Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Irons Status and Exercise

Iron is a mineral that is vital for health. It is responsible for making new red blood cells, helping to carry oxygen to cells in the body, and plays a role in maintaining the energy release needed to sustain aerobic and endurance activity.¹ It is important for athletes to ensure that they consume iron-rich foods as dietary iron recommendations are 1.3 to 1.7 times higher for athletes than non-athletes.¹ Athletes have higher iron needs as intense training stimulates an increase in the number of red blood cells and small blood vessels, thereby increasing the need for more iron. In addition, athletes may also have blood loss through injury, heavy sweating, digestive losses and/or through foot strike damage to red blood cells in the feet caused by running on hard surfaces.¹ Inadequate intakes of iron-rich foods may lead to low levels of iron in the tissues. This can reduce oxygen uptake into cells, and have a negative impact on training effort and performance capacity.¹

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Iron can be found in both animal and plant based foods. Animal sources (called “heme iron”) include meat, fish and poultry, while plant sources (called “non-heme iron) include dried beans, peas, lentils and some fruit and vegetables.² In Canada, grain products like breakfast cereals and flour are fortified  with iron.² To maximize iron absorption, pair iron containing foods with Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.  See below for a list of some common iron-rich foods.

* Do not take supplements without a diagnosis of iron deficiency and consultation from your doctor.

 

Iron Requirements:

 

Age in Years Aim for an intake of… Stay below…
Men 19 and older 8 mg/day 45 mg/day
Women 19-50 18 mg/day 45 mg/day
Women 51 and older 8 mg/day 45 mg/day

Table from Dietitians of Canada²

 

Vegetarian Food Sources of Iron

 

Food Serving Size Iron (mg)
Spinach, cooked ½ cup 2.0-3.4
Tomato sauce ½ cup 2.4
Edamame, cooked ½ cup 1.9-2.4
Prune juice ½ cup 1.6
Kale, cooked ½ cup 1.3
Oatmeal, instant, cooked ¾ cup 4.5-6.6
Cream of Wheat, cooked ¾ cup 5.7-5.8
Cereal, dry 30 g 4.0-4.3
Tofu, cooked ¾ cup 2.4-8.0
Lentils, cooked ¾ cup 4.1-4.9
Beans ¾ cup 2.6-4.9
Pumpkin seeds ¼ cup 1.4-4.7
Nuts ¼ cup 1.3-1.8
Blackstrap molasses 1 Tbsp 3.6

Adapted from Dietitians of Canada²

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Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

Enchiladas

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium cooking onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 19oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2  cups salsa
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Toppings (optional): shredded cheese, plain yogurt, green onions

Avocado Cream Sauce

  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed parsley (or cilantro)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions: 

Enchiladas

  1. Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish and preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium to low heat.
  3. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent.
  4. Add in minced garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add in the pepper and zucchini and saute for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add spinach and allow to wilt
  7. Add drained black beans. Cook until mixture heated through about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
  8. Add in the salsa. Stir well.
  9. Add in your seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Stir well.
  10. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer.
  11. Scoop about 3/4 – 1 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining 3 tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top.
  12. Sprinkle with cheese if preferred.
  13. Bake or 20 minutes. When the enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and garnish with avocado cream sauce or whatever other toppings you enjoy.

Avocado Cream Sauce

  1. Add avocado flesh and water to a food processor. Pulse until creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended.

Recipe adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/04/vegan-enchiladas-with-cilantro-avocado-cream-sauce-2/

References:

 

Summer Vegetable Kabobs with Halloumi

Supporting Bone Health for Athletes

To support healthy bones, individuals need to regularly participate in weight bearing activities, eat adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D containing foods and maintain normal hormonal levels.¹ Failing to meet any of these requirements may place an individual at an increased risk for osteoporotic fractures. To prevent osteoporotic fractures, individuals should strive to maximize their bone mineral density by age 30 and aim to reduce the rate of bone loss thereafter.¹ Fracture risk increases by up to 3 times for each 10% reduction in bone mineral density from that of a level normal for a young healthy adult.

Exercise: When engaging in exercise, it has been suggested that both weight bearing aerobic and strength-focused exercises can help to cause a slight increase in bone mineral density. Optimal exercise activities for bone health should occur in shorter intervals throughout the day and should encourage individuals to move in a variety of directions.¹

Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in supporting metabolic functions such as muscle contraction.² Consuming enough calcium is essential for achieving maximal bone mass and to assist in slowing age associated bone loss.¹ It has been suggested that athletes and active individuals who consume lower quantities of calcium-rich foods have lower bone mineral density levels than age matched individuals who ingested adequate or higher amounts of calcium.¹ Individuals are encouraged to meet recommended intakes for calcium to maximize the bone-stimulating effects of weight bearing activity and optimize bone health.¹

Hormones: Unfortunately, it is more difficult to control hormone levels. Age related decreases of estrogen in women and testosterone in men may contribute to bone loss. In addition, long-term use of medications that increase glucocorticoid hormone levels such as Prednisone and Dexamethasone can lead to significant bone loss over time. It is important to discuss these concerns with your doctor and allied health professionals to design a bone health plan for you.

Athletes at risk of sub-optimal calcium intakes or poor bone health include:

  • Athletes with low calcium intakes because of calorie restriction/high energy requirements.
  • Athletes with inadequate intakes of calcium rich foods.
  • Athletes with malabsorption diseases affecting the small bowel (i.e. celiac disease)
  • Female athletes with impaired menstrual function

* Calcium supplementation does not guarantee improved bone health in the absence of adequate hormonal status, enough energy availability, adequate absorption and weight-bearing exercise.²

Calcium Recommendations:

Age in years Aim for an intake of milligrams (mg)/day Stay below*
Men and Women 19-50 1000 2500
Women 50-71 1200 2000
Men 51-70 1000 2000
Men and Women 71 and older 1200 2000

* This includes sources of calcium from food and supplements.

                                                                                                                               Table from Dietitians of Canada³

Calcium Content of some Common Foods:

Food Serving Size Calcium (mg)
Spinach, frozen, cooked ½ cup 154
Collards, cooked ½ cup 141
Kale, frozen, cooked ½ cup 95
Orange juice, fortified with calcium ½ cup 155
Buttermilk 1 cup 370
Soy beverage, fortified with calcium 1 cup 321
Dry powdered 4 Tbsp 302
Low fat cheddar/mozzarella 50g (1 ½ oz) 396-506
Cottage cheese 1 cup 146-217
Yogurt ¾ cup 221-332
Tofu, prepared with calcium sulfate ¾ cup 234-347
Beans ¾ cup 93-141
Almonds ¼ cup 93
Blackstrap molasses 1 Tbsp 179

Table from Dietitians of Canada³

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Vegetable Kabobs with Halloumi

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 package Halloumi cheese (~250g)

1 medium yellow or red bell pepper

1 large zucchini

1 container grape or cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil

6 large or 12 small wooden/metal skewers

Optional: 6-10 brown mushrooms

Directions:

  1. If using wooden skewers, submerge them in water and allow to soak while you are preparing the vegetables.
  2. Cut halloumi into 2.5 cm cubes (hallmoui tends to crumble, so don’t be concerned if your cubes don’t look like cubes). Please in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the pepper into 2.5 cm squares and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Cut zucchini into 1 cm thick half moons and add to mixing bowl.
  5. If using brown mushrooms, cut in half and add to mixing bowl.
  6. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped basil to bowl, and mix well to coat vegetables and cheese.

Recipes adapted from: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/greek-vegetable-kebabs/

References:

  1. Optimizing Bone Health: Impact of Nutrition, Exercise, and Hormones. Gatorade Sports Science Institute Website. http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-82-optimizing-bone-health-impact-of-nutrition-exercise-and-hormones. Published 2014. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  2. Calcium Supplement. Australian Institute of Sports Website. http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/594178/CORP_33413_SSF_Calcium_Supplement_FS.pdf. Updated May 2014. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  3.  Food Sources of Calcium. Dietitians of Canada Website. http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/f739d485-d113-4a46-8122-eb2d33730c64/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Calcium.pdf.aspx. Updated 2014 . Accessed March 22, 2016.

Tofu Burgers

Protein plays an important role in an athlete’s diet. It helps repair damaged body tissue and assists in building and strengthening muscles.¹ How much protein does the average athlete need? Training may slightly increase protein requirements; however, most recreational athletes easily meet protein targets when they consume a varied diet that focuses on nourishing foods.¹ See the table below to estimate how much protein you need based on your current weight in kilograms.

Guidelines for maximum protein needs for different groups of athletes:

Sedentary 0.8g/kg body mass
General training program 1.0g/kg body mass
Heavy training program 1.2-1.7g/kg body mass

In addition to amount of protein, it is also important for athletes to consider the timing of protein intakes. Eating foods rich in protein with your main meals can help to maintain lean body mass, while consuming protein soon after exercise may increase muscle protein synthesis rates.² Synthesis rates are highest when meals/snacks containing 20 grams of protein (closer to 30 grams in older populations) are consumed. Newer research is also suggesting that eating a protein rich snack before going to bed may help to promote post-exercise muscle growth during overnight sleep.² Recommendations for protein timing are to consume about 20-25g of protein with each main meal, 20-25g of protein after exercise and 20-40g of protein prior to sleep.² If you are a smaller individual or are monitoring total calories eaten, plan to make one of your main meals also your post-exercise snack.

Foods that provide approximately 10g of protein:

2 small eggs, 30g cheese, 70g cottage cheese, 1 cup low fat milk, 35g cooked meat, 40g cooked poultry, 2 slices French toast, ½ cup edamame, ¾ cup plain yogurt, 50g cheddar cheese, 50g canned salmon/tuna, ½ cup cooked lentils, ¼ cup peanuts, 75g firm tofu

Tofu Burger

Tofu Burgers

Makes about 12 burgers

Ingredients:

2 14oz blocks of organic, firm tofu, pressed.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

2 large carrots, grated

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup pecans (or walnuts), toasted

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 tsp black pepper

2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

Burger toppings as per your choice (cheese slices, tomato, avocado, onions, lettuce, etc)

Methods:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a skillet over low-medium heat, heat the oil. Add in the onions and dried oregano and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for another 7-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor.
  5. Add tofu and remaining ingredients to the food processor (depending on the size of the appliance you may have to blend the items in two batches). Pulse until combined.
  6. Transfer blended mix to a large bowl. Adjust seasonings as per preference (add extra Dijon mustard or soy sauce or add some hot sauce). Mix in bread crumbs.
  7. Using a 1/2 cup scoop, scoop out burger mixture and place onto baking sheet. Gently flatten burgers.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes (flipping halfway through).
  9. Eat with or without a bun, topped with your favourite ingredients.

Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites (2013).

References:

  1. Australian Institute of Sports. Current Concepts in Sports Nutrition.
http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/143386/CurrentConcepts.pdf. 
Accessed January 25, 2016.
  1. van Loon LJC. Protein Ingestion Prior to Sleep: Potential for Optimizing Post-
Exercise Recovery. Gatorade Sports Science Institute. http://www.gssiweb.org/Article
/sse-117-protein-ingestion-prior-to-sleep-potential-for-optimizing-post-exercise-
recovery. Published 2014. Accessed January 25, 2016.

 

Summer Vegetable Kabobs with Halloumi

Supporting Bone Health for Athletes

To support healthy bones, individuals need to regularly participate in weight bearing activities, eat adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D containing foods and maintain normal hormonal levels.¹ Failing to meet any of these requirements may place an individual at an increased risk for osteoporotic fractures. To prevent osteoporotic fractures, individuals should strive to maximize their bone mineral density by age 30 and aim to reduce the rate of bone loss thereafter.¹ Fracture risk increases by up to 3 times for each 10% reduction in bone mineral density from that of a level normal for a young healthy adult.

Exercise: When engaging in exercise, it has been suggested that both weight bearing aerobic and strength-focused exercises can help to cause a slight increase in bone mineral density. Optimal exercise activities for bone health should occur in shorter intervals throughout the day and should encourage individuals to move in a variety of directions.¹

Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in supporting metabolic functions such as muscle contraction.² Consuming enough calcium is essential for achieving maximal bone mass and to assist in slowing age associated bone loss.¹ It has been suggested that athletes and active individuals who consume lower quantities of calcium-rich foods have lower bone mineral density levels than age matched individuals who ingested adequate or higher amounts of calcium.¹ Individuals are encouraged to meet recommended intakes for calcium to maximize the bone-stimulating effects of weight bearing activity and optimize bone health.¹

Hormones: Unfortunately, it is more difficult to control hormone levels. Age related decreases of estrogen in women and testosterone in men may contribute to bone loss. In addition, long-term use of medications that increase glucocorticoid hormone levels such as Prednisone and Dexamethasone can lead to significant bone loss over time. It is important to discuss these concerns with your doctor and allied health professionals to design a bone health plan for you.

Athletes at risk of sub-optimal calcium intakes or poor bone health include:

  • Athletes with low calcium intakes because of calorie restriction/high energy requirements.
  • Athletes with inadequate intakes of calcium rich foods.
  • Athletes with malabsorption diseases affecting the small bowel (i.e. celiac disease)
  • Female athletes with impaired menstrual function

* Calcium supplementation does not guarantee improved bone health in the absence of adequate hormonal status, enough energy availability, adequate absorption and weight-bearing exercise.²

Calcium Recommendations:

Age in years Aim for an intake of milligrams (mg)/day Stay below*
Men and Women 19-50 1000 2500
Women 50-71 1200 2000
Men 51-70 1000 2000
Men and Women 71 and older 1200 2000

* This includes sources of calcium from food and supplements.

                                                                                                                               Table from Dietitians of Canada³

Calcium Content of some Common Vegetarian Foods:

Food Serving Size Calcium (mg)
Spinach, frozen, cooked ½ cup 154
Collards, cooked ½ cup 141
Kale, frozen, cooked ½ cup 95
Orange juice, fortified with calcium ½ cup 155
Buttermilk 1 cup 370
Soy beverage, fortified with calcium 1 cup 321
Dry powdered 4 Tbsp 302
Low fat cheddar/mozzarella 50g (1 ½ oz) 396-506
Cottage cheese 1 cup 146-217
Yogurt ¾ cup 221-332
Tofu, prepared with calcium sulfate ¾ cup 234-347
Beans ¾ cup 93-141
Almonds ¼ cup 93
Blackstrap molasses 1 Tbsp 179

Table from Dietitians of Canada³

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Summer Vegetable Kabobs with Halloumi

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 package Halloumi cheese (~250g)

1 medium yellow or red bell pepper

1 large zucchini

1 container grape or cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil

6 large or 12 small wooden/metal skewers

Optional: 6-10 brown mushrooms

Directions:

  1. If using wooden skewers, submerge them in water and allow to soak while you are preparing the vegetables.
  2. Cut halloumi into 2.5 cm cubes (hallmoui tends to crumble, so don’t be concerned if your cubes don’t look like cubes). Please in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the pepper into 2.5 cm squares and add to mixing bowl.
  4. Cut zucchini into 1 cm thick half moons and add to mixing bowl.
  5. If using brown mushrooms, cut in half and add to mixing bowl.
  6. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped basil to bowl, and mix well to coat vegetables and cheese.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/greek-vegetable-kebabs/

References:

  1. Optimizing Bone Health: Impact of Nutrition, Exercise, and Hormones. Gatorade Sports Science Institute Website. http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-82-optimizing-bone-health-impact-of-nutrition-exercise-and-hormones. Published 2014. Accessed March 21, 2016.
  2. Calcium Supplement. Australian Institute of Sports Website. http://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/594178/CORP_33413_SSF_Calcium_Supplement_FS.pdf. Updated May 2014. Accessed March 22, 2016.
  3.  Food Sources of Calcium. Dietitians of Canada Website. http://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/f739d485-d113-4a46-8122-eb2d33730c64/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Calcium.pdf.aspx. Updated 2014 . Accessed March 22, 2016.

Curried Quinoa and Collard Green Wraps

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 Collard greens are nutrient rich members of the cabbage family. They are also closely related to, but much less well known than kale. Collard greens can be purchased year round, but they are best from January to April. Can’t find collard greens at your local grocery store? Try the local farmer’s market as these vegetables can be grown locally.

Recipe Analysis:

Nutrients per serving:

Calories (kcal) 299.3
Fat (g) 11.5
Saturated Fat (g) 1.4
Sodium (mg) 62.8
Potassium (mg) 814.7
Carbohydrate (g) 42.4
Fibre (g) 9.2
Sugar (g) 4.8
Protein (g) 9.8
Calcium (mg) 96.6
Iron (mg) 4.0

Food groups per serving:

Vegetables and Fruit 2.0
Grain Products 1.8
Meat and Alternatives 0.2
Milk and Alternatives 0.0

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Curried Quinoa and Collard Green Wraps

Makes ~ 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1/4 cup dried currants

2 tbsp. curry paste (I used mild)

1 cup carrot, shredded

1 cup beet, shredded

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 large collard green leaves, washed and large stems removed

1 avocado, pitted and cut into thin wedges

1/2 sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, currants, and curry paste.
  2. Reduce heat to low-medium and allow quinoa to cook for about 15 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Mix shredded carrot and beet together with apple cider vinegar in a medium bowl.
  4. To Assemble: Place a collard green on a cutting board. Spoon quinoa mixture along the bottom edge, then top with carrot and beet slaw, avocado slices and toasted almonds. Lift bottom edge over filling, then roll toward the centre. Fold in sides, then continue rolling into a tight log. Set seam-side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Slice rolls in half to serve.

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/stovetop-cooking-method/quinoa-and-collard-green-wraps/

Couscous and Cheese Stuffed Zucchinis

DSC_0421DSC_0426Stuffed vegetable dishes are a great way to reduce your meal’s total calories while increasing your fruit and vegetable intake for the day. This couscous and cheese stuffed zucchini recipe is a quick and tasty dish that can be served as a main course or as a side. The use of fresh basil, oregano and parsley give this dish a bright Italian, but dried herbs work well too.

Other possible substitutions for this include: Parmesan cheese instead of Gouda                    Bell peppers instead of zucchinis.

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Couscous and Cheese Stuffed Zucchinis

Makes 3 full servings, 6 side servings

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, diced

2 cloves of garlic. minced

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup giant couscous

1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded

3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil)

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/2 tbsp dried parsley)

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 tbsp dried oregano)

3 medium sized zucchinis

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan heat oil over low-medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic until softened. Add tomato and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Add vegetable brother to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add couscous, cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 10 minutes
  3. Trim off ends of zucchini and slice lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds. Leave about 1 cm thick walls.
  4. Mix in 2/3 cup of Gouda cheese, basil, parsley, and oregano.
  5. Divide couscous mixture among zucchini. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Place zucchinis in a greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in 400 F until zucchinis are fork-tender ~ 20 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, allowing the cheese to brown slightly.

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Sweet and Sour Lentils

DSC_0411Lentils are a great choice for any vegetarian meal. They are relatively inexpensive and are quick and easy to prepare. They absorb flavours well from other foods and seasonings, are high in folate, fibre, iron and protein, and are available throughout the year.

This sweet and sour lentils recipe has rich aromatic flavours and is great served over brown rice. It makes for a very filling main dish or can be served as a side. Don’t let this meal’s appearance fool you, it is actually very tasty! _______________________________________________________________________________________

Sweet and Sour Lentils

Makes about 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups lentils (red, green or a mix)

1 cooking onion, chopped

4 cups water

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 cup honey

6 tbsp vinegar

2/3 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine lentils, onion, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft
  2. In a baking dish combine oil, honey, vinegar, spices and soy sauce.
  3. Add cooked lentils to baking dish
  4. Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 F, or until thickened. Stir mixtures a few times while baking.
  5. Remove bay leaves and serve over brown rice.

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Quick Red Bean Burritos

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These red bean burritos make for a speedy dinner. You can bake them as per the directions below or if you are in a rush you can microwave them on medium-high for 2-4 minutes, or until heated through. They are great served with ripe avocado slices, fresh lettuce, additional salsa, and low fat plain yogurt. Each serving has >12 grams of protein and > 6 grams of fibre.

Kidney beans are a very good source of folate. They are also rich in dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble), which can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control.

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Quick Red Bean Burritos

Makes 4

Ingredients:

1 19oz can red kidney beans

1/2 cup salsa

1 1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp cumin

4 9-inch whole wheat tortillas (usually the Blue Menu ones are lower in sodium)

4 green onions, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (can use Mozzarella or a mix)

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse kidney beans, then mass to a chunky paste.
  2. Combine beans, salsa, and spices. Mix well.
  3. Spread 1/4 of the bean mixture over each tortilla. Divide tomato, green onions, and green pepper between the tortillas. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the shredded cheese.
  4. Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
  5. Bake in 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until the burritos are heated through and the cheese has melted.
  6. Serve burritos with shredded lettuce, ripe avocado slices, salsa, and low fat plain yogurt.

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Recipe adapted from Anne Lindsay “Lighthearted at Home”

Swiss Chard, Mushroom, and Feta Crust-less Quiche

DSC_0414

DSC_0385This Swiss chard, mushroom, and feta crust-less quiche is a good choice for a protein rich breakfast or a quick evening meal. I find that this quiche holds together really well on its own. However, other crust-less quiche recipes suggest adding a bit of flour to help create a more substantial “crust-less” crust.                   Serve this quiche with a slice or two of whole grain bread and a handful of other veggies like carrot sticks and sliced tomato for a more complete meal.

Swiss chard is another great green that you can easily blend or mix into a variety of recipes. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron.

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Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Feta Crust-less Quiche
Makes 6 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh Swiss chard, washed and chopped
6 large eggs
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup low sodium feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
Pepper as per preference
 
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9″ pie plate.
  2. Wash the mushrooms and chop them finely. Place the sliced mushrooms in a fry pan with a small amount of oil and cook over low-moderate heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes).
  4. Turn the heat down and add washed and chopped Swiss chard to the fry pan in large handfuls. Allow each handful to begin to wilt before adding another.
  5. Squeeze as much of the water out of the Swiss chard and mushroom mixture. Spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish.
  6. Add the crumbled feta.
  7. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth. Add the milk and a small sprinkle of pepper. Whisk to combine.
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.
  9. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top.
  10. Place the quiche into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and it begins to pull away from the sides ~ 40-45 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and serve.

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Spinach Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Fettuccine

DSC_0385

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are some of the best foods that you can eat to improve your health. They are low in calories and packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. Despite the many benefits associated with eating vegetables like leafy greens, many Canadian’s tend to fall short of their recommended number of servings per day. One of the easiest ways to incorporate more greens into your diet is by blending them into foods such as baked goods, soups, and sauces – like pesto.

This spinach walnut pesto has a milder flavour than a basil pesto, so you may need to add more pepper or garlic to get it to the right taste for you. If you like the flavour of walnuts you could try using walnut oil instead of olive oil.

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Spinach Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Fettuccine

Makes ~4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and patted/spun dry
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
12 oz (375 g) whole wheat fettuccine
Directions:
Pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add pasta, stirring to separate strands.
  2. Boil the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

* You will need to stir the fettuccine occasionally to prevent it from clumping together or sticking to bottom of pot.

Pesto
  1. Place all ingredients into food processor and process to a fine paste.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as per preference.

Assembly

  1. Mix pesto with pasta and top with additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper as desired.
  2. Serve hot with a green salad or fresh tomatoes

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