Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mixing it up - Vegetarian Style

At this point I have no intention of giving up meat, but I do like to get meat alternatives into the mix. Meat alternatives (soy proteins, tofu, beans, lentils, chickpeas...) can help you reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet - making them a great option to increase the variety in your meal routine. Of course, you want to prepare them with little added fat or salt.

We recently attended a family supper and were surprised to get vegetarian lasagna. Encouraged by CBC's Village on a Diet - we enjoyed vegetable lasagna with Yves Italian Veggie Ground Round. Had I not been told that it was soy rather than ground beef, I may not have noticed. The texture is the same and with all the other flavours associated with lasagna I could not tell the difference. The Italian Veggie Ground Rounds contains 60 calories, 0 g fat, 10 g protein, and 2 g fibre, along with other vitamins and minerals in a 1/3 cup serving.

I remember using is a couple of times in the past when I was cooking for 1 because it is quick and easy - you just have to heat it up and can use in pasta, salads, wraps, etc. I love when people try new foods and I thought it was great that we were served a vegetarian option and everyone seemed to like it.

Steph Wheler

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No Time?

One of the barriers to cooking at home is a lack of time. Many people eat out or grab food to go because they feel that is all the time they have. So, what can you do?

- Make 'planned extras' - not left overs, but planned food to be used for another meal. This could be extra meat to put on a pizza, put in a salad, add to pasta and vegetables, etc.

- Reduce the preparation time with a wide variety of washed/ready to eat fresh vegetables and fruit, pre-shredded cheese, etc. Frozen vegetables can be quickly steamed, frozen fruit can make a smoothie or be added to cereal.

- Prepare big batches - spaghetti, chili, soup - these can be frozen into small portions to be enjoyed in the future.

- Plan out your week - find recipes, get the appropriate groceries and save yourself time by not having to create a meal plan when you're hungry and feeling rushed.

Do you have a favourite time saving tip?

I'll often keep a grain product (bread, bagels, English muffins) in the freezer in case I have a rushed morning - then I can defrost it, toast it, put on some nut butter, and grab a piece of fruit so that I still get a complete breakfast!

Steph Wheler

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A New Take on Carrot Cake

I recently tried a Quinoa Apple Carrot Cake recipe from the Company's Coming Whole Grain Recipes cookbook. The quinoa added a bit of a "nutty" taste in my opinion, but overall a moist and flavourful new recipe. I do have a sweet tooth, so I like to bake every once in awhile. Since this was the first time I tried this recipe, I didn't modify it (well I didn't add the salt - so I guess I modified it a bit!).

All-purpose flour 1 1/2 c
Baking powder 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Large eggs, fork beaten 3
Brown sugar, packed 1 c
Canola oil 2/3 c
Finely grated ginger root 1 Tbsp (or 3/4 tsp ground ginger)
Cooked quinoa 1 1/2 c
Grated carrot 1 c
Grated, peeled apple 1/2 c (such as McIntosh)
Cream cheese, softened 2 Tbsp
Milk 2 Tbsp
Margarine, softened 2 tsp
Vanilla extract 1/4 tsp
Icing sugar 1 1/2 c
Measure first 5 ingredients into large bowl. Make a well in centre.
Combine next 4 ingredients in medium bowl.
Add next 3 ingredients. Stir. Add to well. Stir just until moistened. Line bottom of greased 9 inch (22 cm) springform pan with waxed paper. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake in 325F (160C) oven for about 55 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Run knife around inside edge of pan to loosen cake. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack to cool completely. Remove and discard waxed paper from bottom of cake.
ICING: Beat first 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add icing sugar. Beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary until spreading consistency. Spread evenly over top and side of cooled cake. Cut into 12 wedges.

Steph Wheler

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fajita Ideas from Dietitians of Canada

Feel like you're always making the same things for supper? You can use a simple idea, but switch up a few ingredients to create a variety or flavours and give your body a variety of nutrients.

This year for Nutrition Month, Dietitians of Canada (DC) created two different handouts to encourage Canadians to create healthy meals at home. The "Get Real" handout has some great recipe ideas in a section called Fajitas Rock!

First, choose the wrap itself - whole grain tortillas, rice paper, lettuce leaves, or whatever you can imagine. I know we've done great wraps with lettuce leaves, crab meat, avocado, a dash of pepper, and a squirt of lime.

DC suggests 3 wrap ideas:

1) Stampede - thinly sliced lean BBQ steak, grilled green peppers, salsa, and a little sour cream (or plain yogurt). Tip: Beef has lots of vitamin B12 which is important to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.
2) Mac Attack - diced MacIntosh apple, Canadian Havarti cheese, raisins, chopped celery, and a spoonful of vanilla yogurt. Tip: Leaving the peel on apples gives you a little more fibre.

3) Chick Trick - sliced grilled chicken, thin strips of sweet bell pepper and cucumber, sprinkles of green onion and shredded lettuce, topped with salsa. Tip: The darker the lettuce, the more nutrients it contains.
Get creative in the kitchen tonight!
Steph Wheler www.nutrishus.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fat Tax?

I was just reading an article from last weekend's Saskatoon StarPhoenix about the issue of implementing a Canadian junk food tax. I have written other posts about creating a healthy food environment and this fits right in.

I can see that it is a difficult issue and that there are valid arguments coming from both sides. It's great that people are wanting to change things for the better, but I still don't think we've figured out the right way to do that. The article has some startling statistics:

"Currently, 59% of adult Canadians are either overweight or obese"

"The average Canadian drinks about 73 litres of pop annually. Teenagers in particular, indulge in sugary drinks. On any given day in Canada, 53% of boys and 35% of girls aged 14-18 will drink a regular soft drink."

I remember when pop and chips and sweets were a treat, yet today they are everywhere we turn. Almost any store you enter will have these high calorie, low nutrient foods at a low price and as mentioned it is the teenagers who are drinking a lot of the pop - these are the generations where we can take steps to prevent future chronic diseases and weight problems.

Yes, it sounds like a tax grab, but the supporters are saying that the benefit would come from using that tax money for exercise programs, nutrition education, and to subsidize healthier foods. The opponents state that no single food or beverage is uniquely linked to obesity - but the excess calories are.

Over many generations we have done this to ourselves - we have Tim Horton's on almost every corner, but we don't have grocery stores in our downtown areas. When a problem develops over decades, it takes time to create change. I always talk to my clients about small steps towards a larger goal - these things don't happen over night. Somewhere along the way we decided that we don't like to have to work for things and if they're not easy we often give up.

These are our lives, this is our health - we only get one shot, so what are you doing today to be healthy??

Steph Wheler

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day 2011

As a woman and a business owner, I am especially happy to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD). You can find out more (events happening around the world, what people are saying, what IWD is...) on the IWD website.

This year is the 100th anniversary of IWD and the United Nations theme is: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.
As a sole proprietor in a science based industry I really feel that this is an important issue. We may not see it as clearly in our great country, Canada, but it is true that women still fight for equality. Through my memberships in the Saskatoon Women's Network and Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan I have had the opportunity to meet many successful women in my own city and province. It is very encouraging to someone like me who is still new to the business world.

Steph Wheler

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cooking with Couscous

Couscous (pronounced "koos-koos") is a staple grain that comes from North Africa. It is made of granules of semolina (the by-product of milled flour) from durum wheat. Often used as an alternative to rice it is more closely related to pasta made from semolina. Couscous is simple to prepare, can be seasoned or left plain, and can be used in a variety of dishes. The word couscous can refer to the grain as stated above, but it can also refer to a prepared dish made from hard wheat or other grains such as barley, millet, sorghum, rice, or maize.

Minted Couscous Salad (President’s Choice Whole Wheat Couscous)

1 1/4 c (300 mL) chicken stock
1 c (250 mL) PC Whole Wheat Couscous
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, diced (skin on)
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c (125 mL) PC Fat Free California Light Dressing
1/4 c (50 mL) coarsely chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to large bowl. Cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
Stir in red pepper, cucumber, beans, and green onions until combined. Add dressing and mint; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with mint sprig, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.

Steph Wheler

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dietitians of Canada Nutrition Month 2011

If you are following Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching along with Registered Dietitian Stephanie Wheler on facebook, you are likely already aware that March is Nutrition Month! This year's campaign is a continuation from last year and the theme is Celebrate food... from field to table!

The 2010 campaign focused on Canadian farming and agricultural practices, food processing, food labeling, and how these factors impact nutrition. This year the focus has switched to meal planning, purchasing, and preparing foods for the family.

Canadian individuals and families face many challenges when it comes to preparing healthy meals and snacks. Follow Steph this month for recipes, nutrition tips, cooking tips, and ways to overcome barriers to home food preparation.

Steph Wheler