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The Montreal sisters behind Mandy's Gourmet Salads put a fall spin on soup and salad

The duo behind Mandy’s Gourmet Salads have just released their second cookbook – this time spotlighting fall-friendly root vegetables, winter-themed soups and more to suit the season.
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Cabane a sucre salad is shown in this undated handout photo. The sisters behind Montreal's popular eatery Mandys Gourmet Salads have their eye on much more than just spinning out new combinations of fancy greens and eclectic toppings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Alison Slattery, Two Food Photographers *MANDATORY CREDIT*

The duo behind Mandy’s Gourmet Salads have just released their second cookbook – this time spotlighting fall-friendly root vegetables, winter-themed soups and more to suit the season.

The secret to a well-balanced salad in cooler months is to work in proteins and healthy fats to keep you feeling full longer, says Mandy Wolfe, who penned the collection with sister Rebecca Wolfe and Meredith Erickson. 

People tend to crave heartier fare this time of year, so Wolfe says they made sure to devise mixes that incorporate potatoes and beets and top well with steak, crab and grilled chicken.

"While there's a ton of raw fresh ingredients, there's also a lot more roasted and slow-braised ingredients that then get thrown into the salads," Wolfe says of the robust concoctions, in some cases akin to a grain bowl without the grains.

"Lots of toasted nuts and roasted carrots and leeks and squash and things that do make you think traditionally of fall."

The salad sisters also offer their take on the seasonal favourite of carrot ginger soup, making it vegan by relying on coconut milk instead of cream or milk, and teasing the palate with hints of lime and cinnamon, and a cilantro garnish. 

Here's a look at two recipes from "More Mandy's: More Recipes We Love."


Vegan carrot, yam and ginger soup (makes six cups)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

1½ cups diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups diced-small carrots

1½ cups diced sweet potato

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

½ cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime juice

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

In a Dutch oven, warm the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes translucent, about five minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and paprika and season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the spices are fragrant, about two minutes.

Add the carrots, sweet potato and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots and sweet potato are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Puree the soup in a blender (or directly in the pot using an immersion blender) until smooth. Check the seasoning, adjusting with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the cilantro leaves.

This soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to seven days or frozen for up to six months.

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Cabane à Sucre Salad (Serves 1)

2 cups shredded curly kale

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

¼ cup diced apples

¼ cup shredded carrots

¼ cup diced maple-smoked ham

¼ cup diced cooked bacon

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup kettle chips (we like the Cape Cod ones)

¼ cup sliced scallions

¼ cup candied pecans (see below)

⅓ cup spicy maple dressing (see below)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large stainless-steel bowl. Top with the dressing and, using tongs, toss until well mixed and dressed.


 

Maple syrup candied pecans (makes 2 ½ cups)

¾ cup maple syrup

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon salt

1½ cups pecan halves

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat for three minutes until the syrup starts to bubble. Add the pecans, stirring to coat, and cook for an additional eight minutes.

Transfer the pecans and their syrup to a parchment-lined sheet tray, spreading out with a spatula to flatten. Allow to cool completely. Use your hands to break into bite-size pieces. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature. These will keep for up to two weeks.


 

Spicy maple dressing (Makes 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons (90 ml) apple cider vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1¼ cups (300 ml) olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, combine the garlic, vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Process on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the jar with a spatula as needed.

With the blender running on low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and thickened, about 30 seconds. Add the salt and pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

This dressing will keep, refrigerated, for up to seven days.

— Source: "More Mandy's: More Recipes We Love" by Mandy Wolfe, Rebecca Wolfe and Meredith Erickson, published by Appetite by Random House

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press