Whole Grain Zucchini Muffins

It’s the time of summer where local zucchini is dominating gardens, markets and grocery stores. Besides making zoodles, stuffed or grilled zucchini or dehydrating into chips, zucchini is a great addition to baking as it provides so much moisture. Consider making a double-batch of these healthy, whole grain muffins to freeze some for easy snacks or breakfast on-the-go!

Makes 12 muffins

½ cup olive oil

½ cup maple syrup or honey

2 eggs

2/3 cup plain yogurt, kefir or buttermilk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1.5 cups zucchini, grated

2 cups whole grain flour

½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 375F and grease or line a regular 12 cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and maple syrup or honey. Add eggs and beat well. Add yogurt, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir in zucchini then the flour and nuts if using. Do not overmix. Divide evenly amongst the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Summer Pasta

What better way to celebrate fresh local tomatoes and basil than piling them onto pasta? Using the hot summer sun to gently warm the tomatoes, herbs and oil is such a fun thing for children to participate in! Just be sure to only leave it for an hour, keep it covered from critters and don’t make substitutions of higher-risk ingredients like mayonnaise or protein foods.

Serves 4

1 lb fresh local tomatoes, chopped roughly (look for heirloom or colours other than red)

1 bunch basil, torn into pieces

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 lb pasta (consider trying a higher-fibre pasta made from whole grains)

1.5 cups bocconcini or fresh mozzarella 

Place tomatoes, basil, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss gently. Cover and place in a sunny location for one hour only. Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain well. Add to tomato mixture along with the cheese and toss well, adding a little drizzle more oil or a sprinkle more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a side salad and be sure to eat it outside!

Curried Vegan Pate

Ayurvedic tradition classifies some foods as sattvic, meaning they are clean, pure and wholesome. This vegan pate is made from mushrooms, potato, nuts or seeds and Indian spices and although rich and delicious, it is also very nourishing. Serve it with whole or sprouted grain bread or crackers and thickly sliced cucumber, to replenish you after your yoga practice. Turmeric, the yellow spice in curry, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so try to consume it regularly.

Serves 4

1 potato (or sweet potato), peeled and chopped 

¼ cup olive oil

1 lb shitake and/or cremini mushrooms, torn into pieces

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion or leek, chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander 

½ tsp salt

1 cup cashews or sunflower seeds

2 Tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (e.g. basil, parsley, chives)

In a small pot, add potato and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until potato is fork-tender. Drain and cool. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add mushrooms in an even layer and cook, untouched, for approximately 10 minutes, until their water is released and starts evaporating. When mushrooms have just begun to turn golden, add garlic, onion, spices and salt. Cook 5-10 minutes until onion is golden and water from mushrooms all evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.

In a food processor or blender, grind nuts or seeds into a fine crumble. Add potato and mushroom mixture and fresh herbs. Pulse a few times until well-combined but still a bit chunky (you don’t want it to be a smooth paste). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Place into a serving or storage dish, cover and chill for 2 hours to allow flavours to develop. Serve or keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Agua Fresca

A cold drink on a hot day is so refreshing, but they can often be filled with added sugar. Agua Fresca is a beverage commonly consumed in Mexico and is as simple as blending fruit with water and lime juice. Although some recipes add sweetener, the type of fruit you choose can prevent the need for it. It’s also great to help your family acquire an enjoyment for less sweet drinks. Beautiful colour can be achieved with hibiscus leaves, used in Mexico to make Agua Jamaica, a bright, naturally pink, drink.

Serves 4

2 cups fruit (e.g. pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cucumber/mint)

2 cups water (may need much less with watermelon)

1 lime juiced

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately over ice.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Quinoa Breakfast Hash

It can be easy to get into a breakfast rut and rotate between two or three options exclusively. Here’s a new idea to shake things up and it works exceptionally well as a hot and hearty camping breakfast. Variations are endless, like being completely plant-based and substituting black beans and avocado for the cheese or swapping the veggies for your family favourites. Add a fried egg on top for added protein if desired.

Serves 4

1.5 cups quinoa, pre-washed (the package should say, otherwise rinse a few times and drain)

3 cups water

¼ tsp salt

1 small red onion, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried basil or oregano 

2 tsp soy sauce

2 cups shredded spinach

½ cup cubed or shredded cheese

Soak the quinoa in the water overnight in a medium-sized pot. In the morning, add the salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer until water is fully absorbed (~5 minutes). Meanwhile heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-low heat. Add oil then onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onion is softened. Add garlic and sauté quickly, approximately 1 minute, then add the cooked quinoa and herbs. Cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa starts to crisp and turn a bit golden on the edges. Add soy sauce and spinach. Stir frequently until water is evaporated from spinach. Stir in cheese and cook until just melting. Serve immediately.

Salmon Patties

Canned salmon (ideally with the bones) should be a staple in everyone’s pantry. The affordable, high-quality protein and essential omega 3 fatty acids make it an incredible food to consume a few times per week, especially to support positive mental health. And the bones provide a rich source of calcium. These patties are great with a side salad or zucchini noodles and a garlic yogurt sauce for dipping.

Serves 2

1 can wild salmon (preferably with bones)

1 egg, beaten

½ small onion (or 2 green onions), diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 tsp mustard

½ cup panko or other bread crumbs, quinoa flakes or rolled oats

2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients, except oil, in a bowl and stir well to combine. Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat then add oil. Scoop ½ cup of mixture and using hands form into a patty. Place in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Repeat with remaining salmon mixture. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Campfire Pizza

A hot meal around the campfire is such a treat after a day enjoying the outdoors, but it doesn’t have to be all about hotdogs. Get an assembly line going at the picnic table and these delicious, hearty and healthy pizzas can come together so quickly and it’s a great way to engage kids in the (camp) kitchen!

Serves 4

6-8 large wholegrain pitas

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup of your favourite tomato sauce and/or pesto

8 cups pizza veggies (e.g. sliced mushrooms, peppers, spinach, onion)

4 cups pizza cheese (e.g. mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, goat cheese)

6-8 sheets aluminum foil

Lay out the sheets of aluminum foil. Using a brush or clean fingers, cover both sides of the pita with olive oil then place on a sheet of foil. Top with 2 tablespoons of sauce, spreading it to the edges. Sprinkle half of the pita with your favourite veggies and top with cheese. Fold the other half over so all the filling is inside and wrap tightly in the foil. Cook over coals on the fire (or in a skillet on the stove) for approximately 15 minutes until the pita is crisped and the cheese is melted. 

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Miso Tahini Sauce

Rather than top salad or dip veggies in ranch dressing which provides few healthy nutrients, use salad dressing and dips as a way to make your meal healthier. Fermented miso paste is a great thing to keep in the fridge to add flavour (umami) to sauces, dressings and marinades, not to mention making miso soup! Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is rich in healthy fats, calcium, potassium and fibre. Just a tablespoon of each of these pastes adds an extra 6 grams of protein to your meal. 

 

Serves 4

¼ cup miso paste

¼ cup tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

Boiled warm water to thin

 

Combine equal parts miso and tahini pastes then add lemon juice and garlic. Thin with boiled, warm water to a drizzling consistency.

Drizzle on a buddha bowl, salad or use as a veggie dip or a salmon marinade.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Thai Salad

The flavours of this dressing are fantastic and make any veggies, protein and noodles or rice a sensation! It’s so good, consider making a double-batch for another salad next week or use half the dressing as a marinade for baked or grilled tofu, shrimp or chicken and roasted veggies like peppers and eggplant. 

Dressing
Yield: 3/4 cup

3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sambal oelek or hot sauce
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/pressed
1 lime, juiced

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks. Serve over rice or soba noodles and lots of veggies with a sprinkling of peanuts.

Salad

Serves 4

4 cups noodles (e.g. soba, rice) or brown rice, cooked per packaged directions
4 cups greens (e.g. bok choy, spinach, kale)
4 cups other raw veggies (e.g. tomatoes, scallions, carrot, bell peppers, cucumber)
2 cups cooked veggies (e.g. roasted eggplant, peppers, broccoli), marinated in dressing if desired
2 cups protein (e.g. baked or grilled tofu, chicken, shrimp, shelled edamame), marinated if desired
½ cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Layer the salad ingredients in or on each person’s bowl or plate and top with more dressing and chopped peanuts for garnish.

The Best Dessert!

Want a fresh, summery dessert you can feel good about putting on the table every day and even eat it alongside your meal? Well wait no longer, it is local fruit season!! Here’s a list of local fruit we grow in British Columbia and ways to dish it up in fun new ways. Of course, a platter of different coloured fruit arranged beautifully is always an easy option too and fun for kids to help prepare.

  • Strawberries—slice or quarter and serve with mint granita (shaved ice you can make in the food processor) or make a classic strawberry/spinach/pecan salad 
  • Watermelon—cube it and freeze for a refreshing dessert or snack or serve it as a salad with fresh basil and crumbled feta.
  • Peaches and plums—halve, remove pits and sprinkle with chopped nuts and seeds. Broil for 3 minutes then serve with Greek yogurt.
  • Cantaloupe or honeydew melon—pair well with savoury foods like cheese or prosciutto or can be pureed into a chilled soup. 
  • Raspberries—serve over an avocado chocolate mousse or by eat by the handful!
  • Grapes—great for kabobs with melon or cheese chunks or freeze to simply pop in your mouth or puree into a slushy.
  • Blueberries—make a healthier crumble with whole grain & nut topping and remember to stock up to freeze for smoothies all year round.
  • Nectarines—make a delicious salsa with fresh local tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime, salt and jalapeno to serve with tacos or whole grain bruschetta.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD