Hug in a Mug

This ‘tea’ is made using all the whole spices in your cupboard and is such a fantastic way to finish a meal.

Serves 2-4

5 black peppercorns

3 allspice berries

1 tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp cardamom seeds

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

3 whole cloves

Chamomile flowers (or a chamomile tea bag)

Combine all in a French press or use an infuser and steep in boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain, pour and enjoy!

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Tofu Jerky

Jerky is a method of preserving a protein food, so it doesn’t need refrigeration, and has been used for centuries around the world with all types of meat. This tofu jerky uses plant-based protein and more modern-day appliances like the oven (or a dehydrator) as opposed to wind-drying or smoking, but still makes for something easy and delicious to pack for the trail.

Serves 3

1 package extra firm tofu

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp black pepper

½ tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Cut tofu into ¼ inch strips. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish then add tofu and cover evenly. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator overnight. Drain marinade then place tofu in a food dehydrator or a low oven (150 F) until just slightly pliable, approximately 4-8 hours. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Vegetable Stock 101

Making your own stock adds so much richness and depth to a soup and is a great way to minimize waste and cook ‘nose-to-tail’ whether you eat animals or not. The key is to keep a container or bag in the freezer and add the parts of plants we normally compost like celery leaves and carrot ends. For those consuming animal proteins, buy whole chickens rather than pieces and save the bones after cooking, then reduce the amount of vegetables in the recipe below and add the bones with the water.

Once you’ve made the stock, fill it with your favourite soup ingredients, like fresh spring vegetables, cooked legumes and whole grains.

Makes about 2 Litres

1 Tbsp olive oil

4- 6 cups vegetable ends or peels from celery, carrot, leeks, scallions, garlic, fennel, chard, lettuce, potatoes, parsnips, green beans, squash, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and asparagus, corn cobs, winter squash, beet greens, and herbs like parsley and cilantro (*be mindful of onion skins and beet peels as they will colour the stock and cruciferous veg like cauliflower, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and turnip that are too strong)

OR use 1 chopped onion and any of the above vegetables

12 cups water

2 bay leaves

2 tsp salt

Optional ingredients: using a reusable tea-style infuser, fill with spices like allspice, coriander seed, peppercorns and perhaps star anise if you’re going to make pho.

In a large pot, heat oil on medium low heat. Add vegetables and stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes until softening and golden. Add bones if using. Top with water, generously covering all of the vegetables (and bones). Add the bay leaves, salt and other spices. Turn up heat to bring to a boil then lower to simmer for at least an hour. Drain solids. Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Shamrock Smoothie

Save the trip this year and make your own Shamrock Smoothie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. All the gorgeous green colour comes from vegetables rather than artificial food colouring, which is not recommended to be consumed regularly. Instead get colour on your plate by eating a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables every day and every meal.

Serves 2

1 avocado

2 cups spinach or kale

1 cup cucumber

¼ cup fresh mint or parsley

2 tablespoons spirulina (optional)

1 pear or 1 cup mango (or other light-coloured fruit—berries are wonderful, but they turn it brown)

1.5 cups plain kefir or yogurt (or fortified soy beverage)

¼ cup hemp hearts

1 cup water or OJ (if just using water, one tablespoon of maple syrup is sometimes needed to taste)

1 cup ice 

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one day.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Lentil Dahl

Dahl is a staple dish in Indian cuisine and is eaten at most meals, providing a great source of protein, fibre, iron and of course fantastic flavour! It can be a meal unto itself served with brown rice (or whole grain chapati) and vegetables or can be added as an accompaniment to other proteins like grilled chicken with a curried yogurt marinade.

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 cup lentils or mung beans
4 cups water
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tomato, chopped (or 1 small can diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine lentils and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and add ginger and turmeric (this could also be done in a slow-cooker all day). Simmer with a lid slightly ajar for 1 hour or until lentils are soft and dal has reached desired consistency (some people like it soupier than others).  Add the salt.

 

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Kid-Made Quesadilla

Quesadillas are a great recipe to start children making, as early as 7 or 8 years old, and they work well for lunch, snacks or dinner. Using black or refried beans adds a dose of plant-based protein, iron and fibre which will keep kids satisfied longer. They can be made on the stove top or in the microwave with adult supervision (remember to teach them not to use metal in the microwave!).

Serves 2

2 large whole grain tortillas (or 4 corn tortillas)

½ cup grated or crumbled cheese

½ cup black or refried beans

Salsa, guacamole or hot sauce as desired

In a large skillet (or on a large microwave-safe plate), place 1 tortilla. Cover with the cheese then sprinkle the beans evenly over top. If using refried beans, they can be spread on the other tortilla. Place the second tortilla on top of the cheese and beans. Turn stove on to medium low and heat quesadilla for approximately 5 minutes on one side then carefully flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes. If microwaving, cook on high for 2 minutes or until cheese is fully melted. Be careful removing the hot plate from the microwave or the quesadilla from the skillet. Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the quesadilla into 8 even pieces. Enjoy with salsa and guacamole or your other favourite vegetables!

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Socca

This is a traditional Southern France street food. It’s a delicious gluten-free bread alternative, almost more a pancake, and pairs well with soup or stew.

Yield: 4 servings

1 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper, ground
4-6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450F. Put a well-seasoned or non-stick or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl. Add salt and pepper, then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to
eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in the onion and rosemary.
Pour 2 tbsp oil into the heated pan and swirl to coat evenly. Pour in batter and bake for 12-15 minutes or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of pancake with 1-2 tbsp oil if it looks dry. Set pan a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, until slightly browned. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Feel the Beet!

It’s Valentine’s Day and you want to show your love without focusing on candy and chocolates. What’s the answer? Beet it! One of the most colourful vegetables in the world, the pink hue of beets can bring the Valentine’s spirit to any meal. Here are a few ideas to try:

Breakfast:

  • Pretty in Pink Smoothie: add one or two peeled beets to a smoothie made with raspberries or strawberries and yogurt, kefir or milk. Hemp hearts can add extra protein, fibre and healthy fats.
  • Pink Pancakes: peel and grate a beet and add to the batter of your favourite whole grain or potato pancakes.

Lunch: 

  • Love Soup: make borscht, a traditional Russian beet soup. Add other veggies like potato and carrot to mellow the flavour for those new to beets and consider pureeing it for a smooth texture. Serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh dill.
  • Beet Hummus: add roasted beets to your favourite hummus recipe (or save time and use store-bought). Serve with veggies for dipping and whole grain pita or crackers.

Dinner: 

  • Valentine’s Mash: add a peeled, chopped beet to your potatoes as you cook them and watch the magic of them turning pink! Serve with beautifully pink wild salmon and pickled red onions.
  • Beet Bowls: add grated beet to your favourite grain bowl, along with other cooked and/or raw veggies and plant-based protein like smoked or baked tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts or seeds.

Dessert:

  • Okay, maybe we do need a little sweet treat on Valentines! Healthify it with whole grains and beets in mini Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes. Colour the cream cheese frosting with beet juice made by grating and squeezing beets rather than artificial food colouring.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Peanut Butter Bites

Abandon the feelings of guilt most of us experience when we have a treat! If we consume them in moderation and fill our plates with foods recommended by Canada’s Food Guide most of the time, then they are absolutely part of a healthy diet.

These easy treats can be made in minutes with only a microwave and refrigerator. They definitely hit the spot when you’re craving something sweet but some of the added nutrients like fibre and healthy fats help to balance the sugar, making them healthier than your average dessert.

Makes 12 bites

Ingredients:

1 cup natural peanut butter

1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

1 cup granola (or a mixture of toasted nuts, seeds and oats)

Instructions:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, slowly melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter. If the peanut butter wasn’t refrigerated, you can just use it from room temperature. When microwaving chocolate, the trick is to go slow and stir often to prevent it burning. You can also do this in a double-boiler on the stove.
  2. Once the chocolate and peanut butter are soft enough, stir together until smooth then add the granola and mix well.
  3. Lay out a sheet of parchment or wax paper on a tray or container that can fit in your refrigerator. Take large spoonfuls of the mixture and dollop onto the papered tray, pressing them slightly to make sure there aren’t holes. Refrigerate until hardened, approximately 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Recipe by Max Crowley (age 7) and his mom, Nicole Fetterly, RD

Med Spread

Eating like they do in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea has been shown to have positive effects on chronic disease risk and mental health. The Mediterranean diet is founded in a daily abundance of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, olive oil and unrefined grains. They also add seafood, poultry, cheese and yogurt a few times per week but limit sweets and meat to occasional consumption. Celebrate the Mediterranean way of eating with your family by filling the table with an assortment of traditional dishes:

  • Hummus—easy to make at home from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic and lemon (or pick up a locally made one). Also consider trying another dip like Baba Ghanoush, made from roasted eggplant.
  • Feta or goat cheese—experiment with cheeses made from goat or sheep’s milk for variety and flavour.
  • Olives—choose an assortment of different sizes and colours.
  • Veggies—roasted, pureed into dips, tossed in a salad or try mushrooms sautéed in garlic and white wine. Be sure to include 3 or 4 different vegetables.
  • Olive oil—as a dip for bread, drizzled on veggies or legumes—the greener the better for loads of antioxidants called polyphenols.
  • Grain salad—try our recipe for Warm Walnut Barley salad or experiment with other whole grains like farro or millet.
  • Whole grain pita bread—although a refined grain product, many kinds have very few ingredients.
  • Fruit—figs, grapes and dates are nature’s candy and pair well with cheese—enjoy dessert while you’re eating dinner!

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD