Feta and Spinach Frittata

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If I had to choose one food item to eat for the rest of my life I think I would have to choose eggs. Poached, scrambled, quiche, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, egg pancake….the possibilities are endless, meaning it’s pretty hard to get bored of them. They’re also one of the cheapest animal protein sources and serve as a great last-minute meal when you’ve had a busy day, or when you just don’t feel like expending too much energy in the kitchen.

Of all the different ways to eat eggs, my most favourite is in the form of a frittata (aka crustless quiche) or a quiche. It’s a great way to use up random leftover ingredients or vegetables that may be nearing the end of their life. It takes minimal effort, maybe 5 minutes…10 minutes tops if you’re getting fancy with ingredients. Although it takes some time in the oven, you don’t need to babysit it, so you can use the extra time on more important things.

I also love frittatas because they freeze well and taste even better as leftovers the next day. They can also be eaten cold for those of you that don’t have access to a microwave.

I was inspired by one of my favourite Greek dishes, spanakopita, and I also had a huge container of feta that needed to be used, so I whipped this beauty up and it is now my top choice for frittata flavour combos. Hopefully it will be yours too!

Just a sidenote: If you prefer quiches then you can use this same recipe to fill a 9-inch pie tart. Just bake the tart according to the package, add the filling, and bake away for the same time.

Enjoy!

~Christina

Raw Golden Beet Salad

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Fall is in the air and I couldn’t be happier! I must admit I was getting a little worried that we would be skipping fall altogether here in the west, what with the week of SNOW, rain and gloominess…but we have made it through the freaky weather and I now have hope that I’ll still be able to enjoy the changing of leaves and crisp air for at least a few weeks.

With fall comes colourful and delicious fall vegetables! I was strolling through the grocery store last week when I stumbled upon a huge bag of fresh golden beets for only 98 cents! Could this even be real? After double checking with the staff, I was pleased to find out it was not a mistake. Needless to say I had to buy them, even though I’ve never seen or eaten them. I know, my fourth year studying nutrition and this is foreign to me? This just proves that as food-obsessed as I am (and I mean that in a good way of course), there are still so many foods I have yet to discover.

So now I was at home with a huge bag of these beets and no idea what to do with them. The only time I have ever eaten beets was a few years ago when I ate the red ones, raw, in a salad. So naturally, I decided to go with what I knew and whipped up this quick and fresh salad using common ingredients you likely already have.

After sharing this idea with some friends, and getting weird looks, I realized that many people don’t know that beets are delicious eaten raw. Not only does it save you time from having to cook them, but it’s also a fun way to get some raw veggies in your diet. They are very sweet and super crunchy, similar to a carrot. You can even make a huge batch and throw this into a salad or use it as a filling for wraps.

Now all you need to do is track down some of these beets and you are “golden”.

Enjoy!

~Christina

Sweet Chili Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

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I have recently developed a love for stir-fries. It’s an easy way to cook up forgotten vegetables in the fridge at the end of the week and are simple enough that you can whip one up when you forgot to plan for dinner. It’s also a great way to experiment with new-to-you vegetables (such as bok choy in my case) because you don’t have to commit to one vegetable. I’ve had sautéed bok choy once before this, but it didn’t really blow my mind. I decided to try it out again after seeing the adorable baby bok choy in the grocery store. They were just so cute and small, and begging me to give them another shot, how could I say no?

Well I’m glad I did because it now makes a regular appearance in my stir-fries. When cooked, the white stalks stay slightly crunchy, while the leaves wilt down, so they add great texture to the dish.

You can eat this on its own, or serve on top of some rice or pasta for a heartier meal. When choosing a sweet chili sauce, try to compare the sodium content on the labels and choose the one with the least amount. I forgot to pay attention to the brand I used, but it contained approximately 200mg sodium per serving, which is the lowest I’ve been able to find thus far.

Hope you like it!

Flourless Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

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In this household coffee is consumed in the presence of either breakfast or some sort of baked good whenever possible. For this reason, I tend to always have some sort of healthy bar, muffin, cookie, or other baked concoction ready to go for this occasion, or as a quick grab-and-go snack for school/work.

I love this recipe because you can make it whatever kind of muffin you want. If you don’t like peanut butter, no problem, any nut or seed butter would work (ie. almond butter or sunflower seed butter). Don’t like coconut? Still not a problem because you can omit it all together or replace it with dried fruit or chopped nuts. If you don’t like chocolate chips well then there is something wrong with you, um, I mean you can do the same thing as suggested for the coconut, omit or replace it!

Another great thing about these muffins is that using ripe bananas means their natural sugars have broken down, so they are sweet enough that you don’t need to add much sugar (or in this case stevia) to get the right sweetness.

Enjoy!

~Christina

Life Lately

I’m baaaaccckkk! I promise I have many valid excuses for taking a hiatus and being MIA.

Five months ago, life got REAL as I finalized my dietetic internship package (which I had been pouring my life and soul into for 3 months), applied for an internship, and got accepted for an interview. After one of the most stressful two weeks of my life, this happened…
 
 

Intern Selection
 
 

You can imagine I nearly lost my mind when I found out I got accepted into the dietetic internship. Finally 3 years of hard work, sacrifice, and occasional breakdowns payed off, and I am now one step closer to becoming a Dietitian.

After my acceptance, life kicked into high gear. Right after finals I had to complete a prep course for the internship while having the opportunity to work as a Grade 9 tutor. I then had 2 weeks to get my accommodations and paperwork in order before I temporarily moved 4.5 hours away to the smallest town I have ever been to for a one-month clinical rotation. It was something I had never done before, and will likely give a bit more detail about this in a future post, but for now I will sum it up by saying it was one of the most amazing experiences and exceeded my expectations.

After one month on my own, I came back home and have been/will be spending the last few weeks before my LAST YEAR of university (I still can’t believe it) getting things in order, working on my tennis skills (which apparently I have improved in the last month, all thanks to the tennis club I joined during my rotation), and enjoying time with my hubby and friends.

Well there you have it. I now have one more year of undergrad and then I finish the rest of my internship immediately after. It will be yet another crazy year (plus), but I am so excited that I can actually enjoy my last year in school without stressing out about getting into the internship. A less crazy school life means more cooking and baking, which means more blog posts (or at least that’s the plan)!
 
Stay tuned for more healthy recipes. I intend on writing more about nutrition and how to incorporate a healthy lifestyle, so if you have any special requests, please send them my way via email!

 
 
~Christina

Vanilla Hazelnut Biscotti Granola

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I think granola has got to be one of the most misleading health foods out there right now. The ingredients are usually easy to pronounce and natural (check), the nutrition stats say loads of fibre (another check), and the main ingredient is oats, which is full of soluble fibre (triple check). However, if you look just a little closer it is usually LOADED with calories, sugar and fat. I’m not saying all granolas are to be avoided, because there are many great brands out there, but when eating this health food, be sure to dart your eyes towards the serving size used on the nutrition label because chances are it is much smaller than what you’re actaully eating.

So how can you guarantee you’re eating healthy granola without too much sugar or fat…make your own! Granola has got to be one of the easiest things to make. Just mix a bunch of ingredients together and toast it up in the oven. It requires minimal attention, so you’re free to do other things while it bakes.

My favourite way to eat granola is by either sprinkling 2 tbsp on strawberries and yogurt or adding 1/3 cup to bran flakes for some extra flavour in the morning.

The only problem is that it probably won’t last very long once your family/friends catches wind of it in the house!

Vanilla Hazelnut Biscotti Granola

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups large flake oats
¾ cups hazelnuts
¼ cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt with a spatula. Add remaining ingredients and mix gently until fully coated.
3. Lay flat on baking tray, spreading out with a spoon.
4. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Do not stir to avoid losing the shape of the chocolate chips.
5. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes, Break apart with a spoon and store in an airtight container.

Happy Monday!

Hearty Hodgepodge Soup

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Well hello there everyone! Instead of boring you with how busy my school schedule has been the past month I will just get straight into sharing one of my all-time favourite soups. Now I understand that’s a pretty epic statement, but you will know exactly why I said this after you conjure up a batch.

Hodgepodge is a term I heard way back, and it’s pretty much just a quirky way of describing a soup with a bunch of different ingredients, which is exactly what this is. Although you can use any kind of mixed vegetables, I find the combination of the corn, peas and green beans adds a sweet undertone that makes this soup that much more addicting. The best part….it tastes even better after being refrigerated for a day. An even better part…although this soup is technically vegetarian, it is still filling enough to eat on its own for lunch, hence the use of the term “hearty”. Just add a piece of fruit for dessert and you are good to go!

Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Black Bean Spring Rolls

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It has been starting to warm up a bit around these parts after some brutally cold weather, which inspired me to make more of a summery dish (in my opinion). Although I really enjoy crispy baked spring rolls, I have never tried uncooked spring rolls…and they were fantastic. They’re really easy to take for lunch, but didn’t last as long as I would have liked in the fridge, so be sure to consume them within two days to prevent soggy rolls!

Keeping with yesterday’s theme of super quick and easy, the filling will take about 1 minute to assemble and I have included some easy step-by-step instructions to follow when putting together the rolls. Do not be intimidated by the work involved because once you get into your groove, it will take you no time at all.

I typically do not buy many pre-made sauces and dressings, but a while ago I tried to make a sweet chili sauce, but couldn’t find the right peppers needed, so it did not taste as authentic as I would have liked (not to mention it burned my mouth with one drop). Therefore, I decided that since I couldn’t find the specific pepper needed, I would just buy it already made. Just be sure to check the sodium content (try for less than 300 mg per serving if possible) and look for minimal ingredients in the ingredients list, rather than a long list of names you can’t pronounce.

Lay 2 tbsp. of filling along centre, leaving about a 1/2 inch on the sides

Lay 2 tbsp. of filling along centre, leaving about a 1/2 inch on the sides

Fold over side closest to you, tucking filling in tightly

Fold over side closest to you, tucking filling in tightly

Fold in corners on each side

Fold in corners on each side

Tightly roll up until you reach the end

Tightly roll up until you reach the end

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

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I have now officially started my reading week, which means I can now start posting all of these recipes I have been eager to share with you! Although I do have school work to do (naturally), I plan on watching as much of the Olympics as possible along with catching up on my blog reading!

Due to my busy and hectic schedule the past few weeks, I have been experimenting a bit more with my slow cooker. It really is a great feeling to have dinner already warm and ready for you as soon as you step through the door…oh and not to mention the wonderful aroma that fills the house.

Given that my main use of a slow cooker is to reduce my prep time, this recipe will literally take you about 5 minutes to put together. You can assemble it quickly before you run out the door because no real prep time necessary.

I served this sweet and tangy chicken over leftover brown rice from the day before, along with steamed vegetables. To keep with the minimal prep theme, I recommend you cook extra of whatever grain you prefer the night before, so you can just heat it up and serve without having to wait for it to cook. However, if you forgot to do this, then just quickly steam a big batch of frozen mixed vegetables, drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then call it dinner!

Happy Family Day to those who are celebrating!

Maple Apple Baked Beans

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I have now made this dish about five times, which is a big deal in my house because we typically don’t eat the same dinner twice in one month. However, I love this dish because it’s a great take on beans, which most of us don’t get enough of in our diets. Looking at them, many people just don’t know what to do with them. They’re kind of boring on their own, so you need to dress them up a bit and this is the perfect attire for them!

This recipe makes quite a big batch and keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days, making it great for quick lunches. The first night I make this I serve it warm over a bed of quinoa or brown rice and then toss just over 1/2 cup of them over a large green salad for lunches the next few days. It makes lunch prep so quick and easy and the best part is that no dressing is needed because once mixed up with the greens, the sauce acts as the dressing. Mindblowing, I know. It just can’t get any easier than this.

Have a great day!