Quinoa Salad with Beets, Oranges & Arugula

Platter of quinoa salad mixed with red beets, oranges and arugula

















This salad is just bursting with flavours – earthy beets, fresh citrus and peppery arugula! The beets give the quinoa a beautiful red hue! Add feta cheese for an extra hint of creaminess.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 4-5 cooked beets (about 1 lb)*
  • 1 orange
  • Optional: feta cheese


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T red or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

*You can roast, steam or boil beets. Or use packaged, pre-cooked beets.


  1. Rinse quinoa. Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan on high heat. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Peel and dice beets. Peel orange and remove white pith. Cut each orange segment into thirds or quarters.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine quinoa and arugula. Gently mix in beets and orange segments. Add dressing and toss lightly. Optional: Sprinkle feta cheese over salad before serving.

    Makes 6 servings




Shrimp & Pork Dumplings

Golden browned dumplings on a plate with red wooden chopsticks beside them










You’ll love these delicious dumplings made with ground pork and shrimp. Feel free to substitute the ground pork with any other meat and / or swap the shrimp for meat. Enjoy!


3/4 lb ground pork (or any other ground meat)

8-10 raw, peeled shrimp, diced finely

2 cups spinach or other leafy green veggie, minced

3 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp sesame oil

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp pepper

30-40 dumpling wrappers

oil for cooking

hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, or other dipping sauce


  1. Mix all of the ingredients (except the dumpling wrappers, oil and dipping sauce) into a big bowl to make the dumpling filling.
  2. Keep dumpling wrappers covered with a damp towel to prevent the edges from drying out.
  3. Place about 1 Tbsp of the filling in the centre of a dumpling wrapper. (Don’t overfill the dumplings.)
  4. Dampen the edges of the wrapper with water.
  5. Fold the wrapper in half. Start at the middle and pleat half the dumpling. Turn the wrapper around and repeat the pleating. (See video below for the pleating technique.)
  6. Heat oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Fry dumplings for a few minutes until they golden brown on the bottom. Flip the dumplings over and fry for another minute.
  7. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam the dumplings this way until almost all of the water has evaporated.
  8. Remove the lid and allow the dumplings to continue cooking until all of the water has evaporated, and the dumplings are dry and crispy on the bottom.
  9. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce – hoisin sauce, soy sauce or chili sauce.

Makes 30-40 dumplings



Easy Apple Strudel Recipe

Apple strudel on a white platter with two white dessert dishes and forks in the background










This easy and delicious Apple Strudel is made with flaky phyllo pastry.

The trick to working with phyllo pastry is to brush each layer with melted butter (or oil). If the phyllo pastry happens to tear, just press it back together.

Watch the recipe video here on YouTube


  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick (Royal Gala, Macintosh, or  Granny Smith)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 T flour
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough (9 x 14-inch sheets) , thawed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 T turbinado sugar (or granulated sugar)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, add apples. Sprinkle in 1/3 cup sugar and toss to combine.
  • Mix in cinnamon and walnuts. Toss to combine. Add in flour and mix everything together with a spoon.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper. Brush lightly with some of the melted butter.
  • Keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Add another phyllo sheet, brushing with melted butter until you have a total of 8 phyllo sheets.
  • Spread apple mixture over the middle of the phyllo (about 3 inches wide), leaving about 2 inches along each short end of the phyllo sheets.
  • Fold the short edges of the phyllo sheets over the filling. Roll up the long ends of the phyllo sheets to make the strudel shape.
  • Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Cut 6-8 diagonal slits in top of strudel. This will make it easier to slice the strudel after baking.
  • Bake in the middle rack of the oven, until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm and enjoy! Perfect for afternoon tea or dessert!

Makes 6-8 servings.



By:  Sue Mah, Registered Dietitian

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Big white bowl filled with roasted Brussels sprouts.











Husband: I think we’ve OD’d on Brussels sprouts these past few months.

Me: No such thing! And I proceed to serve up a 15″ x 21″ tray of roasted Brussels sprouts! Haha!

Ok, to be honest, we HAVE been eating A LOT of Brussels sprouts, pretty much since Thanksgiving in October. Because I make a big batch all at once, we’re eating them a few times each week.

But can you blame me?

These little green gems are nutrition powerhouses – packed with fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, potassium and even vitamin K!

Plus they’re sooo easy to make! Try it and let me know what you think!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

1. Cut Brussels sprouts in half or quarters.

2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

3. Place Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for about  30 minutes or until lightly charred around the edges. (I bake them just a bit longer because I like the loose leaves to get crispy.) Enjoy!

[Image: Canva]


How to Make the Perfect Apple Pie

slice of apple pie with ice cream on a plate






It’s apple season and the perfect time to make an apple pie!

Last week, I was invited to a virtual pie making class with the University of Toronto – University College Alumni and Chef Umie from Le Dolci bakery. What fun! Here’s their recipe for the Perfect Apple Pie, plus some tips and tricks to know before you get started.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Keep everything cold, including your hands.
  2. Use a cheese grater to cut the cold butter into pieces. (Remember tip #1 above. Your warm hands may accidentally soften the butter.)
  3. Avoid overworking the dough. Friction is your number one enemy. The less you touch the dough, the better. If you re-roll dough too many times, it becomes tough, and who wants a tough pie crust, right?
  4. Use a combination of shortening and butter for the flakiest crust ever.
  5. Bake your pie in simple aluminum pie plate since it conducts heat the best. Ceramic pie plates are the prettiest, but they’re thick and take a long time to heat as well as a long time to cool – this could dry out your pie.
  6. Choose tart apples such as Spy, Gala, Russet, Cortland or Macintosh.
  7. When baking, it’s most precise to measure out ingredients by weight. A simple kitchen scale will do the job! I’ve included the approximate equivalent cup measures.

Pie Crust


375 g all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)

160 g cold butter (about 2/3 cup), cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or grated with a cheese grater)

125 g vegetable shortening ( about 2/3 cup), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

100 g cold water(about 6-7 Tbsp), (keep it in the fridge until you need it so that it stays cold)

5 g salt (about 1 tsp)

15 g brown sugar (optional)


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the shortening and rub into flour.
  2. Grate the cold butter into the flour. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like pea-sized crumbs.
  3. Sprinkle cold water over the flour mixture and gently stir until it just comes together and the dough colour is creamy, not white. Always use less water instead of more. Remember, friction is your number one enemy.
  4. Transfer dough to a floured counter, shape / squish the dough into a thick disc. Avoid kneading the dough. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap (in a “T”-shape, i.e. fold the plastic wrap one way around the dough, and then fold another piece of plastic wrap in the other direction around the dough). Allow dough to rest in fridge for at least 15-20 minutes before rolling. While the dough is resting, prepare the apple pie filling.
  5. Roll out the dough on floured counter. Flour your rolling pin. Roll any dough scraps under a piece of fresh dough to prevent overworking the dough. Roll dough to about 2-3 mm thickness. Cut out about half of the dough to form the bottom pie crust. Be sure to allow about 1/2 inch extra dough around circumference of the pie plate.
  6. Roll the crust onto the rolling pin and carefully unroll it onto the pie plate.
  7. Gently press the edges of the pie crust into the pie plate.
  8. Roll out the remaining dough into about 10 thin ribbons.
Sue rolling the pastry dough

Keep your rolling pin and surface well floured!






Apple Pie Filling


5-6 cups tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (about 4 apples)

1/2 cup sugar

2-3 Tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp butter (optional for dotting on top of the filling before clsoing the pie)

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water (egg wash)

1 Tbsp sugar (for sprinkling)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together apples, sugar, cornstarch, lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Pour into the crust, leaving room around the edges to seal. Add in butter in small chunks (optional).
  3. Create a lattice pattern with the ribbons of dough.
  4. Brush the lattice with egg wash just before baking and sprinkle with sugar (optional).
  5. Bake the pie or freeze to bake it another day.
  6. If baking immediately: Bake in a 375 F preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the centre of the pie is bubbling.
  7. If baking from frozen: Bake from frozen in a 375 F preheated oven for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 60 minutes.
Sue pouring apple filling into pie

The cinnamon and nutmeg are the stars in the apple filling!









Sue showing her unbaked pie

Ready for the freezer! Can be baked from frozen.









My favourite way to enjoy apple pie is warm with a scoop of ice cream! How about you?

apple pie with ice cream on a plate

Grandma’s Favourite Cheese Biscuits

A long white platter with 3 baked cheese biscuits

What’s tea time without a little biscuit, right? This one bowl recipe couldn’t be easier! Enjoy them warm, for melt-in-your mouth deliciousness!


1/2 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Melt butter in a small microwave-safe bowl for about 35-45 seconds. Allow butter to cool while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix these dry ingredients with a fork.
  5. Add shredded cheese to the dry ingredients and mix well with a fork.
  6. Add milk into the bowl with the cooled butter and stir. (It will look like it’s curdling – that’s OK.)
  7. Pour the milk / butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until it’s just combined.
  8. Pick up a “blob” of dough (about 1/2 cup) and drop it onto the lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until biscuits begin to brown around the edges.

Makes 8 large biscuits.

Peach & Tomato Summer Salad

white bowl with salad made from diced peaches and diced tomatoes, garnished with basil leaves

Celebrate Food Day Canada on August 1st with delicious, local peaches and nectarines! Prep time: 5 minutes

Peach & Tomato Summer Salad


2 peaches or nectarines (leave the skins on)

10 cherry / grape tomatoes or 1 small tomato

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt / pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves for garnish


Dice the peaches and have the cherry tomatoes. Toss gently with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add salt / pepper if desired. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Makes 2 small servings

The Sweet Spot Workshop – with Chef Claire Tansey

Sue cooking with Chef Claire Tansey
Sue with Chef Claire Tansey

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Registered Dietitians at the Canadian Sugar Institute, and I have received monetary compensation. As always, my own professional opinions and views are expressed.

I love food! And a big part of my job as a dietitian is to help Canadians love food too! I’m passionate about translating the complex science of nutrition into everyday healthy eating tips that make sense and are easy for people to follow. So when my dietitian colleagues at the Canadian Sugar Institute invited me to a hands-on cooking Sweet Spot Workshop with Chef Claire Tansey, I was excited to learn more!

First, some nutrition background

Recently, Health Canada announced new guidelines for sugars and also some new changes to how sugars will be shown on food labels.

Specifically, for the first time ever, there is a Daily Value for sugars, set at 100 grams. According to Health Canada, 100 grams isn’t meant to be the recommended amount of sugars to consume, but instead it’s an amount of sugars that is consistent with a healthy eating pattern. On food labels, the sugars content of the food will be listed in grams (g) and also as a percent of the Daily Value (% DV) (see below for the “NEW” image of the Nutrition Facts table).

 Now remember that 100 grams is the total from all types of sugars:

  • naturally occurring sugars (like the sugars found in fruit, veggies and unsweetened milk products);
  • added sugars (like different sugars that are added when cooking or processing food); and
  • free sugars (these are added sugars plus sugars that are naturally found in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates).
A comparison of the original Nutrition Facts table to the new one. The new one shows a % Daily Value for sugars.
Image source: Health Canada

Now, the food!

So what exactly does 100 grams of sugars look like when it comes to real food? That’s where the Sweet Spot Workshop comes in. Dietitians teamed up at the workshop to make a day’s menu of food – adding up to 100 grams of sugars, staying within the sodium and fat recommendations, and totalling no more than 2,000 calories (the average number of calories needed by an adult). So here’s what we made. All recipes were inspired by Claire’s latest cookbook Uncomplicated.


Instant Bircher Museli – made with oats, unsweetened apple juice, nuts and fresh pears and paired with a single serving of Greek yogurt – 28 g sugars


Chilled Cucumber and Sesame Noodles with Tofu – made with soba noodles, maple syrup, sesame oil, cucumbers, tofu and edamame, served with sweet and sour bok choy – 7 g sugars


Assorted berries and cherries with a fruit / kale Greek yogurt smoothie – 29 g sugars


Coconut Chicken Curry – made with chicken, coconut milk, ginger, curry paste, tomatoes and peas, served with steamed broccoli – 7 g sugars


Plum-Almond Galette – made with fresh, local plums – 30 g sugars

The bottom line

You can definitely enjoy a variety of healthy meals with a small dessert AND stay within 100 grams of sugars for the day! Enjoy!

Photos by Flora Wang. 

Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas

Just in time for the holidays! These cuties are super simple to make and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!

20 fresh strawberries
½ cup whipping cream
¼ cup icing sugar (more if you’d like it sweeter; less if you’d like it less sweet)
40 mini chocolate chips

1. Slice the stem off each strawberry so that you have a flat bottom. Turn the strawberry point side up. The wide side of the strawberry faces down and is the base of the Strawberry Santa.
2. Slice the pointed tip of each strawberry (about the top 1/3 of the strawberry). This piece will be the hat.
3. Use a small piece of paper towel to dab off the flat ends of each strawberry piece. This will help the icing stay on.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream and icing sugar.
5. Using a piping bag* with a round tip, pipe a swirl of the icing onto the base of the Strawberry Santa. Gently place the hat on top. Pipe a tiny pompom on the tip of the hat.
6. Add two mini chocolate chips for the eyes.

*If you don’t have a piping bag, simply scoop the icing into a plastic re-sealable bag and cut off a small corner of the bag.

Makes 20 Strawberry Santas

New Product Spotlight – PC Lentil & Bean Bites

Sue and Executive Chef Michelle Pennock

Sue and Executive Chef Michelle Pennock

Last month, I had the fantastic opportunity to taste test some of the new PC (President’s Choice) Blue Menu products in their test kitchen. And wow, was I ever impressed!

PC Blue Menu is known for their innovative, easy and convenient products. One of my favourites was Lentil & Bean Bites – delicious vegetarian meatballs! They’re made with brown rice, lentils, red beans, black beans, part-skim Mozzarella cheese, quinoa and shawarma seasoning. Looking at the nutrition information, these Lentil & Bean Bites are a source of both fibre and omega-3 fats. Plus a serving of 3 bites contains 140 calorie, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and no sugar. Pop them in the oven at 400°F for 12 minutes and they’re ready!

Executive Chef Michelle Pennock served the Lentil & Bean Bites in a Middle Eastern Mezze Platter with a colourful array of vegetables, herbed tahini and warm naan bread. Sure to be a crowd pleaser, this can be served as an appetizer or super-easy supper!

Middle Eastern Mezze Platter

Middle Eastern Mezze Platter

Middle Eastern Mezze Platter

6 carrots
5 tsp (25 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) PC Black Label Harissa Spice Blend
4 cups (1 L) shredded red cabbage (about ¼ of a head)
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) tahini
1 tbsp (15 mL) each chopped fresh cilantro, fresh mint and fresh parsley
1 pkg (400 g) frozen PC Blue Menu Lentil & Bean Bites
1 pkg (250 g) PC Blue Menu Naan Flatbreads (2 flatbreads)
1 pkg (227 g) PC Hummus Chickpea Dip and Spread
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Arrange 1 oven rack in centre and 1 oven rack in lower third of oven.
2. Peel and trim carrots; halve crosswise. Cut larger pieces lengthwise in quarters and smaller pieces lengthwise in half. Toss together carrots, 1 tbsp oil and harissa in large bowl. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined large baking sheet. Bake in lower third of oven, flipping carrots once, until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toss together cabbage, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper and remaining 2 tsp oil in separate large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
4. Whisk together tahini, cilantro, mint, parsley, remaining 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2 tbsp water in small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
5. Arrange frozen bites in single layer on greased separate large baking sheet. Bake in centre of oven 5 to 6 minutes. Flip bites; bake in centre of oven 3 minutes. Push bites to 1 side of baking sheet. Arrange flatbreads in single layer on opposite side of sheet; sprinkle flatbreads lightly with water. Bake in centre of oven until bites and flatbreads are hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Stack flatbreads on cutting board; cut into 6 wedges to make 12 pieces total. Arrange flatbreads, lentil bites, carrots, cabbage mixture, hummus, tomatoes and cucumber on large serving platter. Drizzle with tahini mixture.

Serves 6.
Recipe created by Executive Chef Michelle Pennock and reprinted with

PC Lentil and Bean Bites