Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

Walnut Lime Pesto

Walnut Lime Pesto

How are you keeping? This COVID-19 social distancing is not easy but connecting with others remotely is comforting and still powerful. Nevertheless, I am excited to share my newest Walnut Lime Pesto recipe. I was inspired to make this homemade pesto because of my very robust-growing basil plant. Additionally, I was craving pesto to mix with my garlic shrimp for a risotto topping (click here for risotto recipes.) This special risotto with pesto shrimp was a creation for my “Social Distancing Dinner Party” on the Dietetic Directions Instagram. For those unfamiliar, each Friday during our social distancing, I am hosting a virtual dinner party with a special theme. The response has been...

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Sprouted Grain Bread

What’s Sprouted Grain Bread?

~Exploring Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Sourdough, Rye Breads~ Have you wondered, "What is sprouted grain bread?" It’s at the grocery store, but we know those aisles are confusing with endless variety and selection. When it comes to bread, what should we choose? White, whole wheat, whole grain, rye, sourdough, or gluten-free, and now there’s sprouted grain bread! Today, we’ll discuss what sprouted grain bread is, and I’ll break down the nutrition and compare the most common types of bread to help you ‘rise’ to the answer.  Anatomy of a Grain Kernel: First, in order to distinguish different breads, it’s important to understand the different parts of the grain that are...

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Chana Masala

Spicy Chana Masala

It’s a stressful time with COVID-19. Among all the cancellations you may find yourself with a little extra time for batch cooking. 🙌 This meal planning strategy works by making larger quantities (like this Spicy Chana Masala) for the freezer so you have quick meals available for lunches or nights you can’t cook.I enjoyed this Chana Masala dish with plain yogurt and Naan bread. It’s also a flexible meal to use up ingredients or veggies on hand. I used matchstick carrots, onion, garlic, celery and canned chickpeas along with warm spices. If you are a fellow fan of leftovers, you can use this Spicy Chana Masala as...

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Instant Pot Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

This Christmas I received an Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and yogurt maker. I’m just getting acquainted with the Instant Pot so still many more recipes to try. Stay tuned! However, French Onion Soup has always been a favourite and I was excited to try this meal in this new device. I adapted my 2014 Homestyle French Onion Soup recipe from the website so it could be an Instant Pot meal. Made a big batch that was enjoyed as leftovers and some in the freezer as well.  Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20-30 minutes *  *Actual Ready-Time: About 1 hour with temperature adjustments and...

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Chicken Red Curry Skewers

Red Thai Curry Chicken & Shrimp Skewers

Happy Nutrition Month everyone! To celebrate, we have a giveaway and a recipe for Red Thai Curry Chicken & Shrimp Skewers with Peanut Sauce. For our Nutrition Month giveaway, I’ve partnered with two fellow dietitians and a chef. We are all lovers of food, cooking and thought what better way to celebrate than to giveaway an outstanding cookbook and cooking swag! Interestingly, last year I realized how easy making homemade Thai Curry can be. And you have the flexibility to load it up with veggies and your choice of protein (see Green Thai Curry and Shrimp recipe).  Nevertheless, there is versatility to go beyond rice curries and into skewers...

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15-Minute Meals

Top Ten 15-Minute Meals From Kitchen Basics

Now that you have a well-stocked kitchen (see previous post with this dietitian's top fridge, freezer and pantry staples), you’re ready to put easy, nutritionally balanced meals on the table! Today, I have compiled my Top Ten 15-Minute Meals to make from your kitchen basics. This means you can save time and money with no special trips to the grocery store (bonus!). Additionally, these meals can be faster on the table than ordering in and will cost MUCH less. For those unaware, cooking at home is generally a healthier option with lower calories, fat, salt and sugar than comparable restaurant options. The purpose of this post is to...

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Almond Arugula Orange Salad

Almond Arugula & Orange Salad

Don’t let our winter weather hold you back from enjoying fresh salads! Like this Almond, Arugula & Orange salad, which is simply delightful. After all, including colourful fruits and veggies in our diets helps combat the winter blues, as mentioned in 3 Ways to Boost Mood with Food. Folate and tryptophan in leafy greens (like arugula) raise levels of our happy hormone (serotonin), which plays a role in mood regulation. Nevertheless, to keep our palates entertained and love of our greens incorporated, it’s important to pack our salads with extra flavour, citrus/acid and different textures.For this Almond, Arugula & Orange Salad, I did a couple things to make it extra scrumptious:1. Add fresh herbs (torn basil & Italian Parsley)....

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Valentine Meals Kids in kitchen

Family Valentine’s Meals

~Getting Kids in the Kitchen~ February 14th marks Valentine’s Day, where love is celebrated, particularly during those special Valentine's Meals. It’s also a time where heart-felt messages are shared – perhaps to a partner, a child, an elder, a teacher or a neighbour. Although we don’t need a designated day to be loving and thoughtful, celebrating our dearest relationships is wonderful. Similarly, have you thought of how food can bring people together, especially parents and children in their busy lives? Or how teaching others how to cook (food skills) can be the gift that keeps giving?  Today, I will take a family-swing on Valentine’s meals by showing how we can lovingly...

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Smoothie Bowl

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are just so fun and not to mention super trendy right now! They’re colourful, flavourful, quick-to-make and completely customizable with wholesome toppings (see ideas below). Additionally, I love smoothie bowls for getting kids into the kitchen because little ones can measure ingredients, select their favourite fruits, decorate their smoothie bowls and enjoy a healthy breakfast or afternoon snack.  This Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl recipe is featured as a top choice for involving kids in the kitchen. The topic of kids cooking or developing food skills is emphasized in my upcoming blog, Family Valentine’s Meals. In this blog, I reveal Valentine’s-themed breakfast, lunch and dinner options that...

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