Category Archives: Prevention and Wellness

Panzanella with Asparagus and Eggs

Panzanella with Asparagus and Eggs

Photo credit: Canadian Living
Adapted from Canadian Living

Enjoy the end of the asparagus season with this easy weeknight meal. Start to finish it takes 20 minutes and tastes fresh and delicious!


• 4 eggs, (shells-on)
• 2 slices (1/2-inch/1 cm thick) sourdough bread
• 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 bunch asparagus, (about 450 g), trimmed
• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Dijon Dressing:
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

1. In saucepan, add eggs and enough water to cover by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm); bring to boil. Reduce heat; boil gently for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 4 minutes. Drain and run eggs under cold water for 2 minutes; drain. Peel eggs and halve lengthwise; Set aside.
2. Brush both sides of bread with oil. Place bread and asparagus on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until asparagus is tender and slightly grill-marked and bread is grill-marked, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly; cube bread and halve asparagus crosswise.
3. In large bowl, gently toss together bread, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes, red onion and basil.

Dijon Dressing: Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

To finish: Toss salad with dressing to coat. Top with eggs.

Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable Salad

Photo credit:
Recipe source:

This easy weeknight meal uses chickpeas and halloumi to give flavour to summer vegetables. Chickpeas are a great way to include more plant based proteins in your meals. If you don’t have a BBQ, you can make this using a cast iron pan on the stove top.


4 zucchinis, cut into 1/2-in. diagonal slices
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
250-g pkg halloumi cheese
540-mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped parsley


• Preheat barbecue to medium. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.
• Oil grill. Barbecue zucchini until tender-crisp, 3 min per side.
• Cut halloumi into 1/2-in.-thick slices, and barbecue until grill marks form, 2 min per side.
• Divide zucchini, halloumi and chickpeas among 4 plates. Drizzle with lemon dressing. Sprinkle with mint and parsley.


• Calories 422
• Protein 20 g
• Carbohydrates 31 g
• Fat 25 g
• Fibre 6 g
• Sodium 1035 mg


Photo credit: Food Network

Curry Roast Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Photo credit: Food Network
Adapted from Back to Basics: Michael Smith

This easy weeknight meal can be eaten cold or hot as leftovers. There aren’t a lot of cauliflower recipes so give this one a go. The chickpeas are also a great way to increase the number of times a week you include nuts, seeds and legumes.

1 cauliflower cut in small florets
2 onions diced
Cloves from 1 head of garlic, halved
19-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
¼ cup of olive oil
1 heaping tbsp of curry powder
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Toss together cauliflower, onions, garlic, chickpeas, oil, curry powder, cumin, fennel and coriander seeds.
3. Pour into a 13×9 in baking pan
4. Roast stirring once or twice until golden brown (45-60 minutes)
5. Serve!

Nutrition Information (based on 4 servings as a main course)
Calories (kcal) 334.6
Fat (g) 16.6
Saturated Fat (g) 2.3
Trans Fat (g) 0.0
Cholesterol (mg) 0.0
Sodium (mg) 70.8
Potassium (mg) 923.2
Carbohydrate (g) 38.0
Fibre (g) 8.0
Sugar (g) 8.5


Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms

Adapted from Canadian Living

Weeknight meals don’t have to be fancy to be nutritious. Eggs are a complete protein and make a very easy weeknight meal. Serve with whole wheat toasted or whole wheat focaccia bread and enjoy!

• 1 pkg (255 g) mushrooms, sliced
• 8 eggs
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
• 2 tbsp oil
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1/3 cup crumbled soft herb-and-garlic cheese, (such as Boursin)

1. In skillet, heat 2 tsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat; cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until light brown and no liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pinch of pepper. Remove from pan; set aside.

2. Whisk together eggs, half of the chives and pinch of pepper. In same skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat; cook egg mixture, stirring, just until softly set but still runny, about 5 minutes.

3. Divide egg mixture, mushrooms and focaccia among 4 plates. Dot eggs with cheese; sprinkle with remaining chives.

Nutritional Information:
Serves 4
cal 355
pro 21g
total fat 24g
sat. fat 10g
carb 41g
dietary fibre 4g
sugar 2g
chol 385mg
sodium 798mg
potassium 299mg

Take the challenge! Eat Four Vegetarian Meals Each Week And Support Life-Saving Care In February.


Moroccan Couscous and Chickpeas

Adapted from: Michael Smith

Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you, most are spices your probably have at home. This is a quick weeknight meal that keeps well for lunch leftovers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
few cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 19 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1 cups orange juice
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 lemon, zest and juice
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
a handful chopped cilantro (optional)


  1. Splash the olive oil into a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and spices. Sauté for a few minutes until everything is heated through
  2. Add chickpeas, couscous, raisins, apricots, orange juice, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. Bring everything (all condiments) to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain the simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and continue cooking until the couscous is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes
  3. Turn off the heat and let the couscous rest for another 5 minutes or so before serving. Using a fork to help fluff up the couscous, transfer it into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the almonds and cilantro

Nutrition Information
Calories (kcal) 398.5
Fat (g) 9.8
Saturated Fat (g) 1.1
Trans Fat (g) 0.0
Cholesterol (mg) 0.0
Sodium (mg) 275.9
Potassium (mg) 597.4
Carbohydrate (g) 69.1
Fibre (g) 8.2
Sugar (g) 18.7
Protein (g) 11.1
Vitamin A (RAE) 21.2
Vitamin C (mg) 19.6
Calcium (mg) 79.7
Iron (mg) 2.5

Negative thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophecy

How does one manage stress? Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing our outlook towards an event or situation.

We spend so much time worrying about “what might happen,” rather than “what is happening right now,” said

Esther Doucette, Social Worker at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Doucette suggests that sometimes we need to change our outlook to experience events in a less stressful way.

While we all have stress in our lives, and some of it can be exhilarating, it is the long term stress that can have a negative impact on our health.

“We allow our brains to lead us to think of negative outcomes, even before the event occurs,” she said. “Recognizing this path and learning different ways to manage those thought patterns can be really helpful.”

Much of our stress is “perceived stress,” she said. “If we think something will be difficult, it ends up being difficult.  These negative thoughts can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

She offers the following tip: Take a moment to really think about the apparent stressor.

  • Is this something that I can change?
  • Can I take some control over the stressor?
  • Am I thinking of a realistic outcome or am I allowing my mind to create a negative outcome before it occurs?

It is important to notice our thoughts and how they are affecting us and then take some control over these thoughts before they perpetuate further stress.

Your friends and family may be able to help!  Talking to someone who can provide a different perspective regarding an event or situation can be helpful. Sometimes it might be helpful to talk to a professional who can help you to learn new ways of coping.

“It takes practice to learn to look at life events in a new way,” she said, “and changing our outlook isn’t easy. We get into a habit that’s hard to shake. Sometimes taking a step back and re-evaluating can be helpful.”

Pea and Ricotta Toast


In a rush after work? This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen peas and takes no more than 15 minutes to put together.

• 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• 2 tbs. chopped fresh dill
• 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more for brushing
• 3/4 cup ricotta
• 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
• 8 slices whole wheat crusty bread, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick
• 1 garlic clove, halved


• Cook the peas in boiling water until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, then transfer to a medium bowl.
• Add the lemon juice, dill, 2 tsp. of the olive oil,.
• In another medium bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, 1 tsp. of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
• Toast the crusty bread then lightly brush one side of each toast with olive oil and rub with the garlic clove. Divide the ricotta mixture among the toasts, spreading it evenly. Hold each toast over the bowl of peas (so that any runners fall back into the bowl), and spoon the peas over the ricotta, gently smushing them into the ricotta so that they adhere. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.


Take the challenge! Eat Four Vegetarian Meals Each Week And Support Life-Saving Care In February.

Almond Breakfast Bars

Adapted from: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

These easy breakfast bars are full of soluble fiber from the oatmeal and oat bran. It’s the perfect breakfast for those days where you are on the run. Enjoy with a piece of fruit!

1 cup chopped prunes ( or dates)
1.25 cups rolled oats
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oat bran
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 tsp. freshly grated orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-by-8 inch pan with parchment paper, using enough so that it hangs over the sides.

2.. Stir together the chopped prunes, oats, flour, wheat germ, chopped almonds, salt, and cinnamon.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, honey, orange zest, and almond extract (if using) until smooth.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the oat mixture and stir together until everything is well combined. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan, press it down and flatten it.

6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the top is faintly golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting.

They may be a bit crumbly! A serrated knife is best for cutting these breakfast bars into pieces.

Calories (kcal) 239.4
Fat (g) 8.2
Saturated Fat (g) 1.0
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0.0
Sodium (mg) 2.2
Potassium (mg) 323.5
Carbohydrate (g) 38.7
Fibre (g) 5.0
Sugar (g) 17.3
Protein (g) 6.4

Take the challenge! Eat Four Vegetarian Meals Each Week And Support Life-Saving Care In February.