Morning Pumpkin Smoothies

Morning Pumpkin Smoothies

For the early morning commute days, I am in no mood to eat a full breakfast. Early mornings do not seem to agree with my stomach, but smoothies seem to work for me because I can take my time drinking the smoothing on my drive into work. I switch from fruit to pumpkin smoothies around this time of year, as I’m typically getting into the fall theme mode. Whether you have smoothies for breakfast or a snack later in the day, you will enjoy this flavour if your taste buds love pumpkin:

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Pumpkin Dream Bites

Pumpkin Dream Bites

It’s that time of year for pumpkin spice and everything nice. I am obsessed with using pumpkin in both cooking and baking and welcome this time of year just for that reason, even though I am sad to say goodbye to beach days. My first pumpkin themed dessert for this fall are my pumpkin cookies. I’m not even sure if these should classify as cookies, because they always turn out so fluffy - almost a cross between cookie and muffin.

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'Feeling Peachy' Muffins

'Feeling Peachy' Muffins

Summer is soon nearing the end (sadly), but this time of year also means that it’s peach season. Peach season is probably my second favourite time to be baking next to the fall because I enjoy peach everything - pies, muffins, scones, peaches with ice cream or yogurt, you name it. I had a batch of peaches that were about to spoil and made these delicious, and not too sweet, peach muffins.

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Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs

My mom makes amazing ribs and I always look forward to eating them, particularly on summer days lounging on the patio. However, I have always been intimidated at the thought of making ribs myself, because they seemed to take so much time and effort. Then the Instant Pot came into my life and my rib cooking confidence has increased dramatically :D Check out the recipe below for a delicious and easy rib recipe.

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Winter comfort foods: Warm & Hearty Chili

Winter comfort foods: Warm & Hearty Chili

While we are getting blasted with winter and dreaming of warmer days, we can at least enjoy the comforts of hot, delicious meals that hit the spot. Chili is a great meal to make during the winter, particularly because it’s so versatile. You can make chili with meat or keep it plant-based, while adding in whatever veggies, beans and/or legumes you enjoy. Making chili is also a great opportunity to clean out the fridge with foods that are soon on their way out. 

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Easy Jam Recipe in 1, 2, 3!

Easy Jam Recipe in 1, 2, 3!

Did you know there’s a super easy way to make homemade jam without all the fuss of canning? Yes, you read correctly! All you need are 3 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time.

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Plum Wheat Germ Muffins with Streusel Topping

Plum Wheat Germ Muffins with Streusel Topping

Fall has officially arrived and I am excited for all the comfort cooking and baking associated with the season. Summer was really busy all the way into September, but I finally had a weekend to relax and catch up on errands. Errands that included baking, of course. Usually I’m in the mood for pumpkin at the first hint of fall, but instead, I felt like making something with plums. And so, Saturday morning I made my way to the Farmer’s Market and picked up a bunch and rushed back home to bake.

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Peach Pie with Sour Cream Pastry

Peach Pie with Sour Cream Pastry

It's that time of year when local peaches are in abundance and are the perfect treat to enjoy on their own (so refreshing!), as a snack (e.g., topping on yogurt), or in baked goods (e.g., pies, scones, muffins). For me, it's not really the end of summer until you have baked a peach pie (or two or a few....). 

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Mango Lassi Homemade Popsicles

Mango Lassi Homemade Popsicles

Who else craves ice cream all summer long? I most certainly do but know I shouldn’t be having it daily. So, I enjoy taking my favourite sweet treats and making them healthier. This mango lassi popsicle is as delicious as it is nutritious. They are loaded with vitamin C, fibre and protein.

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Celebrating summer

Celebrating summer

It’s officially summer, and that means two things in southwestern Ontario: local strawberries and asparagus! I’ve been eating a whole lot of both over the past couple of weeks.

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Sweet and Spicy Crispy Tofu

Sweet and Spicy Crispy Tofu

If you haven’t tried tofu and don’t know where to start, start with this recipe (see below)! I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love it, it’s super easy to make and incredibly tasty. 

Before you get cooking, here are 3 fun facts about tofu that you might not have known about:

  1. It is an amazing source of plant based protein and other nutrients. In about 1/4 of a typical tofu package you are getting 15 grams of protein, little saturated fat, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, calcium and iron! 

  2. It easily takes on the flavours you cook with. Think of tofu as a sponge, cook it with some of your favourite herbs, spices, and sauces and voila a delicious and nutritious meal coming your way.

  3. Soy contains phytoestrogens known as isoflavones, which have a similar structure to the female hormone estrogen. For this reason, increased soy and tofu consumption is encouraged in women’s diets as they enter menopause.

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Pork Lettuce Wraps

Pork Lettuce Wraps

Winter is finally over! The warm weather puts me in the mood for lighter foods and my craving for salads, wraps, and BBQ is starting to intensifying. I decided to make these Asian lettuce wraps (recipe adapted from Yum & Yummer chicken wraps) to kick off the first of many delicious meals that will be enjoyed this summer.

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Vegetarian comfort food

Vegetarian comfort food

In keeping with my previous post on vegetarian slow cooker meals, I've opted to share another meatless meal with you. Cutting down on your meat intake is good for the environment and your body, but can sometimes feel daunting - especially when you're sick of salad and craving a warm, comforting meal.

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Don't Go Blaming the Carbs!

Don't Go Blaming the Carbs!

As a dietitian I often hear questions such as, "I shouldn't eat too many carbs right?" or "eating low carbs will help me lose weight?" I mean of course low carb intakes can help you lose weight, but it isn't necessarily the most ideal way or maintainable way to lose weight. Often times carbs are portrayed as the enemy and forbidden food. When people tell me about cravings, they are often carb related (I hear chips, cookies, muffins, crackers, etc.) However, there are many other carbs that don’t create cravings but actually support satiety and overall energy throughout the day.

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Our Top 4 Favourite Slow-Cooker Meals!

Our Top 4 Favourite Slow-Cooker Meals!

Although the weather in Southwestern Ontario has been downright balmy lately, I expect we’re in for at least one more snowfall – it’s too early to call it spring, right?! (I hope not.) Over the last couple of snowy months, my partner and I have been getting a ton of use out of our slow cooker.

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5 Ways to Love Your Heart

5 Ways to Love Your Heart

February is heart month! This month is dedicated to bringing attention to the importance of cardiovascular health and we can do to decrease our risk for heart disease.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is disease of the heart, arteries, and veins. Heart disease can be present at birth (e.g., congenital heart disease), or it can develop later in life (e.g., heart attack, stroke). Heart disease affects 2.4 million Canadians adults and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.

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Perfectly Roasted Chickpeas

Perfectly Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are a great plant-based option to include in your diet and they are so versatile (e.g., throw on salad or in a wrap, serve as an appetizer or snack, use as croutons in soup, or add as a topper on hummus). You can also play with many flavour combinations to suit your own taste - sweet (e.g., honey & cinnamon), salty (e.g., simple salt & pepper) or savoury (e.g., paprika, cayenne). Chickpeas are also a great option because of their nutritional benefits.

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5 Shortcuts to Eating Healthy Weeknight Meals

As people who work in the nutrition field, it’s often expected that we are the perfect models for healthy eating. While we try our best, the struggle is real for us as well! Yes, we are more invested in food and nutrition and have the education to back up our dietary choices; however, juggling all of our responsibilities can make it hard to stay on track. Although we consider our eating habits to be generally healthy, there is always room for improvement. We also make sure not to beat ourselves up for when we fall off track. We eat on the run, buy take out or consume processed foods, and sometimes, we are not in the mood to cook and our kitchens are not perfectly organized. 

Here are our top 5 shortcuts to eating healthy when the calendar is packed: 

1. Keep your kitchen stocked with the basics

This way you can whip up meals in a pinch. We like to keep our cupboard and freezers stocked with items such as canned goods (e.g., veggie/chicken stock, canned tomatoes/sauce, tuna, beans), spices and garlic, dry goods (e.g., pasta, lentils), frozen foods (e.g., shrimp, chicken breasts, vegetables), and fridge staples (e.g., milk, eggs). When buying canned goods, be mindful of the sodium. Look for items with less than 15% daily value of sodium on the nutrition label. 

2. Don’t make things complicated in the kitchen.

The key is to use simple ingredients, particularly during the week. Skip the recipes that call for a long list of ingredients or preparation steps. If you feel like being adventurous, save it for the weekend when you have time to deal with complication. Even the simplest recipes can be delicious, so don’t feel like you need to sacrifice flavour by keeping it simple. Remember, bagged salads are just as good as cutting up your own veggies, and those grocery store rotisserie chickens are much faster than roasting your own (just remove the skin to cut out unneeded fat and salt!).  

3. Bigger is better. Batch cook.

Our favourite appliances in the kitchen are the slow cooker and the soup pot! You can make large meals that will give you leftovers for days or freeze to pull out on those week nights when you really don’t have any time to cook dinner or prepare lunch.  Choose foods that work well as leftovers (e.g., a roasted whole chicken provides various options for leftovers and the bones can be used to make chicken stock). 

Take advantage of the few minutes you are usually on Instagram in the evening before getting ready for bed. Instead of scrolling over the pictures you've already seen, take 10 minutes to prep a recipe in your slow cooker for the next day. There is seriously nothing better than walking into the house at night to the smell of dinner. Your future self will thank you. 

4. Who says eggs can only be eaten at breakfast?

There are no hard or fast rules about what you can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We are huge fans of eating breakfast for dinner! It’s an easy meal to make and delicious. Eggs are one of the few foods we would deem as a 'super food'- one egg has 6g of protein for only 70 calories! Not only do eggs provide 14 essential nutrients such as vitamins D, E, A and folate, iron and zinc, one egg also contains 50% of your daily vitamin B12 which helps protect against heart disease. Whip up some eggs and grab out a bag of those frozen veggies to add as a side. 

5. Don’t feel guilty about buying ready-made food or ready-to-eat vegetables.

No one is going to judge you because you don’t make hummus from scratch or you bought a pre-made pie shell for your chicken pot pie recipe. Look for vegetables that take minimal prep, such as grape tomatoes (throw it on a salad), pre-washed salad (skip the rinse and spin), pre-sliced mushrooms (no chopping required). Alternatively, you can also buy veggies for the week and pre-chop everything at once so all you need to do is throw it in a salad or in a container to add into your lunch pack.

Our busy lives don’t need to get in way of making healthier choices, but we also need to make sure that we don’t beat ourselves up when we go off track. We hope these tips help your weeknight meal prep feel a little less overwhelming. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

xo M & K

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Ten Tips for Hosting a Stress-free Dinner Party

Ten Tips for Hosting a Stress-free Dinner Party

This year, I’m hosting my family for Christmas. Luckily, there will only be seven of us rather than the whole extended family, so it’s a pretty low-pressure way to start. However, I can’t help but feel a little anxious anyway! So, in the interest of helping myself and others, I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for hosting a dinner party. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments!

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Eat Mindful this Holiday Season

Eat Mindful this Holiday Season

The holiday season has begun! There is so much that we love about the festive season, particularly all the opportunities to get together with family and friends. Typically, these gatherings are centered around food, which can make overindulging quite easy when your calendar is packed with holiday parties. The holidays are a special time for many people because of the traditions that revolve around food and good company. Therefore, we suggest that you allow yourself little indulgences during the holidays, while also being mindful throughout the season.

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