Overnight Wholegrain Berry French Toast

By Nicole Fetterly, RD MSc

This decadent breakfast is packed with goodness! Whole grains and berries provide a satisfying, fibre- rich start to the day, as well as loads of protein from the eggs, milk and yogurt. Plus it’s a cinch to prepare! The amount of sugar is very low for a brunch item like this—some may feel a little extra syrup is warranted. It’s also a great way to use up stale bread and minimize the food waste produced in our kitchens. Children can easily be involved in all steps of the recipe, with supervision using the oven and stovetop, as necessary.

Serves 4-5


6 slices wholegrain bread or baguette (preferably stale—even the ends!)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup or sugar

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen berries

  1. The day before, thaw fruit if frozen. Cut bread into bite-size pieces. If bread is very fresh, dry out in the oven on the warm setting for a few minutes.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×9 inch deep casserole dish. Layer the bread in the bottom. If the berries are large (e.g. strawberries), cut into smaller pieces then layer on top of the bread.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. To make the sauce (this can be done the day before and refrigerate, or the next morning while baking the French toast): in a small pot, combine the cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Bring to a light boil. Add the remaining 1 cup of berries. Simmer gently for approximately 15 minutes, until the berries start to break down and the sauce becomes thick. Remove from heat to cool and refrigerate or serve immediately.
  5. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350F. Cover the casserole dish. Place covered casserole in oven and bake for 30 minutes then remove the cover and bake another 30 minutes, until fully set and lightly browned on top.
  6. Serve with warm sauce, extra syrup or a dollop of plain yogurt as desired. Enjoy!

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)

Spring Smoothie Bowl

As the days get warmer, you might start to crave cooler foods. A vibrant smoothie bowl can brighten your day and give you a boost of energy before heading outside to enjoy the spring weather. Smoothie bowls are a fun twist to your regular smoothies —it’s meant to be eaten with a spoon! It is also a great way to get in extra fruit and vegetables into your day. 

Serves 2

Smoothie Bowl

½ – 1 cup milk (or fortified soy beverage)

2 cups frozen mixed berries (for a more tropical flavour, use frozen mango and/or frozen pineapple)

2 frozen sliced ripe bananas

1 cup spinach 

Optional Toppings:

You can add any combination of toppings to your preference. Here are some ideas: shredded coconut flakes, granola, fresh or frozen fruit, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend. Scrape down the sides as needed and continue to blend until smooth and thick. You can add some more milk until desired consistency is reached. Scoop into bowls and add your favorite toppings. Serve immediately or keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Recipe by Joy Wong (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

Mushroom Dumplings (Jiaozi)

Gung Hay Fat Choy! A common tradition to celebrate the Lunar New Year is to gather as a family to make dumplings. This version is a healthier and more sustainable alternative to some traditional varieties as the dumplings are steamed, not fried, and filled with veggies in place of meat. The mushrooms provide just as much great flavour and texture! Whether a long-standing tradition or a new experience, making an “assembly line” kind of dish that benefits from extra hands, is a great way to share cooking together.

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive or other vegetable oil

1 lb (450 g) assorted fresh mushrooms, diced 

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

2 cups Chinese or Napa cabbage, finely shredded 

2 green onions, diced 

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced 

2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce 

2 tsp sesame oil 

1 egg, beaten 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

48 wonton wrappers (12-ounce package) 

Cooking spray 

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms and leave them be for 5 minutes or until they release their juices. Add ginger and garlic and sauté another 3-5 minutes until most water is evaporated, then stir in the cabbage and remove from heat. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the cooked mushroom and cabbage with the green onions, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg and pepper. Mix well.

Arrange 6 wonton wrappers at a time on a flat surface (don’t lay them all out or they will dry out). Place approximately 1 tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto each wonton wrapper. Using water-moistened fingers, moisten the edges of wrapper and fold over, forming triangles. Roll up edges slightly to seal in filling. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Coat a bamboo or metal steamer with cooking spray and arrange dumplings on top. Steam, covered, for 15 minutes, until cooked through. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a non-stick frying pan that has a lid—put a very small amount of oil in the pan on medium low heat, add the dumplings then 1-2 Tbsp of water, then cover and steam. Serve warm with dipping sauce made with reduced-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, honey and chili if desired.

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