Strawberry Bruschetta

 

Strawberry bruschetta appetizers on a wooden cutting board

Strawberry Bruschetta

Baguette slices are layered with creamy ricotta cheese, strawberries, fresh mint and a drizzle of honey. A delicious snack or appetizer for entertaining.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack

Ingredients
  

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp honey, plus extra for drizzle
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (about 6 strawberries)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves

Instructions
 

  • Slice baguette into 18-24pieces. (Optional: Toast the baguette slices.)
  • In a small bowl, combine honey with ricotta cheese. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture on each slice of baguette.
  • Top with diced strawberries.
  •  Garnish with mint leaves and a drizzle of honey.
Keyword appetizer, baguette, bruschetta, finger food, fresh strawberries, no cook meals, picnic food, ricotta cheese, strawberries, strawberry, Strawberry Bruschetta, summer appetizers, summer recipes

Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

 

A plate of spinach salad drizzled with poppyseed dressing.

Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

Greek yogurt is the secret ingredient in this sweet and tangy homemade poppyseed dressing! You can swap out the sliced strawberries for peaches, nectarines, apples or pears.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Salad

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (about 6 strawberries)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions
 

  • Toss spinach, strawberries and red onion in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle walnuts and feta cheese over the salad.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Pour the poppyseed dressing over salad just before serving.
Keyword homemade poppyseed dressing, poppyseed dressing, Salad, spinach salad

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad

 

Bean, corn and avocado salad in a large white platter

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad

Take one can of black beans and dress it up with corn, tomatoes, and creamy avocado. The lime juice vinaigrette and cilantro give this vibrant salad a fantastic fresh flavour.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 1 can (19oz/540mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen thawed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped Add more cilantro if you like!

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Gently toss salad ingredients ina large serving bowl.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the bean salad and toss to coat.
Keyword avocado, avocado salad, bean salad, Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad, black beans, corn, lime, quinoa and beet salad, summer salad

Webinar Replay – Food and Nutrition Trends

a glass of orange juice beside a white mug and a plate of fresh fruit

Join Sue Mah and Jo-Ann McArthur President at Nourish Food Marketing, as they reveal the top 6 food and nutrition trends that are driving consumers’ food decisions.

* Discover how the last year has changed consumers’ relationship to health, food and beverage
* Take away tips / tools that are relevant to you, your clients and your business

Watch the recording here!

Webinar Replay – Nutrition Myth-busting!

Webinar title Nutrition Myth-busting written on a small blackboard, surrounded by images of fruit, a headshot of Lucia and Sue, and the logos for Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists, Royal Fair and Florida Department of Citrus.

Do you love food? We sure do! But there are so many nutrition myths out there.

Get the facts on food and beverage in this fun, interactive presentation. Join award-winning dietitians Lucia Weiler and Sue Mah as they share the science of nutrition, offer credible advice for healthy living, and answer your burning questions. Sponsored by Florida Department of Citrus. Hosted by The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience – Summer 2021.

To view the recording, login (or create a free login), go to the Auditorium tab, and then click on the June 16th to find the webinar recording.

Summertime Eating Tips – from a Dietitian who LOVES dessert!

Collage of fresh summer produce including peaches, lettuce, cherries and red peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helloooo Summer!

Who’s ready to fire up the BBQ and enjoy all the glorious seasonal produce? As an award-winning dietitian and daughter of a chef, I’m first in line for delicious, wholesome food – and yes, that includes dessert!

Here are my 4 tips for guilt-free summertime eating, with inspiring recipe ideas from my friends Nik and Carol over at Weekend at the Cottage!

1. Colour it up!

Think of fruits and veggies as Mother Nature’s superheroes – not only are they rich in vitamins and minerals, but they’re also filled with different disease-fighting plant-nutrients also called ‘phyto-nutrients’.

Tomatoes and watermelon for example, are packed with lycopene – it’s what gives these foods a red pigment. Lycopene may help lower your risk for heart disease and prostate cancer. Orange coloured produce such as carrots, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots contain carotenoids like beta-carotene to support your vision and reduces your risk for heart disease and some types of cancer.

Love blueberries? Me too! They contain a special plant nutrient called anthocyanins that are linked to healthy aging and brain health. And what about spinach, kale and Swiss chard? Well, all those leafy greens are packed with lutein, a special antioxidant that lowers your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Dietitian Sue’s tip: At every meal, fill half your plate or bowl with colourful fruits and veggies. Salads are an easy way to get in those colours. Try this Tomato Avocado Salad or Chopped Kale Salad.

 2. Pick your protein

What’s calling your name? Burgers, ribs, poultry, tofu, shrimp?

Pick a protein at every meal. Protein helps you feel alert and full for longer. As part of a meal, protein also slows down the digestion of carbohydrates. This gives you a slow, steady rise in blood sugar levels which is beneficial for anyone with prediabetes or diabetes.

Dietitian Sue’s Tip: Choose lean proteins more often. One of my family faves are Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs and you could swap out the chicken for pork or cubes of firm tofu. For a smart protein choice that’s packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fats, aim for two fish meals a week – like Nik’s Grilled Salmon Burgers and Barbecued Salmon.

3. Find the fibre

We need 25-38 grams of fibre a day. But guess what? Most of us are only getting half that amount. Soluble fibre, found in strawberries, oatmeal and apples play a role in keeping our blood cholesterol levels healthy. Insoluble fibre, found in beans, bran and broccoli, help to keep us regular.

Dietitian Sue’s Tip: If you’re filling half your plate or bowl with fruit and veggies, then you’re already off to a great start! Try Granola or a high fibre breakfast cereal that contains at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. Check out my TV interview ‘Simple Ways to Boost Your Fibre’ for easy ways to pump up the fibre in a day’s worth of meals.

4. Make room for dessert

 I love dessert…as in, I eat dessert every night! For me, it’s really the best part of the meal! Sometimes, dessert is a bowl of fresh fruit salad or a few slices of ice cold watermelon. And sometimes, it’s Peach Cobbler or French vanilla ice cream on a waffle cone or a slice of gluten-free Chickpea Chocolate Cake. Whatever you choose for dessert, dig in and enjoy!

Dietitian Sue’s Tip: Let go of the ‘good food’ versus ‘bad food’ thinking. Give yourself permission to enjoy all foods in moderation without any guilt. Food is joy, and eating together with family / friends is always a celebration!

What recipes are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments. Happy summer, everyone!

 

Strawberry Cobbler Cake

 

Strawberry cobbler cake in a glass baking dish, arranged beside a white teapot

Strawberry Cobbler Cake

A delicious cobbler-style cake which can be made with either fresh or frozen strawberries. The strawberries are scattered over the batter and topped with an oat crumble. Serve on its own or with a small scoop of ice cream.
Course Dessert
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

For the batter

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour, divided (all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or combination of both)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup flour or oats (for a "true" cobbler, you can use flour; I substituted oats for extra fibre and crunch)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Instructions
 

For the batter

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl. cream together the softened butter and sugar.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together half of the flour, baking powder, salt. Stir in yogurt. Add remaining flour and stir in milk to form a wet batter. Pour batter into the greased pan.
  • Arrange the strawberries in a flat layer over the batter.

For the topping

  • In a small bowl, whisk together oats and brown sugar.
  • Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 forks. The topping will look crumbly.
  • Sprinkle the topping on top of the strawberries. It doesn't have to be completely even.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using frozen strawberries, you may need to increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
Keyword dessert recipe, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries, strawberries, strawberry cake, strawberry cobbler, strawberry cobbler cake

Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs

 

Chicken skewers and salad on a white plate, with a green napkin beside it

Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs

You'll love how fast and easy this recipe is. Allow the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes to bring out the delicious flavour!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • wooden or metal skewers

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken pieces in a large bowl. Add spices, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well, cover and marinade in fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Soak wooden skewers (if using) for 30 minutes. Thread chicken pieces onto skewers, leaving some space between chicken pieces.
  • Broil or BBQ chicken skewers for 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F. Flip skewers halfway through cooking.
  • Serve with your favourite salad!
Keyword Chicken kebabs, Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs, Mediterranean recipe

What to Eat Before & After the COVID-19 Vaccine

Medical professional wearing blue gloves and about to give a needle to a patient in the armAre you ready to get your jab? You don’t need a special diet before getting your COVID-19 vaccine. But there are a few extra food considerations at this time. Here’s what you can do to get ready and manage potential side effects.

BEFORE getting the COVID vaccine:

  • Take your regular medications as usual. Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Have a snack or light meal depending on the time of your vaccine. The goal is to avoid going for your vaccine on an empty stomach, especially if you have a fear of needles or a history of feeling lightheaded / faint with needles.
  • Eat familiar foods. As a former sports dietitian, I always advised athletes to avoid eating any new foods on “game day.” Consider vaccine day as your “game day” and stick to foods you know so that you don’t trigger any stomach upset.
  • Make some meals made in advance in case you’re too tired or unwell to cook dinner for the next few days after getting the vaccine.

AFTER getting the COVID vaccine:

  • Stay hydrated. You might have a mild fever after getting the vaccine. Keep your mug or water bottle nearby to remind you to get enough fluids throughout the day.
  • Take in some comfort food. Some common symptoms after the vaccine are like chills, fatigue and muscle aches. Try a bowl of chicken noodle soup or your favourite soup to offer some comfort. And cuddle up with a cozy blanket.
  • Hold off on the alcohol. It can dehydrate you even more. Chances are you may not be in the mood for a drink anyway, and less so if you’re feeling headache, chills or the aches.
  • Continue eating a wholesome diet to keep your immune system strong. Think of your immune system as a team with different players. Each player has a role to play. Nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, protein and zinc are just some of the key players on Team Immune System. Fill half your plate or bowl with a variety of colourful veggies and fruit. Get vitamin D from eggs, fatty fish, milk, mushrooms, fortified beverages and supplements if needed. Look for whole grains, lean meats / fish / poultry and plant-based foods like tofu, nuts and seeds.

 Keep well everyone!