Breakfast Parfait

A great way to start your day is with a parfait. It’s sweet, fulfilling, has protein and fibre! This recipe makes extra granola so you can use it in other recipes. Make it into a trail mix by adding dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins, figs etc). Or sprinkle it on cereal, oatmeal, smoothie, or salad. 

Tip:  Make the granola ahead of time, so all that’s left is assembling. Or assemble it all in advance, cover it, and store in the fridge for up to a day.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups oats (old fashioned/large flake/steel-cut/rolled)
  • ⅔ cup nuts of your choice, chopped
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp (¼ cup) 100% maple syrup
  • 2-3 tbsp canola oil
  • Optional: ½ cup pumpkin/sunflower seeds
  • Optional: 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups (1L) plain low fat yogurt (2% or less)
  • 3 cups fresh berries or peach (fruit of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Then mix in maple syrup and canola oil, making sure to coat everything evenly. 
  3. Spread mixture flat on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes (or until golden brown), stirring half-way through the baking time. Let it cool. 
  4. Layer ¼ cup granola with ¾ cup yogurt. Sprinkle a bit more granola overtop, and top with fresh berries. 
  5. Serve cold, or cover and keep in the fridge until morning. 

Nutritional information (per 1 cup parfait):
348cal / 17g protein / 40g carbohydrate including 7g fibre / 12g healthy fat

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Whole Wheat Pita Chips & Hummus

The classic combo, hummus and pita. Hummus can be quite expensive to buy in stores, but quite inexpensive when prepared at home. Try this easy-to-make, flavourful, and creamy hummus alongside some crunchy whole wheat pita chips. Save the extra hummus to use as a spread on sandwiches (instead of mayonnaise), or as a dip with carrots, cucumber, broccoli, or your favourite veggie. This dip is plant-based, and contains healthy fats, fibre, and iron; nutrients that are important for heart health, gut health, and for carrying oxygen in our blood.

Ingredients

Hummus:

  • 1 (19oz/540ml) can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed), or 1 cups dried chickpeas, boiled
  • ~3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup of tahini
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅔ tsp black pepper
  • ⅓ tsp cumin powder
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Optional: Garnish with 1 tsp sesame seeds, ¼ tsp sumac, & fresh parsley

Pita Chips:

  • 1 whole wheat pita bread (large & thin), cut into 8 slices
  • Cooking spray or 1 tsp canola oil

Equipment: Food processor

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, spices and water. Process for 1 minute, or until smooth. 
  2. Add oil and process again for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and garnish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.
  4. Transfer pita slices onto the sheet and coat each side with cooking spray or canola oil. Bake for 10 minutes (flipping sides halfway) or until crispy and golden brown. Serve with hummus once cool.

Nutrition Information: 
Hummus (per ¼ cup): 176 cal / 6g protein / 19g carbohydrate / 4g fibre / 10g healthy fats
Pita Chip (per 4 chips): 131 cal / 5g protein / 24g carbohydrate / 4g fibre / 3g healthy fats

Roasted Chickpeas

Here’s a healthy and crunchy snack you can take to work or school. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s high in protein, fibre, and contains complex carbs – elements of a fulfilling snack that can sustain and keep you energized. It also can help you reach your daily nutrient needs of iron (to help carry oxygen in your blood), potassium (to keep your nerves and muscles healthy) and folate (to make red blood cells, keep heart healthy, and lower certain birth defect risks). Try it out!

Ingredients

  • 2 (19oz/540ml) cans of cooked chickpeas (drained & rinsed) or 2 cups dried chickpeas, boiled
  • 3 tbsp canola/corn/vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tbsp spice of your choice (ex. chili powder, cajun, pepper, etc).

Tip: If chickpeas are not completely dry, spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, to remove excess water. (This makes them crispy).

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Season chickpeas with spice and oil. Combine well.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, giving the sheet a shake every 10 minutes to evenly cook chickpeas. Serve once cool.

⚠ Always remember to increase fibre intake slowly and to have more water when you have more fibre to avoid discomfort! Talk to a dietitian to find out if you are having enough.

Nutrition Information (per ¼ cup serving):
150kcal / 6g protein / 17g carbohydrate / 4g fibre / 7g healthy fat

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Cashew Chicken Curry

To all the curry lovers out there (like me :P), you have to try this cashew chicken curry! It’s simple to make, only requiring 3 spices (chili powder, garam masala and black pepper), uses healthy fats, and lean poultry. Enjoy it with whole wheat chapati or brown rice along with your choice of cooked vegetables like gobi (cooked cauliflower), okra or eggplant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 skinless chicken breast (1lbs), cubed
  • 1 cup low fat yogurt
  • ⅓ cup cashews (or almonds), soaked in warm water (or use 2 tbsp of cashew powder)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions on medium-high heat till soft.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste, and saute for 1 minute. Add chicken and sauté until its color starts changing to white (~2-3 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, blend yogurt, soaked nuts (or cashew powder) and black pepper. Set aside.
  4. Add chili powder and salt to the chicken. Mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add the yogurt-nut blend and mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Once chicken is tender, add garam masala and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Serve hot!

Nutrition Information (per serving):
218kcal / 26g protein / 9.5g carbohydrate / 9g healthy fat

Photo credit: Twosleevers

Bran Muffins

Makes 12

Need help getting enough fibre? Try these fibrous and easy to make bran muffins! (No electric beater required!). Add it to your breakfast or grab it as a snack! The fibre will keep you full and help keep you regular! Wheat bran not only contains B vitamins, minerals and some protein, but also has soluble fibre – which forms a gel in your gut trapping some cholesterol and removing it 🤯! So why not try these yummy muffins that can improve gut health along with your heart health ❤!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (87g) wheat bran
  • 1 ⅓ cups (165g) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (68g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ground (optional)
  • 1 ⅓ cup (330 ml) 2% milk
  • ⅓ cup (75 ml) canola oil
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine wheat bran, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set it aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, combine milk, egg and oil with a whisk. Add dry ingredients and stir only until combined.
  4. Scoop batter evenly into twelve muffin pan cups greased with cooking spray or lined with paper muffin liners. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until a fork/toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm.

⚠ Always remember to increase fibre intake slowly and to have more water when you have more fibre to avoid discomfort! Talk to a dietitian to find out if you are having enough.

Nutrition Information (per muffin):
161kcal / 4g protein / 23g carbohydrate / 3.5g fibre / 7g healthy fat

Photo Credit: AllBran

Honey Garlic Salmon

When I come home from a long day and want to make something quick, yet healthy, fresh and tasty – I make honey garlic salmon! With ingredients that can be found in our fridge and cupboards, and a short cooking time, dinner will be ready in minutes! High in protein, healthy omega fats, and a good source of vitamin D!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp (10ml) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) low sodium soy sauce 
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp (10ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tsp (10ml) canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 4 salmon fillets (4-5 oz or 150g each) 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Season salmon fillets with a mixture of honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, pepper, paprika and thyme. Let fillets marinate for 15 minutes in the fridge, covered.  
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, and saute garlic for 1 minute. Add salmon fillets, along with the marinade into the pan. Cook each side for 4 minutes, while periodically basting the top of the fillets with the marinade. 
  3. Place fillets in a baking sheet,and  broil the salmon in the oven for another 5-6 minutes or until cooked.
  4. Serve with sliced lemons, and drizzle with any extra marinade.

*Tip*  Great with a side of steamed greens and a whole grain such as bulgur, quinoa or wild rice. 

Nutrition Information (per serving):

256kcal / 25g protein / 3.8g carbohydrate / 12g healthy fat

Photo Credit: Cafe Delites

Mexican Veggie Burgers

Every now and then on cold days such as these (when the snow is at full blast and I can’t walk to the corner store without risking frostbite) I like to prepare meals that remind me of warmer and happier times. One such meal is the wonderful Mexican veggie burger 😌. My mum would always prepare these for us as kids during the summer holidays and I have fond memories of fighting my siblings to the death for the last patty. Ah! Such fun 😅. Whip some up today and maybe double the recipe so no one gets hurt!

Ingredients:

  • ½ can (10 oz/280 mL) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ can (10 oz/280 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup (125 mL) breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 mL) onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) paprika
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) water
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
  • Low sodium salsa

Instructions:

  1. Mash lentils and chickpeas in a large bowl using a small-holed masher or fork.
  2. One by one, slowly add in most of the other ingredients (breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, paprika, red chilli powder, water). Mix after adding each one to make sure the mixture is incorporated well.
  3. Add cheese and start to form the mixture into patties. Aim for burgers that will be about 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) thick.  
  4. Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat and cook burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with salsa over hamburgers buns and enjoy! 

Nutritional Information (per serving):

248 kcal / 14g protein / 30g carbs / 14g healthy fats

Photo Credit: Cindy Kurman, Kurman Photography

Spicy Red Lentil & Spinach Soup

The cold weather is here and it’s here to stay, so what better way to warm yourself up than with a hearty soup! This red lentil and spinach soup is not only tasty but healthy with loads of nutrients such as iron, fibre, folate, protein, vitamin A and more. Fibre from the spinach, and protein from the lentils will keep you full, while the spices will give you a burst of flavour in your mouth! Super easy to make as well! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric 
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped (or ½ tsp ginger paste)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped (or ½ tsp garlic paste) 
  • 2 cups (60g) fresh or frozen spinach 
  • 1 cup ( 200g) red lentils, rinsed 
  • 2 cups (500ml) water or vegetable broth (adjust for thickness)

Follow 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Place diced onion, frozen or fresh spinach and lentils into a large pot. 
  2. Add water or vegetable broth. Then add all the spices, along with ginger and garlic. 
  3. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until cooked. For a pressure cooker, cook for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Information (per serving):

126kcal / 9g protein / 22g carbohydrate / 0g fat 

Photo Credit: iFoodreal

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This colourful mouth watering dish is a great way for you (and your kids!) to get some vegetables, protein, iron, vitamin A, & C! This recipe will give you all three macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) in one. It’s super easy and the gorgeous colours match the fall season!

You will need:

  • 6 bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ¾ – 1lb lean ground beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn (unsalted)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (unsalted)
  • 5 cups of water 
  • 1 cup low fat (<18% M.F.) low sodium mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  1. in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of canola oil on medium-high heat and sauté the onions  until softened.
  2. Add minced garlic or garlic paste, and sauté for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the ground beef and mix together. Season with salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, slice the top of the peppers off and remove the inner membranes and seeds. 
  5. In a separate pot, boil water and place the cut peppers inside for 3-4 mins until they’re a bit soft. (This cuts down baking time in the oven). Drain well and place upright in baking dish. 
  6. Once meat is cooked, add the tomato sauce and corn. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes until reduced. 
  7. Now stuff each pepper with the filling, and top it with mozzarella cheese. 
  8. Bake at 350°F in the oven for 15-20 minutes!

*Want a vegetarian version? Use TVP (soy protein) instead of beef, or black beans and quinoa!*

Nutrition Information (per serving):

250 kcal / 20g protein / 21g carbohydrate / 7g fat

Photo Credit: Cooking Classy