Creamy Polenta with Corn and Chiles


In my opinion, polenta is a quintessential comfort food. I love it as side dish, where it is particularly apt at complementing robust stews, or as a main course topped with a traditional pasta sauce. This version, which contains the luscious combination of corn and chiles, also works as a main course on its own. I like to serve it with a tossed salad, sliced tomatoes with vinaigrette or some marinated roasted peppers, all of which would add a panoply of valuable nutrients to the meal.

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Sausage-Spiked Chickpeas with Yogurt



It’s hard to believe that a dish so simple to make can taste so delicious. This is the perfect combination of ingredients — they seem to work synergistically, each enhancing the flavor of the others. The slightly sour tang of the yogurt makes a particularly nice finish.

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Beef and Chickpea Curry with Spinach



This combination of beef and chickpeas in an Indian-inspired sauce is particularly delicious. I like to serve this with brown basmati rice, not only because I like its pleasant nutty flavor but also for its nutritional value. This is a generous serving (almost 2 cups/500 mL) so there will be more than enough to fill you up.



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Butternut Chili


I love this chili. The combination of beef, butternut squash, ancho chiles and cilantro is a real winner in terms of taste, as well as nutrients. Don’t be afraid to make extra — it’s great reheated.

Butternut Chili
  1. 2 cups cooked kidney beans (see Tips) 500 mL
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  3. 1 lb lean ground beef 500 g
  4. 2 onions, finely chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) cinnamon stick
  7. 1 tbsp ground cumin 15 mL
  8. 2 tsp dried oregano 10 mL
  9. 1 tsp sea salt 5 mL
  10. 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
  11. 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) no-salt added diced tomatoes including juice
  12. 3 cups cubed (1 inch/2.5 cm) butternut squash 750 mL
  13. 2 dried New Mexico, ancho or 2 guajillo chiles
  14. 2 cups boiling water 500 mL
  15. 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 125 mL
  1. 1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and onions and cook, stirring and breaking meat up with a spoon, until beef is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon stick, cumin, oregano, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil.
  2. 2. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add squash and beans and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until squash is tender.
  3. 3. About an hour before recipe has finished cooking, in a heatproof bowl, soak dried chiles in boiling water for 30 minutes, weighing down chiles with a cup to ensure they remain submerged. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) of the soaking liquid. Discard stems and coarsely chop chiles. Transfer to a blender and add cilantro and reserved soaking liquid. Purée.
  4. 4. Add chile mixture to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until mixture is hot and bubbly and flavors meld. Discard cinnamon stick.
  1. Tips
  2. Use 1 cup (250 mL) dried kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained or 1 can no-salt added (14 to 19 oz/ 398 to 540 mL) canned beans, drained and rinsed.
  3. If you prefer, soak and purée the chiles while the chili cooks; refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
Judith Finlayson

Shrimp’ n Grits


I first tasted this delectable combination many years ago in Charleston, South Carolina, and I haven’t been able to get enough of it since. Serve this to guests for a special lunch with a crisp green salad or fresh asparagus  in season. Or just it enjoy it with your family, as I often do.

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Two-Bean Soup with Pistou


I love the flavors in this classic French country soup: the hint of licorice in the fennel and the nip of paprika is nicely balanced by the pleasing blandness of the potatoes and beans.

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Santorini-Style Fava Spread


This spread, which is Greek in origin, is unusual and particularly delicious. Although fava beans do figure in Greek cuisine, for most Greek people fava is synonymous with yellow split peas, one of the major indigenous foods of the island of Santorini. In Santorini, they make many dishes using yellow split peas, including this spread. Serve this with warm gluten free flatbread, plain brown rice crackers or celery sticks and wait for the compliments.

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Caper-Studded Caponata


I find this version of caponata, which contains a sweet red pepper and capers, particularly delicious. Spread it on your favorite gluten-free crackers or flatbread, or over thinly sliced cucumber or spears of Belgian endive, or that old stand-by, celery sticks.

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