Moroccan Stuffed Mushrooms
The addition of couscous, coriander, cumin and mint gives a Middle Eastern flavour to stuffed mushrooms. Assemble the filling for this appetizer one to two days ahead, then fill the mushrooms just before serving.
12 large white mushrooms, about 7.5 cm (3 inches) in diameter
5 ml (1 tsp) vegetable oil
Half a small onion, finely chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped raw carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin
1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground coriander
125 ml (1/2 cup) uncooked quick couscous
175 ml (3/4 cup) vegetable stock
30 ml (2 tbsp) currants
30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley
30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh mint
Cut stems from washed mushrooms and trim inside edge of cap to enlarge stuffing area (see tip below). Set caps aside. Finely chop mushroom stems.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushroom stems, onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add cumin, coriander, couscous, stock and currants. Cover and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add parsley and mint. (Make ahead: This can be stored in the refrigerator for one or two days.)
Just before you want to serve mushrooms, heat oven to 200 C (400 F).
Fluff couscous mixture again and fill mushroom caps. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Makes 12 appetizers.
Nutrition information per serving (1 piece): 61 calories; 3 g protein; 1 g fat; 10 g carbohydrates.
Tip for making room in mushrooms: Invert cleaned mushroom and pull off stem. Use the small end of a sharp melon baller to scoop excess mushroom flesh from the underside of the cap. The flesh that is removed can be chopped and added to the stuffing mixture.
Source: Foodland Ontario.
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish that can be made with bulgur, quinoa, couscous or, in this case, barley, but the mint and parsley are the real stars. It will please vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends alike.
250 ml (1 cup) pot or pearl barley
500 ml (2 cups) water
250 ml (1 cup) chopped fresh parsley
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped fresh mint
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped green or red onion
1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
2 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon
3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
In a saucepan, place barley and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes, then chill.
In a large bowl, combine cooked barley, parsley and mint. Add onion and cucumber.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper; pour over barley mixture and mix well. Shortly before serving, stir in tomatoes. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 161 calories; 3 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 5 g fibre; 1 g sugars; 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 231 mg sodium; 209 mg potassium.
Source: Alberta Barley Commission, gobarley.com.
Strawberry Mint Daiquiri
Mint is a common ingredient or garnish for a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks because of its distinctive, fresh flavour. Try adding some leaves to your iced tea or lemonade.
625 ml (2 1/2 cups) strawberries
12 mint leaves
125 ml (1/2 cup) frozen limeade concentrate
15 ml (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
16 ice cubes
175 ml (3/4 cup) rum or ginger ale
Whole strawberries, for garnish
In a blender, combine strawberries, mint, limeade and sugar and process until pureed. Add ice cubes; blend until slushy. Slowly stir in rum for an alcoholic version or ginger ale for a non-alcoholic drink. Garnish each serving with a fresh strawberry.
Makes about 1.35 l (5 1/2 cups).
Nutrition information per 125-ml (1/2-cup) serving: 75 calories; 11 g carbohydrates.
Source: Foodland Ontario.
-- The Canadian Press