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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

taco

Tasty Taco {Recipe Redux}

Who does not love a DIY (Do It Yourself) meal? Taco meals offer flexibility to include the foods or ingredients you like. These types of ‘separate ingredient’ meals also allow kids to help in the kitchen, which builds food confidence as a life-long skill to eating well. Taco meals also allow for amazing leftovers for those busy nights where you don’t have time to cook. I enjoy making Buddha Bowls with the remaining ingredients for quick-assembly lunches. Click here for My 7 “Make-Ahead” Lunches.   Taco Tuesdays are also a fun trend where you can swap out the fillings to make fish tacos, pulled pork, shrimp tacos, chipotle beef,...

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Top 7 ‘Make-Ahead’ Lunches

Top 7 ‘Make-Ahead’ Lunches

Now that we are back-to-school or back from holidays, it is time to hunker down with preparing “make-ahead” lunches. In part one, we explored the three ways to master “make-ahead” lunches by prioritizing planning, stocking up on lunchbox essentials and considering a mental shift from performance to consistency. This makes the lunch-making process less daunting and a more sustainable habit. In today’s blog, I will share when to prepare lunches, the 1, 2, 3 lunch-box formula and finally my Top 7 “Make-Ahead” Lunches.   When Do I "Make-Ahead?" Avoid making or packing lunches in the morning. Your future-self will always thank you. For most, the mornings are one of the...

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Sunflower pesto recipe

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Gotta love the summer for fresh herbs and local produce. If you follow my Instagram, you know that I love food/cooking and have a thriving herb garden. I even wrote a blog about Top 5 Must-Have Garden Herbs. However, at the end of the season, it can be difficult to use up all the basil. Today’s blog recipe is my Sunflower Seed Pesto. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I substituted sunflower seeds. It turned out well!   Making your own pesto is not a challenge. It actually uses minimal ingredients and the flavour is simply outstanding. You can store pesto in a mason jar in the fridge. I...

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3 Ways to Master ‘Make-Ahead’ Lunches

3 Ways to Master “Make-Ahead” Lunches

It’s the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Even if you’re not back-to-school, adults often feel inspired to start new healthy habits, like packing a balanced lunch. However, busy schedules and life commitments can get in the way of these noble intentions. We frequently feel unprepared and stressed, and either spend money eating out or dish out lunch money to our kids.   Today’s blog is number one of a two-part series. First, I will share how our schedules impact our meal-time stress, then the benefit of packing ahead, and finally three tips to master “make-ahead” lunches. These are the lunches that can be prepared in...

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Mediterranean Quinoa & Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa & Lentil Salad

Back-to-school is in the air. This means that parents are busy packing lunches to leave kids (and themselves) feeling full for longer. I love this Mediterranean Quinoa & Lentil Salad because it has a combination of flavours and textures. This recipe provides flexibility to add or omit ingredients according to your preferences. The dressing is super simple and fresh. I recommend making a double or triple batch of the vinaigrette and putting it in a mason jar in the fridge to add to dinner salads. To reduce morning mayhem during back-to-school time, pack lunches the night before. Read more tips in: 3 Steps to Master Packed Lunches and/or Tackling Lunchtime Challenges....

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New Orleans Food

New Orleans Food Exploration

Are you a food explorer? Do you travel to new places and seek their cuisine? I do! Traveling is one of my passions along with food! Food exploration allows me to combine these two passions to make truly memorable experiences. This summer, I went to New Orleans to discover their infamous food scene. In today’s blog, I will showcase what makes New Orleans food unique and underscore my top five must-have’s!   What’s “Creole Cuisine?” Creole cuisine is unique to Louisiana. According to Urban Distortionary, Creole is one of the most interesting yet little known cultures America has ever known! There’s a mixture of Black, French, Spanish and Native American-influence...

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Mussels Blog

Mussels Nutrition: A Summer Superfood

Have you wondered about the nutrition of mussels? Those cute little shellfish that can be served cooked in or out of the shell. Mussels are available fresh, smoked, canned and even frozen. Today, I will be highlighting the nutrition for mussels because they are delicious, versatile and jam-packed with health-promoting value. Get ready to dive in deeply as we explore the nutrition of mussels, how to prepare them and how to incorporate in your diet. Hint: preparing mussels is easier than you think (recipe to follow)!     My Mussels Story: Funnily enough, mussels were the one food that terrified me as a child. I remember my Nonno making them as...

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White Wine Mussels

White Wine Mussels in Tomato Cream Sauce

Have you heard that mussels are super easy to make? I heard this many times but remained too intimidated to give them a try. However, on a beautiful summer day, I decided to muster up the courage to prepare them. Boy were they good! Simple and flavourful. Served with a fresh, crusty baguette! I encourage you to experiment in the kitchen. Like Julia Child says, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”   Serves: 2-3 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 13-15 minutes   Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 lbs of fresh mussels 1 cup of dry white wine 1 cup cherry tomatoes,...

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Cottage Meals

5 Fun, Make-Ahead Cottage Meals

Who loves time at the cottage? In Canada we are lucky to have beautiful lakes and vast wilderness. Ever since I was a child, I have appreciated visiting my aunt and uncle’s cottage on Maple Lake. This has always been a cherished time to enjoy the outdoors, play and relax. As an adult, I still love cottage times and especially cottage food! However, coming up with meal ideas can be a tad arduous. Today’s post is to inspire you with 5 fun, make-ahead cottage meals. After all, who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when you can be sitting by the lake with...

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