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

Chilled Avocado & Cucumber Soup

This chilled soup is a creamy and refreshing addition to a warm weather meal and a fun format for eating veggies. Top with grilled shrimp to make it the centerpiece and serve with corn chips for some crunch.

Serves 4

2 avocados, pitted & peeled 

1 large cucumber, peeled & seeded if not an English cucumber 

2 lemons or limes, zested & juiced 

1/2 bunch cilantro or mint, stemmed & chopped 

1-2 jalapenos, seeded & stemmed (optional)

1 cup cold water 

1/2 cup plain yogurt 

1.5 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp ground black pepper 

Cut one avocado and ½ of the cucumber into a small dice. Set aside. Place all remaining ingredients in blender and puree until very smooth. Transfer to serving bowl or pitcher then mix in the diced avocado and cucumber. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes until chilled. Serve cold, as an appetizer or side dish, or top with grilled shrimp for a main meal.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Shakshuka

Originally a North African dish, this is a recipe our Generation Health program assistant, Paneet, tried making for the first time during isolation. It’s great for a leisurely weekend breakfast or even a dinner, served with crusty bread and salad or steamed green beans. It can also be adapted to your taste by adding fresh or roasted red pepper or eggplant, different herbs like parsley or cilantro and even spice like hot chili flakes.

Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large (798 mL) can peeled tomatoes

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

8 eggs

½ cup feta, cubed or crumbled

1 bunch basil

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat oil on the stovetop over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 minute then add the tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often and breaking up larger chunks of tomato to form a thick sauce, approximately 15 minutes. Create 8 wells (small indents) in the sauce and gently crack one egg into each one. Place in oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until eggs are mostly set. Top with feta and bake another 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with torn basil leaves. Serve 2 eggs in sauce to each person, with toast or crusty bread and veggies like salad or steamed green beans.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD

Moroccan Grilled Veggie Skewers

Barbecue meals are so fun and flavourful and taste even better eaten outside! Try to base them around vegetables and healthier protein foods instead of red and processed meats for optimum health. These Moroccan veggie skewers are so easy and delicious and pair well with a chickpea salad and wholegrain couscous, or perhaps some grilled Moroccan chicken and tzatziki yogurt sauce.

Serves 4

8-10 large wooden (or metal) skewers

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 large lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 bunch parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1-inch pieces

20 small cremini (brown) mushrooms

2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch thick rings

1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30-60 minutes ahead of cooking. Meanwhile, combine all marinade ingredients and mix well. Place all prepared vegetables in a large bowl or dish and cover with the marinade. Let sit for 60 minutes or refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Thread the veggies evenly onto the skewers without packing them too tightly. Heat the grill to medium low and brush with oil to prevent sticking. Lay the skewers perpendicular to the grill grate and cook, turning frequently with tongs, until soft, approximately 15 minutes. Try to avoid flare ups that cause charring by keeping a bit of water nearby that can lightly douse the flame and also ensuring the skewers aren’t dripping a lot of marinade. Serve immediately or refrigerate leftovers to use in a salad or soup the next day.

Recipe by Nicole Fetterly, RD