The apple in these turkey meatballs might not be immediately visible, but it’s working behind the scenes to help bind them together and adds sweet flavour and juiciness. Chinese five-spice powder—a blend of star anise, ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon—lends lively flavour, alongside ginger and garlic. Packed full of protein, these meaty bites are a good source of vitamin D and iron and make for a tasty party appetizer. Meatball magic Handle with care A light touch is the key to a well-formed, juicy meatball. Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, spoon heaping tablespoons into individual meatballs and toss them back and forth between your hands a few times, very gently, to round them off. Avoid squeezing or compressing the meat. Make ahead You can form meatballs 4 hours in advance and refrigerate before cooking. Lay meatballs in a single layer on parchment in glass dish; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove meatballs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin to cook to allow them to come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook evenly. Blot any excess moisture before adding to the hot pan. Turning with this trick When browning meatballs, use a cookie scoop to nudge and turn the meatball. If it loses its round shape, use the scoop to gently re-form.
Fall root vegetables such as parsnips or celeriac make a delicious combination with the autumn season’s arguably biggest star—the apple. Choose a tart apple like Granny Smith or a sweet-tart apple like Pink Lady for this silky soup thickened up with a cashew cream to deliver not only a winning texture but a healthy dose of dietary fibre and some added protein. Tarragon is a supporting actor in this play, working nicely with the apples in a bright, tasty oil as garnish. Terrific with tarragon Bring this dish to the next level by making an elegant tarragon oil to drizzle over the soup. Place 1/3 cup (80 mL) tarragon leaves in fine sieve. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate sieve with ice water and set aside. Plunge sieve into pot of boiling water, drenching tarragon for about 30 seconds. Remove sieve and plunge it into the ice water and leave for a minute or so. Drain and transfer tarragon to clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water and place tarragon in food processor with 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil. Blend for about a minute and then strain oil through clean fine sieve into jar. Use at room temperature and refrigerate when not using.
This somewhat nontraditional curry emphasizes protein and ease of preparation. Taking the liberty of blending winter squash and peanut butter into the curry sauce lends it a nice sweetness and extra-creamy mouthfeel. It’s the perfect dish to reheat, as leftovers only get more flavourful. Serve with a pile of rice. Protein power : Though often overlooked, textured vegetable protein (TVP), which is simply defatted soy flour, is an excellent source of plant-based protein—about 25 g in each 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving. And TVP is certainly less costly than the new breed of engineered meatless meats on the market. Lentils remain one of the best nutritional bargains at the supermarket, full of protein, fibre, and a range of must-have nutrients. Easy does it For the curry sauce, you can also use frozen butternut squash, which requires no peeling and chopping, or canned pure pumpkin purée.
If you’re a fan of sardines and looking for a new way to incorporate them into your diet, these lemon-scented fishcakes are sure to satisfy. They’re tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. And for the timid, the strong “fishy” taste of canned sardines is subdued, especially when the patties are adorned with a vibrant tomato-red pepper sauce. You can store formed uncooked fishcakes in the fridge overnight. If needed, quick-cook oats can be used as a substitute for bread crumbs. Protein power : With up to 24 g of protein in a can, inexpensive sardines are a great way to get enough of this macronutrient for less cost. They’re also one of the few items at the supermarket that can be considered an excellent source of vitamin D. And if you use the fish canned with their softened bones, there’s a bonus of bone-benefitting calcium. A better catch At most grocers, you can reel in canned sardines (and other tinned fish) from brands that are better environmental stewards employing more sustainable fishing practices, such as greatly limiting bycatch.
For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, each slice of this veggie-studded egg casserole is super satisfying. Because it’s a make-ahead dish, it’s convenient when you have little time to spare to get a meal on the table. Chunks of crusty bread soak up some liquid to give the casserole a heartier texture. But try to give the precooked casserole some time in the fridge—the flavours will mingle together and the bread will have a chance to soak up some of the liquid. Not into bread? You can replace it with frozen diced hash brown potatoes. For the richest flavour, use half-and-half or whole milk. But you can also use lower-fat milk or unsweetened dairy-free milk if desired. Consider serving with your favourite salsa and/or avocado slices. Protein power: Yes, food inflation has also hit the egg carton, but the orbs are still good-value protein—each large egg supplies about 6 g of complete protein. Beans have been enjoyed by numerous cultures for centuries as an ultra-nutritious plant-based protein that fits into all budgets. Stale mate The crustier or staler the bread, the better. If your bread is fresh and/or flimsy, cut into cubes and bake on baking sheet in 300 F (150 C) oven for 10 minutes.
This fresh-tasting, creamy soup once again proves green is the colour of health. And it’s a plant-based soup that brings the protein. Serve it as a starter for a meal or as a light meal itself along with some toasted crusty bread. Protein power: With 13 g of protein in each cup (250 mL), frozen edamame is a great way to get more protein into your diet without breaking the bank. The immature green soybeans are also rich in fibre and a wide range of micronutrients, including folate and magnesium. A garnish of crunchy pumpkin seeds adds another layer of plant-based protein. Frozen asset For extra convenience, you can use frozen broccoli florets in soups like this. They are likely just as nutrient dense as the fresh option. The sub-zero florets can go straight from the freezer to the pan.
Whipped cottage cheese is exactly what it sounds like—a light, fluffy, smooth version of the curd-studded dairy. It’s a delicious base for crunchy peanut granola. Serving with berries makes the bowl of nutrition an even better way to start your day. Protein power: Cottage cheese has protein numbers on par with Greek yogurt but at a lower price point. Since peanuts are technically a legume, they supply higher amounts of protein than tree nuts such as almonds and are significantly less expensive. Low and slow Cooking granola at lower oven temperatures with frequent stirring helps keep oats and any nuts or seeds from burning. This gives you a toasty flavour instead of something that tastes like ash.
Are you ready for a sweet, healthy treat that will make your taste buds dance? Introducing our delicious salted date caramel sauce. Made with all-natural ingredients, this caramel sauce is perfect for drizzling over ice cream, dipping apple slices into, or adding a fun twist to your favourite treats. The best part? Dates are packed with fibre and nutrients that are great for growing kids. So, let’s get cooking and whip up a batch of this scrumptious caramel sauce! Fun fact Did you know that a date tree can produce upward of 10,000 dates in one harvest?
Looking for a fun and healthy treat to help you cool off on a hot day? These Shirley Temple ice pops are a perfect choice! Made with antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice and fresh, puréed oranges, these ice pops are not only delicious but also kid-friendly and packed with nutrients. Plus, with no added sugars or artificial flavours, you can feel good about giving them to your little ones. So, grab your ice pop moulds and get ready to enjoy this refreshing, fruity treat! Fruit, and nothing but the whole fruit Using whole fruits whenever possible, instead of juicing, keeps all the extra nutrients, including fibre, where it belongs—in your meal!
Looking for a fun and healthy twist on classic chicken nuggets? Try these delicious and nutritious chicken and mashed parsnip nuggets. Packed with protein and fibre, these nuggets are perfect for both kids and adults who want a tasty, familiar snack—with some healthy benefits. Plus, parsnips add a subtle sweetness that will please even the pickiest eaters. These nuggets will have your whole family begging for seconds! Nuggets of wisdom Freezing extra nuggets once cooked and cooled can save you tons of time at future mealtimes. Just pop them out of the freezer and reheat until hot all the way through.
Looking for a healthy alternative to traditional french fries? Look no further than jicama! These crispy and delicious “fries” are made from this crunchy root vegetable that’s low in calories and high in fibre. Add the irresistible “everything” seasoning blend made from sesame seeds, garlic, onion, poppy seeds, and a pinch of salt. With their satisfying crunch and subtle sweetness, jicama fries will become a family favourite. Everything bulk A lot of companies are coming out with their own brands of“everything but the bagel” seasoning, but it’s quite easy to make at home. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and a bit of salt, and you have an inexpensive seasoning that goes on, well, everything!
Sushi is a fast-growing favourite among kids today, but it isn’t always budget friendly. Surprisingly, it’s quite simple to make at home and easy to customize so there’s something for everyone. Adding beets to the sushi rice during the cooking process adds a fun natural pink colour that your kids will love. This is also a fun meal for getting your kiddos in the kitchen and involved in meal prep. This finger food is great for trips to the beach or a casual dinner on a busy night. It works perfectly in school lunches or as a great on-the-go snack. You can fill these sushi rolls with all your kids’ favourite vegetables and proteins. Don’t forget to make some for yourself! No mat? No problem! Don’t run out and buy a bamboo sushi mat if you don’t have one already; a sheet of parchment paper works equally well. Each serving contains: 399 calories; 10 g protein; 3 g total fat (0 g sat. fat); 82 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 75 mg sodium
Pasta with a simple sauce is likely a weekly, even daily, staple in most homes with little ones. This plant-based dish may not include meat, but protein is still high on the list. The puréed cannellini beans add a thick, creamy texture to the sauce, as well as protein. Paired with lentil pasta, this dish will provide flavour and your kids’ daily portion of protein. Sweet fact Did you know that adding a little sweetener to tomato dishes brings out the natural flavour of tomatoes?
Grilling is a great way to boost the flavour and sweetness of fruits; heat caramelizes the naturally occurring sugars. For this recipe, sun-kissed peaches are used; however, other fruits such as pineapple, mango, nectarine, or plums would work equally well. Paired with a refreshing minty pesto sauce, this speedy dessert is sure to be a hit at your next barbecue. Leftover love Any leftover mint pesto sauce makes an amazing fruit dip. Stir pesto together with yogurt of choice. No need for measurements; just mix together to taste and serve with an array of sliced summer fruit for dunking.
Sweet mango and zippy mint add an extra punch of flavour to this guacamole-inspired dip. Avocados, which are the backbone of guacamole, contain a good amount of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help boost metabolism and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Perfectly ripe When looking for a perfectly ripe avocado, choose one that has dark green or almost black skin. When squeezed, you should feel it yield to pressure. If you’re not planning to eat your avocado for a few days, try choosing one that is unripe (an unripe avocado will feel very firm) and leaving it at room temperature. Avocados are climacteric fruit, which means they will continue to ripen after harvesting. Avo-mazing fact A serving of half a medium avocado has more potassium than a medium banana.
This vibrant summer salad works equally great as a side dish or light lunch. It also travels well, should the urge to eat al fresco strike. Leftovers keep well refrigerated for a few days. Super sambal Sambal is an Indonesian condiment that is made up of fresh and dried ground spices and herbs. Just like chutney in India or salsa in Mexico, there are countless variations of sambals all across Indonesia. In North America, we typically find a sambal called sambal oelek on our grocery shelves. Meal in the making To make this salad more of a complete meal, add whatever protein you have on hand. Shredded roast chicken, sautéed prawns, or grilled tofu all make wonderful additions.
This soup makes good use of two ingredients that abound in the garden during summer: zucchini and mint. Marrying the two in this refreshing soup makes for a vibrant lunch or light dinner. Cooked zucchini is very high in vitamin A, which supports good vision and a healthy immune system. Garden greens galore If you don’t have zucchini on hand, this soup is equally excellent made with about 1 lb (450 g) mixed garden greens such as Swiss chard, spinach, or collards.
Who wouldn’t want to eat ice cream for breakfast? This cool and creamy concoction only feels like an indulgence. Packed with fibre from bananas, spinach, mint, and oats, this breakfast is sure to keep you feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime. Good mood food Raw cacao nibs contain several compounds that can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which are generally nicknamed the “feel-good hormones.”
Bright and vibrant, golden berries give this fruity salsa fresca a tart and tangy crunch that pairs well with mango. Serve with a salad of mixed greens, and these salsa and skewers are transformed into an eye-pleasing meal that is flavour filled and delicious! With the firm texture of golden berries in the salsa and marinated chicken, this is a perfect meal to prep the day ahead and enjoy! Ripe is best Golden berries are also known as Inca berries, Cape gooseberries, physalis, or Peruvian ground cherries. Although they flourish in a warm climate and grow well in a greenhouse, these papery-husked tart berries have found their way north and can adapt well outdoors. Golden berries are part of the nightshade family and contain solanine when unripe. Solanine is a toxic metabolite that can cause digestive upset. Be sure to eat golden berries only when they are fully ripe (or dried) and eat in moderation.
Each year, beginning in late spring until the fall, nature rewards us with an array of sweet and delicious berries in an assortment of beautiful hues of yellow, orange, red, blue, and black. Found on backyard bushes, at local farmers’ markets, or growing wild in nature (if you’re fortunate to find them), summer berries are bountiful, beautiful, and delicious, with flavour and sweetness that by far surpass their transported-in counterparts of winter months! More than just a pretty snack, berries are a nutrient powerhouse full of fibre, high in vitamins and minerals, and packed with antioxidants such as anthocyanins, resveratrol, and ellagic acid. With a sustainable and local abundance of delicious berries at our doorstep, how could these delectable gems not be a daily staple all summer long? Perfect as a snack or wonderful in sweet treats, many berries also pair effortlessly with salads and make a fantastic guest star in savoury main dishes. In these five recipes, discover new ways to incorporate these delectable nutritional dynamos in vibrant and tasty recipes, and enjoy reaping the health benefits.
So smooth, so rich, and so creamy, you’ll find it hard to believe it’s not dairy! Toasted hazelnuts and coconut are bound together by sweet dates, creating the perfect nutty and gluten-free base that’s then topped with a dreamy layer of tangy blackberry decadence. These bars are easy to make and store well in the freezer for up to a week. Enjoy at room temperature or frozen—they’re delicious either way! Mix it up This recipe is just as delicious with other in-season summer berries. Try substituting the berries and base layer nuts with the following combinations: raspberries with walnuts strawberries with almonds blueberries with walnuts