Cooking 101

TIP: Get steamy in the kitchen!

Tasty and nutrient-rich, vegetables should be the stars in your meals.

  • Steaming veggies until they’re just tender-crisp helps keep their fresh taste, nutrients, colour and crunch.
  • Steaming also takes very little time so you can get veggies to your table in a snap.

TIP: Baking bonanga! Balance your baking with simple swaps.

There are lots of tasty ways to make your baking a little bit healthier. Experiment by using simple substitutions in your favourite baked goods, such as replacing at least half of the enriched white flour with whole grain flour or replacing a quarter of the sugar with skim milk powder. You can also try replacing half of the fat in muffins, quick breads and cookies with mashed fruit or vegetables, such as unsweetened applesauce or puréed sweet potato.

TIP: Taste is king! Add some zing!

Healthy cooking is all about good taste!  Try adding some mouth-watering flavour boosters such as red pepper flakes, fresh lime juice, garlic, ginger and cinnamon.

TIP: Cook healthy! Get delicious results with good-for-you ingredients.

Use evaporated milk instead of cream, low-fat yogurt for mayonnaise, sweeten hot cereal with fruit, and use lemon juice, garlic, and herbs instead of salt.

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Cooking by Numbers

TIP: Eating alone? Make breakfast for dinner!

Breakfast foods are usually easy to make, and they’re versatile enough for any meal of the day. Options are endless! Consider omelettes, French toast, breakfast burritos or pancakes.

TIP: Cooking for one? Switch it up with stir-fries.

Stir-fries serve up a whole lot of variety in one small meal. Start with vegetables that you can buy loose. That way, you get as little as you need, reducing food waste.

TIP: Get fresh with simple dinner salads for two!

A dinner salad is a simple solution for couples to crunch on a variety of veggies. Buy a container of baby spinach, mixed greens or arugula and make a few different salads this week. Top them with a little olive oil vinaigrette.

TIP: Cooking for a crowd? Big-batch cooking is a super supper solution

Big-batch dishes that you can make ahead help you feed a crowd. Lasagna, chili, curries and stews are all great options. Leafy green salads can be made a day in advance. Keep them in the fridge and add the dressing just before serving.

Make it a Family Affair

TIP: Your kitchen doubles as a classroom that equips kids with life skills galore.

Cooking with kids is a great way to teach important life skills. Learning to cook now prepares them to cook for themselves when they grow up. It’s also a fun hands-on activity that teaches literacy, science and math!

TIP: Find weekdays too hectic to cook with kids? KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie!

Cooking with kids can take a little more time, but it’s worth it! Learning how to cook helps kids develop healthy eating habits, increases self-confidence and teaches life skills.

TIP: Got teens? Try “create-it-yourself” meals so they can experiment in the kitchen.

Teens who eat meals with their families and help out in the kitchen are more likely to make better food choices. They’re also more likely to connect better socially, and they’re less likely to have eating disorders.

Create-it-yourself meals are ideal for teens; they make cooking more fun and less of a chore. Try family taco, fajita or pizza nights.

TIP: Bring a little fun to your kitchen with a family cooking challenge

Cooking together is a great way to connect with your family, especially when there’s a friendly competition involved! Create a fun challenge, such as a cooking competition. You might find a new family favourite!

Budget Friendly Ideas

TIP: Marinate inexpensive cuts of meat for deliciously tender results.

Marinating inexpensive cuts of meat, such as pork shoulder, lamb shanks or beef brisket, adds flavour while it tenderizes.

TIP: Saving cents makes sense! Simmer up a pot of scrumptious soup.

Fill the pot with your favourite vegetables, whole grains and legumes for a healthy, fibre- filled meal in a bowl. The combinations are endless, and a big pot of soup can cost little and go a long way!

TIP: Make your food dollar go farther. Put more plant-based protein in your pot.

Cooking with protein-rich choices, such as lentils, black beans or chickpeas, is a healthy way to lower the cost per serving of your meals. Go meatless with these ideas:

  • Stir up yummy minestrone soup with black beans, chickpeas or lentils
  •  Make a quick chickpea curry for a totally meatless option
  • Add a couple of cups of cooked lentils to ground beef for luscious lasagna
  • Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Add to ground turkey for tasty tacos.

Make It Easy

TIP: Cook once. Eat twice. Make weeknight cooking a breeze with planned extras.

Try these easy options:

  • Grilling chicken or fish? Grill a couple of extra pieces for sandwiches.
  • Roasting veggies? Roast extras to toss with pasta or barley or to top a pizza.
  • Serving chili? Cook a bigger pot and then make enchiladas.
  • Having salad with supper? Make extra and put it in the fridge, without dressing, for tomorrow’s lunch.

TIP: Make a no-fuss meal with just six simple ingredients!

Get inspired with these ideas:

  • Cheesy Frittata – eggs, spinach, diced potato, red onion, milk and older cheddar cheese baked together into a fabulous frittata
  • Lemony Pasta – whole grain pasta tossed with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, chickpeas and freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Loaded Sweet Potato – baked sweet potato topped with black beans, green onion, tomato, cilantro and a spoonful of plain yogurt 

TIP: Cooking dinner is a snap with satisfying one-pot meals.

Whether it’s a quick supper or a slow-cooked dish, one-pot meals are the ideal no-fuss solution.

  • Go quick: Cook simple skillet fajitas with sautéed onions, garlic, chicken and bell peppers. Serve the mixture in warm tortillas with avocado, cheese and salsa.

Go slow: Make satisfying slow-cooker stews with beef, pork or dried legumes, root veggies, herbs and spices, simmered in flavourful broth.

In a Hurry ?

TIP: Take a kitchen shortcut with healthier convenience foods.

Foods such as light canned salmon or tuna, pre-cut butternut squash, frozen fruits and vegetables, shredded cheese, eggs, frozen tortellini or pizza crust are both convenient and healthy!

 

TIP: Take-out meals might seem like a simple solution, but they can be more expensive and less healthy than homemade meals.

Try these tasty meal ideas, ready in 20 minutes or less:

  • Quesadillas filled with black beans, diced sweet pepper, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese
  • Whole grain pita pizza topped with mushrooms, spinach, leftover grilled chicken and mozzarella

 

TIP: Double up! Make a double batch of breakfast on the weekend to enjoy during the week.

Try refrigerating extra whole grain pancakes. Reheat in the toaster and top with almond butter and sliced bananas. Enjoy with a glass of milk.

 

TIP: Simplify weekday cooking. Prepare some ingredients in advance.

On the weekend, peel, wash, and chop vegetables to use during the week. You can also marinate meat and freeze in small portions in the freezer, or cook stews, pasta or rice in large batches so that it’s ready to reheat when you need it.