Tag Archives: recipes

Googly eye strawberries

Fruit with eyes?  Now that changes everything! Kids love these fun and spooky treats all year round, but they are right on theme for Halloween. Strawberries are a tasty, healthy, convenient snack any time of day. You can also use them to add a burst of flavour in your snacks and meals. To make these funny faces, take some fresh @castrawberries and line them up with the green leafy part on top to make it look like tufts of ‘hair’.  Then, strategically place a couple of googly eyes (small sugar drops available in bulk food stores) on the strawberry’s ‘face’ and add a small chocolate chip ‘nose’.  You may want to make a slight cut in the berry and place the eyes and nose a little below the fruit’s surface to keep them in place. A tray of these googly eyed strawberry faces will disappear fast and bring smiles to everyone.  What’s your favourite googly eye fruit? #SnackOn8  #Dietitian

Boost your snack with berries.

Are you snacking more often? You’re not alone! Canadians love their snacks, and many would like to pick healthier options between meals. You can boost your nutrient intake by snacking on colorful fresh berries including strawberries.  Did you know California strawberries are picked in peak season and readily available in grocery stores? Strawberries are a tasty, healthy, convenient snack any time of day and you can also use them to bring on a burst of flavour in your snacks and meals.  Try this tasty, easy arugula and strawberry salad and enjoy it at home or carry it with you for eating on the go.

Recipe: Tasty Arugula and Strawberry Salad

This tasty salad is chef inspired and dietitian approved! Layers of fresh greens like Arugula, fresh juicy strawberries, sharp cheese topped with tangy sweet vinaigrette dressing make it a staple in my menu.

Here is how I like to put it together:


Image of Arugula Strawberry Salad with strawberries in foreground. L.Weiler RD

Ingredients

  • Arugula (3 cups)
  • Strawberries (8 berries halved )
  • Red onion slices (1/4 cup)
  • Sharp cheese shredded to taste (cheddar or parmesan); (2 Tbsp)
  • Cider or balsamic vinaigrette dressing* (3 Tbsp)

Serves 2 (110 calorie snacks)

* Cider Vinaigrette:

    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp water
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
      In a small measuring cup or jar with a lid, combine oil, vinegar, water, mustard and black pepper. Mix well.  Makes about 6 Tbsp (90 mL)

 

Healthy food tips for your game day party

Hey Sports Fans! Are you ready for the big game day party? When you’re gearing up to enjoy a big sports game, food, beverage and fun times come to mind. Whether you’re actually there for the game or just for the fun of the party you can gather ‘round without giving up on your healthy eating plan.

Here are some savvy food tips aligned with the latest recommendations of Canada’s new food guide for you to enjoy food and keep connected to your healthy eating goals.

Boost the veggies

This is the number 1 healthy eating recommendation in Canada’s new food guide.

  • Let veggies take the starring role at your party food platter. Serve lots of colour, crunch
  • Whip up tasty and nutritious dips such as hummus or guacamole.

Choose whole grain foods

Looking for a crunch?

  • Slice up and toast some whole grain fajitas to swap out the chips for a healthier option.
  • Air-popped popcorn is a great whole grain snack and source of dietary fiber. Serve it plain, or try adding different popcorn flavors such as smoked paprika or chili powder.

Get creative with your protein

Are you making crown pleasing party foods such as meatballs or chili?

Drinking

Okay, so it’s a party and alcoholic drinks are on the menu. Simple tips to keep in mind:

  • Canada’s low risk alcohol drinking guidelines for special occasions suggest no more than 3 drinks for women; no more than 4 drinks for men on any single occasion.
  • Set your limits and stick to it.
  • Drink slowly ex 2 drinks in any 3 hr period and have water between alcoholic drinks. Try a flavoured water. Try adding citrus fruit or cucumber slices to fresh tap water for a great flavour booster with zero calories.
  • EAT before and while drinking.
  • Lower the alcohol content of your beverages by making a wine spritzer using 3 oz white wine and 2 oz of carbonated water to keep your head clear during a sports party and to cut back calories too.

Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat!

Bottom line – your relationship with food matters more than you might think!

  • Your culture and food traditions are an important part of healthy eating. Relax and enjoy!
  • Stay on track of your healthy eating goals by taking time to eat and following your hunger cues.

Enjoy the game. Go Team Go!

 

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Image Source: Bigstock

Do you like eating your food from a bowl sometimes? Bowl-centric menus are one of the hottest trends in restaurants and home-cooks also love filling bowls with layers of veggies and grains. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an ancient grain from South America that is considered a complete protein. This recipe is inspired from Dietitians of Canada’s website, where it has been one of the most popular recipes. It’s simply prepared with vegetables you have on hand and the quinoa can be cooked a day ahead and kept in the fridge. Eating it out of a bowl will add to your enjoyment.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Serves: 5  servings

Ingredients

  • Quinoa, well rinsed and drained   1 cup (250 mL)
  • Cold water                                          2 cups (500 mL)
  • Tomatoes, chopped                          2 medium chopped
  • Large sprigs of parsley (leaves only) 2 springs chopped
  • English Cucumber, chopped               1/2 cucumber
  • Red or Green bell peppers, chopped  1/2 cup (125 mL)
  • Fresh Baby Arugula                              1 cup

Vinaigrette

  • Extra-virgin olive oil                   3 Tbsp (45 mL)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice   2 Tbsp (30 mL)
  • Hot pepper flakes (optional)     1 1/2 tsp (7 mL)
  • Freshly ground black pepper    1/2 tsp (2 mL)
  • Dried basil or oregano (optional)  1/2 tsp (2 mL)

 Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the white germ separates from the seed. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, let cool and fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, bell peppers and arugula. Stir in cooled quinoa.
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper flakes (if using), salt, pepper and basil (if using).
  4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.

Source: Recipe modified from Dietitians of Canada UnlockFood.Ca 

 

Nutrition Information per serving:

Calories: 224 Cals, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 8 g, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Fibre: 4 g, Sodium: 100 mg
Calcium: 30 mg

How to Build a Healthy Sandwich

sandwich n4nn

You are the builder of your healthy sandwich. The promises of a nutritious sandwich starts by choosing the right bread and fillings. Begin with a base of whole grain bread. Add a healthy source of protein (but not too much of it), loads of crunchy vegetables or fruit and a savoury sauce that’s filled with zip but not sodium. From top to bottom, here are our tips for making your healthy sandwich.

Bread

  • Switch out white bread for a more nutritious whole grain option.
  • Look for bread that lists whole grain as the first ingredient and has at least two grams of fibre per slice.
  • Think beyond bread… Try bagels, buns, pita, tortillas or naan. All come in whole grain versions. Read ingredient lists to be sure and look for “whole grain” as the first words on the ingredient

Protein

Whether you stack your sandwich with meat, cheese, egg salad, it’s important to have a source of protein between the bread.  Below are a few ideas.

Meat

  • Offer a variety of lean meats e.g. roasted beef, pulled pork, grilled turkey or barbecued chicken.
  • Consider deli meats as a once in a while treat only. Read the ingredient list and choose ones that do not include “nitrites.” Use the Nutrition Facts panel to compare and choose deli meat with the lowest sodium and fat content.

Cheese

  • Look at the % Milk Fat (%M.F.) content. Buy reduced fat or lower fat cheeses with less than 20% M.F. To limit sodium, choose fresh instead of processed cheese.

Meat alternatives

  • When mashing egg, salmon or tuna, cut back on full-fat mayonnaise. Use light mayo or low–fat yogurt instead.
  • Try something new! Beans, nuts and seeds make nutritious sandwich fillings. Use edamame or lentils to stuff a pita. Blend chickpeas with garlic and tahini to create a chunky hummus. In addition to peanut butter, offer almond, hazelnut or cashew butter. If allergies are a concern, offer soy nut or sunflower seed butter.

Vegetable and Fruit Toppings

 Build the health value of your sandwich with lots of veggies and fruit. Include at least two veggies or fruit in every sandwich or as a side accompaniment to the sandwich. Vegetables and fruit provide essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and are low in calories. Beyond lettuce and tomato, these toppings provide a unique twist:

  • Red pepper and cucumber rings
  • Shredded carrots or beets
  • Kale, arugula or baby spinach
  • Grilled zucchini, eggplant, pineapple or peaches
  • Fruit is great on sandwiches too – try mango salsa or sliced apples
  • Fresh herbs like basil, parsley and coriander add a burst of flavour.

Sandwich spreads

  • Skip butter and choose avocado or basil pesto. It is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and adds rich flavour
  • Low fat mayonnaise, oil-based vinaigrettes and non-hydrogenated margarine also contain healthy fats. Be aware that with any of these options, the calories and fat add up quickly. Use only a little– no more than 1-2 teaspoons per sandwich.
  • Ketchup, salsa and mustard are lower calorie, fat-free options. However they may be high in sodium. Limit your serving size to 1-2 teaspoons per sandwich.
  • Try wasabi (Japanese mustard) or horseradish if you like it hot – they have less sodium than other spreads.

For more information and healthy sandwich recipes please contact us!

Reference: Unlock Food.ca – Expert Guidance, Everyday Eating by Dietitians of Canada (2017)

Kohlrabi – How do you eat this unique veggie?

kohlrabi soup 4Kohlrabi is tender, crunchy vegetable, a cousin of cabbage and turnip. Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C and is also a good source of fibre which can help keep you regular, lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar. It’s great tasting raw and cooked! Be sure to peel the rough skin of the bulb before eating, and you can use the leaves like any other green leafy veg. It’s a favourite in our family and here are some ways we enjoy kohlrabi most:

Raw – Kohlrabi adds a lot of crunch and a bit of a kick to dishes. Peel kohlrabi bulbs and then slice, chop or grate. For a veggie snack cut kohlrabi into sticks & serve with a hummus dip, for salads and slaws chop finely or grate.

Cooked – bake, steam or boil as you would with other veggies.  My family loves soups and Kohlrabi soup is favourite. Here is my version of using this fresh veggie for taste and nutrition boost:

Kohlrabi Soup (makes 4 servings)

kohlrabi soup 1

  • 4 kohlrabi bulbs (500 g) peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup kohlrabi leaves finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups ( ~1 liter) water or unsalted vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • hot red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and salt to taste
  1. Peel kohlrabi and onion, dice into small (1 cm cubes)
  2. Wash Kohlrabi leaves well and chop finely
  3. Heat oil in a medium size pot
  4. Add onion and kohlrabi to pot and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring continuously
  5. Add kohlrabi greens saute for 2 more minutes
  6. Cover vegetables with water (or unsalted broth) and bring them to a boil. Cover and simmer until the kohlrabi is tender
  7. Season with chopped parsley, hot red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and salt to taste

Did you know NEW nutrition facts table formats will be appearing on Canadian packaged foods soon? Since we develop nutrition facts tables for clients, we wanted to show you what they look like using this Kohlrabi Soup recipe as an example. See the Nutrition Facts Table below. Notice the prominence of calories and the explanation of  % Daily Values – where 5% is a little and 15 % is a lot.  Our Kohlrabi soup, per 250ml serving is only 60 calories and gives you 4 grams of fibre (13% of the daily value) making it a good source fibre!  A serving of this soup is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and C. Enjoy it for taste and good health! What’s your favourite way to eat kohlrabi? Share your recipes here.

kohlrabi soup NFT

 

 

 

2017 Top food and nutrition trends

2017’s top 10 fowhat's hotod and nutrition trends signal big changes for the year ahead and include a renewed focus on quality and enjoyment of food, sustainability, clean eating and influential new regulations. Read on for more of our expert advice on trends that will impact consumer food choices. Let us know what you think…

1. Clean Eating
Consumers demand to know exactly what is in their food and where it comes from so they can make informed choices that are in line with their values. For mindful decisions, the ingredient list, the food source and recipe composition are all becoming more significant factors.

2. Kids & Youth
Health Canada identified promoting the importance of healthy eating in children and youth a priority. Look for more resources, reports and dietary guidance to help establish healthy eating habits at an early age.

3. Enjoy food in the company of others
Food is a powerful way to connect with people which has benefits well beyond nutrition. We’ll see focus on bringing back the pleasure of everyday shared meals, cooking and conversation.

4. Sustainability
Taking care of the planet is a priority with a strong millennial focus. Look for ways to eliminate food waste, use up less than perfect looking fruit/veg, eat food before it spoils, package in compostable or biodegradable materials.

5. Protein Power
Protein continues to be a nutrient of great interest at every meal occasion, especially breakfast. Expect increased attention to plant based protein sources in healthy recipes such as tofu, nuts, seeds, pulses (dried beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas).

6. Food Security
Let’s recognize the importance of equitable access to affordable, wholesome, healthy foods and drinks for all Canadians. Supporting best health through good nutrition for everyone is driving a variety of new efforts.

7. Veggie Believers
Growth of vegetarian, vegan and other plant-focused foods are fueled by consumers looking for ways to boost their veggie intake at home and while eating out. Find more ways to make half your plate veggies.

8. Digestive Health – Feed Your Fiber Famished Gut!
Keeping your gut healthy involves eating probiotics that feed the friendly bacteria that live in your intestine. Canadians get less than half of the daily recommended amount of fibre, so look for more tips on boosting fibre intake, specifically probiotic type fibres for digestive health. More information is available on probiotic fibres at http://bit.ly/2jPasvW 

9. New Food Labels and Claims
Health Canada through a commitment to transparency and ongoing regulatory modernization is revamping the packaged food label and Canada’s Food Guide. Calories, sugars, fat are focus on packaged foods and calories are required on restaurant chain menus. Check CFIA guidelines for any statements that may be made about the nutritional value of foods or menu items to help you avoid any violations.

10. Dietitians are Most Trusted Experts in Food & Nutrition
Many Canadians get their food and nutrition information from the ‘Wild Wild Web” of the internet which has so much misinformation. Instead, look to dietitians, the most trusted experts in food and nutrition. We do the hard work of studying the evidence, reviewing the research and translating the science to credible recommendations that you can use.

Let’s start a conversation! Join me at  our 10th annual Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists Course  on April 26th 2017 University of Toronto

Savory granola bars with ancient herbs

Be adventurous with food! These savory granola bars are super trendy with ancient herbs such as rosemary and thyme, and are tailored for gut-health.  Created with Chef Eric Deletroz  this health-booster recipe is high in fibre, easy to make and tastes GREAT! Presented at the 2016 Digestive Health Summit in Toronto to healthcare professionals and consumers these unique on the go bars were a hit and are ready to fill your hunger gap too. Enjoy!

gut health digestive health recipe 2016

Try one today:www.CDHF.ca/GutBoosterRecipes
http://ow.ly/d/5BpO

How to Cook Perfect Green Veggies – make ahead 2 step blanching method

green-veg-cook-recipeHere is my secret tip for tasty make ahead vibrant green veggies. It’s called blanching – where the veggies are placed briefly into boiling water then removed and plunged into an ice bath that stops the cooking. Blanching is a terrific preparation method to partially cook veggies making them a bit softer and removing any strong taste without compromising nutrition. You can serve blanched veggies directly or keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use blanched veggies as salad boosters or reheat for a quick dinner side dish. It’s also a terrific pot luck dinner contribution where you prep ahead at home, store in fridge and upon arrival at the host’s home you only need to reheat briefly for a healthy and tasty side dish.

  1. Boil a large pot of water (you can add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the water for flavour boost). Prepare your ice water bath and a dish with a tea towel to dry the veggies. (see pictures top row)
  2. Wash and clean you green veggies.
  3. Drop a small batch of veggies into boiling water for 2 min (3 min max. if you must). Repeat steps below until all your veggies are blanched.
  4. Take out veggies from boiling water using long handle tongs or slotted spoon & toss them into ice water bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking.
  5. Remove cooled veggies from ice bath, shake out water and place them on clean tea towel to dry.
  6. Place all your blanched veggies in a covered container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  7. Enjoy cold in salads or reheat on stove top in a pan with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Top with toasted almonds for a tasty and nutritious side dish.

Bon appétit

Be Good to Your Gut

gut-health-n4nn-2016-jpgJoin us at the Microbiota Summit on Nov 7th!
RD Lucia Weiler teams up with Chef Eric Deletroz to dish out healthy advice, one bite at a time!

Two out of three Canadians experience digestive health problems every year.  For some people it’s just uncomfortable for a while, but for others it’s a chronic, painful or even life threatening condition. Researchers are looking at ways to keep your gut healthy and are discovering the significant impact of microorganisms that call your gut home.

Did know your body is home to trillions of microorganisms? The human gut in fact has its own microorganism colonies made up of mainly bacteria that are living and working in your body to help keep you healthy. Gut microorganisms are an exciting leading area of research and we are seeing the emergence of a movement on how gut microorganisms impact lifelong health.

On Monday Nov 7th, 2017, the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation (CDHF) is hosting a special education summit on gut health in Toronto for professionals and consumers. Registered Dietitian Lucia Weiler will be teaming up with Chef Eric Deletroz at the event to showcase healthy eating and cooking tips to improve your gut health. Our session will help you discover what to eat for digestive health & how to feed the microorganism world within you. Join us to learn more!

To register for the Microbiota Summit:

  1. Health Care Professional Session: Discover the World Within – Understanding how the Human Microbiota Impacts lifelong health.12:30-5:30 pm in Toronto. Design Exchange, Toronto, Ontario.http://cdhf.ca/en/events/microbiota-summit-for-health-care-professionals
  2.  Consumer directed education session “Healthy Gut Summit’ is also available to help Canadians attain – and maintain — a happy, healthy gut. The session is FREE, but registration is required.http://cdhf.ca/en/events/healthy-gut-summit  Mon. Nov 7. 2016 | 7 – 9pm | Design Exchange Centre | Toronto, Ontario