Food and Recipe of the Month: Leeks


September 27, 2018

Care of Amy Symington, of 

The lovely leek is a cousin to both garlic and onions, and like garlic and onions it is a part of the health promoting allium vegetable family. Allium vegetables are rich in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which have been shown to aid in preventing heart disease and stroke.

Leeks are also high in dietary fibre which helps to maintain blood sugar levels, consequently aiding in type 2 diabetes prevention and management. And like garlic and onions, they may also aid in reducing oxidative stress which in turn may reduce the risk of cancer. In addition to fibre they are also a good source of vitamin B6, iron and magnesium, and a very good source of folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Eat them thinly sliced in a slaw, slow cooked in a soup, stew or chowder or have them caramelized and on a salad, sandwich or pizza.

Or of course, in this delicious sandwich!

BLTA – coconut bacon, caramelized leeks and roasted tomato with avocado on cornbread
Makes 6 sandwiches
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Sandwich ingredients:
2 tsp grapeseed oil or canola, divided
4 cups whole grape tomatoes
1 leek, green parts removed and thinly sliced
1/8 tsp salt

Cornbread (see recipe below)
¼ cup dijon mustard

Coconut bacon (see recipe below)
1 ripe avocado, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl add 1 tsp grapeseed or canola oil and tomatoes. Toss tomatoes until completely coated, evenly distribute on to baking sheet and place in oven. Roast tomatoes for 1 hour, or
until slightly shriveled and sweet.

3. Meanwhile in a medium sauté pan over medium heat add remaining oil. Once heated, add leeks. Sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes, reduce heat to low and allow to further caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Once caramelized stir in salt and set aside.

4. To assemble sandwich take 2 slices of cornbread and add 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp coconut bacon, 4 roasted tomatoes, 1 tbsp caramelized leeks and 1/6 of an avocado.

Cornbread recipe:
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
6 tbsp water
2 cups organic cornmeal or corn flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk alternative of choice
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn niblets
1/8 tsp ground paprika

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
2. In a small bowl add water and flax seeds. Allow to thicken for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the corn flour, baking powder, and salt until fully combined. To the flour mixture add the ground flaxseed mixture, milk, oil and maple syrup. Mix until just smooth, but do not over mix.
4. Fold in ½ of the corn niblets and pour into loaf pan. Top with remaining corn niblets and sprinkle with paprika.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, cut into 12 slices and use for BLTA sandwich.

Coconut bacon recipe:
2 cups unsweetened, sulphite-free coconut flakes
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp low sodium tamari
1 tsp grapeseed or canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl add all ingredients and toss. Ensure that the coconut flakes are completely coated and the paprika is mixed in.
3. Place in the oven and bake for 18 minutes or until flakes are crispy. Remove from oven and store in a glass jar. Use on sandwiches, salads, pastas or in baked goods.

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