Tag Archives: healthy eating

A variety of pasta shapes and sizes on a grey countertop

The Definitive Guide to Alternative Pastas

Whether you prefer it smothered in a hearty Bolognese or kissed with a delicate cream sauce, pasta is a comfort food favourite for good reason. Many of us turn to pasta when we’re in the mood for a quick, soul-warming dish, but it probably doesn’t top your list of better-for-you meal options. When nothing but noodles will do, however, a growing range of pasta made from flour alternatives is making it possible to enjoy your favourite recipes regardless of your health goals and dietary restrictions. From gluten-free noodles to high-protein varieties made from lentils, these are some of the best pasta alternatives to try the next time a spaghetti craving strikes.

A variety of pasta shapes and sizes on a grey countertop

Chickpea Pasta

Try it in: Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Made from ground chickpea flour, these nutrition-filled noodles can contain up to double the fibre and double the protein of wheat-based pasta. In addition to these potential personal health benefits, legumes like chickpeas have a low ecological footprint, making chickpea pasta a more sustainable meal choice than its grain-based counterparts. Chickpea pasta’s mild, slightly nutty flavour goes best with creamy carbonara and alfredo sauces, as well as with dishes featuring plenty of veggies.


Get the recipe: Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Black Bean Pasta

Try it in: 30-Minute Pasta with Green Garlic Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Another protein-packed alternative that’s ideal for fitness-minded eaters, black bean pasta has a distinctive dark colour and a pleasantly earthy taste. It’s typically made from dried black soybeans beans and its high fibre content makes it extra filling, so it’ll keep you feeling satiated for longer than wheat-based noodles (no late-night, post-dinner snacking needed). Black bean pasta is also gluten-free and high in iron. Try mixing it with simple, classic sauces like pomodoro or pesto. As with most gluten-free pasta, black bean pasta tends to become mushy when overcooked. It’s therefore best not to completely rely on the cooking time recommended on the packaging and, instead, start testing the pasta a few minutes before it’s supposed to be done in order to get the texture right.

Related: The Best Non-Dairy Milks to Meet All Your Needs (From Baking to Latte Frothing)

Brown Rice Pasta

Try it in: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Like chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta offers higher levels of fibre and protein than traditional noodles. Nutritionally, brown rice pasta is similar to whole wheat pasta but, unlike whole wheat pasta, it’s also suitable for those with gluten sensitivities. With a fairly neutral flavour and a chewy texture, it’s a great go-to when you’re looking for a no-fuss nutritional boost on pasta night. Brown rice pasta takes a little more time to cook than classic pasta, with its naturally al dente consistency helping it to hold up particularly well in hearty sauces and noodle soups.


Get the recipe: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Bolognese

Quinoa pasta

Try it in: Spaghetti Puttanesca with Cauliflower

Containing all nine essential amino acids, as well as high levels of magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and calcium, quinoa is a health-conscious foodie favourite for good reason. Quinoa pasta delivers the better-for-you benefits of the classic grain plus its dense texture makes it less likely to turn into a sloppy mess if you overcook it by a minute or two. Many types of quinoa pasta are blended with other bases, such as white rice flour or corn flour, so take a good look at the ingredient label if you’re hoping to get the full nutritional benefits of a quinoa serving or have dietary sensitivities to consider.

Related: Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes That Are Seriously Delicious

Spelt pasta

Try it in: Pappardelle Duck Ragu

Spelt is a form of wheat that’s high in protein, fibre, magnesium, and B vitamins. Many people find it easier to digest than the durum wheat flour used to make traditional pasta, but keep in mind that spelt pasta does contain some gluten (although less than classic noodles) and it’s fairly high in carb content. Spelt pasta’s nuttier flavour pairs best with bold, meat- and tomato-based dishes, rather than creamier sauces. It’s also good at retaining its al dente texture when used in soups like minestrone or chicken noodle.

Corn pasta

Try it in: 15-Minute Cheesy One-Pot Pasta

Gluten-free and high in fibre, corn pasta has a subtle flavour with a touch of sweetness. Its texture tends to be a bit grainier than traditional pasta, but it holds up well in sauces and can therefore be substituted easily into a range of different pasta dishes. Le Veneziane (italianmarket.ca, $2.99) is a non-GMO option that’s made in Italy, giving it that authentic Bel Paese-feel in spite of its non-traditional corn flour base. You can play up corn pasta’s natural flavour by adding it to a dish featuring fresh corn kernels or draw inspiration from corn’s frequent culinary partners-in-crime by creating a Southwestern-inspired pasta dish.

cheesy one pot pasta in a blue pot
Get the recipe: 15-Minute Cheesy One-Pot Pasta

Looking for more pasta inspo? Check out these Macaroni Recipes That Will Satisfy All Your Pasta Cravings.

Apple oatmeal cookies on a cooling rack

These Healthy Apple Oatmeal Cookies Are the Perfect Breakfast Sweet Treat

If you’re anything like me and have a weakness for cookies, the thought of a healthier option is exciting, but it can also make you wonder: Will they taste good? Will my friends like them? Will they actually taste like cookies? Enter these Baking Therapy healthy apple oatmeal cookies. They’re soft, chewy and loaded with goodies like cranberries, coconut and chocolate. Sweetened with date sugar and maple syrup, they also boast a hint of caramel flavour. Trust me: they’re the perfect healthy breakfast treat!

apple oatmeal cookies on cooling rack

Healthy Apple Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 15-20 minutes
Bake Time: 15-17 minutes
Total Time: 40-47 minutes
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup date sugar
½ cup maple syrup, room temperature
½ cup coconut oil, softened
½ cup unsweetened apple butter
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups large flake oats
1 cup (about 1 medium apple) finely diced apples
½ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
¼ cup shredded coconut

apple oatmeal cookie ingredients on white counter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the date sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil and apple butter. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.

Related: Anna Olson’s Lighter Dessert Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

3. In another bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add to the stand mixer and mix until just combined. Fold in the oats, apples, cranberries, chocolate and coconut.

apple oatmeal cookie dough in stand mixer bowl

4. Scoop the cookie dough into 2-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Freeze for 15-20 minutes, slightly flatten each cookie before placing them into the oven. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden on the edges. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

apple oatmeal cookie dough in balls on baking sheet

Like Sabrina’s baking? Check out her ginger molasses cookiessticky toffee pudding and pumpkin pie squares with candied pecans.

vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple

Rosemary Maple Vegan Cornbread is the Perfect Sweet and Savoury Combination

Fall weather and cornbread go hand-in-hand, and this vegan recipe is sure to become your new go-to. All you need is one bowl, (yay for fewer dishes!) and ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry and fridge. With a perfect moist center and the crispiest edges, it’s the perfect vessel to lather vegan butter onto. Combining maple syrup with fragrant rosemary lends this classic recipe a punchy twist that complements its sweet and earthy flavours.

vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple

Rosemary Maple Vegan Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Total Time: 40-45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
1½ cups spelt, whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1½ cups cornmeal
½ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½  cup maple syrup
1 heaping Tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary, plus 1 sprig fresh rosemary for topping (optional)
Vegan butter, to serve (optional)

ingredients for vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sea salt and baking powder and mix thoroughly.

Related: 5 Genius Ways to Use Cornbread Mix (Hint: Buttermilk Pancakes)

dry ingredients for vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple in a bowl

3. Make a little well in the center, then pour in the almond milk, olive oil and maple syrup.

4. Whisk the dry and wet ingredients together until a batter forms, then fold in the rosemary.

Related: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Crispy Cauliflower Crust

batter for vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple in a bowl

5. Oil a 9-inch cast iron skillet thoroughly. You can also use a brownie tin or a pie plate. Pour the batter in and top with a sprig of fresh rosemary (optional).

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Related: Savoury Pumpkin, Feta & Sage Muffins

batter for vegan cornbread with rosemary and maple in a cast iron skillet

7. Enjoy on its own or with vegan butter.

8. Store on the counter for 1-2 days and toast before eating. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Love Tamara and Sarah’s vegan cornbread? Try their herby green soup next!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Goddess Soup with Avocados and Feta

We all know we need to eat more greens, and oftentimes that means eating lots and lots of salads. But as the weather cools down, a raw salad just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to blend up those greens into a refreshing and creamy soup, and we have just the recipe. The fresh herbs add a wonderful aromatic scent and flavour, while the avocado lends the soup a gorgeously creamy texture. Don’t forget to top with feta for the perfect salty finish!

herby green spinach soup in a beige bowl

Herby Green Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 oz or 1 small box of baby spinach
1½ cups fresh parsley, leaves and stems
1 cup fresh mint, leaves
½ cup fresh basil, leaves and stems
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable stock
2 avocados, 1 reserved for garnish
½ lime, juiced
¼ -⅓ cup crumbled feta

ingredients for herby green soup on a white countertop

Directions:
1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and swirl around the pot.

2. Add in the onions and cook until translucent.

3. Next, add in the spinach, parsley, mint and basil. Mix around until slightly wilted. Season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

ingredients for herby green soup in a stock pot

4. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Carefully blend the soup with 1 whole avocado, squeeze in the juice from half a lime, re-season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Related: This Creamy Green Hummus is Made for Avocado Lovers

6. If it’s too thick, add more broth to get your desired consistency.

7. To serve, pour into individual bowls and garnish with crumbled feta, diced avocado and cracked pepper.

herby green soup topped with feta and avocado in a bowl

Love Tamara and Sarah’s herby green soup? Try their sourdough toasties next!

steamed chinese eggplant recipe on a white plate

This Silky, Tender Chinese Steamed Eggplant is Topped with Aromatics and Drizzled with Sizzling Hot Oil

Everyone needs at least one reliable and reproducible recipe for entertaining. This is mine, because it’s easy, unique, and universally pleasing. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, with ample time in the fridge to cool down. I find that eggplant can be a polarizing vegetable—some people dislike the texture, but others have no problem with it. I used to dislike eggplant until I discovered the steaming method. Eggplant is often fried with a lot of oil and ends up being too heavy for my tastes, but steamed eggplant is light and a wonderful vessel to soak up sauce. It’s a fast way to cook eggplant, and even more important, the texture transforms and becomes silky soft, tender, and creamy.

steamed chinese eggplant recipe on a white plate

Seasoned Steamed Eggplant

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 Chinese or Japanese eggplants
2 tsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1½ tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp black vinegar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp red chili oil, optional
1½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
Handful cilantro leaves

Directions:
1. Cut off the base of each eggplant, then cut each eggplant into 3 segments. Halve each segment lengthwise so that you have 6 pieces total per eggplant.

2. Add the white vinegar to a large bowl of water. Add the eggplant pieces and let them sit in the vinegar water for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Set a bamboo steamer over 2 inches (5 cm) of water in a wok, and bring the water to a boil over high. Place a layer of eggplant skin side down in the steamer, then pile the remaining pieces on top (see Note), working in batches if necessary.

4. Cover and steam the eggplant over high for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft and easily pierced with a chopstick. The texture should be silky soft and creamy but still firm enough to hold its shape. Set the steamed eggplant aside in a colander to cool slightly.

5. Meanwhile, mix together the light and dark soy sauces, black vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper. Set the sauce aside.

6. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, tear each piece lengthwise into strips about 3/8 inch (1 cm) wide. Arrange the eggplant strips on a plate. Pile the ginger, half of the scallions, and the garlic in the center of the eggplant.

7. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil until it bubbles when a chopstick is inserted, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the hot oil over the aromatics. They should sizzle and release a gorgeous fragrance.

8. Drizzle the soy sauce mixture and chili oil, if using, over the egg- plant. Top with the remaining scallions, the toasted sesame seeds, and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately at room temperature.

Note: Step two is a trick to keep that gorgeous purple on the eggplant, otherwise it will turn brown. You can omit this step, though; it has no effect on the taste. When layering eggplant in the steamer, I’ve found that piling the pieces yields the best result. Place the bottom layer skin down to prevent oversteaming, then pile the other eggplant segments on, crisscrossing them to create air pock- ets so steam can reach every piece.

the cover of my shanghai by betty liu

From the book MY SHANGHAI by Betty Liu. Copyright © 2021 by Betty Liu. Published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permissions.

MY SHANGHAI: Recipes and Stories from a City on the Water, Amazon, $41

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.

The Best Non-Dairy Milks to Meet All Your Needs (From Baking to Latte Frothing)

The list of non-dairy alternatives is extensive, and no longer are the days when soy milk was your only dairy-free option. Non-dairy milk can be made from almonds, cashews, oats, hemp, rice, chickpeas and even peas! Dairy is delicious, but it can also be incredibly challenging to digest, and consuming it may conflict with your moral and environmental principles. Luckily, there are so many non-dairy alternatives out there that you won’t miss dairy at all, whether you’re vegan or intolerant to it.

three dairy free milks on a white countertop

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Calcium: Pea Milk

Pea milk is pretty new on the non-dairy alternatives scene. Soy milk used to be the dairy-free milk of choice for this category, but pea is now winning by a landslide. One cup of pea milk makes up 45% of your daily value of calcium. It actually has 50% more calcium than 2% dairy milk. It also contains 8 grams of protein per cup, which is quite hefty for a non-dairy milk.

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Baking: Almond Milk

Almond milk may be the most popular of the non-dairy alternatives, and can be found pretty much everywhere. We love it the most for baking because it cooperates nicely as a one-to-one milk substitute and is naturally sweet, so it’s fabulous for making desserts. It doesn’t have a strong flavour, so it won’t overpower any other flavours of the baked goods you’re making. You can also easily turn it into a “buttermilk” by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of almond milk.

vegan carrot cake on a white plate
Get the recipe for The Ultimate Vegan Carrot Cake with ‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Coffee or Tea: Oat Milk

Oat milk is hands down our favourite non-dairy alternative to pour into coffee or tea. It doesn’t curdle, like most non-dairy milks, and has a really smooth taste and consistency. Other milks are too thin so they immediately separate upon entering your hot beverage, making it a beige coloured piece-y mess. Oat milk has about 16-25 grams of carbohydrates per cup, depending on the brand, and because of this, it’s stable in your coffee and functions similarly to cow’s milk. The higher carb count also makes it naturally sweet and a really pleasant addition to coffee and tea.

Related: How to Make Oat Milk 5 Ways (And Why It’s the Best Non-Dairy Option)

Best Non-Dairy Milk for a Latte/Frothing: Coconut or Oat Milk

This one is a tie between a carton (not can) of coconut milk and oat milk. Both of these are also available in “barista blend” making them even better for frothing and foaming. Oat milk has a neutral and sweet taste, and contains a fibre called beta-glucan, which allows it to foam really nicely. Coconut milk, also naturally sweet, has a higher fat content that lends itself to a nice froth. Coconut also has a distinct taste that you either love or hate, so if you’re not a fan of coconut, choose oat milk instead.

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Cereal: Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is one of those versatile non-dairy alternatives that lends itself well to a variety of dishes, from smoothies to savoury cream sauces. Our favourite way to use it is to pour it over cereal, because it’s naturally creamy, subtly sweet and has a slightly thicker consistency than other nut milks, resembling cow’s milk. Nutritionally speaking, it’s almost identical to almond milk with only one gram of protein, one gram of carbs and two  grams of fat per cup.

oats, coconuts and cashews on a white countertop

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Oatmeal: Rice Milk

Rice milk is our top pick for making oatmeal into a delicious, creamy porridge. It’s thinner than many of the other non-dairy alternatives, but because it’s higher in carbohydrates, it has a really nice natural sweetness that adds wonderful flavour to the oats. Most people start cooking their oatmeal with water and then add milk for flavour and extra creaminess; since rice milk is thin and milky at the same time, it plays double duty in oatmeal.

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Pancakes: Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is the winner when it comes to making pancake batter, especially since most pancakes call for buttermilk. Hemp milk has a higher protein content than many other non-dairy alternatives, so when it’s combined with an acid, like lemon or vinegar, it helps with leavening. The higher protein content will also add moisture and tenderness while giving the batter structure. You can easily make your own hemp milk at home by blitzing up hemp seeds and water.

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Smoothies: Pea or Almond Milk

This is a toss up between pea milk and almond milk. Pea milk boasts a fair amount of protein and calcium, and since most people make smoothies to drink their nutrients, pea milk is a great addition. We also love almond milk for making smoothies. It’s a classic non-dairy alternative and it has a really neutral taste so it won’t imbue any unwanted flavours.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Your Soups Creamy Without Dairy

Best Non-Dairy Milk for Soups: Coconut Milk

Cream-based soups have a thicker and richer consistency compared to brothy ones. We’ve found the best substitute to be full-fat canned coconut milk, and have swapped it in as a dairy substitute for many of the classics, like cream of broccoli, creamy tomato and cream of mushroom. Coconut milk is higher in fat, similar to cream, so it gives the right viscous texture. It does impart a coconut flavour, which we’ve found to be a delicious addition to many of these soups.

Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk
Get the recipe for Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk

Best Tasting Non-Dairy Milk (to drink on its own): Soy Milk

Soy milk is the grandparent of non-dairy milks. About a decade ago if you didn’t drink milk, your only option was soy. Although there are many alternatives now, we find that soy is still the best to gulp down on its own. This is because it has a well-rounded flavour that isn’t too strong. It holds up well when chilled or even when heated, so whether you’re drinking it as a refreshing cold drink or as a warming hot beverage, it will perform.

Want more? See here for 12 Surprising Foods You Won’t Believe Are Dairy-Free.

Shot of healthy, oven-baked doughnuts

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With These Vegan No Sugar Do-Nuts

Fried doughnuts? Not here. These doughnuts are baked in a doughnuts mold.

Healthy vegan oven do-nuts

The Oven Do-Nuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

½ cup date puree
1 small can of coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1½ cups pastry flour

Decorations of your choice (such as unsweetened shredded coconut or chopped nuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Lightly grease the doughnut pan  — otherwise, everything will stick.
  4. Fill the doughnut cups three-quarters of the way up (the doughnuts will puff up upon baking!).
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes
  6. Let cook, then remove from the pan.
  7. If desired, decorate the doughnuts as desired, then make another batch.
  8. Enjoy!

Cover of 'Goodbye Refined Sugar'Excerpted from Goodbye Refined Sugar! by Madame Labriski. Copyright © 2021 Madame Labriski. Photography by Catherine Côté. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Goodbye Refined Sugar!: Easy Recipes with No Added Sugar or Fat, Amazon, $20.

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.

halloumi burgers with a side of rainbow coleslaw

Eat the Rainbow with These Halloumi Burgers and Colourful Veggie Slaw

If you’re looking for the perfect vegetarian burger, this is it. Halloumi cheese has won the hearts of many because of its salty nature and high melting point, making it the perfect choice for grilling and frying. Pairing it with a fresh, colourful slaw that’s loaded with vibrant herbs brings out a symphony of complex flavours and textures. While you can certainly season the halloumi burgers any way you like, we chose to add a Middle Eastern spin with the sumac sauce and quick drizzle of pomegranate molasses at the end. If that’s not your thing, try replacing the sumac with oregano and the pomegranate molasses with a squeeze of lemon. Although there are a few moving parts to this recipe, it comes together very quickly, making it an ideal weeknight meal.

halloumi burgers with a side of rainbow coleslaw

Rainbow Veggie Halloumi Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
Rainbow Veggie Slaw:
½ cup shredded purple cabbage
½ cup shredded green cabbage
1 carrot, ribboned
⅓ cup cilantro and mint leaves, roughly ripped a part
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon, squeezed
1 tsp sumac (optional)
Pinch of salt and pepper

Sumac Sauce:
⅓ cup Greek yogurt or labneh
½ tsp sumac
½ clove garlic, minced

Halloumi Burgers:
1 brick halloumi cheese, sliced into 4 equal pieces
2-4 burger buns

Garnish:
Drizzle of pomegranate molasses
A few sprigs mint and cilantro leaves

Ingredients for halloumi burgers with rainbow veggie slaw

Directions:
1. For the rainbow veggie slaw, toss cabbage and carrot together with the cilantro, mint, oil, lemon, sumac, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Related: This Grilled Halloumi Salad Will Be Your Go-To Summer BBQ Side

rainbow veggie slaw in a large bowl

2. For the sumac sauce, whisk the Greek yogurt or labneh together with the sumac and garlic. Set aside.

Related: This Grilled Halloumi Salad Will Be Your Go-To Summer BBQ Side

Creamy sumac sauce in a large white bowl

 

3. For the halloumi, heat an oiled grill on medium-high.

4. Slice the halloumi in half down the center, and then halve it again to create 4 pieces.

5. Place it on the hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until crisp grill marks form.

6. Place the buns on the grill for a few minutes to lightly toast.

Related: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

Rainbow veggie halloumi burgers being prepared on a white plate

7. To assemble, spread the sumac sauce on the bottom of the buns, top with a small handful of the rainbow cabbage slaw, place 1-2 pieces of grilled halloumi on top, drizzle a small amount of pomegranate molasses, and finish with a few sprigs of fresh mint and cilantro.

8. Serve immediately with remaining slaw on the side of the halloumi burger.

For more vegetarian dinner ideas from Tamara and Sarah, try their vegan antipasto skewers or spicy sautéed cauliflower and chickpeas.

This Creamy Green Hummus is Made for Avocado Lovers

Combining edamame and green peas along with ripe avocado, this take on hummus is bright, fresh, and creamy!

Avo-Mame Hummus

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Blend Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

1½ cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed (see note)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed (see note)
1 cup cubed ripe avocado
¼-⅓ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1 medium clove garlic (use more if desired)
1¼-1½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Few ice cubes for blending
Handful fresh basil or cilantro leaves (optional)
½ teaspoon grated lemon or lime zest

Directions:

1. In a high-speed blender (see note), combine the edamame, peas, avocado, lemon juice (starting with ¼ cup), garlic, salt (starting with 1 ¼ teaspoons), cumin, black pepper, and 2–3 ice cubes (as needed to get the puree moving, but not too much to thin out).

Related: Best Ways to Ripen Avocados

2. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the blender as needed.

3. Taste and season with extra salt or lemon juice if desired. If using fresh herbs, pulse them in now, then pulse in the zest.

Related: Bright and Beautiful Beet Hummus

4. Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2–3 days (see note).

Edamame/Green Pea Note: To thaw, put the edamame and peas in separate bowls and cover with boiling water. Do them separately, since edamame will need to soak longer (or require draining and a second soak), whereas green peas will thaw in just a minute when covered with boiling water. Drain well.

Blender Note: This hummus works best blended in a high-speed blender, because it will better pulverize the skins on the green peas. You can use a food processor for this recipe, though the hummus will not be as smooth and you may notice the flecks of green peas.

Refrigeration Note: Since this dip has a fair amount of avocado, it will oxidize some, and so the dip is best when eaten freshly made. However, you can keep it for a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I prefer to use a deeper, narrower jar or container, to lessen the oxidizing. After refrigerating, you can scrape off the surface layer of the dip where it has discolored and serve the fresher layer of the dip.

Excerpted from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day by Dreena Burton. Copyright © 2021 by Dreena Burton. Published by BenBella Books, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100 Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy, Amazon, $32

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.

peanut butter pie with a slice about to be served

This Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie is The Perfect Combo of Sweet and Salty

If you enjoy peanut butter cups, you’ll absolutely love this decadent and creamy pie. The best part? The recipe is super easy to make and doesn’t require any baking, so it’s perfect for those hot summer days. But instead of a traditional peanut butter pie, we’ve swapped in some healthier ingredients, like maple syrup instead of refined sugar and coconut milk instead of cream cheese, to make a dairy-free and refined sugar-free version. Using walnuts and dates to form the crust creates a subtly sweet and crumbly alternative that’s gluten- and grain-free. You’ll love the tasty indulgent combo of salty peanut butter and rich dark chocolate. Most of all, you can truly enjoy this no-bake pie knowing it’s made from good-for-you ingredients.

Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie about to be served

Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Prep Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 ½ cups walnuts
¼ cup dates
¼ cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
⅛ tsp sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 ½ cups full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt

Chocolate Topping:
½ of a 70% dark chocolate bar (40 grams)
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Ingredients for Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie in a food processor

Directions:
1. You’ll make the crust first. If the dates are dried out or a bit tough, it’s best to soak them in a bowl with warm water to soften, around 5 minutes. Drain the dates out of the water. Then combine the walnuts, dates, cacao powder, coconut oil and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a minute or two until the mixture is crumbly and begins to stick together.
2. Grease a 9-inch pie dish with coconut oil. Then press the crumbled crust mixture flat across the bottom of the pie dish with your fingers so that it’s evenly spread out.

Ground crust ingredients for Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie in a pie dish

3. After rinsing out the food processor bowl, make the filling. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, maple syrup and sea salt to the bowl and pulse several times to combine. The mixture will be thick and creamy.
4. Pour the filling over top of the crust and use a spatula to spread out evenly.
5. Place the pie into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. You can also chill the pie overnight and finish the rest of the steps the next day.

A creamy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie in a glass serving dish

6. Set up a double boiler to make the chocolate topping: Add around 1 cup of water to a small pot, and place a small stainless steel bowl over top. Place the chocolate bar and coconut oil in the bowl. Heat on the stove top, stirring the mixture as the chocolate melts. Once the chocolate is fully melted and a smooth mixture, remove from the heat.
7. Take the chilled pie out of the fridge and use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate mixture over top.
8. Place the pie back in the fridge so that the chocolate topping solidifies. This will only take about 5 minutes.
9. Slice the pie and serve! It is best served chilled. Make sure to store leftovers in the fridge.

A finished Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie in a glass serving dish

Love all things peanut butter? Try these Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies next.

Valerie Bertinelli's roasted beets with herbs in a blue bowl

How to Grow Fall Vegetables and What to Do With Them

Sweater weather is near, but growing season is far from over. Just because the days are shorter and the temperatures are dropping, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your garden. Want your very own harvest of autumn produce? Here are the fall vegetables you should consider and some recipes to try once they’re ready to pick.

Related: Ina Garten’s Most Comforting Casseroles

How to Grow Garlic

If you’re new to fall gardening, growing garlic is a good place to start. If you’ve ever wonder how to grow garlic, it can be easily planted mid-autumn in a sunny spot with soil that is well-drained. Separate the cloves and set them with the pointed end up and the root side down in rows that are at least one foot or 30 centimetres apart — and you should have some new bulbs by late fall. Take your freshly harvested garlic and roast it, pickle it or add it to  your favourite dishes. Interested in growing garlic indoors? While you can’t grow bulbs if you don’t have any outdoor space, you can easily grow garlic greens in a pot on a sunny window ledge. In about 7 to 10 days, you can snip the greens and add them to soups, salads, baked potatoes and more.

A chicken breast cooked to a golden finish with whole cloves of garlic and a creamy sauce

Get the recipe: The Barefoot Contessa’s Chicken With Forty Cloves of Garlic

How to Grow Cauliflower

It may be the most challenging vegetable in the cabbage family to cultivate, but fall is the perfect time for growing cauliflower. The secret is to start your seeds indoors about four weeks before you plan to plant them. Once the seedlings are ready, select a spot in your yard where they’ll get lots of light and be sure to water them so they grow quickly. Plant them outside when it’s between 18°C and 24°C for a late fall or early winter harvest. Once the florets are densely formed, the cauliflower is ready to harvest. Serve as a side dish with Sunday roast, toss it into a stir-fry or use it in a low-carb mac and cheese.

See More: Cauliflower Recipes We Can’t Get Enough Of

Cauliflower prepared popcorn style with a red Korean gochujang sauce

Get the recipe: Korean Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn

How to Grow Beets

Beets are a fall harvest favourite that is best grown from seeds. Plant them in mid-summer or early fall — at least eight weeks before the first heavy frost — in an area with full sun and well-loosened soil. To speed up germination, soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting. After planting, add a thin layer of mulch to keep the roots cool on warmer days. When you’re growing beets, you’ll want to give them water regularly to develop healthy roots. Harvest when they’re anywhere from the size of a golf ball to a tennis ball. And don’t discard those greens! They’re packed with nutrients and a tasty whether sautéed on their own or added to pastas and soups.

Roasted red beet quarters tossed with fresh tarragon and parsley

Get the recipe: Valerie Bertinelli’s Roasted Beets With Herbs

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts

It takes patience to grow Brussels sprouts, but they are an easy crop that takes up minimal space in your garden. The seeds have to be planted six to 10 weeks before the first frost in rows three feet or 90 centimetres apart. Water them weekly and harvest after the first fall frost for the sweetest flavour. Twist them off the stem when you’re ready to cook them and any remaining sprouts will stay on the plants through part of the winter, even after the snow has begun. If you plant your seeds in the fall, don’t expect any sprouts until late winter or early spring. Roast them with bacon and maple syrup, shave them into a salad or even try them in your air fryer.

Get the recipe: Orecchiette With Vegan Sausage and Brussels Sprouts

How to Grow Broccoli

Growing broccoli takes time and extra care. You’ll have to plant the seeds in early fall, well before the first frost of the season. Plant them 18 to 24 inches or 45 to 60 centimetres apart in well-drained soil that gets at least eight hours of sun per day, ideally a partially-shaded area. There are so many ways to enjoy fresh broccoli, whether you include it in a sheet pan dinner or serve it steamed with melted Cheddar on top.

Related: Delicious Ways to Use Up Broccoli Stems

Slices of beef and broccoli florets on wooden skewers with teriyaki sauce

Get the recipe: Broccoli Beef Skewers With Teriyaki Glaze

How to Grow Pumpkins

Bright orange gourds and fall go hand in hand. Early June is the time to start thinking about planting as the seeds need warm soil to get started. They also need ample space for the long, rambling vines. Once planted, give them a deep watering of about one inch per week and adjust the amount depending on rainfall to prevent the vines from rotting. Once the pumpkins begin to grow on the vines, you’ll need to raise them off the ground using supports for even colouring and shape. If you have limited space, but still want to grow a pumpkin or two, plant smaller sugar pumpkins that are perfect for cooking and baking. They’re perfect for pies, cakes and soups.

See More: What’s in Season? Your Guide to Canadian Fruits and Vegetables

Orange pumpkin soup served in white bowls topped with fresh herbs

Get the recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Don’t know the difference between butternut and acorn squash? Our ultimate squash guide breaks it down for you.

broccoli stems

Don’t Toss ‘Em! 5 Delicious Ways to Use Broccoli Stems

Food waste is a big issue in Canada, yet there are plenty of easy, commonly overlooked things you can do at home to dramatically reduce your own waste footprint. For instance: finding creative (and tasty!) ways to eat the often discarded parts of fruits and veggies. Most people are quick to toss away leaves, peels, stems and stalks, when really, these are delicacies that can lend flavour, texture and vibrancy to so many dishes.

If you often find yourself wondering what to do with broccoli stems, we’ve got you covered: Once peeled, they’re sweet and crunchy, and when cooked, they’re incredibly tender. Broccoli stems are also quite versatile: you can shred them into rice, spiralize them into noodles, blitz them into hummus or pesto, add them to broths, blend them into soups and even roast them into french fries (yes, really!). Read on to learn how it’s done.

1. Broccoli “Rice”

Did you know broccoli rice can be used as a wonderful substitute for white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice? Use it to make fried rice, add it to mac and cheese or simply add it to a salad.

finely riced broccoli in a food processor

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the tough skin of the stem.
2. Run the stems along a grater, or if using a food processor, install the grating blade and run the stems through the feeder tube.
3. Squeeze out any excess moisture.

2. Broccoli Slaw

You may have seen broccoli slaw in ready-to-go bags at the grocery store, but it’s so easy and quick to make at home. Broccoli stems hold up in a slaw, they’re hearty and retain dressing really well so they don’t get soggy. Like any slaw, you can add whichever veggies you love and make different style dressings to go along with it.

broccoli slaw with shredded carrots and red cabbage in a glass bowl

Ingredients:

Slaw
2 broccoli stems, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1 cup sliced purple cabbage
½ cup roughly chopped mixed herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, parsley)

Dressing
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem and then thinly julienne it. If using a food processor, install the grating blade and run stems through.
2. Julienne the carrots, thinly slice the purple cabbage and roughly chop the herbs. You can also grate the carrots with the grating blade on the food processor.
3. Toss everything together in a bowl.
4. Whisk the dressing in a separate dish, then pour over the slaw. The slaw can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

3. Broccoli Noodles

If you’re looking for low-carb options, broccoli noodles can replace traditional pasta. The best broccoli noodles are made using a spiralizer, but if this isn’t a kitchen gadget you own, opt for a veggie peeler instead!

spiralized broccoli curls on a white plate

Ingredients:
2 broccoli stems

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem.
2. If using a spiralizer, run it through to create noodles, or use your peeler, and continue to peel until you have flat, long tagliatelle-style noodles.

4. Broccoli Hummus

When broccoli stems are lightly steamed, it takes the bitter edge off. The stems are also milder in flavour than the florets, so the broccoli taste in this hummus recipe isn’t overpowering. Combining with other classic ingredients makes for a unique twist on an already fantastic snack staple. Smear it onto sandwiches, use it to dip fresh veggies and crackers, or have it act as dressing for pasta salad.

broccoli hummus topped with olive oil, paprika and parsley in a pale blue bowl

Ingredients:
3 broccoli stems
¼ cup tahini
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
¼ cup fresh parsley (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem. Lightly steam until tender.
2. In a food processor, add all ingredients, except olive oil. Begin to blitz, then add 1 Tbsp of oil at a time through the feeder tube until creamy and perfectly blended. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of water as needed.

4. Broccoli Fries

This is one of our favourite ways to devour broccoli stems. They have a firm texture, which makes them perfect for roasting into a french fry. When roasted, the stems become slightly sweet, and soften on the outside, while the middle still retains its satisfying crunch. You can eat these as is or dip them into hummus or even ketchup.

crispy broccoli fries on a parchment lined baking sheet

Ingredients:
4 broccoli stems
1 to 2 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
¼ tsp granulated garlic

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Using a paring knife or peeler, peel the outer tough skin of the broccoli stem, then slice into french fry shapes.
3. Place the “fries” on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic. Ensure the pieces are spread out so they have a chance to crisp.
4. Roast for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.

Broccoli stems aren’t the only overlooked ingredients to incorporate into your cooking routine! Try these 10 tasty uses for leftover food scraps to reduce food waste. Plus, find out 10 of the most wasteful cooking habits to kick.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

With this Can You Vegan It? recipe, I’m turning everyone’s favourite spicy chicken sandwich into a vegan-friendly dish. What makes the Nashville hot chicken sandwich unique is that it is deep-fried to maximum crispiness and then dipped in a spicy hot oil mixture. To make this easy for the home cook, I’m pan frying the sandwich twice (vs. deep-frying it). Once to cook throughout and once to coat in a mixture of spices. Instead of traditional chicken breast, this sandwich features extra-firm tofu as the protein. Be sure to press out any excess moisture from the tofu before getting started.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich on bun

Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
½ cup vegan egg substitute (if vegetarian, use traditional eggs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
½ cup canola or vegetable oil, for frying
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 sesame buns
Vegan mayonnaise
Bread and butter pickles
Shredded lettuce

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Slice the block of tofu into 4 equally sized patties. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the egg substitute mixture. Put the flour in it’s own bowl and the panko in it’s own bowl. Season the egg substitute mixture, as well as the flour and panko with salt and pepper to taste.

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

2. Dip each tofu patty in the flour, followed by the egg substitute, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
When ready to fry, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, cook patties for 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden.

Tofu for vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being coated in panko

3. Turn heat off and whisk brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika into the pan. Fry the patties once more over low to medium heat until coated, about 15 seconds. Once you remove them from the pan, drain any excess oil onto a paper towel or two.

Vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich being cooked in pan

4. Slather buns with mayonnaise and add patty. Top with pickles and lettuce. Enjoy!

Person holding vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich

Like Marcella’s vegan Nashville hot chicken sandwich? Try her vegan egg salad recipe or her vegan eggnog.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

You definitely won’t miss the cheese in this Can You Vegan It? spinach and artichoke dip. The traditional asiago cheese is swapped out for creamy pureed cashews and flavoured with garlic, Dijon and bell peppers. It’s a perfect crowd pleaser (and so quick to whip up!).

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups unsalted roasted cashews
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard (optional)
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 cups fresh spinach
¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, drained

Vegan spinach dip ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Soak cashews in 2 cups of boiled water for about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic powder until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mixture into a blender.

Related: Party-Perfect Vegan Appetizers That Anyone Can Make

3. In the blender, also add in cashews, almond milk, chickpea flour, lime juice, Dijon, sea salt, pepper, spinach and artichokes. Pulse until semi-smooth.

Vegan spinach dip ingredients in blender

4. Transfer the puree into a 9-inch round baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Serve with toasted pita chips or veggies.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Like Valerie’s vegan spinach and artichoke dip? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” (that are trending on TikTok) or her sweet chili chicken wings.

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

These Chocolate Truffles Will Ease Anxiety and Help Your Mood

Did you know you could make a dessert, using nutrition-packed ingredients that will help ease your anxiety and improve your mood? Well you can and these truffles are it! They are made with superfood ingredients like walnuts, hemp seeds, raw cacao and chia seeds — and each of these are loaded with important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, B vitamins and amino acids, that all work to support a balanced mood and healthy brain function. Plus, how can you not feel good after eating something so yummy and so healthy?

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

Mood-Balancing Truffles

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rest Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 15 truffles

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
12 Medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
5 Tbsp raw cacao powder + more for dusting (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
Toasted, shredded, unsweetened coconut (optional)

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffle ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Plug in your food processor and install the “S” blade. Place the walnuts, hemp seeds and chia seeds in and pulse until a crumbly texture forms. Turn the food processor on and begin adding the dates through the feeder hole as it’s running. Once all the dates are in, pulse a few times until they’re well dispersed.

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffle being made on countertop

2. Open up the lid and spoon in the almond butter, raw cacao and sea salt. Blend until everything is fully combined, about 30-60 seconds. When you put the mixture in your hand, it should easily form into a ball. If it’s too dry, add a few spoonfuls of water and blend for a few more seconds.

Related: Best and Worst Foods for Your Mental Health and Wellness

3. Shape into 15 balls, using one heaping Tbsp per ball. Roll half of the balls in the raw cacao powder and the other half in the toasted coconut. You can also skip this part if you prefer them “naked.”

Mood-enhancing chocolate truffles on countertop

4. Place the balls in a flat container or on a tray and freeze for 45 minutes until hard.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s mood-enhancing chocolate truffles? Try their no-bake chocolate oat bars or their PB vegan mug cake.

Tomatoes growing on rooftop of Lufa Farms in Montreal

The World’s Biggest Rooftop Farm is in Canada — and Growing Fast

There’s an old debate that tends to come up when discussing local produce in Canada: how can we rely on local ingredients when we can’t grow essentials like tomatoes in the winter in our northern climates?

Tomatoes growing on rooftop of Lufa Farms in Montreal

Despite never growing a tomato in their lives, that question mulled around in entrepreneurs Mohamed Hage and Lauren Rathmell’s heads until they launched Lufa Farms together in 2008. Their response to that question? The world’s first commercial urban rooftop greenhouse, which first opened in Montreal in 2011. Produce is delivered to doorsteps and pickup points in customizable food baskets alongside food from nearby farms, as well as local artisans like bakers and cheesemakers.

Related: Building a Zero-Waste Kitchen is Easier Than You Think. Here’s How!

“We live in Montreal, so it’s really cold in the winter, you get a lot of snow, so a greenhouse is ideal because you can grow year-round,” said Lufa Farms’ communication director Caroline Bélanger. “Then to do it on a commercial scale allows more people to have access to local food that’s done responsibly and it’s just better for the environment in the long run.”

Lufa Farms building in Montreal

Growing food on a rooftop reduces the carbon-omitting kilometres it takes for food to get to grocery stores and then to our fridges. It also uses residual heat from the building it’s sitting on to save on energy in the winter. But perhaps most crucially, Lufa Farms grows its produce hydroponically in coconut fibre, meaning 90 per cent of water gets reused.

Related: The Ultimate Herb Guide: Varieties and Best Uses

Growing on a rooftop does have its drawbacks, though. Among them, Lufa’s produce can’t be listed as organic in Quebec because it doesn’t grow in soil, even though it does everything else required for organic certification (like not using synthetic pesticides). Lufa also can’t plant fruit trees with sprawling roots, so citrus and bananas are out of the question. Still, like the rows of bright green Boston lettuce in its greenhouses, Lufa keeps growing.

What started with one rooftop space in Montreal has expanded to four, including a 164,000 square-foot greenhouse on top of an old Sears warehouse that clocks in as the largest commercial rooftop greenhouse in the world. And ever since the pandemic hit, Lufa has ramped up its customer base (affectionately known as Lufavores), doubling to 25,000 food baskets per week, feeding 2 per cent of Montrealers.

Produce growing on rooftop of Lufa Farms in Montreal

“There was obviously a huge shift towards eating local and supporting local through more difficult times and we definitely saw that growth ourselves,” Bélanger said. “We don’t know for sure yet, but hopefully it stays that way and people really stop and recognize the need to support local businesses and farmers, as well as the benefit of being connected to where your food is really coming from.”

Related: Vegetables You Can Regrow in Your Kitchen

And Lufa Farms is far from finished its growth spurt. Bélanger said the company hopes to expand to more rooftops in Montreal as well as to other cities across the eastern half of Canada and the US.

“We never have enough tomatoes, we never have enough cucumbers, so continuing to grow in Montreal is something that we’re looking to do and our vision is a city of rooftop farms,” she said. “To be able to replicate this model elsewhere is definitely a goal, but when that happens, we’re not entirely sure just yet.”

Photos courtesy of Lufa Farms

vegan mug cake with chocolate and blueberries on top

This Peanut Butter Vegan Mug Cake Can Be Made in Just 3 Minutes!

When you feel like something sweet and you don’t want to bake a whole batch of cookies or brownies — just something small that will hit the spot — this Can You Vegan It? recipe is it. It takes 60 seconds to “bake” in your microwave and it’s got all the frills of a molten cake: it’s gooey, chocolatey, swirled with the perfect amount of peanut butter and it’s vegan! The best, easiest and fastest dessert to end a meal.

vegan mug cake with chocolate and blueberries on top

Peanut Butter Vegan Mug Cake

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Bake Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients:

2 tsp coconut oil
4 Tbsp oat flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Optional Toppings
1-2 Tbsp of blueberries
1 Tbsp of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut

vegan mug cake ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Melt the coconut oil over the stove or in the microwave until it’s liquid.

Related: Easy One-Bowl Baking Recipes That Eliminate All the Fuss

2. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe mug and mix around.

making vegan mug cake on countertop

3. “Bake” for 60 seconds in the microwave until gooey.

4. Top with your toppings of choice or just leave it as is and dig in!

two vegan mug cakes with chocolate and blueberries on top

Note: If you prefer the oven method, heat your oven to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s vegan mug cake? Try their vegan skewers or their vegan pumpkin soup.

The Easy Make-Ahead Chorizo Tempeh Breakfast Wraps You’ll Love

These oh-so delicious breakfast wraps are hearty and super filling. The tempeh is seasoned with chili powder, cumin and garlic to give it a spicy, smoky flavour similar to chorizo sausage. And for my on-the-go breakfast crew, the wraps are super easy to make ahead of time.

tempeh breakfast wraps on blue countertop

Chorizo Tempeh Breakfast Wraps

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 wraps

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups peeled and cubed sweet potato (about 1 small)
½ onion, sliced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
½ tsp salt
12 oz tempeh, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 cups coarsely chopped kale, ribs removed
4 flour tortillas
½ cup tomato salsa

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Place the sweet potato, onion, 1 Tbsp of oil and salt in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer (reserve the bowl) and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the onion is starting to brown.

3. Meanwhile, add the tempeh, bell pepper, remaining oil, nutritional yeast, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder to the reserved bowl; toss to coat. Add to the baking sheet and stir gently to combine. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potato is fork-tender and the tempeh is golden. Remove from the oven, add the kale and bake for 2 more minutes, until the kale is slightly wilted.

Related: Satisfying Vegan Breakfast Recipes You’ll Want Every Morning

4. Remove from the oven. Divide the mixture among the tortillas and top evenly with salsa. Roll each tortilla up from the bottom, like a burrito. Serve.

To freeze: let the filling cool completely. Assemble through step 4, but do not add salsa. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen in the microwave: remove plastic, then wrap tortilla in a damp paper towel. Place on a plate and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through. To reheat from frozen in the oven: preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove plastic and place tortilla on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Cover of the cookbook 'Liv B's Easy Everyday'Courtesy of Liv B’s Easy Everyday by Olivia Biermann © 2021 www.robertrose.ca. Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold. Image credit: Ashley Lima. Image credit for author picture: Greg Bellefontaine.

 

Liv B’s Easy Everyday, Amazon, $30.

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.

These Air Fryer Corn “Ribs” Popular on TikTok Are So Easy to Make

The viral TikTok corn “ribs” just got a new spin with the addition of a creamy Mexican-inspired sauce. And while the sauce has dairy, you can simply omit for a fully Can You Vegan It? recipe. These elote-style corn ribs will be your new fave summer side dish, giving your palate sweet and smoky hints from the chipotle in adobo, as well as tangy hints from lime. Plus: this must-try dish only take 15 minutes!

TikTok corn ribs on plate

TikTok Corn Ribs

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet corn
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
3 tsp garlic powder, divided
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 medium chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ lime, juiced
Crumbled feta cheese (or Cotija), for topping

Equipment:

Air Fryer

TikTok corn ribs ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Start by preparing the corn. Remove the corn from the husk and cut off the ends, then wash and cut the corn into quarters. Make sure you use a sharp, sturdy knife and work slowly while cutting the corn, since the cob is quite thick.

Related: Fresh Corn Recipes You’ll Absolutely Love

2. In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, 2 tsp of garlic powder, paprika and BBQ sauce. Brush the corn with the mixture until coated, then place them in an air fryer basket. Fry at 400°F for 10 minutes.

TikTok corn ribs cooking in air fryer

3. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt, chili in adobo, remaining garlic powder, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Brush the cooked corn with the mixture until coated and store any leftovers in the fridge. Top with additional cilantro and feta cheese.

TikTok corn ribs on plate

Like Valerie’s corn ribs? Try her crustless quiche and vegan steak recipes.

The Healthy Loaded Oatmeal Cookie You’re Meant to Eat for Breakfast

Cookies for breakfast? You heard us right. Think of these healthy baked goods as chewy (portable) granola, sweetened with maple syrup and packed with wholesome ingredients, like chia seeds and walnuts. The cookies are also gluten-free – the batter uses oat flour instead of all-purpose, but you’d never know it!

Don’t have oat flour on hand? Make your own by grinding whole oats in a food processor until the mixture resembles a flour consistency. Just be sure to measure the oat flour after you grind it, not before. To turn this recipe into a dairy-free breakfast, simply substitute the butter with equal parts coconut oil. Pairing these cookies with your morning coffee will make everything that much sweeter.

Related: Healthy High-Protein Oatmeal, Dressed Up 3 Delicious Ways

Gluten-Free Breakfast Oat Cookies

Prep Time: 18 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 Tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup pumpkin seeds

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Directions:

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

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, egg and vanilla until well blended.

3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, oat flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until combined.

4. Fold in the cranberries, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

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5. Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide mixture into 12 rounds. Let chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

6. Transfer dough to a prepared baking sheet and press each round to flatten.

7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For more inspiration, here are our best high-protein breakfast recipes, the only make-ahead breakfast ideas you need, and a look into what healthy people eat for breakfast.