Tag Archives: nutrition

Quinoa and Steel Cut Porridge with Sautéed Apples

This quinoa and steel cut porridge is soaked overnight and topped with sauteed apples in the morning – a fast & healthy breakfast ready in just 10 minutes!

This quinoa and steel cut porridge is soaked overnight and topped with sauteed apples in the morning - a fast & healthy breakfast ready in just 10 minutes!

It’s Heart Month!

As a dietitian, I love this month. I actually think I’ve gone a little heart health crazy at work – I’m teaching classes on heart healthy cooking, doing heart healthy recipe demos, and I’ve made a fun display for customers to learn about heart healthy food swaps (like swapping out croutons for toasted nuts in salads – yum!).

So to celebrate heart month on the blog, today I’m bringing you a recipe for quinoa and steel cut porridge: a heart healthy breakfast to start your day with! Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients:

  • Steel cut oats: A great source of soluble fibre that helps to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
  • Apples: Contain flavonoids that are associated with reduced risk of heart disease
  • Almonds: High in monounsaturated fat, known to lower LDL cholesterol

Not too bad for a humble bowl of oatmeal, right?

Another great thing about this quinoa and steel cut porridge is that it is fast to whip up in the mornings – this is thanks to the fact that you actually start the cooking process the night before, then let it soak overnight. I got this idea from Bon Appetit and love how it makes steel cut oatmeal prep fast enough for even weekday breakfasts! While it’s warming up, you sauté the apples (or could sub in pears). I use a sweeter variety like Golden Delicious, but if you find you want a bit more sweetness you could add in a drizzle of maple syrup. Top with toasted nuts or seeds, dried fruit, and even a nice scoop of almond butter for a heart(y) healthy breakfast!

This quinoa and steel cut porridge is soaked overnight and topped with sauteed apples in the morning - a fast & healthy breakfast ready in just 10 minutes!

Quinoa and Steel Cut Porridge with Sautéed Apples
 
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This quinoa and steel cut porridge is soaked overnight and topped with sauteed apples in the morning - a fast & healthy breakfast ready in just 10 minutes!
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Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup steel cut oats, dry
  • ¼ cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1 apple, sliced (I like using a sweeter apple, like Golden Delicious)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, or more to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • Other toppings (optional): nuts/seeds, shredded coconut, nut butter, maple syrup, dried fruit
Instructions
  1. The night before, combine the steel cut oats, quinoa, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover, then let sit overnight.
  2. In the morning, heat the pot over medium heat and add milk as needed until warmed through while stirring frequently.
  3. While the cereal is being warmed, heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the sliced apple and cinnamon. Stir frequently for a few minutes, then add the lemon juice and water. Continue to cook until the apples are tender.
  4. Serve the sautéed apples over the oatmeal then add maple syrup to sweeten if necessary any additional toppings.

This quinoa and steel cut porridge is soaked overnight and topped with sauteed apples in the morning - a fast & healthy breakfast ready in just 10 minutes!

What’s your favourite heart healthy food? 

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What I Ate Wednesday: Dietitian Edition

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

So it’s been a while since I last did a What I Ate Wednesday post… like a serious while. The last one I wrote was back in April of 2014! But inspiration struck once again this week (or rather, I made an actual effort to photograph all my food for a day), so I bring you today’s What I Ate Wednesday: Dietitian Edition.

The day started early at 5:55 am to hit up GoodLife Fitness. We usually go 3-4 times per week in the mornings, but we took the last almost two weeks off because we had other things going on (also, my legs were so sunburnt it hurt to move them for a few days!). It felt good to get back to it though. I tried jump rope for the first time since I wore a fanny pack and spent my recesses pretending to hunt ghosts (true story) – I can’t say I’m very good at it anymore, but man, is it ever a workout.

Before heading to the gym I had a handful of dried mango. I always need a little something to tide me over!

Dried mango

After the gym I had my usual oatmeal with some extra blueberries and coconut chips added on top. Some things have changed since the start of my blog – but my breakfast of choice has not! Every so often I try new things though.

Oatmeal with banana, blueberries, and almond butter

After breakfast it was off to work. I had a class in the afternoon to prepare for, so I spent the morning making a fruit infused water, making energy balls, printing off handouts, adding in some extra material to the class, and finally sitting down to check my emails over a quick lunch.

We had some leftover Brussels sprout salad with lemon Parmesan dressing from dinner the night before, so I had that in my lunch along with some hummus from the Milton farmers market, whole wheat pita bread, and a Greek yogurt. I’m all about the snacky lunches!

Packed Lunch: Brussels Sprout Salad, Hummus, Pita, Greek Yogurt

In the afternoon I had my class, which was a blast! I actually have so much fun teaching now that I’m more comfortable in front of an audience. And lucky for me, there were some energy balls left over after the class, so I snagged a few for a snack.

6-23 Energy Balls

I shared the rest with some of my coworkers – I think they like having a dietitian in the store now because I’m always giving them food!

When making a meal plan for the week I realized we had a huge stash of cheddar cheese in the fridge, so I decided to make Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli, cheddar, and wild rice casserole with some leftover diced chicken added in. There was a good half pound of cheddar in there, so obviously it tasted amazing!

Wild Rice, Broccoli, and Cheddar Casserole

I also made a quick arugula, goat cheese, and dried fig salad with pumpkin seeds to have on the side. I tossed it in olive oil and salt and then drizzled my prized aged balsamic vinegar on top. JZ bought that balsamic for me for our 1.5 year anniversary  – you know you’re a foodie when…!

Arugula salad with goat cheese, dried figs, and pumpkin seeds

After dinner while writing up this post I snacked on some rhubarb banana bread from my freezer stash. We’re trying to eat up as much food as possible in preparation for our move next week. We haven’t even started packing yet – eek!

Rhubarb banana bread

That’s it. So until next year… just kidding, I’ll try to do another one of these posts before next year!

What did you eat yesterday? 

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8 ways to teach children about food

Society is always finding better and more efficient ways to do things. In some ways, this is great. My life is definitely better thanks to the tap and go chip on my credit card, the Yelp app on my phone, and the ability to buy movie tickets online.

But in other ways, it isn’t so great.

I’m talking about cooking here.

Now that frozen meals with appealing pictures on the packages are readily available, and drive thrus are on nearly every major corner in a city, and gourmet grocery stores are offering ready made meals (even healthy ones), people are not cooking as often. And since people aren’t cooking as much any more, kids aren’t learning to cook either, perpetuating the problem.

I’m generalizing here because of course not everyone has abandoned cooking. But even if they haven’t, it’s still not always being passed on to their children. Soccer practice, book club, working late and the general rush of western life means that most people (understandably) just can’t find the time to teach their kids about food.

Which is why I’m glad that Jamie Oliver started Food Revolution Day (that’s today!) – a global campaign to promote mandatory food education for children in schools. This is something I strongly believe in for so many reasons. Not only could it have positive benefits for health, but it also would reinforce the advantages of home cooking for cost savings, family bonding, and socializing.

Along with signing his petition for mandatory food education in schools, today I also wanted to do my part by sharing with you 8 ways to teach children about food!

1. Take them to the farmers market in the summer – between the colourful produce and the live music that is often there, there’s actually a lot of entertainment for kids to be found at farmers markets. And it’s a great time to talk to them about where food really comes from (i.e. not a box)!

8 ways to teach children about food

2. Go to a local pick-your-own farm – having worked at a farm one summer, I can definitely attest that kids adore pick-your-own type farms. I remember seeing kids come out of the strawberry patch, their faces covered in red juice, with the biggest smiles on their faces! Not only is it a fun activity for them, but it also helps them learn about the work that goes into farming and harvesting food.

3. Take them grocery shopping – taking your kids to the grocery store will help them learn how to pick out healthy foods. It’s a great opportunity to teach them practical tips like how to choose a ripe avocado and what’s the difference between cuts of meat, as well as nutrition skills like reading food labels. You can make it fun for younger kids by playing games, like “I Spy” or “20 questions” too.

8 ways to teach children about food

4. Enlist their help in the kitchen – getting your kids to help you in the kitchen is the best way to give them the practical food skills that they’re going to need once they move out on their own. Eat Right Ontario has a great resource with suggestions for how kids of different ages can help in the kitchen. As kids get older, they can do more than just help out with cooking. Give them some responsibility by asking them to choose what vegetable they want with dinner, asking them to pick what to make for dinner for one night, and even getting them to prepare the dinner themselves when they’re ready!

5. Give them a vegetable plant or herb to grow in your garden – give them responsibility for looking after it and let them choose how to cook with it once it’s ready to eat! This is a great way to get kids to try new vegetables, as they’ll be a lot more likely to try a new vegetable they’ve grown themselves.

8 ways to teach children about food

6. Do research together to answer their questions about food – kids are always full of questions. If they ask you a question about food that you don’t know, make it your “project” to do research together to find out the answer.

7. Expose them to different foods and cuisines – try out new vegetables you find at the farmers markets, take them to ethnic restaurants, and go out to authentic local restaurants when travelling to give them a broad appreciation for all the different foods and cuisines out there!

8 ways to teach children about food

8. Advocate for food and nutrition education in schools – like I’ve already said, one of the biggest missing pieces from children’s food education these days is the lack of education in schools. Not all parents will have the time, knowledge, or inclination to teach their kids about food, so it’s important that all kids receive some kind of standardized food education in school. If you believe in this, make sure to sign Jamie Oliver’s petition for compulsory practical food education in schools!

Do you think mandatory food education should be implemented in school curriculums? 

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