Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Signature Dish

My husband and I both love to cook and we love sharing food with friends.  Whether we go out for a nice meal, attend a cooking class together, or host a potluck, it's always interesting to see what people like to make and eat.  This summer we've been planning an August food evening with a group of friends.  The hosts will be preparing their signature dishes (shrimp appetizer, ribs, and caesar salad - yum) and we will all bring something to add. 

This talk of signature/famous dishes got me wondering if I have one.  I try to experiment in the kitchen and use new recipes all the time.  At one point I know I wanted to get really good at making soup (since homemade is just so much tastier and typically healthier!).  My husband has pretty much mastered chili and gets rave reviews when he serves it to a large group.  I don't think I have one dish that I'm known for (yet!).  I do enjoy making muffins, roast chicken, soup, and vegetable dishes (someone has to make sure they're included!). 

Since it's Q's Day I am asking:

Do you have a signature dish?

If you feel like sharing the recipe I know I would love to hear it.

Enjoy your last day of July 2012,

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Friday, July 27, 2012

Saskatchewan Olympic Hopefuls

The 2012 Olympic Games are underway in London.  As a proud Saskatchewan girl, I wanted to share a few links and information on our athletes that are competing.  Our province will be represented by 7 Olympic athletes and 5 Paralympic athletes. 

Olympic athletes include Brianne Theisen (heptathlon), Cory Niefer (10-metre air rifle, 50-metre rifle), Krista Phillips (basketball), Kelly Parker and Kaylyn Kyle (soccer), Reuben Ross (synchronized diving) and Rachelle Viinberg (rowing). You can find out more about our home grown talent on metro.ca and ctvolympics.ca among other websites.

The Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan (CSCS) has information on our Olympians and Paralympians (who begin their games August 29).  The Paralympic athletes include Robert Hudson (archery), Keira Frie (athletics), Alexandre Dupont (athletics), Earle Connor (athletics), and Logan Campbell (sailing).  CSCS has also provided a very handy guide (shown in SK time) so that you can catch the prairie athletes in action.

We will also have many athletes competing in Meadow Lake, SK from July 29 to August 4 for the Saskatchewan Summer Games.  Perhaps these your hopefuls will be on the Olympic stage one day!

Go Canada Go!

Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Couscous and Capers

The other night we tried a new couscous recipe called Mediterranean Shrimp Couscous (from Taste of Home).  I know there are still many Canadian residents that aren't familiar with couscous - if that's you, check out my post about the grain.  It is very versatile and extremely quick to cook.

This was my first time using capers in a recipe.  What are capers you ask?  They are unopened buds of the Capparis spinosa bush, mainly grown in Mediterranean countries.  They are typically found pickled in a brine, so it's a good idea to rinse some of the salt away before using them.  Harvesting is done by hand and they can be used in a variety of dishes (salads, sauces, vegetables, dressings) to add a tangy, salty flavour.


  • 1-1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large skillet, saute the shrimp, shallot and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until shrimp turn pink. Remove and keep warm.
  • In the same skillet, cook and stir the zucchini, wine, tomatoes and capers until zucchini is tender. Add spinach; cook just until wilted. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  • Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar and remaining oil; add to the pan. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, the seasonings and reserved shrimp mixture; cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
  • Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts
1 cup equals 385 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 143 mg cholesterol, 619 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 28 g protein.

Keep having fun in the kitchen!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic Motivation

You've waited 4 years (or 2 if you're counting the winter Olympics; and you should) and now the London Games are only 3 days away!  The Olympics run from July 27 to August 12 and the Paralympic Games start August 29 and finish on September 9.  For all you sports fans, this means lots of coverage, multiple events to watch, and perhaps some great athletic feats to inspire you. 

One of my first thoughts is - don't become a couch potato.  Remember that events get replayed, highlight reels will come, and maybe you even have a pvr or other recording device at your disposal.  A great set-up would also be to workout while watching.  You should of course enjoy the events, but don't forget to be active!

Having been a high performance volleyball player, I know all about the excitement of competition.  I played volleyball for Team Canada from 2000-2006 and competed in an Olympic qualifying tournament in 2003.  Unfortunately we didn't qualify at the time, but I still find it interesting to tune in and recognize players that I competed against on the world stage.  The closest I came to the Olympic experience was FISU games in Izmir Turkey in 2005.  I say 'closest' not based on skill level, but on being in an athlete's village and running into athletes from numerous disciplines.  Typically at the international level we would just see other women's indoor volleyball players.

There is a lot going on for the athletes in London.  Some have trained for the last 4 years just for this event, some will get distracted by all the excitement.  There will be triumph.  There will be heartbreak.  Whoever you choose to cheer for, remember that we can't all be Olympians.  Some of the athletes train long hours and multiple times a day.  See if you notice the different body sizes and types, since different sports have different requirements (strength, endurance, speed...), but as we know (or should know) - healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

Get up and move, because every step, or every minute is better than nothing.  When you do turn on the TV or watch online, I would like to know:

What is your favourite Olympic sport to watch (or play)?

I'm hoping to catch volleyball, beach volleyball, and athletics.  I know I have some cousins who will be very interested in the synchronized swimming.  

Let the games motivate and inspire you,
Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Garden Greens

We don't have our own garden these days, but someone (or some people) in our building have grown lettuce for everyone!  There will also be cucumbers and tomatoes to come. 

Whether you have a garden, go berry picking, or hit up the farmer's market - there are lots of seasonal options available these days.  My monthly cooking group was even inspired to have a local/garden theme for our July supper (a meal I am looking forward to once again!).

Since it's Q's Day, today I'm wondering:

What is your favourite garden food or recipe?

I'm a simple pleasure type of girl when it comes to garden vegetables.  I like boiled baby potatoes with a little pepper and margarine, corn on the cob, and baby carrots.  This summer we have done our corn on the barbeque and had friends roast it over the open fire. 

If you are hitting up the Saskatoon farmer's market (or your local market) HealthCastle has some tips to share:
  • bring your own reuseable bags
  • bring cash
  • avoid the crowds (and get the best selection) by going earlier in the morning
The Saskatoon farmer's market summer hours (unitl October 13, 2012) are:

Saturdays 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
 Wednesdays - 10 a.m. -  3 p.m.
Sundays - 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

According to localeating.ca, Saskatchewan foods in season in July include:
  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Gooseberries
  • Greens
  • Herbs
  • Nectarines
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Saskatoons
  • Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
Enjoy the tastes of the season and feel free to share your favourite recipes or ways to enjoy them!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Too Hot to Handle?

It's hot out there!  If you're surviving in an air conditioned place then you may not be suffering like some, but you still might not be in the mood to heat up the house.

We went and picked up a second fan for our home yesterday, but I'm avoiding the oven for the time being.  Whether you are overheating indoors, or enjoying the sunshine outside, you may not feel like cooking in the heat.  This is not an excuse to grab the chips and forget about healthy variety.

It's important to stay hydrated, but we can't forget to feed ourselves and keep our metabolisms burning.  You still need your daily dose of nutrient-rich foods.  Since it's Q's Day, today I am asking:

What is your favourite no-cook meal?

I start thinking about proteins that don't need to be heated - beans, chickpeas, canned tuna, cottage cheese, etc.  You can also hard boil some eggs or cook a few extra chicken breasts one night and use leftovers in wraps or salads.  This is also a great time to use leftover pasta, couscous, quinoa, etc. in a salad.

TLC has a few basic tips for chicken or tuna salad:
Open a can, drain the liquid, chop some celery and onions and mix them all together. That's all you need to do to make tuna or chicken salad. Sprinkle with pepper and stir in mayonnaise [or plain yogurt] to hold it all together
If you're in an experimental mood, you can dress up your creation with sliced grapes, chopped apples, pecan bits, pineapple chunks or fresh dill. Serve it on a bed of lettuce for a light, cool treat. For a heartier dinner, place spoonfuls of your meat salad onto pieces of pita bread, or roll it up into a soft tortilla with some bean sprouts for an easy wrap.
CloverLeaf also has some easy and quick recipes (Take 5 - 5 ingredients, 5 minutes) to inspire you.

Share your favourite recipes/tips, mention your challenges, ask questions, or post answers.

Have a great hot day!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching