Here are some recipes to try that incorporate the trends foodies are seeing in their crystal balls for 2015.
Kimchee is one of those items that gets better over time, says Matt Basile, author of "Street Food Diaries: Irresistible Recipes Inspired by the Street."
"If you don't believe me, try making it in batches over a few weeks. Make one batch and let it rest in the fridge for three weeks, then make another batch and let it rest for a week, and then a third batch and let it rest a day. Eat them all and see which you like best," he writes.
Basile, who is known for his popular Fidel Gastro food truck, his Toronto restaurant Lisa Marie, and from his adventures travelling across North America on his reality TV show "Rebel Without a Kitchen," calls his version of the fermented Korean side dish "a quick and to-the-point kimchee recipe that does the trick."
125 ml (1/2 cup) kosher salt
1 napa cabbage
2 Fuji apples, skin on
2 Bosc pears, skin on
6 cloves garlic
125 g (4 oz) piece fresh ginger
1 bunch green onions
2 cans (each 198 g/7 oz) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
500 ml (2 cups) rice wine vinegar
250 ml (1 cup) sriracha sauce
80 ml (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) sesame oil (approx)
15 ml (1 tbsp) fish sauce
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
15 ml (1 tbsp) cayenne pepper
Kimchee bath: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, add salt and turn off heat. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Cut cabbage into 2.5-cm (1-inch) squares or leave as long full leaves and cut into squares after fermenting. Soak cabbage in cooled water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then drain for at least 1 hour to get as much of the salt water out of the cabbage as possible.
Marinade: Throw apples, pears, garlic, ginger and green onions in a blender or food processor. Remove flesh from lemons and throw that in as well. Blitz it all. Transfer resulting paste to a bowl and set aside at room temperature.
In the same blender or food processor (you don't need to wash it out), toss in chipotles, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, fish sauce, cilantro and cayenne pepper. Blitz until a paste forms.
Combine pastes and add to drained napa cabbage in a large bowl. Mix well to cover cabbage. Add a little more sesame oil and some salt to taste.
Let rest for at least 24 hours in fridge before using, to let spices and flavours fully mature. The longer you let the kimchee stand the better it tastes.
Makes 10+ servings.
Source: "Street Food Diaries: Irresistible Recipes Inspired by the Street" by Matt Basile (Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2014).
Healthy Overnight Oats
With busy lifestyles but a desire to start the day off well, global culinary trend spotter Christine Couvelier expects on-the-go healthy breakfasts will be top of mind.
Her solution is simple overnight oats in a jar that can be tailored to individual tastes and easily transported.
"If you don't like strawberries, well, don't put it in. If you really like honey, well, then put honey in it. If you love chia seeds, that's great. It's endless," she says. "It's so easy. Once they do it they'll realize, 'Wow, I can make it into anything I want.'"
You can make a week's worth of breakfasts and have them in the fridge, then grab one in the morning and take it to the office.
75 ml (1/3 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
50 to 125 ml (1/4 to 1/2 cup) milk (whole milk, soy milk or almond milk)
75 ml (1/3 cup) yogurt
15 ml (1 tbsp) chia seeds
15 ml (1 tbsp) honey
Seasonal fruit for topping: sliced bananas, pomegranate seeds, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
In a small mason jar or microwave-safe plastic container, add oats, 50 ml (1/4 cup) milk of your choice, yogurt, chia seeds and honey. The milk should just cover the mixture (add a bit more if needed).
Place container in fridge overnight.
At breakfast, remove lid and heat in microwave for 40 to 60 seconds. Add more milk for the consistency you like. Top with choice of fruit.
Makes 1 serving.
Source: Christine Couvelier of Culinary Concierge, www.culinaryconcierge.ca.
Mini Mango Cheesecakes
The mango is no longer considered exotic and has gained in popularity. This is a good thing since mangoes are high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body.
This reduced-fat adaptation of classic cheesecake has a wonderful flavour profile with a velvety crunchy texture. Customize the topping by using granola or a mix of chopped nuts.
Cheesecakes require even heat to rise properly. For this reason, do not open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking (30 minutes for 20 cm/8-inch pan). Drafts can cause a cheesecake to fall or crack.
125 g (4 oz) partly skimmed ricotta cheese
125 g (4 oz) low-fat cream cheese
30 ml (2 tbsp) low-fat sour cream
75 ml (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
10 ml (2 tsp) finely grated lemon zest
About 2 l (8 cups) boiling water for bain-marie
125 ml (1/2 cup) finely chopped graham crackers or crushed gluten-free cereal
2 ripe mangoes, skin and stone removed, or 250 ml (1 cup) raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, fresh or thawed from frozen
Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F). Prepare a bain-marie by placing eight 175-ml (6-oz) glasses, jars or ramekins or a 20-cm (8-inch) square baking pan in a roasting pan or large casserole dish.
Beat ricotta, cream cheese and sour cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat for 3 minutes more. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium and add lemon juice and zest. Beat for 3 minutes more.
Divide cheese mixture among glasses or jars, filling each about two-thirds full, or pour into baking pan. Add enough boiling water to roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of glasses, jars or pan. Cover tightly with foil; cut 6 to 8 slits in top of foil to vent.
Bake for about 25 minutes (40 to 45 minutes for 20-cm/8-inch baking pan) until set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate overnight to set completely.
When you are ready to assemble cheesecakes, puree mango with an immersion blender or fork until smooth. Top each cheesecake with a heaping tablespoon of pureed mango. Spread evenly with back of a spoon. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of graham cracker topping over mango.
Cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 171 calories; total fat 6 g (saturated fat 3 g); 24 g carbohydrate; 1 g fibre; 6 g protein; 176 mg sodium.
Source: "The Smart Palate: Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle," edited by Tina Landsman Abbey, Gail Goldfarb Karp and Dr. Joe Schwarcz (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014).