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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo - Page 6 of 35
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

Classic Tuna Melt {Recipe Redux}

What is your first cooking memory?  Mine is watching my mother make tuna salad.  It was a lazy Saturday afternoon and she encouraged me to open the can and showed me how to drain the juices and prop the lid open with a knife.  She warmly explained the importance of adding spices for flavouring and vegetables for crunch and nutrition.  As I got my hands-on experience, I realized that you can create delicious and healthy meals using simple ingredients and basic steps. When I was a little older, I asked mom if we could do a tuna melt instead, this added to versatility to the 2 minute salad.  To...

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15 Favourite Packed Lunches (ready in 15 minutes)

Now that you've mastered three steps to packed lunches, you're likely looking for some extra lunchbox inspiration!  Here are my 15 favourite lunches, ready in 15 minutes or less.  Click on blue lunch titles for a hyperlinks to the recipe!   Andrea’s 15 Favourite Lunches!   Check out Andrea's 15 favourite lunches! Click To Tweet   Easiest Greek Lentil salad:  This is my favourite option for a filling lunch loaded with fibre and protein. Simply rinsed and drain canned lentils and toss in veggies and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. Time-saving Tip: Use veggies that you have pre-cut on a weekend to speed up the prep time. Portion into lunch containers for later in the...

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3 Steps to Master Packed Lunches

September is the perfect time to start fresh. With children returning to school and crispness in the air, adults also feel inspired to make positive changes - like packing healthy lunches!  However, lunch is the most popular meal to eat out and the least likely to be prepared at home. According to Tracking Nutrition Trends Survey, only 37% of Canadians prepare their lunch at home. Today, we will cover the three steps (three P’s) to master the packed lunch.  My follow-up blog will include my 15 favourite lunches (ready in under 15 minutes).   Find out 3 steps to master packed lunches! Click To Tweet   Step 1: Plan The most common reason people...

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Back to School Bean Salad!

It’s almost back to school time and I know school lunches are top of mind.  What can you make for you and your child that’s quick, delicious and nutritious?  Look no further than a simple back to school bean salad with feta cheese!  This lunch is easy to make and is perfect for child helpers.  I recommend assembling the evening before so flavours have a chance to marinade and to avoid the morning rush.   Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes   Ingredients: 1 can (540mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 can (540mL) black beans, rinsed and drained 1 coloured pepper, chopped ½ cucumber, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup feta cheese, chopped into cubes ¼ cup fresh parsley ¼...

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Kung Pao Shrimp {Recipe Redux}

Who doesn’t love a vacation-inspired dish!  Kung Pao Shrimp is native to South West China and is most popular using chicken, peanuts and veggies.  Cooking is a way to travel to different places while remaining in the comfort of your own home. Hope you enjoy cooking up some different cuisines as well!   Serves: 4 Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes   Ingredients: ¼ cup real brewed soy sauce, low sodium 1 tsp corn starch ¼ cup water ¼ tsp canola oil ½ tsp balsamic vinegar ½ tsp brown sugar fresh ground pepper   3 tbsp canola oil with ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 3 cloves garlic, minced ¼ onion, chopped into large pieces 2 coloured peppers, chopped into large pieces 5 mushrooms, chopped 1...

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Five Reasons to Disregard Food Sensitivity Tests

For the past four years, I have wanted to request CBC Marketplace do an expose on the increasingly popular, “food sensitivity tests”.  These blood tests cost around $500-$700 and screen over 250 different foods to determine which foods you are “sensitive” to.  Awareness needs to be raised as millions of well-intentioned consumers are being swindled by claims that "hidden food sensitivities", once eliminated, will "supposedly" rid our bodies of various health ailments such as digestive disorders, headaches, chronic pain and even weight issues. Today, I will highlight my top five concerns with these pseudoscience food tests and why they should be disregarded.  Please share this blog with your friends...

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Mom’s Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe is one of my favourite grab-and-go options!  These are perfect to make in bulk and then pop into the freezer for a snack or to use as part of a meal.   Serves: 12 Prep time: 15 minutes Bake time: 20 minutes   Ingredients: 4 mashed ripe bananas 2/3 cup white sugar 1 egg ¼ cup melted margarine 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour ½ cup chocolate chips   Instructions: Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, mash bananas using a fork. Add sugar and slightly beaten egg. Add cooled, melted margarine. Add dry ingredients and stir only until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix gently until combined. Fill paper-lined...

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Do I need a vitamin supplement?

Have you even wondered if you should be taking a vitamin or mineral supplement?  Perhaps you reflected on your diet, scratched your head and thought “am I missing something?” The prevalence of supplement use is estimated at 40% among adults (Canadian Community Health Survey 2.2). As a dietitian, I like to take a food-first approach in meeting needs; however, I also recognize the necessity of bridging nutrient gaps. A common myth is that by taking a supplement we can make up for an unhealthy diet. Not true!  Similarly, people may assume that taking a supplements is as beneficial as getting this vitamin through food; also not true.   Choosing nutrient rich...

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Cobb Salads with Homemade Ranch Dressing {Recipe Redux}

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to make your own fresh salads. Cobb salads are one of my favourite ways to choose a variety of ingredients and make them into a meal. You can also cut your veggies into different shapes (like ribbons or cut-outs) to add interest and variety. I enjoyed using fresh leftover ingredients later in the week to make a wrap, black bean salad and more green leaf salads.   Prep time: 15-20 minutes Cook time: 10 mins Serves: 2   Ingredients: 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced ½ cup cucumbers, sliced 3 hard boiled eggs (how to make perfect hard boiled eggs) ½ avocado, sliced 1/4 cup black beans 3...

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