Create a Chocolate Drip Cake Technique

Use tempered chocolate and allow it to drip down the side of your cake, creating a lovely and simple finish. Tempered white chocolate can be coloured with oil-based food colouring before pouring/dripping for a colourful look or drips can be embellished with gold leaf, dragees (also known as a Jordan amond) or flowers whilst still wet before setting.

Cynthia Stroud demonstrating a chocolate drip technique on a cake

Tips for Creating a Chocolate Drip Cake:

• It is important to cover your cake with a smooth coating of buttercream or ganache and chill the cake till firm/solid to the touch before attempting a drip pour.

• The tempered chocolate should be runny enough to run down the edge of a mug. Always do this test before attempting to drip straight onto the cake!

• It is important to ensure the tempered chocolate is fairly liquid. You can thin it down with some cocoa butter or coconut oil.

Watch Great Chocolate Showdown Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Win Dinner With These Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

A satisfying dinner with a real Tex-Mex vibe, these slow cooker sweet potato enchiladas might just become a part of your weekly menu. We’ve made our own enchilada sauce, which is smoky, silky and hits all the right flavours, but if you’re stretched for time, a store-bought version or your favourite salsa will do the trick. The enchiladas are topped with queso fresco, a fresh and salty Mexican cheese that holds up to the heat, keeping its shape without melting. If you can’t find queso fresco, swap in feta, cheddar or skip the cheese altogether (you can also try a dairy-free version like one of these). Any way you build them, serving these enchiladas with a big scoop of avocado to garnish is an absolute must!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Assembly and Topping:
8 to 12 corn or flour tortillas, divided
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled, divided
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 lime, quartered

Related: Refrigerator Rules: How Long Do Leftovers Last?

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Directions:
Filling:
1. Add red pepper, sweet potato, onion and beans to a large bowl. Toss with garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until fragrant and starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, to taste, if using, salt and pepper. Toast the spices for 30 seconds, until fragrant and sizzling, then pour in crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Carefully pour the enchilada sauce into a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender directly in the pot, and blend on low speed (low speed important for hot mixtures) until smooth.

Assembly:
1. Pour 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow cooker.

Related: 3 Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipes to Steal the Spotlight

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

2. Working on a clean surface, lay out 8 tortillas without overlapping. To the centre of each tortilla, add a scant 1/2 cup filling, tuck in two sides, then place the filled tortilla seam-side down in the slow cooker on top of the sauce. If you have extra filling, repeat this step with more tortillas, then layer them on top of the first round of filled tortillas. Or, skip the additional tortillas and scatter the additional filling over top.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

3. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and crumble 1/4 cup of the queso fresco evenly over top. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to cook on high for 2 hours, until the filling is tender and sauce is bubbling.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

4. When the timer runs out, remove the slow cooker lid and gently plate 2 enchiladas per person (they will be very soft and tender from slow cooking, so do this carefully). Top enchiladas with cilantro, avocado, remaining 1/4 cup of queso fresco and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Ready for more wholesome slow cooker solutions? Reignite your love for this retro kitchen appliance with our healthiest slow cooker recipes ever.

Published October 8, 2018, Updated March 15, 2021

Anna Olson with Her Mirror Glaze Cake

Anna Olson’s Perfect Mirror Glaze Technique (Plus Tips!)

I love a mirror glaze cake and to be honest, while I find that entremet style of cake, mousse and fruit filling delightful to eat, it’s the making, assembling and glazing of the dessert that I love the most. Here are some tips so that you can dive right into this fun, reflective world of mirror glazing.

What to Glaze

Anna Olson mirror glaze
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

Pick a dessert that has a smooth outside finish and a pleasing shape. Most mirror-glazed desserts are mousse based and are assembled in individual or full-size molds and then frozen to set them.  Silicone molds come in countless shapes and they are flexible and peel away from the mousse easily. You can also assemble a mousse cake in a regular metal springform pan.  You can use a heat gun on a low setting to gently warm the metal a little so that it lifts away from the cake easily.

Related: Anna Olson’s Chocolate Recipes for Every Skill Level

Mixing Your Mirror Glaze Colours

Anna Olson mixing mirror glaze colours
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

A mirror glaze is composed of white chocolate, condensed milk, sugar, water and gelatine. When mixing, blend your glaze on low speed to avoid air bubbles and strain the glaze before tinting it.   Because white chocolate has a natural yellow hue to it, you will want to neutralize that by adding white food colouring to the glaze.  Then you can divide the glaze into separate pitchers to be tinted as you wish. Once made, the glaze can take 20 minutes or so to cool to the ideal pouring temperature, between 80-86°F (27-30°C), so be patient.

See More: Chocolate Animals DIY

How to Pour a Mirror Glaze

You have a few choices here. You can pour each colour onto your cake separately, making sure to cover the cake completely.  Drawing an offset palette knife over the top of the cake will blend the colours a little and can give you that “galaxy” look.  Or, if you’re feeling daring, you can go for the “tie-dye” effect and layer the colours before you pour.  Select your base colour and slowly pour in all of the other colours, one at a time, into the base, pouring carefully in a thin stream.  These colours will remain distinct in the pitcher (do not stir!) so that when you pour the glaze over the cake, the colours will create ripples and ribbons of colours that look like they are moving, even once set.

Remember that no two mirror glaze cakes look exactly the same, so just go for it. Before you pour, elevate the cake on a dish or stand that is smaller than the width of the cake, so that the excess glaze can run off easily and place a baking tray and rack underneath to catch that glaze.  The extra glaze can be reheated and reused again, but the colours will blend.

Anna Olson pouring a mirror glaze
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

You can pour onto the centre of the cake and let gravity do its bit, or if the cake is on a wheel, you can spin the cake as you pour in the centre, creating a spiral effect.  You can also pour back-&-forth.  Regardless of the pouring technique, try to pour evenly and steadily and without disruption.  Take a moment to look at all sides of the cake to make sure it is completely covered.

See More: Anna Olson’s Best Chocolate Recipes

The glaze sets quickly, so after you see that the glaze pattern stops moving and dripping, use a palette knife to scrape away excess glaze from the base of the cake (or if you miss that window of time, use scissors or a paring knife to trim it away).  Resist the temptation to touch or move the glaze after the first minute or so – every mark will show.  But now you can add extra garnish – splatters of edible sparkle dust or top with piping detail, fruit or other chocolate decor. Remove the cake to a plate and chill until ready to serve.

Be prepared for “ooh’s” and “aaah’s” as you amaze your family or friends and impress yourself.

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Toasted Spices and Creamy Coconut Make This South Indian Chicken a Comfort Classic

Traditional dishes don’t become iconic by accident. Classic recipes become part of a culture by getting passed down through the years and around the world — a phenomenon that you’ll be grateful for if you’ve never tried the rich, spicy bite of nati koli saaru. In this version, chef and founder of Podi House, Deepa Shridhar, makes this South Indian marinated chicken dish ultra savoury with a bath of coconut milk, a mix of toasted spices and jaggery — a variety of caramelized cane sugar that can be found in your local Indian grocery store.

“There are many versions of nati koli saaru, some written, most verbally communicated from one generation to the next,” says Deepa. “It’s classically a South Indian/Kannadiga dish, spicy and rich with chunks of chicken meat. This recipe is based on a version I enjoyed in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) and brings to it techniques I use in my own supper clubs and pop-ups. Here I take the flavours to a whole roasted butterflied chicken. I call for crushed tomatoes, but I also love using fermented tomatoes instead for depth and tang. This is a great dish to pair with rice, or dosa, and perfect for a dinner party.”

Related: 20 Recipes From Around the World That’ll Help Fill Your Travelling Void

Roasted Nati Koli Saaru

Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 14 hours (includes marinating time)
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

Chicken and Marinade
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 ½ tsp black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 cup shredded coconut
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
5 to 7 cloves garlic, depending on size, peeled
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp jaggery
2 Tbsp coarse sea salt crystals
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
4 to 5 jalapenos
Juice of 1 small lime
One 4-to-5-lb chicken, butterflied (see Cook’s Note)

Sauce
¼ cup neutral oil (sunflower or grapeseed work great)
1 yellow or white onion, sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
One 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk
Salt
1/2 lime
Cilantro, for garnish
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Roasted Nati Koli Saaru on rice

Related: Indian-Inspired Breakfast Recipes to Spice Up Your Morning Routine

Directions:
1. For the chicken and the marinade: Place a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the sesame oil. Add the fenugreek, cumin, black peppercorns and cloves and toast for about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit in the hot skillet for another 30 seconds, and then transfer to a mini food processor. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and add the shredded coconut to the skillet. Stir until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the mini food processor. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, jaggery, salt and cilantro to the processor.

2. Place the same skillet the spices cooked in over medium-heat heat (no need to add any more oil). Add the jalapenos and cook until blistered and charred. Plunge the jalapenos into a bowl of cold water. Peel the jalapenos and discard the stems. Add to the processor with the spices. Add the lime juice and process until the mixture forms a thick paste, adding a little water if necessary to get a smooth texture.

3. Place the chicken in a baking dish or other container large enough so the chicken will lay flat. Rub the bird all over with the marinade, cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours or overnight.

4. When it is about 2 to 3 hours before serving, make the sauce: Place a large cast-iron pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion. Move the onions to one side and add the butterflied chicken, skin-side down. Add the curry leaves when the onions start to sizzle. Once you have a good sear on your chicken, carefully flip it over. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, turmeric, coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water and stir together. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Pop the dish into the oven. Check every 20 minutes; you are looking for the chicken to start to break down, the sauce to thicken and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone to register 165ºF.

6. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed. Finish with the juice of half a lime. Garnish with more cilantro and serve with rice and limes wedges on the side.

Cook’s Note: Butterflying, also called spatchcocking, involves removing the backbone of a chicken so that it lays flat. A butcher can do this for you, or you can do it yourself: Using kitchen shears or a heavy knife, cut down around either side of the backbone and lift it out. Turn the chicken breast-side up and press down very firmly on the breast with both palms until you hear a crack and the chicken flattens.

Want to add more Indian flavours to your dinner table? These easy Indian recipes are better than takeout.

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