Category: Vegetables & Salads

I have been working a lot which has been cutting into my blogging time… not to mention the 10 days I just spent in Waikiki visiting one of my very best friends!

Luckily, I found some time on this sunny Sunday to share this recipe with you – it’s definitely a new go-to recipe for me. It is so incredibly delicious with a bright lemon flavour.

roasted sweet potato fennel asparagus salads


What’s for dinner??

If answering this question causes you daily stress then being prepared with ready-to-go versatile ingredients in your fridge/freezer can be a great asset!

Making caramelized onions takes time and effort that many of us are not willing to put in after a day at work. Until I started making them in my slow-cooker I rarely had them on hand. I am much too impatient for that. Now they have become somewhat of an addiction… they make so many meals so much better, I just can’t go without them anymore!

What have a I been using these deliciously sweet, flavorful morsels on?

Sushi Salad


My lovely friend Carolyn taught me how to make sushi. It was really fun and easier than I thought it would be…but a little time consuming!

sushi salad

So, if you don’t have all that time or just want a new take on sushi flavours, try out this recipe! It’s best made the day (or at least a few hours) before you want to eat it to let all the flavors meld. This salad is also a great option if you don’t like seaweed!

Since my last blog post I have attended the National Dietitians of Canada conference, finished my dietetic internship in Prince George, BC, moved to Vancouver, BC and I’m about to start my first “real life” job as a Clinical Dietitian with Fraser Health! It’s been a whirl wind!

I’m excited to be slightly more settled now and back to my blogging. I even have the perfect summer recipe for my first blog post as my new self, fresh strawberry salsa! My twin sister (who I now live a few blocks from) ordered strawberry salsa when we were out the other night. I had never heard of such a thing. It was delicious!

Eggplant Parmesan



Photo Credit

I never used to buy eggplants because I didn’t know what to do them. Then I came across this recipe, and that changed in a hurry! I realized how much I love them and just how versatile they are. I love pan frying them or throwing them in stir fries, lasagna, casseroles and pasta sauce.  They absorb sauce well and take on all the delicious flavors and are a great vehicle for cheese! :) Traditionally eggplants are used in moussaka and baba ghanoush, two dishes I also love.

Some recipes call for you to salt the eggplant and let it sit for an hour (!!) to draw out bitter juices before cooking it. This is an extra step, I never do because 1. no one needs more salt in their diet and 2. it’s a pain in the butt, who has time for that?! Also, newer varieties of eggplant are less bitter than they used to be and if you buy smaller eggplants they likely won’t be bitter at all. I have never noticed a bitter taste either way, so don’t waste your time!

I always challenge people to try out new vegetables. I hear a lot of parents say “my kids don’t like vegetables” … once I do a little digging, I found out that they are being offered plain steamed broccoli or raw veggie sticks! These are great options, but won’t peak any child’s interest (unless you’re lucky!). So, I love to have recipes like this one (or this one) on hand to show parents that if you put a little effort into it kids will love vegetables just as much as me (…well that might be a stretch, but you get the idea).

Be creative, have fun in the kitchen and stop focusing all your time and effort on that meat dish. Spice up those veggies to make them the star of your meal, your heart (and your waist) will be very appreciative!

Enjoy! :)


Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 4


  • 1 large eggplant (I used a longer skinnier one, but fatter one work too)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large egg whites)
  • 5 wasa or ryvita crispbreads; ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in the blender (or crushed in a bag with a rolling pin), crush more as needed
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce w/ Italian flavoring
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (as you can see I just used whatever cheese I had)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, etc.)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice ends off of eggplant, and cut it lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Use a paper towel to blot eggplant slices on both sides (to remove excess moisture). Grease a large baking pan. Season crumbs with garlic powder, salt, pepper and additional Italian seasonings to taste. Coat eggplant slices on both sides — first with egg whites, and then with the seasoned crumbs.
  • Place slices flat on the baking pan, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Then, flip slices over and bake until browned on both sides (about 10 minutes longer). Remove pan from oven, but leave oven on.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom of an 8″ X 8″ baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Arrange half of the baked eggplant slices evenly over the sauce. Continue to layer ingredients evenly in this order: sauce (1/4 cup), mozzarella and parm  (half of each), sauce (1/4 cup), eggplant (remaining slices), sauce (1/4 cup), and cheeses (remaining amounts). Cover dish with foil and return to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated throughout. Allow to cool slightly, and then cut into quarters.

**note: using the crisp breads is an easy way to make high fiber, tasty breadcrumbs, but traditional bread crumbs can be used instead

Orange Glazed Beets



Beets, beets the magical root the more you eat the more you ______??

Hmm couldn’t think of an ending for that one… but I tried! ;)

Pickled, roasted, raw, shredded, steamed, juiced or boiled these colorful roots are my favorite! I can’t get enough of them. Choose small to medium beets with smooth skins. If the greens are still attached (yeah!!) they are delicious, make sure the leaves are still vibrant, fresh and not all wilted. If you are boiling beets try not to break the skin when washing them, leave the tail and a couple inches of the stem on to help avoid bleeding. Once they are cooked through and cooled a bit you should be able to slip the skins off fairly easily.

Gold Star nutrient: Vitamin A (166% DV in 1/2 cup boiled)

Orange Glazed Beets

1 pound beets
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tsp grated orange zest
nutmeg, salt and pepper
1. Wash beets with 2 inches of the stem and tail still attached. Boil gently, covered, until tender about 45 min (or 1 hour or more for old beets)
2. Cool them slightly, slip off the skins and slice beets
3. While the beets are cooking prepare the orange glaze. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan, whisk in the flour until well blended and smooth (about 1.5 min- this is called a roux! :) ). Slowly add the water and juice while whisking, whisk constantly to prevent lumps, continue cooking until sauce is smooth, thickened, and hot about 2 minutes. Add sugar and zest, and season with a sprinkle of nutmeg, salt and pepper
4. Pour the sauce over the cooked beets and serve hot.

Green-Double-Bean Salad


Well the holidays are over and it’s back to the same old routine. If you are looking for some extra time to relax why not toss this salad together and keep it in the fridge for quick lunches all week!

I have never thought to put green beans in a salad before, but I love them so I was intrigued by this recipe. Also anything with avocado in it must be good right? I once saw someone munching on these string beans raw and had to try it myself —–> YUM! As long as you get fresh, crunchy ones they are a delicious snack.  Green beans are also rich in many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and K, folate, potassium and manganese.

Add a grain such as barley, kamut, spelt or wheat berries to make this salad even more satisfying.


Green-Double-Bean Salad

Modified from Rose Reisman’s Complete Light Kitchen


• 8 oz green beans, chopped into thirds or left whole
• 340mL can corn kernels, drained
• 190z can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•1 large diced red bell pepper
• 1/2 cup diced red onion
• 1 large diced ripe avocado


• 2 tsp lime or lemon zest
• 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
• 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 tsp minced jalapeño
• Pinch salt and black pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or basil/parsley)

1. Steam the green beans just until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes. Place immediately under cold water and rinse until the beans are no longer warm. Place in a serving bowl.

2. Spray small non-stick skillet with cooking oil and place over medium heat. Sauté corn, stirring frequently, until browned, approximately 8 minutes. Add to the serving bowl, along with the chickpeas, bell pepper, onion and avocado.

3. Whisk the zest, juice, oil, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and toss with salad. Chill.

Jicama Salad


Jicama (pronounced HIK-ka-ma) is what I like to call a Mexican potato (with half the calories and more than twice the fiber of a potato with skin). It is a crisp, sweet tuber that has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and is popular in Mexican dishes. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I love it raw chopped up into matchsticks and sprinkled with a little cayenne and lime juice. I have also shredded it before and used it to make hashbrowns, sauteed with garlic, onion, tex-mex seasoning and olive oil. They where delicious. It stays slightly crunchy and absorbs all the flavors beautifully.


Also known as yam bean, jicama can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for a few weeks. Choose ones smaller than about two fists as they get more tough and fibrous when they get that large. Jicama can be used to replace waterchest nuts in recipes, just add at the end of cooking. They are also great to use in a slaw, and perfect for stirfrys as they add a nice crunchy texture.

Quick word of warning the peel and other plant parts contain rotenene, an organic poison and should be discarded. But the white flesh is perfectly safe for children and adults.

This jicama salad is another one of my favorite ways to enjoy this awesome vegetable. Looking for something else to add to your xmas list? A mandoline makes this salad a breeze. Enjoy!

photo 4

Jicama Salad

Yield: Serves 4.

Modified from simply recipes

-1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, then julienned or cubed (easiest to work with if you cut the jicama in half first)
-1/2 red bell pepper,  diced
-1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
-1/2 green bell pepper, diced
-1/2 cup chopped red onion
-1/2 a large cucumber, seeded, chopped
-2 navel oranges, peel cut away, sliced crosswise, then each round quartered (reserve any juices)
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-1/2 avocado chopped
-1/3 cup lime juice
-2-3 Tbsp olive oil
-2-3 tbsp honey
-Pinch of cayenne
-Pinch of paprika

1 Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, orange, avocado and cilantro in a large serving bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey and any orange juices and pour over salad. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and paprika. Season with salt. Toss.

2 Let sit a half an hour before serving.


- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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