Quick and simple – two things that I look for in a recipe, especially a lunch recipe, and this one is my new fave. It lasts me for 4-5 meals and is a cinch to make. No roasting, sauteing, or processing needed, so it only takes about 15-20 minutes to whip up.
This hearty salad will last you through to your next snack or meal. It’s perfectly balanced with protein, carb and veggies. And better yet, the dressing is the perfect blend of spices and creaminess that will make you savour every bite.
Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 19 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 green onions, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup currants
Lemon-Tahini Dressing (modified from Simply Quinoa):
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Water as needed
- Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Allow it to cool once cooked.
- Combine all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (except water) into a small bowl. The dressing will be very think, so start adding small amounts of water 1 tsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Pour dressing over the salad and gently mix. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Anybody who knows me well knows that watermelon has always been my favourite fruit. I’ve been known to chow down nearly a whole watermelon in one sitting! When I tried this dish for the first time, I was so impressed that such contrasting ingredients could come together to create such a delicious taste. The sweetness of the watermelon, the saltiness of the feta, the refreshing mint and the flavourful balsamic seem like they were meant to be together. So if you have a salty-sweet tooth like me, you’ll love this salad!
Watermelon is rich in vitamins A and C and is a good source of potassium. It also contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Also found in tomatoes, lycopene promotes health and fights against disease.
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
- 1/2 large watermelon, cubed.
- 1 cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic reduction (see below for recipe)
- Gently toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately.
Notes: How to make balsamic reduction: Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat (watch constantly as it can burn easily). Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced to the consistency that you desire. Remove from pan and let cool. The vinegar will continue to thicken as it cools. Allow to chill to room temperature before using.
Roll your eyes and call me a dietitian, but these are my version of candy! Buttery cashews combined with plump and juicy medjool dates creates a caramel flavour that just can’t be beat! What’s better is the no added sugar, punch of fibre and pinch of protein. These bites will give you the energy you need in your day.
Best of all? They’re the perfect on-the-go snack. I’ve been taking them hiking this summer. If you whip up a big batch, store some in the freezer for another time. They will freeze for up to 3 months.
Check out my apricot energy bites, coconut cashew & cranberry energy bites, and peanut butter & honey oat balls for delicious variations of these salted caramel bites.
Salted Caramel Energy Bites
- 9 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 1/2 cups cashews, raw
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- sprinkle of coarse salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Place medjool dates (pitted), whole cashews and vanilla extract into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until ground into small pieces. Add coarse salt and pulse for a few more seconds. Be sure not to over pulse, as mixture will become too soft and will be difficult to roll into balls.
- Pour shredded coconut onto small plate. Roll mixture into balls using your hands, then roll into shredded coconut to coat them. Transfer to an airtight container. Enjoy at room temperature, chilled in the fridge, or place them the freezer for storage.
- Feel free to use any other nuts or seeds besides cashews
- Medjool dates are expensive and dried dates also work really well in this recipe.
This is what I eat for breakfast everyday, and I’m excited to share it with you! “Overnight oats” or “soaked oats“ are just oats soaked overnight that absorb the liquid you combine them with, so no cooking is required, which is nice in the summer months when you’re not feeling like a hot breakfast. This overnight oatmeal will start your day off right with a punch of fiber and protein, as well as omega 3 fats, calcium and vitamin D.
Make in individual mason jars for a perfect serving size and an easy grab-and-go breakfast straight from the fridge. Take it along to work or anywhere when you’re pressed for time.
Triple Berry Overnight Oatmeal
- 1/3 cup quick oats
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup skim milk (or milk of your choice) – more ore less depending on how you like the consistency
- 1/2 cup fresh berries
- 2 tsp ground flaxseeds, chia seeds or hemp hearts
- Add all ingredients to a mason jar or an airtight container. Mix until combined. Store in refrigerator overnight and enjoy cold in the morning.
Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot day? Well it’s July, and many hot days = A LOT of ice cream! In an attempt to lighten up my daily ice cream needs, I decided to put a twist on my simple two-ingredient Banana “Ice Cream” recipe by adding one of my favourite fruits: fresh cherries! Berries are also a fabulous addition to basic banana ice cream.
Cherry Banana “Ice Cream”
- 2 bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces and frozen
- 1 cup cherries, pits removed and frozen
1. Place frozen bananas and frozen cherries in a food processor. Press the button and let blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Optional: Garnish with coconut flakes, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, etc
Note: best eaten right away, but can also be put into an airtight container and frozen.
People have been buzzing about this cauliflower pizza crust for awhile now. So naturally, I just had to try it. I had my doubts that the ‘dough’ would even form a crust-like consistency, and it totally does! Freshly grated cauliflower serves as the base for the creative and delicious crust that acts just like traditional pizza.
The crust is simple, speedy to make, and uses few ingredients. This recipe will never replace my love for homemade whole wheat pizza crust, BUT if you’re short on time, this cauli-crust is the way to go. This crust also fits the needs of those who are eating gluten free.
Homemade pizza is also the perfect blank slate to add all of the toppings that you want! A few of my faves (besides the typical sauce, cheese and veg) are dollops of pesto sauce and roasted garlic cloves mashed on top, yum!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- 2 small cauliflower heads, grated (about 4-5 cups grated)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet (pizza pan or square baking sheet) with parchment paper.
- Grate the cauliflower and place in a large bowl. Microwave uncovered for 8-10 minutes (stirring half way through) or until soft. Remove from the microwave and let cool.
- Mix in the egg, both cheeses and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into the prepared pizza pan. Brush lightly with cooking oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
- Top the pizza with sauce and then toppings of your choice. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes.
I recently bought a new kitchen gadget that makes zucchini noodles, aka ‘zoodles.‘ What a cool and inexpensive contraption! And I love the ‘no cooking’ part. I put a Mediterranean twist on this recipe, but these zoodles are so versatile and can replace any pasta recipe. Pasta sauce, meat sauce, seafood sauce and alfredo sauce are all delicious.
Zoodles are a great way to get in more veg and fiber – Yes! Two things that us dietitians are always harping on people about =). Also, the large volume of vegetable in this meal will keep you feeling comfortably full and satisfied for hours, so don’t be afraid to fill your plate this time.
Mediterranean Pesto Zucchini Pasta
Makes: 2-4 servings (culinary spiral slicer required)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/3-1/2 cup pesto (store bought or homemade)
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Place whole tomatoes on a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes skin cracks and juices are running out.
- Using the culinary spiral slicer, make the zoodles. Place zoodles in a large bowl.
- Add pesto to the zoodles and toss with a fork until coated. Add the remaining ingredients and toss. Eat the pasta as is, with a fork and spoon, or cut the zoodles into smaller pieces using a knife and fork.
I’ve always loved roasted vegetables, however I had never imagined roasting parsnips or even oranges for that matter. Since trying this recipe for the first time, it has become an absolute staple!
The citrus adds a sweet, caramelized flavor, and you can even eat the rind, which is packed with vitamins! Consider buying organic oranges if you’re planning to eat the rind, in order to avoid pesticides.
Fennel is not a vegetable that has been a part of my repertoire, however, the flavour becomes much more subtle when it is roasted. Check out UpBeet Dietitian to learn about the health benefits of fennel as well as a delicious fennel salad recipe.
Orange Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 6 large carrots
- 4 large parsnips
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 large navel oranges
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- Coarse salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Peel or scrub the carrots and parsnips and halve lengthwise. If the parsnips are large, quarter them lengthwise, cut out the woody center, and, if necessary, continue to cut into thinner strips to match the size of the carrots.
- Cut the fennel into wedges.
- Slice the oranges, keeping the peel on or off according to preference. If using a large orange, halve or quarter the slices.
- Toss the carrots, parsnips, fennel, and oranges with the olive oil and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast, stirring half way through, until tender and browned, between 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, season to taste, and serve.
Turtle chocolates are a favourite of many during the holidays. Since December is a time for indulgence, I wanted to try a healthier version of this sweet treat. There are simply 3 ingredients: dates, pecans and chocolate. And unlike most homemade Christmas treats, you don’t even need to turn on the oven or use piles of dishes and utensils (like I always do :-)).
These little delights make great Christmas gifts!
Homemade Chocolate Turtles
Makes about 2 dozen
- 48 pecan halves
- 12 medjool dates
- 3/4 cups chocolate chips, melted (your choice or dark or milk)
- Cut dates in half lengthwise and remove pits. Shape each piece into a circle with your fingers. Place the date circles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, sticky side up (see photo above).
- Press 2 pecan halves into the center of the date circles (see photo above).
- Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a glass bowl in top of a saucepan with boiling water.
- Spoon ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate into the center of the pecans. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.
- Once the chocolate has hardened, flip the turtles over so that the pecans are on the bottom. Coat each turtle with a spoonful of melted chocolate. Repeat with remaining and let cool in freezer for 10 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
Are you snacker like me? Well, I’ve got just the thing for you! Contrary to popular belief, snacking is a healthy practice, as long as you’re choosing the right snacks. These roasted chickpeas are so simple, healthy and most importantly delicious! Once they are roasted, chickpeas become crunchy and flavourful, which makes them the perfect pop-in-your-mouth snack.
The high protein and high fibre benefits of chickpeas help to control hunger by keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Their high amount of soluble fibre helps to reduce cholesterol levels, and they also offer a good dose of both iron and folate.
Pack in airtight containers for work/school lunches or on-the-road snacks. You can also freeze them in an airtight container and re-roast for 5-10 minutes.
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp Camelina oil (or any oil of your choice)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Pour the rinsed and drained chickpeas onto a tea towel on the counter. Place another tea towel on top and gently roll around until the chickpeas are dry. Transfer the chickpeas to a dry cookie sheet.
- Combine the oil and spices in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chickpeas and stir around until chickpeas are coated. Be sure that the chickpeas are spread evenly on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Roast until golden and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl.