Food 65 results

Gut food is good food

Recipe: Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad Feeding your intestinal microbes doesn't take courage, just a gut sense and some simple recipes, such as this Asian salad full of flora-friendly ingredients By Louise Crosby I’m not one to make a long list of New Year’s resolutions, but there are a couple of things I’d like to accomplish in 2016. One is to clean out my attic, the other is to feed my microbes. Yes, microbes. All of a sudden, it seems, there are new books and TV shows about the bacteria that live in our intestines. Scientists have discovered they play a crucial role in our health, affecting everything from how we digest our food to the strength of our immune system and our outlook on life. Imbalances in our flora have been linked to disease, obesity, and depression. But how we feed these microorganisms is key: junk food kills them off, but a diet high in high-fibre fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, nuts, seeds, probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented ...

Warm, cheesy and super easy

Food: Cauliflower Gratin A stray cat looking for warmth on a frigid winter's day serves as a furry reminder about the importance of comfort food, such as cauliflower gratin By Louise Crosby Late last winter, as the snow was melting, a strange creature appeared at our back door. Turns out it was a cat, or more accurately, half a cat, with bony haunches and huge matted clumps of black fur. He had obviously survived a terrible ordeal, an unusually harsh Canadian winter, apparently with little food. We fed him, of course, and he stuck around, making our back deck his home through the spring, summer and fall. And what an appetite. By late November he was as solid as a little black bear, with a good, thick coat. We called him Charlie because he’s male and because it rings nicely with Chicklet, the name of our official cat. He’s a lovely guy, just a little skittish, and particular about who approaches him and from what angle, and he absolutely, positively, will not come ...

On Leonard Cohen and Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

Food: Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies There is a crack, a crack in everything, which makes icebox cookies soft, chewy, and beatifully malformed treats. By Louise Crosby Most people know that perfection is an unattainable goal, that striving for it is futile. It’s the flaws that make life interesting, as Leonard Cohen reminds us in his beautiful song Anthem: “There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” And so it is with icebox cookies. Such a wonderful invention – you prepare the dough, form it into logs, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate until you have a hankering for a little something sweet. Then you slice and bake, and voilà, fresh-baked cookies in less than half an hour. Not to put you off making these – because they are easy and delicious and cute as buttons – but as in all of life, there’s another side of the story. When you add nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit and other solid things to icebox cookie dough, a ...

Pecans make a Mexican Wedding Cake

Food Christmas can make anyone a nutcase, but this delicious cookie recipe offers a case in how specific nuts are used in various regional cuisines By Louise Crosby We no longer exchange gifts at Christmas in my extended family, except for the little ones. That simplifies things: no need to shop malls, get stuck in traffic, or go into debt. It leaves me, at least, free to get serious about baking. This year’s baking bonanza started with these powdery Mexican Wedding Cakes from Alice Medrich’s Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies. They aren’t actually cakes, they’re cookies, and according to Medrich they go by many names depending on what kind of nuts you put in them: if you’re using pecans, you have Wedding Cakes, or polvorones; if almonds are your choice, you have Viennese crescents or Greek kourabiedes. Walnuts produce Russian tea cakes. I’ve also seen them called Butter Balls and Melt-a-Ways, Snowballs and Sandies. Whatever you want ...

Malaysia to-go: Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup

Food Inspired by an extended stay in Penang, The Ex-Press's resident chef cooks up an enticing mix of Asian flavours with Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup By Louise Crosby I lived for awhile in Penang, Malaysia, where the mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines makes for some fantastic eating. The food at roadside stalls, known as hawker food, was so delicious, inexpensive and safe, we hardly ever cooked at home. Compared to our bland Western diet, it was hot, pungent, fragrant, sweet, salty, sour, tangy, an explosion of flavour in the mouth. I loved all that but loved it even more if there was coconut milk involved, its creamy sweetness balancing the heat. Fresh-pressed from the coconuts that grew all around, it took food from heavenly to sublime. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back. Back here in Canada, I use canned unsweetened coconut milk, which is perfectly fine, adding it to curries and noodle dishes and soups like this Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup from ...

Make Christmas Crunch with Maple Granola

Olive Oil & Maple Granola Retailers waste no time putting up the wreaths and red bows, but surviving the holiday season can be an emotional marathon that demands a hearty breakfast By Louise Crosby Apparently Christmas is coming. Here we were, meandering our way through a long, leisurely fall full of colour and unseasonably warm temperatures, gorgeous afternoons with soft light, long shadows, beauty all around. Then suddenly, out of the blue, it seems, we’re bombarded with evergreen boughs, sparkly lights and commercial enticements to spend money. Bing Crosby and I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas piped over the sound system in my grocery store five weeks before the big day. It’s enough to put you off the whole thing. Grumble, grumble. Christmas will get you in the end, though. It’s inevitable that one of these days a switch will go off, and I’ll be all for it, heading out to get a tree, setting out the candles, baking cookies. In fact, I’m already planning the ...

Squash and Swirl

Pumpkin Bread with Toasted Walnut Cinnamon Swirl Like little woodland creatures preparing for winter, now is the time to gather your nuts. And like a human about to hibernate, bake a warm toasty pumpkin bread.   By Louise Crosby You don’t need me to tell you that squash is a superfood, packed with carotenoids, particularly beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. And you already know that squash is high in fibre, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium, that it is important for good vision, bone growth and healthy reproduction, and that it helps maintain healthy blood pressure, lowers cancer risk, and boosts immune function. Bottom line, you’ll agree: we should all be eating more of it. So, in addition to turning squash into soups, adding it to stews and risottos, stuffing it into pasta, and just plain roasting it, squash can be a key ingredient in baked goods, such as this Pumpkin Bread with Toasted Walnut Cinnamon Swirl, tweaked ever so slightly from At ...

Hip, Hip! Pipérade!

Eggs in Pipérade Cracking a bright yellow yolk into a fragrant tomato mélange is just one variation on an old world theme that never gets tired, is easy to prepare and always hits the spot By Louise Crosby My Dad was never much of a cook, but in his later years he started making Chinese stir-fries. Shrimp stir-fry was his signature dish, worthy of special family dinners. This was good; it gave my mother a break from the kitchen and it gave him a new interest in his retirement. Another dish my Dad knew his way around, because he was practically raised on it as a boy in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was fried potatoes and bologna, with sliced bread and molasses on the side. Good, honest food, I guess. Later, after most everyone stopped eating bologna, he would make his own lunches when he was home by emptying leftovers into a fry pan (hopefully there was potato!), giving it a sizzle, and then breaking an egg over the top. He was definitely on to something. Eggs cracked over food, ...

Burnt cooks Cooper to a golden brown

Iron pecs Chef Bradley Cooper brings A-lister status to the world of rock star chefs, completing the ancient circle of food worship, and the gods who let us pleasure in the flesh

Get all pesto with a ritzy risotto

Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto Treat your vegetarian friends to a bright green dish that will not only fill their tummies with a healthy treat, it will lift their spirits with its lush color as it comforts the soul with its warm, cheesy texture By Louise Crosby Round about this time of year, with the winter chill setting in, it’s nice to get away, not necessarily to a warm, sunny beach, but somewhere with a different view. Not too long ago, I went with two friends to New York City and got a whole new world. As anyone who has spent time there will know, it is a noisy, exciting, inspiring and exhausting place. And the food is delicious if you find the right spots. My friends are vegan fitness trainers whose idea of a perfect Sunday morning is to run a half-marathon or sprint up and down the CN Tower. So we typically left our hotel room in the morning and didn’t return until late at night, having walked at a fair clip the entire day to our various destinations. There was a ...