Cauliflower Pizza Crust

We’ve long been pizza fanatics in our family-my husband has some Italian heritage after all! He’s known for his thin crust delicacies cooked on a hot steel in our oven, a classic Neapolitan-style. Well, we are embarking on a new path as a family with our daughter being diagnosed with celiac disease and now having to avoid gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, and of course usually in pizza. We have discovered that gluten-free crusts vary dramatically in their taste and texture and we’ve finally found a winner by using cauliflower alongside gluten-free flour. The cauliflower gives a light, fluffy, white crust that most whole grain or gluten free flours cannot. Not to mention, it slips in an extra serving or two of veggies and most people would never even guess the base ingredient once it’s covered in sauce and cheese!


Serves 4

1 head cauliflower, stem removed
½ cup gluten-free, whole grain, nut or bean flour
2 eggs
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese, divided in halves
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided in halves
Sauce of choice (e.g. tomato, pesto, olive oil)
Toppings of choice (e.g. mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts, olives)

Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Tear cauliflower into florets then process in a food processor into a rice-like consistency. Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes in a basket steamer lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Allow to cool then gather cheesecloth tightly around cauliflower and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Place in a mixing bowl with flour, eggs, salt, pepper and ½ cup each of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Combine well.
Spread cauliflower mixture in the centre of pan and spread with a rubber spatula into a large circle or rectangle to a thickness of ~1/2 inch. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and golden. Remove from oven and place sauce, toppings of choice and remaining cheeses. Return to oven and bake for ~10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to slicing and serving for best results.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD MSc

Campfire Burritos

Camping is such a fun activity, especially in warmer weather, and is a great time for families to enjoy the outdoors together. Many traditional camping menus can leave us feeling sluggish, bloated and dehydrated. Rather than relying on those foods exclusively, opt for meals based on Canada’s Food Guide, including whole grain foods, protein foods, especially from plant sources, and vegetables and fruit. You can still have fun cooking them over the fire and you will feel great after eating them. They also come together easily if you form an assembly line, and then everyone can choose their own fillings!

Serves 4

4-8 wholegrain tortillas (depending on size & appetite)

1-2 cans refried beans (or try homemade!)

1-2 cups finely shredded cabbage

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup shredded cheese

1 cup salsa (or chopped tomatoes)

Optional additions: raw or cooked veggies (e.g. bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots), pickled jalapenos, cooked chicken, hot sauce

Rip off enough sheets of aluminum foil for the number of burritos and lay them out on a table or counter. Top each with a tortilla. Spread refried beans evenly over each tortilla then divide cabbage, rice, cheese and salsa, if using, and layer on top of the beans. Add any optional additions. Roll up by folding in the 2 ends, then tucking the top of the tortilla in and folding the bottom over the top. Do the same with the foil around the burrito. Use a black marker to put names on the foil if burritos are customized.

Bake for 15-20 minutes over the coals of a campfire or in a skillet, turning regularly with tongs, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy but not charred. Serve with guacamole and/or coleslaw if desired. They also keep well for lunches the next day—simply store in the cooler sealed in a zip-top bag to prevent sogginess.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD MSc



Turkey Lentil Meatloaf

You may have heard, from Canada’s Food Guide or other health or climate recommendations, about the need for all of us to consume more plant-based protein foods like legumes, nuts and seeds instead of animal proteins. But these plant-based protein foods may be new to many of us and a big change to our family meals. As a way to achieve the goal without shaking things up too much, consider easing in with swapping half your ground meat for plant-based protein foods like legumes, nuts or seeds. This meatloaf lacks nothing in flavour but adds so much more fibre and other essential nutrients that traditional meatloaf may lack and no one will even guess that it’s packed with plant-based protein.

Serves 4

1 cup red lentils

350 g lean, ground turkey breast

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup rolled oats

¼ cup parsley, diced

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 egg, beaten

1 can tomato paste, halved

1 Tbsp soy sauce

½ tsp ground black pepper

In a medium-sized pot, cook lentils in 4 cups of water until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. Drain well. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a loaf pan. Combine all ingredients, including cooked lentils, in a large mixing bowl, reserving half the tomato paste. Mix very well using clean hands or a wooden spoon then press the mixture into the loaf pan. Spread the remaining tomato paste over the top of the loaf. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes then remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 74C. Remove from oven, cover and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with roasted veggies and a side salad. Leftovers are delicious as a sandwich filling!!


By Nicole Fetterly, RD MSc

Lentil Kebabs

Did you know that every March we celebrate nutrition month in Canada? This year the theme is “good for you”. It highlights that many factors, such as culture and food traditions, impact how healthy eating looks different for everyone. These lentil kebabs are a fun plant-based twist to traditional kebabs that are enjoyed in many cultures across the world. Serve them with your favorite vegetables, a brown rice pilaf, and yogurt garlic dip for a deliciously balanced meal! 

Serves 15 kebabs 


3/4 cup raw green lentils

1/2 cup breadcrumbs 

1/2 medium onion, diced 

1/2 lemon 

2 tbsp ground flaxseeds

2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp garlic paste or 1/4 tsp garlic powder) 

2 tsp ground cumin 

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala 

1/2 inch ginger root, minced (or 1 tsp ginger paste or 1/8 tsp ginger powder)

1/2 tsp salt 

3 cups & 4 tbsp water

2 ½ tbsp vegetable oil 


Rinse lentils in water and remove any stones if necessary. Add rinsed lentils to a medium pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the lentils to simmer until tender but not mushy (approximately 20 mins) 

While the lentils are cooking, add a tsp of oil and the chopped onions to a pan on medium heat. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are translucent.

Make a “flax egg” (this provides the binding capacity like an egg with a boost of omega 3’s) by adding the ground flax seeds and 4 tbsp of water to a bowl. Stir them together gently and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until it becomes thick. 

When the lentils are done cooking, strain and rinse them once more with water. 

Add the strained lentils to a large mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs, sautéed onions, the thickened flax and water mixture, ginger, garlic, and spices. Mash everything together well with your hands or a spoon. 

Roll the mixture into 1–2-inch logs or patties with damp hands. Gently squish the kebabs together if needed to keep them secure. 

Fry the kebabs on the stove top with 1-2 tbsps of oil until the outer edges are crispy. Alternatively, brush the uncooked kebabs with a bit of oil, skewer them, and grill them or bake them in the oven. 

Allow the kebabs to cool and harden. Drizzle lemon juice from ½ a lemon evenly on the cooked kebabs.

Serve with a yogurt garlic dip and other sides as desired! 

Recipe by Sophia Jhajj (5th year UBC Dietetics student)

It’s Chili Day!

When we are feeling the chilly weather, what can be more warming and comforting than a bowl of hot chili? That’s why the 4th Thursday of February is deemed National Chili Day and this year, celebrate with making your first chili or trying a new variety! If beans are somewhat new to your family, experiment with the many different types like black, white, kidney, soy and garbanzo. Another idea to ease into beans is to puree the beans in the blender or food processor with some water, before adding to the chili, so they get a bit lost in the mix (or use a can of reduced sodium refried beans for convenience).

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil 

1 onion, diced 

1 Tbsp ground cumin 

1 Tbsp chili powder 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 can (796mL) diced tomatoes 

3 cups sliced mushrooms 

2 large carrots, grated 

1/2 cup quinoa, optional (provides a meaty texture)

1 can (398 mL) black beans, drained (pureed if desired)

1 can (398 mL) pinto beans, drained (pureed if desired)

½ tsp salt 

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion, spices and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and carrot and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add quinoa if using and cook 10 more minutes then add the beans and salt. Cook for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour to let flavours develop, adding a little water if it gets too thick. Adjust seasonings.

Serve warm with toppings like chopped avocado, cilantro, fresh lime juice, grated cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt, hot sauce and some corn chips.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Chickpea & Potato Curry (Chana Aloo)

Curries, a Westernized name for a variety of Indian stews, can be so comforting and nourishing and they are a cinch to put together and vary to your taste or what needs to get used up, once you know the basic formula for making a masala (the flavour base). Prioritize plant-based meals using legumes, nuts or seeds, like this one, a few times a week for optimal health. Serve with brown rice or whole grain chapati (flatbread) and a side of veggies.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced (optional)

1 Tbsp cumin 

2 tsp ground coriander (or 2 Tbsp garam masala in lieu of cumin and coriander)

2 tsp turmeric

1 can (798 mL) diced tomatoes

2-3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped (or substitute sweet potatoes)

1 can (798 mL) chickpeas, drained (or 3 cups cooked)

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp cayenne (optional)

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil on medium low. Add onion, garlic and ginger if using, and sauté for 5 minutes until softening. Add cumin, coriander (or garam masala) and turmeric and sauté another 3-5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until oil glistens slightly and all is combined with the masala (the flavour base for many Indian dishes; spices can vary).

Next add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. You may need to turn the heat down a bit lower to a gentle simmer. Adjust seasonings if desired. Serve garnished with cilantro.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Warm Winter Salad

In the colder weather, we do not often feel like eating cold foods like salad. If that’s a common way your family eats vegetables, it could mean their intake gets reduced in the winter, not to mention the lack of local and seasonal vegetable options in our climate. Instead try a warm salad, which still gives you all the nutritional benefit, but feels more hearty and comforting. The vegetables included in this dish can be varied according to what you have or your family prefers, as long as they roast well. Adding crumbled blue or goat cheese really puts this dish over the top and turns it into a main meal; alternately serve with baked tofu or chicken.

Serves 4

3 large carrots, chopped in large pieces 

2 sweet potatoes, chopped in large pieces

2 beets, peeled & chopped in large pieces

2 bell peppers, seeded & chopped in large pieces

½ lb mushrooms, halved

Other veggie options (all peeled & chopped): squash, nugget or other potatoes, rutabaga, green beans, Brussel sprouts, fennel, onion

1 + 2 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt and pepper

2 tsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar

1 tsp mustard

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

½ tsp salt and pepper

1 bunch kale, stemmed (or spinach)

1 cup seeds (e.g. hemp hearts, pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place all veggies on a large baking tray, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, make salad dressing with remaining oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Shake well to combine. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces and massage for 2 minutes to make it more tender. Lay out on a platter. Top with roasted veggies then drizzle with salad dressing and sprinkle with seed mixture.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

A Twist on Traditional Turkey Dinner

Want to try some new things for Thanksgiving dinner this year? They might even stick around as new traditions. Turkey ‘with all the fixings’ can be a healthy dinner, with a few tweaks to classic recipes, and still maintain all the flavour and festiveness you love. And the best part is feeling good for a splurge on dessert!

Serves 4

Turkey breast (2-4 lbs, the higher amount being if it’s bone-in)

1 cup unsweetened apple cider

6 Tbsp olive oil

2 carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 onion, chopped

2 sprigs rosemary

2 leaves sage

1 Tbsp flour

1 loaf whole grain bread (the more stale the better—you could even use all your bread ends from the freezer), cut into 1 inch cubes and dried in a low oven for 30 minutes

1 tsp each dried thyme, sage, parsley

Optional additions: 1 beaten egg, 1 apple, cored & diced; ½ cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts; ½ cup water chestnuts

2 L chicken stock

1 lb russet potatoes

1 lb sweet potatoes (the orange ones!)

1 bulb garlic

Salt and pepper

1-2 lbs of your favourites (e.g. green beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, rutabaga, fennel)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place turkey breast in a roasting pan and coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery (all chopped) and rosemary and sage around the turkey breast. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. At the same time, wrap the bulb of garlic in aluminum foil and bake in oven for 40 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, heat the apple cider in a small pot on the stove. Simmer for 15 minutes or until it is reduced by half. Whisk in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Use this to baste the turkey regularly after the initial 30 minutes. Continue cooking the turkey for 30-60 minutes, longer depending on the size and if it’s on the bone. Verify it’s done by a thermometer reading of 74C internal temperature.

To make the stuffing, grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the bread and remaining chopped onion, carrot and celery. Add the dried thyme, sage and parsley as well as 1 cup of stock and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add optional ingredients if using (a beaten egg gives a more creamy texture) and a small amount more stock if it seems dry and not holding together. Mix well then spread in the baking dish. Cover with foil then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Prepare both types of potatoes by peeling and chopping them. Place in a large pot filled with water then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add 1 tsp salt and cook until tender. Drain water. Return to very low heat and add 1 cup of stock and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Remove roasted garlic from oven, discard foil and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peel. Mash until very smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables by chopping and spreading on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the types of veggies, until tender.

Finally, when the turkey is done, place it on a cutting board and tent it with foil to rest for 10 minutes while making the gravy. Remove the vegetables and herbs and heat the roasting pan on the stovetop on medium low heat. When the oil in the pan starts to bubble lightly, sprinkle in the flour and stir well, smoothing out any lumps. After 1 or 2 minutes, add up to 2 cups of stock gradually, stirring continually. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper then transfer into a gravy boat. Slice the turkey and serve all immediately. Happy Holidays!

Serve with this tangy No Sugar Cranberry Sauce if desired for a gorgeous pop of colour on the plate!

By Nicole Fetterly, RD



Salmon Chowder

SOBO restaurant in Tofino is on my top 5 list of favourite restaurants and we’ve eaten many a meal there, gracefully welcomed despite camping attire and a gaggle of children. As much as I always want to try something new, I also have to have a bowl Chef Lisa’s chowder—the best I’ve ever eaten. I was sold on her cookbook as soon as I saw the recipe included and it is true to its origin. Although I love making it her way, it is a little rich for regularity and for my kids’ tastes. This is my homage in a version you could eat once a week and make a little faster. The smoked salmon really adds wonderful flavour but it’s delicious even without it.

Serves 6-8 (So you get lunch leftovers!)

3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

2 large onions, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 lbs potatoes, chopped

1.5 litres stock or water

2 bay leaves

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

2 tsp thyme

200 g smoked salmon (optional)

2 cups whole milk

1 lb boneless wild salmon

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-3 tsp salt, less if stock and/or smoked salmon used

1/2 bunch dill, chopped

In a large pot, heat 3 Tbsp oil on medium low, then add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 to 15 minutes until softened. Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté another 3 minutes, stirring continually. Add potatoes, stock, bay leaves and oregano. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are very tender. Add the smoked salmon, if using, and the milk and hold at a low heat. Meanwhile heat a large, preferably cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil then the salmon, skin side down. Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until the flesh lifts easily off the skin. Cut gently into bite-sized pieces then add to the soup. Heat gently another 10 minutes, being careful not to bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning then serve garnished with heaps of fresh dill and hot sauce if desired. Consider whole grain cornbread and a side salad to accompany the soup.


By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Duck Ragu

By Nicole Fetterly, RD

Although not as commonly eaten as chicken here in North America, duck is a very healthy protein to choose. Although the skin is known to be very fatty, overall duck has a better fat profile than many other animal foods, with high levels of unsaturated fats, including omega 6. Removing the skin before eating is a great way to keep your overall fat intake, especially saturated fat, within recommended limits. This recipe is incredibly delicious and can be made well in advance to simmer slowly on the stove top on an autumn afternoon.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 duck legs and 2 duck breasts, washed and dried

1 tsp salt

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

1 can (796 mL) tomatoes

½ cup red wine

1 can (125 mL) tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a roasting pan lightly with olive oil then place duck parts skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then flip once and continue roasting approximately 10 more minutes until an internal temperature of 74C is reached. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium low. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and rosemary and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red wine and tomato paste.

Once the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin (this can be chopped finely and mixed in with cat or dog food in small amounts as a special treat) and bones. The fat in the pan can also be saved to cook potatoes in, just keep it refrigerated. Shred the meat then add to the ragu. Simmer on low for one to four hours then serve over noodles with a side of green beans or salad.