Meal planning made easy

MPME

What’s a stress-free dinner hour every day worth to you? The ROI on the 15 minutes it takes to meal plan is pretty awesome.

Deciding what to eat is the hardest part about dinner. Once that’s done (sigh), it’s easier to take on those common challenges such as, I can’t find my bathing suit for swimming tonight. The meals may not be fancy, but they’ll be balanced and taste great. You may find you waste less food too.

Convinced to give meal planning a go? Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. And remember, there is no right or wrong way to meal plan. You may plan one dinner ahead or several and even slip in a cooks-night-off and plan to order-in.

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{video} Holiday recipes with a twist

Looking for delicious holiday recipes that are also diabetes friendly? This is the last week of Diabetes Awareness Month and with the run up to the holiday season, you might be looking for some inspiration for your holiday menu.

I teamed up with the energetic Chef James Smith of George Brown College in a series of videos showcasing holiday recipes with a healthy twist (click on Healthy Recipe Videos).

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5 fab ways to love pomelo

My first encounter with the exotic citrus called pomelo was during one of my childhood summer trips to Bangladesh to visit my grandparents. Chunks of pomelo were served with salt and cayenne pepper. Not sure why anyone would feel the need for extra heat in the scorching 40+C weather.

Resembling a giant grapefruit, the pomelo originates in Malaysia. Its pale-yellow rind is surprisingly thick. And unlike the sharp, tartness of a grapefruit, pomelos are milder in taste. I find the “red” pomelo (coral-coloured flesh) more flavourful than “white” pomelo (pictured here). As winter approaches, you’ll see them cropping up in Canadian grocery stores. Buy pomelos that are heavy for their size.

Pomelo is served raw. A few fab ways to enjoy it:

1) Enjoy it as a dessert. Dip pomelo in cayenne pepper for a kick.

2) Sprinkle on cinnamon to add an element of sweetness. (If you’re feeling adventurous, mix the cinnamon and cayenne together — my new favourite combo.)

3) Slice up in leafy green salads or fruit salsa.

4) Serve alongside seafood like shrimp and scallop.

5) Toss into a couscous or quinoa salad.

Zannat

Holiday recipes just a click away

Looking for some inspiration for holiday recipes? Check out the holiday issue of Eat In Eat Out magazine. From wholesome roast beef dinners to New Year’s Eve nibbles, this issue has great ideas to add a little sparkle to your holiday food.

My first article as the nutrition editor offers up some easy food gift ideas. Try roasted nut/dried fruit combos, lentil soup mix, chai sachets or a whole grain pancake mix. Pack them in mason jars and add a pretty ribbon for a personal touch.

 

Be sure to browse through the holiday cookie contest winners for something more decadent.

Happy reading!

– Zannat

Farm to Table popcorn

I recently came across blue popcorn. Yes, blue. But not in a weird way. The blue kernels are actually a natural ancient grain.

Produced by Farm to Table Foods, this popcorn is not genetically modified and is grown without pesticides. Many of their popcorn products meet the school nutrition guidelines in Ontario and other provinces. So if your school is looking for a healthy fundraiser, this is a good option.

And in case you’re wondering, popcorn makes a great snack because it’s a whole grain. Keep your eyes open at your local Sobeys store.

– Zannat